The disappearance of Elizabeth Smart is unusual and of concern to me as a parent because she was abducted from her own bedroom in the night while her parents were at home ("Exploiting grief?" June 29). The thought that my daughter could be at risk for kidnapping while asleep in her bed, even though my husband and I are just across the hall, is very frightening. I can assure ABC News that my interest in this case has nothing to do with the fact that the missing child is one of those "wealthy, attractive, white girls." - Christie Atkins, McKenzie,Tenn.
Three, two, one...
Evidently the Chinese population bomb is imploding right on time, a generation after the one-child-per-family ruling was initiated. You note that those policies have birthed a deficit of females and a surplus of unruly migrant males and will likely interrupt the unnatural coupling of a free economy with a totalitarian system as harsher government becomes necessary ("Batching it," June 29). In addition to spawning a swollen and aggressive military, as you suggest, this demographic disaster may propagate homosexuality, providing fertile conditions for the spread of all STDs including AIDS. - Nancy J. Rice, Hackettstown, N.J.
Rich and poor
The June 15 issue had an interesting collection of articles. "Recipe for progress" described how 2 million children die of diarrhea preventable by 10-cent oral rehydration solution packages; "Global shame" reported on millions of sex slaves around the world; and "Render unto Costco" noted that a U.S. church plans to build a $50 million worship center. Rich Christians in an age of hunger. - Jeff Ries, Lynden, Wash.
I really appreciate your coverage of weighty cultural issues such as sexual slavery ("Global shame") and the Bush administration's position on sex education ("The method proven 100% effective," June 15). So many Christians seem to think that "fixing [the] mind on things that are pure" means sticking one's head in the sand at anything related to sexuality. Yet it is an integral part of God's creation and the human condition. Bravo for not ignoring these issues and for covering them with a tactful and objective viewpoint. - Melissa Anderson, Hillsboro, Ore.
Thank you, Andree Seu, for hitting the nail on the head ("Dependence days," June 29). "News" is often virtually manufactured; Rush Limbaugh says everyone else picks up the leads from The New York Times. I don't know whether that is true, but living in and visiting other countries, from Canada to England, Egypt to Haiti, along with reading WORLD, provides a very different perspective. - Peter S.L. Rosi, Prospect Heights, Ill.
Thank you for your thoughtful, sensitive, Christian coverage, your great editorials, and especially for Andree Seu's contributions. Her power and precision challenge and amaze me. - Sheila Brennan, Elgin, Ill.
Dependent or not
"Dependence days" by Andree Seu was excellent. I love her writing. We really get upset with secular reporting; it's an insult to our intelligence. Also of great interest was Marvin Olasky's "Independence years" (June 29) regarding Social Security reform. I wish the Pinera system had been in effect when I came to this country in 1959. I would be retired by now. - Laszlo Solymosi, Rochester, Mich.
"Independence years" really helps point out the dupe job that we've allowed our government to pull on us over the last 70 years. I think that even FDR's New Deal Democrats would have been shocked by the control wrestled from the common man over such large portions of his earnings and wealth. - Mark Brickey, Indianapolis, Ind.
Typical of the profession
As a licensed clinical social worker, I am ashamed of my profession's conduct and obvious bias in this case of Chad and Sara Prigge ("Bureaucratic burial," June 29). But I am not surprised because my profession, on a national scale, has opposed traditional family values for decades. Their failure to even consider the Prigges as a home for Joshua shows their disdain for anything Christian. This country was founded on Judeo-Christian values, yet we now fight to raise our children according to our faith and to have our wishes fulfilled in the event of an untimely death. - Joseph Gates, Mt. Prospect, Ill.
As an estate-planning attorney, I read your article on the Prigges and their legal battle with great interest. In my opinion, the problem with the Prigges' case and others like them is not the probate and guardianship laws of the states but the concentration of power in one or two Department of Family and Children's Services employees who are unaccountable to the taxpayers or the court. My heart goes out to the Prigges, but I think their case is an anomaly. Your article left the impression that naming guardians in advance is of little value, but my experience has been that most probate judges go to great lengths to honor the desires of the deceased parents and will only override the will when circumstances clearly warrant it. - Chris McKee, Alpharetta, Ga.
I can see why the state would send Kelly to live with her biological father, but to put Joshua with a total stranger is ludicrous. Christianity is the only religion that gets left out in our "diversify and accept" culture. - Joseph Golden, Fleetwood, Pa.
I was very disappointed in President Bush when I read "From rogue to riches" (June 29). I cannot understand why he would start supporting the Sudanese government, which is friendly to al-Qaeda and other terrorist networks and continues to murder its own citizens, mainly Christians. This is a case of our brothers and sisters being persecuted for their faith. We, as the church, must support them even if our government refuses to do so. - Nathan Vieth, Martell, Neb.
It is terrible that God's Word is not being taught as the final authority to adults ("The real abusers," June 29), but when children are being led astray by those who are responsible for the preaching and teaching, God will punish with an even stronger punishment. - Donna J. Adee, Minneapolis, Kan.
Thank you for your detailed, moving report on our war on terror in the Philippines with the release of New Tribes missionary Gracia Burnham, after a year's imprisonment and her husband's death in the jungle ("Free at last," June 22). - Kay Schrepel, Greeley, Colo.
The title of the Lee Greenwood song with the key line "Proud to Be an American" is "God Bless the USA" (July 20, p. 32).
The House of Representatives voted on the partial-birth abortion issue six times from 1995 through 1998, and each time supported a ban by margins of 148-164 votes. The Senate also supported a ban by smaller margins. President Clinton vetoed the resultant bills in 1996 and 1998, and attempts in the Senate to obtain a two-thirds majority to override the vetoes failed by nine and three votes, respectively.