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Mailbag

"Mailbag" Continued...

Issue: "Opium wars," May 12, 2007

Every believer's duty

Regarding "Personal & political" (April 14): Well said! People must support the work of nongovernmental agencies, especially Christian agencies. It is every believer's duty to pay attention to the needs of the community and meet those needs where his gifts are useful. The Christian left must stop thinking the government is the church and the Christian right must start serving the community to supplant the government's monopoly on social work.
-Mac Davis; Vancouver, British Columbia

Divine comedy

Hats off to Janie B. Cheaney for "Joy to the world" (April 14). Matthew describes how, in a notable display of humor, Jesus told His listeners of a man whose servant owed him 10 thousand talents, the equivalent of thousands of years of daily labor. When, in Jesus' story, we see this man begging his boss for more time ("Be patient with me! I'll work it off!"), His listeners must have burst into uproarious laughter. At the same time He was reminding them, and us, of how much God has forgiven us.
-Ray Elliot; Tahlequah, Okla.

His what?

The April 14 Buzz item on Iran's release of the British sailors reminded me that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that it was in honor of Muhammad's birthday and "the occasion of the passing of Christ." No media I read considered whether it was intended as an insult to the British and to Christians everywhere. I am sure, however, that no reasonable person would view his actions as a "gift" of any sort.
-Keith Allen; Peru, Ind.

Unmeasurable, but real

Can we really believe that all the smoke and emissions aren't bad? "Tighten your gas caps" (April 14) admits that scientists nearly universally agree that greenhouse gases contribute to climate change. Does it really matter that currently we may not be able precisely to measure the damage being wreaked on our landscape and atmosphere? We don't have to like where the message is coming from, but we can't ignore it just because it doesn't come from an evangelical, conservative voice.
-Jane H. Hursh; Orlando, Fla.

Know and be moved

Thank you for "Alone again" (April 14), regarding President Robert Mugabe and the dire situation of Zimbabwe. I often hear from friends living there but rarely hear the full truth in American news sources. I wish that everyone knew and would be moved to action by the fact that millions of people are starving to death, and that most of the population does not have enough money to buy simple items like soap. The prospects for future generations appear dim as well because few children are able to attend school.
-Anna Hull; Loganville, Ga.

Fully informed consent

Requiring a woman to view her ultrasound or information, as a South Carolina bill is proposing ("A thousand words," April 7), is not so different from being "required to hear" or "required to see in writing" the information about any other surgical procedure prior to signing a consent. It is a necessary step in informed consent. If there is any issue of "rights," the unborn baby's right to exist ought to trump the mother's "right" to deny her child's existence by refusing to view the ultrasound.
-Ann Johnson; Burnsville, Minn.

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