More on Morocco
Thanks for "No man's land" (July 22). I lived in Morocco for 30 years, and it seems that this is the only issue that united every Moroccan and every political party. If Algeria wanted this problem to be solved, it would be solved in a matter of days. That's why the U.S. government needs to put more pressure on the Algerian government. Morocco did a wonderful job in its southern provinces, and people from Tindouf need to see how their brothers, sisters, sons, and daughters live. This way they may rethink their philosophy and stop the madness.
-Taoufik Guerouate; Portland, Ore.
The remarkable story in the Western Sahara is that over 100,000 Sahrawis would rather live in the desert as a free people than under Moroccan authority. The Sahrawis have placed their hope and trust in the United Nations' commitment and the international community's promise of their right to vote for self-determination. Mindy Belz implies the refugee camps are a breeding ground for terrorism when in fact the Sahrawis living in the refugee camps represent everything we hope to instill in the Muslim world-a Muslim democratic people.
-Suzanne Scholte, Chairman, U.S. Western Sahara Foundation; Falls Church, Va.
I am disappointed with the article on the Western Sahara. While the Polisario is far from faultless, perhaps you should have mentioned issues in its favor, such as the fact that the war began with a Moroccan invasion. Before we take Morocco's side of this conflict, let us deeply consider her own faults and hypocrisies and call her to fulfill her end of the deal to allow religious freedom.
-Jerrid Stelter; New Auburn, Wis.
Blunt or brutal?
Coulter is telling the truth. Her analysis of the mental and religious state of mind behind the hard-left thought stronghold is refreshingly and shockingly insightful. We do not need WORLD, one of the few rational, brave, and Christian voices, to knock her work just because she speaks bluntly, or perhaps even brutally frankly.
-Gretel Haglin; Hawk Point, Mo.
Your review of Ann Coulter's Godless (Bestselling Books, July 22) illustrates that we on the right still do not know how to fight. You concentrate on her name-calling, but 40 years of the liberal agenda certainly merit name-calling and much, much more.
-Jim Norton; Huntsville, Ala.
The normally marvelous Susan Olasky missed when she charged that Coulter "dehumanizes opponents." Rather, Coulter allows her opponents to dehumanize themselves. The Jersey Girls (the four 9/11 widows) have suggested that the fact that they lost loved ones leaves their left-wing political statements immune from criticism, in effect using their loved ones as human shields. So, who's dehumanizing whom?
-Richard L. Centner; Arlington, Texas
Women next door
Thank you for "Flesh for sale" (July 22). Too often, we Christians seem more concerned about whether a woman should have her head covered in church than about the plight of women forced into prostitution. Each day, women are trafficked from countries all over the world and some of them end up, not only in Third World countries, but in Canada and the United States. They are very often the women next door; we just don't realize it.
-Katie Bourckel; Parkville, Md.
What people want
I liked Joel Belz's column, "Tender toughness" (July 22). I had never thought about government like that. God definitely has the corner on how to rule. Perhaps He has provided all this variety of human governments during this wicked age as a contrast for the day when all rule and authority will be abolished and He will be all in all.
-Jeff Bohlender; San Simon, Ariz.
Something that left a deep impression on me years ago: "People need to be regulated because they can't regulate themselves." What people really want is to do whatever they like and have the government regulate everybody else.
-Curt Brown; Trenton, N.J.
Dead men's choices
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest ("The eyes have it," July 22) does err in excess of action; however, the movie tells a strong story containing a constant character battle of honor and self-sacrifice against selfishness and slavery. Also, consider the choice Davey Jones offers to the sailors hanging on the edge of death: Do they stave off the final judgment, though it means serving evil, or choose immediate death? Do they fear death and choose slavery or do they trust in something beyond death, as shown by the sailor who denied Jones while clutching a cross? These are the kind of moral questions so often lacking in Hollywood films, and I applaud this movie for presenting good as good and evil as evil.
-Ryan Alderfer; Lansdale, Pa.
Grace in giving
Mark Bergin's July 22 article ("Golden Gates") was an insightful and accurate analysis of the philanthropic ramifications of Warren Buffett's decision to donate $31 billion to the Gates Foundation. Too often Christians underestimate the importance of high-net-worth philanthropy, and consequently fail to see the danger of certain things and the missed opportunities of others. The challenge for Christians who do not have $31 billion is not to sit and bemoan the fact that unbelievers have this money, but to pray that by God's common grace the Gates Foundation will do His will.
-David L. Bahnsen; Newport Beach, Calif.
Buffett said, "There is more than one way to get to heaven, but this is a great way." Someone should tell him that good works will not get the job done.
-James H. Abney; Rosharon, Texas
Had Joel Belz called me ("Relativism at Fuller," July 1/8), I would have pointed out that our position at Fuller Theological Seminary is that the Bible clearly teaches that genital intimacy between persons of the same sex is not in accord with either God's creating or redeeming purposes for human beings. This is for us a non-negotiable point of theology and ethics. We have made it clear, though, that we will expose our students in psychology to guest lecturers who represent opposing viewpoints. The class Belz described also had presentations from several ministries that encourage celibacy and change for homosexual persons. For WORLD to apply the label of relativism to a practice of combining fidelity to biblical teaching with pastoral flexibility does not help those of us seeking to be faithful to the gospel in difficult times.
-Richard J. Mouw, President, Fuller Theological Seminary; Pasadena, Calif.
What, me worry?
Was the very befitting Alfred E. Newman-style grin on the face of Episcopal bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori ("Katie can't bar the door," July 15) just a lucky click of the camera shutter, or did the photographer have to work to capture that smile that so articulately tells the tale? And how did you resist quoting Jeremiah: "'Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of my pasture!' declares the Lord"?
-Stuart Hoarn; Excelsior, Minn.
I agree with Joel Belz about the state of education ("Sick tree, rotten fruit," July 15). Why does the educational bureaucracy attract folks who support the foolishness that the "public" education system has become? Could there be greed, job security, pride, and the Peter Principle at work? Perhaps the biggest problem is in the financing; the system is just another government program that has outlived its usefulness.
-John Poe; Bridgeville, Del.
You have dealt with many controversial issues ranging from homosexual marriages to illegal aliens; your honesty and boldness are great assets to the Christian community. Thank you.
-John Mureiko; Dallas, Texas