Children of disaster
I wept when I first saw the photo of that precious 3-year old child, Kirsten, on the cover of your Oct. 8 issue ("After the storms"). As a father and grandfather and great-grandfather of 23, my heart weeps especially for the children of this Gulf Coast disaster, so vividly represented by this little one. I pray that she and all the children displaced by Katrina and Rita will have loving parents and family who will tell them of the special love of our Savior for such as these.
-Bill Leonard; Colorado Springs, Colo.
I do not recall having read anywhere that secularists in our society are suing over having faith-based organizations like the Southern Baptists and the Salvation Army assist in the recovery along the Gulf Coast. Doesn't this equate (in their minds) to the "official recognition" of God by the government?
-Dick Northrop; Wytheville, Va.
Bodies lined up
I remember, years ago on a trip to Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry, a vague sense that something just wasn't right about its collection of human fetuses, those bodies lined up like so many jars of pickles. Now we have Dr. von Hagens' ghastly "corpse art" traveling the world, making plenty of money, and getting rave reviews ("Corpse art," Oct. 8). I can't decide what's most shocking: his "pieces," the factory that plasticizes the remains, the waiting list to be part of the exhibit, or the busloads of schoolchildren whose consciences will be seared viewing Dr. von Hagens' work.
-Susie Roberts; Margate, Fla.
I visited "Body World" in Chicago and did not find the displays provocative, disrespectful, or morbid. They were vivid pictures of the systems of our "fearfully and wonderfully made" bodies fitting and working together. Regarding interment, I would hate to think that God's power to raise the dead is contingent upon having an intact body, properly buried.
-Laura Hulce; Holland, Mich.
It must have made Gene Edward Veith ill to write "Corpse art." It made me ill to read it. The fact that the display has found a welcome in America as "science" is a telling critique of American science and the philosophical ideology that it is based upon.
-Susan Bentley; Freedom, Calif.
Right on for "Disappearing act" (Oct. 8) regarding the need for more babies in Europe and elsewhere. Although the United States is at replacement level in our birth rates and immigrants are arriving, we are in jeopardy, and not necessarily numerically. The disdain for children permeates even into our churches. We all don't need to have huge families, but perhaps we need to allow God to control the size of our families instead of contraceptives.
-Janine Iversen; Franklin, N.Y.
I can find no indication in the Bible that God ever suspended the directive to "be fruitful and increase in number," yet in the face of 40 years of the culture preaching zero population growth, the church has been mostly silent.
-Mark Simmons; San Jose, Calif.
Kudos to Noah Riner, student body president at Dartmouth College, for his speech ("Convocation conviction," Oct. 8). Dartmouth was founded in 1769 by Rev. Eleazar Wheelock, a Congregationalist pastor and fervent supporter of and participant in the Great Awakening. Established to reach American Indians and prepare them as missionaries to their own culture, Dartmouth, like virtually all early American colleges, was primarily interested in the spiritual character of its students. Let us pray that Mr. Riner's bold challenge may awaken again that purpose.
-Guy R. Strayhorn; Fort Myers, Fla.
Mr. Riner did well to express who he was. What he did was very courageous, and his action gives me strength.
-Christina Wilson; Westlake Village, Calif.
I appreciated "Battle for conservatism's soul" (Oct. 8). In the past, it was controversial whether the government should have extensive welfare programs. Today, it's controversial whether the government should give religious nonprofit organizations a break because of some mumbo-jumbo about "separation of church and state." I agree with Sen. Santorum that Republicans need to revert to true compassionate conservatism, which "believes in the transformative power of faith, and the integral role of charities, houses of worship, and other institutions."
-Jacob Pfister; Indianapolis, Ind.
It seems to me that this is how video games should be assessed ("More than a game," Oct. 8): If they are merely point and shoot, they are undesirable. If they glamorize murder, licentious sex, or theft, they are diabolic. If they show corruption as corruption and encourage violence only in pursuit of justice and protection of those under attack, they can be forces for good.
-Don Codling; Lower Sackville, Nova Scotia
Every little tradition
Thank you for Marvin Olasky's column acknowledging Rosh Hashanah/Yom Kippur and Passover ("Into landmined territory," Oct. 8). I have been a Gentile believer for 13 years and have just begun to learn about the biblical holidays and about celebrating them. I celebrated Passover for the first time in April. It is so refreshing how every little tradition in the meal points to Jesus the Messiah.
-Annie Jackson; San Antonio, Texas
I especially appreciated Andree Seu's Oct. 8 column ("House of unraveling") and identify with being in the place where God has had to pull the rug out from under me. Also, her Amelia Earhart metaphor was profound, as she put Amelia in her Lockheed Vega (in which she became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic) instead of her Lockheed Electra (the plane in which she was lost as she attempted to fly around the world). Likewise, we Christians do get lost, but in the end we land safely and victoriously by God's grace
-Mark Diedrich; Kerhonkson, N.Y.
I hate pain and suffering as much as the next guy so I had to check my motives before responding to Gene Edward Veith's column regarding the Chinese house-church leader who asked that we quit praying for an end to persecution in China ("Praying for persecution," Oct. 1). Yes, God uses persecution for His kingdom and He blesses those who are suffering; but to pray for the promotion of Satan's work to stamp out Christianity is sin. We should ask God's forgiveness for not responding to His blessings, and also ask what role we can play in ending the persecution of Christians.
-Frank DeGioia; Atlanta, Ga.
I really appreciate WORLD and how it keeps me up to date on world and national events. It is a quick read with a lot more variety and depth than I would ever see on TV news. I became a subscriber after a friend gave my wife and me a subscription. Your eight for $5 is a great idea.
-John Hogin; Turlock, Calif.