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Mailbag

Issue: "CCM: Salt or sugar?," May 13, 2000

Virtuous vision

"Salvation by transgression" (April 15) correctly connected the basic agendas of Hollywood and the political left, which together are a mutual admiration society. The script writers of American Beauty attempted to baptize the drug-dealing photographer's attempts to find beauty in ordinary things, like trash, with his claim that he was catching a glimpse of God. But this trash-exalting philosophy promotes the notion that we can stumble onto beauty in the most unlikely places and suddenly be more enlightened than all those conventional artists who work to reflect it or find it. This is as silly as the notion that we can stumble into advanced moral virtue with one sudden little deed of decency, like not sleeping with a daughter's cheerleader friend after seducing her. - Joel Mark Solliday, New Haven, Conn.

The long arm of Tinseltown

The story on the Oscars was excellent, and WORLD's coverage of entertainment is a valuable pursuit. Hollywood greatly influences the way citizens in this country think-just listen to the discussions around your office on any given day. Christians cannot turn a blind eye toward the long arm of Tinseltown, and we should be aware of current thinking and trends. - Adrian Yelverton, Raleigh, N.C.

You're welcome

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Thank you for your probing and thoughtful movie reviews, which have been improving by the issue. I like to let movies stand the test of time before I watch them. Due to your reviews, my wife and I recently enjoyed Life Is Beautiful and The Winslow Boy. It's also nice to know about the bad stuff in the other movies out there so that we can avoid watching them. - Samuel Sanseri, Milwaukie, Ore.

WORLD secularized

Congratulations on the complete secularization of your movie review section. I had to look hard to find any difference at all between WORLD and movie reviews in People. - Steve Holle, Billings, Mont.

Be there

As an aspiring Christian filmmaker, I am frustrated by our attitude toward Hollywood-always "them" vs. "us." We complain about movies but we have been absent from the film culture; consequently films are not about Christianity. - Matthias Shapiro, Lookout Mountain, Ga.

Then and now

The article by Cal Thomas on self-control instead of more gun control is exactly right ("Why not self-control," April 15). I grew up in an area where we drove to school with rifles in our gun racks. No one ever shot anyone at school. We now have thousands of gun laws in this country and school shootings seem to occur regularly. - Stephen Fogler, Tucson, Ariz.

Who needs journalists?

I find it comical that journalists are so outraged at the selection of Leonardo DiCaprio to interview President Clinton for the Earth Day news special ("Anchors away," April 15). The typical American newscast has become a cafeteria dishing out bits of distracting entertainment. It should come as no surprise that an actor was chosen to fill the role of the "news" correspondent. - Douglas Johnson, Zionsville, Ind.

Who needs journalists?

I find it comical that journalists are so outraged at the selection of Leonardo DiCaprio to interview President Clinton for the Earth Day news special ("Anchors away," April 15). The typical American newscast has become a cafeteria dishing out bits of distracting entertainment. It should come as no surprise that an actor was chosen to fill the role of the "news" correspondent. - Douglas Johnson, Zionsville, Ind.

No, they're over the line

I am responding to a letter in your April 22 Mailbag alleging that the article on the white slave trade "went over the line" ("No sale," March 25). The people who force women into prostitution are the ones who have gone too far. I do not consider myself a religious person, but I read WORLD regularly, and "No sale" was one of the most informative and distressing pieces you have published. - Nathan Cain, Fairview, N.C.

Safe, for now

I passed out "My sidewalk survey" (April 15), about what Americans don't know about the Bill of Rights, to my public-school Senior History students as a quiz. The 28 students willing to complete the quiz for a grade managed to list between three and nine rights. One student listed "Trial by Jerry." When I asked what that meant, another explained, "Springer." I figure that the republic is safe until the end of May, when some of these students will graduate. - Max Forsythe, Columbus, Ohio

Mean extortion

Thank you, Joel Belz, for your thoughtful editorial, "O' both your houses" (April 8). But to excuse the extortion efforts of the government against the tobacco companies is uncomfortably close to the doctrine that "the end justifies the means." - Paul W. Chase, Anoka, Minn.

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