Mom's best advice
I am a proud Marine mom ("Battle ready," April 23). Prayers of family and church and a strong work ethic got my son through Parris Island. Today, a year and a half later, David is serving in Iraq. Young Marines leave Parris Island knowing they are "the best" and they think that they are "bulletproof and invisible." We know differently. Life is fragile. My only advice to my battle-ready Marine is "be prepared to die." It is only through knowing that my son is saved and ready to meet the Lord that I have peace.
-Martha J. Parks; Princess Anne, Md.
People need to know who soldiers really are and what they go through in a time of war. Soldiers, when it comes down to it, are willing to sacrifice their lives for someone else to live. Is that not an act of humble service? We owe a lot more gratitude and sincere thanks to those willing to die for us.
-Collin Schuler; Silverdale, Wash.
You quoted a young recruit speaking in the first person, but as a former Marine Reservist and graduate of Parris Island, I can tell you that there should be no such thing as "I, me, we, you" in a recruit's vocabulary. To err invites the recruit and often the whole platoon to do pushups and mountain climbers on the Quarterdeck, otherwise known as "Instructional PT." It's been 22 years and the memories are as vivid as if it were yesterday. Semper Fi, and may the Lord bless all Marines overseas.
-David E. Green; Avon, N.Y.
Regarding Gene Edward Veith's column ("The Catholic moment," April 23), John Paul II made great progress in emphasizing the unity of different forms of Christianity, but often at the expense of creating a subtle form of universalism. Protestants must remember, however, that until recently the Catholic Church made no distinction between Protestantism and Islam or Hinduism; outside Catholicism, there was no salvation. At Vatican II, Catholics recognized the possibility of salvation outside Catholicism. Once that logical door was opened, it was difficult to shut against even pagan religions. I hope that the new pope will affirm the salvation only of those who believe in Christ. Thanks for your fair and engaging treatment of the papacy in transition.
-Stephen Schuler; Golinda, Texas
Joel Belz rightly points out that cultural decline has caused Protestants and Catholics to come together to fight that decline, the Reformation notwithstanding ("Pros and cons," April 23). He also intimates that we are now allies. But Francis Schaeffer stated that we should not think of Catholics as allies but, at best, co-belligerents. That is a substantial difference.
-Thomas N. Burley; Alto, Mich.
I will not renew my treasured subscription to WORLD. As a Christian of the Catholic faith, I was dismayed by some recent columns. Mr. Veith wrote that Catholic churches are "full of liberal priests, feminist nuns, sex scandals," and nominal members. This is the most hyperbolic statement I have ever read in this magazine. Mr. Belz says evangelicals would love to see a pope who moves the church away from a focus on Mary and toward one on Jesus, but it could not be clearer to me, in the Church Catechism, that Jesus is our promise of salvation.
-Paul Bercier; Frisco, Texas
I was amused by the picture of the nesting duck outside the Treasury building in Washington (Quick Takes, April 23). But shouldn't the sign, which reads "Quite please," read either "Quite pleased" if the duck is pleased, or "Quiet please" if she wants no more noise?
-Anna Baltzer; Yucca Valley, Calif.
I hope officials at the U.S. Treasury can count better than they can spell.
-Patsy Brekke; Minneapolis, Minn.
A better place for that duck is in a frying pan with some vegetables.
-Isaac Van Wyck; Vergennes, Vt.
Thank you for reporting about how ultrasound is encouraging parents to keep their babies ("Moving pictures," April 23). I am encouraged whenever I read about the good being done on the major issues of our day.
-Obadiah Manley; Pasadena, Calif.
I believe that Judge George Greer, who resigned from his church following controversy over his ruling in the Schiavo case ("Leaving the fold," April 23), would have chosen to restore Terri Schiavo's feeding tube if it was his decision to make. However, he cannot "legislate from the bench." Christians are up in arms about judicial activism, but when it's in our favor, it's OK?
-Bonnie Stewart; Cody, Wyo.
Light of the world
I applaud WORLD for covering the issue of internet pornography ("Pornagain," April 23). This is a sin that flourishes in darkness, so for deliverance it must be confessed-not just to God but to another believer. For too many the cycle of sin, tears, repentance, resolutions, and repeated falls occurs in secret. God used open confession and accountability to another believer to break this stronghold in my life. I have been clean for over five years.
-Earl T. Martin; Blackshear, Ga.
You reported that 47 percent of Christians admit pornography is a "major problem in their homes." Wow! There is one easy solution: Unplug from the internet.
-Steve Berninger; Dahlonega, Ga.
After reading "No want of a nail" (April 23), I had to check to see what magazine I was reading. The left has mounted a smear campaign to make it appear as if Tom DeLay has done something wrong. Granted, there may be some fundraising issues that need clarification, but what politician doesn't have these issues? Let's give him the benefit of the doubt. I only wish we had someone like Mr. DeLay in the Senate.
-Igor Shpudejko; Mahway, N.J.
Far more serious
In fairness to Doug Wilson and Steve Wilkins ("Doug Wilson and slavery," April 30), the two dozen occurrences of plagiarism in their controversial booklet on Southern slavery were obviously unintentional-evidence of sloppiness rather than deceit. Far more serious are the booklet's other errors. Its numerous logical errors, factual mistakes, misreading of evidence, and ad hominem attacks falsely model what it means to love God with our minds and its unsubstantiated defense of Southern slavery as a "pleasant . . . experience for the majority" will constitute a stumbling block of monumental proportions for many sincere seekers.
-Robert Tracy McKenzie; Seattle, Wash.
The minister mentioned in "Word for Word" (April 30, p. 30) as Alvin O'Neal is Alvin O'Neal Jackson. He is no longer moderator of the First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).
Muslims consider Islam to have been founded in a.d. 622 ("The real crusades," May 7, p. 33).
Judge George Greer ("Leaving the fold," April 23, p. 50) resigned from Calvary Baptist in Clearwater, Fla.