Thank you for "Missing ingredient" (June 10). I have had only limited contact with Christians in the Holy Land, but they feel forgotten by their brothers and sisters in the West. Too many churches focus only on the people of Israel and the Jewish state and seem to have forgotten that Christians have lived in Palestine perhaps from the day of Pentecost on. Surely we can support Israel's right to exist and the safety and freedom of the Palestinian Christians at the same time.
-Al Sandalow; Ellensburg, Wash.
Thank you for lifting me out of the doldrums, politically. The interview with Hugh Hewitt ("Win. Confirm. Cut. Control." June 10) was all I needed to encourage me to keep on fighting for the life of our republic. We'll not only vote, we'll do all we can to support those who will win the war, confirm the judges, cut the taxes, and control the spending.
-Catharine S. Godsey; Walnut Creek, Calif.
If the Republicans want my support in the upcoming elections, they better add "Control the borders" and mean it.
-Craig Durstewitz; Cape May, N.J.
Hewitt underscored that we cannot let our frustration or lethargy keep us from the polls; meanwhile, citizens of Washington state were trying to put Referendum 65 on the ballot. The referendum could have reversed the new protected-class status of sexual orientation that squeaked through the previous legislative session. Sadly, the effort fell short. This is a prime example of how Christians are losing in so many areas of the culture war because many of us don't make it a priority to get involved. As Hewitt noted, "The stakes are too high to sit out a round."
-Lisa Meek; Bothell, Wash.
Hewitt, in his column on why Christians should support Republican Senator Mike DeWine, wrote that "Ohio evangelicals should carefully and prudently consider the best interests of the country" ("DeWine detractors," June 3). The short answer from those who oppose DeWine is, "We are." DeWine's loss will send a strong and necessary message to Republicans and RINOs everywhere that there is a limit to what we will stomach.
-Dave Snyder; Sidney, Ohio
Hewitt's column is right on target. I'm sticking with Republicans regardless. They still have the right values.
-LaRue Mitchell; Copan, Okla.
Goals and grades
I was very disappointed in your coverage of the no pass/no play rules ("Playing for keeps," June 10). While I agree it is wrong to abandon student athletes when they are failing, I also believe that they should not be allowed to play until they can improve their grades.
-Angela Proctor; Goshen, N.Y.
Back in the '60s I had difficulty obtaining the grades to keep me eligible for track in high school. Dedication and responsibility were not at issue; I just had a difficult time with studies, perhaps a little dyslexic and some ADHD. Then I was just dumb. Today as a track coach and a former school board member, I have fought to keep a number of equally challenged students active in extracurricular activities. For many, keeping them off the team will not raise their grades one iota but the attributes attained through playing sports will be all they have to see them through life.
-Wayne Coleman; Stephenson, Mich.
What has happened to the concept of going to school to get an education? If sports are so vital for social development, dump the school sports teams and form more youth leagues. When youngsters have to play a sport to avoid dropping out of school, their goals are completely misfocused.
-Nancy B. Graham; Gallipolis, Ohio
Lord of the schools
Regarding the column about Southern Baptists leaving the public schools ("The joys of school creation," June 10): As a Southern Baptist, I have always admired the way Catholics are committed to providing Catholic education for any Catholic child who wants one. I hope the SBC will realize the value in having this same kind of commitment and begin opening evangelical schools that are under the authority of local churches.
-Julie Noyes; Rangely, Colo.
I am picturing America without Christians in the public schools and see a very dark and lonely place. We should be working harder to make sure there are Christians in our schools. I don't think Jesus stayed away from the difficult places or people. The laws have tied our hands a bit, but the Holy Spirit is stronger and the Lord gives us millions of opportunities to show His face.
-Donalee Strand; Hatton, N.D.
The reason for the Social Security crisis, you wrote, is that baby boomers "did not have enough children" ("One cheer for Tony," June 10). Did you mean to suggest that we should have had more children so they can support us in a long and idle retirement? The problem is partly that people hung the quality of their retirement on the government instead of themselves. Blame also rests on politicians who set up Social Security as a pyramid scheme and then defined retirement as beginning at age 65.
-Marlys Stapelbroek; North Tustin, Calif.
Thanks to Jamie Dean for addressing divorce ("Putting asunder," June 10). If Christians would understand that our marriages are to be earthly pictures of the marriage of Christ and His bride, the church, perhaps they would shun divorce.
-Thelma Westra; Jenison, Mich.
"Cracked foundation" (June 10) describes conservative congregations in American Baptist Churches USA as wanting the denomination to "expel" and "enforce discipline on gay-friendly congregations." Those churches are not into gay bashing; rather, the churches that have pulled away from ABCUSA are gay-friendly-we recognize their need for the saving grace of Christ to transform their lives. The controversy centers around the leadership of some churches who oppose the denomination's position that any sex outside of marriage as defined by the Bible is incompatible with Christian teaching.
-Nancy Matarrita; Pomona, Calif.
The next thing
Just as homosexual-rights activists have piggybacked their agenda on real civil rights, they will use the legitimacy of a new "gay marriage" status to claim their rights are being violated because they aren't being allowed to participate in certain church activities ("'A coming storm,'" June 10). I do not believe gay-marriage supporters who profess to want just "this one little marriage thing and then things will be equal." There will be the next thing, and the next, until they remove all religion from public life to prevent the emergence of the dreaded "theocracy."
-Jay Russell; Cincinnati, Ohio
Joel Belz's recommendation in "Comparison shopping" (June 3) would be more persuasive if we knew exactly what we were paying such a high price for. With a gallon of gas it is clear enough, but with something as amorphous as "freedom" it becomes problematic. There is no guarantee that the end product of our efforts in Iraq will resemble American freedom and democracy. How likely is it that a democracy established here on moral and legal foundations informed by Christianity-the dignity of the individual, equality before the law, freedom of worship and expression, and more-can be reproduced in an Islamic culture lacking these essential building blocks? Sacrifices made in the cause of freedom are noble. But in a venture as speculative as nation-building, caveat emptor.
-Russell Board; Saitama City, Japan
Home and away
Thank you for the many articles on those involved in the war in Iraq, especially "Army of volunteers" (May 27). I recently began dating a young soldier who is currently deployed in Iraq and he patrols a part of Baghdad in a Humvee, so the story really hit home.
-Sarah Nieowla; Houston, Texas