The problem with Gen. Boykin is not Gen. Boykin at all but journalists like Mr. Arkin who promote their own brand of religious fanaticism. Is this a surprise in a postmodern world? What the general said was well put, personal, and he has every right to say it. - Tim Leever, Goldboro, N.C.
I was disappointed that the columnist quoted in "Rat Pack Republicans" would portray George W. Bush as a frat boy. He is probably our most devout president in the last 100 years. - Scott Harris, Mayfield, Ky.
Kudos to Marvin Olasky for his clear identification of our nation's main political problem. When our nation began, power was decentralized and people took greater responsibility for their own actions and the need to help others. But the sin inherent in each of us began the process of centralization, seeking power. For power does not corrupt; it merely provides opportunity to exercise the corruption already within us. Those who would centralize power to exercise their own corruption have worked themselves into all levels of authority. - James Patrick Jones, New Braunfels, Texas
All the fun
I vividly remember, some 20 years ago, when my future wife and I agreed that one parent would always be at home with the children. I offered to quit my job, when children arrived, so she could pursue her career in education. "Oh no," she replied, "you don't get all the fun!" We have never regretted that decision. It is encouraging that more women recognize that pursuing a career is not the opportunity for success many would have them believe ("A powerful force," Nov. 8). - Larry D. Ruddell, Spokane, Wash.
Heart of ashes
I walked through circumstances, thoughts, and emotions similar to what Lynn Vincent described in "Calinferno" (Nov. 8), although my home and area were undamaged. I took refuge at my brother's apartment in Seal Beach, where the air was also smoke-laden. My sister-in-law told some co-workers, who were complaining about the annoying ash falling on their cars, those were not just burned-up trees but "the ashes of someone's home." Though distant from the tragedy, she saw the heart of the matter. - Linda West, Rancho Bernardo, Calif.
As a former Army officer, I have a fairly good grip on military culture. Gen. Boykin spoke the truth ("Unfriendly fire," Nov. 8). However, he erred by making his appearance and remarks while in uniform. There is a long-standing prohibition against giving the appearance of using your standing in the military for unofficial uses, such as a prop in a religious or political speech. The good general would have avoided most of the controversy if he had made his appearance and comments in civilian attire. Violating this rule can unduly influence junior soldiers and give the impression that the government endorses the comments. - Stuart Brogden, Houston, Texas
The president's repudiation of General Boykin's comments on Islam should remind evangelicals that-the clamor about the president being a Christian notwithstanding-he is a politician at heart. Certainly President Bush has to make politically expedient decisions, and we laud his efforts to advance Judeo-Christian values. But at the moment of decision, he chose to appease the court of men. Perhaps now churches will understand that their role is that of a prophet, not a herald or mascot, to the king. - Terrence Richards, Suitland, Md.
Hoorah! Finally someone has addressed the sham of the Republicans backing Arnold Schwarzenegger ("Rat Pack Republicans," Nov. 8). Mr. Veith is so right. I was appalled when President Bush went to California to endorse him. - Bonnie Clark, Lansing, Mich.
Smell of death
The column on the high stakes of winning elections really hit home for me ("Winning is everything," Nov. 8). I have a relative who positively "hates" George Bush, clearly supporting the pollster's quote about the strength of Bush hatred. It would clearly seem irrational, especially from one who identifies with neither major political party. May I add to your list of causes for political hatred that President Bush carries the light of Christ in him. According to the Apostle Paul, Christians are the fragrance of life to those being saved but to others they are the smell of death. To those of us who also know the Savior, Mr. Bush is filled with light; to the others, he is an affront. - Elaine Neumeyer, Big Canoe, Ga.
The mini-series on Ronald Reagan is a huge insult to one of our greatest presidents ("CBS wrongs Reagan," Nov. 8). I am glad you exposed it. The show got what it deserved in being sent to pay-per-view. - Jonathan Randolph, 16, Winter Springs, Fla.
It was so refreshing and encouraging to finally see an honest exposure of paternity fraud ("Daddy duped," Nov. 8). It is time for a thorough examination of the legal doctrine, social philosophy, and public policy that has supported the dissolution of our families and the draconian impact these have had on men and fathers. - Randall L. Dickinson, Ballston Spa, N.Y.
Whoa! Patricia Cornwell's latest novel, Blow Fly, is typical of her Scarpetta novels: tightly woven suspense featuring major characters from past novels, all wrapped together in a gruesome manner (Bestselling Books, Nov. 8). It is in no way below the standards of her previous novels. Yes, Blow Fly might be confusing to a new reader but certainly shouldn't be to one who has read her previous work. - Jeanie Frasch, Milford, Mich.
Gene Edward Veith's "Flex the brain" (Nov. 1) was spoken with prophetic clarity and cogency. We are indeed becoming a nonreading society. Read? Reflect? Discuss? That is asking too much. We are an image-driven society, and with what images TV fills our minds! As Christians we must resist this addiction. - J. Clifford Van Dyken, Dundas, Ontario
We live in a society that cares more for a litter of puppies than it does for human beings, who are regarded as "weeds" to be plucked from existence if they do not measure up to a particular standard both physically and mentally ("Terri's fight," Nov. 1). We must strive for a society that values all human life and does not seek the easy way out through the destruction of it. - Mark Thoburn, Winchester, Va.
It seems obvious that the husband's only concern with Terri Schiavo is her money, which is why he has not divorced her, left her to her family, and moved on. I deeply pity him, as his greed has overtaken his judgment. - Lisa Bouldin, Concord, Va.
It appears to me Terri died about 13 years ago. Since then, through modern science, it has been possible to keep all her major organs functioning without having to transplant them into someone else's body. I and my wife have signed living wills to prevent such a spectacle being made of our remains. - Duane Hartline, Rotonda, Fla.
I am a freshman at Texas A&M and really miss WORLD from home. Imagine my delight during a study break to find WORLD online. It was refreshing, with all the information bombarding me every day, to read solid conservative articles. - Natalie Rizvi, Cypress, Texas