Special thanks for your cover stories on Ronald Reagan ("Reagan: A photo essay," "Providential president," Feb. 7). While not a perfect president, he gave so much to the people of this country and the world. He survived an assassination attempt and, despite his many political opponents and press critics, served this country as president for eight years with great distinction. Guided by his faith in God and his love for freedom, he led the way to defeat Soviet Communism and build a stronger, more optimistic America. His leadership truly changed the world. -Robert L. Oberst, Syracuse, N.Y.
I have long felt that history will consider Ronald Reagan one of our greatest presidents, along with Washington and Lincoln. He brought us through the Cold War and gave us a sense of worth and mission at a time when our morale was at its lowest ebb since the Great Depression. I hope that his family, which is suffering with him now, knows that many recognize and appreciate what he did for all of us.
Thank you for the tribute and articles regarding Ronald Reagan. I analyzed a Reagan speech for my high-school speech team, and your magazine was a great resource. I believe that he changed the American presidency because he was a man of integrity. May his legacy be long remembered.
-Anneliesse Nelson, 18
Paul Kengor's article makes clear how Ronald Reagan's ever-growing faith sustained him. Evidently, these values were not shared by the first lady, given her reliance on astrologers and the like.
-Walter H. Reading
Thanks for Mr. Olasky's column, "Stay the course" (Jan. 31). I don't agree with President Bush on all things, particularly nonmilitary spending and illegal aliens, but I think he is by far the best choice. It concerns me how some Christians constantly nit-pick and never seem to point out all the good he has done on moral issues.
-Samuel D. High
Glass half empty
I was saddened but not shocked to read that nearly half of America's pastors operate from a worldview that is not distinctly biblical ("Stray pastors," Feb. 7). I serve at a church that is Word-centered, but my interaction with pastoral resources suggests that this privilege is more and more the exception rather than the norm. To truly strengthen the church of Jesus Christ, we need to recapture biblical preaching and the long-term shepherding of God's people as the primary tasks of the pastor.
Lake in the Hills, Ill.
As a Catholic, I find it intriguing that "salvation is by grace alone" was on the list of core biblical beliefs in the Barna survey.
Micah's warnings to false prophets and "priests who teach for a price" were ringing in my head as I read "Stray pastors." How disturbing that so many pastors do not have a biblical worldview. The Lord always holds His leaders to a higher standard.
I serve on my parish search committee, and the vast majority of applicants do not have a biblical worldview and are very liberal. Most of our committee members, however, are getting tired of me being concerned with only the applicants' theological views. May the Holy Spirit move throughout our seminaries today so that their graduates may know Jesus, and think like Him.
Mr. Veith's column gave my 15-year-old daughter and me a good conversation starter on the way to church yesterday. We observed that, if the percentage of members holding a biblical worldview in our own local church was higher than the 7 percent to 9 percent Barna reported, other churches out there are even lower. Ouch.
Andree Seu put into words what many of us know but could not express, that secularism is a religion ("France's veil," Feb. 7).
Andree Seu is absolutely right that "the nation that stands for nothing will have to stand for something or be swallowed up." The sooner we stand up and declare America a Judeo-Christian nation, the better.
Not dead yet
Regarding Kodak's decision to quit producing film cameras ("35mm negative," Jan. 31): Kodak, once the world's top producer of film cameras and innovative camera technology, has all but disappeared from the camera market in recent years. When Canon, Nikon, Minolta, or Pentax announces that it is discontinuing production of traditional film cameras, it may be a true sign of the coming end. Until then, film is strong.
-Ed & Marcie Eubanks
St. Louis, Mo.
I believe much can be gained from exploring space, and perhaps even from travel to the other planets ("God & man on Mars," Jan. 24). But I am uneasy with NASA's naturalistic worldview that justifies much of their research on the basis of "the search for life" beyond Earth. Finding life is a pipe dream, and one that will be used to ram evolution down our children's throats even more vigorously.
I completely support the president's plan for space exploration. It could reveal an order and supreme intelligence behind the creation of space. And I bet there are a lot of boys and girls just like me who would like to fly to the moon or maybe Mars. It is mankind's nature to explore.
-Jack D. Kinyon
I appreciate how you let us readers in on your struggles ("A giant leap?" Feb. 7). You show great respect for your readers, unlike many mainstream publications. I sincerely hope you will be able to boost your subscription rate and gain the national recognition you deserve.
Joan's God spoke
I enjoyed "Joan's God shows up in prime time" (Jan. 24) about Joan of Arcadia. It sounds like it may be a decent show. However, you said that God "supposedly" spoke to the historical Joan of Arc. Why wouldn't God speak to her? You say that if someone wants to hear God's voice, he can read His Word. Good point, but Joan of Arc was illiterate and didn't have that option. So when God called her at the age of 13, He spoke to her, and she fulfilled God's purpose for her generation.
Retired Army Col. Michael Smith is a former U.S. adviser to the Economic Community of West African States ("Peaceful preemption," Feb. 21, p. 27).