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Mailbag

Issue: "Here we go again," Nov. 11, 2000

Walled out

My wife and I realized the last time we watched the Miss America pageant that it was still colorful and engaging, but the pageant officials' new standards of modesty have slipped below acceptable limits for Christians. We know that this is a forum for some Christian women to publicly stand for their Lord Jesus and promote godly causes-such as sexual abstinence until marriage-but it seems the world is walling us out of this contest, unless we compromise ("The narrow runway," Oct. 14). - Donald McKay, St. Francis, Minn.

Why watch?

Christian "beauty queens?" How can they speak with a straight face about purity and chastity while marketing their flesh in evening gowns and bikinis? And why do Christians watch and defend this trash? - Paul & Brenda Schmick, Horseheads, N.Y.

Cruiser chic

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Regarding "Ugly-car chic" (Oct. 14): Unlike the tiny Mini, a Chrysler PT Cruiser offers good storage and ample power. Yes, the Mini is ugly. But the PT Cruiser? I don't think so. - Tom Dewey, Bloomington, Minn.

A tip

I, too, received an e-mail describing the alleged Satanic quotes from Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling ("Peeling The Onion," Oct. 14). Something was obviously fishy. I did my homework and found the satirical article on The Onion's website. I think Christians want to believe these kinds of stories because they fuel existing concerns, but Christians need to apply the same discernment to these stories as they do to determining whether or not to allow their children to read Harry Potter books. Christians are already mocked for believing the truth of the gospel; let's not give the unbelieving world reason to mock us for being gullible too. - David Olson, Waxhaw, N.C.

Rules required

I find myself in the quandary of praising Joel Belz for his characteristically astute description of the biblical order of land ownership and stewardship of God's creation but disappointed with his conclusion ("Neighborhood burglars," Oct.14). If we're to clear environmental confusion and ethical bewilderment, Christians must speak out not only against the excesses of environmental regulation but also against the greed, selfishness, materialism, and consumption that has made environmental regulations necessary. - Preston Bristow, Woodstock, Vt.

Too risky

The article on Scotchgard notes that perfluoro-octanyl accumulates in human tissues, and this should cause concern ("Risky business," Oct. 14). The fact that no danger has yet been shown from Scotchgard does not mean that the product is safe. As a conservative Christian, I am concerned that the dangers of environmental contamination are often downplayed by other conservatives. We should be the most interested in preserving God's creation and protecting our fellow human beings from the danger of chemical toxins. - John R. Whiffen, Malibu, Calif.

A glorious finish

This is as fine an article on sports as I have ever read in WORLD ("Silver in Sydney," Oct. 7). In an age of self-esteem, self-worth, self-everything, what a joy to hear Josh Davis's account of his biblically based, Christ-centered approach to high-pressure athletics. After 30,000 miles and 14 years of hard training, when Josh missed an individual medal in the men's 200m freestyle by one-tenth of a second and then broke out in tears in his father's arms, he glorified God. What a witness, particularly in the United States, where being No. 1 still reigns supreme. - Pete Andreas, Pella, Iowa

A humble champion

Thank you for printing the excerpts from Josh Davis's journal of the Sydney Olympics. I am a swimmer and his writing provided great inspiration for me, and really captured what being a Christian and an athlete is all about-bringing glory to our Creator in everything that we do. I met Josh at a swim clinic he held in Grand Forks, N.D. He is a humble and genuine champion. - Anneliesse Nelson, 15, Roseau, Minn.

Broken Boston hearts

It warms my rusted Boston heart to know that Marvin Olasky suffers from the same disease I've had all 38 years of my life-unconditional love for our Red Sox ("Sermon on the mound," Oct. 14). It's a sad state we can't shake, no matter how far we live from New England. The green pastures of Fenway Park give us hope every spring, but every fall reminds us of the promise of Psalm 23-that the Lord is our shepherd. - Bruce Brodeen, Ft. Collins, Colo.

SBC-sided

In my opinion, Mr. Plowman described the growing separation between the Southern Baptist Convention and the Baptist General Convention of Texas from the SBC perspective only ("Texas chain saw," Oct. 14). There are many Baptists in Texas who would be labeled "conservative" but hold firmly to the historical position that Baptists have no creed other than the Bible. To require a seminary professor or denominational employee to sign a man-made document (even if you agree with it) is to make that document a "creed." What else can you call it when those who abstain from signing are labeled in the denomination as "liberal" and are removed from their position of leadership? - Raymond Higgins, Pasadena, Md.

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