On target, off base
Regarding "Glad tidings" (Dec. 23), once again Bob Jones provided valuable insights not published in the mainstream press. The article was right on target. I was, however, concerned about your cover illustration with its caricatures of the Supreme Court justices. The looks portrayed on the faces of Justices Stevens and Ginsberg appeared to be demeaning. I do not agree with their judicial conclusions, or with the philosophies that drive them, but believe that we should do nothing to diminish respect for their positions as appointed justices to the highest court in the land. - Gene Cowie, Madison Heights, Mich.
Kudos to Krieg Barrie for the entertaining cover of the "Supreme Court Choir." As is my custom, I barely glanced at the cover when I first received it, anxious to read the inside. But later, I noticed the creative talent that went into it. I laughed and laughed at Justice Stevens's outstretched tongue, Justice Rehnquist's larger mouth, the amazing likenesses of each of the justices, and lastly the three different colors of song books to signify their ideological stances. It was outstanding. - Priscilla Haydon, Wichita, Kan.
I was very disappointed in the illustration that disgraced the front of the magazine. What a display of disrespect to the two other justices. No matter how I feel about their decision, stooping to that level was unbecoming of our Christian testimony. - Roger G. McCarty, Los Gatos, Calif.
Tongue in chad
Congratulations on your portrayal of the Supreme Court on the cover of your Dec. 23 issue. I couldn't help but feel that my bias was showing when I decided that both Clinton appointees should have been shown sticking out their tongues. In addition, it could have been called "Chad tidings" just to keep in mind the near-Goring of America, had not seven of nine Supreme Court justices remembered the Fourteenth Amendment. Perhaps an even greater service was your coverage in previous issues pointing out misinformation being legitimatized by TV "news" anchors ("Make the TV bosses sweat," Dec. 2). - H.E. Dale, Auburn, Wash.
Like those pastors profiled in "The half-century club" (Dec. 23), my pastor, Col. R.B. Theime Jr., has diligently taught God's Word from the same pulpit for over 50 years. When he started he taught 416 long lessons per year (twice on Sundays and Mondays, once Tuesday through Friday). I don't think he has ever taken time off except when ill. Almost every month Col. Theime still travels to Bible conferences across the country, but returns to teach twice on Sunday. At 82, he has recently cut back to around 200 lessons per year, but we hope that he continues to teach for another 20 years. - Mrs. R. L. Andrews, Greenville, Texas
Andree Seu's Dec. 23 article,"Two kinds of people," gives a too quick, too judgmental dismissal of "seekers." Some skeptics, not yet rejecting God, do have honest questions. Some have already tried, as Mrs. Seu suggests, to "step into the circle of faith" and found it not at all as she describes it because too often Christians have given an example of bad faith. This article gives Christians an excuse to dismiss their skeptical friends as dishonest from the outset; we had better not be too quick to judge. - Rachel Ramer, Lynn, Ind.
Now is the time
"Two kinds of seekers" took a while to sink in because I was that type of "seeker" for more years than I care to recall. Trusting God with your life is, by definition, an act of faith, and so it must be for everyone. Sometimes, "I need more time" must be responded to with, "That time is now." - William C. Corse, Stoughton, Wis.
We can count
The assertion, regarding the presidential election, that "we don't know how to count" is clearly false ("Sovereign snicker," Dec. 23). I have worked as a poll watcher, election judge, or election clerk in some 20 elections. The errors in the first count uncovered in the statutory recount were neither unanticipated nor disturbing, nor did they change the result of the "historically low" margin of victory for Mr. Bush in Florida. The problem only began when the thugs who have taken over the Democrat Party were unwilling to accept the results of a lawfully conducted election, and deliberately complicated the counting process to steal the election. We can count-the question is, Are we willing to abide by the results? - Nathan Zook, Austin, Texas
Mr. Belz in "Sovereign snicker" and Mr. Olasky in "Relief" point out something that occurred to me during the weeks of election aftermath: Mr. Bush's win was a supernatural event. While many talked about the "will of the people," it was (and always is) ultimately the will of God that was done. I pray that Republicans, humbled by this election outcome, will take advantage of the God-given opportunity that is now theirs to enact measures that will protect the unborn. - Eddie Davis, Chattanooga, Tenn.
Saint of gracious losers
I found convincing evidence of God's "over our shoulder" chuckle in the story of Saint Chad, the sixth-century saint of gracious losers. Chad won the election that made him Bishop of York, but graciously stepped aside when fellow bishops protested that something was out of order in his consecration. The archbishop, impressed by his humility, ordained him to another bishopric. The prayer for his day: "Keep us, we pray, from thinking of ourselves more highly than we ought to think, and ready at all times to step aside for others, in honor preferring one another, that the cause of Christ may be advanced." Who but God could have planted a story about such a man with that name in history? Coincidence? I don't think so. - Ruth Nourse, Grapeland, Texas
Make them better
As a subscriber, a Christian, and a public-school administrator for almost 30 years, I confess that some of your criticism of the public-school system is deserved. I do, however, take issue with comparing U.S. test scores with other nations, and the blame for that resting with public schools ("Average Americans," Dec. 23). In urban schools, student attendance is awful. Kids come to school without proper nutrition or clothing and most don't have solid parenting. Even in our good suburban schools, kids come from homes where TV, movies, and media constantly give them inappropriate messages and take them away from homework. Maybe it's time to get Christians involved in public schools and help to make things better. - Bob Voss, Wixom, Mich.
He makes sense
The critics of C. S. Lewis have a problem ("The lion still roars," Dec. 23). If his methodology is so outdated, why are so many still reading his works? I am not totally persuaded of the soundness of his approach, but he says so many things that are insightful, he should not be ignored. - Craig L. Shoemaker, Grand Rapids, Mich.
Regrettably, your article on World Vision's work in Sudan did not accurately reflect the complete story of our decision not to sign the agreement with the Sudan People's Liberation Army, and the subsequent threats our staff received, which resulted in World Vision being forced to leave those areas controlled by the rebel army ("Out of Africa," Dec. 16). The SPLA's Memorandum of Understanding violated internationally recognized Red Cross protocols designed to ensure aid is delivered to those in need, setting a dangerous precedent for all humanitarian work worldwide. You also implied that World Vision's departure precipitated the bombing of a project run by Samaritan's Purse. There was no such direct link. Rather, the bombing raid by the Khartoum government is further evidence that people in need, along with aid workers, are often targets in Sudan. The fact that humanitarian workers were targeted validates our decision to evacuate our staff for their safety. It seems to us that WORLD's commitment to publicize the plight of Christians in Sudan might be demonstrated more effectively by examining the appalling absence of will by the Clinton administration and other governments to help end the brutal 17-year conflict, rather than criticizing World Vision's 20-year commitment to the people of that war-torn nation. - Richard E. Stearns
Dean R. Hirsch, World Vision
Federal Way, Wash.
I was a missionary in Sudan and have tried to get people to listen to the cries of suffering Christians in the South. Thank you for choosing Michael Yerko as your "Daniel of the Year" (Dec. 16). I hope Mindy Belz's articles bring more attention to the problem. - Marjorie White, Palmyra, Mo.
Evangelist Luis Palau preached in Chiang Mai, Thailand, last year (Dec. 30/Jan. 6, p. 34).
Sabina Wurmbrand was survived by her husband, Voice of the Martyrs founder Richard Wurmbrand (Dec. 30/Jan. 6, p. 54).
The name of the girl on the cover of the Sept. 23, 2000, issue is Christi King. - The Editors