After vacationing in England in 1998, I told my husband that I did not fear China as some in the media suggested we should; rather, I was much more afraid of the Muslims I had encountered in England. Mindy Belz's cover story ("Words kill," Aug. 20) tells me that my fears were correct. I pray that British Prime Minister Tony Blair's new rules are heeded and adopted to stem the vitriolic speech of hate and murder.
-Lynn M. Boshart; Rialto, Calif.
"Ounce of prevention" (Aug. 20), regarding the Patriot Act, concerns me. Heather MacDonald said that unless you've been "fraternizing with terrorists," your chances of coming under suspicion are "virtually zero." Well, that depends on the definition of "terrorist." The radical left has already begun to label Christians as terrorists and to equate us with Islamic extremists. What if a future president appoints radical anti-Christians to places of power; what will the definition of terrorist be then? The Bill of Rights protects all of us from the arbitrary whims of men, and the Patriot Act diminishes these protections.
-Warren Rock; Birmingham, Ala.
Outside the doors
First Baptist Church in Leesburg, Fla., is doing a work like no other in our state ("Doing well, doing good," Aug. 20). I like the idea of not building bigger worship centers. After all, ministry also takes place outside the doors of the church building, where the world sees what Christianity is all about.
-Myra Buffkin; Merritt Island, Fla.
Watered down . . .
In analyzing today's contemporary, user-friendly churches ("Packed, but still empty," Aug. 20), Gene Edward Veith succinctly describes our own observation of the church-growth movement: dilution of doctrine for the sake of growth and "unity."
-Marvin & Nancy Richter; Kingsdown, Kan.
. . . with living water
I am a member of a seeker-friendly church in Michigan. Yes, we have more than 5,000 in attendance every weekend, topical messages, and entertaining dramas and music. However, the gospel is presented regularly and hundreds are coming to Christ each year, being connected into small groups and discipled in their new faith. I love being in a church that is alive and on fire for God.
-Kimberly A. Rhodes; Troy, Mich.
More than grumpy
Establishment Darwinists are more than grumpy ("Unhappy warriors," Aug. 20). They're using every means at their disposal to protect their livelihoods, turf, and power. Phillip Johnson once observed that if the Darwinists had a good case, they would welcome the critics to an academic forum for open debate rather than caricature their arguments as straw men. Instead they have chosen to rely on the dishonorable methods of power politics.
-Christopher French; Souderton, Pa.
Sadly, my enthusiasm for the debate between Darwinists and Intelligent Design is tempered by the "grumpy defensiveness" within the Christian community. Some creationists are not as flexible as Joel Belz and insist that to embrace anything other than a literal six-day interpretation of Genesis is to be in league with the Darwinists. It is disconcerting that what should unite Christians-a belief in a divine creator and His sovereignty over the universe-is taking a back seat to disputes over the time frame and methodology of creation.
-Peggy Muller; Riverside, Calif.
God has a sense of humor-and a sense of irony. With challenges to Darwinism mounting, we have the very real possibility of watching the scientific community rail against the latest advances in science ("Mad scientists," Aug. 20). Darwin's critics are no longer just those wearing cassocks and capes; they are peering through microscopes and unraveling the marvels and mysteries of DNA.
-Thomas M. Beattie; Mt. Vernon, Va.
Many educators, when considering their sacred cow of evolution, have jettisoned academic freedom and true education for indoctrination. Without even considering or allowing the available scientific evidence on the side of ID to be taught, they have killed their students' initiative to think through the data for themselves. That is, in itself, anti-scientific methodology.
-Charles Rogers; Tequesta, Fla.
Thank you for your encouragement to go see The Great Raid ("A great raid, a great film," Aug. 20). My husband (who leaves soon for Marine Corps boot camp) and I saw it immediately after reading your article. It was a wonderful reminder of all that our servicemen and women have willingly lost in securing, and keeping, the freedoms that we so lightly enjoy every day.
-Laura Custer; Ellicott City, Md.
Regarding Lizz Wright's worldview (Bestselling CDs, Aug. 20), she is the daughter of a minister in rural Georgia. She considers her music a means of bringing people together, and being a witness to them through holiness in her life.
-George Harris; Thousand Oaks, Calif.
Liberals dynamited the emigration bridge to Canada by enacting legislation in 1961 to discourage U.S. citizens from living or working abroad, making them subject to U.S. income tax on their worldwide income ("Liberals get cold feet about cold Canada," Aug. 20). Canadian taxes alone are stiff enough to make even a liberal think twice about moving there.
-Roger Conklin; Palmetto Bay, Fla.
Rock on, sister
Ann Coulter's behavior is a far cry from those "South Park conservatives" Mr. Olasky describes ("South Park vs. Ann Coulter," Aug. 13). No, she isn't subtle, but her insights escape being empty rants because they often contain truths derived from Truth. While the apostle Paul preached the gospel (and he could be plenty caustic), Ms. Coulter is a political pundit. If she can slice up politically correct absurdities using humor and an acid tongue, I say, "Rock on, sister!"
-Melony Wilson Daniel; Athens, Ga.
- The South Korean man who died of heart failure after a 50-hour computer game-playing binge was playing an online game called Starcraft (Quick Takes, Aug. 27, p. 6).
- The presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is Mark Hanson ("Lutheran retreat," Aug. 20, p. 21).