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Mailbag

Issue: "One nation under God," June 26, 2004

Suffering soldiers » It was indeed a pleasure to read your May 29 cover story ("No greater love"). Besides the nearly 800 servicemen who have died fighting to establish freedom and self-government in Iraq, about five times as many have been seriously wounded. I thank God for the young men who are willing to go to Iraq to stand in harm's way. I also think that we have overemphasized the news about Iraqi prisoners. I am very strong on handling prisoners legally, and yet their plight seems outweighed by the suffering of even one soldier and his loved ones. - Les MacLeod; Santa Rosa, Calif. » Thank you so much for your cover story. Our hearts are moved by the sacrifices American men and their families are making. Our son, a very young Marine, ships out soon for Iraq. Your story comforts us during a time of questioning. - Brian & Louise Murphy; Kerrville, Texas So many of them » I just read Joel Belz's column "Bad to worse" (May 29) and got that hopeless feeling I get whenever I look around me. It reminds me of a quote from Babylon 5, in which one of the "good guys" says to her commanding officer, "There's always so many of them, and not enough of us." I feel the same when I try to fight against homosexual marriage or abortion. I'm only 16, so there's very little I can do politically, but if I can change just one person for God, then I've done well. Jesus told us that things would get much worse. I just wish I didn't have to live to see it. - Anne Winters; Albuquerque, N.M. » I was challenged and a little discouraged by Mr. Belz's column. I agree that bad news is piling up, but why should high gas prices be on that list? To include it on a list with presidential murders and the dismantling of America is, well, trivial. - Phil Wade; Ringgold, Ga. » Friends and I commiserate during our weekly post-WORLD bouts of depression after reading about the spiraling decay of American morality. Yet I continue to peek under the cover, hoping for a glimmer of light. Lament the loss of morality, comment on the madness of the wicked, encourage believers to be watchful and diligent, but do not forget to remind us who turns our world on its axis, guides and directs the nations, and planted us, as Jeremiah writes, by streams of water. - Erica Lambert; Bangor, Maine News value » Should we really be surprised at the lack of outrage at the barbaric slaying of Nick Berg ("Outrageous lack of courage," May 29)? Another recent story that has been ignored by the leftist, liberal media was the slaughter of hundreds of Christians in Africa by Muslim extremists. Our press, in their haste to demonize America and defeat George Bush, can get far more propaganda value from the actions of our troops at Abu Ghraib prison than from the murder of innocent Americans and Christians. - H.S. Napier;Fort Rucker, Ala. Rare use » Thank you to Andree Seu for her diligent study ("Significance of a little study," May 29). It is rare that one reads or hears a better use of God's principles to define how we should consider the actions of a few of our number, or how important it is to take His principles to heart before making a wrong choice with significant consequences. - Larry L. White; Fergus Falls, Minn. Manchesterian » In your review of the series finale of Frasier, you referred to Daphne as the "cockney housekeeper" ("Smart comedy," May 29). As a non-cockney-speaking ex-Englishwoman who grew up in London, I'd like to point out that cockney is an accent restricted to parts of London. Daphne's charming accent indicates that she grew up in Manchester in northern England. - Sheila M. Collins; Dallas, Texas Escalator » Minnesota Timberwolves star Kevin Garnett was not turning the other cheek in the incident with Anthony Peeler of the Sacramento Kings during the NBA playoffs ("Rough stuff," May 29). Mr. Peeler knocked Mr. Garnett's jaw with his elbow because five seconds earlier Mr. Garnett threw an intentional elbow into Mr. Peeler's midsection, in response to a previous collision. Mr. Garnett received a $7,500 fine. Mr. Peeler was suspended, not Mr. Garnett, because the NBA has a mandatory suspension for blows thrown to the head of an opponent. - Christian Arvold; Chicago, Ill. Living tradition » Gene Edward Veith's article on the Great High Mountain Tour was informative ("Digging roots," May 29). I just wanted to point out that the Sacred Harp singing referred to in the article is a living tradition. All around the country there are groups of singers who get together regularly to sing in the fashion you described. There are singing schools, singing conventions, and all-day singings still happening nearly every weekend of the year somewhere in the United States. - Idy Kiser; Shelby Township, Mich. Trouble with Troy » I was surprised to find myself in strong disagreement with Marvin Olasky's review of Troy ("Troy's Achilles heel," May 29). At close to three hours long, the overblown affair's primary weakness is not how it strays from Homer's original but a pedestrian script, paired with Brad Pitt's wooden performance and Breck Girl posturing. While the language is clean, the "bloody fighting scenes" are unusually gory and the soundtrack's dicing and slicing induced shudders in me. This would only be considered "Hollywood's typical spices" by the most frequent multiplex patrons. - Joe Martin; Virginia Beach, Va. Prison perspectives » Hats-off to Mr. Belz for telling it like it is ("No preservatives," May 22). No wonder the Abu Ghraib prison abuses took place. When the moral integrity of the land has gone by the wayside, what else can we expect? - Howard P. Roth; Deming, N.M. » I am not optimistic about the future of my country, unless God brings another powerful revival. I expect that as our morality declines, lawlessness will increase. Our citizens will demand a strong leader to return law and order and exchange some freedoms for these protections. As Marcus Cicero noted, "republics eventually break down into autocracies." - Robert L. Wichterman; Lancaster, Pa. Hope less » Regarding "Here's hoping" (May 22), I travel to the Baltics two or three times a year as a missionary. I have talked to very few nationals who are positive, let alone "overjoyed," as Mr. Veith wrote, about joining the European Union. Many voted to join because, economically, they had to to survive. Yet, they also see their newly gained independence, something that took centuries to achieve, being lost to the strong control of Western Europe. Many see the EU expansion only as a tool to grow the markets of the industrial powers of the West, with little benefit coming to the East. Farmers in Lithuania are losing their family farms due to strict environmental laws imposed by the EU, laws that only large corporate farms can survive. Prices are already going up fast, even here in Hungary, making it very difficult for average citizens to make ends meet. Christians fear loss of freedom of religious expression because control of the EU lies in the hands of very secular Western Europeans. - Ron Clegg; Budapest, Hungary

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