Home of the willing
There are those who want us destroyed and I know now that a march or a sign will not stop them. Our hope is in preventing those who hate us from growing strong enough to destroy us. That may well mean we must be willing to fight, not to harm or destroy others, but to defend our very existence ("Fight or flight?" March 15). President Bush was right when he called it a struggle of "good versus evil." We know many young men and women who are the heroes of our day and willingly put their lives on the line that we might continue to live in freedom. They need our prayers and our full support. They deserve no less. - Todd E. Jenner, Canisteo, N.Y.
Letters on virtue
I partially agree with Paul Theroux, that aid is misapplied in general ("'Agents of virtue,'" March 15). Aid that helps people construct wells, plant crops and care for animals, or teaches construction techniques and other useful knowledge in turn allows people to help themselves. However, as with the American government welfare system, aid is often given with no strings attached, so that dependency is rampant. Aid is a very tough nut to crack when governments get involved, as they try to do good without very good guidance. This is why it should be left to the church. - Dale Creasey, Fair Oaks, Calif.
I enjoyed "'Agents of virtue,'" but am grieved that Mr. Theroux has had such adverse experiences with Christians. I hate it when I see Christians behave in a self-righteous manner, thereby making the very Lord we work for appear as disagreeable as we are. - April Billups, Cedar Park, Texas
I have been a subscriber from the beginning, but have not expressed my appreciation until now, after reading "Ultimate reality" (March 15). As a philosophy major, the headline grabbed me. As a "seasoned citizen" with "leavin' on my mind," the content grabbed me even more. - Chuck Weber, Haddonfield, N.J.
Very often the best response to hateful provocation is dead silence. Why would you give any exposure to the rude acts of a spoiled brat ("February madness," March 15)? Showing a picture of this puerile behavior-turning away from the flag before basketball games-in your magazine is an additional slap at those of us who sacrifice so that the likes of her can have educational advantages that we could not afford. - Jerry Redden, Garland, Texas
Report the wrong
While Mr. Belz's commentary about the long-running NOW vs. Scheidler case was helpful, he did not note that the "pro-life" Bush administration weighed in on behalf of NOW, not Scheidler ("The meaning of 8-1," March 15). When the Republicans don't do the right thing, you need to report it. - David E. Rogers, Painesville, Ohio
Less than ideal
Mr. Olasky wrote that "A. Jay Cristol's The Liberty Incident shows how the fog of battle in 1967 led to 34 American deaths" ("Visions of the future," March 15). It is less than ideal to use the USS Liberty, which was attacked by Israeli planes on a clear day, as an example of friendly fire. Mr. Cristol concludes that it was purely accidental, but others believe it was deliberate. His book should be read as one side of an ongoing debate. - Philip Vetter, Durham, N.C.
Pay no attention
As I read "Anti-war casualties?" (March 15), I was struck by how ridiculous it is for anyone to pay heed to the protests of the celebrities. We pay attention to them because they entertain us, but the Lord has given us a legitimate president and Congress who are in place to direct our nation. Rather than praise the actors for their courage in standing up for their beliefs, let us stand behind our president and pray for our leaders. - Matthew Freed, Palmdale, Calif.
Thank you for Mr. Pulliam's article ("Cruel and unusual," March 15). Our prison inmates need to be taken as real people and not throwaways. I write to many inmates every month and there are so many who have accepted Christ. - Bernice Hertel, Chilton, Wis.
It was with a knowing but somewhat sad chuckle that I read the description of an author as a "Methodist-turned-Buddhist" ("Coverage of Buddhism," March 8). In some parts of the country and in some Methodist churches that would not be a very big step. I was raised in such a church in Berkeley and I was never a Christian during that time. Fortunately, I moved to Alaska and met Jesus up there (not that Jesus isn't in Berkeley, He's just very well hidden). - Nancy Cayot Williamson, Pleasanton, Calif.
Mr. Olasky's Special Report, "What we don't know can hurt us" (March 8) should be required reading in every journalism school in the United States. - Harry Yost, Palmer, Alaska
But not WORLD
I hope WORLD readers will pray about the pending Supreme Court ruling on the Children's Internet Protection Act, regarding pornography-filtering software on computers in public libraries ("Pay up and hush up," March 15). The Ft. Vancouver library here doesn't stock WORLD ("Getting shelved," Feb. 22), but it does make Playboy available. What's worse, minors have easy access to Hustler and violent, abusive porn sites via many library Internet computers, often without parental notice or consent. I first noticed kids porn-surfing in the library in 1997, and a few years ago had an extreme porn printout tossed on the library walk in front of me by kids. Distribution to and near minors continues today over the strong objections of the community made in public hearings, written complaints, and petitions. - Margaret Tweet, Camas, Wash.
Regarding "Getting shelved," I have worked in public libraries for 15 years and the selection of periodicals is often a subjective decision. The periodicals librarian often selects magazines that he or she thinks would interest the community, primarily those popular with the general public that have name recognition and a large subscriber base. Sometimes, if several patrons express an interest in a particular publication, it will be ordered. - Maureen Birkett, DeMotte, Ind.
Andree Seu's "The only Christian way?" (Feb. 22) refers to the Bible as "one grand production," including the book of Judges and Ezekiel 23. If we could transfer to Hollywood the modesty and lucidity of expression the Bible uses to describe even the most unseemly of human affairs, there would be no need for concern or for ratings. However, the quest to legitimize our American obsession with "fun" and "entertainment" by pretending that we are engaging in culture redemption via attendance and discussion of movies is an exercise in incredible, albeit highly intellectual, self-deception. - Stephen P. Aivazis, Wittman, Ariz.
If one has begun to enjoy "entertainment" it has become simply that, entertainment. This is the devil's greatest work-to make that which is wrong delightfully pleasurable, as he has done with many a vice such as drugs, sexual immorality, and alcoholism. If a person is making a conscious effort to gain a clearer picture of our culture by viewing movies, it should not be entertaining but disturbing and mind-rattling, uncomfortable and sickening. It may help some evangelize, but I'm not convinced it is for everyone. Like the alcoholic who doesn't go into bars to preach, those with a particular problem with "overentertaining" themselves should not use this method. Those people know who they are. - Justin Baker, Mechanicsville, Md.
84 words left
Regarding Mr. Olasky's invitation to relate what in our marriage should lead young people to make up their minds to wed in due time ("Make up your mind," Feb. 8): In one word, "Jesus"; but since we have 96 more words we'd like to add, "commitment." - Buddy and Billie Leathers, Durham, N.C.