Hats off for an excellent job helping us all prepare for the upcoming anniversary of 9/11 ("An anniversary we didn't want," Sept./Oct. Special Issue). The photos as well as the articles were stirring. Life has resumed a degree of normality, but we are a changed people. I am thankful for the reminder to begin remembering now, and seeking God's hand in sorting it all through. Lisa Beamer has reminded me that I've got to trust Him ("Let's roll"). Nothing else will stand. - Mary Ellen Kenline, Raleigh, N.C.
Thank you for reporting a key part of Lisa Beamer's story that has been suppressed by mainstream media: the lasting value of Scripture committed to memory. Let us resolve to become, like our Puritan forebears, "people of the Book." - Paul M. Elliott, Westminster, Md.
"Let's roll" highlights the wisdom of God, the faithfulness of His Word to provide inward strength and cheer to the soul, and the distinguishing hope of the believer. - Eileen Falk, Cutler, Ind.
Thanks for printing Lisa Beamer's story. I see her face in my mind when I pray for the 9/11 survivors. It was uplifting to learn the specifics of how God has comforted her with His Word. - Margaret Manneschmidt, Knoxville, Tenn
"Let's roll" was both touching and inspiring. What great courage and faith it took for Todd and the others to react as they did. Lisa has also modeled great faith, courage, and compassion in the midst of her own loss. - Paul Erdmann, New Orleans, La.
No proof needed
"Welcome to the human family" (Aug. 17) points out the absurdity of the pro-abortion stance. Mr. Bush stated that through sonograms and other technology we "can see clearly that unborn children are members of the human family." We didn't know that before the advent of sonograms? In a world not blinded by postmodern stupidity we wouldn't need to "prove" that a fetus is a person by peering at it with a sonogram. - Bill Walker, Carrollton, Texas
Andree Seu's Aug. 17 column, "Death in the city," is a well-placed reminder that it is past time for America to get serious about the spiritual part of life. As one who came of age in the late 1970s, when the moral rot of mainstream American liberalism was becoming obvious, I have often been uneasy when comparing Jeremiah's observations of his nation with what I see in my own. Every time I read his prophetic book, I want to look for a bomb shelter. In Lamentations I read Jeremiah weeping over Jerusalem's destruction, yet he says that Israel is not consumed because the Lord's "compassions fail not. They are new every morning." Our ultimate security is not in nations or cities or politicians or airport guards or even dazzling high-tech weapons that zap enemies from great distances, but in the Maker of heaven and earth who did not spare His own Son, but "delivered Him up for us all." - Paul Bade, Mankato, Minn.
On my way to work on that fateful morning, as I listened to the news on my radio, I distinctly remember raising my hands (carefully as I drove) and praising the Lord because I hoped that maybe this would be the turning point for our nation. As I reflect back on the year, I fear that it was not nearly enough and that more is in store. So I could relate to Mrs. Seu's column, especially because I spent this summer rereading the prophets of the Old Testament. I always come away from that experience reliving the words of Jeremiah: "Cursed be the day I was born! ... Why did I ever come out of the womb to see trouble and sorrow and to end my days in shame?" - Nancy Cayot Williamson, Pleasanton, Calif.
I, too, have been gasping over Jeremiah all summer. Please add me to the list at the end of "Death in the city." - Betsy Mazurak, Delhi, N.Y.
Big choices ahead
As a college senior, two semesters away from a journalism degree, I am obliged for Mr. Olasky's column, "Such sensitive writers" (Aug. 17). You've captured my thoughts and concerns pretty accurately as you described the challenges of trying to infiltrate a secular newsroom as a Christian. At this point, I am unsure as to whether God is leading me toward a secular magazine or paper or a Christian organization. I do know that, by His grace, I am unwilling to compromise even a single sentence of my work because of the faulty assertions of anti-Christian bias. - Travis McSherley, Anderson, Ind.
It is truly sad to hear that the media are calling the comments of a Christian leader hateful ("Bias is back," Aug. 17). We need to be careful not to bring criticism on ourselves needlessly, but intolerance and inconsistency toward Christians should not surprise us. Jesus warned us it would happen. - Jonathan Wedge, Grand Rapids, Mich.
The Washington Post rails against Mr. Vines and hateful Christians but had no trouble publishing an article some years ago charging that Christians are ignorant and easily led. Methinks the newspaper doth protest too much. - Jim Vanne, Aurora, Ill.
If nothing else, the American Idol contest demonstrates the difficulties a generation reared on self-esteem above all faces when it runs smack dab into the demand for excellence ("Idol smashing," Aug. 17). Evidently no one told the bluntly honest Englishman Mr. Cowell that American youth have been trained to expect praise and only praise for anything they do. Even more unsettling than the pouting of the ego-bruised contestants is the audience's tendency to advance less talented performers with sympathy votes after particularly tough comments by Mr. Cowell. Requiring the audience to make judgments is one thing, but having them know how to set appropriate selection standards is something else, even in a singing competition. God help us when it is something more important. - J.A. Ellis, Erie, Ill.
I am a 33-year-old Christian woman who hates to admit that she is hooked on American Idol. As the field has narrowed, I now enjoy the performances, but initially Mr. Cowell was the main reason I tuned in. Each week I would watch him tell contestants the truth, as painful and often rude as it was. I was then intrigued to see many kids respond that, even as a judge, Mr. Cowell had no right to judge. What? He calls a spade a spade, and a dud a dud. Mr. Veith was "spot on" in pointing out that the show is about absolutes. - Karla Foster, Oak Ridge, N.C.
I appreciated your column about lawsuits against fast-food restaurants, but new judges won't solve the problem ("We're all victims now," Aug. 10). Scheming lawyers are the problem. - Helen Rogers, Milton, Wash.
Leave it behind
Regardless of whether the Left Behind series is well-written or not, what is it with saying that the name of one of the main characters conjures up thoughts of vampires (Bestsellers, Aug. 17)? - Pat Wesolowski, Tallahassee, Fla.
"Gone fishing?" in the Aug. 10 issue was excellent. I'm delighted that Andree Seu dares to write her articles without respect of persons. It would be really sad if more Christians gave up voting because of the emphasis of Blinded by Might. Were it not for the Christians who have already given up voting for one reason or another, I believe we would have a much more conservative Senate and House, and might already have seen a bill passed ending partial-birth abortion. - V.M. Springer, Glendale, Calif.