Clear as mud
Yes, the Israelis were apathetic about the election ("Broken promises, cynical voters," March 25), but how does that make them different than North Americans? The real issues in the election were clearly defined in the three major parties: The Labor Party wants to negotiate with the Palestinians for peace, Likud wants no negotiation and continued military rule in the West Bank, and Kadima wants to keep building the wall. The choices for Israel were quite clear; the outcomes, well, they're a lot muddier.
-Stan Applebaum; Toronto, Ontario
I was disappointed by Joel Belz's column on the slow demise of public schools ("Prophecy fulfilled," March 25). It's not too late to start filling the teaching vacancies with Christians. I have eight kids and we homeschooled until the oldest was 13, four years ago. I thought public school was like a one-way ticket to ignorance, but have been pleasantly surprised to find many nice families, many great teachers, and a far better curriculum than I expected. And yes, we spend a lot of time at home talking over what goes on in school because there's a fair amount of liberal propaganda and bad language. But there is also a lot of room for my kids to bring love, forgiveness, grace, and truth to their friends.
-Anne Crozier; Harrison, N.Y.
As a public-school teacher for 17 years, I can't agree more with Mr. Belz about the exiting of good, upright teachers from our schools. Poor work ethics, unstable role models, alternative lifestyles, and a lack of core Christian values are evident in the newer generation of teachers.
-Amy Morris; Hollywood, Md.
After more than a half century in higher education where for some years I taught the sociology of education, I totally agree that public education is crumbling. Unfortunately, so is secular college education, while Christian higher education is adopting too many of the ways of its secular cousins. At 81, I just watch and weep.
-N.J. Tavani; Altadena, Calif.
If Sophie Scholl runs here at the local theaters I will be the first to want to see it ("Sophie's choice," March 25). I'm only 46 years old but, as a German, it is my way of coming clean with the past.
-Andy Bendzin; Mechanicsburg, Pa.
With the last of the church fires smoldering memories ("For the fun of it," March 25), the reality for Messrs. Moseley, DeBusk, and Cloyd is just beginning. They chose nihilism, narcissism, and anarchism over goodness, kindness, and living under the shadow of the cross. Their new reality should include restitution and working on church construction crews.
-David P. Bartlett; Eugene, Ore.
"For the fun of it" struck a nerve with me. Gene Edward Veith described the major strain of nihilism in our young people and, as a professor of mental health counseling, I am seeing a diluted version of it even in some Christian teens. How do we steer between the liberal pap at school and the more conservative ideals of parents to speak a language that might burn through our alienated young folks' sense of superiority? How do we get them to listen when they've already become deaf?
-Carol Mitchell Smith; Cross Lanes, W.Va.
Your good report on radio for the Middle East ("Medium and message," March 25) might have given greater emphasis to the supreme virtue of radio: its ability to deliver a message in private. Letters can lead the police to an inquirer or raise suspicions in the family; TV is almost always watched in groups; the internet passes through services that can block websites and scan e-mail messages; and hidden books may be discovered. Radio has its weaknesses, but under hostile conditions it's a wonderful friend to the secret inquirer or believer.
-Steve Vishanoff; Brevard, N.C.
I am very thankful to ESPN for keeping Dick Vitale all to itself during the NCAA basketball tournament ("Missing out on the madness," March 25). Mr. Vitale is a big mouth who distracts from the game.
-Norm Ducharme; Fort Mill, S.C.
Getting to truth
"Rigamarole" (March 25) is another terrific commentary by Andrée Seu. She has a way of getting to the truth of things like few others.
-Glen Sherwood; Bemidji, Minn.
With an 's'
Regarding your review of Robert B. Parker's latest novel (Bestselling Books, March 25): There is a line in many Spenser novels to the effect of, "The name is Spenser, with an 's,' like the poet." The allusion to Edmund Spenser is not accidental, as Mr. Parker used to teach literature. I see his Spenser series as an attempt to create a chivalric romance (using this word in the technical sense) in a contemporary setting. Spenser and Hawk are the knights-errant. Susan is, obviously, the lady. But Mr. Parker has moved the chivalric romance out of the context of its essentially Christian worldview and placed it in a modern existential setting, where it doesn't quite work.
-Benjamin Shaw; Taylors, S.C.
I just finished reading and enjoying the memories and stories of WORLD's first 20 years ("Celebrating 20 years of WORLD," March 18). I surprised myself with how many covers I recognized and the stories that rang bells. I remember receiving my first issue as a replacement for my Presbyterian Journal subscription. While uncertain at first, I am glad I've maintained my subscription.
-William J. Caldwell; Melissa, Texas
I renewed for three years after reading Mr. Olasky's column, "Salt, not sugar" (March 25). It is one of the finest magazine mission statements in print. I liked, "We like sex, within marriage. We read novels, go to movies," and "We aren't Christians with rules against anything that's fun-because God made fun, too."
-Ted Seymour; Boca Raton, Fla.
I will not renew. Fifteen years ago WORLD was a very good magazine, but it has since gone down the drain.
-Steve Dufek; Crivitz, Wis.
Congratulations! WORLD is informative, truthful, balanced, and God-honoring. By God's grace and provision, I look forward to reading many more issues.
-Paula Wissler; Dallas, Texas
I just finished Dr. Satinover's excellent book, Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth, mentioned in your interview with him ("From mental disorder to civil-rights cause," Feb. 19, 2005). This is certainly not the first fantastic book to which I have been introduced through WORLD. I especially appreciate Marvin Olasky's book lists ("Treadmill clues," March 25).
-Anita Morrill; Des Moines, Iowa
Hitler's last secretary was Traudl Junge ("Sophie's choice," March 25).