There is a worrisome and ominous message in Mindy Belz's quote of pastor Yousif Matty of the evangelical church in Kirkuk, Iraq, who observed that radical Islam does not need popular support to take over a country ("One man, one vote, one time," Jan. 31). Consider the work of radical liberals in the USA, from the erosion of the Constitution by activist judges to the attempt to remove God from the Pledge of Allegiance. Ayatollah Dean and his herds of lemmings are not what the nation and free world need, now or ever.
I've been worried for months about what will happen to the Christians in Iraq if Shariah should be established there. Pastor Yousif Matty is so right. I hope our government leaders are reading WORLD.
The interview with Joseph Epstein was super ("A lucky life," Jan. 31). What a fascinating, delightful person.
-Robert M. Foster
I appreciated your interview with Mr. Epstein. Christians would do well to think as clearly as he does on the family. Last year he wrote: "Con yourself into thinking you make decisions because of your children and you'll end up one of those pathetic old guys whining about his children's ingratitude. Of the almost cripplingly excessive concern for the proper rearing of children in our own day, in all its fussiness and fear, my father's response, I'm almost certain, would have been: 'What're they, crazy?'"
The interview with Mr. Epstein revealed a uncommonly logical mind. Also, his comment that, although he was "literary," he had yet to read the Bible straight through, shows refreshing honesty.
Stay and go
I believe that President Bush is the willing Christian in God's plan of action. Our jobs are to hold him up in prayer so that he can continue to "stay the course" (Jan. 31).
Thank you for Mr. Olasky's thoughtful piece, but as a conservative I cannot stay the course. To keep Democrats out of office, compromise has made sense, and I am resigned to the Republicans overspending our tax dollars to win in November. The proverbial straw, however, was Mr. Bush's signing of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act. Our freedom of speech has been critically injured and he should be removed. I will continue to support responsible GOP conservatives but am now considering joining the Constitution Party.
Blue Bell, Pa.
I am a Released Time teacher in a small town and greatly appreciated finding out about the Fellowship of Christian Released Time Ministries ("Time well spent," Jan. 31). Three teachers from two different churches teach 18 kids from all backgrounds in a third church where none of us are members. Many times the awesome presence of God is with us in the classroom.
I read "Time well spent" with interest and approval. Here in Utah, students have had released time for religious instruction for years, sponsored by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In this program, called Seminary, students in grades 9-12 can schedule up to three hours a day to attend classes in buildings adjacent to public schools. Let's see more religious instruction in every community.
Salt Lake City, Utah
Ready to leave?
I appreciate WORLD's reporting on the sad saga of the Episcopal Church ("Dallas mavericks," Jan. 31). Rather than hem and haw over what to do, Bible-honoring Christians within groups having spiritually "blind" leadership should read the lesson of history and the words of Jesus' lips: "Leave them."
I'm glad Mr. Plowman pointed out the high cost of breaking away from the Episcopal denomination: the loss of property, assets, pensions, and health insurance. I hope that starting the conservative network will start to change the denomination from within. But these congregations might start studying Jesus' teaching that discipleship involves a willingness to give up all your own possessions. They may one day have to make much bigger sacrifices to stay faithful to the Word of God.
Part of a plan
Bethany Hamilton is the most courageous 13-year-old girl I have ever heard of ("Making waves," Jan. 31). If a shark had bitten off my arm, there is no way that after a few weeks I would be surfing again. It's great she can say that this was God's plan for her life.
Mr. Belz wrote of how a Google search for "homosexual life expectancy" will produce "thousands of entries" and that "no one seems to disagree" that "male homosexuals live significantly shorter lives than do other people" ("Dereliction of duty," Jan. 31). I did the search and found mostly homosexual porn sites and some sites disputing the evidence, so at least some disagree.
-William C. Walden
On Feb. 1, 2001, my only brother, who had been involved in the homosexual lifestyle, took his own life. I took Mr. Belz's suggestion and looked at websites dealing with homosexual life expectancy. I was shocked to see how many sites linked increased suicide rates of homosexuals with ridicule and pressure from homophobic heterosexuals. But the life insurance companies don't worry themselves about that-life insurance is not paid in suicide situations.
I appreciated Mr. Veith's review of The Gospel of John, which is also available on video ("A view of the Word," Jan. 31). I also found it to be professionally well-made and spiritually inspiring.
-Edwin E. Beale
Washington C.H., Ohio
In sending men to Mars ("God & man on Mars," Jan. 24), what exactly are we looking for? Maybe that's a stupid question coming from someone who still questions the benefits of putting someone on the moon. However, I love how Col. Williams said his experience in space only amplified his belief in the Creator. I never intend to be in outer space (I'm acrophobic), but I imagine floating between the Earth and other heavenly bodies would be awesome and humbling.
Otis Orchards, Wash.
I was astonished reading the plans for space exploration. I never imagined we would try to get a man on Mars in my lifetime. It is exciting and inspiring.