Walking to the collapsed bridge in Minneapolis ("Warped like a ribbon," Aug. 11), I saw rows of media trucks with reporters making much of this tragedy, which so far has cost a handful of lives. I wondered about the impact those same journalists could have if they moved their trucks just a few blocks away to an abortion center, which contributes to a daily tragedy costing nearly a thousand times as many deaths each day.
-Sam Crabtree; Minneapolis, Minn.
Growing up together?
I agree with Gene Edward Veith's assessment that our culture has created an environment where teens are physically ready for sex but not socially ready for marriage ("Sex and the evangelical teen," Aug. 11). But I disagree with his suggested solution that churches encourage younger marriages for Christian kids. Teenagers are still maturing; in a few years they may find themselves married to someone quite different from the one who stood "before God and these witnesses" to pledge their life and love to one another.
-Dan Johnson; Kalkaska, Mich.
Thank you to Veith. It is extremely difficult to remain chaste with no right sexual outlet. While you can chalk this problem up to extended education and young people's lack of commitment to marriage, too many parents discourage marrying at a younger age. This is a major roadblock for those striving to be pure and to honor their parents.
-Matthew Kuchem; Fort Worth, Texas
I was shocked by Veith's solution. If Christians have done such a poor job educating youngsters on abstinence, what makes Mr. Veith think they'll do an adequate job assisting them in a marriage driven by physical passion? What happens when these kids wake up one day and find that their sex drive doesn't make up for qualities like trust, compassion, friendship and, dare I say, real love?
-Dorothy Valcárcel; Scottsdale, Ariz.
Veith is right on. We gave our blessing when our teens wanted to marry shortly after high-school graduation. Parents who follow through with this conviction should be prepared for a less than favorable reaction from their peers, however. Many 20- and 30-somethings today have had multiple relationships and are still wondering what they want to be when they grow up-consequently, they never do.
-Cindy Bowers; Payette, Idaho
Left with labor
I've read and graded 10th-graders' essays. It's a labor of love, except that the love soon leaves and then you're stuck with a huge pile of incoherently written papers. My sympathies to Andrée Seu ("Logic! Why don't they teach logic?" Aug. 11). I might not wish it on my worst enemy, either.
-Evelyn Glover; Winter Haven, Fla.
As an incoming high-school sophomore preparing for the PSATs, SATs, and ACTs, Seu's column really hit home. I attend a public school and find it extremely frustrating when my teachers teach to a test. The form of writing she described is not restricted to the SATs. Colorado public-school students are taught this form of writing beginning in second grade to prepare them for the CSAP, a good idea gone terribly wrong.
-Corrie Baker; Colorado Springs, Colo.
The issue with the SAT essay requirement is that everyone is trying to beat the system. The student is not trying to write a good essay, but get a good grade. A friend in college, decades ago, was appalled when I pointed out to him that he was in competition with other students. "Not in an academic environment!" he said. But he was. It's a wicked system.
-Charles W. Shull; Hendersonville, N.C.
Even quoting someone else to make a point in a story, the use of common vulgarity in "London without a guidebook" (Aug. 11) is unnecessary and disgusting.
-Rich Thorne; Bettles Field, Alaska
Francis Schaeffer clearly warned Christendom in 1976 of the coming reality of abortion, euthanasia, and infanticide. With 45 million abortions since 1974 viewed as a convenience, why would we be surprised that the American Medical Association winked at the euthanasia of four elderly, terminally ill patients in New Orleans, or that a grand jury chose not to indict anyone ("Disaster medicine," Aug. 11)? May God have mercy on us all if Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama takes control in 2009.
-Silas D. McCaslin; Savannah, Ga.
You quoted a passage written by pro-marriage author David Blankenhorn: "I disagree with the Bible on this point" ("Marriage matters," Aug. 4). The arrogance of that statement leaves me breathless. Clearly, God should have checked with Blankenhorn before He wrote the Scriptures to make sure His opinions were accurate.
-David J. Musselman Sr.; Forest, Va.
Hope it's a Prius
Tim Lamer's article ("Safety last," Aug. 4) is characteristic of the me-first thinking that got us into this energy crisis in the first place. The problem is not small vehicles but too many behemoths created in part by years of the exemption of light trucks over 8,500 pounds from emission and CAFE standards. This encouraged Detroit to produce millions of vehicles based on the exempt 3/4 ton chassis that produces abysmal gas mileage.
-Robert Grossman; Vermillion, S.D.
Yes, larger automobiles may be safer for their own drivers, but they are more dangerous to other cars on the road. The fact that large SUVs have lower collision insurance rates but higher liability rates reflects this. Conversely, cars like the Prius are not very dangerous to other cars on the road. And how many of the accidents in which 46,000 people died in "smaller" cars were caused by larger vehicles? One thing I do know: If another car hits me, I hope it's a Prius, not an Escalade.
-John Kreiner Jr.; Casselberry, Fla.
There are better ways than driving large vehicles to improve the safety of our highways, such as stiffer enforcement of DUI laws, longer, more restrictive permits for teen drivers, lower speed limits, better enforcement of speed limits, bans on cell phone use while driving, and better traffic-flow planning. As one who is forced by economics to drive a smaller, more efficient vehicle, I would be glad to see the extinction of the SUV dinosaurs.
-Jane Bruno; Tucson, Ariz.
Thank you for "Generation killer" (Aug. 4). As a missionary among the Navajo and Apache people, I found your report on crystal meth on the reservations to be fair. Through our ministry we see the effects of meth every day. It's great that WORLD recognizes it not as a problem unique to indigenous North American people, but a problem with a unique impact among them.
-Dave Sprinkle; Lakeside, Ariz.
As tribal church planters living in a helicopter-only location in the jungles of Papua New Guinea, we receive supply flights every three to four months, so the news we read in WORLD is usually that old. Please keep publishing a print copy as long as possible ("A threat or challenge?" July 14). WORLD is our only source of American and world news because we have no access to the internet.
-Rick Zook; Papua New Guinea
Officials at High Point Church in Arlington, Texas, declined in August to hold funeral services for a homosexual who was the brother of a man who had worked as a janitor at High Point ("The August drumbeat," Aug. 25, p. 36).