The real killer
President Clinton showed again how low he is willing to sink to advance his political agenda ("Murder in the 1st," March 11). In reaction to Kayla Rolland's murder, he called on Congress to close the gun-show loophole, restrict importation of large-capacity clips, and pass child safety lock legislation. But the gun used in Kayla's killing was stolen (not bought at a gun show), only one shot was fired, and criminals who steal weapons do not use child safety locks. Evidently, Mr. Clinton thinks that Americans are stupid enough to believe that gun-control legislation could prevent future shootings like this one. The killer in this case is parental negligence. His parents and uncle have some young and innocent blood on their hands. May God show mercy to the 6-year-old killer's terrible role models and to the politicians who attempt to exploit this tragedy. - Benny Southstreet, Roswell, Ga.
More math than morals
If this boy had murdered this young girl with a rock to the head or a pencil through the heart, would the tragedy be any less? Would we seek to blame the company that makes pencils? The fault lies with us as a church and a nation for not teaching right from wrong. We have worked more on our children knowing computers than having compassion, math more than morals. These things are not being taught in our homes, or our schools, and one must wonder if they are still being taught in our churches. - Peter E. Masti, Ravena, N.Y.
Would Jesus pack iron?
I was disheartened to read yet another article that sidesteps America's desperate need for stricter gun-control laws by blaming this death on "moral decay." Of course, moral decay is at the root of our gun-violence problem, just as it is at the root of our abortion problem. I don't think there is any less moral decay in Europe than in America, but at least they have the sense to pass legislation that makes the manifestation of that decay more difficult. Would Jesus carry a gun or speak out against them? - Beth Pennings, Moorhead, Minn.
I was disappointed that so much of your article on my husband, Bruce Davis, focused on what occurred 30 years ago ("Underestimating evil," March 11). Even though Bruce is serving time for his part in the crimes, he has been removed from the Manson family and joined to the family of God. His chaplains would be happy to attest to the wonderful work he's done in Jesus' name. So much more could have been said of what he has accomplished. - Beth Davis, Grover Beach, Calif.
"Underestimating evil" touched me more deeply than any article I have read in a long time. - Darren Chester, Shuqualak, Miss.
Regarding "Christian jazz?" (March 11): Why do you commend Dave Brubeck's music as "biblically informed, creative, and very cool" if it is shaped by a faith that overtly does not believe that Christ is the only way? - Katalin S. Korossy, Kensington, Md.
From the mouths of rappers
Thanks for "Rappers get religion" (March 11). It is always encouraging to be surprised by people glorifying God-especially those from whom you wouldn't expect God-honoring words. Rap music is usually recognized as being quite pagan, and rightfully so. If Puffy Combs is truly on the road to change, it will be interesting to see how this will be played out in his music and in his relationship with Jennifer Lopez. - Bethany Unger, Vancouver, Wash.
Thank you for the follow-up article on Hannah Hawkins ("The clean-up person," March 11). I admire her commitment to God and would love to see the churches of America stand behind her in prayer and funding. - Bobby Hart, Nineveh, N.Y.
I'm a little disenchanted with the way that WORLD seems to be fawning over novelist John Grisham ("Southern Baptist scribe," March 11), especially when I read dismissive statements like "while Mr. Grisham's liberal-leaning lectures and occasional bad language may grate at some readers...." - John Fraser, Kalamazoo, Mich.
You're worried about "Impropriety?" (March 11); I say hog wash. We all take sides. By your mission statement and biblical worldview, your lenses are colored. Let Mr. Safire rail, I say, and make no apologies to the liberal media. - Randall S. Brunt, Moreno Valley, Calif.
Please, Mr. Olasky, cut off neither your right nor your left leg. I, for one, am thrilled to know that you have the ear of George W. Bush regarding welfare policy, and even your temporary absence from WORLD would be painful. There's no reason you shouldn't weather the sputterings of The New York Times with grace and integrity. - Sue C. Wheeler, Lansing, Mich.
A divisive issue
"Keep the chaplaincy" (March 11) ignores the fact that this is a divisive issue due to the religious diversity of our country. Second, prayer does not necessarily unify, as Mr. Barton states, since some require "in Jesus' name" and others are greatly offended by such terminology. Last, are we as Christians prepared for chaplains in the future who may be Jewish rabbis, Muslim imams, or Buddhist monks? Our legislative branch may soon reflect our religious and cultural diversity and it will be offensive to others that their tax dollars pay Christian clergymen. Christian churches can make a difference by financially supporting clergy to offer pastoral care and serve our congressmen and -women gratis for the sake of Christ. - Helen Louise Herndon, St. Louis, Mo.
Trail of Tears
It is interesting that WORLD portrayed Andrew Jackson as a great Christian ("The Hermitage heritage," March 11). In the mid-1830s he ratified a bogus treaty that forced 17,000 Cherokees to trade their prosperous holdings in the East for the promise of land in Oklahoma. In 1838, in one of the saddest episodes of our nation's history, men, women, and children were taken from their land, herded into makeshift forts with minimal facilities and food, and then forced to march a thousand miles. The parties left in early fall and arrived in Oklahoma during the brutal winter of 1838-39. Between 1,000 and 4,000 Cherokee died, and their route and the journey itself became known as "The Trail of Tears." - Jim Nerone, West Lafayette, Ind.
God is green
I am tired of seeing in your pages the misguided notion that equates caring for the earth with a leftist political agenda ("What's up with gas prices?" March 11). Don't you know that God is the ultimate environmentalist? As stewards of his creation, we Christians should stop whining about the high price of oil and instead make it a priority to conserve energy while actively promoting the development of fuel-efficient vehicles and alternative energy sources. - Natalie Porter, Grand Rapids, Minn.
Slow to judge
In response to the criticism you received of your coverage of the Super Bowl (Mailbag, March 11), we still need to give credit where credit is due. When Mr. Warner speaks out about Jesus, he is taking advantage of a unique opportunity to share Christ with all the non-Christian football fans at home watching TV, not to mention all the young athletes who look up to him. Let's not be so quick to judge. - Tammy Reed, Newbury Park, Calif.
Serious inquiries only
In "The marriage game" (March 4) you concluded that couples need to take it as a holy covenant. In our church, we consider 18 years to be the minimum age for courtship. If our society would begin to take courtship and marriage seriously in the fear of God, we would see a proportionate decline in divorce and broken homes. - Gary L. Miller, Pantego, N.C.
I rarely agree with Jesse "The Guv" Ventura, and so was pleased to see his quote about why he would not return the Civil War flag ("Why? I mean, we won," March 11). That flag represents the blood of the Minnesota 1st Volunteer Regiment and its heavy losses at Gettysburg, as well as the freedom that blood bought. - Laura L. Hill, Roseville, Minn.