Year of struggle
I have not lost my home or any loved ones this past year, but it has been the hardest year of my life so far. Our family business has struggled. The debt and the stress this causes is almost more than we can bear and I have struggled to understand why. I know that God is sovereign, that He has a plan, but in my weakness I stray from that truth. Marvin Olasky's column in the year-end issue ("Our storm-wracked year," Dec. 31/Jan. 7) was a great encouragement to me. As usual, when we take our eyes off Jesus, our hearts can drag us down.
-Rick Blackburn; Boone, N.C.
Architects, movie stars, preacher and voice of The Lutheran Hour, a "prominent liberal Presbyterian theologian," and, of course, the pope, but where is any mention of Adrian Rogers, the man God used to greatly impact and change the Southern Baptist Convention ("Departures," Dec. 31/Jan. 7)? I appreciate WORLD, but this baffled me.
-Harvey Stranske; Turlock, Calif.
I love the magazine but was disappointed that there was no mention of the death of Jim Russell, the founder of the Amy Foundation. Mr. Russell's belief that, as the Bible says, God's Word will not return void led him to establish the highly regarded Amy Writing Awards to encourage Christians to get their writing into secular markets where it would reach non-Christians and Christians alike.
-Linda Whitlock; Salem, Va.
I was a little disappointed that "Departures" did not include actor John Fiedler of 12 Angry Men (1957), one of the greatest films ever. He was in the U.S. Navy in WWII and had a distinctive physique and voice that classic film buffs will never forget.
-Al Shumard; Radford, Va.
Missing from "Departures" is Andrew Cole, psychologist, African relief leader, and founder of RISE International, serving to rebuild rural schools in Angola. He brought a touch of the Master to hurting people both here and abroad.
-Belinda Luxton; Rochelle, Ill.
You left out venerable television actor Don Adams of Get Smart fame. Of course, considering all the famous people who earned a spot on the honorable list, I suppose Mr. Adams "missed it by that much."
-Justin Lonas; Boone, N.C.
I enjoyed the year-end issue, as I always do. It reminds me of how much happens every year, and how much I forget so quickly.
-Tim Murphy; Colorado Springs, Colo.
The big hit
Thank you for saying very clearly that the would-be emperor has no clothes ("Childish debate," Dec. 31/Jan. 7). It just amazes me that the left can get any traction with these lies about the Bush administration. I have fun asking liberals what Mr. Bush's three worst lies were; they cannot come up with one. In the end, the big credibility hit will be against the left and their media megaphone.
-Vic Tripp; Tucker, Ga.
That the debate occurs, regardless of who wins it, means that the Democrats win and the War on Terror suffers an important defeat. The debate gives validity to the mythology that the war with Iraq was resumed based on Saddam Hussein's possession of weapons of mass destruction. Actually, the war resumed because Mr. Hussein breached his international obligations as reaffirmed in UN Resolution 1441. He failed to give complete disclosure to prove his regime had eliminated programs for and any remaining inventories of weapons of mass destruction.
-Nolan Nelson; Eugene, Ore.
Please allow me to express my delight in "Slappy holiday" (Dec. 24). I especially enjoyed the humor of Gene Edward Veith's half-sarcastic and suggestive "re-imagining" of Santa Claus. I only regret that I didn't receive the article in time to share it with my church members (it should, of course, be timely again next year).
-George Lee; Austin, Texas
"Slappy holiday" was disgraceful. The tone and sarcasm are startling. And as for the line about "Rudolph the Red Knows Jesus," is that really the way to use the name of our Lord? In such a flippant manner?
-Amanda Dilday; Culpeper, Va.
It seems to me it would be better to emulate St. Nicholas' repentance for naughty behavior rather than his slapping.
-Jeff Bohlender; San Simon, Ariz.
Needs to be heard
Mr. Veith has defined in print what needs to be heard by military leaders (including senior chaplains), judges, and politicians at all levels: that prohibiting anyone from praying in accordance with his or her conscience (such as, "in Jesus' name") establishes a quasi-state-sponsored, syncretistic, generic religion that violates the First Amendment ("Rock of offense," Dec. 17).
-Chaplain (Col.) James Shaw, U.S. Army (Ret.); Georgetown, Texa
The final straw
Please cancel our subscription. The final straw was the Dec. 17 issue. How does The Frighteners qualify as an "old favorite" ("Making old favorites new again")? Right next to Julie Andrews and The Sound of Music! This is beyond bizarre. To top it off, your Daniel of the Year is a New York modern artist. Unbelievable.
-Susan L. Pierce; Ferndale, Calif.
Having just finished yet another insightful, well-written movie review by Andrew Coffin, I must say that his work is some of the best I have seen. He brings together worldview skills and communication skills to produce helpful, relevant insights.
-Kent Welkener; Allen, Texas
With tears I read about Makoto Fujimura's personal account of 9/11 and the creation of Tribeca Temporary ("Daniel of the year," Dec. 17). Praise God for the human spirit that will create amid the rubble and speak to us about Shalom.
-Renee Pouchak; St. Anthony, Minn.
I travel to New York regularly and look forward to seeing Mr. Fujimura's work. Thank you for making me aware of him and his influence of our culture. However, in light of suffering in China, North Korea, Sudan, and other places, I believe that there are many Daniels in such places whom God is using to save our generation, and you missed a chance to recognize one of these.
-Greg VanDeWalker; Highlands Ranch, Colo.
Thank you to Mr. Olasky for such a great article about liberal bias in today's media ("Fatal flaws," Dec. 17). It's ironic that these blatant errors in truth-telling only made race relations worse. So-called "progressive" journalists assumed that all these people of poor economic status and minority race were running amok without the supervision of police, higher government officials, etc. So who displayed the most blatant racist predispositions this time: liberals or conservatives?
-Guy Peterson; Tulsa, Okla.
Garrison Keillor's rant about Republicans was originally published in the Sept. 20, 2004, issue of In These Times ("Ugly things," Dec. 10, p. 47).