Here we go again. A "Christian spokesman" has wallowed in the mud of mammon and expects that a quick shower of forgiveness from the rest of us will restore him to the plenitude of pork available in the D.C. meat market ("Houses of cards," Jan. 14). Ralph Reed's simple "regret" is very regrettable. I find myself increasingly sorrowed by the actions of the "megastars," in politics and the pulpit, of American evangelicalism. But as my old Marine buddy would kindly rebuke me, "We're all hogs . . . some of us are just redeemed hogs."
-Phil Bray; Anchorage, Alaska
It was difficult to read about seasoned pro-family leaders using tribal gaming proceeds to lobby against casinos. It's a reminder to all culture warriors that we must do God's work God's way and not think our cause so great that it justifies methods that can't stand up to scrutiny.
-Seth Buechley; Roseburg, Ore.
Your story emphasized that Jack Abramoff was a Republican lobbyist and that Republicans are now trying to either return the money or turn it into charitable donations. I would point out that about a third of the Indian casino money went to Democrats, who are also scrambling to get rid of the evidence.
-Joseph Smith; Chadwicks, N.Y.
It's worse than you say in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) ("Mainline mess," Jan. 14). An effectual gutting of the fidelity and chastity requirement ought to require a vote of the presbyteries. However, the task force proposal is an end run around this, so that the general assembly itself, by itself, can implement its scheme. Since the General Assembly Permanent Judicial Commission has already been stacked by earlier general assemblies, this is all but a done deal unless God decides He wants to rescue this denomination from itself.
-Daniel C. Reuter; Nashville, Ind.
Back to work
I'm glad to hear about "determination quotient" ("DQ country," Jan. 14) because I'm tired and trying to live off the victory of having written two chapters of my book, yesterday. But that feeling of victory is now gone and I have to get back on the keyboard.
-Evelyn Y. Glover; Winter Haven, Fla.
I am forwarding this wonderful column to my daughter who is starting her second semester of college. She has a 200-page writing assignment in ENG 201. I hope it will encourage her.
-Sandy Yohman; Charleston, S.C.
One by one
To tell the kids in Vacation Bible School last summer about the 300 million homeless children in the world would be overwhelming and sound hopeless. I brought it down to 40 children in Ghana and then down to only one T-shirt-all one child would own-because Jesus wants us to help "one by one" ("Think small," Jan. 14). They got the vision and their offerings for four days averaged $7.50 per child. Bruce Wilkinson's vision was wonderful but not realistic; I am sorry he gave up so quickly.
-Doranna Cooper; Mission Viejo, Calif.
After a year and a half on the mission field in South Africa, we cannot agree more with the premise of "Think small." If you always fill the outstretched hand, it will always remain so. Transforming Africa spiritually, socially, and economically requires people who are willing to mentor others. Those who search out such programs to support will get far more for their dollar than from other well-intentioned programs. Well done, Peter Brinkerhoff.
-Cheree Shenk; Cape Town, South Africa
Your interview with Charley Dewberry on "Endangered species" (Jan. 14) points out clearly how much of our public policy is based on bad science. Last year the Washington state legislature wrestled unsuccessfully with a bill that would provide a definition for the term best science-as if there were a worst science. Having served as a legislator, I can say that the exercise was redundant in that legislators already have a working definition of best science: "The perception that best fits your agenda." That same definition can be applied by legislators to the word truth.
-Jim Youngsman; Mount Vernon, Wash.
Walking and riding
Your review noted that King Kong contains "some profanity" ("Movie review," Jan. 14). Some profanity? The Lord's name was taken in vain numerous times. My family and I walked out of the movie and demanded our money back.
-Carol Stettner; Pompano Beach, Fla.
Ang Lee, director of Brokeback Mountain, is indeed a talented and persuasive man ("Movie review," Jan. 14). My first contact with his work was the very impressive movie Ride with the Devil. He should have reserved that title for this most recent effort.
-C. Somerset; Pensacola, Fla.
We see the hubris of the Democratic leadership portrayed in the judicial confirmation process involving Judge Samuel Alito ("Battlefield justice," Jan. 14). Liberals and Democrats prefer an enlightened guardian who will impose their morality and worldview on the ignorant masses living in Plato's cave of shadows and illusions. That is why they desire "activist" judges and why they oppose Judge Alito and conservatives in general. Conservatives can concede the equality of all people, despite their differences, and trust the citizens of our republic to elect officials who will enforce the common will.
-Michael Guy; Bethel Park, Pa.
Being on the losing end of one of the greatest college bowl games in recent history does not tarnish USC running back Reggie Bush's Heisman trophy or his amazing accomplishments during the season ("Texas shootout," Jan. 14). The Heisman is awarded to the best player in college football during the regular season, not during the BCS bowl games.
-Felix Huang; Arcadia, Calif.
Thank you for pointing out, once again, the hypocrisy of the American left ("Childish debate," Dec. 31/Jan. 7). It is unfortunate that most of the media have given them air time while being too lazy to challenge them on the facts.
-Bruce D. Ellison; Caledonia, Ill.
No better way
After a long, hard year, our small family was forced to face my recurring Crohn's disease and major, extensive surgery over Christmas, with setbacks in recovery and a return to the ER. This period became my "barren landscape" ("When nothing's happening," Dec. 24), but when His presence and peace came it was sweet beyond words, far outweighing the bitter. There is no better way to live than to see the sovereign God mightily at work in your life, and this happens most often in the barren landscape or the valley of trial, pain, or testing.
-Ruthie Landin; Minneapolis, Minn.