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Mailbag

Letters, feedback, etc.

Issue: "Beyond hate speech," Aug. 20, 2005

It was enough

It sure was enjoyable to come home from work recently after hearing of President Bush's nomination of Judge John Roberts to the Supreme Court, knowing that one of the short bios that you had put in this week's magazine probably was of Judge Roberts.
It was ("Supreme fight," July 23). A quick summary from WORLD before the liberal media bombards me with their take is all I wanted. Thanks.
-John Kooker, Palos Verdes, Calif.

Stepping out

Reading about the ministries working from the ground up in Africa ("One church, one orphanage," July 23) brought to mind another similar ministry called Village Schools. I thank God for this ministry and others like it whose leaders are willing to step out in faith.
-Denise Tees; Houston, Texas

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Bethesda Outreach, 30 miles north of Pretoria, South Africa, is another ministry caring for orphans whose parents died from AIDS. This ministry of Evangelical Baptist Missions helps educate these orphans and matches them with South African families. It is grievous to realize the ongoing tragedy in sub-Saharan Africa, yet it is exciting to see various ministries use creative means to rescue these precious children.
-Paul Golden; Clarks Summit, Pa.

Your article spoke to the blessings that God promises us if we are faithful to serve others with our first fruits. God has blessed us with the resources to minister to the world, but we are having too much fun indulging ourselves.
-Brian Teague; Mooresville, N.C.

Arguing against

Gene Edward Veith wrote that I am "offer[ing] another argument for legalizing gay marriage" ("Blessings and curses," July 23). I do not now advance, nor have I ever advanced, arguments in favor of legalizing homosexual marriage. I have put forth arguments against fighting such marriages in our usual impotent way.
-Douglas Wilson; Moscow, Idaho

Eye opener

I read of the 1,500 sheep foolishly following a leader over a cliff to destruction (Quick Takes, July 23) and thought of Jim Jones, whose disciples also blindly followed him. We must follow the Shepherd, not the other sheep.
-Charle Farr; Islesboro, Maine

Ideally diverse

I appreciate Cal Thomas' point in "Symbol v. substance" (July 23), that it is more important to choose a Supreme Court judicial nominee based on the substance of his or her thought, over gender or race. He goes too far, though, in considering gender and race merely "symbolic." One's race and gender are never merely symbolic but play a part in the formation of who that person is. An ideal Supreme Court would reflect the diverse makeup of our country.
-John Beeson; Princeton, N.J.

Keep coming

Regarding "Baseball's learning curve" (July 23): Most baseball players know the crowds will come to the games and keep funneling money into their organizations no matter what their conduct is-on or off the field. Fans may have booed Kenny Rogers at the All-Star game, but they still bought a ticket.
-Jimmy Meeks; Burleson, Texas

Abstinence-based

Marvin Olasky's column ("Condoms or compassion?" July 23) regrettably leaves the reader with the false impression that World Vision's work in Zambia with those affected by HIV/AIDS focuses more on condom distribution than compassionate care. Nothing could be further from the truth. World Vision's programs in Zambia and throughout sub-Saharan Africa are founded on the "ABC" model (abstinence, being faithful, and condom use for high-risk groups). This places primary importance on values-based abstinence education for young people starting well before sexual debut, and faithfulness in marriage for older youth and adults. In all of our 24 area development programs our primary prevention strategy is rooted in abstinence. We have adopted a biblically based curriculum developed by Scripture Union for our work with youths in schools, churches, and communities.
In targeting high-risk groups, World Vision supports young girls and women in starting small business ventures. A number are now able to earn reasonable income without having to engage in high-risk behavior. Amongst discordant couples (and those who cannot or will not practice faithfulness and abstinence), World Vision suggests condom use, but we do not distribute them. In the prevention of HIV/AIDS, it has been demonstrated that condoms have a role to play in slowing the spread of the epidemic.
-Martin Silutongwe, National Director, World Vision Zambia; Lusaka, Zambia

Thank you for the information regarding World Vision's sponsorship of the billboard promoting condom use. My wife and I have supported World Vision for over 10 years and currently sponsor a child in Zambia. I contacted World Vision hoping that it was a mistake, but was told that this part of Zambia had terribly high rates of AIDS and that World Vision had no problem with this message. Sadly, we have canceled our sponsorship with the hope that World Vision will see the wrong-headedness of promoting condom use and the resulting harm.
-Wayne Lozzi; Lynn, Mass.

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