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Mailbag

Issue: "Homeland insecurity," Nov. 10, 2001

Comforting

As the wife of a sailor on the USS Enterprise, I wanted to thank you for your informative article, "A patient nation" (Oct. 13). The story was what I needed it to be-educational without being sensational. Some of our local media, who I believe are just trying to do their job, have sometimes slipped over the line. It was comforting to read facts, that in themselves can be alarming, presented in a straightforward manner that allowed me to respond how I wanted. - Kathy Thompson, Virginia Beach, Va.

Missed nothing

When I originally read Mr. Belz's column in the Sept. 22 issue titled "Sinflation," I said, "Right on." When I read the responses he quoted in his Oct. 13 column, "Preaching can wait?" I re-read the original column to see how I had missed that which was "chilling," "callous," "offensive," or "profoundly troubling." I found none of that. We needed (and still need) to hear a prophetic word in the midst of our grief. Others are salving the wounds; we needed someone to remind us that, nationally as well as personally, there are consequences to actions. God has been gracious to us as a nation, and we have repaid Him by sinking deeper into our national slimepit. Unless we hear the call to repent when we're forced to be listening, we will never hear it. Thank you for telling the truth in love. - Jon R. Harris, Pagosa Springs, Colo.

Surprised by criticism

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I was so surprised to read about the criticism Joel Belz received regarding "Sinflation." I am sorry that I did not immediately write and commend him for it. I felt it was one of the best things I'd read addressing the terrorism attack from a biblical perspective. - Lea Ann Brookens, Colorado Springs, Colo.

Comfort in repentance

"Sinflation" was right on. There is comfort for those who repent, accept their responsibility before God, and pursue righteousness. - William LaBarre, Selinsgrove, Pa.

Because it offends

I was dispirited to see Mr. Belz apologize to those who were troubled by his strong call for self and national examination. In Scripture, the prophets who brought messages of judgment were rarely liked. They intended to profoundly trouble the minds of those to whom they spoke. Our deceitful and desperately wicked hearts need such harsh medicine, and the message that God sovereignly judges nations and individuals needs to be forcefully proclaimed again-especially because it offends and troubles us. - Steve Walker, Dallas, Ore.

Taken to heart

Thank you to Mr. Belz for the correctable spirit he displayed in "Preaching can wait?" As Proverbs says, "A rebuke goes deeper into one who has understanding than a hundred blows into a fool." This example of humility may go a lot further in promoting a Christian worldview than even the various points you were making. - Chris Hutchinson, Statesboro, Ga.

Cowards in the end

Andree Seu suggests that hurling oneself and an airplane filled with innocent, unarmed civilians into a densely occupied building may be hateful and evil, but surely not cowardly ("True patriotism," Oct. 13). Is it the outrageous recklessness of the terrorists with regard to their own survival that deflects the label of coward? But for what? An eternity of sensual pleasures promised to them by still greater cowards, the false prophets who are still skulking in caves hiding behind innocent Muslim women and children. The hijackers were fatalistic, murderous maniacs, devoid of conscience, cowards in the end. - Jeryl Bier, Salisbury, Md.

Deluded devotion

Like Andree Seu, I am reluctant to brand the hijackers as cowards. I am, in fact, cut to the heart by their desperate but deluded devotion. They gave up more than television sets or beachfront condos. I, on the other hand, think it heroic to have a dilapidated sofa for the cause of missions. The hijackers went to eternal death for a lie, we go to eternal life for the truth, and yet I fuss over giving up a week's vacation. As for me and my family, we're praying for an army of missionaries to march to Muslim lands, armed with tough plows for planting and tender hands for the harvest. Perhaps we'll have to tighten our belts to send those soldiers. Perhaps we'll have to tighten our hearts if the commander-in-chief commissions one of our sons for this battle. - Nancy Snyder, York, Pa.

No justification

I am disturbed that Mrs. Seu is not "able to call this conflict classic Good vs. Evil." What else could she call it? No one has said America is without sin, but there is no U.S. foreign policy that would justify the heinous crimes perpetrated by these evil men. - Steve Blakemore, Casper, Wyo.

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