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Mailbag

Issue: "Mourning has broken," Sept. 29, 2001

Can't please everybody

Thank you to Andree Seu for the insightful and scripturally well-reasoned column, "The camel's nose." The president should not try to make both sides happy-that will only end in political and spiritual defeat. Taking a stand for biblical principle, however, will begin to restore what our nation lost in 1973. - September West, Wright City, Mo.

Rich and insightful

I recently read a Sept. 5 article on the CNN website about the situation in Afghanistan, and soon after read WORLD's article on how that country's Islamic government was persecuting Christian relief workers ("An unholy war of nerves," Sept. 1). I was struck with how thoroughly plain and uninteresting the brief CNN article was, in contrast with the rich and insightful reporting by WORLD. - Brian A. Schwartz, Nashville, Tenn.

Leaders vs. members

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Your article on unions failed to adequately differentiate between the organizations and their membership ("State of the unions," Sept. 1). Union leaders have aligned themselves with the radical left and use the union dues to support political candidates opposed to biblical teachings on family, abortion, and homosexuality. It's hard to trust an organization saying it is for the working people while it undermines what is most important to them. - Bob Clark, Mansfield, Ohio

Saving money at home

In your coverage of the Time article about homeschooling, you correctly recognized the negative tone of the article ("Time takes notice," Sept. 1). However, WORLD reinforced a misconception about school funding in stating that Florida "loses $130 million because 41,128 [homeschooled] children are out of the system." The state might lose that much in federal dollars, but neither does it have to build classrooms, pay teachers and other staff, maintain the buildings, and so on. As a former school board member, I don't believe that Florida could cover the costs of schooling that many children for $130 million. How many school districts need less than $3,161 per pupil? Hence, Florida is saving thousands of dollars per homeschooling student, and those parents should be commended for saving their fellow citizens' tax dollars. The public systems are really concerned about losing power, because when children leave the system to be homeschooled their constituency shrinks. - Ursula Smith, Chesterfield, Mo.

Newt unrealistic

Your special issue on race had several really encouraging and biblically based visions of what might take place by 2063. The essays by Star Parker ("Confidence in the unseen") and others who addressed the reality of sin and necessity of repentance in order for restoration to take place were especially relevant. I was, however, disappointed in Newt Gingrich's pollyanna article where everyone suddenly wakes up to love each other and finds the race relations problem magically solved. It was shallow and unrealistic. - Steve Bowman, Cumming, Ga.

Emergency

I found "Sex-ed sells" in the Aug. 11 issue inflammatory and unhelpful. Mr. Kirby's research, suggesting that "comprehensive" sex-ed programs were effective, was written off without thoughtful study of the science behind it because of the researcher's conflict of interest. As a physician, I find that dispensing "abstinence only" advice to non-Christian, sexually active inner-city teenagers, whose single parents typically change partners frequently, is akin to advising a patient in full cardiac arrest to watch his weight and lower his cholesterol. We are in a societal emergency room of promiscuity, resulting in sexually-transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies. The delivery of crisis care and prevention needs to be carefully tailored to each audience. Just saying no has proven, in my experience, to be impotent. - Curtis P. Hamann, Phoenix, Ariz.

Sounds familiar

As the pastor of a small Bible church, Andree Seu's Aug. 18 essay, "On writing," struck a very personal nerve. As I compared it to the weekly process of composing my sermons, I could almost swear she's been looking over my shoulder. It's comforting to recognize that my first drafts aren't the only pathetic ones in the world. - Aaron Telecky, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Frozen to death

Once again Andree Seu hit the nail on the head with her Sept. 1 column, this time regarding an issue with stem-cell research that is not normally emphasized ("The camel's nose"). A co-worker and I were discussing whether it could be ethical and caring purposely to fertilize extra embryos and then have them die in storage-really not much better than direct destruction of embryos. WORLD arrived that afternoon, and Ms. Seu's article eloquently discussed that very issue. - Zanese Duncan, Norcross, Ga.

Meanwhile?

Marvin Olasky's column on labor seems encouraging: Welfare reform is responsible for 60 percent of the increase in employment among single moms ("Priceless labor," Sept. 1). But the thought of all those single moms going off to work makes me wonder what their kids are doing meanwhile, and how those moms can have time to impart security and character to their kids. - Kit West, St. Louis, Mo.

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