Your post-election coverage brought more savor to an already sweet victory ("The Bush mandate," Nov. 16). It occurs to me that true victory is not just the getting of power but the wise use of it. The need for reform is great, especially considering that the weakest, most dependent and helpless people in our nation--unborn babies--are brutally murdered every day. May all of us, and especially those granted the authority to serve in office, live out of that same experience Paul described in Philippians: "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." - Mark Hoffmann, Jenison, Mich.
Our nation is already moving in the right direction thanks to the historic majorities President Bush and Republicans achieved at the polls Nov. 5. Thanks to the voters' sound judgment, Congress is taking meaningful action regarding homeland security, judicial nominees, and other issues that had been stalled in the Democratic-controlled Senate. I look forward to many accomplishments to come in the next two years. - Jason Vaughn, Laurens, S.C.
My first thought after the results came in (especially here in Minnesota) was that now the real work is to begin. We need to pray that the celebrating will be short and that the Republicans will roll up their sleeves and do what they have been elected to do. - Lanse Aubey, Salol, Minn.
Bob Jones captured the excitement of the evening so that I could feel the sweaty palms and nervous tension as Democrats and Republicans awaited the returns in these historic mid-term elections. As a conservative, it was good to see more Americans come around to vote for worthy Republican representatives and interesting to see a dispirited Democratic base stay home. I can't help but think the Torricelli law-stretching, the Wellstone Memorial-Pep Rally, and the support appearances of chief-cheerleader Clinton contributed to the Democratic losses. We'll see how things develop with the GOP in charge. Maybe they'll even make some room for God to have some influence in their decisions. - Doc Gibbs, Coppell, Texas
I basked in triumph once again while reading about the GOP taking control of both houses of Congress but was dismayed not to read about what I believe was the strongest contributing factor in the elections: namely, the power of prayer. I have been praying for several months that God would put godly men and women into leadership in America and specifically that God would put the GOP in control of both houses of Congress to bring us closer to becoming one nation under God. Now that it has become reality, the battle is not over but rather has just begun. I'm praying that abortion will be abolished, taxes will be lowered even further, that sexual morality in our land will be restored, and that conservative justices and appointees will be confirmed. - Mark Lindsay, Campbell, Calif.
I was sorry to see that you omitted most of the Libertarians from your charts of the election results. Even in races where the Libertarian candidate received only 1 percent of the vote, it can make a difference. In South Dakota, for instance, the Libertarian only got 3,000 votes but that was about six times the winning margin of about 500 votes. - David Knight, Pittsboro, N.C.
I was hoping to see an essay on the reaction to the D.C.-area snipers like "Be very afraid" (Oct. 28). The utter fear and panic that the world displays in the face of danger is so foreign to me as a Christian. The fear of a Christian should be reserved for the Lord. - Ara Piranian, N. Hollywood, Calif.
Tackled for losses
Marvin Olasky writes that conservative Christians in Arkansas were right to turn away from Sen. Tim Hutchinson, a family-values advocate who had divorced his wife and married a staffer ("Blocking and tackling," Nov. 16). I strongly disagree. Mark Pryor, the Democrat who will take his place in the Senate, is not pro-life. We all make mistakes, but Sen. Hutchinson's defeat, I believe, was the biggest mistake Arkansas conservative Christian pro-life voters could have made. - Marsha Burford, Hot Springs, Ark.
In "Blocking and tackling," Mr. Olasky credits the religious right for many GOP victories but made no mention of the one candidate with firsthand knowledge of the game: NFL Hall of Famer Steve Largent, who was tackled for a loss in Oklahoma's gubernatorial race. If the Christian vote put other Republicans into their seats, why didn't Largent win overwhelmingly in Oral Roberts country? A strong Christian family man with unimpeachable character, Mr. Largent now finds himself out of office. - Dan Edelen, Mt. Orab, Ohio
Screwtape in Africa
Andree Seu quotes actor Tony Lawton, as noted on a playbill, "Do devils exist? I don't care, and neither, I daresay, does Lewis" ("Incident at 10th and Ludlow," Nov. 16). Mr. Lawton's blase attitude reveals his conclusion: They don't. Obviously the crowds Mrs. Seu described cheerfully dispersing into Philadelphia bistros had not just read, as I had, your account of ferocious and wanton butchery in the Congo ("On the road to genocide," Nov. 16). As I read it, I kept thinking, "demons." The situation there has all the earmarks of demon skill and management. Perhaps the reality of internecine butchery and terror in the Congo would have forced the theater-goers to reconsider whether C.S. Lewis really did care about the existence of demons. - Ted Thomas, Shelbyville, Ky.
Andree Seu went to rhetorical excess in her comment that she wished "all the useless psychology majors at our Philadelphia universities be shut down" and the students sent to see Mr. Lawton's performance as Screwtape. As a doctoral student at Philadelphia's Temple University in Educational Psychology, I try to deconstruct untruth in my classes and build upon the truth that God has granted unbelievers through common grace. For example, I am amazed by Jean Piaget's profound insights into the realm of human cognitive development, yet saddened that such a great mind was not dedicated to the propagation of the gospel. I am further saddened that his work was not first done by a Christian. We Christians probably thought such work was useless; consequently we ceded (and now poorly ape) a whole realm of inquiry into what makes human beings unique in creation to the unbelievers. Enter Oprah. - Eric Bierker, Columbia, Pa.
In this day of cutthroat success and fallen corporations like Adelphia, Enron, and WorldCom, it is very refreshing to read of CEOs like Ken Iverson of Nucor ("CEOs in the mirror," Nov. 16). It seems to me Mr. Collins's book, Good to Great, gives us a clear picture of truth in action and the real success it brings. As a Christian, it is gratifying that there are some wise leaders in our business world who take truth seriously and then apply it for greatness. - Joan G. Martin, Marietta, Ga.
I was pleased to read Joel Belz's column about the importance of humility in leadership. Jesus was the perfect servant leader, and we would do well to model our leadership style on His. Unfortunately, I am coming to fear that President George W. Bush and his administration are forgetting what it means to be humble, servant leaders. I pray that he will choose to be humble but strong. - Craig Wickstrom, Conneaut, Ohio
Andrew Coffin does not do justice to the 1963 film Charade when he writes that "dramatic force was not [its] strength" ("A charade of a remake," Nov. 16). Of course not. That's because it is a whimsical suspense comedy that successfully pays tribute to Hitchcock. In it we get Paris, music by Henry Mancini, scintillating dialogue, and light-up-the-sky chemistry between Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn. - Phil Holabach, Broken Arrow, Okla.
In the Nov. 5 House of Representatives elections, Republicans won Texas congressional district 23 (Henry Bonilla) and New Mexico district 1 (Heather Wilson) (Nov. 16 map, p. 20).
Strom Thurmond (R-S.C.) originally won his Senate seat in 1954, two years after Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) won his (Nov. 16, p. 8).