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Mailbag

Letters, feedback, etc.

Issue: "New Orleans: Starting over," Sept. 24, 2005

Weep and pray

When I read the story of Nick Bloem, a Marine recently killed in Iraq ("Best and brightest," Aug. 27), I paused, wept, and prayed for his father Al, whom I knew from Covenant College in the late 1970s. This story has and will touch many with the character of Nick, the heart-brokenness of a family that has lost a godly son and brother, and the faith of his father whose hope is in the risen Christ. May our sovereign God comfort Al, Debbie, and their family during this difficult time of grieving.
-Jeff George; St. Albans, W.Va.

Thank you for "Unusual recruits" (Aug. 27) and "Best and brightest." These are the stories we hear so little about.
-Maureen Cruz; Chicago, Ill.

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"Best and brightest" reminded me of Alvin C. York, a Tennessee hillbilly who was one of the greatest American heroes of World War I. Our military men in Iraq, Afghanistan, and anywhere else on this good earth are among the finest, no matter where they come from or how extensive their education is. They are all "Unusual recruits."
-Ellie Bauer; Matamora, Pa.

When I read the name of LCpl. Nicholas Bloem, it was like a knife stabbed me in the chest. Nicholas was part of the 4th Reconnaissance Battalion and my first cousin, LCpl. Jerimiah Kinchen, was the first of 4th Recon to be killed in action. On April 4, 2005, I came home from a track meet on a rainy day to have my father wrap me in his arms and tell me that Jerimiah was not coming home. I know my family will never forget that we lost a beloved son, brother, nephew, cousin, and grandson in this war. We will never forget that he died a hero's death and for something he believed in.
-Holly Wheat; Plato, Mo.

Thank you for your continued up-close-and-personal coverage of our war in Iraq, but remember that there are some evangelical Christians, like me, who believe we should withdraw our troops.
-Matthew; Wisconsin

The good news

I commend you for your article on the recent ELCA assembly ("Lutheran retreat," Aug. 27). Task-force member Lou Hesse truly has been an instrument of the Lord in seeking to keep our denomination away from the wiles of the wicked one. As an ELCA pastor who attended the assembly as an observer, I believe that the good news was that this was the first time the mechanization of liberalization has ever been halted, if only temporarily.
-Rev. Jeffray Greene; Rantoul, Ill.

The ELCA voted for unity and then recorded votes that guaranteed disunity. A sage once said, "If you sacrifice principle for unity, you will obtain neither." When Scripture is sacrificed as our moral authority, we reap the chaos found in the Episcopal Church and most mainline churches.
-L. James Harvey; Caledonia, Mich.

Heinous crimes

Regarding "Level playing field" (Aug. 27) and "Arrest first, ask questions later" (Aug. 27): American Christians just don't get it. Around the world, Christians can be arrested and thrown in jail for the heinous crime of naming the name of Jesus. Here at home, the worst we have to face is the daily bashing by the liberal media, or occasionally being called a "Jesus freak."
-John E. Vincent; Wauconda, Ill.

Those Chinese Christians I met within the South China Church are not weak in the least or in any way "weaker" than Americans, as you quote me as saying ("Arrest first, ask questions later"). Rather, they have great strength and perseverance that comes from their utter dependence on God's sovereign hand and His unchangeable love in Christ Jesus. They are simply more vulnerable to such severe persecution because their government offers little to no protection of their human rights or religious freedom.
-Eric Pilson; Washington, D.C.

Raising the bar

WORLD argued that Sen. Bill Frist has repeatedly flip-flopped in his pro-life views ("Triple somersault," Aug. 27). What I found most disturbing was your conclusion that "the bar for being a pro-life leader has been significantly raised." Is it no longer enough to vote 39 times against partial-birth abortion, assisted suicide, and violence against the unborn? Must one also support a ban on embryonic stem-cell research to be truly pro-life?
-Brian Housman; Cordova, Tenn.

To refer to Sen. Frist's speech as "his recent flip-flop" made me angrier than anything I have yet read in WORLD. Sen. Frist has been consistent on this issue for decades-he has always maintained that the bodies of humans (embryos or not) who are already being killed can ethically be used to help others. Many (including me) may disagree, but I would far rather support an honest and principled man than a politician who mindlessly upholds the party line.
-Isaac Demme; Drumore, Pa.

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