Dürer's "Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse" (Oct. 4) caught the attention of the 15-year-old Russian boy who studies English with me. He spotted the skinny bones of Death and his horse and noted that one horseman, Justice, had scales swinging out behind him. I suggested that Justice is angry because he can't find anyone who measures up, and this led to a discussion about the Second Coming. He is not a believer, so thank you for your cover testimony.
-Larry Rippere; Mountain View, Calif.
If the financial crisis involved only subprime loans it would be over quickly ("Anatomy of a crisis," Oct. 4). It also involved huge credit default swaps, the dropping of the firewalls between banks and brokerage firms, and other factors. We could also point fingers at the Federal Reserve, Congress, and the SEC. We are not addressing fundamental changes in taxation, energy, Medicare, Social Security and other entitlement programs, and we ignore the few voices in the wilderness like Ron Paul and Tom Coburn.
-Robert Shillingstad; Hayden, Idaho
"Anatomy of a crisis" left out the Community Reinvestment Act. This Act, by which Congress equated a refusal to take a mortgage on an inner-city property with racism, compelled lenders to make loans to people lacking adequate income or collateral.
-Brad Tupi; Pittsburgh, Pa.
Thanks for the article on Minnesota Rep. Michelle Bachman ("High-minded and high-heeled," Oct. 4). At a time when Congress' approval rating is at an all-time low, it's good to hear about those who inspire us.
-Neil Verduin; Spokane, Wash.
Thank you for shedding some historical light on the Middle East problem ("Teaching evil," Oct. 4). Some years ago I learned about this evil mufti and his alliance with Hitler and have been surprised at how few people are aware of his evil influence. We can all use this history lesson.
-Carolyn Venable; Houston, Texas
After watching the first two presidential debates, I was disappointed ("Prize fighters," Oct. 4). Obama and McCain repeated the same old campaign slogans over and over. Then, instead of honestly addressing his opponent's point, each one slightly twisted the positions of the other. The candidates did not tell us the whole truth in the debates. Why watch?
-O.J. Gibson, 17; Ventura, Calif.
Surely the first priority for a Christian in selecting a candidate is his stand on the life issue ("Grand new party," Oct. 4). Education or health plans for future students are pointless if the children are aborted. Obama has not opposed partial-birth abortion even though it rips a helpless child to bits.
-Christine Crowner; Saline, Mich.
Next best thing
There were so many good articles in this week's magazine that I wished I could have sent it to all of my like-minded friends. I can't afford that many subscriptions, but I was pleasantly surprised to discover that I could email some of the articles to them. Thank you so much for this option.
-France Stenberg; Houston, Texas
The news media's treatment of Sarah Palin is laughable ("Working mom," Sept. 20). They would never ask a liberal woman these questions. It takes a female, Republican VP nominee for leftists to admit that men and women are different.
-Rachael Anacker, 15; Highland, Calif.
The threat to liberalism that Sarah Palin represents is the reason for the uproar from Hollywood and the news media. The real face of the "anything goes" agenda is showing and it is really ugly.
-Jared Harold; Naples, Fla.
The guiding factor
I was amazed and pleased by your wonderful piece on the Pent family ("A family affair," Sept. 20). That man took God at His word while being innovative and creative in making money. The guiding factor, of course, was Bible reading before doing anything else.
-Joe Gates; Mount Prospect, Ill.
I was just with Paul Pent, the eldest son, this afternoon. He continues in the line of his family as a godly and powerful influence for the kingdom.
-Gardner Gordon; St. Augustine, Fla.
Saddened and horrified
I am saddened and horrified by Marvin Olasky's article on suicide prevention ("He who hesitates is saved," Sept. 20), which suggests that we curb the suicide rate by returning to the practice of shaming suicides. The families and friends left behind are already crushed and torn apart by grief, shame, and guilt.
-Lucy S. R. Austen; Washougal, Wash.
Only the power of God provides the strength to carry on through a shipwrecked life.
-Barbara Bytwerk; Coldwater, Mich.
Thank you for the level-headed analysis of the popular Twilight series (Notable Books, Sept. 20). Although Bella and Edward may abstain before marriage, they clearly lust after one another. The portrayal of "love" in these books could cause girls to go into marriage with wrong expectations.
-Abby Patchet, 16; Eau Claire, Wis.
$2.50 per child
I found "Reading at risk" (Sept. 6), about Congress wanting to "kill a highly successful phonics program," very interesting and frustrating. As a college student majoring in secondary education, I often heard my English professors speak of phonics in mocking tones. A few years later, teaching my own son to read, I found that the most effective and useful tool was a $15 phonics text. I used it for all six children.
-Virginia Swarr Youmans; Lynnville, Tenn.
A big deal
The main reason that pornography gets a foothold in people's lives is a perception that it's really not a big deal ("Trap doors," Sept. 6). Formerly, I didn't view it as addictive, but I have heard from Christian male friends how hard it is to get away from those images. I have also heard of marriages that are strained or breaking up under the burden of pornography addiction. The internet brings this stuff before our children's faces and eyes.
-Heather Denton; Portland, Ore.
Next, feeding the millions
I was disturbed by Gene Edward Veith's column about Barack Obama being seen as the Messiah ("Messiah complex," Aug. 13). Comedian Jon Stewart's line from this summer, that during a recent visit to Israel Obama "made a quick stop off at the manger in Bethlehem where he was born," was perhaps not far from what some think.
-Aaron Sundet, Clarksville, Iowa
I very much enjoyed the "Remembering the summer of 1968" (Aug. 9) cover story. I was a young enlisted man in the U.S. Air Force and went to Vietnam that October. It was quite sobering to reflect again on the momentous events of that year.
-Steve Carter; Simpsonville, S.C.
"An anniversary to forget" (Aug. 9) had a great impact on me. I realized that what a person does in his past affects what he does later in life. In those cases it led to presidents going behind our nation's back, and people deserved to know about those things.
-Jonas Weaver, 12; Powahatan, Va.
I was very moved by "The graduate" (Aug. 9). It enabled me to understand better what young people snared by Communist trends felt and were thinking in those days. By the early 1960s, as a military veteran, the radical left was an abomination to me. In 1967, during my lunch hour, I spotted my secretary throwing rocks at the police in downtown San Francisco. Back at the office, she was kind of sweaty, but there she was typing the letter for me.
-Dick Robinson; Roswell, Ga.
Frustrated no more
For years I subscribed to different weekly "news" magazines only to be frustrated and annoyed by their continual liberal, anti-Christian slant. I was recently introduced to your magazine and have absolutely loved it.
-Joshua R. Miller; Hudson Falls, N.Y.
Pope Benedict XVI reaffirmed last month the Catholic Church's historic opposition to artificial birth control on the 40th anniversary of Pope Paul VI's encyclical letter addressing the issue, Humanae Vitae (The Buzz, Oct. 18, p. 8).