Although I intend to keep blessing people when they sneeze, I agree that our nation is rather fickle when it comes to God and the use of "God-speak" ("Speaking of God," March 29). The day after reading the column, I read Jeremiah 2, and these words surely apply: "For they have turned their backs to me, and not their face. But in the time of trouble they say, 'Arise and save us!'" - Joshua A. Louk, Greenville, S.C.
Thoughts on war coverage
Joel Belz suggests that the Iraqi war may unite us by "significantly reducing our tendency toward political correctness" ("Dividing, then uniting," April 12). But I believe that the division is less because of the war than because of anti-Bush sentiment. The latest propaganda by the anti-war movement has turned heavily to Bush-bashing and less to a principled argument against this war (if that movement ever had one). The liberal left is frantic about this president's popularity. - Max L. Binkley, Williamsburg, Mich.
The headline above the article about Peter Arnett in your April 12 issue was "Peter's pence." Unfortunately, this associated an element of Catholic tradition with the dishonest and disloyal reporting of Mr. Arnett. This phrase refers to an annual collection in the Catholic Church in support of the personal charitable works of the pope. - Cynthia Wright Leugers, Broken Arrow, Okla.
Amen to John Piper's column on Japanese atrocities in World War II ("Why we must try," April 12). I would add that thousands of our men, emaciated and starving on Bataan Peninsula, died when they were taken captive and made to walk miles on the Death March to prison camp. - Ken Brooks, Zellwood, Fla.
Critics of Franklin Graham and the organization he leads, Samaritan's Purse, should read his autobiography, Rebel with a Cause ("Ambassador Franklin," April 12). Mr. Graham, through his extreme hard work and devotion, has earned the right to his opinions and to operate his ministry where there is need in the dark world. I am truly thankful for those people brave enough to live what they believe in the name of Christ. - Mitzy F. Bricker, Berryville, Va.
Mr. Olasky talks about how we are fighting for freedoms and how even the French should understand that. Let freedom ring throughout the world, and let the ringing point back to those who paid the price of freedom and the One who paid the final price. - Larry Reagan, Lusby, Md.
More on movies
We were disappointed in Marvin Olasky's comments on the movie Chicago ("Facing the music," April 12). Those who wrote to highlight the reasons to avoid the movie are perceptive of the instruments of deceit and the malleability of the human mind. How many Christians learned something essential and entirely new about the fallen world from this movie by tossing money into the coffers of the wicked? - Jack & Karen Cox, Waynesboro, Ga.
We are called to be salt and light in the world. That means we need to spread out, permeate our culture, and interact with non-Christians as much as possible. The limits should not be the edges of the Christian subculture, but rather as far as our maturity in Christ and the purity of our hearts will take us. - Laura Hunt, Willis, Mich.
Aren't we to stand for righteousness? Staying away from the box office seems to be the only language Hollywood understands. I remember seeing Inn of the Sixth Happiness in the drive-in theater. My brothers and I fell asleep in the back of the station wagon while our parents watched the second feature. There were no ratings, and none were needed because directors and producers presented "adult" themes in an acceptable manner. It appears they have forgotten how to do this. - Don Curtice, Bloomfield, N.Y.
That was interesting editing of the picture of the soldier reading a Bible distributed by Military Ministry (Quick Takes, April 12). The full photo showed the scarf on his head with the words "Kill them all" emblazoned across the front. What a perfect postmodern picture. - Pat Ryan, Fort Wayne, Ind.
I hope you are right that the success of Michael Moore's book, Stupid White Men, is because "the looney left is out in force again" and not because the rest of our culture sees any worth in what Mr. Moore has to say (Bestsellers, March 22). His remarks accepting the Academy Award indicated that he is the one living in a "fictitious" world ("Attention deficit," April 5). - Alex Palos, Templeton, Calif.
Toward the end
The cover headline of the March 29 issue, "The beginning of the end," reminded me of Winston Churchill's cautionary words directed to those who were so enthused following the Allied victory in North Africa: "This is not the end, it is not even the beginning of the end; but it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning." Victory in Iraq, as important as it may be, will certainly not be the end of the war against terrorism, but it will take us to a new phase of that war. - Jim Hickman, Worthington, Ohio
Kudos to Marvin Olasky. He hit the target with his comments on the Golden Rule ("Golden rule," April 5). - Trudy Van Liere, Marathon, Fla.
So did we
I read with curiosity the quote of Rep. Jim Moran that we would not have gone to war with Iraq without "the strong support of the Jewish community" (Flash Traffic, March 22). A Democratic peer in Congress said the comment was "stupid," but "if we all resigned every time we said a stupid thing, we might all be gone." Obviously. It reminded me of how Sen. Trent Lott, a Republican, was forced to resign as Senate majority leader for his comments regarding Strom Thurmond. The double standard, I think, is because America has grown accustomed to "stupid" statements from the liberal left: The Pledge of Allegiance is unconstitutional, George Bush is as bad or worse than Saddam Hussein, etc. So, instead of getting mad, I had a good belly laugh. - Ronald Curry, Greensburg, Ky.
I agree with Joel Belz that if Americans would show a little more helplessness it "would go a long way in mending" some international relations ("A little less condescension," March 22). I have been involved with missions work in Mexico, and in cross-cultural relations it is difficult to build relationships and almost impossible to share the gospel effectively while maintaining a condescending or domineering attitude. - John Pedersen, Houston, Texas
Thank you for informing me about the trial of two men involved in the massacre of Coptic Christians in Egypt ("License to kill?" March 15). I haven't seen any other magazine with this information. I am glad the Egyptian government convicted two people, but I think more than that killed those 21 Christians. - Andrew Pera, McKinleyville, Calif.
Regarding "Weapons of mass hysteria" (March 15) and Red Thomas's paper, "The Real Deal," posted on your website: While Red is correct that much of the reporting on terrorism leads to unnecessary fear, I believe Red's commentary swings the pendulum too far in the opposite direction. In a major future terrorism attack, people who take no action may become unnecessary victims of both fear and physical harm. Only accurate information and balanced responses will help to effectively counter both terrorism and fear. - Kevin G. Briggs, U.S. Disaster Preparedness Institute Littleton, Colo.