I was saddened to read your article about Planned Parenthood bringing their clinics into churches ("Faith-based abortion," July 27). I was especially sad to realize just how far so many churches have fallen from the truth. It is beyond my comprehension that anyone calling themselves a representative of God could refer to an abortion as a "rite of passage necessary for a woman to attain her full consciousness." It reminded me of the Proverb that says, "He who justifies the wicked, and he who condemns the just, both of them alike are an abomination to the Lord." - Lawrence K. Coffin Sr., Mercersburg, Pa.
As a former crisis pregnancy director I am well informed about the misinformation Planned Parenthood feeds into our culture, but I am disturbed by "Sex, lies, & audiotape." Taping conversations without the consent of the other party may be legal in Texas, but what is legal is not always right. - Kathie Nogle, Gettysburg, Pa.
Planned Parenthood's practice of not reporting statutory rape is reprehensible ("Sex, lies, & audiotape," July 27). It is illegal and immoral to protect someone who would take advantage of a minor that way. However, I am unwilling to condone the pro-life group's means of uncovering Planned Parenthood's actions. This blatant use of deception hardly casts them in a favorable light. - Karen Butterworth, Church Hill, Tenn.
I couldn't agree more with Marvin Olasky's prescription for "how to fight our addiction to Saudi oil" ("Alaskan opportunity," July 27). There does seem to be an environmental agenda today that is little short of Earth-worship. - Allan McGregor, Glasgow, Scotland
It was heartening to read that the impact of modern drilling facilities has been drastically reduced over the years, and perhaps it is a good idea to utilize our oil reserves if it helps us to be less dependent on Middle East oil. However, we should take seriously measures such as turning off lights and car pooling, and auto makers need to make truly fuel-efficient vehicles that would consume less oil and put less pollution in the air. - Gary A. Fritz, Shoreview, Minn.
Union of sinners
Thank you to Mr.Belz for reminding me what my marriage was intended to be: a wonderful blessing ("That's what he meant," July 27). Married for nine years, with five children, I am a stay-at-home mom. I recently said to myself and, regrettably, to my husband, "This is as good as it gets. If I had known this nine years ago I would have declined your marriage proposal." Every inch of my soul screams out to me that this is wrong, yet Satan has me right where he wants me. When I read that column I sat down and wept. My husband and I are surrounded by failed marriages, and I realized that we are on that same path. It is time to regain the marriage God intended for us for our sake and for the sake of our children. - Angela Orecchio, Englewood, Colo.
Having been a fairy-tale-eyed young girl, and with my daughter probably hoping for her own Prince Charming, I do not promise her heaven on earth in the arms of a man. My own first year of marriage was scarred by disappointment, and my daughter's ultimate fulfillment in life will not come from the man she marries, for he will be a sinner like her. We need to hold high standards, hopes, and expectations for pure and satisfying marriages, while being careful to remember it is a dim reflection of the glory of our union with Jesus Christ. - Elizabeth Edgren, Leavenworth, Kan.
Christians don't think imagination is worldly; they think it's unnecessary, like the maps in the back of their Bibles ("Wineskins and coffee cups," July 27). Moreover, few Christians want an aggressive use of words because imagination stirs things up. It threatens the status quo and by its nature raises the speed limit in otherwise slumbering comfort zones. We dislike imagination, especially humor, because it's threatening and points out our pretenses. We slay edgy language by fabricating a sappy and soft Christ when this portrayal is unjustified. We prefer life imagination-free, as if it were an allergen. - Paul Coughlin, Medford, Ore.
Tom Hanks continues to squander his immense talents. His latest character, a murderer for hire in Road to Perdition, is unable to turn from his evil deeds when he sees the devastating effects on his family ("Paved with bad intentions," July 27). The best he can do is commit more murder in retaliation. In a lame stab at moralizing, the son says in retrospect that he will never pick up a gun again, as if the evil he witnessed and abetted was contained in the inanimate object. Mr. Hanks is our generation's Jimmy Stewart, but perfectly in character with our times because his portrayals lack Stewart's God-fearing righteousness. - Mark Landsbaum, Diamond Bar, Calif.
Be not conformed
Thank you for exposing the efforts of the TNIV publishers to pander to radical feminism by using "gender-inclusive" language ("'We could not be intimidated,'" July 27). When I read of these efforts by translators and publishers to avoid offending the world, I am reminded of Paul's admonition to "be not conformed to the world." I am confident that Jesus still expects His followers to influence the world instead of the world influencing us. - David Parks, Waterford, Mich.
It is a legitimate business decision for Zondervan to withhold future advertising from Charisma magazine. Doesn't WORLD know the difference between reporting and editorializing? - Andrew Weaver, Pittsburgh, Pa.
Truth, straight up
Some complain that WORLD prints "overly graphic," "worldly," or "impure" things. Of course it does-it's a newsmagazine, covering a fallen world. It may be too "real" for a 9-year-old, who should perhaps read something more age-appropriate like God's World Today, but it's perfect for a 21-year-old law student like me. There is evil in the world, and so there is evil in WORLD. We can't close our eyes and pretend it doesn't exist, and we can't fight it with our heads in the sand, thinking happy thoughts. Thanks for giving me the news with a well-reasoned, well-written, godly perspective. Thanks for not watering it down to feel-good gospel-lite. Thanks for feeding me the truth, straight up, even if it's a little gory or makes me cringe. Thanks for writing stories that spur me to action, instead of titillating me. Thanks for adding knowledge, arguments, and ideas that I can take back to the law firm every day to do my own little part in the culture war. - Sally Kravik, Champlin, Minn.
John 14:6 reads "No one comes to the Father except through Me" (July 27, p. 30, July 7/13, p. 52).
The former CEO of Tyco faces charges of tax fraud, not accounting fraud (July 20, p. 15).
The premier backlist of the Christian Booksellers Association includes only titles published before Jan. 1, 2001 ("You are what you read," July 7/13, p. 26). Unlike CBA's monthly lists of current bestsellers, which are taken from sales figures gathered from over 900 Christian bookstores, the premier backlist is compiled from publishers and may include sales from Christian, general bookstores, as well as sales via ministries and other direct mail sources. CBA routinely makes this list available to journalists and other researchers, but WORLD erred in not seeking permission to print the list.
A professional entertainer sang "America the Beautiful" and "God Bless America" at Atlanta's Turner Field on July 4; the Atlanta Boy Choir sang the National Anthem (July 20, p. 32).