Only the Father
For the first time, I watched a bit of American Idol this season to see what it was all about. Thousands had gathered in the contestants' hometowns to swoon over the new "stars" while teenage girls sobbed at the sight of them. I enjoyed their singing-Jordin Sparks ("Ideal idol," June 2) was fabulous-but we have got to stand counter to our culture and insist that no one is worthy of that kind of adoration but our heavenly Father.
-Haley Long; Gainesville, Fla.
Are you kidding? While this nation and the world watches an intensifying presidential race, a crippling war in Iraq, and mass slaughter in Darfur, you pay cover-story tribute to an irrelevant celebration of pop culture vapidity and musical mediocrity.
-Knox Brown; Tifton, Ga.
An honest look
I appreciated Andrée Seu's gentle but convicted approach regarding head covering for women ("A symbol of glory," June 2). Seu's use of her "high school literary skills" to show that these instructions are still applicable today brings clarity to the question: When push comes to shove, do I go with Christian peer pressure or with God's Word as I see it? I'm trying to give my life an honest look in answering that question.
-Darla Sautter; Ellensburg, Wash.
Seu is not as alone as she may think. Our congregation of over 600 accepts Paul's teaching on this subject and practices it regularly. I am also familiar with over l00 congregations across several denominational lines that encourage this command for the sisters to be veiled. Her point, "because of the angels," is an excellent reminder that this teaching transcends and eliminates the so-called "cultural" arguments against it.
-James F. Myer; Lititz, Pa.
Why do people continue to sift through Scripture and only take literally what is convenient? I choose to wear a head covering not because I understand it, and definitely not because it's popular, but because I love and obey God, no matter what He asks of me.
-Cherie Barkman, 13; Beach City, Ohio
The absurdity of the head covering practice was brought home to me about 10 years ago when I spent an hour in church with a pastor's 9-year-old daughter wearing a paper napkin on her head, having forgotten more "traditional" head apparel that morning. Wearing ceremonial head coverings in worship does not remove barriers between a woman and God but, rather, creates barriers in the church, something against which 1 Corinthians 10-11, whatever else it is teaching about angels, nature, etc., clearly warns.
-Catherine McCarthy; Holt, Mich.
Exploring at home
Regarding "It's a big world, after all" (June 2): Not everyone has the opportunity to spend time living in another country, but the opportunities for it are probably greater than ever before. And there are so many immigrants to our country from so many places. Even in our small southeast Iowa community, I work with people from quite a number of countries. Recently I learned that one of my new co-workers is from Nepal. What I need to do, I realize, is make the effort to get to know some of them better.
-Pauline Evans; Muscatine, Iowa
We find it astonishing that Marvin Olasky did not qualify the remark that "Muslims see humans as naturally good and able to attain heaven by following the rules." The humans they see as naturally good are fellow Muslims of the same sect, and not many others. Non-believers are infidels and to be converted by force if required. Sunni Muslims of the Wahhabi persuasion are disdainful of their more moderate brethren, and all Sunni reserve a special contempt for Shiites.
-Bob & Connie Dillon; Fairview, N.C.
Joel Belz's "The new rules" (June 2) is the most encouraging assessment of this premature presidential race this disenchanted soul has received.
-Nathan E. Lewis; Portland, Ore.
I have just learned of the torture Ali Khan's boy Majid is suffering at Guantanamo Bay (Quick Takes, June 2). His deodorant has no scent? How sad. If I only knew what scent he would like I'd send it to him post-haste.
-Patricia B. Hill; Elizabethtown, Ky.
"Deal or no deal" (June 2) took sides in a controversial issue that divides political and religious conservatives. As an advocate of reform, I was given a brief quote, but nowhere does the article consider an alternative to the Heritage Foundation's wildly exaggerated cost estimates. The Congressional Budget Office, for example, estimated that last year's Senate reform bill would have produced a $12 billion surplus during the first decade after enactment. Other evidence shows that immigrants are not primarily to blame for increases in spending for health care or public education. As President Bush has argued, immigration reform would bring millions of hardworking people out of the shadows and extend to them the full responsibility and protection of the law. It would establish the rule of law, reduce chaos at the border, help our economy grow, and spread the blessings of liberty.
-Daniel Griswold, Center for Trade Policy Studies, Cato Institute; Washington, D.C.
Concerning Mel White's broken heart at Jerry Falwell not discovering the "truth" about homosexuality ("In their own words," May 26): It breaks our heart that White, who served in such a prestigious position with Falwell, would openly condone sin and make a mockery of Scripture.
-Don & Venita Rosenow; Clay Center, Kan.
As a professor of criminal justice, I found "How many witnesses?" (May 26) most interesting. I agree; at least two witnesses should be the standard and in most cases is. As to what qualifies as a witness, it should be anything that has been determined to be credible. For example, the polygraph has yet to be "proven" as credible and thus is not used in courts of law, but DNA evidence has, so the eyewitness testimony of the victim plus the DNA evidence in a rape case would qualify as two witnesses.
-Jeffrey P. Rush; Monroe, La.
As a pastor, I attended a local AA meeting and sensed what Andrée Seu's friend "D" meant when speaking of the defeatist "I am an alcoholic" mantra ("AA revisited," May 19). I often hear the same mantra when, in relation to our identity in Christ, Christians refer to believers as "sinners." New Testament writers never address their Christian readers as sinners. As an alcoholic is someone who lives for drink, can a person living for Christ still refer to himself and others of like faith as a sinner?
-Ron Moser; Pratt, Kan.
I was disappointed to find only a brief mention of the tornado that struck Greensburg, Kan. (The Buzz, May 19). Perhaps the real story is still unfolding: Individuals across Kansas are taking the initiative to donate food and clothing, organize and collect donations, and travel to Greensburg to help clear debris. Christians hope that their loss will be a means of spreading revival in the Heartland.
-Esther Harmer; Ingalls, Kan.
Impotence without Christ
Thank you for highlighting presidential candidates. The article revealing the division among evangelicals over the potential of electing a Mormon to the presidency ("Catching Mitt," May 19) is a wake-up call to Christians in the USA. No amount of human virtue will compensate for the impotence of a person without Christ attempting to address critical needs of our country.
-Richard & Lennie B. Knight; Burleson, Texas
Our family just discovered your magazine. We cancelled Newsweek a couple of years ago in disgust over their liberal views. WORLD is a great replacement, similar in style but with balanced, real news and a Christian worldview-how refreshing!
-Brad & Jan Schwartz; Romeo, Mich.