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Mailbag

Issue: "Ugly truth of partial-birth," April 17, 2004

Placing a call

As an art major at a state university, I was so excited to read &quotWhat is art?" (March 20) by Gene Edward Veith. My greatest concern is that believing art students are not given the chance to learn about art from a Christian perspective. Many, if not most, of the master's-level art programs are so full of the dogma you describe. Can I place a call for more Christian art schools? This is the only way we will prepare artists to communicate from a Christian worldview-and rock the art world.

-DeLynn Coppoletti, South Webster, Ohio

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I was appalled at what many in our culture consider &quotart" and I was very grateful for the clear distinction this article made. I am very disturbed that the point of today's art seems to be to pull at the baser aspects of human nature and repulse the true sense of beauty that God has given us; but it is encouraging to see how true beauty can still reach people in our culture.

-Hannah Engel, 16

Bryson City, N.C.

Thanks for opening our aesthetic minds. Beauty is better when it serves a cause higher than itself. When Pablo Picasso actually liked one of his new mistresses, he would allow some aesthetic appeal into his portraits of them. His higher cause was to compliment, so he sought out beauty to serve that end. However, when he grew tired of a mistress, his portraits became distorted, ugly, and perverse. Art critics labeled him a creative genius for this. Actually, he was just closing his aesthetic mind, and ours.

-Joel Mark Solliday

Brooklyn Park, Minn.

I am an artist, recently escaped from a career in Hollywood, and I couldn't agree more with Mr. Veith. I've made comic books, had senior roles in video games and film effects production as well as a bit of work in television. In all this I was inundated all day long, every day, with an anti-Christian, anti-

conservative ideology that made it very clear to me that any contest to that same ideology would be frowned upon by my co-workers.

-Andrew Paquette

Phoenix, Ariz.

I do not want to go to public museums or shows anymore, nor do I trust any artistic events in the San Francisco Bay area, fearing licentiousness, violence, and banality. Likewise, I have come across very little quality art in the Christian scene and find few places to exhibit my art. While I agree with Mr. Veith that we are at the turning point for Christian artists to regain the art scene, this is a hard time to be an artist. It's like trying to break through the ice with a little toy shovel.

-Laura J. Dahl

Concord, Calif.

I can see a sort of beauty in the stark minimalism of an empty room with the lights going on and off on a set timer, and I can even experience an oddly compelling feeling toward the work. Where Mr. Veith sees empty nihilism, I see wide open possibility. Even minimalism and other modern and postmodern art movements can be brought under the dominion of Christ.

-Kathryn E. Brightbill

Bradenton, Fla.

&quotStealing beauty" was the best article about a Christian view of art I have read so far.

-Ryan Carothers

San Jose, Calif.

Let not man

How ironic. The gay marriage advocates' poster, which reads, &quotWhat God has joined together, let no man put asunder," condemns their cause (&quotA totally alien mindset," March 20). Did they not know what Jesus said, or did they pick and choose? In Mark 10 Jesus said, &quotFrom the beginning of the creation God made them male and female ... And the twain shall be one flesh; so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder."

-Mary Whelchel

Wilmore, Ky.

Joel Belz's defense of his earlier sentiment that the debate over homosexual marriage has already &quotbeen settled in this society" should have been unnecessary. Mr. Belz continues to be a consistent voice, admonishing his readers to look at our society from the view that there is nothing Satan will not do to get us to bend our knee to him. No one can accuse Joel Belz of losing his passion.

-Genie Ragin

Cumming, Ga.

Mr. Belz's use of the recent California ruling against Catholic Charities to argue why those who oppose gay marriage have a &quotright" to do so is an outstanding one. If (when) gay marriage is legal in the United States, I hope Christians fight with the same fervor for laws to keep homosexuals from forcing us to &quotbend (our) knees" to them.

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