Proud to sacriÞce
I read with emotion "Paying the price" and "Depth perception" (Feb. 9). As a navy wife whose husband has been deployed 18 out of the last 27 months (presently he is coming out of a deployment to Afghanistan), I and my family understand the sacrifice military service can require. My husband is not deceased, thankfully, but he is often gone and I do miss his "depth perception" in our marriage. Would I choose for my husband to be deployed again? No. But I would be proud for him to serve if our great country needed him. - Courtney Sensenig, Gulfport, Miss.
The fact that we now have a president who is willing to stand up to international terrorists is encouraging. However, we must not allow early successes to soften our long-term resolve to face tough realities if the task ahead gets unpleasant or requires greater sacrifice. The old adage, "Freedom is not free," is as true today as it was when first written. Although its cost at times seems greater than at others, the price for an unwillingness to pay it is more than we would ever want to bear. Thank you for being a voice of encouragement and truth to those foot soldiers still willing to pay the price. - Lt. Col. Dale L. Garrett, USAF, Langley, Va.
Thank you to Andree Seu for her beautifully written column, "Depth perception." I always appreciate her work, but having raised four children alone (my husband's plane was shot down in Laos in 1971), I can especially relate to Andree's thoughts in this case. I am ever grateful to God, who has been with me and seen me through these years, so that I have never really been "alone." - Carolyn Standerwick, Bellevue, Neb.
Thank you for exposing Zondervan's and the International Bible Society's new Today's New International Version ("Twisted sister," Feb. 9). It angers me to think that they can so grossly misinterpret Scripture by making it "gender neutral." Making Scripture readable and accessible is commendable, but deliberately changing the Word of God to fit your own ideas is beyond tragic. - Joel Varner, Bellingham, Wash.
Shame on WORLD
Five years ago I read WORLD's articles on the gender-neutral Bible and wondered how IBS could do such a thing. Now that I work for IBS, I know the truth. In my opinion this article is slanderous and spiteful. I have met most of the Committee on Bible Translation and do not believe that there is a "politically correct" bone among them. Shame on you for making this kind of judgment against Christian brothers and sisters. Cancel my subscription. - Paul D. Tolleson, Colorado Springs, Colo.
I am the widow of Edwin H. Palmer, who supervised the original NIV translation. I am not that keen on the present revision either. But I do think it is important that people know that they can still get the translation they have always had full confidence in. - Elsie P. Palmer, Wayne, N.J.
Spouse of Christ
You mention that the new TNIV changes the reference to believers in Hebrews 12:7 from "sons" to "children" for the sake of "gender inclusiveness." But I really feel left out by this change: I'm still a son, but now that I'm 43 years old, I no longer feel included by the word child. You don't mention if the TNIV has corrected the case of gender bias that has always disturbed me the most: the references to the church as the "bride of Christ." I certainly hope they've changed this to "spouse of Christ." As a man, I've always felt excluded by the clearly feminine term bride. It implies that only women can be part of the church, or at least that men who want to be members of the church must be effeminate. God sure is lucky that these people are helping Him fix all the mistakes He made in the first draft of His book. - Jay Johansen, Fairborn, Ohio
To suggest that "many liberals will probably praise the TNIV and many conservatives will probably criticize it" is completely ludicrous. Since I, as president of Reformation & Revival Ministries, publicly endorsed the TNIV, I suppose this makes me a "liberal" now. I hope future WORLD reports on the TNIV might allow readers to see both sides of an important discussion without poisoning the well in advance. I would find this a bit humorous, if the charges were not so serious. - John H. Armstrong, Carol Stream, Ill.
Does anyone imagine for a second that Zondervan's or the IBS's zeal for a "gender-accurate" translation has nothing do with an egalitarian agenda? If it is "gender accurate," how is it possible that the NIV escapes being "gender inaccurate?" And, if it is so, is Zondervan so scornful of evangelical markets that it will happily provide them a substandard product, simply because they can make a buck on it? As Zondervan's record demonstrates, they have never changed their mind about producing a demasculinized Bible. Their assent to the Colorado Accords can now be seen for what it was from the beginning: a cynical and condescending mollycoddling of evangelicals who were too trusting by far. - William E. Mouser Jr., Waxahachie, Texas
For years I have defended the NIV to my "King James only" friends as perhaps the most accurate modern translation of the Bible. With the TNIV, I believe that the publishers have not only angered and upset many Christians but have damaged the credibility that the NIV has gained over the years. I predict that the TNIV will produce a backlash against their carefully copyright-protected translation. Perhaps they should consider renaming it something that is not so close to NIV, like "The PC Bible of 2002." I am already hearing Christians express doubts about buying anything from Zondervan stores because they feel betrayed by this bow to modern culture. - Philip Luter, Saginaw, Mich.
Combat's like that
I was disappointed in the review of Mark Bowden's Blackhawk Down (Bestsellers, Feb. 9). As a career Army officer of 26 years with ground combat experience in Vietnam, I could relate to what happened to the individual soldiers and their units once the fight started in downtown Mogadishu. Mr. Bowden's prose, rather than being "dull" or "heavy-handed," struck me as very evocative of those soldiers' experiences in close combat with overwhelming numbers of people intent on killing them. If the narrative line was "lost among outbursts of violence," well, combat is like that. Shining through all of this is the sterling character of the American soldier, in my opinion the best on the planet. The book and movie are also important for the graphic portrayal of what our soldiers face in action against today's modern terrorists. - Medwyn Sloane, Denver, Colo.
Regarding the ACLU's current push to force hold-out Catholic and Protestant hospitals to provide abortions ("Intensive snare," Feb. 9): How much longer are people with some regard for language, grammar, and semantics going to tolerate the pro-abortion camp's absurd, oxymoronic description of a right to abortion as "reproductive freedom"? The phrase can have only one logical meaning: the freedom to reproduce. The only country of which I'm aware-there may be others-that curtails reproductive freedom is China, where reproductive freedom ends at birth of the first child. - Graden Harger, Houston, Texas
Jobs for life
Joel Belz's column on education hit a nerve ("No competition," Feb. 9). As a long-time public-school board member, I have witnessed the stranglehold teachers unions have on education. Education will not be improved until the yoke of union slavery is lifted from us all. Teachers' salaries appear to be low, but fringe benefits such as contributions for insurance, retirement, and other perks add about $24,000 onto the average Wisconsin teacher's salary of about $40,000. The real story is the fact that teachers have jobs for life. Almost regardless of competency, behavior, or effectiveness, they cannot be fired except for the most egregious acts. Teachers are trading tens of thousands of dollars of salary each year for lifetime job security and relief from accountability. - Dave Kuhle, Hazel Green, Wis.
Blood donations mostly discarded by the American Red Cross after Sept. 11 still contributed byproducts such as plasma or platelets (Feb. 9, p. 28).
WORLD cited a Washington Times report that the New Jersey Department of Education left George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin off its proposed history curriculum standards (Feb. 9, p. 10). Since then, the N.J. Dept. of Education has added those names to its standards.
Dr Pepper cans featuring the Statue of Liberty include only three words from the Pledge of Allegiance: "one nation ... indivisible" (Feb. 16, p. 12). - The Editors