Cal Thomas nailed the relevant issues in his column, "Gone bananas" (Sept. 7). It is all about academic power and has nothing to do with true science. As a professional geologist I'm sometimes a witness to the unscientific dogma and bigotry of the evolution "party." Teaching both models of origins would be an excellent way to teach what science is and what it is not, and it would significantly erode the power of the dictators of evolution. - Mike Doran, Alexandria, Va.
Thank you for the great column by Cal Thomas in which he addressed the uproar in Georgia over a school board inserting the disclaimer, "Evolution is an unproven theory." It appears that the Darwinists have given to natural selection all the supernatural powers that the Bible gives to God. - William Messinger, Whiting, N.J.
Regarding Andree Seu's article on the absence of even decent habits, I was almost shocked at the reality of where we are as people ("Rote righteousness," Sept. 7). I thought I couldn't really be shocked by anything, being a Gen-Xer, but every so often the depth of our utter depravity breaks my heart. - Rachel Tripp, Gloucester City, N.J.
"Rote righteousness" was profound and insightful. - Phil Morris, Panama City, Fla.
Andree Seu's column is a very good description of where our culture is today. Francis Schaeffer also wrote that the shift began in the 1920s and by the 1960s the whole culture had shifted from Christian to post-Christian and so is "under the wrath of God." What we have in 2002 is hardly any worse than, for example, the Charles Manson debacle. There is just more of it. - R.H. Gates, Ironton, Mo.
Thank you for the article, "When liberals seize a state" (Aug. 31) regarding rampant liberalism in California. However, I would point out that, regardless of how the San Diego school board threatens homeschoolers, there has been no change in California law. Homeschooling independently of school boards is still legal and a wonderful option for families in California. - Amy Osborn, Woodland, Calif.
A few weeks ago I read Andree Seu's column on the prophet Jeremiah, "Death in the city" (Aug. 17). Today is 9/11 and my Bible-reading schedule has put me in Jeremiah 37:2: "But neither he (King Zedekiah) nor his servants nor the people of the land gave heed to the words of the Lord which He spoke by the prophet Jeremiah." Is that not where we are today? Although our country has had a wake-up call and memorialized today's anniversary of 9/11, we have not obeyed God. We must repent of our national sin (killing babies, sodomy, adultery, pornography, etc.) which deserves the wrath of God, and we must pray for God's mercy and grace on our nation. - Ruth Hill, Ishpeming, Mich.
Clamor in the ranks
The problem the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod must address is not one of doctrinal confusion but of openness to polytheism, as clearly evidenced by Rev. Benke's prayer ("Here they stand," Sept. 7). Either the denomination will take a stand and uphold the discipline of Rev. Benke, in which case it may lose thousands of members, or it will surrender to the clamor in their ranks, beginning the long, slow decline into liberalism so many denominations have traveled before. - Drew Thompson, Roswell, Ga.
I'm disappointed in the tone of your coverage of the Benke affair. It's not just about one denomination's narrow view of unionism and syncretism. It's about salvation and our postmodern political correctness. Rev. Benke said at the event, following prayers from leaders from other religions, that "the strength we have is the power of love. And the power of love you have received is from God, for God is love. So take the hand of one next to you now and join me in prayer on this 'field of dreams' turned into God's house of prayer." How could that not cause outrage among orthodox Christians? - Ruth Earley, North Canton, Ohio
Those "who want unswerving adherence to historic LCMS distinctives and doctrine"-referring to isolation from and noncooperation with other Christians-are not upholding "historic" distinctives at all. Rather, they are following interpretations foreign to historic Missouri positions that have been brought into our Synod from smaller ultra-conservative Lutheran groups. - Robert Fitzpatrick, Livonia, Mich.
Tax the SUV
There are other cars on the market that would hold "a family of six with three dogs" (Quick Takes, Sept. 7) and offer better than the 13 mpg from the typical SUV. These tankers provide a false sense of security, and some SUV owners drive as though they rule the road. I don't believe the government should dictate what people should and should not drive. However, maybe it's time to tax heavily the owners of large SUVs so that they feel the effects of their consumer choices. - Christina Convis, Silver Spring, Md.
"Leftist environmentalists" are not the only ones objecting to the increasing numbers of SUV behemoths on our highways. This Christian conservative objects to them as manifestations of conspicuous consumption that violate biblical principles of stewardship. Those with legitimate needs for an SUV comprise a very tiny fraction of motorists. When is the last time you encountered more than one or two occupants in an SUV? As for the safety claims, this mechanical engineer is safer reacting to conditions requiring sudden high-speed maneuvers in my agile, mid-sized sedan of oriental origin than in a tipsy SUV. - Peter Kushkowski, Haddam, Conn.
We recently thought of dropping your magazine, but we both read it before any others and simply couldn't cancel. Enclosed is our fee for one year's subscription as well as for Editor's Xtra. Thanks so much for all your good work. - Mr. & Mrs. G. Threlkeld, Arlington, Texas
While your article "Stupid church tricks" (Aug. 24) seemed to be fair in some of its assessment of individual games, it was inaccurate and totally malicious to Jonathan McKee's ministry resource, "The Source for Youth Ministry."
This is an amazing, free tool that thousands of ministers find helpful in fulfilling the mission of their calling. It has very few messy games in comparison to the number of helpful resources it offers. Mr. Veith never once used a quote from Mr. McKee or any youth minister about the use of messy games. This goes to basic journalistic integrity.
Mr. Veith also used The Source as his single point of attack. Other Christian organizations have published various versions of messy games without suffering the same attacks from your magazine. - Matt Hudson, Montgomery, Ala.
Why was Nagasaki apparently singled out by the Most High for the terrible destruction of Aug. 9, 1945 ("A cloud that changed history," Aug. 10)? Let me suggest that, quite simply, the relatively innocent often do suffer so that the guilty may be saved. Had that second bomb been dropped on the essentially non-Christian city of Kokura, the primary target, perhaps many more souls would have been eternally lost than in Nagasaki, where the grace of God had been manifest. Nagasaki was a sacrifice, deferring the final judgment of those in Kokura so that the gospel might yet go forth among them.
Unaccustomed to the notion that being selected for salvation also equals selection for sometimes painful service, American Christians might find all this uncommonly disturbing, even perverse. But, clearly, the innocent do suffer for the guilty in the economy of the gospel. - Nicholas A. Marziani Jr., Grand Prairie, Texas
The distance from the pitcher's mound to home plate is 60'6" (Sept. 21, p. 31). To commemorate the 9/11 anniversary at Shanksville, Pa., where the fourth plane crashed, a bell tolled 40 times, once for each victim (Sept. 7, p. 8).