When I think of those years ("Remembering the summer of '68," Aug. 9) I am very sad, for myself and for those caught up in the spirit of that age. Many I knew died young. Others still have emotional problems from drug abuse or promiscuity. Thank you for not glorifying the era. It had its bright moments, such as the battle against racism, but on balance our nation suffered greatly from those years and it still hasn't recovered.
-Dan LaRue; Lebanon, Pa.
The liberation of 1968
During the fall of 1968 my small school district in western Virginia integrated ("Divided we stood," Aug. 9). I was bused 45 minutes to a formerly all-black school. I was 14, in an all-white community, content and happy and believing my family's prejudices. My world changed in eighth grade. My eyes were opened to how much black and white people are alike, not different, and the next year I met my closest, dearest lifelong friend, who is black. I'm grateful for the liberation of 1968 in my young life. Integration tore down barriers and opened doors to some great friendships.
-Jone Reid; Winston-Salem, N.C.
As an ex-drug-crazed freak turned Jesus freak, I enjoyed the piece on Chuck Smith ("The beach boys," Aug. 9), although I do have a small objection to the claim that "the serious preaching set apart [Smith's] Calvary work from others in the Jesus Movement." None of the "establishment" churches wanted anything to do with us, so we had to read the Bible for ourselves and ask the Holy Spirit to guide us. It wasn't such a bad thing!
-Dean Davis; Carbondale, Ill.
Thanks for the inside look at Yale in the turbulent '60s ("The graduate," Aug. 9). It closely parallels my experience at Berkeley, where I became disenchanted with the oppressive existentialist atmosphere. Several churches I visited were preaching "social justice"; only after wandering into a service where the Bible was preached did I hear about grace and personal redemption. Looking back, I fail to see how any reasonably mature, thinking individual could have accepted some of the things we heard in classes, let alone teach them. It is tragic to see the same philosophies continue to lead searching students to a total loss of hope and meaning.
-Ron Purcell; Rohnert Park, Calif.
Chart-topper from the past
It was a bit surreal seeing the cover of Mauriat's Blooming Hits in "Four No. 1 albums from 1968" (Aug. 9). I had seen it in my dad's record collection in my childhood, but had no idea it was a chart-topper. I grew up loving the tune "Love Is Blue" and recently put it on my iPod.
-Charles A. Burge; Kaneohe, Hawaii
Witness to Witness
You did not mention in "The Chambers-Hiss case" (July 26) Whittaker Chambers' book Witness, one of the greatest books ever on the subject of Russian Communism and its darkness. As a former refugee from the Soviet Union and a Christian, I believe that this book is a must-read. Some still believe Alger Hiss was innocent; they practice moral equivalence on the subject of Communism.
-Andrew Engelman; Stuart, Fla.
Good clean girl fun?
The magic of the great MGM musicals held me transfixed for many a Saturday afternoon in the 1950s, so I knew I would go to see Mamma Mia! Unfortunately, your review ("Musical mess," Aug. 9) didn't address the vulgar vignettes or the real tenor of the film. I walked out after a short period. This film just makes you feel soiled.
-Marietta Fahl; Tucson, Ariz.
No one should let WORLD's review of Mamma Mia! put him off a funny, feel-good movie you can watch without feeling ashamed of the content. The ladies I went with agreed unanimously that it was two hours of good girl fun. The movie certainly has weaknesses, but what more can be expected from a tale of love in the world told by the world?
-Julie Dawson; FPO, AE
Oregon's decision to offer Randy Stroup death instead of healing is despicable ("License to kill," Aug. 9). It might be a reasonable decision not to fix a vehicle, but how can the state possibly decide the value of his life? What would stop the state, as the insurer, from demanding people be treated with used parts? Can we picture an industry for the legal buying and selling of human parts? I, for one, am seriously starting to doubt the feasibility of state-run health care.
-Andrew Sorrentino; Morrisville, Pa.
Cal Thomas states the obvious: Society is being set up to accept socialized medical services and near kin, doctor-assisted suicide. Socialized medicine, with limited financial resources, will bring the need for triage to a new low: Who is worthy of limited medical resources? Doctor-assisted suicide is not the answer to financial limitations in terminal cases. There is another alternative: hospice care. There the terminally ill patient can die with dignity, not by doctor-assisted suicide.
-Art Thompson; Westfield, N.J.
I was struck by your refreshing coverage of the anniversary of the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal. Marvin Olasky told the truth about the consequences of such sin ("An anniversary to forget," Aug. 9), and Andrée Seu ("Sins of youth," Aug. 9) reminded us of the nonjudgmental grace we are to give as sinners ourselves.
-Haley Olson, 17; Mahtomedi, Minn.
Vivid and real
To WORLD's selection of new "Notable books" about China (Aug. 9) I would add one from five years ago: Wild Swans by Jung Chang. Two summers ago I taught English in the Sichuan province, and Wild Swans was required reading for me before I left. It makes China's landscape, culture, and people vivid and real for Westerners like me.
-Megan Von Bergen; Manhattan, Kan.
Focus on the words
Wow! 50,000 Gospel booklets, 30,000 New Testaments, and 10,000 complete Bibles were to be distributed during the Olympics ("Let the games begin," Aug. 9). Yes, we would like a better government with just laws in China, but that will come when the hearts of the people are changed. Let's focus on what our faithful God has caused to happen.
-Peggy Ditto;Winnsboro, Texas
As a Vietnam veteran, I beg to differ with Russ Pulliam's assessment that Mark Hatfield would have been the V.P. the nation and Nixon needed because of his evangelical faith ("Nixon's missed opportunity," Aug. 9). Hatfield opposed American involvement in the Vietnam war from the beginning and continued even when it meant compromising America's honor by abandoning an ally. The American pullout led to the deaths of millions of Cambodians and South Vietnamese. Where does the evangelical faith show itself there?
-Stephen Leonard; Colorado Springs, Colo.
This insidious monster
I resented Theodore Dalrymple's comments that heroin withdrawal is a "trivial medical condition" ("Drug of choice," Aug. 9). I know it's only my personal experience, but my brother went through it with help from volunteers, addicts themselves. It was one of the ugliest things I have ever witnessed. I've never been one to say that addicts are "creatures without choice," but the choices build over time. It's like the song from Casting Crowns that says, "People never crumble in a day." Why can't the answer ever be somewhere in the middle, between his choices and the reality that his body was always crying out for more of this insidious monster?
-Carol Lugg; Calhan, Colo.
Faith that works
Thanks for the great article, "The power of three" (July 26), regarding pastors MacPherson, Garlow, and Clark in getting Proposition 8 on the ballot in California. It is encouraging to see these men living out their faith, given the pitiful state of Christianity in America.
-Kelly Smith; Atlanta, Ga.
Your article raising questions of Todd Bentley and the Lakeland revival ("Same old scam?" June 28) was prescient. Now that Bentley has announced his pending divorce and turned over the "revival" to another pastor, people are finally willing to ask the hard questions that WORLD was asking months ago.
-Steve DuPlessie; Attleboro, Mass.
The Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade in 1973 ("The summer of our discontent," Aug. 9, p. 44).
Senator Ernie Chambers is 70 years old and a 38-year veteran of the Nebraska state legislature (Quick Takes, Aug. 23, p. 14).