My gut tells me that, while the news is not all positive, I think we are around the corner from the "victory" we are seeking. Al-Zarqawi is dead ("Death blow," June 17) and the Iraqis are slowly understanding that this is their war, and so becoming a larger presence in the military and policing side of things. More importantly, many Iraqis have decided that the insurgents don't serve their interests. Once this attitude spreads throughout the country, the tide will have turned without any fear of it sliding back to civil war.
-Stan Applebaum; Toronto, Ontario
Support, but . . .
It's very frustrating to see and hear of all of the successes in Afghanistan and Iraq but never see our guys get credit for what they're doing month after month away from their families ("Always faithful," June 17). It makes one sort of pine for the World War II days when you could depend on the home front for support and encouragement. Military folks rarely have a problem managing the bad guys emotionally or psychologically; I think what gets to most of us is being cut down by press and politicians in our own country and the "we-support-the-troops-but" mantra. I doubt there's a psychologist who can fix that.
-CDR Don Bosch, U.S. Navy; San Diego, Calif.
"Vile and vulgar" (June 17) makes with passion the point that few 18-year-old students are prepared to handle pervasive and deceptive depravity. If my principle reason for going to Harvard is to get educated, then questions like, "Is a Christian campus group or good church nearby?" or "Can I do evangelism there?" are all a distant second to the questions, "Who will my teachers be?" and "To what temptations will I be exposed in the dormitory?" May God help our parents to cast off the intellectual idolatry of our old and ruined Ivy League degree mills. Christian universities exist. They deserve our support.
-Charles Detwiler; Forest, Va.
I refuse to believe that Christian youth are so grossly uneducated after many years in a Christian home that they require four more years of shelter from the vile, vulgar, and offensive world. As a student at a secular institution, I need encouragement. Nothing could be more tragic than segregating ourselves, the messengers, from a world that desperately needs Jesus Christ. Christian universities can provide a great education, but they are not the only path.
-Brian Hall; Westcliffe, Colo.
Joel Belz's column struck a chord with me. The novel may have dealt with secular, state-funded colleges, but its sequel could be written about private, religious colleges. At my private Catholic university, the party scene was every bit as vile as elsewhere. I had classes in "Christian Marriage" taught by priests who advocated free sex and homosexuality. One priest spent a whole class condemning old-fashioned Christian morality while he stood with his feet firmly planted atop a Bible.
-Bill Turri; Dayton, Ohio
Rather than withdrawing, it would be far better to encourage the outreach and support efforts of campus ministries at these schools so that our Christian students have the kind of community backing they need to survive the jungle.
-Leonard & Ina Lodder; Salem, Ore.
Christian people do not need Tom Wolfe's vile book to inform them of depravity. The injury from reading such material far surpasses the insight gained. We protect our children by teaching them the truths of Scripture, not by hearing a pagan tell us about Sodom.
-John M. Custis; Gresham, Ore.
I spent my $5.50 to see the new X-Men movie ("Striking out on the third try," June 17) with my family. Afterward I told my mother it was worth about a nickel because I wasted a couple of hours of beautiful sunlight. Looking back, though, it was exciting and would have been OK to see on a rainy day.
-Daniel Fitzwater, 13; Shelbyville, Ind.
I am singing along with John Piper because of the Truth to which he testifies in "Defending my Father's wrath" (June 17). God found the perfect, loving way to rescue me from His wrath. Piper's testimony comes smack up against the false teaching in The Lost Message of Jesus.
-Mary L. Magnuson; Gresham, Ore.
While still in the midst of raising five children, I can only wonder who could ever have a 2-year-old child and still question original sin? With each gentle rebuke, time out, or (dare I say it?) paddy-whack, I hear my Father explain that I am no different; my heart is submitted yet still self-centered. Corporately, however, let's not get our knickers in a twist about this book. Let's pray that Chalke and Mann will humbly understand that it is a mockery to tell the Creator of love, mercy, and compassion what the definitions of those things are.
-Carolyn Schlicher; Elizabethtown, Pa.
Less and more
Hats off to Marvin Olasky for "Cheers & jeers" (June 17). I especially appreciated the comment, "I can't make up my own positions; the Bible determines them."
-Sandra Krumm; Granville, Ohio
Olasky rightfully warns Christians who boldly proclaim homosexuality as sinful to expect jeers, not cheers. However, I believe some measure of jeering from the liberal media is warranted considering rates among Christian couples of divorce, financial instability, and many other problems. Perhaps Christians should do less finger-pointing and more self-examination, and lead the way back to sanctity by example. Now that would be something to cheer about.
-Hilber Nelson; Twin Falls, Idaho
Soccer hooliganism used to be a large problem in England ("Fans and fanatics," June 17), but it isn't any longer. I've lived in London for over nine years. In the Premier League the fans are segregated into separate areas of the stadia with security guards in between. The police go to great lengths now to keep English hooligans from travelling to any away matches in which England plays. Those with a past record of hooliganism must turn their passports in to their local police station, to be collected after the match is over. I have no idea what other countries are doing about the problem, but England is working hard on it.
-Merrily Richie; London, England
Aiding the enemy
As a pro-family leader in Georgia, I have found WORLD's negative coverage of Ralph Reed distasteful ("Houses of cards," Jan. 14; "Coushatta chronicle," March 4). Georgians trust Ralph Reed. Georgia Republicans will choose their own leaders-we don't want outsiders to tell us what to do. WORLD is only helping the foes of the pro-family community. Georgia Equality, a gay-rights organization, says Reed is "a bigger threat than any of the other candidates running for office." As head of the Christian Coalition, Reed fought for our values. He will work to preserve marriage as a sacred union between a man and a woman.
-Tim Echols; Commerce, Ga.
So many conservatives and Christians are quick to give a pass at corruption in Reed's case. The only way to fix a problem is to know that the problem exists. This should be a wake-up call to all of us, but it really won't be. As Solomon said, "There is nothing new under the sun."
-Maurice Atkinson; Macon, Ga.
Please never put such a picture on the cover of your magazine like the one from the June 10 issue ("Bird flu"). That close up eye of some type of bird nauseates me every time I look at it.
-Rebecca Milfor; Lexington, S.C.
Sgt. Kevin Downs, who was severely wounded in an IED attack in Iraq last summer ("Army of volunteers," May 27), will be leaving the hospital in Texas and returning to Kingston Springs soon. Although Downs was unable to attend the Fourth of July here, he was named Grand Marshall of the parade. We are so proud to have this young man back at home.
-Jessica Graham; Pegram, Tenn.
Write: Mailbag, WORLD Magazine, P.O. Box 20002, Asheville, NC 28802
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