I attended a Constitution Party function some months ago at which both Michael Peroutka and Judge Roy Moore spoke ("Could this man be Bush's Nader?" July 14). Christians generally would support many of their aspirations. However, much like the far left, ironically, they seem to be seeking some type of (Christian) utopia that is from a bygone era or maybe never existed. Among other things, eliminating bureaucracies and bringing a biblically centered voice to government are commendable. But as Mr. Veith noted, a vote for a third party only advances the polar opposite of that cause.
-Albert Griffith; Aston, Pa.
Your hasty dismissal of Michael Peroutka almost cost you a lost subscription. With not a dime's worth of difference between recent Democratic and Republican presidents, it was disappointing to find WORLD unwilling to support the party that is "unabashedly Christian" in favor of a nauseating pragmatism.
-Walt Hibbard; Wilmington, Del.
Mr. Veith's discourse on parliamentary-style governments was interesting, but a more relevant discussion regarding American political parties would be the issue of ballot-access laws. In a nation where registering to vote is easy, in many states the opposite is true regarding ballot access if a citizen doesn't run under the Democratic or Republican banner. Unreasonable ballot-access laws (listed on the Constitution Party website) are the two-party system's most effective way to eliminate competition at the voting booth. Without state legislative barriers inhibiting access on the ballot, many more CP candidates would be running for offices at all levels this election cycle.
-Ricardo Davis, State Chairman, Constitution Party of Georgia; Woodstock, Ga.
Some successful American parties did build from the ground up, as Mr. Veith described. At their peak around 1912, the Socialists held over 600 mayor's seats and thousands of local officials. Populists took control of the Democrats in 1896. But the only truly multi-party era was the 1850s. There were Free Soilers, Democrats, Constitutional Unionists, Whigs, Anti-Masons, States Rightsers, Know-Nothings, Independents, and Republicans. One U.S. speaker was elected with support from five parties. That tension and confusion ended with the Civil War, leading many to believe that the moderate politics of a two-party system give it some advantages.
-John D. Froelich; Upper Darby, Pa.
In the last presidential election nearly half the nation's 59 million evangelicals didn't bother to register, and only 15 million actually voted. Why not apply a Christian worldview perspective to voting as the Constitution Party asks: Do your research, vote your conscience, and leave the results to God?
-Gregory Poulos; Inglis, Fla.
Aside from voting candidates into office, another (arguably greater) way of influencing the culture is to educate the public about political philosophy and public policy. After all, the Socialist party has never done much in terms of getting elected, but most of its 1928 party platform was made into law a decade later.
-D. Eric Schansberg; New Albany, Ind.
If the Republicans offer a biblically qualified candidate, I'll vote for him, but compromise voting (although politically expedient) has no place in Christian principles.
-Matthew D. Deamer; Ephrata, Pa.
When I saw Fahrenheit 9/11 last week, I saw things that shouldn't be happening, exposed ("All heat, no light," July 17). Michael Moore certainly went overboard on some points, but some were very relevant.
-Lee Butcher; Park Hills, Mo.
Joel Belz ("Messy stuff," July 17) illustrates again how a Christian worldview is necessary to help understand a complex world. If there is no God, ultimately there is really no justice at all. Bravo for this excellent piece of journalism.
-Leo Allard; Midwest City, Okla.
At the operational level of warfare, the foremost goal is not justice, but mission accomplishment. Thus, the offense of Prime Minister Allawi is far less important that its effectiveness in exploiting faults in the organization and willpower of the insurgents. In good conscience, then, one could face the parents of a fallen American and say that Mr. Allawi's policy, though unpalatable, was a blow to the enemy and helped to save the lives of many.
-Thomas Sibley, Captain, USMC; Camp Lejeune, N.C.
It's pure fantasy to think that any publisher, including WestBow, will spend the time it takes to discover and market new authors ("Truth and fiction," July 3/10). No agent is going to waste his time representing untested Christian fiction writers, regardless of talent, because they want their payday, and most publishers don't look at unsolicited material or from writers without an agent. Let's be honest. We are going to have to resign ourselves to known cash cows and Left Behind, Vol. 8, Left Behind: The Comic Book, and Left Behind for Hamsters.
-Steven Streit; Romeoville, Ill.
In your article about high-school basketball players drafted into the NBA ("Diaper dandies," July 3/10), you wrote that Shaun Livingston was raised by his grandfather. I was Shaun's choir director at school and cantor at his church, Trinity Lutheran. I saw Shaun's father, Reggie, as being directly responsible for Shaun's upbringing-from parent-teacher conferences, to choir concerts, to Sunday morning divine services, and, of course, basketball practice. I do not want to diminish Shaun's granddad, but I saw Reggie there every step of the way.
-Phil Magness; Naperville, Ill.
Mr. Coffin's description of Two Brothers as a family film is accurate ("Tiger tale," July 3/10). I was glad the children who sat near me in the theater had their mothers with them to constantly calm their sniffling and crying about what was happening to the cubs. The film ends happily, but the torture you go through to get there is disturbing.
-Joan Cameron; Greenville, S.C.
Mr. Belz was correct about the good and bad of "bigness" ("Downsizing," July 3/10). Our God is big, but He can also think small. He numbers all the hairs on our heads, and He wrapped all His bigness in human form and gave us Jesus. His church now includes millions, but it is built one accepting heart at a time.
-George Hooker; Pt. Pleasant, N.J.
Mr. Belz states that big families can reroute our trust in God, but the contrary is closer to the truth. Americans sacrifice large families to the goddesses of comfort and convenience.
-David R. Forsyth; Eron Valley, Pa.
It is refreshing to see a clear biblical perspective on contemporary culture and the arts in this age of Christian kitsch. We find your reviews succinct, informed, hilarious, and "spot on." Please do not let those miffed over minor disagreements dissuade you from your calling.
-Chris and Valerie Koetting; Merriam, Kan.
Bicyclist Manuel Beltran made his "supersonic" sprint up a mountain during the 2003 Tour de France ("Uphill battle," July 24).