I am very thankful for your magazine and especially appreciated your coverage of the 2004 Olympics ("Silver star," Sept. 4). I was disappointed, though, with the section in "Highlights of the games" on American gold-medal-winning gymnast Paul Hamm. The South Korean did start with a reduced score, but the judges should also have taken .2 deduction from his parallel bar routine because he did four still holds, one above the limit of three; Paul Hamm would still have won the gold. I think it is ridiculous to ask him to give it up or share it.
-Molly Gehring, 16; Marietta, Ga.
I appreciated John Dawson's article, but am disappointed that he did not profile Bryan Clay, who won the silver medal in the decathlon. Bryan's story and testimony of his Christian faith are very compelling.
-Roy R. Parnell; Seattle, Wash.
Besides the reasons Joel Belz gives for not publishing tax-protester stories, I would add that the tax-protest movement is batting .000 in court ("Taxing story," Sept. 4). Perhaps there's a conspiracy among every judge who has heard these cases, municipal to federal, nationwide, spanning nearly three decades-or perhaps the tax-honesty movement is simply wrong.
-Chris Merkel; Milwaukee, Wis.
Mr. Belz says WORLD is not investigating the claims of tax protesters in part because change is just "wishful thinking." That doesn't stop you from campaigning against homosexual rights and abortion. Instead of being skeptical about the next tax-protest rally, how about being skeptical about the state's search and seizure practices when it comes to tax matters?
-Richard Armerding; Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
I am not a tax protester, but I support any journalist willing to take the government head-on concerning questions of any kind where it has overstepped its boundaries. Mr. Belz says it's been an "elusive, changing story," but how can the tax bureaucracy be overseen without the press asking the hard questions?
-Jon Baugh; Wapakoneta, Ohio
Baylor President Robert Sloan wants to sail his university to a worthy goal, but the philosophical headwind, I believe, is too strong ("Bear of a battle," Sept. 4). It is not a matter, in Mr. Sloan's words, of "the integration of faith and learning," but the submission of all knowledge and learning to the lordship of Christ. Until that happens, we can expect little distinctively Christian educational excellence from any Christian university. To get there, it will take a lot of hard reinterpretive work by many committed Christian scholars backed by significant, sacrificial funding of, for example, graduate school programs.
-James D. Nickel; Shreveport, La.
I like Mr. Sloan's vision for Baylor, but he has a tough fight against the entrenched anti-Christian policy called "faculty governance." The deeper problem is that many of our "Christian" institutions are deeply stained with the world's values so that they cannot even recognize biblical ethics.
-Tom Pittman; Bolivar, Mo.
As a 1984 Baylor graduate, I applaud Mr. Sloan for his efforts. I have refrained from supporting BU because of the liberal underpinnings and subversive leadership but may rethink that because of what Mr. Sloan is doing. I had many excellent years of education at Baylor, despite the influence of previous administrations and the liberal religion department, because my science and engineering professors taught me from a biblical perspective.
-Melinda M. Brown; Plano, Texas
Having visited Baylor University last month, along with several other universities that were founded on Christian principles and are now post-Christian, I was very encouraged by Baylor's witness. Our Baylor student tour guide was unapologetic about Baylor being a Christian school. Inscribed on the new Baylor Sciences Building are the words, "IN HIM ALL THINGS WERE MADE."
-Nancy Opiela; Rockville, Md.
Andree Seu's column really feels to me like hate speech ("Bi and by," Sept. 4). I have identified as bisexual since 1976. I know exactly who I am, and I am utterly capable of making a commitment; on May 17 I married my partner of seven years because, finally, I was allowed to. (Thank you, Massachusetts!)
-Robyn Ochs; Boston, Mass.
I was surprised that Mrs. Seu did not remember bisexuality from the 1970s when certain young jet-setters were trendily "bi." I don't think sexual confusion is something people invent or feign just so they can experience a sequence of doomed, exhausting relationships. Gov. McGreevey reminded me of that when said he had been conflicted about his sexuality since adolescence. Granted, he is a cad and wouldn't have made a public confession if someone hadn't twisted his arm, but he must have suffered a lot.
-Kent Ward; Tunkhannock, Pa.
I have a great deal of respect for anyone who has served in any branch of our armed forces at any time, but I don't see how service in Vietnam or anywhere else is a qualification for the presidency of the United States ("Return fire," Sept. 4).
-Harry Heist; Verona, N.J.
A bad Catholic
As a Catholic, I'd suggest that John Kerry is the inferior candidate, but not because he isn't "born again" ("Saved and savior," Sept. 4). He is inferior because he is a bad Catholic who has abandoned the faith. Mr. Bush is the superior candidate because he sincerely seeks to do the Lord's will.
-William Ferguson ;Tulsa, Okla.
We look for decisiveness in Mr. Kerry's record in the last 30 years, one of the requirements for junior officers, and we find Mr. Kerry's anti-American testimony before the Congress, a lack of major initiatives in the Senate, and limited participation on the Senate intelligence committee despite terrorist attacks against the United States all over the world. On the other hand, the actions of President Bush, who makes decisions from a fundamental faith in unchanging values, render him worthy of his commission. Thank you to Mr. Kerry for bringing up his record.
-Bob Whitney; Yakima, Wash.
"Nothing more than feelings" (Aug. 28) was excellent. I would add, regarding her comment that we must "sue for grace," that we must be alert to our corrupt tendency to try to be faithful in our own strength. When we face temptation, we must be aware of our inability to keep the Covenant and our daily, utter dependence on God's grace alone.
-Jerry Knight; Erie, Pa.
Better late . . .
We minister with New Tribes Mission in a remote village in Papua New Guinea and have been blessed for several years to receive your magazine. Formerly, our only source of news was the BBC or VOA on the short-wave radio. Now we're more inclined to read the news three weeks late than tune in to their programming. Because we share your worldview and your concerns, you report on news that interests us. Thank you for doing journalism with Christian excellence.
-Greg Greenlaw; Wewak, Papua New Guinea