"Siding with Islam" was well thought out and presented. I agree with your premise that journalists often provide religious coverage of the most cursory sort. I am afraid the problem isn't limited to religious news at all. In political coverage reporters will include numerous paragraphs on the participants and their tactics while reserving scant space for the content of the debate. - Sam Christie, Cary, N.C.
Include me in Andree Seu's prayer for help ("The only Christian way?" Feb. 22). I, too, have liked well-written and beautifully executed movies and books that have "painted starkly sin and the human condition." Thanks to Andree Seu and Gene Edward Veith ("Rating the ratings," Jan. 11) for keeping the discussion open with "questions [rather] than answers." Chicago is now on my must-see list because of Ms. Seu's review. - Janet Abuhl Stroethoff, Missoula, Mont.
Christians should be involved in the arts. God is and has been in the business of redeeming man, and I don't see any biblical reasoning that should exclude the arts from our influence and redemptive effort. However, it also takes real spiritual maturity and sensitivity to make inroads into our culture. Regarding Chicago, it is a slick production, very well choreographed, and flashy. My wife and I went to a sold-out performance in late December and walked out after about 40 minutes. I am not a prude, but I felt like I was watching a soft-porn production. - Steve Antonacci, Arlington, Va.
To those who do
Thank you for your article on Australia's Prime Minister John Howard ("From 'down under' to 'over there,'" Feb. 8). I was not aware of his stance and am so thankful to all of the leaders who have stood by America. - Denise Mersmann, Sealy, Texas
Thank you for your illustration of "Piece-by-piece abortion" (Feb. 1). Although it made me quite upset, I believe that we need to see more of the brutality that is endorsed by the world. When such atrocities prevail, we cannot leave children "innocent" and unprepared for the moral struggle that will await them later in life. - Nick Klutch, 15, Tucson, Ariz.
Congressman Bill Thomas represents California's 22nd district (March 15, p. 10).
I enjoyed your special issue on media coverage of religions and appreciate Marvin Olasky's particular skill in communicating this subject. The mass media's shallow and distorted presentation of religious issues impedes their mission to inform the public on matters of importance, and they don't even know it. - Thadd Buzan, Springfield, Va.
Thank you for the very insightful issue of "Coverage uncovered." It helped to define my ideas about the possible upcoming war and its implications for freedom everywhere. We truly are in a spiritual war, and in Christ only do we have liberty. - Leslie Doyle, Wexford, Pa.
A big kudo to WORLD for timely, much-needed articles. On 9/11 we lost forever that quaint, self-absorbed secular America that dismissed the important role other cultures ascribe to their religions. - Brad O'Brien, Fort Sam Houston, Texas
Thank you to Mr. Olasky for the well-timed, well-rounded articles. It's easy to misunderstand Muslims trying to read through the bias of the secular media. Mr. Olasky's articles went along very well with Mr. Veith's column of Feb. 22 ("Lethal 'gospel'") in helping me understand what Muslims believe and why they do what they do. - Nathan Vieth, Martell, Neb.
As a Christian journalist, I was disappointed with the review of news stories Marvin Olasky used to make broad, sweeping generalizations about the media's coverage of Christianity. By extracting only biased articles, including one from my newspaper, the Daily Herald, without quoting from articles that mainly featured the Christian view, he made it sound like my newspaper and many others are anti-Christian. He didn't mention a feature story I wrote detailing how the Christian organization Young Life is spreading the gospel in our local schools, which one could argue was completely biased in favor of Christianity, since I didn't quote an atheist. - Patrick Garmoe, Carpentersville, Ill.
Sixth deadly sin
I read "Tolerance week" (March 8) with interest. Just last week I came across a quote from Dorothy Sayers: "The sixth deadly sin is named by the Church ... Sloth. In the world it calls itself Tolerance; but in hell it is called Despair.... It is the sin which believes in nothing, cares for nothing, seeks to know nothing, interferes with nothing, enjoys nothing, loves nothing, hates nothing, finds purpose in nothing, lives for nothing, and only remains alive because there is nothing it would die for." - Mary G. Johnson, Columbia, S.C.
I strongly disagree with the conclusion that the popularity of match-making "reality"-based TV shows "proves-despite the blight of divorce and live-togethers-that the institution of marriage is still the ideal and the dream" ("The marriage craving," March 8). There is a much more believable reason: Society sees marriage itself as another form of entertainment. Much like a sporting event or a game show, it is viewed by outsiders curious about who will be victorious, what will be revealed, and who will gain what. Sometimes it ends in a tie with the parties staying together. - Wes Matchett, Wolfeboro, N.H.
I disagree with your assessment that My Big Fat Greek Wedding has only two faults. The movie contains numerous uses of God's name in vain, as well as unnecessarily revealing clothing in a few scenes. While I found the movie funny and entertaining, I would not recommend it as a movie for young children. - Paul Birdsong, Herman, Neb.
I was impressed by the Cancun tourism official who said, "We are not Sodom and Gomorrah," which implied that American students wanted that (Quotables, March 1). Bravo for him. It has become very difficult for a family to vacation anywhere without seeing hordes of Bacchean revelers determined to bring others to the same level of debauched insanity as themselves. It's about time someone told it like it is. - Gayle Armstrong, Hardy, Ark.
I agreed in large measure with Gene Edward Veith's review of Gods and Generals ("Onward, Christian soldiers," Feb. 22). Regrettably, however, as much as I wanted to like the movie on moral grounds, I believe it was driven into the ground by its incredibly ponderous pacing. As a result, the dialogue and Christian message came across not only stilted but somewhat unbelievable and will, I fear, only serve to distort the gospel. The ambivalence regarding slavery would only be the most glaring example of this. Moreover, its lack of historical depth, especially its shallowness militarily, distracted and dissatisfied me. In short, it was a nice try, but it fell flat for me as either a drama or a war movie. - Robert Wallis, Virginia Beach, Va.
After reading your review of Gods and Generals, our family went to see it. I was a little skeptical since Ted Turner produced it, but we were enthralled. It was the most openly Christian, major movie I can remember since Ben Hur. The accurate depiction of the godliness of Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee was stunning in a Hollywood production. Thank you for the recommendation. - Susan Corley, Carthage, Texas