Reading your Nov. 11 cover story, "Public saints, private sinners," I was struck with our responsibility to pray for those in leadership. Years ago in a foreign country, our pastor resigned because of a moral failure. There was great sadness and hurt, and we realized that we had not done our part to pray faithfully for our shepherd. This election has prompted me to gather pictures of our leaders in government to help remind me to ask God's protection and guidance for them, too, that God will also "give them a way to escape." - Katrin van der Vaart, Annandale, Va.
I was dumbfounded to read of the dalliances of Mr. Trout as reported in your Nov. 11 issue. It reminds me of the words of Nathan the prophet after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba: "... by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme...." - Herman J. Klingenberger, Jr., Rochester, N.Y.
Honor the repentant
The examples of infidelity among Christian leaders are certainly disheartening, but instead of being further berated and embarrassed for their sins, repentant men and women should be honored since they are paying the penalty for their sins. Hypocrisy exists in every one of us-Christians and non-Christians alike-and grace, not "tough-minded actions" or a demand for "high standards," is the only sure solution. - Rebecca Tredway, St. Louis, Mo.
Regarding Messrs. Trout, Bakker, Swaggart, et al., I doubt that those men were walking closely with the Lord in their daily lives, then suddenly fell off the cliff into sexual sin. I have a hunch that in every case there was a point where they began to inch off the path, and that the first step was just a small one. If those men would honestly identify that point, perhaps they could help the rest of us avoid that first little step. - John W. Alexander, Madison, Wis.
Fall far, fall hard
Lynn Vincent's article about recent moral failings by Christian leaders was on the money. I agree with the proposed safeguards against more failings-prayer, accountability, and tougher discipline. But I think that Christian organizations should fire Christians who have fallen morally, and accept resignations as a merciful exception. Christians profess higher callings and set higher standards than those of the world, so we must uphold them or face the ridicule and contempt of the world. - Hugh Henry, Dahlonega, Ga.
No need to know
I was not aware of Mike Trout's adultery until I read WORLD and, frankly, I did not need to know. I agree that this kind of hypocrisy is damaging to the cause of Christ, so why publicize it? I imagine the pain his wife and children are experiencing has been deepened by opening up this private family matter to public lynching. - Linda Martin, Centerville, Ohio
Life's like that
"Public saints, private sinners" was not an article that most Christians would take joy in reading. But much of life is not to our liking; I'm happy that WORLD took this issue head-on. All of us-not only Christians-should know about the behavior of those who are public figures. - Ronald L. Mentus, Brookfield, Conn.
The day after the election, I read, "By the time this issue of WORLD reaches most of our subscribers we will know who has won this year's presidential race" ("Pro-Gore press," Nov. 11). Yet another presidential prediction gone awry. - Al Hsu, Downer's Grove, Ill.
It was easy
How could Mr. Olasky accuse the press of being slanted toward Al Gore? They have said themselves that they are neutral. Should we not believe them? Seriously, he was right on target. It was the clearest and most sensibly put article I have read on the topic. And thanks for the website. - Richard H. Hess, Lakehurst, N.J.
I'm afraid that your comment that the heavy metal genre is "barely remembered" is far from accurate ("Rusty metal," Nov. 11). I was in the secular radio industry when guys like Ozzy Osbourne came onto the scene and went solo. Now they are continuing their geriatric careers by touring with other hard rock bands. Just because these hard rockers are pushing 50 and have gone through detox doesn't mean that their influence isn't dangerous to young minds. - Deana M. Williams, Colorado Springs, Colo.
The dark truth
"Mind monopolizers" (Nov. 11) was fair and insightful, but in decrying the growth of "tolerance" and the fading of "absolute truth," let's remember that we only see that truth as in a glass, darkly. There was a time when evangelical churches and missions refused to cooperate because each had a monopoly on the truth and the others were "wrong." We can rejoice that many evangelicals now serve God together with a tolerance for different interpretations of the Bible and different translations of the Bible, while united in their faith in the authority of the Bible. - Richard Brown, Princeton, N.J.
I was fascinated by a concept in "Single-issue politics" (Nov. 4). John Piper asked if we could not "at least charge abortion clinics with cruelty to animals." If the unborn are not humans, certainly they at least have the same sensitivity to pain as an animal. Clearly someone would be prosecuted for doing the same thing to a puppy that is done to a human baby in the partial-birth abortion procedure. It would be great to see this concept elevated to the level of national debate. I wonder, are there any lawyers willing to step up to the plate and prosecute abortionists for violating local cruelty to animals statutes? If it took the IRS to bring down Al Capone, who knows where this could lead? - William H. Smith III, Pittsburgh, Pa.
Worse than a dog's death
"Single-issue politics" really hit home with me. My husband and I were beginning to wonder if we were the only ones who looked at that single issue before anything else. The question that haunts me is why, with all the medical technology available today, must the death of unborn children be so barbaric? Helpless, voiceless babies are dying a death worse than that of a common dog. - Allison Costa, Waterville, Vt.
My son joined the U.S. Marines this summer, and so I was very concerned after reading Mr. Veith's column "Looking for a few good ninjas" (Nov. 4). I am writing to the Marines' commander to express our concern. - Susan Stoddart, Monument, Colo.
End the tyranny
The analysis in your "Rebuilding America" special issue (Oct. 28) was excellent, but you gave scant attention to what I consider the most threatening domestic issue of our day: judicial tyranny by our federal courts. As a former trial judge, I know that there are many ways to rein in an out-of-control judiciary. One possible first step is to educate our citizens about how the supreme Court (original spelling) has hijacked the meaning of words like establishment and religion, and how that affects legislation, pending in Congress, that would limit partial-birth abortion. - Darrell White, Baton Rouge, La.
An accurate biblical worldview is the only place to begin to have any hope for true, lasting help with mental or emotional issues ("Drugs on the brain," Oct. 21). Being human, we are easily attracted to a quick fix for the things we struggle with in our lives, and might even attempt to avoid the very character-building encounters God intends for us. But we also need accurate diagnosis of our problems. Imagine the frustrating impossibility of addressing a chemical imbalance, or other physiological problem, by working on our shortcomings of character. Why must the two be mutually exclusive? - Beth Burk, Montrose, Calif.
Please cancel my subscription to WORLD. Not all Christians vote Republican, especially those who are concerned about the conditions of our environment, the poor, the working poor, and the global issues that will need intelligent and experienced leaders. - Rev. Martha Hale, Crossville, Tenn.
Thank you for a quality magazine. WORLD is the only source I feel I can trust. I respect the boldness the writers show in their articles, and I believe that as Americans and as Christians we all need to look at the things around us deeper than face value. - Chad Smith, Behrend, Pa.