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Mailbag

Issue: "Humanity Under the Microscope," Dec. 8, 2001

Believe it

The Nov. 10 cover story, "Enemy within," by Lynn Vincent, was right on target. While traveling recently through Wisconsin, we stopped at a truck stop near Green Bay. The men's room was freshly painted, covering the ordinary graffiti in such places, with one post-paint-job exception. Scrawled in large, bold, black letters were the words, "Death to America! You greedy, filthy, wicked Americans will never be able to defeat the glorious Osama bin Laden and Islam!" Are there terrorists and their sympathizers among us? We'd better believe it. - Larrie Bunyan, Heart Butte, Mont.

Eyes fixed

As I read the Nov. 10th issue from cover to cover this morning, a feeling of unbelievable heaviness came over my spirit. Heightened persecution of believers in Pakistan and rampant fear in our homeland seemed to portray a world spinning completely out of control ("Sunday-morning jihad"). I found myself praying, "Jesus, what is going on here? How do we handle it all?" The words of the Apostle Paul in his letter to the Philippians came to mind: "Now I want you to know, brethren, that my circumstances have turned out for the greater progress of the gospel." Let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, and the larger story of the "progress of the gospel." - Sarah Selee, Anderson, Ind.

No bunk

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Since Sept. 11, our family has not had much desire to shop or otherwise spend money. But we resent the suggestion that some "bunker mentality" is making us prefer to cower in our homes rather than get out to the mall ("Hunkered in the bunker," Nov. 10). In the wake of what's happened, our family has reflected on the things that matter, and the shallow vanities of consumerism haven't seemed as important. - Jay & Debbie Ryan, Cleveland, Ohio

Beyond nice

"When nice is a vice" hit the nail on the head (Nov. 10). As a peer-counselor for a local Christian crisis pregnancy center, I am sometimes tempted to be "nonjudgmental" and "accepting" as I sit listening to the person across from me relate her troubles. After reading this article, I will forever remember the words, "Love is never content simply to leave the other person alone." I sat at my kitchen counter and cried after reading that. I am here today because God surely was not content to leave me alone. That is what gives me the desire to be at the crisis pregnancy center in the first place. I see more clearly now that I have a duty to love in truth, not just continue believing it is my "Christian" duty to be sweetly "nice." - Robin Wahl, Mackinaw, Ill.

God's words

Thanks to Gene Edward Veith for "When nice is a vice." Sometimes we have to confront our culture and take the risk of being labeled as closed-minded or opinionated, even when what is said is stated in nice terms with a gentle spirit. We should not be intimidated to tell the truth in love. Joel Belz also deserves a special thanks for "The inside track." Daring to speak for God has an illustrious history. Prophetic utterance is absolutely necessary in a culture that has wandered so far from God. When God speaks we should be undaunted in proclaiming what He is saying. Let's just make sure we are speaking God's words. - J.L. Rivera, Orland Hills, Ill.

Posting patriotism

"Yankee Doodle gagged" in the Nov. 10 issue was a fitting headline. What kind of sick person would make students take down American flags and ribbons, but allow students to burn them publicly in such times as these? If I went to one of those colleges I would probably get myself kicked out by posting up American patriotic things all over, even if I was ordered to take them down. - Crystal Adams, 12, Grand Haven, Mich.

Marketing

As I was reading through your classified ads recently, I said to myself, "Isn't that heading supposed to say, 'The World Trade Center'?" That is when I realized that you changed the heading to "The WORLD Market" because of its obvious relation to the Sept. 11 attacks. I applaud your magazine for making this change to honor the victims of 9/11. - Daniel Peeler, 14, Florence, S.C.

Frustrated like us

I was disheartened to read "Enemy within." Some are suggesting that we single out suspects by ethnicity and violate their privacy in the hunt for any remaining terrorists within this country's borders. While thousands of Arabs live in the United States today, it is unfair for us to isolate these people as potential terrorists. A majority of the Arabs in this country do not have ties to terrorism nor did they on Sept. 11. Most likely, they are just as frustrated with these radicals as the rest of us. - Stacy Kardell, St. Paul, Minn.

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