Kathleen and Arif Khan, pastors recently murdered in Islamabad ("'Joyful Christians,'" Sept. 15), met when they were seminary students. My wife and I knew them well. There were a few hard years when they were following God's lead toward foreign missions, but as they pursued their career there was never any doubt as to what, only how. They can both wear their crowns proudly, having completed the race well.
-Robert A. Hornlein; Ballston Spa, N.Y.
No money down? No problem
Adjustable rate mortgages are not the product of an "overly indulgent bartender" ("'Subprime' behavior," Sept. 15). Rather, they have been a godsend for families like mine and millions of others. We move every few years for our job and save a lot of money with the lower interest rates. We understand how ARMs work and what we will need to do if we ever stay longer than normal.
-John D. Thomas; Fairview, Texas
As a realtor, I refuse to take the blame for people buying more house than they can afford. But it isn't worth my time to drive someone around for two weeks to find their "dream home" only to discover they can't afford it. So early on I offer to put them in touch with a reputable lender, and I warn clients that they may be approved for a mortgage larger than they may be comfortable with.
-Kimberley Cotten; Daphne, Ala.
Many years ago, as an appraiser, I dropped most of my subprime clients because many wanted me to commit fraud or violate my license. Many times borrowers knew what they were getting into and wanted the loan anyway. They believed real estate values always went up and they could soon refinance out of their ARM into a fixed rate mortgage and avoid the impossible payment. No amount of reasoning would change their minds. Now they are crying "foul." That's human nature, I suppose.
-Lucia Goheen; Azalea, Ore.
I have been a mortgage broker for many years. New buyers are different compared to 25 years ago. There is no waiting around to gather a down payment. Granite countertops? New appliances? No down payment? No problem. Don't blame mortgage brokers, lenders, realtors, or the government. The adults buying, selling, refinancing, and speculating on real estate deserve their rewards.
-Stan Applebaum; Toronto, Ontario
Thank you for alerting us to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists' new recommendation to do prenatal testing for Down syndrome on all pregnant women ("Down syndrome dangers," Sept. 15). In our family of 12, the two children born with Down syndrome have been incredible blessings. Our home has been filled with so much joy and opportunity to minister to others.
-Ouija Boyd; Trenton, Texas
As a physician, I think Joni Eareckson Tada is portraying the recommendation incorrectly. The memo recommends that all women be offered the test, but it is not mandatory. And what about doctors who have been sued for not offering the test and preparing families for what is to come? I am strongly against abortion, but people should have the choice to have the information if they want it.
-Lindy Eatwell; St. James, Minn.
When I first learned that expectant older mothers-to-be were routinely getting screened for Down babies, I thought, "Is this some great advantage to be able to make decisions formerly left to God?"
-Carolyn Males; Evanston, Ill.
Our 26-year-old son has Down syndrome, but also cerebral palsy, is blind, and has a debilitating seizure disorder. He does not function on the level of most people with Down syndrome. He can't walk or talk, wears diapers, and must be fed, but he just enjoys life. He is the coolest person in the world. It makes me sad to know that women abort babies like him. It's a lot of work, but he is such a light in our lives.
-Mary Alice Ladwig; San Diego, Calif.
Baylor University's treatment of Professor Marks' publication on ID is more than shameful. It is also hypocritical and cowardly coming from a Christian institution. If Baylor expects to display a "commitment to academic freedom," then give Professor Marks his due.
-April Billups; Cedar Park, Texas
If your goal is to be a top-tier research institution in a world where that top tier is occupied solely by anti-Christian, evolutionary regimes, then the outcome is clear. You simply cannot become one of the club unless you become like them. Baylor is doomed to failure in this pursuit of mutually exclusive goals. Its current loyalties are clearly and shamefully evident.
-Mike Martin; Montrose, Colo.
I am a surgeon, and many times I felt my faith challenged going to a public university. I grew through the process but envied my friends who went to Christian universities. Then I started noticing that there is nothing Christian about many Christian universities. I feel confident that I can help my kids take on the challenges to their faith they may face at any state university, but I am not sure how they would respond to the same propaganda coming from a university they thought to be Christian. Guess where I'm not paying for my kids to go to college?
-Linda Yeager; Chinle, Ariz.
Don't give up
Thank you for your article on the '08 Olympics and the controversy surrounding it ("Olympic opportunity," Sept. 15). I wouldn't give up on influencing China's actions just yet. Here are a few of the many reasons I am boycotting Chinese goods and the Beijing Olympics: forced abortions, persecution of Christians, hostile takeover of Tibet, and the cruel cat and dog fur trade. I hope other Christians feel the same as I do.
-Renee Hoke; Santa Clarita, Calif.
School and life
G.K. Chesterton said it best: "Education is not a subject and does not deal in subjects. It is instead a transfer of a way of life." Is a public Arabic school ("Islam 101?" Sept. 15) any worse than a public secular school? Hardly. Education is enculturation. All schools transfer a worldview and way of life to children, and public schools are actively and intentionally non-Christian.
-Brad Heath; Wilmington, Ohio
I wondered about Marvin Olasky's assertion that "some Christians call for restrictions on free speech when they are bothered by atheistic attacks on religion or secularist critiques of fundamentalism" ("Appeasement vs. firmness," Sept. 15). They do? What we really complain about is that conservatives, especially Christians, suffer restrictions on free speech while atheistic attacks on religion and secularist critiques of fundamentalism continue.
-Laura Matson; Battle Ground, Wash.
Paul and polls
Shame on you for the way you framed Mike Huckabee's cheap debating shot at Ron Paul in The Buzz (Quotables, Sept. 15). As a sound bite, placing honor over elections drips with nobility. Behind the sound bite, however, is a Baptist minister telling us that it is necessary and honorable to keep the armed forces bogged down in a bloody quagmire. The primary "honor" at stake is that of politicians who supported invading Iraq, most of whom are still trying to save face.
-Thomas J. Wiswell; Jacksonville, Fla.
Your Aug. 25 cover story ("All's fair at the fair"), ostensibly about the Ames straw poll generally, spent half of its words on Ron Paul. He may be a good man (mostly) with a good message (mostly), but a story on the straw poll deserved better than spending 51 percent of its space on a 9 percent candidate.
-Jason Steffens; Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Like real Christians
Kudos to Joel Belz for "No need to be nasty" (Sept. 1/8). In other words, he suggests that we act like real Christians.
-Danette Matty; Roseville, Minn.
Her real philosophy
I am convinced that Jane Austen would not endorse the movie Becoming Jane or your review ("Becoming fiction," Aug. 25). You had plenty of negative comments but missed the dangerous worldview that contradicted many of Austen's novels. The scene in the woods promoted an "I can't help myself" philosophy rather than the real Jane's "sensibility."
-Jana Murray; Jefferson, Ore.
In love with Atticus
I too am in love with Atticus Finch, the father in To Kill a Mockingbird ("Not time to worry yet," Aug. 25). Thanks to Andrée Seu for the refreshing reminder that it's "not time to worry yet."
-Pam Sinnett; Greenville, S.C.
Archbishop of Nigeria Peter Akinola ("Calculated response," Oct. 6, 2007) is not a member of the primates' standing committee.