Divided we fell
The recent elections for governor in New Jersey and Virginia and for mayor in New York showed that while voters may be willing to listen to fiscally conservative candidates, whether Democratic or Republican, socially conservative candidates of both parties will have problems ("Politics post 9/11," Nov. 17). The trouble is that for two decades fiscal and social conservatives have been unable to set aside their sometimes considerable differences; instead, they pretended that those differences didn't exist as they basked in the glow of the Ronald Reagan personality cult. Without a personality as strong as Mr. Reagan's to paper over the differences, and without something more substantial than opposition to the other party to unite them, don't expect an upturn in conservative political fortunes any time soon. - Daniel J. Drazen, Berrien Springs, Mich.
Lead your family first
In response to the Nov. 17 column, "A time for dullness," let me say that it might be politically expedient for Mr. Simon, a candidate for the California GOP gubernatorial nomination, to rationalize his wife's pro-choice stance on abortion by stating that "it's an emotional issue for many women." But if Mr. Simon can't even lead his own family to a unified decision on an issue as morally black and white as abortion, how can he expect to lead the voters of California? "A house divided against itself cannot stand" seems an appropriate aphorism in this situation. - A. Christopher Kubek III, Appleton, Wis.
Fearing the family physician
Regarding "Ashcroft versus lethal doctors" in the Nov. 17 issue: I am an Oregonian and am thankful that Mr. Ashcroft has decided to take action against doctors who prescribe drugs for patients to kill themselves under Oregon's Death with Dignity Act. I spent the last 10 months of my mother's life trying to protect her from premature death that the patient and family clearly did not want. I now fear the one who had been our "family doctor." That is the social climate I now live in. - Carol Lukens, Forest Grove, Ore.
When love hurts
I thought that "When nice is a vice" by Gene Edward Veith in the Nov. 10 issue was right on. I believe that our world today takes the nice and easy way doing things, even when it's really the wrong way or even just a hope that something bad will go away. As Christians, we should do the right thing in a loving way even if it hurts. Love can be a very hard thing to do but faith, hope, and true love are virtues that come from God. Thanks for reminding me to love even when it hurts. - Jennifer Porter, 16, Cedar Lake, Ind.
I have to disagree with the suggestion that Israel is going too far in its incursions into Bethlehem and Beit Jalla ("Bethlehem under siege," Nov. 3). There is no moral equivalence between Palestinian terrorist attacks and Israeli forces going after known terrorists. This is a war, just like the United States is facing with terrorists. Also, I do not see any distinction between Yasser Arafat and radical Palestinian groups carrying out terrorist attacks. Don't forget that Mr. Arafat himself orchestrated terrorist attacks in years past, and he clearly has not stopped the terrorist attacks against the Israelis, despite the Oslo Accord. Therefore the Israelis have been forced to take the offensive. Yes, it is terrible when either peaceful Israeli or Palestinian people are hurt or killed. Clearly Jesus Christ is the only hope for lasting peace for both sides. Let's pray that both sides turn to Him. - Michael Brown, Encino, Calif.
I was reading a short AP news article in our local paper and they quoted Prince Charles, who was visiting an East London mosque, in a very interesting way. To my way of thinking, it illustrates your point about pluralism gone mad: "Nobody has a monopoly on the truth," the prince said. "To recognize that is, I believe, a first step to real wisdom, and a vital blow against the suspicion and misunderstanding that too often characterizes the public relationships between different faiths." Thank you for giving me the wisdom to recognize this hogwash. - Louis E. Valbracht, Pensacola, Fla.
Preachy and narrow
We subscribed to WORLD two months ago and have been disappointed. The theology, while very sound, is preachy and the news coverage lacks the breadth of other news magazines. Please cancel our subscription. - Charles Vander Sloot, Grand Rapids, Mich.
