Regarding the Pryor vs. Moore debate ("Political suicide?" Sept. 13): It isn't either/or, but both/and. Justice Moore is concerned about judicial distortion of the First Amendment, while Mr. Pryor is concerned about religious liberty. We cannot pretend that the federal courts have no authority in the warped system they have created; they do, and we need lawyers like Jay Sekulow and Bill Pryor to work that system. But as Justice Moore realizes, we must address the Supreme Court's usurpation of the people's right to amend the Constitution and Congress' right to legislate under it. - Timothy D. Crater, Woodbridge, Va.
WORLD's recent cover story lauding Alabama Attorney General Bill Pryor for supposedly upholding the rule of law is in error. Your false premise: Federal Judge Myron Thompson's opinion equates to law. Judge Thompson's ruling ignores the Constitution's clear text, the explanations propounded in The Federalist Papers, and the historical reality of America's founding upon specifically Christian principles. Alabama Chief Justice Moore is a courageous hero standing for the rule of law, moral truth, religious liberty, and against the unlawful expansion of federal judicial power. Judge Thompson and his ilk legislate from the bench, effectively amending the Constitution. They thus usurp the power of Congress and the executive and those powers reserved to the states by the 10th Amendment. Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1820 that "to consider judges the ultimate arbiters of constitutional questions is a very dangerous doctrine indeed." Mr. Pryor did not uphold the rule of law, but capitulated to judicial tyranny's assault upon our freedoms. - Bobby Franklin, Marietta, Ga.
Bill Pryor's decision to honor the law and not follow the crowds gathering below his window is commendable. By dragging our feet on the Ten Commandments, we are alienating our fellow Americans and cementing our identity as another needy minority or another political special-interest group. - Matthew Loftus, Bel Air, Md.
Grief and granite
I gasped when I read the contents of the hateful e-mail sent to Joel Belz concerning WORLD's stand on the Alabama controversy ("Friendly fire," Sept. 13). How much more must the divisive nature of such comments grieve our Lord than the removal of a granite block? - Juli Williams, Lewisville, Texas
It saddens me to be reminded of what happens when we forget how much Jesus desired that we would be one in Him. And didn't Paul say that even if I am right on all the issues "but do not love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal"? - Linda Stankovich, Senoia, Ga.
Lynn Vincent never mentions that many teachers are undercompensated for the hours that they actually devote to teaching, or that teachers' hourly pay correlates better with union representation than with the quality of education that they deliver. Unreasonable expectations, oppressive working conditions, and early retirement incentives are pushing many effective, conscientious teachers out of the profession. On the other hand, lazy and incompetent teachers can work the system for a lifetime annuity. Before we compare apples to apples, we should sort out the rotten ones. - W.M. Grogan, Richmond, Va.
Andree Seu argues that Henri Nouwen is "less informed on the holiness and law of God" partially based upon the fact that gays receive his message ("Nouwen improved," Sept. 13). Maybe homosexuals reach for Nouwen because he understood what Jesus said was the greatest commandment: to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength and to love others. I am straight but also heartbroken with how the church in general has alienated those who are homosexual. - Mark Daley, Baltimore, Md.
Thank you for Marvin Olasky's excellent column, "'Horribly violent'" (Sept. 13). My Indian Christian friends have been telling me about the reality of Hindu-inspired violence for quite some time, but this article brought the matter into very sharp focus. - Merl Mangum, Raleigh, N.C.
Sorry no more
I am sorry to say that I had heard about WORLD several years prior to subscribing but couldn't believe that such a publication could accurately address a Christian worldview. Happily, I was wrong. Thanks for being a balanced voice for Christianity and for continually encouraging the rest of us to boldly proclaim the same. Please find enclosed subscriptions for our sons, all in law school, who also need encouragement to proclaim the Christian worldview. - Jim & Kay Hines, Corpus Christi, Texas
As a born-again trial attorney in Maryland, I was most disturbed to see a state appellate court judge defying an order of a court of competent jurisdiction. Certainly the federal court was wrong to order the monument removed, but Judge Moore, as an officer of the court, is obliged to follow all of the law, not just those portions that fit his views. While emotionally satisfying to many of us, his acts reflected a judicial activism no less reprehensible than that of liberal judges and justices. The fact that Mr. Pryor did his duty, even though he didn't like doing it, is to his credit. - Peter Byrnes Jr., Severn, Md.
Mr. Pryor's belief that only individuals, not magistrates, can resist tyranny flies in the face of the teachings of great political thinkers such as Samuel Rutherford, who believed lower magistrates in particular had a duty to resist tyranny and could do so with the least threat of creating chaos in society. No magistrate or citizen is excused from his duty to obey the Constitution because a usurping tyrant demands that he do so. - Steven E. Woodworth, Benbrook, Texas
I agree with Mr. Pryor that his decision was the right one. Let us all take care not to make the Ten Commandments monument more important than what is written on that granite slab. - Henry Skinner Larsen, Lockhart, Texas
I was dismayed by the inconsistency of William Pryor's actions over his own words. Mr. Pryor knew the truth, but he buckled to the dictates of the higher courts. A man of convictions he is not. - Steven Van Epps, Glen Burnie, Md.
I agree with Joel Belz that Christians must be careful about the rhetoric of their disagreements. The evangelical leader who laments having nothing to show for having "an administration with evangelical leanings" has his focus on symptoms and not causes. You cannot tell a nation that the unborn should not die when the moral foundation of that premise is missing. The dirty secret is that the foundation is largely missing among evangelicals themselves. - Paul M. Elliot, Westminster, Md.
Length of days
Teachers are reporting a 38-hour week with a one-hour, duty-free lunch ("Comparing apples to apples," Sept. 13)? Good grief! My days are 11 hours long with a 30-minute lunch break. Many of my conference periods and after-school hours are spent in meetings, tutoring, and evening events. My complaint is not about my salary but the public perception of teachers that your article reinforced. - Kathryn Loveland, San Antonio, Texas
I appreciated the article for its full look into teacher pay and I am very content with my pay here in northern Maine. I teach because I love the kids, but after only 14 years I'm tired of being the yo-yo between unions, government, and parents, none of whom know what they really want. I'm also tired of not being appreciated by the communities at large. Therefore, I'm seeking a career change-unfortunately. - Mark Scott, Houlton, Maine
Though I often enjoy Mrs. Seu's column, I am dismayed by her use of the term "gay Christian." It contributes to the deterioration of our understanding of sin and legitimizes the liberal and, more importantly, heretical idea that "gay" and "Christian" go together. - Steve Whitman, Richmond, Va.
The "make-my-day movies" of Charles Bronson and Clint Eastwood most certainly did not take us "back to the values of 'the moral majority'" ("Brains or Bronson," Sept. 13). God hates those who love violence (Psalm 11:5) and vengeance belongs to Him (Romans 12:19). "The virtue of fighting for one's family" has never gone out of style, but the force necessary to stop the threat must end as soon as the threat stops. - Randall MacDonald, Flora, Ill.