A faithful remnant
I have been actively following politics for the last eight years, and often didn't know whether to scream or cry. WORLD has helped me realize that our once-great nation still has some sensible and honest leaders and thinkers left. The articles in the special issue spell out how this now degenerate nation can be changed ("Rebuilding America," Oct. 28). But it will depend largely on who is elected, at the national and state levels, and who the Supreme Court replacements are. It can be accomplished by men and women who, under God's leading, are willing to face opposition, remain moral and true to their promises, and work for true freedom. May God grant that this will be the case. - Millie Mosby, Harwood Hts., Ill.
The "Rebuilding America" issue is a triumph. I have been an avid reader for about 10 years and this is the best issue yet. The theme was wonderful and the articles well written and informative. I learned a great deal, especially from "Building the American cabinet" and "Culture of the bizarre," concerning the the NEA and NEH. Thank you also for your piece on the future of the military ("Are we ready to rumble?"). - Adrian Yelverton, Raleigh, N.C.
Lt. Col. Oliver North is no conservative hero of mine ("Building the American cabinet"). I saw in him a blatant disrespect for the law, and it is wrong to oversimplify his deeds as "Democrat defying." All too often in America, injustices occur to undermine the legal system and the public's confidence in their government. I am still continuously disappointed when good people write off or refuse to investigate political scandals and illegal activities because it involves people of their chosen political party. - Becky Gruen, Lindenhurst, Ill.
As if training for a job as a comic, Sen. Sam Brownback deadpans that the U.S. "must increase pressure on other countries to enforce local and international laws to prevent" sex slavery ("Policy, not policing," Oct. 28). The chuckling in the background is coming from the pimps of Pattaya Beach and Phuket (Thailand), Seoul and Pusan (Korea) and Okinawa (Japan). Some of their most dependable customers are American soldiers, sailors, and Marines. The current and massive East Asian sex trade got a big boost from American military personnel on "rest and recreation" leave during the conflict in Vietnam, and American dollars continue to pile up in sex-slavers' pockets. Before we grow any more sanctimonious about foreigners' involvement with sex slavery, we'd do well to inquire into how our fighting forces overseas are spending taxpayers' money. - Preston Jones, Dallas, Texas
As the father of two active duty lieutenants and as a senior commissioned member of the Reserve Component myself, I can assure you that "Are we ready to rumble?" was directly on point. I would, however, disagree with Mr. Tilford's disparagement of "sensitivity sessions driven by multiculturalism." My sons and I have had Army training on these issues and found them to be extremely helpful, giving us a new way of considering our fellow citizens/ soldiers of different cultures and races. It is heartening that there are many strong Christians with strong moral and family values serving as commissioned officers. The Army provides an environment that teaches these moral values to our young people, and we should encourage that in our military. - R.B. Davis, Gainesville, Fla.
No federal role
I was rather disappointed with Shadow Education Minister Vernon Robinson's proposals for improving education in America ("When will Washington ever learn?" Oct. 28). All his suggestions were about what the Education Department could be doing better, but I don't believe that the federal government has any legitimate role in education. Except for military academies and schools on military bases, school financing and operation should be done on the state and local levels, or by the private sector. - Greg Barnes, Springfield, Mo.
Our own devices
Some of us cannot afford a full-size computer, or choose not to have one; nevertheless we want to communicate with family, friends, and editors. Mailstation and other small devices like Pocketmail enable us to do that ("You've got Mailstation?" Oct. 21). We have owned "real" computers and are not irritated by the fact that we can't surf the Web. We live and travel full time in an RV and our Pocketmail device can be used from any phone, anywhere, without having to lug a laptop and an acoustic coupler to the nearest pay phone. Technology is a wonderful thing but it's not for everyone, so leave us "high-tech stragglers" to our own devices. - Bill Sappington, Harlingen, Texas
And in conclusion
I agree that today's presidential and other political debates, as well as many high-school and college debate leagues, fall discouragingly short of the Lincoln-Douglas standards of coherent, logical arguments delivered eloquently and courteously ("The lost art of the debate," Oct. 21). But the article ended without much room for hope. As a competitive high-school debater, I believe there is reason for optimism. While many tournaments ignore reasoning or eloquence, the Homeschool Forensics League stresses these aspects even more than winning, to the extent that they communicate truth. And being forced to research, understand, and argue different sides of an issue helps prepare me to defend the truth. Debate has helped me to be able to logically, respectfully, and successfully discuss important issues and defend my faith. - Laura Sawyer, 17, Chagrin Falls, Ohio
I just read my first issue of WORLD. It's wonderful. I have tried all the popular news publications and yours is the best. - Robert B. Olds, Prescott, Ariz.
The other side
WORLD is always a breath of spiritual fresh air when it arrives. When I want to see the other side of issues compared to what is reported in the other major weekly news magazines, I turn to you. - Vernon Stoop Jr., Sassamansville, Pa.
It's the illness
I believe that "Drugs on the brain" leaves the impression that these drugs are basically harmful. In the two examples of persons who committed crimes or killed themselves shortly after starting to take these drugs, it's possible that their destructive behavior occurred before the medications could help them, or that other, better medications could have helped. In other words, their illness caused their behavior, not the drugs. - Denise Williams, Moscow, Tenn.
"Drugs on the brain" (Oct. 21) left me profoundly uneasy for its failure to acknowledge that intelligent, demonic forces may be active, right along with genes and body chemistry, in the human sins and misbehaviors that psychotropic drugs attempt to correct. The article quoted Prof. Calbreath as saying that biological determinism is "wrong," but that's a tepid complaint against a rarely questioned theory that is sharply anti-biblical. In less than 40 years, the pushy social sciences have turned many churches into little more than referral stations for secular therapists and rehab centers. Psychiatry, with its overrated offspring psychology, may be the biggest number to be done on the human race since Satan got Eve to take the forbidden fruit. - Barbara Mauer, St. Louis, Mo.
A writer in the Nov. 4 Mailbag suggested that, by reporting her anti-Trinitarian views, WORLD is jumping on Weigh Down Workshop founder Gwen Shamblin because her view is out of step with the new Christian ecumenical community ("The skinny on Weigh Down," Oct. 7). The Workshop's emphasis on how we allow food, exercise, and ideal body weight to become idols is right on. However, I do care about sticking to how God defines Himself, and that is not a new trend among Christians. If we do not worship the God of the Bible, we are worshipping an idol, albeit a helpful weight management one. - Barbara W. Smith, Severna Park, Md.
Mike Pappas lost this year's Republican nomination for New Jersey's 12th Congressional District (Nov. 4, p.18). - The Editor