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Mailbag

Letters from our readers

Issue: "Jerry Falwell," May 26, 2007

Shining mercies

For some reason, seeing the Virginia Tech tragedy on your April 28 cover made it even more real. As an alum, I want to commend Jamie Dean for a well-written article. I had been longing to hear a Christian perspective somewhere amidst all of the secular, humanistic media coverage and "jarring array of coping mechanisms." Cheng's story made me want to praise our Lord once again for His shining mercies in our "'Darkest moment.'"
-Rebecca Schumacher; Fredericksburg, Va.

I deeply appreciate the sensitive and accurate way you covered the Virginia Tech story. Many news sources have sadly turned this shocking and incomprehensible tragedy into an opportunity to satisfy morbid curiosity. I wish more media would prioritize the needs and feelings of the students, friends, and family above the insatiable, detached interest of audiences.
-Bethany Dawn Wagar, 16; Troy, Ohio

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I watched with anticipation as four spiritual leaders-Muslim, Buddhist, Jewish, and Lutheran-addressed the convocation held to honor the 32 murder victims at Virginia Tech. The auditorium was filled to capacity. I had high hopes that the Lutheran pastor would deliver a Christian message, but no. Our Father Creator, Almighty God, wasn't mentioned once, nor was Jesus Christ or the Holy Spirit. Instead from the four speakers we heard fluffy rhetoric about being shining lights in a dark world, seeking unity among diversity, and aiming for peace in the midst of great loss.
-Sharon M. Knudson; Vadnais Heights, Minn.

The immenseness of this tragedy boggles my mind. As President Reagan said about the family and friends of the victims of the Challenger disaster, we "feel the loss, and we're thinking about you so very much." More than that, we Christians need to lift up in prayer those who do bear "the full impact of this tragedy."
-Jessica Snell, 16; Stockton, N.Y.

The tragedy at Virginia Tech is almost beyond comprehension, yet it is not the worst school disaster in U.S. history. On May 18, 1927, Andrew Kehoe, a school board member, using dynamite, blew up the Bath, Mich., school killing 44 people, mostly students, and injuring 58. Sadly, time has almost wiped the story from the pages of history.
-David I. Leach; Eugene, Ore.

A terrible image

I am alarmed at your use of a particularly disturbing image of Cho Seung-Hui brandishing a gun boldly at the camera. I don't believe WORLD would consciously sensationalize Cho's despicable actions, but the photo, combined with the headline "Massacre maker" (April 28), furthers the image Cho constructed for himself. For families and friends of victims, it would be a terrible image to discover in the midst of WORLD's otherwise sensitive coverage.
-Darby Arant Whealy; Iowa City, Iowa

How many more people will have to be killed before we finally realize we can live without guns? Shootings such as the two recent ones at Virginia Tech and Kansas City were committed by troubled people who vented their frustrations and anger with guns that were easily accessible.
-Lewis Codington; Franklin, Tenn.

We must take the initiative to protect ourselves and our loved ones from evil. If Virginia's House Bill 1572, allowing citizens to carry concealed weapons, had passed in 2006, then I am sure there would not have been as many students gunned down at Virginia Tech.
-Jerry Rodeheaver; Naples, Fla.

Natural instincts

I would not even remotely attempt to defend Don Imus' comment ("It's at a new level," April 28); however, comparing his "violence" with that of Cho Seung-Hui is rather extreme. I would argue that both Imus and Cho did not lose control of their "natural human instincts." Rather, they displayed them perfectly.
-Kirk Buckley; Stayton, Ore.

So it went

I appreciated the allusion to Slaughterhouse Five ("So it goes") at the end of your story on the death of Kurt Vonnegut ("Witticist," April 28).
-Ryan Barber; Levant, Maine

Loud and clear

Another way of articulating the objection against teachers-as-sex-educators ("Sex-ed for dummies," April 28) is the old saw about how the medium is the message. When a teacher tells students that abstinence is the only fully effective prevention against STDs and pregnancy, but "be sure you know how to put on a condom," the (perhaps unintended) message is loud and clear: "We adults don't want you to have sex but we expect that you will, so please heed these precautions." The right words have been said but the message has been neutered of any real pro-abstinence advocacy.
-Aaron Root; Woodbridge, Va.

I have to agree that what is being taught in the schools is wrong, but please spare us the graphic details. At least the Iowa legislature advised the parents to have the children leave the room.
-John Bush; Akron, Ohio

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