I commend Mr. Olasky's articulate tackling of an uncomfortable subject: purpose in suffering ("A cloud that changed history," Aug. 10). Some might say that God overlooked something or made a mistake in allowing innocent people to abruptly face eternity. But God is God, and He brings good out of situations we see as beyond redemption. I don't know why He caused Christians to die on that August day, but by forcing us to trust Him we recognize God's holy and unrivaled sovereignty. If that cannot be defined as "good," I don't know what can. - Grace Cartwright, 14, Medford, Ore.
I was taken by "A cloud that changed history." I was a teenage prisoner of the Japanese at Los Banos internment camp. Near the end of January 1945 we saw a large cloud of smoke. It was Manila burning. We were 35 miles south. Almost all the city was burned by Japanese soldiers, who killed over 150,000 civilians. Anyone trying to escape the flames was either shot or bayonetted. In early March, after a wonderful rescue, I entered Manila and saw the ruins and smelt the stench of dead bodies lying around. It took my appetite away. Yes, Hiroshima was devastating but that event brought a terrible war to an end. Without it more lives would have been lost. It surely shows us that the heart of man is wicked above all things. - Ken Brooks, Zellwood, Fla.
Why do people make so much ado when Israel kills a few children, especially when the person they were after used children and civilians as a cover and Palestinian terrorists almost daily murder civilian Israeli women and children ("'This is American damage,'" Aug. 3)? Given that the Islamic goal for Israel is total eradication of the Jewish people, is it any wonder Israel is trying to defend itself? - Ray Amador, Albuquerque, N.M.
I applaud your willingness to confront the tough issues in this world today and to expose sin. I was particularly shocked and dismayed by two articles in the July 27 issue, "Keeping secrets" and "Faith-based abortion?" How can organizations in this country indulge in such wickedness for the sake of money? - Delia McCoy, Arlington, Ariz.
"Keeping secrets" was a keen disappointment. I wasn't surprised by Planned Parenthood's circumventing of mandated reporter laws, but I was deeply distressed by the subterfuge of Life Dynamics. - Ernest A. Matson, Marchfield, Wis.
The recent news of corporate fraud, stealing, misappropriation, lying, falsely inflating stock prices, misleading stockholders, accounting errors, and cover-ups, has left the American people demanding laws to protect them from corporate scandal, and people on both sides of Congress lined up to pass legislation ("How do you account for this?" July 20). It amazes me how love for the almighty dollar will shine a spotlight on the hearts of people. How many letters and phone calls to Congress go forth when a baby's life is snuffed out by abortion, compared to a drop in the stock market? - Carole Novielli, Columbia, Ky.
I think Andrew Coffin totally missed the mark on A Walk to Remember ("Misplaced faith," July 27). So many movies make Christians look mean or like idiots, but in this movie I thought that Jamie, played by Mandy Moore, made being a Christian look very attractive. She was truly beautiful on the inside and out. - Sheryl Miller, Clarksville, Tenn.
I greatly appreciated Mr. Olasky's column, "Alaskan opportunity" (July 27). His clear presentation of the facts and the call to base our decisions on God's mandate for stewardship are exactly what this country needs. The mainstream media only present the sides of the issue that they want the public to hear, and I am grateful that WORLD is standing up to present the truth. - Bernard Kellogg, Visalia, Calif.
I take exception to Mr. Olasky's notion of "tending the garden" by drilling in ANWR. Creation would be better served by developing cleaner, more efficient sources of energy, many of which exist already. Drilling in ANWR, oil-rich or not, only perpetuates the problem and delays real solutions. Had we applied ourselves to the task following the 1970s oil crisis, we might now have no need of foreign oil or dictators. - Mark Pelham, Buffalo, Minn.
I found food for thought in Andree Seu's Aug. 10 column, "Gone fishing?" where she questions those who are "tolling the bell for Christian political involvement." My Sunday-school class just completed a two-year study of the book of Acts, and it is telling how Paul and the early Christians did not address societal issues per se (slavery, totalitarianism, persecution) because they were too busy spreading the gospel. John MacArthur argues that Christians expend their energy in the wrong battles when we fight for moralism at the expense of evangelism. I don't pretend to have all the answers on this issue, but the last 20 years in America should have taught believers the futility of putting all of our eggs in the political basket. I guess the question is, How many, if any, eggs do we put in there? - Stuart B. Smith, Salisbury, N.C.
What a way Andree Seu has with words. When I first became involved with Concerned Women for America I quailed at the thought of taking on the political establishment. Who was I, a small-town girl, to march into the halls of governance and speak boldly to elected officials? Last year as my Bible-study group delved into the book of Esther I took courage and said, "I am called of God to do this" (I demurred at saying, "if I perish, I perish") and am now the Legislative Liaison for our Southeast Texas branch of CWA. - Beverly Uhlmer, Houston, Texas
Not to take away from Willis Haviland Carrier, but air cooling had been invented some six decades before 1902 ("A cool invention turns 100," Aug. 3). A 19th-century physician from Apalachicola, Fla., named John Gorrie in the mid-1800s built a machine that used ice to cool air for yellow-fever patients. But credit does go to Mr. Carrier for serious improvements to a great idea. - Carl Colbert, Polk City, Fla.
In a response to WORLD's article, "'We would not be intimidated'" (July 27), Christianity Today editor David Neff stated that the reason Christianity Today refused to print the CBMW's "anti-TNIV" ad was that "CT stood firm by its advertising policies, which prohibit ads that attack a fellow Christian, Christian organization, or its product" (Mailbag, Aug. 17). I'm not sure which disturbs me more: that Mr. Neff and CT consider God's Word to be some organization's "product," or that the highest standard for decision-making at CT on the issue of the integrity of Scripture seems to be its advertising policy. Needless to say, I'm curious about how CT has chosen to cover the TNIV issue in its editorial content. - Will Pearce, Raleigh, N.C.
Thanks to Joel Belz for "Great expectations" (July 27). I heartily agree with his description of "what God had in mind" concerning marriage. A 14th-century English poem called "Cleanness" offers another opinion. It has God saying (I have modernized the Middle English) that He "devised their dalliance, most delightful of all" so that "As long as each honorably used the other / At a still stolen hour when none can see, / The love-flame between them would flare so hot / That all the woes of the world could not put it out." - David G. Fowler, Seattle, Wash.
The Aug. 17 Mailbag letter, "Shocked, shocked," was from Howard Enns of Freedom, Calif.