Bury the idea
It wasn't just that Arafat wanted to be buried in Jerusalem; he wanted to be interred on the site of the Temple Mount ("The Middle East's new day," Nov. 20). The religious authority that oversees Muslim holy sites there, the Wakf, has been systematically destroying evidence of any Jewish or Christian presence on the Mount for years. All Jews and Christians should reject the idea that such a reprehensible mass murderer, recently buried in Ramallah, should be transferred to such a holy place.
-Michele Bartlett; Morrison, Colo.
Marvin Olasky's column on adoption was wonderful ("Giving thanks," Nov. 20). As the director of an adoption ministry, I appreciate his encouragement to the Christian community to adopt children who don't have dozens of families clamoring for them. I find it sad, yet bitterly ironic, that thousands of people may pray silently on the roadside as a quiet witness against abortion on a Sunday, but Monday morning I'm desperately seeking one family for a black baby. Many believers don't see the correlation between their pro-life stance and adopting "hard-to-place" children.
-Carri Uram; Greenville, S.C.
Gay adoption is not merely gaining ground; it has become mainstream in many states. While adopting our 11-year-old daughter from Ethiopia last year, we tried to also adopt her 6-year-old friend, a Christian, but were told she was "already promised" to a lesbian couple. We found Ethiopian adoption inexpensive and easy, and the fate of an orphan in Addis Ababa is much different from those left in foster care in the United States.
-Kim Jackson; Mt. Pleasant, S.C.
In September of this year, after much paperwork and expense, we learned that we could not adopt through a local Christian agency's program because its guidelines prohibit the use of any instrument for discipline and any form of physical discipline for a child over 12 years old. This would not only apply to an adoptive child but also to our eight birth children. The use of the rod is only one small part of our pattern for discipline, but it is biblical and so we were unable to subscribe to these guidelines. As a pastor, I had hoped to encourage our small congregation to be a light in this area. Had this turned out differently, a number of families may have followed in our footsteps, but that now seems impossible.
-Larry & Kathy White; Cato, N.Y.
I read "Giving thanks" with great joy. My husband and I adopted through our state program. We must prayerfully support those families in our churches and neighborhoods who are called by God to be adoptive parents.
-Kim Summers; Elgin, Ore.
Mat Staver's story is such an inspiration to me ("Truth with triumph," Nov. 20). I am 27 years old and have worked for several political causes, but nothing stirs my fire more than stories of children being told they cannot speak of Jesus or give gifts focused on Him, or the prohibition of the display of the Ten Commandments because it is "unconstitutional."
-Kristina Twitty; Jonesborough, Tenn.
Proud and excited
I am very proud and excited to have Mitch Daniels as our new governor ("Compassionate executive," Nov. 20). He ran a few commercials about his involvement in the Oaks Academy but never mentioned the school by name. It was important that Mr. Daniels "toot his own horn" and tell Indiana that he is a man of action and faith.
-Melina Smith; Indianapolis, Ind.
I'm studying English education at the local university, and Mr. Veith's article put Nathaniel Hawthorne's work in perspective ("Half a Puritan," Nov. 20). I saved the article so that someday I can give it to my students.
-Amy Cook; Midland, Mich.
Sen. Specter is a blatant example of a legislator turning America over to the tyranny of the robe ("Haunting Specter," Nov. 20). Given his "organic" view of the Constitution, Sen. Specter will prefer to appoint to the bench those who, as Humpty Dumpty said to Alice, think that when they use a word, "it means just what I choose it to mean'Äîneither more nor less." With the potentially frightening powers delegated to government agencies under the Patriot Act, and the forthcoming need for Supreme Court and other federal judges, can we really trust Arlen Specter to make good appointments?
-Michael Guy; Bethel Park, Pa.
I enjoyed your review of Pixar's The Incredibles ("Surprising Incredibles," Nov. 20). At one point, Mrs. Incredible tells the kids that their enemies aren't like the "bad guys" on Saturday morning TV: They "won't exercise restraint because you're children." This was an eloquent analysis of the world we live in since Sept. 11.
-Dan McIntyre; Traverse City, Mich.
Last year's toys
Andree Seu's column on money ("Fickle friend," Nov. 20) found me saying "Amen" more than once in light of the Christmas shopping season. As we max out the credit card once again, do we ever stop to ponder whether it's really worth it? Do the children of parents who fought over in-demand toys last Christmas season even like those gifts anymore?
-Hannah Roberts, 15; Margate, Fla.
I was a Family Christian Bookstore manager for nearly 14 years and resigned because of the decision to open on Sundays ("Day of retail," Nov. 13). I felt so strongly that I wrote to CEO Dave Browne to express my disappointment and I returned my lifetime discount card. 'ÄîMike Nodland; Newton, Iowa While I applaud Chick-fil-A and Hobby Lobby for allowing a day of rest for their employees, I don't condemn Family Christian Bookstores for the decision to open on Sunday. Thanks be to God that we are under grace.
-Randy Johnson; Weatherford, Texas
Roberta Ahmanson's insights about the dangers of secularization for Christian professors could also be applied to evangelical parents thinking about sending their kids to secular universities ("Cultural cringe," Nov. 13). If even mature scholars are subject to indoctrination by institutions of higher learning, how much more vulnerable are Christian teens? Mrs. Ahmanson's points should be carefully researched by every parent before sending their dollars, and their children, to secular universities.
-Marla Swoffer; San Rafael, Calif.
- Capt. Sean Sims was the father of an infant son, Colin Patrick ("Our blood and treasure," Nov. 27).
- Microsoft claimed over $125 million in sales for its new game, Halo 2, the first day it was released (The Buzz, Nov. 27).
- Rhode Island's junior senator is Lincoln Chafee ("The Senate's new math," Nov. 20).
- Dave Browne is CEO of Family Christian Stores, and Ty Moser is former bookstore manager ("Day of retail," Nov. 13).