As a Christian who has always just dismissed The Simpsons without ever watching it, I found "Fair or foul?" (June 11) enlightening and very thought-provoking. Still, I doubt I will watch. James Dobson has pointed out the infuriating cultural phenomenon of how popular media so often portray fathers as "the stupid guy," so I think the show would grate on me like nails on a chalkboard. Where are the portrayals of men as persons of dignity, wisdom, vision, strong personal character, and leadership?
-Eric Scheidhauer, St. Louis, Mo.
I am a big supporter of WORLD, but I am outraged that you devoted a cover story to The Simpsons. I threw this issue in the trash.
-Norm Ducharme; Fort Mill, S.C.
The June 11 WORLD was especially enjoyable, especially your review of the movie Man on Fire ("Vengeance, without romanticism") and an in-depth discussion of 15 years of The Simpsons. As a born-again Christian attempting to remain relevant while surrounded by unbelievers, I say kudos to a publication that encourages me to explain my faith to the world surrounding me.
-Jeff Stiles; Dubuque, Iowa
I was shocked by the review of The Simpsons. I have only watched a few shows, and every single time I've soon turned it off because of the language. I know I sound very judgmental, but I just can't understand how the good outweighs the bad.
-Rachel M. Markle, 16; Cedar Hill, Texas
Glee in uninhibited mockery of all things patriotic, ethical, taboo, and Christian dominates the show. Trying to find kernels of wisdom or religious allusions in The Simpsons is an empty exercise.
-Dick Davison; Bryan, Texas
Thanks to Gene Edward Veith for this article. He had a wonderfully balanced approach and wisely noted the sovereignty of God even here.
-Gary D. Robinson; Conneautville, Pa.
"Seventeen minutes" (June 11) was the best! How refreshing to see an open and transparent heart. So many people want to hide behind a mask, refusing to admit that their hearts are flawed. The heart is full of wickedness, and after being a Christian for over 35 years I am still amazed at how much remains in mine.
-Rickey D. Green; San Angelo, Texas
"Seventeen minutes" was so convicting. I have the same kinds of thoughts, and so many times they are while driving to or from our church worship service.
-Sue Mertz; Ponca City, Okla.
Sin slows down
Marvin Olasky asks rhetorically when our free will causes prostate cancer ("Go ahead and think," June 11). Whether or not sin directly leads to cancer, sin affects how cancer is treated. In my work I see how pride, greed, and dishonesty can slow down progress in cancer research.
-John Cook; Houston, Texas
Debt of knowledge?
How much of the debt students have upon graduation is tuition or education related ("Debtor's prison," June 11)? How much of it is a nice car with insurance, stylish clothes, the latest entertainment devices, trips to Europe and, of course, spring break?
-Clare Lund; Olivia, Minn.
Using his noodle
Regarding "X-games meets Bassmaster" (June 11): Neophyte noodlers should be aware they have more than a possible missing finger to worry about. My father enjoyed this method of hand-fishing as a child in the creek on his parents' property in McNairy County, Tenn. One day while reaching up under a ledge, he felt smooth skin but couldn't reach the gills of his supposed catfish. He got his brother and a shovel, and a little digging revealed their quarry-a water moccasin. Since then my father has used his God-given noodle and forsaken noodling.
-Stephen Rowland; Columbia, Tenn.
First and second
Although ABC was very interested in playing up the female-driver issue at the Indy 500 ("Lapping up celeb status at Indy," June 11), Danica Patrick, who placed second, got the first post-race interview (rather than winner Dan Wheldon) because Mr. Wheldon's car ran out of gas on his cool-down lap and had to be pushed back to victory lane. ABC filled part of that time with Ms. Patrick's interview. Also, Ms. Patrick would have none of ABC's excitement over her accomplishments-she was unhappy that she didn't win.
-David Cullum; Janesville, Wis.
Joel Belz, in his column about society's explicit rejection of God ("Big G, little g," June 11), said it well. I agree that God is not ignoring this kind of talk. In fact, I wonder if He might not have a little smile on His face over such statements. It reminds me of the great statement of British theologian R.E.O. White, who said, "All divine judgment is but eternal ratification of our own foolish choices."
-Kenneth Huber; Sarasota, Fla.
Thank you to Joel Belz for his thoughts on the importance of Christian education ("Leaving the back door open," June 4). Attending a Christian school offers no guarantee that students will live the faith; the secular culture has had its impact upon many students there as well. The difference is that parents, teachers, and staff are on the same page as they partner in helping students develop a biblical worldview.
-Sharon Berg; Bellevue, Neb.
I heartily agree that there is a great deal wrong with state education, but I strongly disagree that the "lambs are escaping" because of it and insulted at the insinuation that Christians should not have their children in public schools. We are losing children because parents are not fulfilling their responsibility to know God's Word and diligently teach it to their children, and perhaps because our churches run watered-down, trite programs. I will be leaving my children in public school and praying that they will be a godly influence on their peers and teachers.
-Suzanne Farris; Franklin, Tenn.
I appreciate Mr. Veith's coverage of my book, Soul Searching ("A nation of deists," June 25). However, the piece describes Melinda Lundquist Denton and me as "secular researchers" but in fact we are both committed and practicing Christians. Not all faculty and researchers at secular universities are unbelievers.-Christian Smith, Professor of Sociology, University of North Carolina; Chapel Hill, N.C.
The article about the band Jars of Clay was written by Courtney Russell ("Open jars," June 18, p. 53).
New Jersey's upcoming gubernatorial election is a regularly scheduled contest (The Buzz, June 18, p. 10).
The former Nebraska attorney general considering running for U.S. Senate is Don Stenberg ("Vanishing species," June 18, p. 26).