On that day
A few months before I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, I read of a fitness fanatic who claimed, "If you don't have your health, you don't have anything." The prevalence of such thinking has led to the search for disease cures at all cost, even killing unborn children ("Night of the dead living," March 24). Researchers and those who hope in potential benefits from ghastly fetal-tissue experiments fail to recognize that humans are spiritual beings first, and that life is about much more than what we can or cannot do with our physical bodies. To hike and ski with my husband and children would be sweet bliss. But woe to me if I forget I'm a soul with a body attached. I will seek and support only ethical treatments for my disease and put my hope in that day when "the lame will leap like a deer." - Joan Allmendinger, Fort Collins, Colo.
I myself am someone's teenage daughter, but I had never heard of Abercrombie & Fitch before reading your article ("Abercrombie & porn," March 24). I was sickened by our country's fallen state and even more by the fallen state of our country's young people, but I do wish that you could have left a little slack for your Christian readers in regard to their daughters. As a Christian teen I often spend just as much time fighting other teenagers' bad reputations as I do forming my own; I was disappointed to once again find myself lumped in with the rest. - Sarah Engel, 15, Bryson City, N.C.
Degrading and dangerous
The article on Abercrombie & Fitch Co. is disturbing, but the attitude of Christians toward these things is even more disturbing. My roommates at my Christian college have posters of half-clothed Abercrombie & Fitch models. They see them as humorous and harmless, whereas I see them as degrading and dangerous, and I seem to be in a minority. Are Christian parents and churches teaching the youth under their care about the proper expression of their God-given sexuality, or are they letting them form their own opinions based on what they see in the culture around them? - Suzanne C. Winter, Grand Rapids, Mich.
It was good to see the article about big teachers' unions and alternative groups ("A schoolhouse divided?" March 24). However, it was disappointing that you did not mention the Christian alternative, Christian Educators Association International, which has been serving public-school teachers since 1953 with all kinds of benefits including indemnity insurance. - Shirley Wilson, Windsor, Conn.
Your March 24 Judgment Call, "The road to Santee," was OK but incomplete. Big sins also led to Santee. We have raised our children in a culture of death and have told them that it is OK to kill their unwanted babies. Why are we so mystified when they start to kill each other? - Bill & Sue LeStourgeon, W. Melbourne, Fla.
Surely there are enough
I was very interested in Joel Belz's "A daily newspaper?" (March 24). He pointed out a lot of reasons I hadn't thought about regarding why no one has started a Christian daily newspaper. Still, surely there are enough Christians with the faith, money, talent, even experience and uncommon sense, to accomplish such a task. - Gary Thompson, Thornton, Colo.
Gerald Bradley presents an exciting, excellent, and sensible plan for teaching the Bible in the public schools because the Bible, even when taught "neutrally" for its "historical and literary value" can change the lives of those who read it ("Teaching tool," March 24). We who believe the Bible is not only the greatest story ever told but also the Word of God need to pay attention to its claim: "My word will not return unto me void." - Cliff Foreman, Lookout Mtn., Ga.
Worthy of rejoicing
"Truth or consequences" in the March 24 issue reminded me that the Apostle Paul rejoiced when Christ was preached, even when some preached from "envy and strife." The children in our public schools need to hear the Word of God, and the Spirit of God will take it from there. So let's not get too upset with the idea of neutrality; the Bible is anything but neutral. We need to rejoice that someone has taken the initiative. - Martha Keller, Richmond Hts., Ohio
I must admit, I subscribed to WORLD mostly because of my frustration with other media over last year's election fiasco, and for the Ronald Reagan book offer. But now that I am here, I am staying. You have educated me, brought great discussions into my home, made me laugh, cry, explode in outrage, drop to my knees in prayer, and praise my Father. Thank you for your coverage, especially the inspiring stories of Christians in Africa holding firm under persecution, and your commitment to life. - Michelle Duker, Ottumwa, Iowa
Thank you for covering some of the problems in President Bush's new office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives ("Fund individuals," March 24). For many years our church has participated in sending clothing and quilts to over 50 countries through Lutheran World Relief, an organization that receives federal funding for shipping. In its latest brochure, LWR states that it must abide by a government regulation that prohibits the use of religious symbols on the quilts. While this may seem minor, it is typical of government attempts to control or eliminate the witness of the church. Vouchers for private citizens and tax breaks for charitable contributions may be worthwhile, but the problems inherent in federal funding of religious organizations will continue to haunt us. - Nancy Richter, Kingsdown, Kan.
I think WORLD is really neat. When I first started reading it for my high-school class at New Harvest Christian School, I thought it was going to be really lame, and that magazines were for old people. But after a while I found myself looking forward to the new issue. Ever since I started reading the magazine, it's been like a reality check. - Lorena Hill, Norwalk, Calif.
More mush from the wimps
Over the years I have really tried to like your magazine, but I have failed. It has a total absence of any traditionally understood male aggressiveness. Please cancel my subscription. - James Allen Griffin, Greenville, N.C.
I was shocked by "The come-on" (March 17). I think it is a good thing to make it harder for people to declare bankruptcy. I am 38 years old and was in and out of credit card debt two times before I cut up my plastic five years ago. I find it repugnant that people I know can run up big bills and buy clothes, cars, and so on, and then bail out by declaring bankruptcy. Mr. Belz used phrases like "the poor" when the majority of people who get in debt aren't poor, just undisciplined. - Deb Ewing, Charleston, W.Va.
Mr. Veith commented that Wisconsin parents "rose up in arms" to kill a state-mandated high-school graduation test "lest their child suffer the embarrassment of not graduating" ("Mom and dad's job," March 17). Wisconsin, in fact, did pass legislation for a graduation test that will be given to all seniors beginning with the class of 2004, although students may fail the test and still graduate, depending on teacher evaluations. Mr. Veith was right that parents opposed the testing. Leading the opposition was the Wisconsin Parent's Association, a pro-family and pro-homeschool group, and the purpose was not to shield children from embarrassment but to prevent the state government from regulating curriculum. Our son entered a public high school this fall, and he is choosing to skip some "required" classes that would bombard him with unbiblical principles, in favor of more substantive courses. He may not get his diploma, but neither he nor we are embarrassed by that. - Cynthia R. White, Rhinelander, Wis.
Thanks for Joel Belz's penetrating analysis in "Elephant in the room" (March 10). We evangelicals need a wake-up call regarding the divorce culture we so readily accept. When it happens let's weep and promote the mending of lives, but let's not delude ourselves into thinking it really doesn't matter. - Ron Elwardt, Phoenix, Ariz.
SIamming the door
I applaud Janie B. Cheaney for her insight on Stephen Jay Gould's Noma principle ("Noma? No chance," March 10). The academic world is notorious for smuggling a philosophy of atheistic naturalism along with "science," and evolutionists cling to this assumption in spite of the evidence for intelligent design. Evolutionist Richard Lewontin of Harvard summarized this closed-minded attitude with the mantra, "We cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door." This Noma principle is already being preached in classrooms across the country, and Ms. Cheaney does an excellent job of exposing Mr. Gould's fantasy that naturalistic pseudo-science and Christianity can coexist. - Micah Green, Lubbock, Texas