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Mailbag

Letters from our readers

Issue: "Northern light," Sept. 20, 2008

Bad trip

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.

Berean hippies

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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.

Still tragic

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

Despicable

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.

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