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Issue: "Scorched-earth politics," Sept. 7, 2002

Always good

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.

Self-defense

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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.

Such wickedness

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.

Truly beautiful

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.

Debate refined

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.

Counting eggs

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.

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