Keep the towel
I am extremely concerned that conservatives will just throw in the towel in the next election ("Red & blue all over," Sept. 23). Conservatives have been repeatedly and abundantly warned by pollsters and political handicappers that Republicans will lose both the House and the Senate. Conservatives must ignore the propaganda from the liberal media and resolve to turn out for any candidate who stands for conservative principles.
-Bill Sappington; Homosassa, Fla.
I only wish that Republicans were people of integrity who act out of true moral concerns. Most have proven they are more concerned about staying in power than doing what is correct. I'm never surprised by what I hear about Democrats but I'm shocked by the moral breakdown of the Republican Party. I would love to believe that the Republicans are the better party, but I have to wonder if they deserve to be in charge for two more years.
-Arthur Connor; Heidelberg, Germany
Wow! The humble professor of religion upbraids Justice Scalia for being "disingenuous and, frankly, intellectually lazy" ("Balmer's lament," Sept. 23). Then he "laments" the Bush administration's policy on the use of torture during wartime, a policy supposedly "morally bankrupt" that "compromises the worth and dignity" of avowed terrorists. And yet, in the same breath, the good professor vigorously defends a doctor's constitutional "right" to stick a fork in a baby's head. Go figure.
-John D. Teichroew; Mora, Minn.
Balmer's inability to recognize that Darwinism is a competing faith system is surprising. The 20th century was blighted by two ideologies motivated by this Darwinian faith and for Balmer to think that this faith will be ultimately benign, even in a liberal democracy, seems to me naïve.
-David Heinaman; Lancaster, Pa.
Balmer appears to be morally agnostic about abortion, allowing scholarly interpretation of the "living" Constitution to justify it, yet he relies, reasonably, on absolute moral principle in objecting to the torture of prisoners in wartime. Marvin Olasky's warning to see ourselves as others see us is a point well taken. Balmer is probably my mirror image: I am afraid he would think me to be as doctrinaire and supercilious as I think he is. While we cannot both be correct, we can both be wrong.
-Ron Jones; Cleveland, Tenn.
Janie Cheaney's assessment of the differences between the sexes and the impact on boys of recent change in educational philosophy ("The vanishing schoolboy," Sept. 23) strikes me as all too accurate. As a father of four boys, I am anxious to avoid the mistakes of our culture in shaping their minds, hearts, and characters. What a potent reminder of the gravity (and potential) of our task.
-Gerry Wheaton; St. Andrews, Scotland
Cheaney's views are obviously not very popular with educators, much less feminists. My wife and I, as chaplains in prison ministry, have seen the fruit of the kind of thinking that is so prevalent in schools today. If parents held educators accountable to do their jobs properly, we (as chaplains) probably would have less to do in ours.
-John Montgomery; Fairfax, Va.
Good from evil
I distinctly remember the day I heard the news of the Willis family tragedy and have often prayed for their comfort. I never saw a single update on the outcome of this horrific trial until I read "Corruption and providence" (Sept. 23). I was dumfounded and ashamed that I lacked faith all these years that God was bringing good from this fearful event.
-Ruth Potter; Greenville, S.C.
Although the cartoon in the Sep. 23 issue had a point in depicting Clinton's weak response to terrorist attacks, I was appalled by the statement that in 1998 terrorists bombed embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, "killing 24." More than 250 human beings were killed and several thousands wounded, but for the cartoonist, however, apparently only the American victims counted.
-Torben Amtoft; Manhattan, Kan.
The real objection
The "ABC" approach to AIDS is a practical one and is not "neo-colonialism" ("Low fidelity," Sept. 23). For the short term it has the condom program ("C") and in the long term it tries to change attitudes and behaviors that are the underlying problem. The first helps the here and now. The second will take time, but will be more effective.
-Michael Young; Crescent City, Calif.
If abstinence is shown to be effective, and the experts still object, what's their real objection? It appears to me to be somewhat of a moral issue on their part: They just don't like abstinence. Or perhaps the money trail will lead to the gist of their real objection.
-Eddie Herring; Tuscumbia, Ala.
It may be difficult in hindsight for us to understand how true believers could have sympathized with a movement that ended with Jewish children being thrown alive into burning fires ("New Year's greetings," Sept. 16). But we are too quick to give ourselves credit. With excruciating honesty, in Righteous Gentiles of the Holocaust, David Guthree asks what he would do if, as a Christian in 1940s Germany, a Jew knocked at his door-with Guthree's beloved sleeping and a life to lead-knowing what the consequences of helping this stranger could be. Rather than comfort ourselves that "Nazis weren't Christians," we should beg forgiveness from our Jewish friends, examine our own evangelical theology for vestiges of anti-Semitism, and ask ourselves, "Will I risk everything to save a stranger?"
-Angela W. Ney; Lutherville, Md.
Jesus said that it was irresponsible for a Jewish son to dedicate to God his earnings that otherwise would have gone for the support of his needy parents. To me, last year's bankruptcy reform law that would have debtors pay their creditors first, rather than give even a tithe to a church or charity ("Whose to give?" Sept 23), agrees with this teaching.
-Robert Delancy; Fort Washington, Pa.
It should not be legal to give away money that belongs to someone else, but when there is a limited amount of funds and a large number of hands reaching out for its share, who should be paid first? While God does not have His hand out demanding our money, He should be first on our list to receive.
-Barry R. Lagemann; Sunland, Calif.
I was disappointed that WORLD didn't mention how Steve Centanni and Olaf Wiig were forced to profess faith in Islam (The Buzz, Sept. 2). It prompted a soul-searching question: What would I do? Would most, many, few, or no Christians refute Christianity and deny Christ to save their earthly lives?
-Kathy Evernham; Port Orange, Fla.
President Bush ordered the release of 14 detainees from secret CIA prisons and transferred them to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (The Buzz, Sept. 23, p. 6).
After her family car's gas tank exploded, Janet Willis ("Corruption and providence," Sept. 23) saw body bags containing her dead children but not the bodies themselves. The financial settlement she and her husband received was a private one with no money from the state of Illinois.
Two of three children of Charles Carl Roberts IV and his wife ("Paradise lost," Oct. 14) have attended Lancaster County schools.