We say "freedom of choice" and choose to kill innocent babies. Our idea of liberty has become gruesome indeed. Let us remember that we are not independent of the Creator of life, and let the nine justices remember that they are not supreme. - Lynn Wielenga, Hull, Iowa
"Is resistance futile?" was very pertinent to me (July 8/15). At age 69 I have just gone through a living will with my sons. As I get older, I want good reasonable care but it seems less reasonable to spend mega dollars on heroics to prolong my life a few more years. If I had severe irreversible dementia, death would seem to be the sweet grace of God. And if my organs are failing due to old age, I don't want to be kept alive artificially with tubes and apparatuses. So, yes, I do believe in the "futile-care theory," the singling out of some patients to deny certain treatments. The question is, what is reasonable care? - Lois Hendricks, New Prague, Minn.
As a full-time intensive care unit physician, I address the complicated issues surrounding medical futility on a daily basis. For example, we often don't have a rational way of rationing medical care. Women unable to afford prenatal medical care may be refused treatment, but we will spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to preserve the life of a premature baby when only pennies could have kept it safe inside the womb. And where is the pressure for personal accountability for one's own health? When adults engage in risky behavior (like sex, alcohol, tobacco, or "extreme" sports), how much does the medical system owe them to repair their bodies when they are injured? I oppose euthanasia, and do everything in my power to optimize my patients' chances for survival, spending thousands of dollars a day in the process. But when I go home to my nice house, in my nice neighborhood, and read about the Sudan crisis in WORLD, I am often ashamed at how wasteful the U.S. medical system can be. In our attempts to put off the inevitable, how much are we willing to spend, who makes the decisions, and will they be applied equally to all? Our only hope is for Christians to be actively involved in these tough discussions. - Mark Oltermann, Ogden, Utah
Legal at least
Learning about the trials and problems in other countries for families who choose to homeschool makes me appreciate our own freedom ("State schools über alles?" July 8/15). While our own country is not perfect, at least our decision to homeschool is not against the law. - Terri Ellis, Howe, Ind.
Hit the e-mark
Joel Belz's commentary on e-publishing hit the mark about the future of publishing. Much of what he writes is already here, although perhaps limited to the "techie" community. Today I downloaded most of WORLD into my Palm handheld computer. This took two minutes to configure weeks ago and is automatically refreshed every Friday morning while I synchronize my calendar and address book with the office server. It's less effort than going to the mailbox. I read WORLD and other publications while waiting for the bus and during lunch. I am writing this response on my handheld computer and it will be transmitted next time I synchronize my calendar. Granted, the technology is still limited, but the beginnings are already here. - Jim Hilliard, Manchester, Conn.
A profound loss
Thank you for the article on Dr. James Montgomery Boice ("Complex simplicity," July 1). I was a theologically illiterate young Christian when I picked up his book, The Christ of Christmas, in my local public library as a college student. That book changed the focus of my life and made me realize I was starving for the meat of God's Word. Especially in this age of evangelical silliness, Dr. Boice's death is a profound loss for the church and the world. - Janet Mefferd, Dallas, Texas
Debt of gratitude
My wife and I were members of Tenth Church, where Dr. Boice ministered, from 1985 to 1988 while studying at Westminster Seminary preparing for ministry. He painstakingly prepared two excellent sermons each week, most now published, that are among the most lucid commentaries on the Scriptures. Dr. Boice's example continues to inspire me in the primary task of preaching the Word expositionally. I am among the many pastors who owe him a great debt. - Bob Myers, Burtonsville, Md.
WORLD way off
0I think WORLD missed the boat on what Weigh Down is all about-bringing people into a closer relationship with God through prayer, Bible study, and removing false idols such as food and overeating ("Weigh Down, weigh off?" July 1). Weight loss is just a side benefit to the real joy of growing closer to the Father. - Theresa Boiney, Crestwood, Ky.
Simple but hard
Mr. Mann deserves credit for having the guts, so to speak, of admitting that he emulates "chunky saints" Martin Luther and C.S. Lewis. Before I confessed my own gluttony, I, too, refused to admit to the sin of overeating. Thanks to the biblical truths that confronted me in Weigh Down, I am 65 pounds lighter and I ditched the back pain, the heel spur, the allergy shots, and the irregular cycles caused by my obesity. I dropped out of Weigh Down the first two times I took the class because, just like Christianity, Weigh Down may be simple, but it's not necessarily easy. - Angela Webster, Newnan, Ga.
To whom do we pray?
As an evangelical pastor and a public-school teacher, I believe that the Supreme Court was right to prohibit student-led prayer over football stadium loudspeakers ("Watch what you pray," July 1). If government-sponsored prayer is permitted, to whom do we pray? Allah? Buddha? Do we give each religion equal time? The removal of school prayer did not bring about a decline of morals in our society. The lack of church involvement and the failure to exhibit true Christianity did. I'm amazed at how vocal some Christians can be on this issue, yet most churches remain empty on prayer-meeting nights. - Samuel L. Bundy, Reynoldsville, Pa.
Supports Safe Place
"Sanctioning cruelty or saving children?" (July 1), in which I was quoted, did not indicate my full support for the Safe Place for New Borns program in Mobile, Ala. - Michael H. Robertson, Mobile, Ala.
Rather wear Calvin
0Thanks for "Trinkets or truth?" ( July 1). I have always wondered what the current generation found in wearing WWJD bracelets. I would much rather be wearing a T-shirt displaying the face of John Calvin. - Justin Whear, 13, Utica, Ky.
Can be done
I don't think that the Supreme Court decision on late-term abortions (Stenberg vs. Carhart) is the disaster that some conservatives say ("A dark day," July 8/15). The opinions reveal four justices that affirm abortion under almost all circumstances, four that clearly want to eliminate late-term abortions, and one, Sandra Day O'Connor, who is telling us to do it right. We can do that by formulating a law that will pass constitutional muster, in this case allowing an exemption for long-term, serious, physical health problems (written in the proper legalese, of course). I think the decision will also mobilize pro-life forces. Now we need to put our energy into enacting laws that will stand and continue the pro-life community's job of educating the American people about how bad abortion really is. - Larry Wiener, Alhambra, Calif.
See for themselves
I wonder what the partial-birth abortion decision would have been if each of the justices would have had to observe personally one at an abortion clinic prior to rendering a decision? Judges sometimes review pornographic material prior to ruling on obscenity cases; is it too much to require judicial familiarity with this issue? - Stephen Fogler, Tucson, Ariz.