Suffering for Jesus
Going through Marvin Olasky's article on America's Nineveh-like cities-Albuquerque, Memphis, Miami, and San Francisco-was like a fresh breeze. The article was so appropriately positive that I just feel good inside. You showed us the problem but lent us a glimpse into the upward call of suffering for Christ in our own Ninevehs. - Kristian Carlson, Deerfield, Ill.
Not worth it
Allowing law enforcement agencies to use Magic Lantern, a virus-like software that records all the keystrokes on a suspect's computer, might be a good idea and it might help catch some potential lawbreakers or terrorists ("Crime-fighting virus," Dec. 8). But I don't think that it is worth the price of having the government of a "free people" entering my computer and searching what I am doing. If they plan to use this program, the government should have to get a search warrant and have substantial evidence that the person who owns or uses the computer is a terrorist or some other kind of lawbreaker. - Jonathan Zook, 14, Belleville, Pa.
Not for comfort
Thank you for once again bringing perspective to what it means to be a Christian in today's world ("Finding the best in the worst," Dec. 15). As a Miami resident, I was deeply moved. Mr. Olasky is correct; we do not live here because of the comforts. We do because it is where God has called us to serve and make an impact in our Hispanic community. Many people here already believe in God and the Bible, but they are hungry for the last remaining details on how to have a real saving relationship with Jesus Christ. - Josue Sierra, Miami, Fla.
The only ones
I enjoyed your report on No. 327, San Francisco, because I, too, have "left my heart in San Francisco." You reminded me of when, the last time I was there, my boys and I had settled ourselves into the large lobby of our hotel to wait for the shuttle bus to the airport. It gradually occurred to me that the pianist in the bar was playing praise and worship songs. Finally, I couldn't stand it any longer and approached the pianist. "This is really lovely," I said. "But how do you get away with playing this kind of music in here?" "Because," he said, without missing a beat, "you and I are the only ones here who know what I am playing." - Ann Wingfield, Weaverville, N.C.
Right after 9/11 people were asking how this could happen without our government knowing about it. Then our law enforcement agencies ask for more freedom to conduct investigations, and people complain that they don't want to give up the freedoms that make America what it is. I don't think we have any right to complain. I understand that power can be misused, but we're talking only about giving up a few freedoms hopefully to save the lives of our fellow Americans, neighbors, and friends. Is that really too much to ask? - Bob Ouradnik, Ellison Bay, Wis.
I appreciated your article about Bernard Goldberg, the former CBS newsman whose new book charges his old bosses with liberal bias ("From insider to outcast," Dec. 15). In 1996, my husband was a delegate to the Republican National Convention in San Diego. While he did party business, I waited high in the stands where non-delegates were free to sit. A CBS news crew set up shop in the aisle, practically at my elbow. They were attempting to film a short piece but had to do many retakes because of noise and commotion on the convention floor. In every retake, I heard the phrase "anti-abortion rights delegates." I asked the reporter, Russ Mitchell, why he used such slanted, biased language to describe certain delegates. His answer was, "I'm sorry, but it's CBS policy." - Anne Coates, Lexington, Ind.
The truth is out there
I realize that the existence of a mythical creature called "the liberal media" is an article of fanatical devotion among what Hillary Clinton aptly described as the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy, especially its fundamentalist, hellfire-and-brimstone component. But I was wondering if Mr. Olasky and WORLD actually believe in it any more than they believe in unicorns and the Loch Ness monster ("Depressing press," Dec. 8). Other than in the fevered fantasies in the night of the far right, where is this beast? I think it is just a right-wing fundamentalist fantasy, a convenient diversionary tool for the corporate elite who are busy robbing the country blind. - Richard M. Todaro, Washington, D.C.
The last paragraph of "From insider to outcast" observes: "All I can do is what millions of Americans have been doing for years ... click the button marked 'off.'" We did that about 20 years ago. We used to watch the evening news until we saw a piece CBS did on the Institute for Creation Research. I could see the bias in what they presented and decided that if that's what they did with a "news feature," what about everything else? - Ruth Hill, Ishpeming, Mich.
Wait for them
I found "Best foot forward" (Dec. 15) disturbing and unnecessary. This article merely makes predictions about films that had not even been released yet. Would it not be better to see the films and then critique them? I am excited about all the movies mentioned in this article and I plan to view them with a hopeful mindset, looking for the celebration of positive values and shards of common grace. - Andrian Yelverton, Raleigh, N.C.
In his Dec. 15 column, "The new multi-faith religion," Gene Edward Veith asks, "Christians have endured martyrdom, but can they endure unpopularity?" If the "religious right" is any indication, absolutely not. Consider how often conservatives proclaim our dubious "Christian heritage," riddled as it is with plainly unbiblical historical injustices, and how we American Christians complain vociferously about the little persecution we experience here. Contrast that with believers in other lands who have faced real persecution bravely and don't particularly care how popular the Christian faith is. Maybe we should be asking why much of the United States is indifferent to evangelical Christianity. Maybe we have something to do with that. - Rick Nowlin, Pittsburgh, Pa.
Maybe it didn't prevent layoffs and service cutbacks, but where does Mark Steyn think the airlines would be if they hadn't received the $15 billion bailout (QuickTakes, Dec. 8)? My dad is a pilot, and without that government intervention, there would have been even more layoffs and cutbacks, and maybe another airline would have gone out of business. Also, the airlines do not hassle people and make them wait in long lines on purpose. I think Mr. Steyn should quit complaining. - Sheila Hobein, 15, Barron, Wis.
Although Joel Belz says in his Nov. 24 column, "The national debt," that he doesn't know exactly what precipitated God's anger, he chastises as proud those Christians, like myself, who believe that 9/11 was nothing more than the result of evil men under Satan's influence. I recently happened to glance through an article from the April 1, 2000, issue of WORLD describing catastrophic flooding in Mozambique. While that nation is "a land of paganism, witchcraft, and ancestor worship," and while floods are acts of God, no Christian was quoted asserting that the Mozambicans' plight resulted from the Father's displeasure. Interestingly, one head of a political party declared that the disaster was the work of angry "spirits" taking revenge over a miscount of votes in a recent election. He was wrong; so is Mr. Belz. - Robert York Jr., Rancho Cordova, Calif.
Retired doctors in Tulsa volunteer for inner-city health care through the Cornerstone Assistance Network (Dec. 15, p. 20).
- In John 3:36, John the Baptist says, "He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him" (Oct. 27, p. 65).
- California congressman Gary Condit is a Democrat (Dec. 22, p. 13).
- A secretary for NBC anchor Tom Brokaw contracted anthrax from a tainted letter (Dec. 29/Jan. 5, p. 28). - The Editors