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Mailbag

Issue: "Summer Books 2004," July 3, 2004

The answer

As our country finds it more and more difficult to understand and to influence the overwhelming chaos in the world, it is wonderful to read of our president as a man of prayer, morals, and unwavering convictions ("Holding the line," June 5). There have been mistakes, and each new day finds more reports of violence, economic uncertainties, and conflicts that seem to have no answer. But the truth is that Jesus Christ is the only answer, and I thank God that President Bush realizes that seeking Him is the most important thing he can do each day. - Steve McQueen; Beaver, Okla.

Divided

Having recently been elected to my third four-year term as a school board director for a 13,000-student public-school district, I have come to the same conclusion as Joel Belz and some influential members of the Southern Baptist Convention ("Public divide," June 5). I can no longer encourage Christian parents to send their children to our blatantly secular public-school system, and certainly not if they're serious about ensuring their children receive a biblical worldview education. To the extent that I can influence the curriculum, and help provide a quality education for those students whose parents are not concerned about such things, I believe that God is calling me to serve my community on the school board. Sometimes it's a lonely job. - Carl Johnson; Silverdale, Wash.

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As the Pinckney-Shortt resolution points out, the choice is clear. If we are to take responsibility for our children receiving a Christ-centered education, we can no longer turn them over to the state for anti-Christian indoctrination. - Doug Pruiett; Richmond, Va.

As a retired teacher from a family of public-school teachers, I'm thankful our grandchildren either attended private schools or were homeschooled. I admire those teachers with integrity and common sense who remain in our schools, and there are isolated districts that haven't yet lost their moral compass. But sending our children to public schools today is like taking them to a restaurant where good food is occasionally served, but more and more often there is "poison in the pot." - Kathryn Thompson Presley; Bryan, Texas

I'm not going to argue that the public schools aren't in dire straits, but I think WORLD should consider the impact you are having on Christian educators in this country when you attack public education. I see the pain in my wife's eyes when she reads such columns. She teaches at a large public high school in a very rough part of Dallas, where the light of the gospel is needed the most. Yet I fear that if some Christians had their way, that place would never see the gospel. - Steve Brown; Dallas, Texas

As someone homeschooled until I entered a public school in seventh grade, I agree that the public-school system has problems, but I don't believe that a "mass exodus" is the way to fight this godless environment. I believe churches and families should do a better job of teaching their kids to fight for their faith, much like my church has. - Lisa Grace Duvick, 15; Ames, Iowa

This matter calls for prayer and insight on the part of the parents. We need to honestly assess each child's strengths and weaknesses. Those who show the ability to withstand temptation and also influence their peers in a godly manner are desperately needed in our public schools. Those more easily swayed would benefit from a more sheltered environment. Our nation needs public, private, and home schooling. May the children in each school be molded into the best possible witness for God. - Kevin Hull; Alexandria, Ohio

Canadian fruit

The application of Muslim law in Canada ("Theocracy, Canadian style," June 5) should be a warning to the United States about the fruits of postmodern tolerance. Our founders asserted religious freedom, as defined by the Second Amendment, while religious tolerance attempts to equalize all religious beliefs. Let us hope that our leaders, particularly in the judicial branch, understand the difference. - Shane Atkinson; Nolensville, Tenn.

Real leaders

As a black conservative, I was glad to hear a voice such as Mr. Cosby's speaking out about the problems in black American families ("Cosby's diagnosis," June 5). Regarding Cal Thomas's comments about "black leadership," I want to clarify that it is not always represented by the Jesse Jacksons and the Al Sharptons of the world. My leaders are the J.C. Wattses, the Colin Powells, and even the James Dobsons and William Bennetts. - Paul Denham; Averill Park, N.Y.

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