Not a sore loser
The picture on pages 16 and 17 of the Nov. 4 issue, of Dennis Hastert and Richard Gephardt holding the Speaker's gavel, really struck me ("Rebuilding the House?"). Here are two men, ideologically opposed, facing each other and smiling in a setting depicting a transfer of power. It was a refreshing view of politics. - Brian Schwartz, Nashville, Tenn.
More than talk
As the mother of three transracially adopted children, thank you for your article on adoption amidst the clamor of election mania ("Against the grain," Nov. 4). Some Christians who can spout statistics about this or that political problem in America sound impressive, but talk is meaningless without a personal investment. I'm used to the stares at my unusual-looking family. Not only do we sport diverse skin and hair and eyes, but all of my children are 3 years old. In 1997, three different women chose to personally "do" something about abortion. Shortly after, God called my husband and me to the humbling task of becoming adoptive parents. The joys of being a mother to my precious kids far outweigh the tough times. - Sarah Padbury, Milton, Fla.
Nothing has inspired us to write to WORLD like "Against the grain." It is our adopted son Nicodemus's 6th birthday. By the time the adoption was finalized, Nic had a "bonus" baby brother. Both boys have proven to be very difficult to raise. Many days we have asked, "Why, Lord, what difference can we have made?" But God has blessed us in so many and unexpected ways, and your article showed us that anything we do for others we do for Him. That is blessing enough, but we also have two wonderful children who add to our family as no others could. Thanks for the reminder. - Doug & Susan Wood, Orange, Calif.
Amen to John Piper for "Single-issue politics" (Nov. 4). He articulated exactly how I felt after having a conversation with two Christian friends who agreed with each other that issues like abortion "aren't presidential issues." - Jan Bennett, Shelton, Wash.
"Single-issue politics" was a terrific article. The pro-life issue is a sacred one for me as well, even more so since my son died in utero last month. I feel so strongly about this one issue that I will never vote for a candidate who favors abortion rights even if he has 10 times the qualifications of the other candidate, and I'd rather pay more in taxes than vote for someone who's pro-choice. - Shannon May, Arlington,Va.
The motto of the new Marine martial art, "You'll bow to no one," is hardly in the spirit of martial arts ("Looking for a few good ninjas," Nov. 4). In fact, that motto reflects the mindset you must drive out in order to become a martial artist. The goal is not to "kick butt" and teach people not to mess with you. The motto reflects rotten Americanism, not the high and noble cause of the ancient arts of the warrior. - Gabe West, Allentown, Pa.
Samurai vs. ninja
In his article on the New Aging of the Marine Corps, Mr. Veith mistakenly said, "The Japanese were schooled as samurai warriors holding the ninja ideals." The ninja (followers of ninjutsu) were the assassins and spies of their day, highly skilled mercenaries who were paid for the elimination of or information on an enemy. The samurai (followers of bushido: the way of the warrior) were soldiers. There was a huge difference. - Nathan Arnold, Vulverde, Texas
I was very impressed by your special issue, "Rebuilding America." Mr. Veith correctly describes the politically correct and post-modern doctrine that is destroying our liberal arts colleges and universities, but there is an important exception ("Culture of the bizarre," Oct. 28). I would say that a significant number of Christian colleges have remained faithful in educating young women and men to become Christian scholar-servants. - Bernard J. Piersma, Houghton, N.Y.
Your "Rebuilding America" special issue was excellent. "Policy, not policing" was full of sound ideas. The only exception was the assumption that "globalization" would force China toward accountability. That seems highly unlikely, considering China's evil, secretive government. - Ruth Harrington, Butte, Mont.
I found Vernon Robinson's comments to fall far short of the stated goal of the "Rebuilding America" special issue ("When will Washington ever learn?" Oct. 28). A.A. Hodge was correct when he stated over 100 years ago that "a comprehensive and centralized system of national education separated from religion ... will prove the most appalling enginery for the propagation of anti-Christian and atheistic unbelief, and anti-social, nihilistic ethics, individual, social, and political, which this sin-rent world has ever seen." This is precisely what our public-school system has become. Why not make the highest priority restoring responsibility for the education of their own children to parents? Why not remove big government from education altogether by abolishing the Department of Education and converting the public schools to local private schools? Why not stop forcing Christians to pay for the godless education of others through the threat of coercive taxation? These are just a few creative alternatives to Mr. Robinson's list. - Patch Blakey
Association of Classical and Christian Schools, Moscow, Idaho
In a modern world filled with computers and satellites (and controlled largely by operational atheists), the notion that mental health issues are spiritual in nature is laughable ("Drugs on the brain," Oct. 21). We who recognize the truth of God should not agree with their mockery. If Jesus confronted Satan and his demonic host, we who call Him Lord should, too. And no scientific breakthrough will impress "the god of this world" or make him back down. Only the power of Christ can release people from the genuine bondage in which many find themselves. - Jim Kohlmann, Apopka, Fla.
Regarding Mr. Belz's article, "Consider the source" (Oct. 7), I don't have as much trouble with journalists' liberalism as I do their blatant obfuscation and hiding of truth. I don't consider the networks or many of the major newspapers to be news outlets. I think they are agenda setters and self-appointed thought police, and I believe they believe that of themselves. - Phil Wade, Chattanooga, Tenn.
Screwtape would be pleased
Not one week goes by that I don't find at least one "forward" in my e-mailbox that presents a new virus, a shocking story (like the J.K. Rowling one), or a wonderfully inspiring tale that has very little basis in fact (Alaska Airlines flight 261) ("Peeling The Onion," Oct. 14). These Christian urban legends are nuisance enough, but those that attempt spiritual blackmail are grievous: If you don't forward this, something bad may happen, or you don't really love Jesus, or you won't go to heaven. The Internet is a whole new venue for malicious gossip, fanciful tales, and false rumors. Christians who would never spread gossip face to face forward these cyber rumors, seemingly without a second thought. I can just imagine old Screwtape conjuring up new lies to spread that will shock, frighten, irritate, falsely encourage, or just distract and preoccupy more and more Christians. - Lyn Mellone, Salinas, Calif.
Thank you for publishing the kind of magazine that I don't want to live without; I'm renewing for two years instead of the usual one. I especially appreciate the book and movie reviews. They help me speak intelligently about today's media with unsaved family and friends. - Vanessa Ventura, Dumont, N.J.
The night before we cast our first presidential votes as a married couple, my wife asked me if I was nervous about Tuesday. Her question reminded me of when I was a graduate student at Regent University. The day after the 1992 election, President Terry Lindvall opened the chapel service with, "William Jefferson Clinton has been elected President of the United States ... Praise the Lord." You could have heard a pin drop. Dr. Lindvall reminded us that, regardless of who is president, Christians have a responsibility to pray for their ruling authorities, that Christ is still the true king, and His kingdom is everlasting. He also reminded us that Christians should not presume that merely electing the "right" people will transform society; that will come through the work of individual "grains of salt," gathered and working as a community of faith, hope, and love ("Photo finish?" Nov. 4). - Edward L. Bryant, St. Charles, Mo.