Still the same
As a senior noncommissioned Vietnam veteran, I saw some of the same things in the Red Cross that you comment on in "Battlefield angel" (Dec. 15). I saw the convoluted organization, in which officers, and officers' wives, ran the military interface to the Red Cross in a nonsupportive and haughty manner in many cases. My father is a WWII veteran, and he has an intense dislike for the Red Cross based on experiences in the war, even adamantly refusing to let us donate blood to the Red Cross in school. - Richard W. Horner, Marietta, Ga.
I have read many stories in WORLD that have brought tears to my eyes, but I can't remember one so moving, so frightening, and yet so wonderful as "Dark night of the soul" (Nov. 24). God was merciful to little Elizabeth and her family. - Meredith Berg, Hudson, Wis.
Your well-written article in the Dec. 22 issue about John Ashcroft, your "Daniel of the Year," is a song of encouragement to many of us in Missouri. We have been acquainted with Mr. Ashcroft since 1982 and have admired his integrity and respected his godly principles. The plane crash on Oct. 16, 2000, that killed Gov. Mel Carnahan, Mr. Ashcroft's Democratic opponent in that year's Senate race, was less than a mile away; the explosion shook our house and rattled our windows. In view of the crash, the lost election, the appointment and the controversial Senate hearings, it is easy for us to see that John Ashcroft has been providentially moved into his position as attorney general. And we are very grateful for God's mercy for our great nation. - David & Mona Houser, Hillsboro, Mo.
Missed the mark
WORLD's choice of Mr. Ashcroft for Daniel of the Year really misses the mark. His morning prayer meetings are nice, but the Bible would instruct him that increasing the fearsome powers of government in the name of making us all "safer" is a terrible mistake. - Joseph Farinaccio, Pennsville, N.J.
Your choice for Daniel of the Year couldn't have been better. I met Mr. Ashcroft at our church during his most recent Senate campaign. He delivered a brief message that was devoid of politics, but had everything to do with the tenets of Christianity. This is a man who puts principle above politics. - Wilson Winch, Independence, Mo.
Attorney General Ashcroft may have many fine traits, but it is very disturbing when he makes a comment about "phantoms of lost liberty," insinuating that liberty-loving, Constitution-minded Christians who hold the government's feet to the fire are aiding terrorists (Dec. 22, p. 21). Mr. Ashcroft should readily recognize the myriad liberties that Americans in general, and his fellow believers in particular, have lost during the course of U.S. history. The Constitution was designed, among other things, to protect citizens from sin-natured government officials and agencies. It is the biblical and American duty of Christians in particular to constantly prod public servants and one another to ensure our God-given civic liberties. - Brian D. Ray, Salem, Ore.
The vast majority of Americans approve of the way our country and others are seeking to eliminate the terrorists. In spite of the effective way our country is dealing with this, some of the media and supposed "civil-rights champions" are critical of our government. They should wake up. We are in a war with fanatical people who gladly kill. Life is not sacred to them as it is to us. - Howard S. Gifford, Marlton, N.J.
I was intrigued by the illustration for "Before and after" (Dec. 22). It showed a stone with the initials "B.C." and "A.D." cloven in two by a spike. Have you been in a natural history museum lately, or paged through an elementary school science textbook? B.C. (Before Christ) and A.D. (Anno Domini, "the year of our Lord") have been replaced with B.C.E. (Before Common Era), and C.E. (Common Era). God forbid that our calendar should center around the birth of the Savior. A scientific chronology could not be real science if it were based on a "mythical" person. And so Santa Claus replaces Jesus Christ, temporal gifts replace the eternal gift, and "Common Era" replaces "the Year of our Lord." But even these attempts to eviscerate the spiritual from our annual celebration and our calendar cannot diminish the truth and the impact that a birth 2,000 years ago has had on our world. - Gary S. Karwoski, Riverside, Ill.
Fresh, clear portrayal
Andree Seu's column, "Before and after," is a fresh and clear portrayal of the meaning of the coming of Jesus Christ into this bewildered and hurting world. - Melvin White, Jeffersonville, Vt.
One of the tragedies of our education system is that to receive an "advanced" degree one must often sit at the feet of pagan professors who "do not really believe in the ideas they are teaching or promoting in their research," as Gene Edward Veith wrote in "Intellectual burquas" (Dec. 22). Thanks for exposing the intellectual dishonesty and academic cowardice. It was evident years ago when I was a student. - Fred L. Battles, Felton, Pa.
Charlie Sharpe's woes reminded me of other instances where the government has rushed to take children away from guardians or parents who practice what used to be normal discipline ("Sharpe vision," Dec. 22). I find it odd that the state is so willing to call healthy discipline "abusive" yet doesn't try to take children away from parents who sue someone because they were denied opportunities to murder their child by abortion, the "wrongful life" lawsuits. - Paul Hair, Dillsburg, Pa.
A real hero
It looks like Mr. Sharpe is a real hero. After his business success he could have retired, but he chose to work for the good of others. - Joe Schwer, Safford, Ariz.
I enjoy your magazine very much and am no fan of Ted Kennedy, but I thought that saying he "waddled" was unnecessarily offensive ("Today's Daniels," Dec. 22). - Rod Swanson, San Antonio, Texas
In reading my comments that were quoted in your Dec. 15 cover story, "Finding the best in the worst," I realized that I meant to say that Memphis is not a safe city, but it is a good city with many magnificent people. As a small example, over 200 Christian volunteers from all parts of Memphis work regularly at The Neighborhood School (an inner-city Christian school) pouring love into the lives of children who desperately need to know they are loved ("Real graceland," Sept. 23, 2000). In Memphis, many volunteers tackle an amazing variety of problems every day. Our conviction is that every child who comes to The Neighborhood School will come to know our Lord. - Jo Walt, Memphis, Tenn.
I commend Mr. Veith for his insightful article on the Lord of the Rings trilogy by Tolkien ("Still ringing true," Dec. 8). I was particularly impressed by the parallels that Mr. Veith drew between our current situation and the trilogy. - Tabitha Higgins, Lookout Mtn., Ga.
I first read Tolkien's trilogy in four weeks while riding a train around Europe on the Michaelmas break from my study abroad program in Canterbury. I was 18. Now I'm reading it again-to my children. Mr. Veith's analysis reminded me of C.S. Lewis's observations that atheists cannot be too careful with their reading material if they wish to remain atheists, and that any good book must bear not only reading, but re-reading. This was especially true of children's books, he noted, suggesting that they are only worthwhile for children if they are also worthwhile for adults. - Paul Hughes, Orange, Calif.
I liked "Latin lovers" (Dec. 22). This school year, I am finally pursuing Latin studies that I wanted to take for a long time. Latin is a really neat language, and it is very interesting how much of our language (and others) it has affected. I also think it's rather amusing that companies are seeking an "aura of permanence," when permanence is not seemingly admired in our culture. - Laura Bond, Ogdensburg, N.Y.
Jeff Shaara's new historical novel, Rise to Rebellion, includes as a character Lawrence Joshua Chamberlain (Dec. 29/Jan. 5, p. 46). The illustration of the medical instrument mistakenly left inside the stomach of a patient is a topogram, or digital radiograph (Dec. 22, p. 29). Justices Byron White and William Rehnquist dissented from the Roe vs. Wade decision in 1973 (Jan. 19, p. 38). - The Editors