Gene Edward Veith has a good point when it comes to Christians' involvement in the arts, and I agree that Christians are sometimes too explicit to use subtle movie-making techniques well ("Message movies," Sept. 3). However, I take issue with some of the movies he says "effectively express Christianity," such as The Matrix, The Shawshank Redemption, and Dead Man Walking, and with the idea that "heathens make the best Christian films," as Thom Parham put it.
-Jamie Riddle; Burlington, Mass.
I read your magazine cover to cover, yet I usually take a peek first at your movie reviews. I like how Gene Edward Veith and Andrew Coffin don't tell us what to see and what not to see (as most other critics do) but instead provide enough information to make a discerning decision on our own. Also, "Into the bright lights" (Sept. 3) was very helpful and encouraging for me both now and, Lord willing, in the future in Hollywood.
-Matt Lorenzen; Gibson, Ill.
Mr. Veith wrote that "to know God, you have to read the Book." But for those of us who are Anglican, Orthodox, and Roman Catholic, visual imagery, the use of icons by many of the faithful, and the expression of Christ's presence in the Holy Eucharist reveal how our Father God uses all possible means to communicate with His children.
-Donald A. Seeks; Reedley, Calif.
When will highly visible Christian leaders think before opening their mouths ("Who would Jesus assassinate?" Sept. 3)? Is Pat Robertson accountable to a board for his call to assassinate Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez? Do we need to come out with a disclaimer regarding Pat Robertson, and will it help?
-Doranna Cooper; Mission Viejo, Calif.
I appreciate the variety of great programming on TBN, but I believe that if Pat Robertson were truly concerned about extending the kingdom of God, he would resign. His preferred party, the GOP, regularly pressures its people to quit when they embarrass the cause, and I consider the cause of Christ to be much greater.
-Randy Melton; Mexico City, Mexico
I hate to see the media pounce on Pat Robertson for one mistake, considering all the good deeds done by Operation Blessing. It takes a humble person to admit he made a mistake, especially to the whole world.
-Joyce Meyer; Jamison, Pa.
I'm disgusted (and convicted!) to think that with just a few thoughtless words, an American Christian brother further endangered our sweet privilege to go and preach the gospel alongside zealous believers in Venezuela.
-Stephanie Ferguson; Broken Arrow, Okla.
I love WORLD even more after reading "Shades of red" (Sept. 3). I have had great respect for historian Ronald Radosh since researching Cold War historiography, especially the forced famine in Ukraine in 1932-33. Thank you to Dr. Radosh for doing the lonely but necessary work of a historian sorting out the truth from Hollywood's red fiction. I hope that next he will blow the cover off all the Communists securely lodged in the ivory towers of academia.
-Kristina Gray; Crookston, Minn.
As an Orthodox Christian reader of WORLD, I was utterly appalled when I read "Documentary disinformation" (Sept. 3). The behavior of the Russian Orthodox Church is inexcusable and sickens me. May God grant repentance to the leadership of the Russian Orthodox Church, as well as to all of us for our many sins.
-Neil Latanzi; New Milford, Conn.
The Crawford vigil was misguided ("Woodstock it ain't," Sept. 3). As one father of a Marine wrote recently, Mrs. Sheehan has irresponsibly "emboldened a ruthless and evil enemy."
-Maynard Eyestone; Shoreline, Wash.
Pro-abortionists will never "make a deal" not to make heroes out of those who kill, as Joel Belz suggests ("Let's make a deal," Sept. 3), because they do not believe that what they are advocating is killing of any kind, let alone terrorism. The only way the pro-life side can win this debate is to convince the other side (and the fence sitters) that what is being forcibly removed from a woman's uterus is not just "products of conception" but a human life.
-Craig Durstewitz; Cape May, N.J.
With or without
Kudos for exposing how many people laud talented athletes such as running back Lawrence Phillips ("Parable of the talented," Sept. 3) without dealing head-on with the rage and trouble that might come with the package. You wrote that ex-Nebraska coach Tom Osborne's suspension reduction for Mr. Phillips in 1995 helped "to ensure a national championship." That team had so much talent it would have won a national crown with or without Mr. Phillips.
-Luke H. Davis; Salisbury, N.C.
I always include a quote at the end of my sermon study guide. While working on a guide to help people understand Hurricane Katrina, I remembered John Piper's good column on how to view the tsunami ("Mercy for the living," Jan. 15) but had lost it in my files. I went to your website and had it in less than a minute. That's wonderful.
-Tim Christenson; Wellington, Fla.
Just say no
I am a founding board member of a Christian elementary school and we have often faced this same issue over being chartered by the state ("Here come the strings," Sept. 3). Each time we concluded that it is best not to take state money, mainly because we believe it is the parents' duty, not the state's, to educate children. To hold that belief in one hand while reaching out for cash with the other lacks integrity. Second, we know that it starts with money and, just as in Alaska, then the government tries to take control of the educational philosophy. If you are dependent upon their purse strings, it's hard to say no.
-Ginger Edwards; Avon Lake, Ohio
For those of us with the conviction that homeschooling is superior to public schooling, buying our own curriculum is a small price to pay for proper education for our children.
-Jeff Stiles; Dubuque, Iowa
Thank you for the column on churches that don't do anything for the world and just stay in their little, safe circles ("Guilty bystanders," Aug. 20). I am thankful that our church, affiliated with Cowboy Church International, is always on the outreach. CCI has changed the face of rodeo over the last 30 years. Instead of rough language, drinking, and bad behavior, today you are as likely to find Bible studies on ranches and cowboy church on the cattle drives, prayers behind the bull-riding chutes, and hymns over the rodeo loudspeaker while a pastor preaches from horseback.
-JulieBeth Lamb; Knight's Ferry, Calif.