The assurance by Andrew Heyward, president of CBS News, that "we established to our satisfaction that the memos were accurate" is both jarring and revealing ("Rathergate," Sept. 25). The question Mr. Heyward must now answer is this: Are these shoddy standards typical of CBS reporting in general, or are they only applied in stories that reflect negatively on President Bush and other conservatives? Either way, CBS News has suffered a major blow to its credibility.
-Russell Board; Saitama City, Japan
CBS has certainly wronged its viewers by using forged documents, but the broadcaster really owes an apology to Mr. Bush. It is alarming that CBS is oblivious to the fact that it is wrong to make public allegations, no matter how much one believes them to be true, if there is no proof.
-Ned Sutherland; Lafayette, Ind.
CBS should be penalized somehow. I'm tired of the lies being put out there to further the agenda of the few who are full of themselves.
-Tony Browning; San Jose, Calif.
Thank you for John Dawson's "Irreligious studies" (Sept. 25), which articulated my experience of being blindsided in a college religion class more than 15 years ago. I was a young Christian and not prepared for the kind of questions my professor at Rutgers raised, calling into doubt the veracity and authority of Scripture. With that foundation shattered, on what was my faith based? It seemed to become a matter of opinion. Thus was my unwitting introduction to postmodern liberal theology. My faith was rocked, but thankfully my Rock was firm.
-Judith Glass; Elkins Park, Pa.
On the positive side, last semester at Purdue University I took a history of Christianity class covering the doctrinal positions of different branches of the church (mostly comparing Catholic and Protestant) in a fairly objective manner. I liked that class, and did not feel attacked by the teacher.
-Anna Roberts; West Lafayette, Ind.
Mr. Dawson's article was informative and challenging, but one pastor was quoted saying that many students in parachurch organizations never connect with local churches. More than 33,000 U.S. college students participated in our programs last year; our statistics show that almost two-thirds are regularly involved in local churches. Connecting with the local church is an InterVarsity priority, whether we're dealing with a new convert or a student raised in the faith.
-Andrea C. McAleenan, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship; Madison, Wis.
I wish I had seen a few words like "heresy," "fake," and "fraud" used to discuss the rise and fall of Christianity in America's schools of higher education.
-Cyrus J. Sharer; St. Davids, Pa.
Mr. Dawson's suggestion that churches have not prepared young Christians for liberal religion programs does not mention the role of parents. After my New Testament professor in the University of Wisconsin system declared that biblical evidence supported the theory that the Apostle Paul was a homosexual, Dad advised me to drop the class and add a Bible study. That was good advice.
-Barry Kloepping; Sheboygan Falls, Wis.
Mr. Piper, in his column on the massacre at Beslan, is exactly right ("Horror and hope," Sept. 25). If we question God's goodness, it is because we do not know Him. Why such things happen will remain a mystery this side of eternity, but the "who" is knowable to any who wish to see.
-Terry L. Brown; Billings, Mont.
When I read "A time for anger" (Sept. 18), I was in tears. I share Beslan's pain and anger, but I know the Lord will take care of us.
-Rachel Acree; Greenwood, Ind.
Let banjos ring
My family and I greatly appreciated "Putting cool in homeschool" (Sept. 25). My brothers (ages 13 and 14) and I are involved in bluegrass, go to festivals in the area, and perform with our grandfather and uncle in a local show called the Little Opry. It's amazing how so many people label us "sheltered" and "naive" when one of our favorite things to do is get up in front of a crowd, belt out a song, thump on a stand-up bass, and make a banjo ring. Bravo to my fellow homeschooled musicians at the Providence Fine Arts Center.
-Hannah Brown, 16; Gainesboro, Tenn.
It was interesting that the article mentioned the "problem" of socialization for homeschooled children. We still get that question, and with a straight face I respond, "Yes, socialization is a problem. With all their activities and friends, it is hard for our kids to get their studies done."
-David Van Vliet; Rochester, Minn.
I was amazed at the article about how fashions are becoming more modest ("Cover up," Sept. 25). I think it is great. It is very hard to find any clothes in stores today that are modest at all.
-Kelsey Rollet, 15; Vergennes, Vt.
Regarding your comment that, for many, Hurricane Ivan was not "the catastrophe they had feared" (The Buzz, Sept. 25): We here on the east side of the Alabama/Florida border experienced the fury of a Category 3 storm with gusts (according to the power company) up to 185 miles per hour. I do not consider spending the night with those winds and driving rain, then waking up to find 40 trees down in our yard, a pleasant surprise.
-Treva Classen; Walnut Hill, Fla.
War is hard
The quote from Gen. Tommy Franks's book, American Soldier (Bestselling Books, Sept. 18), "If war were easy and convenient, there would be too many of them," brought to mind Gen. Robert E. Lee's comment when he viewed the carnage at the 1862 Battle of Fredericksburg: "It is well that war is so terrible-we should grow too fond of it." I am thankful for men like Gen. Franks who understand that war is carnage but who also, like Abraham Lincoln, know that liberty and justice and the rights of mankind are worth fighting for.
-Michael Westendorf; Piscataway, N.J.
I do not know what Mr. Bush may or may not have done in his younger days, nor do I care ("Pivotal moments," Sept. 25). We must consider the recent actions and lifestyles of the candidates to determine the best leader for our nation.
-Matthew Parkinson, 17; Vergennes, Vt.
As a graduate of Notre Dame ('56), I think "Tarnished dome" (Sept. 18) misses the boat on Irish football. The challenge is to win a 12th national championship while remaining independent of the major NCAA conferences, maintaining a graduation rate of over 80 percent among football players, and satisfying the dreams of NFL greatness many student athletes have. Hundreds of football players at other programs each year realize that they had the fun of playing football, but suddenly the fun is over and they walk away with neither an NFL contract nor a useable education.
-Charles Durand; Asheville, N.C.