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Mailbag

Issue: "Balancing act," Sept. 8, 2001

Bless Mr. Sharpe

I want to commend you for your cover story, "When push comes to shovel" (Aug. 11). As a former caseworker for Child Protective Services in Pennsylvania, I was able to witness all the power, control, and hypocrisy that the government has to offer our nation's children-as legal parents-should officials feel the need to assert this authority. The system, operating on the subjective interpretations of regulations by individual caseworkers, creates even more stress for families who have not found their way yet. May Mr. Sharpe be blessed for doing what is right. - Cheryl A. Dissinger, Temple, N.H.

Children mean money

According to Bob Jones's fine article, the state of Missouri has a value on children of $41,532 each. This is not lost on bureaucrats who see their livelihood in keeping people dependent on welfare. Every child taken out of the system means lost income for the system. - Craig Shoemaker, Grand Rapids, Mich.

A life well-lived

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As an OBGYN physician, I have shared in both the start and end of life. Who can describe holding a wet, squirming newborn as he takes his first breath? How do you tell a woman still groggy from Demerol that the news is bad-the cancer has spread and she needs to get her affairs in order? So Dr. Chip Morgan's journal entries flooded me with emotions ("Praise for a day of health," Aug. 11). His commitment to faith and family while facing terminal illness left me humbled and shamed. Do I have to stand toe-to-toe with death to see what is important in life? His writings indicate a life well-lived, in love with our Lord. He has left his wife and children a great legacy. I pray for the courage to do the same. - Matt Anderson, Burlington, Iowa

Saving his life

I was deeply touched by the late Chip Morgan's "Praise for a day of health." His journal entries were a fitting testimony to the power of hope-an all-but-forgotten virtue, yet one that served Dr. Morgan well. His testimony also provides an important reminder as the debate over embryonic stem-cell research rages on. Lost in the back-and-forth banter is the truth that "whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for Me will find it." While Dr. Morgan lost an earthly battle with cancer, his hope has surely been rewarded. He's experiencing an eternal life now that no amount of technology can produce this side of heaven. - Tim Brown, Gig Harbor, Wash.

The teacher is responsible

As a member of the Executive Committee of the Physicians Consortium, I would like to add that our call for Dr. Koplan's dismissal as head of Center for Disease Control was not a lighthearted demand ("'Protection' racket," Aug. 11). The CDC still doesn't tell women that condoms do not prevent HPV (human papilloma virus), the major cause of cervical cancer. In fact, the CDC opposes labeling condoms as being deficient in this manner, thus failing to provide "medically accurate information" as federal law requires of federal agencies. Also, the effectiveness of condoms in reducing HIV, even at 85 percent, is too low. While some may say that they are saving 85 percent, the truth is that they are condemning the other 15 percent while ignoring a primary prevention measure-sexual abstinence until marriage. The teacher must bear responsibility for the outcome when the student follows the advice to use condoms and still contracts HIV or HPV. - John R. Diggs, Jr., South Hadley, Mass.

Resisting

Thank you for Marvin Olasky's "Resistance tactics" (Aug. 11). In the past few years, as I have seen the denomination in which I pastor (PCUSA) drift ever closer to the prevailing culture, I have begun to recognize more fully the dangers of viewing, listening to, and reading only mainstream media outlets. I have added the websites Mr. Olasky recommended to the favorites that I read regularly. - David Chumney, Paris, Ky.

ImPact

I am a 17-year-old homeschooler and was excited to see the article on TeenPact ("No joking," Aug. 11). I have been involved with TeenPact for less than a year, but it has already made a huge difference in my life. I have learned so much about our government and being a Christian witness in politics, and that it is very important to keep informed about current events and issues and to keep communicating with our leaders. - Kirsten Etherton, Seabrook, Md.

Seasoned conversation

We are grateful that God provided the TeenPact experience for our teens, but it has also ministered to our entire family. Mom and Dad have become much more alert to civil government and our responsibility as believers to engage the culture rather than escape it. Our conversations as a family have been seasoned by a more authentic Christian worldview because of our Lord's ministry through TeenPact. - Roger, Vonda, Lee, & Bethany Gates, Tifton, Ga.

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