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Mailbag

"Mailbag" Continued...

Issue: "Rich man, poor man," May 5, 2007

Vigorously pursue

While I appreciated Mark Bergin's healthy skepticism on the virtues of biodiesel ("Greener pastures," March 17), I don't believe alternative fuels research and development should be dismissed. Certainly conventional biofuels aren't a perfect solution, but our gluttonous self-indulgence in petrofuels certainly is not a viable option for the balance of the 21st century. As for nuclear power, since Three Mile Island and Chernobyl the very mention of the "n" word seems to elicit a knee-jerk reaction of disgust and fear among many Americans. While there is no perfect energy source, I believe we should pursue all options with vigor.
-Edward A. Sanchez; Lake Forest, Calif.

Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia may be slashing their rain forests to make room for palm oil farms, but Singapore has no forests to slash. It is a relatively small island, covered mostly by a city of high-rise buildings. Singapore instead suffers from its neighbors' (especially Indonesia's) forest fires, which create terrible smog in Singapore.
-Ghislain Sylvestre; Hickory, N.C.

May mean war

As a veteran not afraid of just war, I totally agree with Marvin Olasky's column ("Make love, not war," March 17). God has made warriors and God has made peacemakers; they both have their place in history.
-Al Wychers; Jamestown, Mich.

While Olasky, in "Make love, not war," very politely disagreed with Stanley Hauerwas ("A playful mind," March 17), much harsher criticism was warranted. Meanwhile, "Circuses and bread" (March 17) condemned Ann Coulter for a humorous semi-slur of a candidate. We need more outspoken Christians like her.
-William Nowers; Locust Grove, Va.

It was interesting reading Hauerwas' answers to the hard questions about Scripture that Olasky posed. I was amazed at how deftly and craftily he juggles the Word of God. No wonder Time magazine called him "America's Best Theologian."
-Katy Landers; Wenatchee, Wash.

Only people who are protected by someone else would, like Hauerwas, support pacificism. Just as we would not test God by walking out into the path of a semi truck, we should not test God by ignoring the need to defend ourselves and bring justice to others. We cannot force people to accept God's truth, but we do need to work for justice on many levels. That calls for both policing, which may involve violence, and a military, which may mean war.
-Kathleen Isaacson; Iron, Minn.

Receiving

"Year of Jubilee" (March 10) really hit home. We run a youth center in northern Ethiopia and rely heavily on short-term volunteers. We've had over 50 young adults come and work with us over the past four years, and four of those have spent an entire year with us after finishing college. We and the youth center kids have benefited immensely from the shared lives, passion, and love of these wonderful Christian young men and women, but the most common comment we hear from our short-termers as they leave is "I got so much more than I gave."
-Kristi Nykamp; Mekelle, Ethiopia

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