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.
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
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.
As a nurse anesthetist, I think Verrilli's argument, that inmates executed by lethal injection might still feel "excruciating pain," is goofy ("Execution, not surgery," Jan. 26/Feb. 2). His argument depends on public ignorance, subterfuge, and grossly incompetent drug administration.
-Joe Parker Tait; Ruston, La.
Another one of the possible reasons why the number of abortions has been falling recently ("Choosing children over choice," Jan. 26/Feb. 2) is increased use of the "morning-after pill," RU-486. We'll never know how many of these pills produced abortions that are, of course, unreported.
-Wendy Cummings; Pepperell, Mass.
Although any Christian would find the conversations about faith and God in The Bucket List ("Rich man/poor man," Jan. 26/Feb. 2) less than satisfying, especially when Chambers can't even explain why he has faith or in whom his faith rests, I think the contrasts between the two men's lives are very clear. One man lived his life with the awareness that there was something greater than himself worth sacrificing for, and the other man didn't let anything, including his three wives, get in the way of looking out for Number One. The lives they each returned to after their big trip was over made it very obvious which one had made the right choices.
-Joni Halpin; Allen, Texas
Weapons of failure
Our strength is not in political power, nor will that cause real change in our country. I weep for the failure of the body of Christ to be ministers of reconciliation and I rejoice in columns such as Tony Woodlief's "Going negative" and Marvin Olasky's book reviews ("On the way to what?" Jan. 26/Feb. 2) that attempt to show us our failure in fighting with the weapons of the world.
-Chuck Zehnder; Point Lookout, Mo.
An honest man's reward
Reading about an honest workingman having the integrity to hop a bus and return $185,000 to its rightful owner (The Buzz, Jan. 26/Feb. 2) was an incredible morale booster-that is, until I read the last line. Seriously-a 50-buck reward for returning a check for $185,000? After treating Reggie to a very good meal in a very good restaurant, I would've happily handed him $5,000 and named my next child after him.
-Paul Creed; Ocoee, Fla.
Living with a mission
Thank you for featuring the Andreades family ("Village people," Jan. 12/19). We homeschool in Los Angeles, and it is encouraging to read about another family living with a mission in a large city. Our 1,000-square-foot condo (and two kids) seems luxurious now. I was really inspired by their story.
-Molly ZagRodny; Los Angeles, Calif.
Regarding Gene Edward Veith's comment that "pastors turn worship into entertainment and downplay theology in favor of good feelings" ("Art that edifies," Jan. 12/19): In my desire for my three children to have a "relevant" faith, I took them to churches with "modern" services. After 11 years we visited a conservative, liturgical church one Sunday. As we left, all three confronted me as to why we had never gone to that type of church before. They thought it was wonderful and wanted to return. I was dumbfounded. Three years later all three tell me that they have grown in their reverence and respect for God. As C.S. Lewis said, "We are far too easily satisfied."
-Laura S. Plush; Sarasota, Fla.
Pitcher Lew Burdette, who died on Feb. 6, 2007 ("Departures," Dec. 29/Jan. 5, p. 69), is not in baseball's Hall of Fame.