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Mail From Readers

Issue: "Capitol stampede in Texas," Aug. 9, 2003

We cannot
The U.S. Supreme Court's blatant disregard of legislative process in its stunning reversal of Texas' anti-sodomy laws was far more than a warning shot; it was an attack on the soul of our Constitution ("Supreme warning," July 5/12). Critical to the preservation of our freedoms will be what we do, or fail to do, in response. C.S. Lewis warned that Christians are tempted to make unnecessary concessions, but at some point "we must show our Christian colors, if we are to be true to Jesus Christ. We cannot remain silent or concede everything away." -Hilber Nelson, Twin Falls, Idaho
Such rulings protecting homosexual sex will help put marriage among Christians back where it belongs: as an institution of God. The state got involved in marriage as a means of regulation and revenue production, and it allows divorce as easily as it allows the issuing of the marriage license. Jesus' standard is much higher. -Chuck Zehnder Branson, Mo.
Before we grab our swords and flail about attacking the "gay agenda," we should keep in mind that gay activists will point out that the divorce rate and sexual immorality in Christian circles make our shrill defense of marriage seem very hypocritical. Our words, when we debate, must be tempered by love. -David Wedel Glendive, Mont. Book notes
WORLD's occasional book lists always inspire and delight me. The latest, "Western culture's top 50" (July 5/12), was no exception. -Thomas Sanders Willow Grove, Pa.
Your writers never explain whether your "Western culture's top 50" is a list of the best works produced by Western culture or of those that had the greatest influence on it. Your selection of the Bible as #1 would suggest influence, as it wasn't produced by the West, but a number of works, such as those by Shelby Foote, are not even among the most influential books of their century. A big problem is that the list was compiled by only two writers, and they take a number of prejudicial swipes at today's experimental novels, James Joyce and Virginia Woolf, for example. You turn us away from some of the best of past literature and from virtually all of contemporary literature. -Sam Anderson Simpsonville, S.C.
I was disappointed that you did not include one of the pivotal men in Western civilization, Martin Luther. I would recommend Bondage of the Will and Freedom of a Christian. Luther is challenging but accessible to any serious reader. -Jim Huffman Burlington, N.C.
I would have liked to see The Works of Josephus as well as Sheldon's In His Steps, McDowell's Evidence That Demands a Verdict, and Schaeffer's How Should We Then Live? but I understand their limited appeal. Yet I cannot understand how Wallace's Ben-Hur was left off. Did it not introduce many rural 19th-century Americans to the excitement of novels, and introduce Christ's love to educated non-Christians worldwide? -Paul Johanson Seneca, S.C.
Your list should have been titled, "50 Best Books of American Politically Conservative Christian Evangelical Civilization." For example, while T.S. Eliot's Ash Wednesday accomplishes exactly what you said, Wasteland has done far more to critique the emptiness of modernity for people across the spectrum of religious and political conviction. And please, The Chronicles of Narnia and The Lord of the Rings? -Jason & Monique Ingalls Siloam Springs, Ark.
Today Uncle Tom's character is used as a term of derision, but he was loving, self-sacrificing, and Christlike in the face of extreme adversity. Knowing the role of Uncle Tom's Cabin in shaping U.S. history in the mid-19th century, I was surprised that it did not make your list. -Frank Arthur Viera, Fla.
Walker Percy may have been a fine Christian thinker, but he was a mediocre novelist. A better choice would have been the Pulitzer PrizeÐwinning novel Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton. -Turner Curry Magnolia, Texas Ghostbusters
In your article on ghostwriting ("Ghostwriters in the machine," July 5/12), I was surprised by the comment of writer Jim Black that ghostwriting "is not a question of integrity but of time and expertise." Would it be out of line to suggest that if someone has neither the time nor the expertise to write a book, then he has no business writing one? -Bill Onesty Roanoke, Va.
I read "Ghostwriters in the machine" with a heavy heart. Have we become a bunch of Esaus, selling our Christian birthright for a mess of porridge? Are we so afraid of forfeiting a dollar that we will lie? Is not a good name rather to be chosen than riches (Proverbs 22:1)? -Nathan Snell Lancaster, Pa.
The haunting fear of ghosts may have spooked Jim Black out of the house when he states, "I know of no public figure, Christian and otherwise, who can spend the time needed to write a 300-page book." As Gene Getz's research assistant, I can assure you that we study together but he writes all of his own books. -Mark Chalemin Plano, Texas
I was appalled to read that The Prayer of Jabez was ghostwritten. It is deception pure and simple. The publisher is equally culpable. I am going to attempt to return my copy and demand a refund. Perhaps if others do likewise, the "authors" and publishers will get the picture. -Bill Slack Phillipsburg, N.J. Blogging down
Page 10 of the July 26 issue of WORLD contains the term blog repeatedly. Such a word is not in my dictionary. It is not in the Collegiate dictionary on the Internet. What is its definition? -John E. Young Rockaway, N.J. EDITOR'S NOTE: Two new words have entered the English language and redefined the way American media work: blog and blogosphere. Blog is short for weblog, an Internet journal written by an individual or a small group, often with links to relevant articles. The blogosphere describes the new universe of discourse in which individual pundits or cranks can gain a broad following without going through editorial gatekeepers.
I appreciate your coverage of the blogosphere (Blog Watch, July 5/12). I've only been blogging for a year, but it was very exciting when I first realized that so many of the blogs I read daily were being covered in a magazine. It was as if WORLD joined my world. -Julie R. Neidlinger Hampden, N.D. Island reading
Joel Belz's column struck a responsive chord in my heart ("The 51st book," July 5/12). I, too, have been influenced by the Service Hymnal, then rejoiced in the InterVarsity Hymnal. If I were to be marooned on an island, I would want most of all a Bible, and then a Trinity Hymnal. It is an effective tool whereby I can express my heart's praise to God. -Abe W. Ediger Jenison, Mich.
I appreciate your fine magazine, but it was most presumptuous for Mr. Belz to call the Worship and Service Hymnal "very vanilla" and "a symbol of the pablum ... served in the name of hymnody." -Frederick Rall Santa Rosa Beach, Fla. Jealous?
Those evangelicals critical of Mr. Graham and Samaritan's Purse seem jealous because God is allowing their program to go forward ("ER=emergency relief," July 5/12). -William N. Isetts Bark River, Mich. Corrections
The Japanese lady who converted to Christ is Junko Blocksom (June 14, p. 63).
Indiana Gov. Frank O'Bannon is not running for reelection (July 26, p.22). An editing error made it appear that he was.
Cal Thomas's column titled "Mr. Mulligan" (July 26, p. 9) was based on an incorrect report in The Irish Times. WORLD did not receive the "kill" order until after it was too late.

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