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Issue: "Troops hunt for weapons," June 14, 2003

As an alumnus I can't say I'm surprised. I wish I was. During my time at Calvin, I had a number of professors who upheld the Bible and were very orthodox. There were notable exceptions: a political science professor whose main effort was to brainwash students into becoming guilt-ridden liberals; a science professor who turned an ecology class into an in-depth study of evolutionary theory; another political science professor who often showed films that were either pro-homosexual or anti-Christian under the guise of challenging students to examine what they believe. Then they were rare, but it appears their viewpoint has become the rule, and I am deeply saddened. If they continue down this path, they will face a great deal of travail as they lose the support of alumni, like me, who desire to see God glorified and the truth of the Bible upheld. - M.C. Clark, Port Angeles, Wash.

Thank you for highlighting Alaska in your "Cool hot spots" 2003 summer travel guide. Alaska depends heavily on tourism, an industry crippled by the consequences of 9/11. Our family particularly enjoyed Marvin Olasky's observations of Alaskan residents. As stunningly rugged and varied as is Alaska's natural beauty, her people are a complementary match. To Mr. Olasky's adjectives, we'd like to add hardy, independent, unpretentious, generally friendly, fiercely loyal, and proud of it. These qualities tend to be more pronounced the farther you travel from metropolitan areas. - Charles & Ruth Abbott, Delta Junction, Alaska

Mr. Belz stated that "the truth a man proclaims is not really validated nor invalidated by the details of his life." This reminds me of an Indian student's attempts to lead his Hindu professor to Christ. When the professor asked him about certain moral shortcomings in the student's life, he replied, "Oh, don't look at me-look at Jesus!" To which the professor wisely responded, "If your Jesus can't change you, why do you expect He could change me?" - Bob Rutz, Kingston, Ark.

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I felt an emotional connection with Mr. Belz's comment, "In an era when everybody gets to say just about anything, why should there be a special muzzle for Christians?" ("Free speech, for some," May 17). The liberal media's desire to "muzzle" Christian viewpoints is not based on reason and logic but emotion. God's word convicts and then condemns the nonbeliever. Should we then be surprised that they would so vehemently hate us, the messengers? - Adrienne McLaughlin, Sarasota, Fla.

Calvin, continued

I've been a professor at Calvin College since 1982. The Calvin you portrayed is not the college I have known for the past two decades ("Shifting sand?" May 10). Are we academically excellent? Yes-thanks for getting that correct. Are we slipping our biblical moorings? Not a chance. Our students come to Calvin from a wide variety of church backgrounds, and not surprisingly they do not always agree about how to live faithfully. Instead of forcing students into a narrow-minded "Christian political correctness," we encourage them to dig deeply into the Scriptures, the history of the church, and the Reformed tradition so that they might come to a wise and discerning faith. - Quentin J. Schultze, Grand Rapids, Mich.

I graduated from Calvin in 2000 and would like to affirm your findings about Calvin College. I believe Calvin is precariously close to becoming an institution dedicated to the glorification of its own view of the philosophy of Abraham Kuyper rather than anything directly related to Jesus Christ. Calvin's strident attempts to identify and focus on any faint glimmer of good in today's fallen yet seductive and nuanced world, all couched in its own history of Dutch community-at-all-costs ideology, is a dangerous mix. - Alan Waddilove, East Lansing, Mich.

As a student who has spent four years immersed in both the strengths and weaknesses of Calvin, I strongly disagree with the wild accusations presented in your article. We are encouraged and guided in our examinations of the Scriptures in all areas of our education, from discussions in the biology laboratory to lectures in the religion classroom to the extracurricular opportunities we pursue. This has at times forced me to question areas of my faith, but I am so grateful I had the opportunity to wrestle with many issues. My faith is stronger now than it was when I came to Calvin. - Jill S. Friesema, Grand Rapids, Mich.

As a student in the 1950s, a member of the science faculty in the 1960s and '70s, and as someone who lives with the campus literally on the other side of my backyard fence, there is no doubt in my mind that the administration, faculty, and student body of Calvin College are committed to maintaining the school as "the flagship of Christian liberal arts education." As in any academic institution, one can find views and opinions that may not fit the mold. People and practices, rules and norms change over time, which seemed to be your writer's focus. But the heart of Calvin College remains deeply committed to a Christian way of life and to preparing Christians to live in this world. - Vernon J. Ehlers, Member of Congress (R-Mich.) Grand Rapids, Mich.

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