Godly men opposed
Good article on President Bush's State of the Union address ("Red ink, purple ink," Feb. 12). I watched the speech and thought that he did a very good job in presenting his plans. It was very disappointing, though, to hear the Democratic response to Mr. Bush's Social Security plan. Also, thanks for clarifying how the media distort the truth ("Twist and shout," Feb. 12). James Dobson and President Bush are both good examples of godly men who are strongly disliked by the mainstream media.
-Hannah Kuehnert, 15; Morganton, N.C.
Married by grace
I can't think of a better way to celebrate Valentine's Day-and marriage-than by getting to know five couples whose commitment was rewarded with "Lasting love" (Feb. 12). Thank you to WORLD and Lynn Vincent for capturing their stories in words and pictures.
-Barbara Curtis; Waterford, Va.
My two brothers and I have been married a total of 170 years. From all that I have observed, all of us love our spouses to this day and expect to do so for the rest of our lives. Why? Because we believe in the sanctity of marriage, and when we took our marriage vows, we meant what we said.
-Victor M. Springer; Glendale, Calif.
My wife and I have been married only 19 years so far, but I noticed the over-50-year couples survived the same way we have, namely by God's grace. And the article about the couple that got back together was also encouraging ("'You just can't give up'").
-Jeff Bohlender; San Simon, Ariz.
Eaten by Aslan
I'd rather be eaten by Aslan than fed by anyone else, and so I was encouraged by the news that the new Narnia movies are supposed to be faithful to the books ("Winter Wardrobe," Feb. 12). If they are not, we do not intend to have anything to do with them and will have to settle for watching the old British productions and listening to Focus on the Family's Radio Theatre recordings.
-Heather Gorden; New Windsor, Md.
By now surely there have been numerous letters from Marx Brothers fans correcting Andree Seu's quote of Groucho Marx ("Irritating love," Feb. 12). The line is from Horse Feathers (1932) instead of Animal Crackers (1930). Nonetheless, I am impressed with her reference to such a noted student of the human condition as Groucho. Tragically, he would have been an appropriate person to sing such a line disparaging love. He was married and divorced three times, and one ex-wife said that if he had ever said "I love you" just once, she wouldn't have left.
-Paul Ratzlaff; Orland, Calif.
I was encouraged by Joel Belz's column, "Beyond ear tickling" (Feb. 12), where he described how he enjoyed seeing Scott Brinkerhoff responding to WORLD's article about our work raising orphans in southern Africa ("Into Africa," Dec. 25). I may never have started the Agathos Foundation without the nudging I had received from countless articles in WORLD over the years. Only God knows the full impact of your readers' responses.
-Rob Smith; Everett, Wash.
"Beyond ear tickling" prompted me to respond to Gene Edward Veith's piece on the musical despair of children from divorced parents ("Father's day," Feb. 5). That article got my attention because my wife and I have admired the devotion of a single mom in our church to her three children. We strive to be surrogate grandparents to the children, and maybe we can avoid a repeat of the despair revealed in Mr. Veith's column and help these bright children find a balance that preserves their spirit.
-Rick Boggs; Raleigh, N.C.
Thank you for "Art, American style" (Feb. 12) with the accompanying photo of Cotopaxi. Each year this masterpiece provides the chance for me to explain the cosmic battle of good and evil in the church's terms. My students in our public high school are eager to hear about the content of artwork, so when I explain how the sun shining through the smothering volcanic ash represents the Son of God overcoming evil by His death and resurrection on the cross, which they see in the sun's reflection, they are at least interested.
-Paul Stimers; Midland, Mich.
Thanks to WORLD for reporting the reprinting of Francis Schaeffer's How Should We Then Live? ("Schaeffer revisited," Feb. 12). His exposition of the process of cultural decline in our society is the most compelling explanation of the current state of unbelief in the hearts of people in the once-Christian West.
-Joe Gian Francesco; Verona, N.J.
In asking for a national apology for slavery, Carol M. Swain ("Saying sorry," Feb. 5) states that "all of our ancestors participated in the heinous crime in some form or another" and "reaped benefits from the system." Early in the 19th century, the Quaker ancestors in my family actively spoke out against slavery in North Carolina. As newlyweds in 1864, my great-grandparents served with the Society of Friends (Quakers) in a Tennessee contraband camp where they taught freed slaves to read and write. In lumping slaveholders and abolitionists together, Ms. Swain dishonors those who worked hard to end this evil in our nation.
-Lorraine Fritch; Hemet, Calif.
Kudos for the fine column by Andree Seu ("Fine distinctions," Feb. 5). As a son of Abraham both by birth and by grace, I am acutely aware of the importance of such distinctions. Simultaneously, I am well aware of the keen but misguided enthusiasm of Christians who seem to view Jewishness as second only (if at all) to Christlikeness.
-Abraham Pinzur; Hartsville, Tenn.
In her column cautioning Christians about "jumping on the Zionist bandwagon," Andree Seu left out a critical distinction between Israel and her Arab neighbors. Since Israel's birth, she has been attacked by surrounding Arab countries whose stated purpose has always been to destroy Israel. Mrs. Seu is on solid ground when she reminds us that God does not make distinctions based on ethnic identity. However, He surely does make distinctions between those who initiate violence and those who seek to defend themselves from it.
-Dennis Ricupero; Jackson Heights, N.Y.
Thank you for Mrs. Seu's insightful piece on Israel. I was in Bethlehem, in the West Bank, at the time of Mr. Arafat's death. When I left on the trip, I believed I had a good foundation for understanding the problems. When I returned I knew that, apart from God, there is no real understanding nor an easy road to peace. I was so affected by this visit that I am taking a group of high-school students on the same trip this summer.
-Katy Hunsberger; Denver, Colo.
Members of Congress have their own retirement plan, but they have also been required to contribute to Social Security since 1984 ("A little too casual?" Feb. 26, p. 6).
The former New England Patriots assistant coach who is now the Notre Dame head football coach is Charlie Weis ("Patriots reign," Feb. 19, p. 35).