Marvin Olasky's "Brother against brother" in your summer travel issue (June 3) reminded me of our family's visit to the Vicksburg battlefield several years ago when our two sons were still in their early teens. Both our boys were strangely pensive as we read the battle narratives and walked over the hills and trenches that still, muggy afternoon. At last, the oldest observed that, at 15, he was already as old as some of the youngsters who had fought there. It was a sobering moment for all of us. - James Hickman, Worthington, Ohio
Feelings into words
"Brother against brother" put my feelings and interest in the Civil War perfectly into words. - Mark Weislogel, Conifer, Colo.
As Mr. Olasky points out, we need to remember the issues involved in the Civil War as we read about the ruckus in South Carolina over the Confederate flag. The victors write the history books and the losers have long memories. May we remember our history clearly so that we do not repeat it. - Marge Storms, Charlotte, N.C.
Gene Edward Veith's "Historical site-seeing" (June 3) reminds us of our great national heritage and the educational treasures available to us. Although I appreciate his desire to recreate the bold spirit of independence and national unity, I believe that overemphasizing "great Americans," "great events" and "great ideas" risks replacing "simplistic, reductionist analysis" with hero-worship. God uses flawed men to accomplish wonderful things. - James McPherson, River Ridge, La.
I am extremely disappointed in your decision to promote Disney World and Universal Studios as great vacation destinations for Christian families ("Child's play," June 3). WORLD rightfully points out the evils of the Disney empire on a regular basis. How does promoting anti-Christian companies fit into your mission? - Donald E. Hunter, Cumming, Ga.
Rarely do we think any of WORLD's articles to be off base, and we are not canceling our subscription. But in "Child's play" you rationalize and promote a trip to Disney World. To us, it was ironic that this article was in a series under the cover theme, "A vacation from PC." The world that Walt built is being systematically destroyed from within by Michael Eisner and company. In our minds, "Eisner World" is a politically correct and spiritually dangerous place to take the family. - Michael & Monica Cook, Pineville, La.
"Child's play" left my wife and me checking the front cover to be sure we were reading WORLD. To assume that it is a parent's "duty" to take their children to Disney is an insult to one's intelligence. Our family intends to do some camping this summer. While Mr. Jones is sweltering in one seemingly endless line after another, I'm going to be swimming in a cool mountain lake with my wife and son. - Robert Conrad, Pittsburgh, Pa.
You treat the Disney boycott the same way the secular press does: "You can't hurt Disney anyway, so why try?" You seem to assume that since you can't resist watching ESPN, there is no reason to resist spending hundreds of dollars at Disney theme parks. Two wrongs do not make a right. - Judy Vanden Bosch, Mason City, Iowa
In "Did you read the ads?" (June 3), CEO Joel Belz says WORLD declines ads that are "opposed to our bedrock philosophies." Ironically, the Century One Bookstore ad in the June 10 issue promoted the clearly heretical book The Doctrine of the Trinity: Christianity's Self-Inflicted Wound. The ad states that the authors argue for the rejection of the "triune concept of God" that was erroneously "imposed on the original faith." Yikes! If anti-Trinity screeds aren't opposed to WORLD's "bedrock" beliefs, then it's time you stopped promoting yourself as a Christian magazine. - D. Reardon, Springfield, Ill.
[Editor's note: That ad slipped by our normally sharp-eyed folks. We're sorry; we'll try to be sharper-eyed in the future.]
The magazine is super just as it is. I sometimes disagree with the content, but your excellently written articles, insights, and columns do make me think and evaluate. WORLD's perspective is something that I don't get in the mainstream media. God bless your much-needed publication in today's very needy world. - Ronald Mentus, Brookfield, Conn.
No longer afraid
Congratulations on your excellent product. I was afraid you would be just another ineffective publication using the "Christian" banner as an enticement. I was afraid you would have good intentions but little substance. I am not afraid anymore. Your reporting, writing, and editorializing have set new standards for a weekly news magazine. - Dan Manningham, Mansfield, Ohio
The $5,000 rule
Regarding "Environmentalism" (June 3), in which Mr. Olasky ponders whether affluence helps or hurts the environment: In my experience as an environmental chemist in Asia, when people rose out of basic poverty they started thinking about the quality of the water and air they consume. The rule of thumb was that once a country's GDP per capita reached around US $5,000, people started thinking about basic environmental issues in regards to their health. In Taiwan I watched citizens rally to protest a waste-burning incinerator in their neighborhood, while in extremely poor Chongqing, China, pollution, litter, and waste were largely ignored. Once in central China we encountered an errant factory owner dumping phosphoric acid (extremely dangerous) into water that poured into a rice paddy less than 100 feet away. - Shannon Stowell, Monroe, Wash.
"Another lawyer joke" (June 3) quotes University of Arkansas law professor Howard Brill as saying that Mr. Clinton is unlikely to be disbarred because he was not "acting like a lawyer" but like "a private party." That's nonsense. Once licensed, an attorney's standard of legal care to himself, the courts, and to society is raised a notch. Mr. Clinton, as an attorney, has no wiggle room to misrepresent his statements before any court of law, be he president of the United States, representing a client's case, or defending himself in a private matter. - Larry Snow, Placentia, Calif.
I think the job that illustrator Krieg Barrie is doing is excellent. It was heartening to see his work on the cover recently. I hope he continues to provide striking, thought-provoking images for WORLD for some time to come. - Paulette Flemmens, Glen Rock, Pa.
After years of "contempt prior to investigation," I decided to watch The Simpsons for myself ("Doh! The Simpsons is back," June 3). I've found it to be witty and intelligent as well as-surprise!-affirming marriage and family. Yes, the writers poke fun at Christian hypocrisy, as well as that of environmentalists, homosexuals, feminists, union members, and politicians of every stripe. And they do it well. Count me among the growing number of conservatives who find The Simpsons has a lot to offer-especially to those of us who tend to suffer from self-righteousness. - Barbara Curtis, Petaluma, Calif.
You stated that the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)'s highest court ruled that its ministers can't carry out homosexual marriages but can do "holy unions" ("Ups and downs," June 3). The problem is that there is no prohibition in the Presbyterian Book of Order for such things. Marriage is understood in that document to be between a man and a woman, yet the Book of Order is silent on holy unions if they avoid the language of marriage ceremonies, as they often do. Those of us in the denomination with conservative leanings covet the prayers of our sisters and brothers in the faith as we approach our General Assembly in Long Beach, Calif., at the end of this month. - John R. Kerr, Buhl, Idaho
Good for what wasn't
I disagreed with the negative review of Dinosaur (The movies, June 3). I loved it. The main character was willing to sacrifice himself, and the movie showed that by standing together the enemy can be defeated. It was also good for what it lacked-cuss words and "adult" jokes, although the meat-eating dinosaurs may be scary for young children. - Sheryl E. Miller, Clarksville, Tenn.
The ship in the June 3, page 23 photo is the U.S.S. Constellation, not the U.S.S. Constitution. - ,