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Mailbag

Issue: "War inside the red zone," April 12, 2003

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.

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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

Grabbed

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.

Be silent

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.

Real people

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.

Berkeley, Buddha

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.

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