Columnists > Mailbag


Issue: "Dumpsters or hospitals?," June 24, 2000

Emotion no solution

Thanks to Bob Jones for his article on the Million Mom March ("The tales of tears," May 27). He clearly presented the logical side of the gun-control argument. The loss of innocent life by gun violence is a horrible thing, but more laws built on the foundation of emotions are not going to solve the problem. I would add that only law-abiding citizens obey laws. If a criminal wants a gun, he is going to get a gun, and my only hope for defending my family will be my ability to throw a 4-iron accurately. - Eamon O'Reilly, Occidental, Calif.

So what?

Mr. Jones complains that the moms make an emotional appeal-so what? Individual freedom has limits. When thousands of people a year die of gunshots, when we have mass murders at Wendy's, day-care centers, high schools and workplaces, it makes me think there are too many guns in circulation, and that easy access to them might be a problem. The reasonable regulation of deadly weapons is no threat to my faith or my freedom. - Gary Lowe, Jackson, Miss.

Emotion trumps reason

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Your astute analysis of the sovereignty of anecdotes has ramifications far beyond the governance of our country. The evangelical subculture, like the U.S. government and the culture as a whole, is being increasingly driven by emotion instead of reason. Legislators use polls to chart individual sentiment as a guide to policy, and some congregations conduct worship so that content has been replaced by emotion. We need not simply conservatism but a turn from individualism and insubordination to submission, a turn from the tyranny of emotion to the magnanimity of reason. - Carl Harter, Manheim, Pa.

A world of killers

Gun control is a distraction from the real issue-self-control. Even if we could destroy every gun in existence, we would still be left with a world full of murderers. - Gary A. Gaskins, Apex, N.C.

Batter up

I applaud your honesty in telling the truth about the Million Mom March. Please continue to call politicians to the plate for failing to enforce existing laws. - Carl Serwe, Chilton, Wis.

False impression

Nancy Pearcey's coverage of the controversy over Baylor University's Polanyi Center left the impression of a secular faculty against a Christian administration, but that is not the case ("Don't question authority," May 27). The Faculty Senate Resolution that the administration disband the center was partly motivated by the lack of faculty input when it was created. Many Baylor faculty oppose the Polanyi Center, but many others support it as part of a larger conversation about the relationship of Christian faith to academic matters of all kinds. - Barry Hankins
Assistant Professor of History
Baylor University, Waco, Texas

Small-school snobbery?

Seven years ago I gave a lecture critical of Darwinism at Baptist-affiliated Mercer University located in Macon, Ga. I wasn't prepared for the emotional hostility expressed by several pro-Darwinist faculty. The lessons I learned at Mercer parallel the experiences of those involved with the Polanyi Institute at Baylor. The faculties at many small schools are seeking to gain the academic respect of faculties at large research universities. Therefore small-school professors tend to teach the prevailing paradigm framed by the larger schools almost as revealed truth. Ironically, the faculty of denominationally affiliated schools often have less religious tolerance than those at large research universities, who tend to be more open to discussing problems within the secular paradigm. - Gary L. Achtemeier, Bishop, Ga.

Helpful debate

We conservative students at Baylor University know there are liberal professors on campus and we warn each other when we come across them. Hopefully this debate over the Polanyi Institute will force school administrators to look at how well professors' teachings line up with their denomination's (and orthodox Christian) beliefs. - Elisabeth G. Wolfe, Llano, Texas

Image is important

Your careful coverage of news events from a biblical worldview is extremely refreshing. I especially appreciate your layout team. Although content is the emphasis, the packaging really is an important part of the message, too, and your guys do a great job. - Michael LeFebvre, Pittsburgh, Pa.

Chipmunks for Gore

The way to quickly clear the way for legislation giving beasts the same rights as humans is to mention to the Democratic National Committee that such a law would allow animals to vote for Democratic candidates ("Beasts are people, too," May 27). Perhaps we should keep this to ourselves. - Robert Edgin, Willingboro, N.J.

No grief

The photo of Mr. and Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Gore at Cardinal O'Connor's May 8 funeral says it all ("Off-key applause," May 27). Their faces showed resentment, angst, and petulance, but the one emotion that I did not see was grief. - Michael Rucks, Taft, Calif.


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