As a Missourian, I am extremely proud of John Ashcroft and his record, and I think that he will make an outstanding attorney general ("Under fire," Jan. 13). I will consider his confirmation to be sweet justice after Missouri voters shamefully ousted him in favor of a dead man. Whether Sen. Carnahan votes to confirm her fellow Missourian will speak volumes about her character. Thank you for helping to set the record straight in regard to Sen. Ashcroft's personal character and his unblemished record of service. - Andrea Schumann, Moberly, Mo.
As a self-confessed news junkie, I acknowledge it was providence that led me to your magazine in January 2000. That first issue was an epiphany of sorts for me-news presented from a biblical worldview. Although one year later I still scan Time, check out Drudge's page, and tune in to NPR, I'm cognizant now more than ever that without WORLD, I'm not looking at the full picture. So, Marvin Olasky, I applaud your "impossible dream," but I believe it is possible. I will dream it with you and do my part to increase exposure to WORLD in my circle of influence. - Kimberly Hooper, Oklahoma City, Okla.
Please cancel my subscription. I find this publication to be offensive and extremely biased. - Ralph Johnston, Lansing, Mich.
Learn to stand
Every week, when WORLD arrives, I take it to my room and read it cover to cover. I was very grateful for your articles on TeamBush. And what you said about compromise is very true ("No middle ground," Jan. 13). I once read that Christians many times try to put themselves in the middle, but slowly we move to the middle of the middle of the middle, and get closer and closer to what is wrong. We need to learn how to stand by our principles. - Daniel Gibbs, 17, Harrisonburg, Va.
Bravo to Joel Belz for having the courage to invoke the one quotation for which Barry Goldwater is most known, or hated, from his 1964 presidential campaign: "Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice." It was the truth in those words that for the first time ignited me politically. I still cherish my campaign tie tack, a gold-colored elephant wearing Goldwater's signature black-rimmed eyeglasses. - Peter Kushkowski, Haddam, Conn.
I contest your reviewer's assertion that Tom Hanks's character in Cast Away left the island apparently without learning anything about God, unlike Robinson Crusoe. The point of the film was, in part, that a human being never knows what fate has in store; what happens to humans is very much out of their hands. To Christians this is true, as our lives are God's, not ours, and many times we must pick up the broken pieces in our lives, as Job did, and keep breathing. I found Cast Away very uplifting in that it reinforced these lessons from Ecclesiastes and demonstrated the vanity of this world. - Sean Patrick Malone, Temple Terrace, Fla.
Can't blame him
After seeing the graphics and "B" movie quality of the Left Behind video, I can't say I blame Tim LaHaye for being upset ("Left Behind: the lawsuit," Jan. 13). After all, no one would waste the time to see a sequel considering the poor quality of that production. We should expect no less than top quality for everything that represents our Lord and His community to the world. - Dale C. Roberts, Angleton, Texas
Thank you for the excellent column on "spin" from Andree Seu ("Original spin," Jan. 13). Most Bible commentaries fail to acknowledge that the Hebrew noun for wisdom (hokmah) is often synonymous with shrewdness, cleverness, and cunning. To be "wise as serpents" we must be clever in the way we communicate truth. Christian spinners of today can take their place with Esther, Nehemiah, Daniel, and many others of God's people who found themselves in leadership positions in pagan societies. - Jeff Myers, Dayton, Tenn.
The Slavic Gospel Association is based in Loves Park, Ill. (Jan. 13, p. 7). - The Editors
Make a difference
I have enjoyed WORLD for the past several months, after receiving a trial gift subscription, and I'm hooked. Each issue is like a breath of fresh air, especially compared with the noxious fumes emitted by the alternatives of the liberal media. This week I was drawn in by Marvin Olasky's challenge to "turn the big three into a big four" ("Impossible dream?" Jan. 13). Yet what could one person do to make a difference? Then it occurred to me to leave my slightly used copy of WORLD (with the address label peeled off) at work, or in a waiting room, an airplane, or almost anywhere for some unsuspecting person to find, pick up and read, complete with subscription order postcards attached inside. - Chuck Sutermeister, Eden Prairie, Minn.
Cover to cover
I applaud and support your "impossible dream" and look forward to many more cover-to-cover readings of WORLD. - Tere Hardin, Sealy, Texas
Freed to adopt
Thanks to Lynn Vincent for "Leaving limbo" (Jan. 13). Fresh out of our training course to become foster parents, we were given an infant to care for. Thanks in part to stricter laws enforced by conservative governor Bill Janklow, the birth mom's parental rights were terminated within a year and we were able to adopt our son. Reading Lynn's article made us realize how fortunate we were. - Sue Merriam, Marion, S.D.
Breaking the blockade
Texas has had some success breaking through the bureaucratic blockade preventing the link between breast cancer and abortion from being publicized ("Aborted truth?" Jan. 13). I am a medical doctor, and was appointed to a committee for the Texas Department of Health to write a booklet describing the risks of abortion and alternatives to abortion to be handed out to all minors seeking a court-ordered bypass for parental notification before abortion. The booklet is also available for distribution in all Texas public schools and doctor's offices. Armed with the data from Joel Brind, who was mentioned in your article, I convinced the committee to include the breast cancer risk. I am pleased to see WORLD addressing this important issue. - Terrence L. Moore, Denton, Texas
When a movie like Cast Away assaults our faith, I expect a stronger retort from a Christian reviewer ("In the spotlight," Jan. 13). A "curious brand of uplift" does not characterize this film. At best, it's patronizing. Implicit in the notion that it's OK to create a god for yourself if you're going insane (as Tom Hanks's character does) is the philosophy that all religions sprang from such insanity. Religious trappings (in this case a volleyball with a bloody handprint) are human inventions to facilitate communication between you and yourself; there is no possibility of communing with a living God because He doesn't exist. Believers should be pro-active in rebutting these anti-God messages. - David Sullivan, Cory, Colo.
Thank you for publishing the story about Ann Colaluca and her struggle to collect child support from her foreign ex-boyfriend ("Global deadbeats," Jan. 13). However, I don't think the United States is "clamping down" on deadbeat parents. My ex-husband owes me tens of thousands of dollars, and billions of dollars are owed to millions of children across the country. - Maja Rater, Casey, Iowa
The capstone (or would that be headstone?) article in your "2000 Year in Review" issue was "Deaths" (Dec. 30/Jan. 6). Thanks for simply showing the vanity of life. We are all grass that withers and dies-the famous, the infamous, the godly, and the not-so-godly, the athletes and the writers-and we will all stand before God. The challenge to number my days and consider my priorities was gracefully paraded before my eyes. - Steve Shive, White Hall, Md.
Victo Hugo's gem of a quote sparkled more brightly as it was used to give tribute to Mr. Olasky's wife ("Year's end," Dec. 30/Jan. 6). In a world characterized by instability, marital longevity and faithfulness are treasures worth pursuing. Happy anniversary. - Darlene Birchler, Walker, Iowa