Columnists > Mailbag


Issue: "Terror on trial," Oct. 18, 2003

By our love

I also find some of the "stands on principle" of my fellow believers to be counterproductive in reaching the lost ("As others see us," Sept. 20). Is defending a block of granite with the Ten Commandments on it, or fighting for "under God" to remain in the Pledge, what we really want to be known for? Jesus said the world would know us by our love, not our crusades. - Gabriel D. Hoffman, Kettering, Ohio

Perhaps what some students or scoffers see as a lack of forbearance or compassion from Judge Moore, James Dobson, Alan Keyes, and others is actually courage and a proper intolerance. The "proverbial camel's back" now carries millions of dead pre-born babies, a militant and intolerant homosexual army, pervasive secular humanism, etc. It is long past the point where the church should be more concerned with doing the "right" thing, as an expression of faith and love for God and man, and stop wringing our hands about how scoffers will portray us. After all, the "dazed and bewildered," like the "poor," will always be among us. - Dave Brandt, Ellison Bay, Wis.

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It doesn't matter to me how late WORLD arrives because I read it for your commentary and your take on news stories. I care that you present stories in a Christ-centered manner (something I don't find anywhere else) and appreciate your fantastic columns (which I always read first, and which make me think regardless of whether I agree with them). As long as the issues arrive I am a happy camper. - Jonathan K. Cooper, Knoxville, Tenn.


Hurricane Camille hit the Gulf Coast in August 1969 ("Hurricane alley," Sept. 27, p. 23).

Arafat chance

I see no evidence that Israeli security would be enhanced by removing Mr. Arafat, whether by assassination, military force, or political pressure ("The devil you know," Sept. 20). He is an old man who will soon vanish, and tolerating him until he dies may well result in fewer casualties than eliminating him. The Israeli government should take action so that Mr. Arafat's replacement will be less truculent. It might begin by adopting policies to woo Palestinian moderates instead of driving them into the arms of radicals. - Leon Billig, Burnet, Texas

Asked to show restraint for peace while her antagonists remain uncensored and unrestrained, Israel has shown remarkable self-control. Quoting a terrorist organization as "preparing to respond in kind" obscures a vital truth. It takes money, organization, and time to plan and execute human bomb atrocities. To characterize terrorists as avenging makes the evil deeds seem spontaneous, born of desperation rather than cold, calculating leadership. The issue is not if they will act against Israel but when. To report otherwise is to play their PR game, allowing known terrorists to define the discussion. - James Whitman, Dayton, Ohio

Puppy love

Susan Olasky's interview of Anne Lamott may incite some negative response, but I want to thank you for it ("'Like a puppy in a Christmas stocking,'" Sept. 20). It was forthright, unvarnished, and raised some pertinent issues not in a theological vacuum but in the real-life experience and expressions of a professing believer, however unorthodox. - Les Borsay, Waterloo, Iowa

Thank you for interviewing Anne Lamott. It has inspired several conversations around our household and reminded me to pray for her and others of influence in the Christian community. Your interview also showed how important it is to know something about an author. Her inadequate view of God's Word and her belief in universal salvation make it clear that her writings cannot be trusted. Thanks for providing what we needed to more confidently discern the errors of her doctrine. - Leon Cook, Midland, Mich.

What a challenge to hear from someone so committed, young, and honest in Christ. There will come a time for all of us to answer for the understanding we walk in, and Anne Lamott will one day be challenged to face the fact that her Alley Cat is also a Lion. - Fred Stevens, Tacoma, Wash.

How prophetic. Ms. Lamott and her sweet-sounding, aberrant theology may serve as a prototypical illustration of the neo-Christian voice that is sure to grow in influence in the days to come by tickling the ears of biblically illiterate and fickle professing Christians. - Bernie Diaz, Pembroke Pines, Fla.

If Anne Lamott and her theology have a large following among our young people, Christianity in our country is in worse shape than I thought. She has reduced the awesome, transcendent, holy God of the universe into a cosmic sugar daddy who turns His head at sin. - Frank Nolton, Goodrich, Mich.


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