Columnists > Mailbag


Issue: "50 family-friendly movies," June 28, 2003


Andree Seu says in "Guilty of greed" (May 24) of Stella Liebeck, who sued McDonald's after being burned by hot coffee: "a few grand would have covered the ER bill." Here are some fun facts: Mrs. Liebeck suffered third-degree burns on her groin area and thighs and spent a week in hospital receiving skin grafts; hundreds of customers had reported burns to McDonald's prior to this accident, including some third-degree burns; as to greed, originally Mrs. Liebeck asked McDonald's to reduce the coffee temperature and pay $20,000 to cover medical expenses; McDonald's offered $800 and refused to cool the coffee; a judge reduced the $2.9 million in punitive damages to $480,000. The final settlement was reached privately, but the original multimillion-dollar verdict has now taken on the status of an urban legend. It's a shame Mrs. Liebeck has been constantly vilified since then. - Ginger Edwards, Avon Lake, Ohio

Calvin's calling

The President of Calvin College said, "We deal with a variety of approaches to origins; we don't teach any of these as the only way to look at it" ("Shifting sand?" May 10). The Reformed hermeneutic, however, insists that there can be only one correct, all-encompassing view on origins based on Scripture itself. Where Scripture is clear, we must follow it all the way rather than going our own way. Oh, that my alma mater would hold to this rather than evolutionary philosophy. - M.J. Mulder, Mount Hermon, Calif.

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WORLD was too hasty in its denunciation of Calvin. As a junior at Calvin, I would say it is a more liberal Christian school. However, Calvin encourages its students to think and engage the culture around them, a culture they will have to live in after graduation, outside of the bubble the Christian community provides. - Cara Sukolsky, Grand Rapids, Mich.

When we sent our two daughters to Calvin (we are both graduates), we told them that they could hang out with the wrong crowd, or they could focus on getting a quality Christian education. We also told them to use their God-given discernment to accept or reject what they were taught. We never once worried about it, and they went on to seminary and are serving the Lord. We thank God for Calvin College. - Dirk and Gerda VanStralen, Battle Creek, Mich.

A Christian graduate school that I considered 10 years ago is today, just like Calvin College, relaxing standards, watering down theology, and tossing aside its founding beliefs and practices. This occurs with disturbing frequency at Christian schools across the country, and I am alarmed at what it portends for the future of Christian education. I am glad I got my master's degree at a secular school. - Carol H. Blair, Longview, Texas


You really got my attention with your headline ("Chicks fillet," May 10). Thank you to Mr. Veith for putting into words what I believe a majority of Americans (and countless veterans) have wanted to say. - Ruth Dockery, West Lafayette, Ohio


Four Democratic senators have voted to end the Democratic filibuster of judicial nominees Priscilla Owens and Miguel Estrada: Zell Miller (D-Ga.), Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), John Breaux (D-La.) and Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) (June 7, p. 19).

Forward halt!

Joel Belz's "Print presumptions" (May 31) hits even harder at Christians who blithely forward(!), forward(!!), forward(!!!) e-mail hoaxes, making the reading of multiple, nested forwards tantamount to peeling an e-mail onion. It seems that the more preposterous the message, the more eagerly it is forwarded. - Peter Kushkowski, Haddam, Conn.

Razor in the apple

WORLD criticizes the "suspiciously shallow" worldview of The Matrix Reloaded, but offers only light criticism of the "lengthy sex scene" that opens the movie ("Program downgrade," May 31). A Wall Street Journal column described this scene as the "razor blade in the apple" and gave the movie a strikingly negative review because of it, noting how this fits within a downward trend of "seemingly harmless" movies aimed at teens. - Brian C. Collins, Greenville, S.C.

In denial

Regarding Marvin Olasky's "All the right moves" (May 31) about an Opryland chess tournament: The chess club at Troy Athens High School has this slogan: "The Chess Club: Join it. Love it. Deny you're in it." - Thomas F. Sleete, Troy, Mich.


I enjoyed Gene Edward Veith's column on Fox News ("The Fox hunt," May 24). Fox neither sets itself above nor against its audience, and I think that is the key. But calling Chris Matthews abrasive? I thought that was a cheap shot, especially compared to the pass given to Bill O'Reilly. Mr. Matthews is a very bright Democrat who can smell a roast cooking (what O'Reilly calls "spin") long before the oven even preheats. Then again, my wife can't stand him. - Benie Worral, Fargo, N.D.


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