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.
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
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polls to chart individual sentiment as a guide to policy, and some congregations conduct worship so that content has been replaced by emotion.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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Big thanks to Joel Belz for "Too legit to quit" (May 27). The road of home education is often lonely, arduous, and lined with critics. I found his article refreshing and on target. - Susan Blake, Lafayette, Ind.
Christian kids needed
My wife and I are public-school teachers. With the proper home Bible training and church schooling, our children were able to represent Christ in their public schools, where every Christian child is sorely needed. - Jim and Peg Buck, Venice, Fla.
I am a homeschooling parent whose parents keep asking when we're going to send our kids back to public school. "Too legit to quit" helps lend credibility and I plan to quote it often. - Karla Davis, Jefferson, Ga.
Your special issue on marriage and the family (May 20) is marvelous. "Domestic partners" had some excellent ideas for changing public policy to promote marriage and child-rearing, such as changing the tax code, but Mr. Carlson's suggestions for changes within the home can be summed up as, "Pretend the last 200 years didn't happen." The homeowners in my subdivision recently approved new rules against on-street parking and ugly fences. Would they tolerate my raising chickens? The romantic notion of lawyers and doctors working out of home offices "assisted by able young apprentices" is ridiculous. Let's instead encourage our sons to pursue careers that provide enough income to support a family but have enough schedule flexibility to allow them to be home regularly, such as law, medicine, education, and architecture. It is possible to work fewer hours as a lawyer but still provide an adequate income, especially if you don't have to buy land for chickens. - Stuart W. Fraley, Calera, Ala.
Home birth off-base
Although Mr. Carlson had many fine suggestions, his recommendation for couples to consider home births is off-base. As a family physician with more than 20 years experience, I have seen several women who chose to deliver at home and had tragic consequences. The major reduction in perinatal mortality is due to the high level of sophistication found in modern hospital delivery suites. - Terrence L. Moore, Corinth, Texas
Views into words
As an avid reader of Jane Austen, "Family life: No stranger to fiction" (May 20) was all I could wish for, and it helped put my views of her writing into words. Thank you. - Rachel A. Ernst, West Springfield, Mass.
God save the U.S.A.
My son's elementary school "Olympics" concludes with each class walking off the field waving American flags while a teacher sings, "I'm Proud to Be an American." I've always sung along-until this year. I had just finished reading your May 6 issue. Five articles in a row-"Little lies," "God save the United States," "Reno's raiders," "Reno's reporters," and even "Uncle Sam's collect call"-pointed to a government run amok and a citizenry that doesn't seem to care. Truly, God save the U.S.A. - Roy D. Hall, Diboll, Texas
- At Iwo Jima during WWII there were 25,851 American casualties; of these 6,825 died (Bestsellers, June 3).
- The Plimouth Plantation was established by the Pilgrims in 1620 ("Historical site-seeing," June 3). - ,