"Held back" really lit my fire. Mrs. Waagmeester believes that taxpayers should subsidize religious instruction they oppose. Secular humanism is a religion and its proselytizers are the public-school teachers. I am offended that my tax dollars support it. Where does that leave me? Also, taxpayer funding of public education is not so much a "social contract" as extortion. - Melanie McBride, Fayetteville, Ga.
I grew up in a conservative Christian home in Alabama, but I vehemently disagree with Justice Moore's methods. The Decalogue monument was not selected by the people, the legislature, or any other group representing the people of Alabama but by Justice Moore himself. If he wins, then the door is open for who-knows-what in courthouses, legislative buildings, and other public places. - Ben Thomas, Stuart, Va.
Regarding Mr. Olasky's urging that we should choose issues so Christianity is seen as "warm-hearted but tough-minded," Justice Moore's stand communicates that the moral law of God is the only proper foundation of civil law. Without this moral foundation, we are left with warm-hearted and tough-minded judges who compassionately protect atheists from public expressions of religion. If we reject God's perfect law of liberty as the foundation of civil law, then the fallible laws of tyrants will rule. - Steven Warhurst, Kingsport, Tenn.
In reading "Christ at the movies," I was disheartened to hear the same mantras I've heard my entire life regarding art. To say that preaching is the preferred form of spreading the gospel and that movies or art can only show but not tell leaves artists like me wondering why God gave us these gifts. - Julie Neidlinger, Hampden, N.D.
"Christ at the movies" was excellent. She raised the same issues that my seminary friends and I have been discussing for the last few years. As much as I love good literature and drama, preaching is God's appointed means of evangelism. - Brian Collins, Greenville, S.C.
Worse by far
Hooray for Gene Edward Veith's "Wandering shepherds" (Aug. 23). Heresy is more harmful than homosexuality. Those bishops who voted to install Mr. Robinson are worse by far than he is. Here's hoping the bishops who voted against heresy will have the fortitude to defend their faith and lead their flocks to a higher plane. If they stay in the Episcopal church and wring their hands for another 20 years, they will be preaching to bare walls. - Ellen Verell, Meade, Kan.
Concerning "An improbable dream" (Aug. 23): As a member of the biology faculty, I would respond that Baylor University's dream is a difficult one but not "improbable." Baylor professors are seeking to create innovative, Christian approaches to areas of study that have been traditionally "owned" by secular paradigms. WORLD should encourage such efforts strongly, just as it encourages politicians, authors, and citizens who seek to change society and advance God's kingdom. - Christopher Kearney, Woodway, Texas
License to slide
This downhill trend in society ("One-way traffic," Aug. 9) can be explained by Fisher Ames, who said, "The known propensity of democracy is to licentiousness which the ambitious call and the ignorant believe to be liberty." Most of the downhill acts of licentiousness are rationalized as "liberty" equated with "civil rights," such as abortion and homosexuality. For evil to be accepted it must be disguised as good. Christianity is under attack because it is viewed as an intrusion and a restriction on civil rights and liberty. We are in a cultural war between those who believe God knows what's best for man and those who believe man knows best. - Bill Champion, Boulder City, Nev.
Thank you for your recent focus on education ("Held back," Aug. 23). I appreciated the coverage of anti-voucher parents and their reasons; it will help voucher proponents make better arguments of their own. Society as a whole is better served when parents have educational alternatives that would otherwise be unaffordable. All of society benefits, not just the voucher families. Enlarging the concept of "public education" to "publicly funded education" with its universal benefit should become a strategic goal of the voucher movement. - Thadd Buzan, Springfield, Va.
Teachers unions know school choice won't reduce funding to good public schools because families will choose them. Choice threatens funding only to rotten public schools that families rightly wish to flee. For the children's sake, let's hope suburbanites discern the distinction soon. - Lil Tuttle, Richmond, Va.
I have a different objection to vouchers you did not mention. When private schools accept government money, they are opening themselves up to government control. One reason we homeschool our children is for the freedom to teach them as my husband and I believe, especially regarding Christian foundations and worldview. - Natalie Polutta, Acworth, Ga.
I appreciated Mr. Olasky's well-written article ("Showdown," Aug. 30), but I disagree with him strongly on the Moore case. I think Christians must take a stand on this bright-line issue that Chief Justice Moore has courageously put before us. We "frogs" must jump out of the boiling kettle and demand that the U.S. Congress restrain Article III judges for bad behavior and restore the original meaning of the First Amendment. - David Dunn, Bethany, Okla.
Movies that preach?
As a Christian movie critic, I read "Christ at the movies" (Aug. 23) with great interest. While I admit that movies need an interpreter (or preacher) to "close the deal" on evangelism, I must disagree with Mrs. Cheaney's disparaging attitude about Christian film. Campus Crusade for Christ's Jesus film and Messenger Films productions' Ropa Nueva Para Felipe and Con Quien Te Vas have led countless thousands to Christ. American audiences may be cynical about evangelistic films but, like Christ's parables, quality Christian film products can pierce the toughest hearts in ways that mere factual information cannot. - Matthew P. Kinne, Traverse City, Mich.
Movies can convey a message that is just as powerful as a sermon, but neither can produce a response without willing hearts and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. - Alex Bersin, Hainesport, N.J.
I was shocked by your pejorative description of the gentleman who entered an elderly lady's home to investigate its contents and then fell asleep. You called him a "burglar" (Quick Takes, Aug. 23). In Amsterdam, I would think that this man was simply following an alternative lifestyle. But the article ends happily: The police "woke him up." Phew! No mention that they condemned his choices in any way. - Larry Rippere, Mountain View, Calif.
C.S. Lewis ends A Grief Observed with a quote in Italian from Dante's The Divine Comedy (Aug. 16, p. 35). Iraq's new Governing Council has one Assyrian Christian among its members (Aug. 23, p. 9).