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Mailbag

Letters from our readers

Issue: "Our long war," March 8, 2008

Hope and pray

If John McCain is the Republican nominee come November ("Signs and wonders," Jan. 26/Feb. 2), I will be more than happy to head to the polls not feeling, as usual, that I will be choosing the lesser of two evils. I have always liked McCain even though we disagree on issues like a federal Defense of Marriage bill and embryonic stem-cell research. I hope for a McCain/Huckabee ticket, but at the end of the day I pray that God's will be done.
-Susan Redmond; Trappe, Md.

I am sticking with Ron Paul ("Not a mission impossible," Jan. 26/Feb. 2). He is the best man to revive the Republican party and unite the nation. Mike Huckabee will whisper sweet platitudes to Christians all day long, use specialized evangelical lingo, and make them feel like he is for them, kind of like George W. Bush. Paul will follow the Constitution and treat Christians like mature adults and wean us off the idea that it is a great thing to get a seat at the table of power.
-Joe & Melanie McGuire; Branchburg, N.J.

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As I head to the polls today to cast my vote in the Louisiana primary, I am reminded to vote my conscience. I am also reminded that there is accountability built into our election system; we hold our leaders accountable each time we cast our vote, and we are also held accountable to uplift our leaders in prayer.
-Stephen Punkay; Baton Rouge, La.

A light year from reality

Concerning Mark Bergin's article on teaching religion in public schools ("Crayons and Qurans," Jan. 26/Feb. 2): The concept that, at their roots, all religions teach that we should help each other is a light year away from reality. The goal of Islam is to conquer the world, with the sword where necessary. This is very clear in the Quran and in the violent actions of Muslims throughout the world. Our schools should not be religion-free; they should be based on Christianity, on which this nation was founded.
-William Nowers; Locust Grove, Va.

"Crayons and Qurans" emphasized the foolishness and inconsistencies of our public education system. Not only have we kicked out the God of the Bible, we have invited in other gods. When public-school systems allow teachers like Jon Childs to teach second-graders that it is wrong to say that one religion is true over others, second-graders have to choose between the teachings of their parents and those of their teachers.
-Paul Miller; Ashland, Ohio

Wobbly WORLD?

WORLD wobbles badly in its report on the "Grassley Six" investigation ("'Church' and state," Jan. 26/Feb. 2). Sen. Grassley's investigation raises serious questions about the separation of powers: He is a legislator, not a law enforcement agent. Indeed, the investigation poses serious First Amendment issues. Perhaps some of the reported expenditures make the investigation look like a good idea. But adopting a nanny-state solution where intrusive government must protect "gullible" adult donors would not just be bad policy, it would likely breach the Constitution.
-Gary S. McCaleb; Scottsdale, Ariz.

While I appreciate the problem of financial abuse, I hope that lawmakers will remember the many small, legitimate churches getting caught in the crossfire. As the volunteer bookkeeper for a small church, I would say that the effort required to keep up with the record keeping is a real strain. Due to the congressional interest in these ministries, our accountant is warning us that we will have to keep even closer records in the future.
-David Alkema; Piperton, Tenn.

No fight for freedom

President Bush has cared little to fight for religious freedom in the Middle East ("Missed opportunity," Jan. 26/Feb. 2). Another great example is the fact that the U.S. government forbids sending bulk quantities of religious materials contrary to the Islamic faith to troops in Iraq. We are fighting a war to bring freedom to Iraqis, but Bush is quite content to build a new democracy that has no religious freedom.
-Bruce Sabin; Frostproof, Fla.

Known by your critics

Regarding "Going negative" (Jan. 26/Feb. 2): I would argue that if Christians are not regarded as "judgmental" by a relativistic, pluralistic, sin-loving society, then we have probably been unfaithful to the entire message given to us to proclaim. The authors of UnChristian counsel more love and mercy to outsiders. But for that love to be real, it must be accompanied by the spoken truth about sin, a holy God of wrath, and salvation exclusively through faith in Jesus Christ.
-Jon Hueni; Bremen, Ind.

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