The article by Candi Cushman ("Caesar's reach") brings up an old issue: Who controls education? The Bible teaches that the parents are responsible for education, not the state. I support Tyndale Seminary President Mal Couch. The state has no business dictating curriculum and course content. - Craig Shoemaker, Grand Rapids, Mich.
Joel Belz hit the nail on the head with "The real gangster." The greatest dangers to freedom we face are in the federal capitol, state houses, and city halls. It seems the only object of government, of all types, is to stay in office, no matter how you have to sell your soul to the devil. As Mark Twain said, the only criminal class "native to the United States is Congress." - Jim Scanlon, Corning, Calif.
The price of life
You reported that in 1991 abortionist Dr. Joe Bills Reynolds was fined only $1 after being convicted for manslaughter for killing his wife in a liposuction procedure ("One murder too many?" April 7). You know that America is going downhill when a killer is only fined a dollar. - Grace Wicks, 15, St. Louis, Mo.
Somebody's got to
Cal Thomas accurately stated a big problem in schools today ("It's up to parents," April 7). However, in defense of government-mandated character education, if the parents aren't going to do it, at least the schools are trying to do something. I help out in my kindergartner's class, and I see what the lack of parental involvement can do. One child told me that he didn't do his homework because his mother said he didn't have to. Needless to say, he's really struggling. - Karla Hamrick, Wapakoneta, Ohio
The hand of Providence was present the day I noticed an issue of WORLD on the floor of a friend's dorm room. I ripped out a subscription card and have been an avid reader ever since. I love the music column often included in The Buzz as well as the occasional special music feature, and would like to see more of them. - Toby James Hopper, Charlotte, N.C.
Around in 30
After nearly 30 years I am letting my subscription to U.S. News and World Report expire. Enclosed is my payment for a three-year subscription. I am looking forward to reading WORLD for the next 30 years, if I am around that long. There is no doubt in my mind that you will be. - David L. Nelson, Colorado Springs, Colo.
Devastated by prosperity
Your cover story on the crisis in geriatric care emphasizes the roles of doctors, nursing home administrators, and governments to deal with the problem ("Aging in place," March 31). Ironically, for many elderly people in Florida, daycare is not an option because they have no family to go home to. "Creative" solutions are well and good, but I had to wait until the April 7 issue, where Andree Seu discusses depravity in "People like us," to get the needed perspective. Our family structure has been devastated by our prosperity and "choice," so that the inability of nursing homes to properly care for our elders is simply an indictment of our failure to be caretakers in every stratum of society. If people in our culture are discontent to be husbands, wives, and parents, what makes anyone think that we will extend kindness to the infirm elderly? - William Schuler, Pierceton, Ind.
Insult to injury
Joel Belz wrote a great column about the credit card companies' dilemma-that they helped cause the indebtedness of Americans to the point where many throw up their hands in despair, unable to stagger under the debt load any longer ("The come-on," March 17). To add insult to injury, if a customer is fraudulent with a credit card, the (very rich) credit card company does not take the hit; rather, the merchant, often a small business like ours, has to take the loss or have purchased services to screen out fraudulent customers, whom the credit card companies accepted in the first place. - Shannon Stowell, Monroe, Wash.
Give unto Caesar ...
Thank you for "Caesar's reach" (April 7). As a student at Tyndale Theological Seminary, I have already experienced the ramifications of governmental intrusion into Christian educational circles. Many Christians have bought into the idea that academic quality and prestige are attained by the secular world's seal of approval in the form of accreditation. At Tyndale I am receiving excellent training, but my ministry and future academic pursuits will be hampered because Christians esteem what is Caesar's more than what is God's. - John R. Fesmire, Endwell, N.Y.
Joel Belz's editorial on "The real gangster" (April 7) was magnificent, even compared with his usual topnotch output. - Michael E. Owens, Ephrata, Pa.
I've enjoyed watching your book reviews improve significantly since they first appeared, but I was appalled that your review of Tom Clancy's The Bear and the Dragon contained no cautions (Bestsellers, April 7). How did you overlook the graphic sex scenes, never mind "profanities" and "crudities" in Mr. Clancy's book? I have read every Clancy novel and, as you stated, this one is typical. His technical research is still excellent and he often gives his readers an authentic view of his settings, but it's been sad to watch his work degenerate from pot-boilers into weak tales with ever thinner plots based on increasingly far-fetched presuppositions, populated with (by now) utterly predictable characters and spiked with increasingly explicit pornography. This is the Clancy I put down, unfinished. - Quena Gonzalez, Chesapeake, Va.
You reported the Zogby poll results that found 20 percent of American adults have patronized pornographic websites ("The pornographic culture," April 7). In comparison, a recent survey of pastors by Leadership Journal notes that half of the pastors surveyed (51 percent) say Internet pornography is a possible temptation for them, while 37 percent admit it is a current struggle. Pastors who admit to having visited a pornographic website? 43 percent. - Gerri Stowman, Fergus Falls, Minn.
Mr. Thomas's piece on school violence was right on the money. I was speechless watching the press conference on CNN after the Santee shootings. A parade of school officials, police officers, and local elected officials came to the microphone to repeat that they just didn't understand, and they thought that they were doing everything right. Can it really be that so many Americans are still clueless? - Traci Bosserman, St. Joe, Ind.
No, thank you, I do not care to renew my subscription. You have somewhat of a Christian attitude. However, all Christians are not Republicans (thank God). Wake up. The largest percentage of the world's population is brown, yellow, and red, not white. You need to sense the feelings and needs of the truly Christian part of this world. - Ernestine Lucas, Springfield, Ohio
By no means
I work from 7:00 p.m. until 7:00 a.m. I am able to do so knowing that my wife and child are safe and securely protected by our home's security system and burglar alarm. Like Andree Seu, I realize that locks (and the home security systems signs blooming in the flower beds of every other neighbor) bear silent testimony to our predilection to pilfer ("People like us," April 7). In that sense, the late Roger Miller was theologically astute when he sang of the "King of the Road" who knew "every lock that ain't locked when no one's around." - Willard Wallace Watson, San Antonio, Texas
Bob Jones reported that the National Education Association is deceiving their members ("A schoolhouse divided," March 24). But (I am a public-school psychologist ) in their publications sent to members, the NEA makes it very clear that they support abortion on demand, school health clinics, and the aggressive agenda of the gay-rights movement. It is discouraging that those who call themselves followers of Christ do not oppose joining. As for those who join because they need the insurance, I didn't realize that personal convenience or comfort was the Christian's top priority. Someone forgot to tell Jesus, Steven, Paul, Peter, James, and others in the early Christian church. - Kathleen Klamut, Mogadore, Ohio
A good deal
I believe that "The come-on" was way off base. I use my Visa Gold card almost daily. It costs me nothing because I pay up every month. It's a good deal. I have no sympathy for those who run up debt and then try to weasel out of it. Perhaps, with changes in the bankruptcy law, people will think seriously about paying their credit card bill in full every month, or cutting up those cards. - Harry D. Harper, St. Croix, Virgin Islands