As a 23-year resident of New Jersey, I find Bret Schundler's victory in the gubernatorial primary astonishing ("Ready, set, Bret!," July 7/14). I had come to believe that Tom Kean and Christy Todd Whitman were the best a Christian in this liberal northeast state could hope for. Mr. Schundler's outspoken biblical views are making both Democrats and Republicans scratch their heads in disbelief. Many may see Mr. Schundler as an easy mark, but the way he turned the tables on Democratic nominee Jim McGreevey's pro-abortion views recently displayed a keen mind. Mr. Schundler may be more than the Democrats bargained for come November. If the large middle takes a close look at Mr. McGreevey, Mr. Schundler may have a shot. And if people believe that he can get rid of those infuriating tolls on the Garden State Parkway, as he promised, that may be worth a million votes right there. - Max McLean, Morristown, N.J.
God uses nudes
It was gratifying to be mentioned in "The good, the true, the beautiful." Regarding the use of the nude, nudity has too often become a theoretical line that Christian artists should not cross if they are to be acceptable to true believers. Yet I have found that my nude figures have been used by God to change lives, bring those who love Him closer to His side, and challenge those who do not know Him. - Edward Knippers, Arlington, Va.
More books, please
As a Christian, I go to Barnes & Noble more than Christian booksellers for Christian books because I simply get tired of wading through the Precious Moments figurines, the Prayer of Jabez tie pins, the Testa-mints, and so much more, only to hear, "No, we don't have it, but we can order it for you" ("Going mainstream," July 7/14). Barnes & Noble almost always has the books I want, along with comfy chairs and coffee, and none of the clutter. When I find a Christian bookstore that actually carries some Christian books besides Tribulation Force and I Kissed Dating Goodbye, maybe I'll come back. And comfy chairs wouldn't hurt, either. - Bob Hyatt, Tualatin, Ore.
Regarding the marriage vow to "love, honor, and obey," obedience and submission are not synonymous. Although a vow of submission would be biblical, it would be foolish if not dangerous for a woman to pledge unqualified obedience to her husband. In striving to promote conservatism, we must remember that not every tradition of men is worth conserving. - Amethyst Celaya, Seymour, Mo.
Be happy, buy our stuff
One of the VeggieTales videos, Madame Blueberry, teaches that "stuff" is not what really matters. But Ben Howard of Big Idea says that "videos and toys with a Christian message should be jostling for kids' attention on mass-market store shelves" ("Bigger idea," July 7/14). VeggieTales is marketed through "party supplies, backpacks, coin purses, T-shirts, sticker books, photo albums, pencils, and erasers"-not to mention jewelry, toys, and the Big Idea website. Let's see-Madame Blueberry says, "Be content with what you have," but Big Idea says, "Buy our stuff." Does anyone else find this to be, at the very least, inconsistent? - Renee L. Zienert, Belleville, Mich.
Somebody has to win
Why is anyone surprised to see Mr. Bush caving in on the faith-based initiative ("Faith-based surrender," July 7/14)? The Republican convention tried to portray that party as "compassionate," open to gays and Christians, moderates and conservatives. But when the crunch comes, one side or the other will prevail. - Gary Martin, Platte City, Mo.
Poor Andrea Yates. What a time of torment she must have been going through. Where were her sisters and brothers in the body of Christ? What she did was tragically wrong, but what pressure she must have been under with all of the problems she was facing, seemingly alone. My heart goes out to her. - Patty Lyons, Stephens City, Va.
Made in China
Your article on China must have heightened my awareness ("Trading places," June 30). I just discovered that my Bible cover contained a tag, "Made in China." - Jim Craig, Richland Center, Wis.
'Cept for dad
I love reading WORLD. As an 11-year-old homeschooler, it is my primary source of news, aside from my father. - Timothy Merkel, Ellicott City, Md.
Thank you for your article on serious art by Hannah Eagleson ("The good, the true, the beautiful," July 7/14). As an artist and a Christian, I have been continually baffled by the absence (CIVA being a notable exception) of a Christian presence in the artistic life of the culture; most Christians are "art dead." There is a huge void out there waiting to be filled by some Christian with an eye (or ear) and a heart for Christ. - Dick Davison, Bryan, Texas
Thank you for your article on Christians involved in the visual arts. I praise God that so many Christ-confessing artists over the centuries, some of them consummate masters such as Cranach, Dürer, and Rembrandt, did not interpret Scripture the way Carol Bomer does. Had they agreed with her spiritual-sounding prohibition of nudity in art, we would have been deprived of a great many masterpieces. - Edward K. Kellogg, Lookout Mountain, Ga.
Thank you, David and Tim Bayly, for the challenge to restore a biblical foundation to the wedding ceremony ("Goin' to the chapel," July 7/14). I made a copy for each of my daughters. - Art Bergquist, San Marcos, Calif.
Bannes in the book?
How can David and Tim Bayly say, regarding the traditional marriage vows, that "nothing else will do"? Where in the Bible do we find any wedding vows? Are the bannes in the Scriptures? - Kathryn McKee, Knoxville, Tenn.
Shift into overdrive
Kudos to WORLD for "Shifting gears" (July 7/14). We want to see the circulation double and recommend the magazine to anyone who will listen. Three teens remain here at home (as one is at college), and when WORLD arrives, we stand in line to read your weekly issue that continues to challenge us to think biblically. - Liza Hopper, Princeton, W.Va.
Andrea Yates, the Houston mother who drowned her five children, may have suffered from "postpartum psychosis" ("She seemed normal," July 7/14). This affliction is much more severe than what we normally think of as "postpartum baby-blues," in that the one afflicted often attempts to kill herself and/or her children. I would rather endure another 24-hour labor than another two years of postpartum psychosis from which I suffered. After the birth of my daughter, the joy I should have had was completely obliterated by sorrow and fear. I retreated to my personal prayer chamber, read chapter after chapter of my Bible, and wept. I prayed constantly that Christ would protect my child from me, and me from myself. I did not tell anyone until after what I went through, and I had no idea why I was suffering. People should know that there is help. Information on postpartum psychosis should be standard advice from doctors, hospitals, and ministers alike. - Patricia Beck, Gilbert, Ariz.
The difference is?
How can the same people who react with such horror to stories like this continue to so adamantly support the current policy of abortion on demand? If Mrs. Yates had aborted five of her children before they were born, nothing would have been said. - David G. Thornton, Sioux Falls, S.D.
I was delighted with your whole-hearted support for moms who stay home, wiping noses and changing diapers for a living ("Not so swift," June 30). You may take a beating for that article, because even the church is divided on mothers pursuing a career versus staying home. I've been told more than once that I'm wasting my degree by staying home with my kids. - Sharon Dykshoorn, Queensbury, N.Y.
I love your magazine, but you are striking out on movie reviews. Other readers have already taken you to task about Shrek and A Knight's Tale, and now you trash Atlantis (The Movies, June 30). It has no swearing, nudity, or graphic violence, the delightful voices of Michael Fox and James Garner, wonderfully imaginative images, creative storyline, and all-'round light fun. After a year of lousy movies, these three are certainly a change in a positive direction. - Peter Irvine, Syracuse, N.Y.