Mercy and justice
I was in agony waiting for your coverage of the attacks on the World Trade Center. The mainstream media were providing lots of facts and stories of heroism but I wanted some substantive Christian analysis as to why these acts occurred and what our response ought to be as Christians and as a nation. Your Sept. 22 Special Report, "9/11," answered many of my questions and gave me a better foundation from which to look at the situation. Joel Belz's assertion that the World Trade Center attack was one false god of paganism colliding with another was thought-provoking ("Sinflation"). I was especially taken with columns by John Piper ("Loving our enemies") and Marvin Olasky ("9/11") which beautifully considered how God's mercy mixes with His justice from personal and national perspectives. - Albert Griffith, Greenville, Del.
Thank you for your deeply disturbing coverage of the recent atrocities. Your 30 pages of graphic photography were necessarily haunting. Allowing those images to speak and keeping textual commentary to a minimum was an editorial risk, but the right thing to do. I deeply appreciate the sacrifice made by Messrs. Freeland, Patete, and others who, I am sure, had to endure careful examination of many, many more troubling photos while planning and designing the issue. - Michael S. Beates, Oviedo, Fla.
Save now, show later
Thank you for memorializing 9/11/2001 in your pages, and for making the full version available online. I will save the hard copy and share it with my children and my children's children, Lord willing, to show them how our lives were changed in the span of only a few hours. - Brent England, State College, Pa.
We as a nation are at a loss to describe the horror and political implications of the terrorist attacks of September. This would easily explain your emphasis on pictures for this issue, but I am shocked and repulsed that you chose to publish images of people falling to their death. - Glenn "Kirk" Kirkpatrick, Sunland, Calif.
My husband and I were very upset with the Sept. 22 issue on the terrorist attacks. We have seen these discouraging images enough now; did we really need them to be plastered in full-page pictures? - Angela Strayer, Denver, Pa.
Sign of the rainbow
I'm 14 and a homeschooler. My mom gets WORLD and I read it. I was looking at the picture on page 21 of the Sept. 22 issue and I saw the rainbow there in the smoke as one of the World Trade towers falls. It seemed very symbolic to me because God gave the world a rainbow after the flood. It reminds us that He was there watching what was happening in Manhattan, and also there with the people in the buildings. - Rebekah Keller, Richmond Hts., Ohio
Justice by the sword
Thank you to John Piper ("Loving our enemies") for his insight in demonstrating that state actions that pursue justice, even with the sword, can actually be in accord with the command God gave to the state. I've heard so many suggest that as a Christian nation we must simply turn the other cheek, but God has given the state power He did not give to the individual. It is good to affirm to people that we can be honest to ourselves and our faith and still support our nation's quest for justice. - Dave Shull, Canton, Mich.
Love our enemies
I think that John Piper's column was right on target. Even though we may be angry, we still need to recognize that the terrorists are people that God created and loves. When we pray for them, we not only obey God's command but also set an example for the world. - Peter Peckarsky, Reston, Va.
Justice, not revenge
These attacks on our nation are surely horrible and as low as someone could get, but we cannot as Christians express hatred towards the people who did this. We must enforce justice, but not with the mindset of revenge. - Rachel Sharpton, 15, Reedley, Calif.
Apology in order?
I'm glad to see that we're calling on God to bless America after our recent tragedy ("'God bless America,'" Sept. 22). But it seems like the last time we called on God we told Him to get lost. In fact, for several decades our government and courts have been telling God that we don't want manger scenes on our courthouse lawns, we don't want the Ten Commandments on the courthouse wall, and we don't want our children to pray to Him in school. We won't teach our children that God created us, but prefer for them to think we came from slime in the sea. I think that before we ask Him to bless us, we should apologize. - John W. Bennett, Sugar Land, Texas
I must disagree with Mr. Olasky's choice of words in describing the terrorists, stating that such a suicide mission takes a "kind of bravery" ("9/11"). Bravery is more than lack of fear. It carries with it the notion of nobleness, and there was nothing noble about their act. - Thomas N. Burley, Grand Rapids, Mich.
Warped beyond recognition
It's not a brave act to hijack a planeload of innocents and crash it into a building. It is a hatred so corrosive as to twist and warp values beyond recognition. It reflects a cowardice that relies on stealth, deception, and lies; it reveals a tangled web of perversion, hiding within the freedoms fostered by our democratic form of government. Bravery was exemplified by the firemen climbing up the stairs of the burning World Trade Center building, while civilians were streaming down and out as fast as they could. Bravery was the chaplain who died comforting the injured, and people who delayed their own escape to help others, perishing in the noble effort. - Bob Dillon, Fairview, N.C.
I was grateful for Joel Belz's "Sinflation" as it was one of the few things I've read or heard that was a call to repentance in light of the events of 9/11/01. Those of us who believe that this national tragedy was a divine warning and that God uses even evil men to accomplish His purposes should try to get this message out as much as possible. - Julie Grace, Chattanooga, Tenn.
Out of touch
"Sinflation" seemed out of touch with what has happened to our nation and its people. I felt that you were approaching the tragedy from an academic perspective, if not using an "I told you so" tone, rather than grieving and sharing the loss of so many families. - Biddle Foster, Manchester, Md.
"Sinflation" was profound. Thank you for putting this tragedy into a godly perspective, for without it we may never learn. - Pam Goles, Poplar Grove, Ill.
A time to mourn
I live in Queens, and was shocked at the insensitivity of the timing of "Sinflation." As the Word says, there is a time to mourn. Your article is like getting smacked right between the eyes with a two by four. This is not the time to be hitting people over the head with the truth but extending open arms and asking people if we can pray for them. - Paul R. Piazza, New York, N.Y.
Could have been worse
My husband,who works for a D.C.-based company, may lose his job as a result of the terrorist attack. When he told me the failing condition of his company, the first words out of my mouth were, "But at least you weren't in the World Trade Center!" I can endure his potential unemployment because I am so grateful I am not a widow. - Emily Hamilton, Roanoke, Va.
Getting our attention
For too long, this nation has thumbed its nose at God. Like the farmer with the recalcitrant mule, God has found a two by four long enough to get our attention. - David S. Landom, Sun City, Ariz.
Back to business
Earlier in the same day President Bush delivered his declaration of war on terrorism to both houses of Congress, another in a long line of federal judges continued our nation's blessing on abortion by blocking an Ohio law banning partial-birth abortions in that state. I guess it's back to business as usual in America, at least where the abortion issue is concerned. Does anyone else find it ironic and hypocritical that our Christian president should be declaring war on Osama bin Laden when at home his own people, with the protection of their own justice system, are continuing to drench our country in the innocent blood of our unborn children? - Jack Burhenne, Leroy, Ohio