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Mailbag

Letters from our readers

Issue: "Soldiering on," May 27, 2006

Still flying

I never thought Northern Kentucky University would make national news because of a professor countering free speech with censorship ("Faculty follies," April 29). In my four years there I have been exposed to many "brainwashing" lectures but never have my personal beliefs been shot down. In fact, professors seem to like my "unique" biblical perspectives. What happened with the Right to Life display of crosses is not typical, and I am proud of the administration's response supporting free speech.
-Meghan Krusling; Florence, Ky.

Real disease?

A thousand thanks for your article on ADHD from a physician who deals with it and other mental health issues ("Hidden behind the forehead," April 29). These are real diseases with significant morbidity and even mortality, yet the Christian community has difficulty accepting people with mental health issues. Let's approach all illness open to God's working in our lives, whether it requires confrontation of sin, lifestyle changes, medication, or any other way God wants to heal.
-Nancy Q. Lefever; Talking Rock, Ga.

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The view that children must be medicated so that they can fit into the one-size-fits-all public-school model must be challenged by a biblical model centered upon discipleship and consistent traditional discipline. Medicines may be needed, at least in the short term, to bring difficult situations under control, but they should never be considered the first or most desirable step.
-Laura Hendrickson; Chula Vista, Calif.

As a physician who treats ADHD, I've found that Christians often wrestle with the condition for months or years and find no answer to their prayers for deliverance. They try medication tentatively, ready to abandon it in a minute, but find it makes them more the person they believe God made them to be, not less. Those who don't find that stop the treatment. All the pharmaceutical advertising in the world cannot convince people to stay on drugs that make them artificially happy or numb their brains.
-Oren Mason; Grand Rapids, Mich.

Paying attention is a moral issue; a typical ADHD kid has no problem focusing his attention like a laser beam on his video games. We gladly give attention to those things we desire.
-Gary Gaskins; Apex, N.C.

Would it be unreasonable to think that the pharmaceutical industry does indeed attempt to create an impression of disease and need beyond what's warranted, that some kids need discipline, that others truly benefit from medicine, and that physicians ought to sort this out with families one story at a time?
-J. Craig Henry; Rochester, N.Y.

Never surrender

Although Joel Belz rightly worries over the findings of the poll that 58 percent did not agree that it should be a crime for a high-school teacher to have consensual sex with a student over 18, surely the way forward is to give a strong, Christian response to the query, "What business is that of ours?" We cannot give up on the cultural front.
-Lisa Severine Nolland; Bristol, United Kingdom

I agree that the survey responses reflect current values, but we should not make anything out of the 58/42 split. Newspaper polls are self-selected samples and not representative of the whole population.
-Bob Ewell; Monument, Colo.

Know Gnosticism

Through movies, books, and television specials, we are constantly bombarded with information about the Gnostic gospels ("Return of the Cainites," April 29). Thank you for your timely column about the Gospel of Judas and for the best explanation of Gnosticism I've found to date.
-Nancy Evick; Brandywine, W.Va.

Miracle of learning

Mr. Belz used public-school educators as a punching bag to explain the fact that only two of every three high-school students will complete enough work to graduate ("F," April 22). But maybe we should also look at students who do not put in the minimal effort necessary to learn. I failed a third of my students in a World History class last semester simply because they didn't do very basic work. Months later I have not been contacted by one parent about how their child could do better. Given the apathy I see in America's progenitors, it's a small miracle more students do not fail.
-Chad Sandford; Manchester, N.H.

It is not the job of public schools to raise well-disciplined and respectful children; that is the job of the parents. From what I can see, the vast majority of parents in this country should be receiving the failing grade, not the schools.
-Sandy Krebs; St. Augustine, Fla.

Excellent insight and clever phrasing solidly buttress the essays and priorities of Mr. Belz's columns on the public-school system. "F" gets an "A."
-Seth Meyers; Louis Trichardt, South Africa

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