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Mailbag

Issue: "Bush: 'We will not fail'," Oct. 20, 2001

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.

Necessarily haunting

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.

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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.

Repulsed

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.

Seen enough

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

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