We heard wonderful stories of the amazing soldiers and families in the Fort Hood community ("Goodbye again," June 9) from our son Matt. He would speak with awe of the leaders and brothers he served with, and the kindness of the community that received him during his time in Texas. We continue to pray with gratitude for everyone in the 4th, at Fort Hood, and in all our military services. We can never say "thank you" enough.
-Louise Korade; Hollywood, Md.
One factor that contributes to weariness among some troops is that they don't see their mission or their service as being honored or supported enough by many of us back home. They even see defeatism from key leaders like Harry Reid. That can undermine the gung-ho spirits of a few good men.
-Joel Mark Solliday; Maple Grove, Minn.
Your poignant article on the soldiers of Fort Hood brought to mind the "Powell Doctrine" of warfare. When the war began in 2003, I would have agreed that a vital national security interest was threatened, that we had a clear, attainable objective, and that the American people supported the war. Today, all the answers are no. It grieves me to say that Bush and Rumsfeld have failed our brave soldiers and the American people.
-Ronald G. Mele; Pinson, Ala.
A generous nation?
I respectfully disagree with Joel Belz on the immigration bill ("Kill the bill," June 9). I am a conservative Republican, but being married to a Hispanic woman (legal, thank you) has placed me knee deep in Latin culture and among illegal immigrants. Maybe this has shown me a different angle on this complex issue. Let's build a border for the orderly control of future immigration, and let's punish the law-breaking maids, landscapers, apple pickers, and roofers with a hefty fine. But let's also be good neighbors and well-pleasing children of our heavenly Father by showing mercy to our friends from the south. We may find the proverb true that "a generous man will prosper, and he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed."
-Berry Stubbs; Charlotte, N.C.
I disagree that we must accept that illegal immigrants are here to stay and we must try to integrate them into our culture. Belz said that no one has offered a workable plan for rounding up 12 million people; we don't need to round them up, just crack down on employers of illegal aliens. As Tom Tancredo has said, if they can't get a job, they go home.
-GlenFern Livezey, 15; Newtown Square, Pa.
Joel Belz's column on immigration was excellent. Sadly, immigration is not the only issue in which elected officials have failed our nation. Social Security and Medicare continue with long-term, unfunded liabilities, the tax code remains 16,000 pages long, and so on. President Bush once said that he wanted to solve problems and not pass them on to "future presidents and future generations." We need to pray for elected officials who will accept this responsibility.
-Michael J. Kane; Portland, Ore.
God of all nations
As an alum and employee at Goshen College, I take issue with Stanley Hauerwas' assertion that Goshen does not fly the flag ("Caught with their flags down," June 9). Looking out my office window, I see it unfurled and displayed prominently on campus alongside the UN flag. Goshen College has flown the flag for many years now, though it remains a source of controversy for some students. By flying the UN and American flags, and by displaying flags in our recreation center for each country represented by an international student, Goshen College has declared allegiance to a God of all nations.
-Andrew L. Clouse; Goshen, Ind.
A blanket of wet darkness
I empathized with Matt Ristuccia ("Dark days," June 9), then sighed when I saw that he was a pastor. No one at his church would say, "I wonder where Matt is? Maybe they changed churches," or, "I guess God really wanted to get his attention." When you are seated at the head table, there are any number of hands to hold you up through a tragedy like this. Those less fortunate sit alone under a blanket of wet darkness, hoping to hear God's still voice but wishing for anyone's. Matt is very blessed indeed.
-Nick Patapoff; Los Angeles, Calif.
Could happen here?
Thank you for "Melissa's gumption" (June 9). Even as a homeschooler in the United States, I still live with a fear in the back of my mind that the same thing will happen to me, so this was a very encouraging article. I also applaud Melissa for the very mature way in which she handled everything that happened to her. This article reminds homeschoolers that we can stand up for our right to be schooled independently from the state.
-Rachel Rayl; Albuquerque, N.M.
Regarding the German official who told Melissa, the girl he had forcibly removed from her parents' home, that her preference for homeschooling was the result of "tyrannical" parenting: I hope the irony of this isn't lost on anyone.
-Jeff Wykstra; Wyoming, Mich.
I am puzzled by "Dirty Spurs" (June 9). Yes, there were several incidents recently, but overall the San Antonio Spurs have a reputation as amiable competitors. Not being as "nationally celebrated" as Michael Jordan's Bulls or Magic Johnson's Lakers is because the team is not "Tim Duncan's Spurs." Rather, it is a team of players who keep egos largely in check, prefer one another over themselves, and win. And the police blotter is kind of empty, too.
-Edward Fidellow; San Antonio, Texas
Before world's beginning
The latest Pirates of the Caribbean movie ("Off course," June 9) cuts to the heart of what really matters to us all: How can we live with ourselves, and how do we reach immortality? The movie does a great job answering the first question by showing that we cannot live with only ourselves. That leads to suicide and death. However, with the second question At World's End misses a beat by telling us that you cannot be sure you will return from the dead. This matter was settled by the Ruler of this world and the next. There is only one way to immortality: by trusting in the One who lived to die for us.
-Mary Hall; Apopka, Fla.
Just too far
I usually enjoy Andrée Seu, but this time ("A symbol of glory," June 2) she's gone too far. Doesn't she realize women wearing hats to church went out of style even before promises to "love, honor and obey" dropped out of wifely wedding vows? Really! I promised to obey my husband twenty-some years ago, but only because I was an old-fashioned kind of girl. Besides, every woman worth her salt knows that "submission" means that her husband knows precisely what she wants and he'd better get on board, or else. Come to think on it, that's how I pray.
-Becca Whitham; Tigard, Ore.
I wear a covering in church because I believe Scripture commands me to do so as a sign of submitting myself to my husband, my church leadership, Christ, and God the Father. Seu's sensitivity to Scripture on an unpopular issue encourages my own endeavor to say "yes" to all of God's Word.
-Esther Talbert; Travelers Rest, S.C.
I'm really concerned about your headline for the story on the American Idol winner: "Ideal idol" (June 2). From what I saw of Jordin Sparks on the internet and from the pictures in this issue, I don't think she's very modest. I'm concerned about how my young daughter and other Christian teens would view modesty in light of Jordin Sparks.
-Ben Luna; Reading, Pa.
If I could only subscribe to one periodical, it would be WORLD. I look forward to it each week. I particularly like the movie reviews and political cartoons, but I also appreciate your conservative viewpoint. It is refreshing, too, not to find Bush-bashing.
-Joyce Fleming; Huntingdon Valley, Pa.