Your Sept. 8 article, "Home, but not alone," talks about homeschoolers' access to public high-school sports teams. I am a 16-year-old homeschooler and play volleyball and softball at the local high school. I have to do all the paperwork, then have a tryout and bring a signed paper from my counselor telling my coaches my current grades. I am usually asked a lot of questions by other students, but no one ever cares. The teams offer my younger sister and me great opportunities to meet new people and share God's love. We plan to continue playing until we graduate. - Jami Smith, Carnation, Wash.
Live above desire
I'm in hearty agreement with Andree Seu's column on widowhood, and thankful to God that Christianity has raised the status of women in America to a much higher level than is enjoyed in most other countries ("Multi-culti widowhood," Sept. 8). I would add that in the context of Genesis 3, the word desire, as in "desire for the husband," means that the curse left the woman with a desire to control her husband. Thank God He offers us the power through Jesus Christ to live above the curse. - Mary McGann, Plains, Mont.
Thank you, Mr. Belz, for the column on "alternative medicine" ("The holes in holistic," Sept. 8). I have been writing letters of protest to nursing journals and debating with my co-workers in the nursing profession for a long time now, and I was beginning to feel very alone. I can't wait to pick up Examining Alternative Medicine. I'm sure it will enhance my arguments against "therapeutic touch" and other quackery based in Eastern religion. - Wendy Garizio, Brookfield, Conn.
I had to laugh when, while contemplating a response to Mr. Belz's column, I read "The Baycol recall." Doctors prescribe drugs for high cholesterol, failing to insist that patients eat whole food instead of refined garbage, because we know people are incapable of changing their habits; after all, they are only animals. And when it turns out that one drug may kill people, we recall it and substitute another drug that soon may also be pulled from the stores. I believe that this happens because traditional medicine is starting from a faulty worldview that treats man as a laboratory rat whose biochemistry can be manipulated with little consideration for design or God's Word. This leads men to think they can pour highly refined chemicals into the extraordinarily complex and poorly understood human body and get predictable, desirable results. To the extent that they reject God's truth, alternative medicines are no better. - David J. Madeira, Dallas, Pa.
In the wake of 9/11, may believers in the God of the Bible show this frightened world how to dial 911 via Psalm 91:1: "He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shelter of the Almighty." God bless America. - Anne Theresa Rich, Lynn, Mass.
Six shocking things
Six shocking things were happening in the aftermath of the horrible events of Tuesday the 11th, things that would have seemed unthinkable or even laughable on Monday: God's existence and power were publicly acknowledged and sought (even by usually cynical, liberal people in the media); life was suddenly and unanimously valued in our country; party politics and the search for power were laid aside for the common good of the nation; there was no mention of lawsuits against the towers' owners or builders; we have a nationwide consensus that something was morally wrong; we acknowledged that killing enemies is an unfortunate necessity of war. Why does it take an act of war to bring these things out? - Jeff Nettles, Platteville, Wis.
Healing or hatred
Terrorism won't stop unless one nation and ultimately every one refuse to respond to it in kind. It doesn't matter "who started it"; it does matter who can stop it. How we respond to this vicious attack may either bring healing or an escalation of the hatred. We must bring the perpetrators to justice but not at the expense of more innocents. - Donna K. Merrick, Harrisburg, Pa.
Christians have, in this terrorist crisis, the single greatest opportunity since the Second World War to speak and live the truth to an unsettled America. We should teach our neighbors that God allowed the World Trade Center towers to fall on the 5,000 but, as Jesus explained regarding the 18 who were crushed by a tower in Siloam, "they were no worse than their fellow citizens, but unless you repent, you shall also perish." - Patrick McIntyre, Mammoth Spring, Ark.
I was astounded when I read the teacher compensation chart ("A bum rap," Sept. 8). I live in Michigan, where teachers are the second-highest paid in the nation. Considering that teachers only work nine months a year (after long summer, Christmas, and spring breaks), Michigan teachers are earning a whopping $7,000 per month, more than most people make working 12 months a year with two weeks vacation. I'm sorry, but I just can't muster up much sympathy. - Kay Rinck, Eaton Rapids, Mich.
As a physician and clinical fellow in Vanderbilt University's Department of Internal Medicine, I appreciate your drawing attention to pharmaceutical issues ("The Baycol recall," Sept. 8). Prescription drugs are a multibillion-dollar industry and direct-to-consumer advertising has become a large part of pharmaceutical company marketing budgets. I would add that Pravachol is a statin, that all statins carry some risk of rhabdomyolysis, and that the Baycol recall is just one in a disturbing trend of drug recalls since the mid 1990s. The National Institute of Health's recently revised recommendations to treat cholesterol levels more aggressively will clearly increase prescriptions for statins, profits for the companies that make them, and, by default, the number of adverse events. Hopefully, more lives will be saved as well. - Todd Hulgan, Nashville, Tenn.
Created for health
I am angry that Mr. Belz would suggest that those involved in alternative medicine may gradually adopt a New Age worldview. As one who seeks out other methods of healing, predominately in the form of whole foods but with the uses of herbs as well, I can testify that it has caused me to see the mercy and kindness of the Lord for providing these created foods for our own good health. - Donna Johnson, Frenchville, Maine
WORLD normally publishes letters to the editor four weeks after our coverage appears. However, response to the Sept. 11 attacks was so heartfelt and immediate, with the first letters arriving shortly after the attacks, that we are publishing a few letters early. - The Editors
Show us the evidence
Afghanistan is friendly toward Osama bin Laden, whom our Justice Department accuses of the murder of over 5,000 people. Afghanistan has no foreign relations with America and no extradition treaty. If Osama bin Laden were in a country with whom we have an extradition treaty, the Justice Department would have to present a case for his guilt in a foreign court. If that case were too weak, American prosecutors would have to give up and go home. Given the nature of the crime, I do not oppose using force if Afghanistan refuses to turn him over. But before the American people agree to put men on the battlefield or start bombing (inevitably killing many Afghans just as innocent as those who died in the attacks on American soil), the government should go public with at least the evidence that would have been required to secure extradition. Foreign governments asked to assist should also insist on this "minimum standard of proof" before signing on. - Stewart Lauer, Kobe, Japan
A time for war
Ecclesiastes says that there is a season for every activity under heaven. This is a time for war. While individuals must forgive, care for, and love other men, in order to remain free and to preserve liberty a nation must fight wars. Were the United States to fail to respond, we would be inviting upon ourselves the tyranny of every would-be terrorist and dictator in the world. Yet, this is also a time for contemplation. I am not sure that we, the people of America, were not due. We murder. We exploit. We steal. We hurt. We hate. We deny the truth. We have lost the conviction that God is just, and His justice cannot sleep forever. How long could our nation act in such a way and not expect to pay a price? The United States must fight back. We must sacrifice our own warriors and citizens. But we must also, as a nation, repent. Or our warring will not cease until the end of time or the destruction of our way of life. - Armando Emanuel Roggio Sr., Rigby, Idaho
Many of America's political and media leaders have called for Americans to pray. I hoped at first that America was coming back to God. Then, the reality sunk in: Most seek God like someone in search of Aladdin's lamp, for the granting of a wish. No nation can ever wholly obey God, but this nation despises His commands and then pleads for His protection in its time of trouble. I pray that Americans will humble themselves, seek God's face, and turn from their sin. - Joy Bolesky, Branson West, Mo.