Guilty by design
I appreciated Lynn Vincent's article on Roger DeHart, the teacher who was found guilty of mentioning intelligent design to his class ("Unscientific methods," Sept. 18). Mr. DeHart's case is a good example of how Darwinism is becoming an intellectual base for those dedicated to suppressing legitimate questions about the evidence for evolution. It is far from the only one and certainly not the last.
-Denyse O'Leary; Toronto, Ont.
As a public-school teacher, "No parent kept informed" (Sept. 18) really disturbed me. I voted for President Bush, but his educational policies are way off base. I am disappointed that you did not explore how they take accountability away from parents and students and place it on the teachers. Schools with tight budgets must bus kids to other schools and hire tutors instead of using those funds for improving their own programs. Further, students are spending most of their day studying math and language arts to pass state tests while spending little or no time on the sciences, social studies, and the arts.
-Jamie A. Gardner; Saegertown, Pa.
I enjoy WORLD because of all the different points of view and wanted to use some articles for an economics project in a class at my public high school. My teacher wouldn't let me use it because it was too biased, but I am allowed to use articles from Time and Newsweek, which I think are extremely liberal.
-Jeff Weigand, 16; West Bend, Wis.
Victim at last
As a member (forced) of the NEA and my state affiliate, I agree strongly that the members of this union come up with some strange resolutions ("Kitchen sink unionism," Sept. 18). A few years ago, one proposed that special programs be set up to deal with the "disability" of left-handedness. I was gratified to finally be a member of an NEA-authorized victim group.
-Richard Slater; Stanwood, Wash.
Conspicuously absent from your otherwise excellent series of articles on the American education system in the Sept. 18 issue ("Sick schools") was any recognition of the fact that the U.S. Constitution does not give the national government any authority to act in matters of education. Ours is still a central government of limited, enumerated powers, and schools are not on the list.
-Brad Jacobs; Virginia Beach, Va.
Regarding "Hostile takeover" (Sept. 18): Various writers since the 1980s have been describing the conspiracy to take over public education. No, liberal dominance was not inevitable. It happened because most religious and conservative leaders didn't read between the lines. Now we have to put out the fires rather than preventing them. Let's hope more Americans join the fight.
-Kathy McKelvey; Lancaster, Pa.
Thanks to Joel Belz for giving proper emphasis to the key issue in the forthcoming election for the president ("Judgment call," Sept. 18). The appointments of liberal justices could well end any opportunity to restore constitutional government in our lifetime.
-Charles Tomlinson; Greenville, N.C.
The liberal senators who have blocked key appointments to the appellate federal courts in the last four years have created a significant problem for any God-fearing president. Unless more Republican, Christian senators are elected with our current president still in office, the future is sure to be a disaster-except, as Zechariah wrote: "'Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says the Lord."
-Bob Woodford; Hudson, Mass.
It's admirable that Mr. Belz admits that there's just a dime's worth of difference between the two major parties, but his "short list" of judiciary criteria for selecting a president acquiesces to the statist agendas of both parties. Abortion, marriage, and education are indeed critical issues but they are not within the constitutional jurisdiction of the federal government. I'm not buying it anymore and will vote for either the Libertarian or Constitution Party candidates.
-Tim Wallace; Houston, Texas
I am seriously troubled by the claim that there is virtually no difference between the Republican and Democratic approaches to spending. I don't understand that conclusion given the differences between the two on funding of healthcare, reform of Social Security, taxation, and other issues.
-Paul Hudgens; Denver, Colo.
Noel Piper's "Bicycle built for two" (Sept. 18) was right on. American culture generally opposes the traditional, biblical role of the wife.
-Kim Wolfe; White House, Tenn.
Spies for good
Thanks for "Block the vote" (Sept. 18), about spies from the left-wing "Mainstream Coalition" going into conservative churches here in the Kansas City area. The spies are intended to intimidate pastors into silence on anything approaching politics, but God is using it for good. Those spies are some of the people we've been trying to get in our churches for years. Also, some pastors and priests were so incensed that they started preaching on moral topics like marriage and abortion and strengthened their voter registration efforts.
-Richard Wells; Olathe, Kan.
When you mentioned that IRS rules state that pastors are not allowed to endorse political candidates from the pulpit, and that voter guides distributed in church must include information about all the candidates, it reminded me of officially registered churches in Communist countries. This sounds like censorship.
-Ken Totten; Niles, Mich.
A lot less holy
Many people expected Paparazzi to be a good movie because it was produced by Icon, Mel Gibson's production company ("Vengeance is Mel's," Sept. 18). However, Icon was closely associated with the sexually explicit 2003 film The Singing Detective. The company that produced The Passion of the Christ suddenly looks a lot less holy.
-Joel Kreisel; Robbinsdale, Minn.
Vote the party
It's election time, and again I hear people saying that, of course, they'll vote Republican for president because they like what President Bush stands for ("Saved and savior," Sept. 4). But then they add that the Democratic senator (or congressman) is a really good person, and "I vote for the person, not the party." Well, American politics is a team sport. Those "R"s and "D"s after candidates' names define opposing teams with radically different philosophies of government. Why elect someone who will tackle your own quarterback?
-Karen O. LaBarr; Alpharetta, Ga.
•University of Texas at Austin Professor L. Michael White has taught, among other places, at Indiana University ("Irreligious studies," Sept. 25, p. 34).
•Sergey and Taymuraz Totiev are pastors with the Union of Evangelical Christians-Baptists of Russia ("A time for anger," Sept. 18, p. 20).