I realize that the words on your Oct. 20 cover, ÒWe will not fail,Ó were a quote from President Bush. But as Christians, when we read that are we not to think, ÒGod willing, we will not failÓ? Or are we thinking to ourselves, ÒBecause we are the most powerful nation, because we are joined in this effort by other nations (although some we had to persuade a bit), because we can call up seemingly unlimited resources, we will not failÓ? Is God willing to have America continue as the worldÕs most powerful nation? Throughout history there have been many Òmost powerfulÓ nations and empires, but all have collapsed after a few hundred years. Does America have that obedience to God such that this country can survive past the usual deadline? God willing, it does. - Carol Weeber, New Brighton, Pa.
Older but wiser
I am young, in fact, just barely old enough to get a driverÕs license. But now it seems I have grown much older over the past several weeks. As I watch bombs fall in the night over Afghanistan on TV, and re-watch time and time again the planes slam into those buildings, I grow and hurt a little more. I have been shown things that I, and everyone else my age in this country, have never known before. I have seen that I am no longer completely secure inside the borders of my great country and that grief can be made into the oddest form of resolve and determination. So, I find myself indebted to your magazine, having read it cover to cover for the last several years, for keeping me posted on something suddenly so vital to me. Thanks, and may God bless America. - Michelle Miller, Snohomish, Wash.
Ready for World War III?
For the most part, America's response, led by President Bush, to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks leaves me appalled and infuriated. Regarding the bombing of Afghanistan, a country unrecovered from war, with a malnourished population at the mercy of a dictatorship, it strikes me as callous and cowardly for the administration and people here to so badly want the fear to stop that they're willing to inflict on Afghans the sort of fear and pain inflicted on us. And suppose countries with potentially huge military capabilities, including nuclear bombs, decide to harbor terrorists-say China, North Korea, even Iran-is Mr. Bush ready to pursue his line of action at the risk of starting WWIII? - Brian Becker, Tampa, Fla.
Proud of the president
I am a 16-year-old girl who is proud of our president and how our country has reacted to the terrorist attacks, proud that we are dropping food on Afghanistan, and proud that we are trying to bring justice to the terrorists. I am proud that I feel safe at school and at home, and that one day I can tell my kids, "You are living in the land of the free and the home of the brave." - Lauren Brittany Jacobs, Crown Point, Ind.
I was troubled when I saw multiple religions contributing to the memorial service on Friday following the 9/11 attacks. I felt like the only person who saw this as one very small step toward the one-world religion prophesied in the Bible. Thank you, Mr. Veith, for "Syncretism and secularism" (Oct. 20). - Annette Hauck, Hummelstown, Pa.
As a new subscriber, I've just read the Oct. 20 issue cover to cover and am pleased with what I've read. I, too, have been concerned about the all-inclusive prayer services since 9/11 mentioned by Mr. Veith. Prayer is effective when all participants pray to the one true God, but offensive when they do not. - Karen G. Larson, Monticello, Minn.
Mr. Veith's warning is well taken. The spirit of patriotism that is uniting Americans of all faiths is much needed and long overdue. I am moved to tears when people of many faiths and cultural backgrounds join together to sing the anthems of our great land. However, we do not all worship the same "god." One Christian friend has accused me of being too narrow at a time when we need to promote unity and acceptance. I seem to remember someone saying, "Narrow is the way that leads to life." - Nancy Hudson, Glenview, Ill.
Thank you for writing that column about Eric Liddell ("A greater jihad," Oct. 20). I run all the time because I watched Chariots of Fire. I watch it every Friday. It's my favorite movie. - Isaac Shanholtz, 7, Williamsburg, Pa.
"True perspectives" by Andree Seu in the Oct. 20 issue is refreshing and rightly incriminating. We must grieve and express consolation to those who are hurting, but first we must discern true perspectives. We may not have Jeremiah and Isaiah to specifically address the causes of our catastrophes, but we have something greater: the Word of God. Are we so dense we cannot understand what God has said in the terrorist activity? - John Larson, Huntsville, Texas
Speed up a little
Joel Belz's fine column of Oct. 20 about the difficulties of starting a Christian newspaper is right on the money ("Not so fast"). But there is more room for hope. As the mainstream news media become increasingly biased, I think that more and more people will be willing to turn to other sources for their news, including a Christian daily. - Craig L. Shoemaker, Grand Rapids, Mich.
Each week I devour WORLD as news and worldview education. Often I think hard as I read. However, when I read the daily news media I fly over it just looking for the few pertinent facts. I wonder if a newspaper of WORLD's caliber could be sufficiently digestible for a daily audience; can we think that much each day and really enjoy it? I'm game to try it, even excited, but I wonder whether WORLD can best achieve its goals by doing what others do. - Chuck Walton, Kanawha, Iowa
Name I can count on
I appreciate Mindy Belz's reporting ("Paired with Blair," Oct. 20). She makes what's going on all over the world very understandable. I know that when her name is on the article I can count on a thorough, insightful story. - Danette Matty, Grand Island, Neb.
Andree Seu's confrontation of "bandwagon" jargon ("Good vs. evil" and "coward") was refreshing ("True patriotism," Oct. 13). I agree that we "should not confuse the United States of America with the Chosen Race." But I was disturbed by her comment: "To Caesar, then, our bodies and wills for the national defense." I believe that, to the pre-Constantine church, a body and will for Rome but a heart for God was indeed a "conflict of interest." To call the self-sacrificing pacifism practiced by some in the early church and believers who have desired to follow their example "mindless" and "limp" is common but far beyond the biblical balance attempted in this engaging essay. - John Ford, El Cajon, Calif.
If not now, when?
I wonder when those who criticized Mr. Belz's Sept. 22 column, "Sinflation," would have thought it was appropriate to speak an uncomfortable truth ("Preaching can wait?" Oct. 13). Prophets were often despised in Scripture, and it appears that times haven't changed that. As much as we'd like always to be comforted, reassured, or protected from hearing the truth about ourselves, as much sin is in our hearts as in the terrorists' hearts. Thank you for reinforcing that truth. Without the recognition of the negative facts associated with my life, I would not have freely embraced the gospel. - Val Vickery, Jackson, Miss.
If postmodernism moved, it didn't move far and not for long ("Reality in the rubble," Oct. 13). The ACLU resumed its "crusade" against "God Bless America" signs at schools, and the public school board in Madison, Wis., temporarily banned the Pledge of Allegiance. I've also heard that Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson are terrorists because of their words, and that terrorists themselves are misunderstood or are just reacting to U.S. foreign policy. Even the word terrorist is banished by some news organizations because it supposedly judges without due process. Postmodernism is still alive and well; it just went underground for a few weeks. - Melvin Edwards, Houston, Texas
Isn't enlisting the help of countries like Pakistan, Sudan, China, Syria, and Iran in our war on terrorism like joining forces with the mafia to stamp out organized crime ("Lateral moves," Oct. 6)? - Ron Weber, Bartonville, Texas
Clinton administration officials froze the assets of Sudanese factory owner Saleh Idris, claiming he had terrorist ties, in August 1998, and released them in May 1999 (Oct. 27, p. 50).
Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809-1892) wrote, "Better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all" (Nov. 3, p. 38). - The Editors