It was with mixed emotions that I read Gene Edward Veith's column, "Pro-life photography" (Sept. 28). I have seen G.E.'s excellent television commercial and it was refreshing to see such unashamedly pro-life marketing. Yet it was sad to think that it may take the viewing of a 4-D image of her baby to convince a woman contemplating abortion that a human life is indeed growing inside her body. - Nancy Falciola, Pompton Plains, N.J.
Maybe the ultrasound technology soon to be available in malls will show what true scientists have known all along, but will it change the minds of the lawmakers, judges, and academics? People like Carl Sagan think of a fetus as a glob of protoplasm-our sophisticated society seems to prefer the works of Saganic science fiction over the logic of scientists. But truth is stranger than fiction and, apparently for some, harder to believe. - Gardner Koch, Rock Hill, S.D.
Mr. Piper's "That great steel cross" (Sept. 28) did a fine job of putting some aspects of the events of 9/11 into perspective. In the first half of his piece where he lists the other casualties of 2001, however, he should have included the more than 1 million children lost to abortion that year in America alone. We should always count these victims when we speak of people's suffering. - Heather Mumma Harner, York, Pa.
I was delighted to be so spellbound by Andree Seu's description of the knuckleball ("Making a ball 'dance,'" Sept. 21). I find it interesting that people enjoy being mystified (or even inspired) by athletic pursuits, but there is so much more of which to be in awe when we marvel at God's entire creation. Thanks for keeping athletics in perspective. - John Naber, Pasadena, Calif.
Forget the hyphens
In "¡Grande old party!" (Sept. 28), you rightly observe that on many issues Hispanics ought to find the conservative message congenial. But I caution that Republicans will never be able to outdo Democrats in ethnic politics, nor should they try. We already have begun to see disastrous results, with the president proposing to grant amnesty to illegal aliens. Given the GOP's Hispanic outreach, what do you suppose would be the policy position on the elimination of bilingual education or tough border enforcement? Let's stick to treating all Americans as unhyphenated Americans. - Howard Holley, Barnet, Vt.
A few years ago I might have agreed with Mr. Belz's optimism regarding the gospel's "progress and fruit" in his reference to the increasing numbers of homeschoolers, but a recent series of events in my Christian homeschooling association diminished any hopes I had that homeschooling is a bastion of the faith. This year we decided, for the first time, to have all members sign a doctrinal statement. The board of our 200-family association rewrote the statement, taking out the phrase "in three persons" to accommodate a popular member who is a non-Trinitarian. When a handful of parents protested, we were told things like "the Trinity doesn't have anything to do with salvation" and the applicant was "one of the nicest persons I've ever met." Homeschoolers from other parts of the country tell me of similar incidents. One wonders just how much kudzu is in the wheat field. - Mary Marshall Young, Bristol, Tenn.
In Mr. Belz's column, he mentions the "gospel's progress" in light of the "parachurch organizations" being bigger, stronger and more influential. There may be a proliferation in "God talk" but there is none in biblical understanding. Thirty years ago the comment was made that evangelical/conservative Christianity was 3,000 miles wide and a inch thick. It is shallower now than then. - Kenley Leslie, Morgantown, W.Va.
Thank you to Marvin Olasky for his Christian insight in "Calm instead of a storm" (Sept. 28). Recently, I had reached that place where I was asking, "God, where are you?" There is so much evil in our culture and people seem to be so oblivious to all of it. When my anguish comes again, I will try to remember Daniel's writing on the wall-"God has numbered the days of your kingdom and brought it to an end"-and I will hope that end will be partially realized after the election on Nov. 5. - Mary E. Traeger, Forsyth, Mo.
As a Christian faculty member at a public university, I support Lynn Vincent's concerns about mandated diversity indoctrination ("Diversity or else," Sept. 14). Indeed, one measurable outcome of the emphasis on cultural inclusion is diminished academic accountability. Still, we should not discount the importance of reducing bigotry by focusing on the excessive zeal of diversity's advocates. Regrettably, Mrs. Vincent's use of pejoratives like "left-liberal" and "hard left" makes the article less effective. - George A. Fritsma, Birmingham, Ala.
As a homeschooled 11th grader, "Diversity or else" gave me some points to consider as I contemplate colleges. Thank you for exposing the content of many college-orientation programs. I am shocked that some orientation facilitators have become so aggressive as to say outright that they are trying to "shake the soil from new students' small-town roots" and "dismantle traditional values." How appalling that state colleges would work to undermine the very teachings that our parents have instilled in us. - Cora Durain, Houston, Texas
Of all the letters to the editor you print, the ones chastising you for covering what's going on in the world puzzle me the most. One recent writer wanted a magazine she could safely give to her child. I don't believe your magazine is or should be aimed at children, and even young children have been blasted (even in public libraries) with things we wish a child didn't have to deal with. Since the bad stuff is there, I much prefer for my grandchildren to get your Christian perspective on the issues rather than the liberal secular slant of Time or Newsweek or even Scholastic Books. Thanks for being there. - Ken Claar, Nampa, Idaho
Sins of the fathers
Does it matter, in the custody court case Mr. Belz describes, why the adulterous "Mr. A" decides he needs more time with his children ("Live with the consequences," Sept. 21)? Thank goodness Mr. A finally "gets it." Children need their real parents. And what, for Mr. Belz, defines the sins for which a parent should be denied or limited access to his children? - Sandra Neely, Danville, Ind.
WORLD's account of the schemings of liberal Democrats in California ought to raise a national outcry against them ("When liberals seize a state," Aug. 31). The "retraining" of children whose values and beliefs they despise (namely, those who might oppose homosexuality) is a violation of the rights of children and parents and, indeed, a form of child abuse. - John Blasdale, Whippany, N.J.
I read John Piper's Aug. 31 column, "Faith alone," shortly after watching PBS's show Frontline that asked where God was when the towers fell. I watched and listened as rabbis, evangelical ministers, Catholic priests, theologians, and others explained their feelings of loss, emptiness, confusion, and unbelief since Sept. 11. One 31-year-old pastor said he felt "so alone." Imagine. No wonder the church is stumbling around in the dark, I thought. These people, who have gained so much worldly wisdom and so many degrees, spouting their hurt and anguish at God who would allow this to happen, are the ones setting the agenda for many churches in America. Thank you, Mr. Piper, for your passion. What more could God do but hang on the cross and bear the sins of the world? - Jenny Doig, Croton, Ohio