Driven to read
Andree Seu's June 1 column on busyness, "Death by detail," lay unread until I snatched a moment during a hectic car ride. As my husband negotiated city traffic, I looked up and saw a truck swing around us and leap through a gap in the traffic, loose ladder swerving in the back, its owner too hasty to tie it down. A mile later we jerked to avoid that same ladder skewed across two lanes, the driver standing on the roadside wondering how to get it back. As I resumed reading, a Mercedes shot through an intersection and crunched a van, knocking it sideways. So much for time saved. I waved your magazine at my startled children in the back and passionately explained what I'd been reading. They needed no persuading. Mrs. Seu was humorous, but our busyness is becoming so dangerous it's not funny. - Michelle Geffken, Brighton, Mass.
I believe the man who used to pray twice as long on his busy days was Martin Luther, but I will keep looking for the reference (I have nothing better to do). A.T. Pierson wrote in George Mueller of Bristol that Mr. Mueller said to those who "had 'too much to do' to spend proper time with God, that four hours of work for which one hour of prayer prepares, is better than five hours of work with the praying left out." - Esther Suganuma, Tokyo, Japan
In the same issue of WORLD in which Mr. Olasky asked for Dopey Award nominations ("Dopey awards," June 1), I read that my alma mater, Antioch College in Ohio, offered co-ed dorm rooms "mostly to accommodate male and female sexual partners" ("Gay authority," June 1). We hadn't read about that in our alumni bulletins. Sadly, Antioch would gleefully accept a Dopey Award from WORLD, looking down their liberated noses at us laughable stuffed shirts while they do so. That's why we contribute to the World Journalism Institute instead of that institution. - Larry Rippere, Mountain View, Calif.
I agree that there is a plethora of mis-education out there, but I think inviting WORLD readers to seek out such stories is ill-advised. Christians in public schools are already disdained by many church people, and many Christian teachers, already burned out at this time of year, will feel the sting of this "search." - Shirley Wilson, Erie, Pa.
I recently realized that early in my education I was exposed to liberal bias, as Mr. Olasky describes. At my high-school graduation practice, each student received a Career Education Program we had completed in 8th grade. I found where I had ranked items by importance from a list including beauty, wealth, clean air, equality, world peace, less arms, progress, tradition, freedom, love, health, wisdom, guaranteed income for all, power, and happiness. In the 8th grade, I assumed that all of these values were wholesome and intelligent. I nominate this Career Education Program for a Dopey Award. - Jake Tillett, Mantua, Ohio
My nomination for the Dopey Award is the present reading instruction program of the San Diego public elementary schools. It requires early reading teachers to use the discredited Whole Language approach three hours per day. Many teachers in the school district are outraged knowing they may not provide youngsters the full opportunity to learn to read, and because two hours per day are stolen from subjects like art, music, drama, writing, physical education, and even science. - Patrick Groff, San Diego, Calif.
You quote House Democratic leader Dick Gephardt's aide, regarding what President Bush knew in advance of the 9/11 attacks, as stating that, "Mr. Gephardt was merely repeating what Katie Couric had said" ("Extreme prejudice," June 1). Could it be that the aide put his finger on the pulse of the Democratic Party's chronic failing? - Nancy Mayes, Point Pleasant, W.Va.
I enjoyed reading WORLD for the past year. It was a gift subscription. I will not renew because I disagree on how our country should be governed. I do, however, believe in your position on the right to life. I am truly an unfortunate Democrat. - Duane E. Church, River Falls, Wis.
I am thankful for Mr.Belz's concern for the areas of readership, postage, future subscribers, and faithful publishing ("Logs in the stream," June 1). But he should not worry: His "deep down" optimism is justified. He pointed out that people are reading less, but WORLD motivates me to read more. As for the increasing cost and decreasing service of USPS, WORLD is worth it and your content is timely, even if it arrives a little late. As for relativism, we will likely drown if the tolerance level keeps rising at the present rate-we need those biblical absolutes. - Susan R. Blish, Yonkers, N.Y.
I enjoy your magazine very much, but your review of Spider-Man was disturbing ("Worldwide web," May 25). You did mention that the movie is "not without its flaws" and "not for younger children," but other reviews noted that there was some profanity, varying amounts of exposed cleavage and bare midriffs, and gory violence. - Bethann DeWilde, 16, Omaha, Neb.
I just wanted to let you know that your review of Spider-Man was pretty good. I saw the movie-it rocked! - Beth Baldwin, Grafton, Ohio
Thank you for Mindy Belz's excellent, informative report from northern Iraq ("Will Kurds stand alone?" June 1). We were enriched and challenged by her firsthand view of a significant part of our world today. In years past our chaplain support ministry often took my wife, Helen, and me, now 84 and 85, to that part of the world, and these days I speak often on the Mideast dilemma from a biblical perspective; your up-to-the-minute report is priceless. -Bill Leonard, Colorado Springs, Colo.
I enjoy hearing, reading, and creating wordplays and puns as my remarkably patient wife will verify. While looking at the cover of your June 1 issue, my mind wandered back to kindergarten and "The Farmer in the Dell." Suddenly, it hit me: The last line of the song is "The cheese stands alone," and I got to wondering about double meanings in "Will Kurds (curds) stand alone?" Deliberate or not, I think it's one of the wittiest headlines I've ever seen in your magazine. - Bill Bader, Eden Prairie, Minn.
WORLD noted the passing of prominent evolutionist Steven Jay Gould ("The Gould standard," June 1). All serious evolutionists have found themselves trapped by lack of evidence to support their faith, and some have offered absurd alternatives to Darwinism. For example, the great Francis Crick, co-discoverer of DNA, desperately tried to explain the spontaneous beginning of life by suggesting that primitive life must have originated in outer space. Mr. Gould's attempt to explain macro-evolution through "punctuated equilibrium" rivals that of Crick for futility. - Robert Ausband, Gainesville, Fla.
For many years I have used direct quotations from Stephen Jay Gould with my 8th-grade students as excellent examples of how evolutionists often resort to ad hominem and other emotional attacks. Although he was a brilliant academic, his life and work showed that knowledge and wisdom should not be equated. - Ann K. Bailes, Anderson, S.C.
Light 'em up
I am heartened that Arnold Schwarzenegger is openly Republican in Hollywood, but his thinking on public education merely parrots the liberal line on everything that's wrong in state classrooms these days ("Pumping up GOP liberals," June 1). If it's the government's place, as he said, to "fill buckets" (the minds of children) and provide amusement for its wards, then after-school care becomes an entitlement along with education. Besides, as William Butler Yeats said, "Education is not the filling of a bucket, but the lighting of a fire." - Stacy Huggins, Concord, N.C.