Bravo to Nickolas Eicher for writing such an excellent article on Sen. Lott. Mr. Eicher hit the nail on the head in a few short paragraphs. - -Lenny Demers, North Wales, Pa.
In "A merry solstice" (Dec. 21), Mr. Veith states that "Christmas marks the beginning of light, and Easter marks the triumph of light." Accolades to Mr. Veith for his analogies, but aren't they meaningful only if you live in the northern hemisphere? - -Paul N. Zierk, Blue Hill, Maine
Weeping in Ramah
I work in Ramah. As a doctor, I have heard scores of mothers weeping for their children in our rural West African mission clinic-children hacked to death not by sabers but by malaria parasites. I didn't weep with them often enough, so I am now on leave in the United States, catching up. Thanks for the reminder in "Christmas connection" (Dec. 21) that the Ramahs show us how badly we need Immanuel. I hope for His second appearing every time I reach to close the eyes of a child. - -Stan Haegert, Grand Rapids, Mich.
I thought that the horrible moral reasoning I am frequently exposed to in my doctoral psychology program was confined to the predominantly liberal university setting. Your report suggests otherwise ("So far, we're losing," Dec. 21). Mr. Belz made an excellent observation: With moral relativism dominating our moral reasoning, people qualify their judgments and make every attempt to sidestep important issues. Our culture has apparently bought the lie that moral beliefs are simple consumer choices without much consequence. However, the abortion issue clearly demonstrates the types of results that stem from this type of reasoning. - -Randy Halberda, Terre Haute, Ind.
Regarding your column on pro-family frustration ("Battle fatigue," Dec. 14): As a "Down Under" reader, may I observe that it seems universal, as it happens in Australia, that elected members refuse to believe it is more dangerous, electorally speaking, to disappoint one's friends than to annoy one's opponents. - -A.W. Hartwig, Auchenflower, Australia
While I do not take issue with the essential truth in what Franklin Graham said, I do question the wisdom in the way in which he said it. Even secularized Muslims see Islam as fundamental to their identity, and so by calling Islam "a very evil and wicked religion" he attacked their very value as human beings. Is it any wonder such words spoken by respected Christian leaders fuel anti-Christian sentiment in the Muslim world? That's something the missionaries there don't need more of. - -Trudy Chun, Fayetteville, N.C.
Let me get this straight: In reaction to Franklin Graham's statement that Islam is neither peaceful nor free, several Islamic leaders issued death threats against him? Oh, now I see their point. - -Angela Proctor, Goshen, N.Y.
A.L. Barry, who died March 23, 2001, was inadvertently included in the 2002 "Obituaries" (Dec. 28, p. 58). The name of one of the cities in the district of House Majority Leader Tom DeLay is not one word but two: Sugar Land, Texas (Jan. 11, p. 32). The movie, In the Heat of the Night, was released in 1967 (Dec. 28, p. 65). The Baltimore Colts' famous overtime victory over the Giants for the NFL title was in 1958 (Dec. 28, p. 66). Freelancer Brad Locke is a sportswriter in Mississippi (Jan. 11, p. 23). - The Editors
Helping the bad guys
It is difficult to express my disappointment after reading your call for Sen. Lott's resignation ("Casting his Lott," Dec. 21). Sen. Lott meant only to honor a 100-year-old man who has served his country well and with honor. He used poor judgment in making a public statement that by contortion and twisting could be open to misinterpretation. But the Democrats manufactured an issue in the slow news holiday season by playing the race card on Sen. Lott, and WORLD helped them. Shame on you. - -Julian Hill, Tupelo, Miss.
Trent Lott was not referring to racial issues when he praised Strom Thurmond; he was talking about the common-sense conservatism that Sen. Thurmond has come to symbolize. It is liberal Democrats, advocating the treatment of people according to their race or ethnicity, who should be apologizing. - -Tim Setzer, Blacksburg, S.C.
Trent Lott has an outstanding record of representing all the people of Mississippi, black and white, and an outstanding record as Republican majority leader. This whole media blitz is nothing less than a tactic to get rid of one of the greatest Christian leaders our state has ever had. I am shocked that WORLD would buy into that. I won't be renewing my subscription. - -Terry Keith, Laurel, Miss.
Regarding Joel Belz's statement that pro-lifers have done a "shabby job" in getting our message out: As a pro-life activist for 20 years, I have many stories of how, after being interviewed by local media, reporters would simply ignore the things I told them. I came to recognize that eyes-glazed-over expression as their faces bespoke the obvious thought: "Non-story." It seems that a grandmotherly, iced-tea-dispensing, nonconfrontational person was not the image of an "anti-abortion activist" they intended to portray. So please, Mr. Belz, don't condemn pro-lifers for failing to get out our message. In these times there are those who "suppress the truth in unrighteousness." - -Martha Carpenter, McAllen, Texas
Receiving WORLD is one of the high points of my week. The Dec. 14 issue was even better than usual. I found "Battle fatigue" to be very thought-provoking and definitely something to add to my prayer list. "The God of gifts" was so good that I read it aloud to my daughters at one of our pre-Christmas get-togethers, and I loved the article on Dick Armey ("Retiring but not shy"). It was a wonderful glimpse into the heart and mind of a great man. - -Anne Johnson, Newport, Ore.
I think Mr. Veith underplayed our human sinfulness that can corrupt and misuse even the most wonderful of gifts and the greatest example of gift-giving ("The God of gifts," Dec. 14). I have been praying that this year at Christmas time, Christians would give generously, even wildly, but they would get "lockwallet" at the shopping malls. My prayer is that people would give so outrageously to Christian ministries that it would shock the socks off of us, as a testimony that in times of fear and anxiety, God's people can reach out with care and compassion to others. - -Pauline Snyder, Millersburg, Ind.
Thank you so much for your "Daniel of the year" article on Franklin Graham (Dec. 7). We ought to be challenged by Mr. Graham's example and not allow the world's definition of tolerance to replace the one Jesus exemplified for us: He is very tolerant of people, but never tolerates their sin. - -Suecarol Elias, Byron, Minn.
Visions of Africa
Having been trained over the last decade by Rosemary Jensen in San Antonio and been friends with Dick Bransford for 20 years, I want to thank you for informing us about the visionaries who obey God by doing His work so faithfully in Africa ("Africa the old-fashioned way," Dec. 7). We should not forget our brothers and sisters on that needy continent. - -Liza Hopper, Princeton, W.Va.
My husband and I are radio missionaries in Puerto Rico. WORLD is a huge blessing to us. So many times Andree Seu, Joel Belz, and Marvin Olasky manage to put into wise words certain thoughts that have been sloshing around in my own mind. The world needs WORLD because people so desperately need the Savior, as well as the salt and light of Christians living out their convictions with, as turn-of-the-century Christian writer Margaret E. Sangster put it, "gentle inflexibility." - -Barbara L. Trumbower, Juana Diaz, Puerto Rico