Your Oct. 5 cover story ("Perjury?") should be a frightening wake-up call. That the National Organization for Women would manipulate court testimony to stop pro-life speech undercuts not only the Constitution's First Amendment, but our judicial system's integrity. Using RICO laws, which were designed to prosecute the Mafia, to prosecute nonviolent protesters threatens protected speech for any cause, left or right. - Carol Crossed, Rochester, N.Y.
I really appreciated Marvin Olasky's "Calm instead of a storm" (Sept. 28). I needed it after reading "Perjury?" in the following issue. My blood pressure was up, I'm sure, and I was ready to hyperventilate. Then I remembered Mr. Olasky's article and these words: "Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." - Janice Sasser, Huntertown, Ind.
I was disappointed in your article about the "pampering day" for the homeless in Austin, Texas ("A day for Pampering," Oct. 5). You took what could have been a challenge for us as readers to minister to unfortunate people in our area and instead used the story of one person to cast a negative light on 300. - Chelsea Elmore, Phenix City, Ala.
My family and I didn't go to see Jonah armed with pencil and note pad to catch where the rollicking Big Idea tale of misadventure on the high seas strayed from the biblical record ("Fish and ships," Oct. 5). Knowing where Big Idea stands-on the Solid Rock of Christ Jesus-I just sat back and got swept away by the sharp, off-the-wall craziness and innovation of Phil Vischer and Mike Nawrocki and their cast of vegetables. I love those veggies. - Denise M. Johnson, Las Vegas, Nev.
Are we so desperate to be seen and heard in the world that we will approve the depiction of the great prophets of our faith as walking, talking vegetables? Do we really think Veggie Tales-so typical of our TV culture in its puerile trivialization of the sacred-is "safe" viewing for our children? - Juliet Kane, Portland, Ore.
Big Idea is doing something fantastic in putting the Jonah story on film, and I do not believe that messages of value, morality, and character presented in media have to be historically perfect. - Josue Sierra, Miami, Fla.
News from home
Tears filled my eyes as I read "Wilderness walk" (Oct. 5), describing how staff and patients escaped a massacre at a missionary clinic. I was born and raised in that little station of Nyankunde, in the northeast corner of the Democratic Republic of Congo. My dad built the pharmacy, got the pharmacy work on its feet, and taught medical school for many nationals. I will always remember Nyankunde as a beautiful little station, nestled among the hills, where my heart will always be. There will be no TV specials or memorials for these people's loved ones who have been murdered, but they need our prayers as they attempt to live again. - Amy Watt Weldon, Philadelphia, Pa.
By what authority?
What Joel Belz says in "Where is God?" (Oct. 5) is good, but I have difficulty with his statement that "it is always right for God-ordained authority to root out wickedness." We have exported so much in the way of arms and cultural decadence that I don't think that we have any moral credibility or authority to go after someone else's evil. As Jesus saved his harshest criticism for hypocritical religious leaders, I expect that we will be held to a serious day of reckoning. - Lewis Codington, Sheffield, England
I greatly appreciated "Where is God?" I truly hope people, specifically Christians, do not simply dismiss the problems with our society, but try to do what they can to help solve them. - Joy Starbuck, 15, Memphis, Tenn.
Sum of all debates
Canadian Anglican Bishop Ingham's complaint that conservative-leaning Archbishop Carey was placing unity of doctrine and belief above human rights was very profound ("Carey's code," Oct. 5). I doubt that he realizes how much that one sentence sums up the whole debate between conservatives and liberals. It's the age-old question of whether we let people do what they want or hold them to the standard set forth in God's Word. - Bruce Reiner, Trout Run, Pa.
I'm glad that you highlighted Miss America 2003 Erika Harold and her stance as a Christian ("A fighting Illini," Oct. 5). Being part of the Miss America Association pageant for the last six years and a very outspoken Christian, I know the trials and the prejudice against conservative women. It has been a trying road, but I see the fruit and light of pressing on. Unfortunately it is, as you described it some time ago, a "narrow runway" ("Bye, bye, Miss American pie," Oct. 14, 2000). But it has challenged me to know my epistemology and to know the Creator, and to see Him ruling over and through me, the judges, and this world. - Carissa White, Santa Cruz, Calif.
Diez y seis, catorce
WORLD's "¡Grande Old Party!" (Sept. 28) captured well real issues in the lives of real Hispanic Americans, and how the GOP is a much more natural fit for the country's largest ethnic minority. But it incorrectly said "both parties will have 16 Hispanic candidates running for Congress in November." Republicans are fielding 16 Hispanic Americans in congressional races across the country, while Democrats present 14. More Hispanics are running on the GOP ticket-and more Hispanics are voting on that same ticket-than ever before. The Republican Party is proud of the strides made with Hispanic voters and candidates, and Hispanic voters are proud to step in the voting booth and punch a ballot that has a Hispanic surname with an "R" next to it. We expect to grow the number of elected Hispanic Republicans and expand the majority in the House-and Hispanic Americans will be a major part of our success. - Danny Lopez Diaz, National Republican Congressional Committee Washington, D.C.
It is encouraging to hear that your good journalism is having an impact, such as when American State Department officials noticed your earlier story about the Sudanese refugees ("A Sudanese solution?" Sept. 28). I use WORLD to pray for everything that is going on. Praise God for the impact He is having on our nation and world through all of us working together. - Brian Schwartz, Nashville, Tenn.
Thank you for "Diversity or else" (Sept. 14). I am a 17-year-old homeschooled junior planning to attend college. This article helped open my eyes to what I may face if I attend a state college. The fact that college diversity facilitators try to "help white freshmen own and overcome their inborn racism" says these colleges don't care about anything you feel or believe in; it says who you are is wrong and it's up to them to "fix" you. Their assumption that all whites are racist also aggravates me. - Garrett Weikel, Houston, Texas
Treasures in hell
I disagree with John Mambo, an official with the Church of God in Zambia, that preaching condom use is a good idea ("Elementary principles," Sept. 28). Those who use condoms for sex outside of marriage are trying to sin without consequences. For a church to instruct parishioners in the use of condoms for this purpose is like advising people to avoid punishment on earth so they can store up for themselves punishment in hell. - Adam Kauk, San Jose, Calif.
Robert Torricelli, who ended his New Jersey congressional Senate campaign amid ethics controversies, is a Democrat (Oct. 12, p. 8).