There was a reason why Mike Huckabee placed second at the Iowa Straw Poll, and it wasn't his musical ability, one-liners, or the 150 watermelons from his home state ("Heartland hustle," Aug. 25). The reason is his unrelenting drive to tell the whole truth, all the time, on all the issues. He is an open, honest candidate and the resonance of that honesty with voters propelled him to place right behind Mitt Romney.
-Andrew J. von Ehrenkrook; Alexandria, Va.
I was very pleased that someone was finally going to tell us something about the positions of lesser-known Republican presidential candidates, but part of the article was a puff piece for Ron Paul. I learned that Romney cooks, Huckabee was elated, and Hunter was going to grill corn. I learned very little about the positions taken by these and other lesser-known candidates.
-Carl Johnson; Sedgwick, Kan.
As one of your readers and a "moonbat" supporter of Ron Paul, I would say that Joel Belz did readers a great disservice by not acknowledging that he votes against pork spending on final passage of the bills ("Finding a front-runner," Aug. 25). Paul's position is that earmarks do not increase federal spending; they only allocate it. It's a separation of powers question. That piece was shameful.
-Mary Neiman; Mechanicsville, Va.
In a government bent on overspending our hard-earned money, Paul has an obligation to do something to get his constituents their money back. At the same time, he opposes the earmarking process that allows this game in the first place. His voting record shows this. This is a Christian man who could make a great difference in this country.
-Melanie McGuire; Branchburg, N.J.
I'm a proud new grandfather, not a young mother, but I totally agree with your source's assessment of the presidential candidates: Giuliani's pro-abortion stand means he won't get my vote, even if he runs against Hillary, and persistent questions about Fred Thompson's work ethic make me leery. I too have concluded that Huckabee is the best candidate.
-Brad Mattes; Cincinnati, Ohio
Belz writes that the Republican front-runners have "too many negatives to build a winning coalition." But doesn't Hillary Clinton have more negatives than Romney, Giuliani, and McCain combined? Maybe God will continue to put her in high places to bring this country back to repentance and revival.
-Dayna Robinson; Clifton, Texas
Can't be overemphasized
Marvin Olasky writes, "The left's criticism of [the Christian right's] overemphasis on homosexuality is correct" ("The August drumbeat," Aug. 25). I respectfully disagree. What other "movement" poses a greater threat to sacred institutions Christians hold dear? Entire denominations are splitting over homosexuality. Traditional marriage is losing its venerable position as society's bedrock. The homosexual movement threatens our children and it threatens free speech. Call homosexuality a sin, and today you may lose your job; tomorrow you may be jailed. The Christian right didn't pick this fight; it came looking for us. Its importance can't be overemphasized.
-Charles D. Eden; Atlanta, Ga.
The reason Christians harp on the issue of homosexuality is the larger issue of the slow creep of secular ideologies into Christian churches with homosexuality as a main focal point.
-D.L. Hazen; Gurnee, Ill.
A woman's job
Why would you send a man to write a review of a Jane Austen movie, Becoming Jane ("Becoming fiction," Aug. 25)? The movie never claimed to be more than loosely based on Austen's life. Unlike Thielman's triumph at finding that she did not plan to elope with Lefroy, did not have a certain suitor, nor use a fountain pen, I was simply inspired to find out more about this fascinating woman. Hathaway does a phenomenal job portraying Austen. The movie offers a wholesome, rich, and emotional experience appropriate for Christians.
-Rebekah Gray; Raleigh, N.C.
To my surprise, Megan Basham recommended her Christian readers see Stardust on a date night, even though she noted the movie portrayed a gay transvestite character, partial nudity, and fornication ("Stardust gazing," Aug. 25).
-Cherry Blattert; Ellettsville, Ind.
Shakespeare in Montana
You say, "Maybe Shakespeare in abundance can only make it in New York" ("Fields of drama," Aug. 25), but there sure seems to be a lot out in Montana. Montana State University's "Montana Shakespeare in the Parks" has been performing summer plays throughout Montana and neighboring states for 35 years.
-Holly J. Wilson; Oldtown, Idaho
As a woman
I object to your inclusion of Olympic athlete Stella Walsh among your "Biggest cheats" (Sports, Aug. 25), suggesting that she was a man competing as a woman. After her tragic death at the hands of a criminal, Walsh was discovered to have had "male attributes," that she was a hermaphrodite possessing both male and female sexual characteristics. Her birth certificate indicated that she was female, and she lived her entire life as a woman, not as a man.
-Jay Ryan; Cleveland, Ohio
Please reconsider your inclusion of Floyd Landis in your list of "Biggest cheats." I have read his book, Positively False, and his arguments that he is the victim of overzealous drug testers and a flawed testing process are quite convincing.
-Kathleen Porter; Frederick, Md.
Having followed the evolution-ID debate for several years, I was perplexed with the situation you reported at Baylor ("Crisis averted," Aug. 25). The university showed restraint compared with its treatment of Professor Dembski several years ago, but the scholarly work of a distinguished professor was politely discredited as "personal views" not consistent with the "official position" of the university. How is the "official position" of any university-much less an allegedly Christian one-inconsistent with scientific research that attempts to objectively explore the claims of Darwin's theory? Perhaps I missed something.
-Thadd Buzan; Springfield, Va.
Baylor's claim to a "distinctively Christian worldview" would be even more evident if Provost O'Brien could claim that at least a few professors promoted the literal, recent, biblical view of Creation.
-Michael DuMez; Oostburg, Wis.
No monopoly rights
Joel Belz asks: Why not sell off roads and bridges to private investors? The real question, however, is, Why shouldn't government sell monopoly rights for roads and bridges to private companies? ("Fire sale," Aug. 18.) Perhaps we need to reread Adam Smith on why government-granted monopolies are antithetical to free enterprise. Privatizing education provides real choice to parents on a more level playing field; selling monopoly rights to roads and bridges does the opposite. And what if the highest bidder is a company from China, Iran, or North Korea? Are there no security concerns for private, and foreign, ownership of our roads?
-Allen Quist; St. Peter, Minn.
Belz hit the nail on the head when he wrote, "The issue is instead about how folks should respond when government demonstrates it doesn't have a clue how to handle the important facets of our lives that have become so badly broken." I hope we don't allow our health-care system to be handed over to the government so it can break that too.
-Ingrid Anderson; Prairie Village, Kan.
Part of me wants to agree with privatizing roads and bridges. But if that happens on a large scale we'll spend the rest of our lives stopping at tollbooths. And will our taxes be reduced? Somehow, I think not.
-Dave Aurand; Powell, Ohio