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Issue: "Summer Books 2005," July 2, 2005

Stem-cell garden

We can do research on stem cells from sources other than embryos, such as umbilical cords, without destroying potential life. Why should we continue to be intrigued by this "fruit" of embryonic stem cells when a garden of stem cells exists for research ("Stemming the Asian tide," June 4)? As a quadriplegic for 30 years, I too could increase my quality of life dramatically if I could walk or regain the use of my hands, trunk, bowel, and bladder. However, it is important to me to advocate research that does not put man in God's place.
-Jeff Montag; Kearney, Neb.

A big gamble

Joel Belz's analysis of government schools, the religion of secularism, and the loss of the "littlest of our lambs" is absolutely correct ("Leaving the back door open," June 4). Christian parents who send their children to public schools are taking a big gamble. If a child makes it out of high school with his faith intact, it only shows that God was gracious.
-Mark Maki; Templeton, Calif.

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If parents do not back up and model what is taught in the church and the Christian school, a child does not have much chance of carrying on a "heritage of faithfulness." Similarly, a child in a public school does not necessarily turn out devoid of morals. Children need to receive teaching and, more importantly, a model of Christianity in the home. Without that, we're not just leaving the back door open, the whole barn has been burned down.
-Robin Sites; Wichita, Kan.

As a California public-school teacher I could not agree more with Mr. Belz. A large portion of our day is spent completing politically motivated activities and our curriculum is so replete with secular humanist ideologies that we have far too little time left to teach the basics. Yet our students receive such a daily bombardment of secularist and relativist ideas that the work done at home and church by conscientious Christian parents and teachers is all but undone.
-Dan Barbara; Bouse, Ariz.

It is not a tragedy that 85 percent of our kids go to public schools, but a brilliant chance to evangelize children who don't have parents of faith.
-Shawna Wright; Sedro Woolley, Wash.

I formerly considered Christian schools and especially homeschools to be hideouts for the timid and socially inept. However, in five years of student ministry I have prayed, built teams, and trained volunteers in all aspects of shepherding students in the church, only to see a vast percentage of them reduced to minimal, nonexistent, or (even worse) apathetic faith when they reach college and beyond. This is because, as Mr. Belz pointed out, a whopping percentage were sacrificed on the altar of being "salt and light" to a fundamentally flawed system of education.
-Mark Matson; Rockford, Ill.

Congenial Calvin

Regarding your recent story that implied Calvin College gave U.S. President George W. Bush the "Cold shoulder" (June 4) at our commencement: Calvin Fieldhouse held 5,000 people who greeted the president warmly and enthusiastically. He received standing ovations and appreciative laughter throughout the course of his 15-minute address, and his staff commented on the generous reception that he and they had at Calvin College.
-Randy Bytwerk, Prof. of Communication Arts, Calvin College; Grand Rapids, Mich.

The protest against President Bush by Calvin College students, faculty, and friends illustrates why I left the ministry of the Christian Reformed Church and entered another denomination. Those individuals involved in the protest showed dishonor, disloyalty, and impatience by their disgraceful behavior. Shame on them.
-James Stastny; Germantown, Md.

I am a graduate from the Class of 2005 who was present. When conversing with many students who do not agree with much of the current administration's policies, I found them overwhelmingly appreciative of the honor of having the president as the commencement speaker.
-Grete Dietlin; Kewadin, Mich.

WORLD told it exactly as it was. We could not have been more disgusted with the protests and the ads that appeared in the newspaper.
-Tom & Betty Cooper; Grand Rapids, Mich.

Refreshingly clear

Thanks to Andree Seu for "You were available" (June 4) regarding women and adultery. As we live in a world that glamorizes adulterous relationships, it was refreshing and inspiring to hear such a subject clarified by a biblical perspective.
-Heather Weber; North Pole, Alaska

Downsize it

Timothy Lamer's article concerning President Bush's liberal spending ("Bush's binge," June 4) was excellent. More of us should be concerned about his largesse so we can take seriously our task to place in the White House a true fiscal conservative come 2008. Republicans are supposed to downsize the government, not supersize it.
-Cherry Blattert; Ellettsville, Ind.


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