Columnists > Mailbag


Issue: "Staying underground," May 3, 2003

Rumor has it

John Dawson accurately pointed out that college football produces revenue in excess of its massive expenses ("The spoils of football," April 5). By a pure moneymaking measure, most colleges should field only men's football and basketball teams. Rumor has it, however, that once college sports were conducted not for profit but to develop character like teamwork, dedication, and a commitment never to give up. As a former college athlete, the lessons of my time on the hardwoods have served me well. Now, as my wife and I cheer on our daughter's Division I volleyball team, we see young women learning those same valuable lessons-lessons they might not have had the chance to learn without Title IX. - Mike Hill, Plano, Texas

Pictured at right

As a Christian and a journalist, I enjoy your magazine tremendously each week. I especially enjoyed your April 5 "Quick Take" about NCAA basketball players. Carmelo Anthony ("pictured at left") I must say, bears an impressive resemblance to Buddy Ebsen. Thanks for the hee-haw. - Bill Bengtson, Aiken, S.C.


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Secular journalists will always fail to understand evangelical Christians because they, and the intellectual elites with whom they associate, can't understand that Christians have access to knowledge about which they are clueless ("Well-intended failure," March 22). Jesus made it clear that the world cannot receive the Holy Spirit, who would teach Christians all things regarding Jesus, because the world "does not see Him nor know Him." - Gary L. Achtemeier, Bishop, Ga.


Your review of The Hours confused portraying nihilistic lives with advocating nihilism itself ("It's all about me," March 1). I see no such advocacy. Amazingly, this film observes that these lives, devoid of any spirituality, are not succeeding. Hollywood is sometimes capable of transcending its own stereotypes, and we should not lump an exceptional film like this in with all the rest of the junk. - Chris Morris, Jenkintown, Pa.

Seasoned with mercy

I appreciated the photo in which one of our Marines poured water for a captured Iraqi soldier while another held a gun to his forehead ("Army of compassion," April 5). This photo beautifully illustrated justice tempered by mercy-and reminded me of these lines from Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice: "The quality of mercy is not strained, / It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven / Upon the place beneath: it is twice blest; / It blesseth him that gives and him that takes: ... [Mercy] is an attribute to God Himself; / And earthly power doth then show likest God's / When mercy seasons justice." - Linda Cerynik, West Caldwell, N.J.

I wept with joy and thanksgiving when I saw the cover photo of PFC Joseph Dwyer carrying the Iraqi child on the cover of WORLD. I am so proud of our troops. I thank God who leads us to hope in this fallen world. PFC Dwyer is a hero to me. - George Menzie, Medford, Ore.

I have long found your support for war against Iraq reprehensible. Your cover calling the invasion force an "Army of compassion" was more than I can tolerate. Please cancel my subscription. - Richard Ashby, Blue River, Wis.

Liberation golden

As a 15-year-old homeschooled student who is concerned about keeping up with current politics, I was struck by your headline, "Army of compassion." I wasn't sure where I stood concerning the war on Iraq, and I began to ponder this while flipping through the magazine. At the end, I came to "Golden rule" (April 5) in which Marvin Olasky explained our responsibility to disarm Saddam Hussein and free the Iraqi people. I'd never had this explained to me so clearly and logically. As images of the hurting, mistreated Iraqi people flashed through my mind, I realized that President Bush is totally in the right, and that we must do our best to support him. - Joanna Laine Isaacs, Boone, N.C.

Mr. Olasky observed that if he were an Iraqi he would prefer "a month of danger to more decades of Saddam and Sons." A Polish friend who was a forced laborer during World War II told me how American bombers would bomb the buildings the Polish workers were in, killing not only the Germans but many of them. When the bombing would slow, the workers would run to the windows and beg the planes to come back. - Douglas Lee, Hendersonville, N.C.

No domino

I would like to be as positive as Joel Belz in "Beyond nation building" (April 5). But a realistic view of the situation in the Middle East puts a damper on the thought of a reverse "domino effect." We should remember that Islam has a religious book that advocates either the destruction, or the conversion, of all who are of the "Book." That means all Christians and Jews. Unless and until we see the nations of Islam-including the PLO and Indonesia along with the ring of Islamic nations surrounding Israel-reject their scriptures and accept Israel, Judaism, and Christianity as valid, we will never see peace in the region. - Jim Scanlon, Rancho Tehama, Calif.


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