John Kerry cited James 2:14 ("What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds?") to point his judgmental finger at the Bush administration, as if James were referring to a governmental responsibility ("Two weeks to go," Oct. 23). Does Mr. Kerry think (for the moment) that the deeds of government ought to be rooted in faith in God? Shouldn't this principle also apply to homosexuality or abortion?
-Joel Mark Solliday; Brooklyn Park, Minn.
Little did Mr. Kerry realize how citing the passage "Faith without works is dead" shows his inconsistency. He says his faith tells him that life begins at conception, but then he maintains and votes the pro-abortion position. His works belie his faith.
-Robert Stevens; Concord, Calif.
My mother commented on the contrast between Christopher Reeve ("Cell diversion," Oct. 23) and Joni Erickson Tada. One sought physical healing from man; the other sought the spiritual healing of the heart from the Great Physician. The perseverance and accomplishments of Mr. Reeve are amazing, but how much more of a Superman he could have been if he had sought first the kingdom of heaven.
-Rachel Leotta Horton; Weatherford, Texas
Our beautiful daughter, born in 2001, has been diagnosed with cortical dysplasia, a condition in which cells in the brain are misaligned. This has caused delays in her development, especially in language, and we struggle to control her constant seizures. We are told that stem-cell research may help her and that the most promising lines are those taken from an embryo. However, we could never consent to her treatment at the expense of another human life.
-Chip & Donna Hammond; Round Hill, Va.
Good and bad
Andree Seu's list of changes since the Enlightenment ("Itching ears," Oct. 23) was a bright light to dulling minds. May I add: We are needy is good (let's invent programs to meet those needs); we are sinners in need of salvation is bad. Freedom to express yourself as a gay, an atheist, a reincarnated bat, etc., is good; freedom to express yourself as a Christian is bad. God is love is good; God is just and righteous and holy is bad.
-John Runyan; Montevideo, Minn.
Andree Seu's column is an apt description of our current cultural conundrum with spirituality. Sadly, some of those seeking the "buddha-like Jesus" are sitting in church pews on any given Sunday. May the true preachers of God's Word faithfully tell of the gospel that culminates "with the shout of an archangel and an uplifted sword."
-Patricia DeWinter; Wasilla, Alaska
This commentary really hit home. A family member has gotten herself completely submerged in this garbage. She is spending a great deal of her income going to "school" at her church to become a minister in the science of the mind. They teach junk. My family prays for her daily, but as each day passes, she gets further away from God.
-Rosanne Stewart; Las Vegas, Nev.
So much death
I sat and pondered the comic by Gary Varvel, the one with the Sudanese mother holding her child and reading the U.S. newspaper with a headline about flu shots (Quotables & 'Toons, Oct. 23). The American media portray the shortage of flu vaccine as so terrible, yet people elsewhere are dealing with death every day of their lives. We take so much for granted that we cry like babies when we stub our toe.
-Jenna Lawrence, 17; Hoschton, Ga.
Joy in sorrow
Thank you for your articles on Turkey ("Madisonian Turkey," Oct. 23). My husband and I were there from 1977 to 1979. We worked teaching English as a second language, and we shared our faith and literature whenever we could. He was shot and killed at our doorstep on June 2, 1979. It is a joy to my heart to see the growth in outreach in Turkey and the increasing freedom for the believers. You did a great job portraying the situation there and may many Americans pray for the Turkish people.
-Jennifer Perry; Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
"Prove Hitler wrong" (Oct. 23) struck such a chord with me because I have been involved in missions efforts to Armenia and plan to return soon. Armenians have lamented to me how the world seems to have forgotten that the Turks slaughtered them by the tens of thousands. A few moments ago I e-mailed a link of your article to show them that they are not forgotten by all. I have walked along the barbed-wired border between Turkey and Armenia, where Russian soldiers still march to keep the peace and tension is still very high. Even so, Armenian missionaries have gone to Turkey and Iran to plant churches, believing that God put them in the middle of Islam to reach their former enemies with the gospel.
-Gerry Stoltfoos; Gettysburg, Pa.
The horrific Ottoman methods are not unique to Turkey or to Muslim cultures in general, or to Hitler's Third Reich. Saddam Hussein and his sons, Joseph Stalin, Chairman Mao, and Pol Pot were 20th-century members of the same club, and every century before them had its own examples. We are fools if we believe the "man is inherently good" myth and think that the human race has now risen above such things. God will allow such evil men to exist while He patiently waits for the last sinner to repent before exercising final judgment. The real question is, Where are they practicing today, and what will we do about it?
-Jim Ingram; Broken Bow, Neb.
I felt comforted as Mr. Teela explained the biblical reasons President Bush was ridiculed, scorned, and harassed for his faith in this present presidential campaign ("Alien and stranger," Oct. 16). Mr. Teela's use of scriptural truth gave me the same peace our president possessed as he ran the race. -Joan G. Martin; Marietta, Ga. Your magazine just doesn't get it. Mr. Bush would be more appreciated, at least in some other countries, if his way of waging the "war on terrorism" looked less like terrorism and if his foreign policy were anywhere near as pro-life as his domestic policy.
-Mark Nygaard; Fridley, Minn.
Regarding your article this week regarding the terrorist links between Saddam, al-Qaeda, al-Zarqawi, and others ("Unmasked men," Oct. 16), I think that it is curious that we don't hear any of this from the mainstream media. Mr. Kerry continually attacked Mr. Bush's decisions on Iraq, but I never hear or read anything close to what you reported.
-Bob Silva; Folsom, Calif.
We will pray for your conversion from heathenism to Christianity if you will please cancel this subscription and, if there is a refund, give it to the person who sent this distortion of the truth to us. -Pat Stiles; LaGrange, Ind. I live and work in Scotland and read WORLD cover to cover every week. I love having better "glasses" through which to view the news than I get here or on the internet.
-Karen Reyburn; Airdrie, Scotland