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Mailbag

Issue: "9/11 remembered," Aug. 17, 2002

Shocked, shocked

So Enron, WorldCom, and Xerox have been covering over their losses ("How do you account for this?" July 20). The media and the politicians are outraged by such a breach of public trust. How ridiculous. Abortionists are paid to do away with the results of our sexually active species and then some sell the body parts. Justice is a shambles, property rights are disappearing, and we teach our students that they are animals, nothing more than happenstance. So what is the big deal about a company hiding its losses until it collapses? After the politically correct are done, the only morals left are power and convenience. - Greg Giles, Bemidji, Minn.

The flower children were praised for breaking the "old-fashioned" moral and legal rules in the '60s. So why should they change now simply because they run corporations? Weren't rules and laws things other people followed? - Nick Patapoff, Los Angeles, Calif.

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You wrote that President Bush sounded "a relativistic note" in stating that "sometimes things aren't exactly black and white when it comes to accounting procedures." I beg to differ. Not to excuse recent events, but the application of accounting procedures does require judgment. For example, companies must judge which items in its warehouse are saleable in the next 12 months, which of its customers will default, and the future value of equipment. Accounting procedures encourage prudence, but it is not relativistic to admit that the final decision remains a judgment call. The knowledge that there is absolute truth gives one the basis for improving judgment; the knowledge that one is ultimately accountable to "the Lord who abhors dishonest scales" is a strong incentive to sound judgment. - Michael J. Kane, Portland, Ore.

Our politicians appear to be falling all over each other to get credit for preventing private sector financial irregularities such as happened at Global Crossing, Enron, WorldCom, and so forth. Where are the reporters asking about financial accountability for our federal government books? - Tom Tubbesing, Lee's Summit, Mo.

Buckle up

"We could not be intimidated" (July 27) contrasted Christianity Today's decision not to run CBMW's anti-TNIV ad with Stephen Strang's decision not to buckle to reported pressure from Zondervan president Bruce Ryskamp. After saying that Zondervan is a major advertiser in evangelical magazines, the article implied that Zondervan had put some comparable pressure on CT. WORLD, apparently, chose innuendo over fact: I told your reporter that Zondervan placed no such pressure on CT and that Zondervan had for a long time been channeling its marketing money in directions other than space ads in CT. Instead of buckling to advertiser pressure, CT stood firm by its advertising policies, which prohibit ads that attack a fellow Christian, Christian organization, or its product. - David Neff, Editor Christianity Today, Carol Stream, Ill.

In "The abolition of man" (July 7/13) and now in "We could not be intimidated," we see even more clearly how the poison of political correctness is debilitating the body of Christ. And the answer is so easy, too: Let God's Word shape us, instead of letting our increasingly anti-God culture shape His Word. We've been following this descent since the Stealth Bible was feignedly withdrawn and shelved. The integrity we've seen leaking out of some Christian publishers over the past two decades seems to be swelling to a stream. - Donald McKay, Saint Francis, Minn.

Escape ... the trap

Thank you for Joel Belz's column about giving vouchers to kids who are failing in our public schools in Cleveland ("No denying the undeniable," July 20), and thanks to all those who labored for years to free these trapped students. I am originally from England, so I find this idea that you can't use public funds on private education a foolish notion. The "public" pot is filled with private money that we have earned by our labors. Liberals say they are concerned about the less fortunate, but they created a system from which only the "rich" and those making enormous sacrifices can escape. - Christine Crowner, Saline, Mich.

Your praise for the voucher decision does not point out the booby trap built into some voucher programs-the nondiscrimination requirement in admissions even regarding religion ("Free at last," July 7/13). That means, for example, that Lutheran schools cannot give preference to a Lutheran child over the child of the atheist down the street who just wants a safer environment. Conservatives promise "eternal vigilance" over the autonomy of voucher-receiving schools, but how many non-Lutheran students does it take before the religious mission of the school is compromised or abandoned by the need to please non-Lutheran parents? - Cathy Duffy, Westminster, Calif.

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