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Mailbag

Issue: "Midwest's middle men," Oct. 21, 2000

Come together

The articles by Marvin Olasky ("Bush can still win," Sept. 23) and Cal Thomas ("Lobbing cream puffs," Sept. 23) hit the mark. Another issue that should energize the American people is the Democratic strategy of pitting American against American, fracturing society into splinter groups rife with suspicion and animosity. George Bush needs to draw America's attention to that destructive leadership, and contrast it with leadership that will unite, not divide, and treat people with respect and dignity, not denigrate. I believe that Mr. Bush will lead by building consensus to solve problems; not by pointing fingers and screaming, "It's their fault, not mine!" as we have seen far too often during the Clinton-Gore years. Mr. Bush's leadership will build peace and civility in our nation, and God knows we need it. - Douglas Adee, Artesia, N.M.

A winner

I think that the education-vouchers issue is a winner all over the nation. Education is the way out of poverty, so why do voucher opponents insist that the poor stay in a bankrupt system? - Don Vander Jagt, Coral, Mich.

Caring

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I read with gladness the recent letter from someone who canceled his subscription because WORLD is not "nice" ("Mailbag," Sept. 16). I am thankful that WORLD cares enough to confront a fallen society. - Greg Perry, Tulsa, Okla.

Tithing by tax

I agree with Joel Belz's "European efficiency" (Sept. 23). I would like to add that, when we visit family in Germany and ask them how they keep those big churches and cathedrals running, they explain how the government takes a certain percentage out of everyone's paycheck for "church taxes" to pay the wages of the pastors and priests, primarily Lutheran and Catholic. People of different faiths have to support those churches on top of their taxes. We are told that ministers in Germany can preach whatever they like, but I am thankful that we are free to put our tithe wherever the Lord tells us. - Lotte Penno, Bay City, Mich.

Faith and efficiency

It is tiring to edit constantly the clearly Protestant, Calvinistic bias in WORLD for children I am raising Orthodox. The last straw was "European efficiency" (Sept. 23). By explaining the Reformation as a bid for efficiency in matters of faith and Christian practice, Mr. Belz clarifies a great deal about modern Protestantism to me. I now understand the trend toward vending-machine salvation and instant sanctification. We have modern, efficient Christianity, but by sacrificing the seamless garment of the ancient, One Church. Please cancel my subscription. - Katherine A. Lu, West Columbia, S.C.

Hoosier truth

I have always been a fan of Indiana University basketball coach Bob Knight. As a Christian and a Hoosier, I could not defend his rude behavior, but neither could I say he was a completely bad guy. Russ Pulliam's article helped me see that it was not the confrontation with a disrespectful young man or the action of President Myles Brand, but his own character flaw, a lack of self-discipline, that led to his downfall ("Tragic character," Sept. 23). Thank you for helping me see the truth without totally destroying my memory of the good things Coach has done through the years. - Tammy Aggus, Joplin, Mo.

Just ignore them

When will the Gene Edward Veiths of the world learn? The surest way to ensure the success of cultural figures such as Eminem ("The gangsta next door," Sept. 23) is to protest their work or, better yet, threaten censorship. Proscribe and they thrive; ignore and they go away. Remember 2 Live Crew and Marilyn Manson? Their albums would have languished in obscurity if not for the fulminations of politicians and religious groups. Eminem has just as much of a right to spew forth his raffish lyrics as I have a right to ignore him. - Michael Farrell, Asheville, N.C.

Sliding on the Sabbath?

While I appreciated much of what Chad Curtis wrote in "A tough season" (Sept. 23), and while I would not question the state of his heart, I would question how Mr. Curtis and others who profess faith in our Lord can consistently break the Sabbath commandment. I am reminded of Hall of Famer Christy Matthewson, known as the "Christian Gentleman." Before he became a professional baseball player he promised never to play on Sunday. This did not stop him from getting to the Hall of Fame after an illustrious career. One of the most interesting displays in the Hall is Mr. Matthewson's Bible along with the inscription telling visitors of his desire to honor the Lord by keeping his Day. - Rich Densely, Pequannock, N.J.

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