Purveyors of perversion
Watching the World Series was a rare TV-viewing event for our family ("Following their manager's lead," Nov. 17). The series presented live object lessons in perseverance, teamwork, discipline, strategy, and attitude. The commercials did not, particularly those advertising for upcoming shows and movies. We quickly went from muting, to changing channels, to hitting the off button for two minutes when the game broke to a commercial. Will the purveyors of perversion ever grow up and pursue truth with the level of intensity that Curt Schilling fans a batter, or Derek Jeter turns a throw from outfield to third base? It does not appear Hollywood has learned much from 9/11. - Don Stroud, Leander, Texas
If I had a hammer
Mr. Veith catalogs the exploits of Islamic armies conquering the Middle East, North Africa, Gibraltar, Spain, and then crossing the Pyrenees into France with the view of conquering all of Europe for Islam ("Memory loss," Nov. 17). Why is it that we can only remind ourselves of the worst aspects of the Crusades, while calmly forgetting the deeds of the invading Islamic aggressors? I applaud Richard the Lion-Hearted, Charles "The Hammer" Martel, and others who have made it possible for me to live and enjoy the endowed rights provided by our Creator rather than having to live under coercive restrictions from the likes of Osama bin Laden. - Ron Pape, St. Joseph, Mich.
Ashcroft versus Oregonians
Regarding "Ashcroft versus lethal doctors": I do not support assisted suicide, but would point out that you quoted Sen. Wyden (D-Ore.) calling Mr. Ashcroft's directive "undemocratic" but did not mention that Oregonians have voted twice in favor of the assisted-suicide law. Sen. Wyden is accurate in that the directive is an attempt to overrule the will of Oregon voters. - Tom Frillman, Hillsboro, Ore.
CNN reported that the U.S. government is encouraging MTV to expand its coverage into Muslim countries to help bring about change among the young. No wonder they call us Satan. I do much international business travel and have observed that most of the cultural trash to be found around the world is exported from the good ole USA. I remember sharing the gospel here in the United States with a Muslim woman from Egypt. I couldn't get anywhere because of her (rightful) hatred of the immorality of our "Christian" nation. Likewise, a gentleman from Africa couldn't wait to return home to escape our highly (un)civilized culture. - Maurice Hagar, Fuquay-Varina, N.C.
Know thy words
Thank you for clearly setting out in "Tolerance vs. pluralism" (Oct. 27) the huge importance of distinguishing between and defining the terms we so cavalierly use. The relentless and casually ignorant use of these terms by the vast majority of the media and the global citizenry (too busy to think deeply yet instantly connected) is taking our world on another giant slide down the dangerous slope we first embarked upon in the '60s. It is precisely such daily, repetitive word usage without clear definition that launches deception, leading to the mere acceptance of error by otherwise engaged, innocent folk who later grant the error a badge of respect. This melding of "tolerance" and "pluralism" is frighteningly similar to the blurring of "choice" and "freedom." Those who thoughtlessly bow down to pluralism rather than honoring real tolerance move powerfully to silence and ridicule even mere verbal disagreement. In the extreme, any debate will become obsolete-for what is there to debate in a society immunized against thinking in any absolute terms? - Lori Trent, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Trivial, in context
I've appreciated WORLD's comments on 9/11, especially Mr. Belz's first editorial ("Sinflation," Sept. 22). However, many people seem to assume that God began punishing the United States on Sept. 11. Instead, even a casual reading of Romans 1 suggests that God has been pouring His wrath on us since at least the 1960s by giving us over to easy acceptance of sexual immorality, idol worship (especially the idol of the Autonomous Self), the apostasy of professedly Christian churches, and, of course, the mass murder of our unborn children. Compared to these judgments, 9/11 was trivial. - Art Thomas, Wamego, Kan.
I am a fairly recent subscriber by way of a gift subscription. I have not subscribed to any other newsmagazine for several years. I grew weary of being upset about the liberal propaganda being passed off as news. Thanks for being an organization that reports the facts from a Christian worldview. - Frank E. Brown, Kansas City, Mo.
U.S. Senate candidate Norm Coleman of Minnesota opposes abortion and gay rights (Nov. 17, p. 19). - The Editors