I commend WORLD for recognizing that effective kingdom work can take place outside of nonprofit organizations ("Robert Lavelle's wonderful life,"?Dec. 25). About the time other Christians began exchanging their prophetic birthright for 501(c)(3) pottage, Robert Lavelle chose a practical ministry of incarnational compassion. As governments demand more politically correct compromises in exchange for nonprofit status, Christians would do well to consider Mr. Lavelle's model of compassionate conservatism, a model that has weathered the various political winds and stood the test of time.
-Robert Berry; Greeneville, Tenn.
My wife and I knew Mr. Lavelle when we lived in Pittsburgh. He was such an inspiration to us both with his Dwelling House ministry and the love and care he showed to my wife as she was dying of multiple sclerosis. This busy man would frequently find time to come and share God's love with Phyllis to raise her spirits and give her peace.
-Lee Cuddy; Boalsburg, Pa.
I, too, was dismayed to learn that a journalist had helped develop the questions about the armoring of humvees that a soldier asked of Donald Rumsfeld during his visit to Kuwait ("Too close for comfort,"?Dec. 25). But why should we think any less of the question because a journalist was involved?
-Daniel Pallotta; Olmsted Falls, Ohio
My husband's cousin, who has proudly served in 278th Tennessee National Guard unit for over 20 years, was disappointed in those questions. He likened rummaging in scrap heaps to find sheet metal and bullet-proof glass to calling a junk yard for auto parts. He sees no problem with it and found it to be a task that kept soldiers busy during an otherwise restless time as they waited to go into Iraq. Legitimate questions posed by uncoached soldiers had a place in that meeting with Sec. Rumsfeld. All others needed to be presented in the appropriate forum.
-Donna Hunt; Ovilla, Texas
Mr. Belz is exactly right regarding the intentions of Chattanooga newspaper reporter Edward Lee Pitts. I know Lee personally, and he loves this country.
-Scott Sledge; Hickory, N.C.
Mr. Pitts's focus was on a story that he could use to enhance his own image and reputation, and in doing so he enlisted and coached newly arrived soldiers to be his journalistic shills. Mr. Pitts did not report that all but about 20 of the 400 humvees assigned to the 278th Regiment had already been up-armored and those remaining were within days of being completed.
-Bill Sappington; Homosassa, Fla.
I liked the column about how empty the "Christmas spirit" is without Jesus ("Royal entrance,"?Dec. 25). I had just about come to the conclusion myself that the "joy" of snow, jingle bells, holly, and abstract wonders is just the world's feeble attempt to synthesize the joy that only Jesus can give.
-JennyBeth Alford; Anton, Texas
Mr. Olasky's "Journalism & humility" (Dec. 25) was a breath of fresh air after reading so much subjective reporting.
-Ralph E. Thomas; Canton, Ohio
How appropriate that this great article on journalistic humility appeared in the same issue as "Flew the coop" (Dec. 25), about how prominent atheist philosopher Antony Flew decided to become a theist. Excellent.
-Chuck Zehnder; Point Lookout, Mo.
That explains it
Thank you for printing Ms. Anders's story, "The Crossing" (Dec. 25). I liked it but have to add that, if the old man was moving his right foot four inches and his left foot three inches "again and again,"every three steps he had to take an extra step with his left foot to avoid doing the splits. Being the analytical type, I wondered why Ms. Anders did not include this rather important observation. Maybe that's why artistic personalities win this type of contest more often than the analytical sort.
-Lou Anderson; Manhattan Beach, Calif.
As much as I agree with "Taliban west?" (Dec. 25), I can't help but think how if John Kerry had won we Christians would be wringing our hands and lamenting another step toward a godless society. The illustration would show a badly shaken man wearing a Bush 2004 shirt hiding in the shadows from the White House, and the headline on his newspaper would state, "It's Official-USA a Pagan Nation."
-Gary S. Karwoski; Stickney, Ill.
Mr. Veith spends more time on quotes meant to inflame his readers than on explaining why some liberals fear an evangelical Republican theocracy. Many social liberals, myself included, feel that evangelical Republicans rule as though all people in the United States do or should share their values and must live their lifestyles accordingly. I very much fear an administration that has no interest in allowing me to live in peace and freedom because its religious text dictates otherwise.
-Daniel S. Gonzales; Long Beach, Calif.
If fear and paranoia are a prelude to persecution, then it seems the answer is better dissemination and proclamation of information. But how do we reach into these "elite" circles where the academics and journalists roam and help them see the truth? WORLD is a voice for truth, and I appreciate it, and I'm sure the World Journalism Institute is going to accomplish great things. My heart yearns to make an impact on our culture, and I wish I knew what more I could do.
-Brian Schwartz; Nashville, Tenn.
It's with great regret and angst that I write to lodge the strongest complaint possible regarding Mr. Coffin's commendation of Spanglish ("Culture clash,"Dec. 25). I attended with female members of my family and was infuriated by the "non-nude sex scene,"? as Mr. Coffin put it. The film did nothing to portray "admirable self-restraint," and the film's meandering, senseless dialogue most certainly did not portray biblical values or even a reasonably mature sense of relational savvy.
-Steve Lyon; Hoffman Estates, Ill.
I'm so glad they're putting all the cool stuff back in The Lord of the Rings movies ("Return of the Rings," Dec. 25). In my family, I'm the LOTR expert, so this is really neat for me.
-Grace Brennan, 11; Crystal, Minn.
While Mr. Olasky offers a worthwhile approach for those able to work past the so-called retirement age ("A resolution to work," Dec. 25), we should address Social Security solvency from the standpoint of contraception and abortion. As a result of the social experiment of the 1960s, not enough people are paying into the system. We should take a new look at our birthrate trends.
-M.L.F. Freiberg Sr.; Evanston, Ind.
When WORLD arrives, I quickly slip it away to read before anyone else. I copy the articles I must keep; this week, I xeroxed "Flew the coop" for my grandson who says he doesn't believe; "The Crossing" is one of the sweetest and most insightful stories I've ever read and it made me think of my father, gone these 14 years; "Too close for comfort" because Joel Belz always makes me think; "Culture Beat" because I love your point of view.
-Ann Massey; Alexandria, Va.