A big deal
Thank you so much for the article about Pregnancy Care Center director Wanda Kohn ("Daniel of the year," Dec. 15). Every life saved deserves to be rejoiced over, just as the angels rejoice when each one of us is born again into the kingdom of heaven. Thank you for alerting Christians about how we can help pregnancy care centers and other organizations like them. And thank you for making a big deal about this organization.
-Arielle Lancaster; Hickory, N.C.
I thought about canceling my subscription due to the nonstop coverage of political issues, but my mind was changed by the "Daniel of the Year" issue with the article about Wanda Kohn and "Letters to God" (Dec. 15) by Andrée Seu. Both women admit to struggles, and both still love the Lord. May God bless them and their many unknown sisters throughout the world who struggle but still choose Jesus.
-Bonnie Russell; Randolph, N.J.
I agree with those who question electing Romney ("Romney's problem," Dec. 15), and the issue goes beyond whether he is merely gullible. A person's core, his foundation, is where he has truly placed his faith. Romney's foundation is the Mormon faith, if he is sincere; therefore, his foundation is a lie. Who could vote for such a man to be the president of our country?
-Marilyn Martin; McMinnville, Tenn.
For all of his credentials and winsome persona, how does one make peace with Romney's self-designation as "true blue, through and through" Mormon? A friend recently asked whether I wouldn't prefer to vote for a candidate who shares my values rather than one who shares my theology. But, as Joel Belz pointed out ("Trifling with the truth," Nov. 10), the issue of a candidate, Mormon or otherwise, manipulating the truth is another matter.
-Duane A. Walker; Carlsbad, Calif.
Belz is right about the Latter-day Saints' convoluted system of dealing with its image. Mormonism is a cult that routinely hides its true beliefs. "Rocky road" (Nov. 10) by Mark Bergin shows the true LDS attitude toward Bible believers. Those of us who live in the Southwest are under no illusions about what a Mormon in the White House would mean to the spiritual fabric of America. It would not be like the Kennedy experience.
-Dean Mathis; Hobbs, N.M.
It was disappointing to read Joel Belz suggesting that the current presidential lineup has not "even a hint of genuine greatness in the whole bunch" ("Time for a proven hero," Dec. 15). Ron Paul is head and shoulders above them all. Even more surprising is Belz's proposal that Gen. David Petraeus be a vice-presidential candidate. We don't need a military tactician in high office, especially if it is unclear whether the man is pro-life, pro-family, believes in big government, favors the Patriot Act, and much more. Belz sees only a hero on the battlefield-a commendable virtue, to be sure, but hardly relevant to the gigantic question of qualification.
-Walt Hibbard; Wilmington, Del.
Where's the shame?
It's disgraceful that Congress approves earmarks ("Our pork," Dec. 8), but it adds insult to injury when we realize that borrowed funds pay for earmarks because of our massive deficits. Where is the shame?
-George Fooshee; Wichita, Kan.
Jamie Dean's article detailing the abuses of earmarking was illuminating and important. But there are some very worthwhile and austere faith-based programs in some of the neediest communities in the country that should not be tarred with the same broad brush as an ornament-making program.
-William C. Gnekow; Buellton, Calif.
Forget Giuliani, Romney, or Huckabee; let's nominate Rep. Jeff Flake for president. He seems to be the politician with the best record on stopping excessive government spending, and he realizes that when you "earmark" you are spending your neighbor's hard-earned money and violating a public trust.
-Christopher Cooper; Oro Valley, Ariz.
The most dangerous atheism
I heartily agree that our culture is quietly seducing us away from a God-oriented worldview ("Practical atheism," Dec. 8), but the quietest and most seductive of all practical atheistic tendencies is unbelief in a Christian. In my congregation, the most dangerous atheism is not coming from Dawkins, Hitchens, or even Time, but from me. We all are recovering atheists who often say no to God when we refuse to forgive, when we deny that God reigns over our suffering, or when we stay up all night worrying about how the test results will come back.
-Michael Lyons; Louisville, Ky.
While I agree with the premise of "Practical atheism," I disagree with using "Clay Aiken and the Smithereens" as an example. At a recent concert I attended, Aiken told the crowd that Christmas has always been to him a time to "celebrate the birth of Christ and to cherish the moment with friends and loved ones." His set list included "O Come, O Come Emmanuel," "Oh Holy Night," "Joy to the World," and other traditional Christmas songs.
-Karen Somerville; Hillsdale, Mich.
Rating creep lives
The PG-13 rating for The Kite Runner ("Beyond the strife," Dec. 15), which includes the rape of a child, validates the claim that "rating creep" is alive and well. What will be next to move downward? Incest? Your review also stated that the rape scene was "tastefully done." You can't be serious.
-Steve Hansen; Pleasant Hill, Iowa
Prolific and deep
Not only was Charles Wesley prolific ("Oh, for a thousand tongues," Dec. 8), he was deep. Compared to another great hymn writer, Fanny Crosby, Wesley's hymns are all chock-full of propositional statements, orthodox theology, and red meat. The only reason he is not revered among the greats of 18th-century poetry is that his work was just so very singable, so very worshipful, and so very Protestant.
-Rob Sheldon; Huntsville, Ala.
Well done! We should all sing the works of Charles Wesley. It is good that his lasting music ministry be recognized.
-Becky Marchino; San Antonio, Texas
Depravity and discovery
Thank you for highlighting the progress being made in the field of non-embryonic stem-cell research (The Buzz, Dec. 8). It is a testament to the depravity of our society that many scientists ignore the amazing discoveries being made in that field; they would rather destroy human life despite the fact that testing on embryonic stem cells has yielded weak results.
-Victoria Stargel; Barbourville, Ky.
Pullman's good point
Regarding your review of The Golden Compass ("Broken compass," Dec. 8): Christian authors, especially those of children's books, would do well to heed the poignant imperative in this Philip Pullman quote: "'Thou shalt not' might reach the head, but it takes 'Once upon a time' to reach the heart."
-Peter Kushkowski; Portland, Conn.
Faith is not blind
Those students focusing on the idea of Christ as legend as an alternative to the tripartite approach ("Liar, lunatic, Lord?" Dec. 8) forget that the writings of ancient historians, such Josephus, provide evidence to support the Gospels. We should thank God that an evidential approach to apologetics gives us a foundation of fact and reason where we can meet atheists. Christians stand on faith in upholding Scripture, but faith is not blind.
-Jenica Leahy; Tampa, Fla.
Thank you for "Giving thanks for what Christians do" (Nov. 24). Clearly Christ is the reason so many of those touched by these ministries are able to walk away from discouragement into light. My association with the Bowery Mission is brief, but it reminds me that each life transformation is only by the grace of God. Thanks to all those at similar Christian organizations for their desire to see broken lives transformed through Christ's love.
-Jan Nagel; New York, N.Y.
Don't dance with Democrats
I believe that Joel Belz is exactly right ("Two left feet," Nov. 17). The idea of the Democratic Party, and the big-money people who control it, dancing with real Christians is absurd. The Lord Jesus is the great continental divide. The water flows to the right or to the left, there is no middle ground, and the Democratic Party has placed itself squarely to the left, whatever smoother-than-oil words its members may utter.
-Dick Muller; Oak Ridge, Tenn.
The director of The Kite Runner is Marc Forster ("Beyond the strife," Dec. 15, p. 12).