One thing history shouts loud and clear: If you want peace, prepare for war. - John Nickerson, Pensacola, Fla.
I really appreciated the diagram of the destroyer equipped with the Aegis shown in your article on the Taiwan arms sale. It was informational and interesting. - Mike Reardon, Halsey, Ore.
I'm sorry that Mr. Belz refuses to become a member of the public radio station in his area. I financially support WHYY-FM in Philadelphia (I am also WHYY's operations manager). As a Christian I agree with him that some of what is heard on public radio is inappropriate and offensive. My point of contention with Mr. Belz is that he will not support public radio, but still listens to it and even praises much of it. If Mr. Belz finds most of what he hears on public radio useful, then he should help pay for the service with a pledge of support. - Joe Pizzuto-Pomaco, Philadelphia, Pa.
I, too, am a happy freeloader. I enjoy NPR's selection of music, and I also listen to Fresh Air, etc., but change stations when the programs promoting homosexuality, horoscopes, and pleas for money come on. I used to send a little money to take advantage of some fundraising offers, but I got over feeling guilty about freeloading a long time ago and I doubt that the station will go under because I don't send money. I'd rather help support Christian ministries, and take "God's rain" as it comes. - Tim Bachicha, Alamosa, Colo.
This drive to over-regulate and license all aspects of risk in our society-in this case, introducing graduated driver's licenses for teens-in the name of public safety is just another manifestation of where we put our trust ("Not so fast," May 5). Our god is government and we believe it will save us from ourselves. I vote with Tim Lambert and for freedom. - Kevin C. Smith, Wichita Falls, Texas
How could they?
I can hardly believe the song you reported being sung at the National Organization for Women "emergency action meeting," about hooking up "to that great big suction pump, and bust that little piece of dust that's growing deep inside of me" ("Underpopulated," May 5). Even liberals have some decency. How could they sing those words? - Janet Neidhardt, Culver Lake, N.J.
Moms are the best
The article about the recent research on the effects of day care on children was great (Quick Takes, May 5). It's a relief to see the secular world reinforcing what many of us have known all along-no one is better for a child than his mother. If adverse effects are the result of daycare and the lack of a father, what does this say about the policy of placing foster children, and often allowing the adoption of children, into the homes of single working women? - Lori Flaglor, Delaware, Ohio
I just finished the April 28 "Ideal schools" special issue and was impressed by your commitment to tackle such an important topic. As a parent of two elementary children who attend public school, I have committed myself to trying to improve my local school system. I am a school-board trustee who has seen the vacuum Christians have left behind in the public school system. Many of these districts are run by agnostic or atheistic progressivists, and these same people are educating our teachers who then come and spread their poison to our children. I have seen firsthand that Christians can become leaders in the local school districts and revive the system like no other "federal mandate" or state improvement plan. - Cheryl Rose, Memphis, Mich.
In the early 1970s I was stationed on Taiwan with the Seventh Fleet. During the tour of duty, I visited the island of Kinmen, which is just off China's coast but controlled by Taiwan. At that time, China and Taiwan alternated even and odd days of sending pamphlets by balloons and using loudspeakers to promulgate propaganda to each other. It seemed that the residents and local fishermen paid no attention. Now China has short-range ballistic missiles aimed at Taiwan ("Armed but not dangerous," May 5). We need to pay attention. Marvin Olasky is right ("Faith in dictators," May 5). We should sell the Aegis combat system to Taiwan. The contrast between democracy and Communism is stark. We must resist bullies and support our allies-or we won't have any. - J.D. Moyers, Littleton, Colo.
Marvin Olasky's column drew a clear distinction between two separate approaches to dealing with China's ruling authorities (with some subtle allusions to the Beatles). I, for one, would give the Taiwanese a yellow submarine if I thought it would help deter China. Taiwan surely recognizes that she can't resist China without a little help from her friends. To those with faith in the inherent goodness of man, if you believe that the Chinese government can be trusted to honor human life (or that our trade can buy their love) then I suggest such belief makes you a candidate for the fool on the hill. - Eric C. Wallace, Charlotte, N.C.
We gave already
I fully concur with Joel Belz about ignoring NPR fundraisers ("A happy freeloader," May 5). I, too, listen for many hours each week, mainly for the news and classical music programming (and some jazz and blues). Each time a fundraiser is kicked off I wrestle with the "guilt" that I have never responded to their pleas for money and ask the Lord if now is the time. The answer remains a resounding "no" for the same reasons outlined by Mr. Belz, with the addition of one very important fact: NPR already receives some of my money through tax dollars extracted from my income by Uncle Sam. I pray the day will come when NPR will have to generate 100% of their operating revenues from their listening constituency, just as organizations such as CareNet are required to do. Maybe then they wouldn't have quite as much reckless freedom to bash the foundations and principles that have promoted a free press. - George A. Damoff, Marshall, Texas
Creatively Christian radio
The remarks by Joel Belz concerning NPR struck a responsive cord. I listen to NPR for the same reasons, news and classical music, and refuse to support it for the same reason, the blatant anti-Christian bias. It underscores a frustration I have with Christian broadcasting, news that is reduced to five minutes of sound bites every hour and the neglect of great music. Would that someone in Christian broadcasting would be courageous enough to be a little creative. - Bradford Canterbury, Sheboygan, Wis.
The excellent reasons Mr. Belz gives for not supporting NPR are exactly the same reasons why I do not listen to NPR. I avoid poison where ever possible. - John Mell, Fayetteville, Ga.
Results of irresponsibility
Three years ago the life of my son, who was 45, a father and a husband, was snuffed out by a 16-year-old boy. The boy, who had only had his license for two weeks, was in a truck racing two other teens to see who could get to the Sonic drive-in first. When they ran a yellow light, the boy followed, ran a red and hit my son's car broadside. The boy was not seriously injured. I disagree with Mr. Lambert that it should be left up to parents to decide when their teens are ready to drive. Many parents are themselves irresponsible and have taught their children to be so by example. - Roselda McKenrick, Edson, Kan.
Good without God?
Your May 5 article, "Heimlich's maneuver," caught my attention. In my 10th grade government/economics class we recently discussed a program that many cities (including my own) have begun called "Cities of Character." In this program, billboards are put up around the city displaying the "character word of the month," such as decisiveness, orderliness and forgiveness, hoping that people will be positively affected. My class discussed the fact that these programs don't mention God at all, and we asked ourselves, "Can Topeka become good without God?" The answer, of course, is no. - Seth Simmons, Topeka, Kan.
Speaking of shoving
In response to the Mailbag letter arguing that conservatives don't like public schools because they can't "shove religion down students' throats," the writer is partially correct ("Admit it," May 12). We do object to a lack of religious education, but we also object to the liberal education establishment "shoving down our children's throats" the homosexual agenda, atheistic teachings about evolution, and postmodern philosophical psychobabble, to name a few items. Couple that with a generally inferior educational experience, and there is nothing compelling about public education except perhaps the economic lessons learned from the massive amounts of money being flushed away on a failed government school system. - Bill Seubert, Bloomington, Ill.