Thank you for "Dirty Harry Christians" (Sept. 24). I am a student at Northeastern State University in Oklahoma and am involved in ministries at Camp Gruber where many evacuees have been taken. It is amazing how many have come out to help; we have more volunteers than evacuees. What I found most encouraging was how Marvin Olasky addressed the separation of church and state. I am amazed at how many people, even among my Christian friends, don't understand what it means.
-Jared Brewer; Tulsa, Okla.
Thanks to Joel Belz for "Getting a bit carried away?" (Sept. 24). It touches on several aspects of the emerging foolishness that is appearing under the guise of relief and reconstruction in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. I recently saw a facetious e-mail about President Bush selling Louisiana back to France for a quick $25 million to avoid billions of dollars in rebuilding expense. When I shared the "Louisiana Refund" joke with a co-worker, her immediate response was to say that she had not seen it in the news. Sometimes caricature is so close to reality.
-R.E. Page; Rochester, N.Y.
Thank you for your coverage of Hurricane Katrina. It was refreshing to read articles from a Christian perspective, especially entire articles devoted to Mississippi, which were difficult to find in mainstream media ("Mississippi misery," Sept. 24).
-Meredith Cleland; Jackson, Miss.
I read a great deal of coverage of the Katrina disaster, and WORLD's coverage in the Sept. 17 issue ("Katrina: week two") was probably the best I read from any source. The human interest stories were phenomenal.
-Lee Wallace; Atlanta, Ga.
Andrew Coffin, in his review of Junebug ("See review," Sept. 24), states that the movie contains "significant bad language and sexual situations" and "really, really crude paintings." But then he calls it "quite an achievement." I think that's the reaction Hollywood hopes Christians have: If a movie has enough interesting scenes and characters, we'll look the other way on the parts that offend us. I think it's called desensitization.
-Joni Halpin; Allen, Texas
Regarding the California court ruling that reciting "under God" in the pledge is unconstitutional (The Buzz, Sept. 24): It is no coincidence that Democrat-appointed judges make such rulings. Electing Democratic officials is the mechanism that allows the appointment of such judges who enforce a radical and atheistic agenda.
-Michael Guy; Bethel Park, Pa.
People or profits?
I enjoyed Gene Edward Veith's column on vocation, about just doing one's job and serving one's neighbor ("A job to do," Sept. 24). In the business realm, it does not serve my neighbor to remove his source of livelihood, uproot his family, and pressure his wife to work more outside the home, yet many see this as ethically acceptable if done in the name of profits and free markets. God's standards are inverted when companies treat employees not as neighbors but as expendable profit sources, valuing money over people.
-Patricia Sampson; Chagrin Falls, Ohio
More than clowns
As a former leader of the Superfans at Geneva College, thank you for mentioning this beloved tradition in your article on Christian colleges ("A matter of taste," Sept. 24). However, we are more than caution-tape-wearing, plaid-pants clowns. We are the embodiment of enthusiasm. Our pride and joy is painting our chests with big black and gold letters spelling out our anthem: "Fight Geneva Fight Geneva Fight Geneva Fight." Although we have yet to have the full 38 painted chests, we have at least a "Geneva" at every game, no matter the weather.
-Bryan Doreian; Cleveland, Ohio
Joel Belz's "Unquenchable appetite" (Sept. 17) is right on. The private sector would be faster, more efficient, and even more generous than government. And since we get nothing but constant division and poor service even during good times, let's cut back government interference even in "normal times"-contrary to what the Republicans and Democrats believe we need.
-Deborah A. Mackall; Pasadena, Md.
Mr. Belz articulated the way many Christians I know feel about life's problems in general and Katrina in particular. The government gives us a false sense of security, but when reality comes crashing down the nonbeliever is left empty and shouting, "This isn't fair!" Well, as I have long told my children, fairness died on the cross.
-Tuck Smith; Holdrege, Neb.
We Americans believe so little in God and we so much have pledged our allegiance to our government that we no longer acknowledge God for what He alone could have done or prevented. I mentioned that few Americans were blaming God rather than government in a journalism class and the consensus response was, "You think God caused Katrina?!" I expect such a reaction from unbelievers, but the church ought to know better. John Piper would agree that a recovery of a sense of God's sovereignty is in order ("Who answers to Whom?" Sept. 17).
-Nathanael Snow; Morrisville, N.C.
Hard to find
I think you have hit home on global warming ("Gulf lore," Sept. 17). It would be hard to find a hurricane scientist who says that the hurricanes of the last couple of years were caused by global warming.
-Matthew Benjamin; Clinton Twp., Mich.
Sacrifice and love
Thank you for the coverage on the heroic death of Lance Cpl. Nicholas Bloem, who passed into eternity courageously serving our country ("The best and brightest," Aug. 27). My deepest regrets and most sincere thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Bloem for their 20 years of sacrifice and love for Nicholas that was expressed to all of us through his life and death as a Marine and a Christ-bearer.
-Brent & Laura George; Woodstock, Ga.
Illogical and evil
I read in your magazine that the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation's chairwoman took 150 diabetic children to the Capitol to pressure lawmakers to give federal funding for embryonic stem-cell research ("Frist offense," Aug. 13). I have had juvenile diabetes for almost 16 years of my 17-year life, and one of my brothers is a juvenile diabetic as well. Nonetheless, I maintain that killing little people in an attempt to cure diabetes is illogical and evil.
-Spencer Paustian; Wake Forest, N.C.
- The lyrics in the review of Death Cab for Cutie's album Plans are from the song "I Will Follow You Into the Dark" (Bestselling CDs, Oct. 1, p. 11).
- David Brainerd is buried in Northampton, Mass. (Mailbag, Oct. 8, p. 48).