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Mailbag

Issue: "Press coverage uncovered," March 8, 2003

When wealth or fame elude you or fade in the light of day, the grounding that a committed help-mate and best friend can give to one's life is priceless. We have the greatest riches a couple can acquire: a family that loves the Lord and one another. - Bill Duncan, Groton, S.D.

As a trial lawyer, I would say that Joel Belz's unsubstantiated statement that the civil justice jury system is dominated by the "down and outers of society" reflects neither the Minnesota experience nor my courtroom experience. It is simply wrong. Try convincing my school-teacher wife (who begins jury duty next week) and other Minnesotans that they constitute the dregs of society. - Jim Ballentine, Minneapolis, Minn.

Deep romance

Mr. Olasky asks an impossible task: Describe, in 100 words or less, Why marry? ("Make up your mind," Feb. 8). Marriage is laundry, lawn mowing, dishes, candlelight dinners, grocery lists, errand running, Valentine roses, flu-bug hand-holding, joint checking accounts, Christmas hideaway cash, and serious living with a sense of humor. It's covenant over contract, lovemaking instead of having sex, big dreams and broken lives, heaven and the valley of the shadow. It's living the pale allusion of that eternally faithful relationship. It's partaking in the deep romance of the Incarnate Word. Marriage whispers the mystery of Christ's love lived out by two devoted souls in the everyday commonplace. - Michael Barfield, St. Charles, Mo.

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Both God and my husband are inexplicable at times, but I won't split from either one! - Sue C. Wheeler, Lansing, Mich.

The greatest benefit of a long-term marriage relationship is that I get to hold my wife's hand every day. When she sits down beside me and slips her hand into mine, much is said without a word. We clasped those same two hands together on our wedding day and again during the birth of our children, at baptisms, graduations, weddings and funerals of loved ones. To hold the hand of my wife brings me as close to true tranquility as I will experience this side of heaven. - Galen Martin, Roaring Spring, Pa.

Rock on

In "Rocking-chair rockers" (Feb. 1), Mr. Veith states that many baby boomers are "fixated on their faded youth, still listening to the same tunes they listened to in high school and refusing to grow up, even now." Why does he think that someone who still enjoys rock music is "refusing to grow up"? If someone has always enjoyed country, classical, or any other type of music, are they too "refusing to grow up"? - Randy Dycus, Ingram's Mill, Miss.

Peering at juries

"Whose peers?" (Feb. 8) was excellent. Just last week I was discussing with my sons the weaknesses of raw democracy when coupled with an incompetent, ignorant, and unethical populace. - Mark Chanski, Holland, Mich.

Family feuds

I read with great interest your article on Parental Alienation Syndrome ("Up in arms," Feb. 8). As a happily married father of five, it breaks my heart whenever couples feel the need to present custody disputes to family-court judges. As a family-court judge, I frequently see two parents who have difficulty refraining from badmouthing the other to their kids. While I love my job, I truly am sorry there is the need for it, because it means families are in disarray. The greatest resource I have in my deliberations on who gets primary custody, etc., is prayer. - M. Drew Crislip, Clarksburg, W.Va.

Thank you for your timely article on PAS. The issue arrived Friday evening. Saturday morning my attorney called and informed me that I had not only lost in my attempt to get custody of my younger daughter, but I had also lost custody of my younger son because the professional witness had diagnosed him with PAS. - Phil Knapp, Arco, Idaho

In my experience, most psychologists are only one step above witch doctors. For too long, all a worthless mother had to say was "molested," and she was guaranteed custody of the child. Are courts starting to recognize the destructive influence such mothers have on their children? It is about time. - John T. Bigham, Bartlett, Tenn.

As a loyal WORLD subscriber and a Behavioral Medicine physician, I was dismayed by "Up in arms." This very real, bona fide disorder exists and is nefariously evil. - Wm. R. Collie IV, Little Rock, Ark.

Saying something

I was really impressed with Patricia Heaton's stance against inappropriate language ("Clearing the air," Feb. 8). People like Ms. Heaton will make this world a better place because she is not afraid to let this generation know that personal morals and character do count. - Michael Sickenius, Granite Springs, N.Y.

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