Toward His goal
As I read WORLD's columns and Mailbag letters regarding the elections and financial crises we are facing ("2008 News of the year," Dec. 27), I was discouraged. I don't know if recent events are a judgment on our country, but I learned anew that, as the Lord revealed to Habakkuk, all events are hastening toward His goal-so I should live by faith and rejoice in God.
-Nick Greear; Cedaredge, Colo.
You did a great job on your end of the year issue, as always. And what a compelling call to prayer this overview of the state of the world is for us, your readers! Thank you.
-Lisa Guest; Irvine, Calif.
Friends gave us WORLD in 1987 as a gift and I have been a faithful, happy reader ever since. All our children have dipped in as well. Thank you for this remarkable magazine that strives to be salt, not sugar. I still haven't finished the Dec. 27 year-end issue, but the columns by Janie B. Cheaney ("The invisible crown") and Marvin Olasky ("An honest Messiah") were excellent.
-Nancy Spangle; Warsaw, Ind.
It's about time someone had a positive word about George Bush ("Vanishing moment," Dec. 27). History will be much kinder to him than his contemporaries have been. In addition to liberating millions of people from cruel dictatorships, he appointed two top-rate justices to the Supreme Court. Perhaps his most amazing trait is his unwillingness to attack his critics.
-Bill Bouknight; Columbia, S.C.
I too wish Bush had done some things differently, but he had difficult choices. Thanks to Bush, most Americans can still sleep safely at night and, for now, we can still be called "The Land of the Free." I confess that I am still young and untouched by the war, but I think that we would be much worse off if Bush had not been in the White House.
-Allison Dehart; Schoolcraft, Mich.
Thumbs up and down
We agree with Joel Belz ("Profession of mush," Dec. 27). While President Bush is sincere in his profession of the Christian faith, we have been appalled at his statements of inclusiveness in embracing other religions.
-Marvin & Nancy Richter; Bucklin, Kan.
I know how hard it is for even seasoned teachers of the Bible to explain what they believe without resorting to platitudes. That the president was hesitant in his responses to the interviewer only served to make him more authentic. The president gets two thumbs up for trying to put in his own words and style something of the mystery of our faith.
-C. Biddle Foster; Manchester, Md.
Thanks for shedding light on President Bush's comments. As a centrist pro-life Democrat, I've never really gone in for the demonization of Bush from the left nor the veneration from the right. The balance and cogency Belz brought to the table with these reflections was timely and appreciated.
-Mike Nowlin; Clifton, Va.
Belz has done an injustice to George W. Bush. After eight trying years in office and constant attacks on his person and policies, his faith has been played out in his actions. He has done what was right and just instead of what was politically correct.
-John Bush; Akron, Ohio
Credit where due
I found it remarkable that your article on the recession ("Our Great Recession," Dec. 27) focused on Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae when Wall Street banks led the dramatic decline in lending standards. Also, your shot at Democrat Barney Frank for his 2003 denial of Freddie and Fannie's situation, though true, pales in comparison to fact that Republican senators backed away from proposed regulations in 2005 after Freddie and Fannie executives paid millions to lobbyists to persuade them to do so.
-Dan Näsman; Port Townsend, Wash.
"Departures" (Dec. 27) omitted Don Haskins, the Texas Western College men's basketball coach. On March 19, 1966, he started five African-Americans in the NCAA title game against the all-white University of Kentucky team. TWC triumphed 72-65. The movie Glory Road is based on that event, probably the most historic in college basketball history.
-Al Shumard; Greensboro, N.C.
"Departures" did not include Jerry Reed, recording artist, Hollywood actor, and guitarist extraordinaire. He died in September 2008 after returning to faith late in life and founding a support group for wounded veterans. He probably was best known for his role as Snowman in the Smokey and the Bandit movies.
-Jerry Winfield; Brentwood, Tenn.
As a Christian and a social worker, I've had the opportunity to build relationships and help many special individuals through both PATH and Housing First. Michael VandenBerg says that rapid housing is "appropriate in some instances" ("Crucial question: Do you want to get well?" Nov. 29) but often not for people with addictions. But when is it appropriate for someone not to have a home? The desire for drink or drugs does not disappear, but I have seen people who would never before darken the doorway of a mental health services provider or rehab program follow through with medical care after they were given a home off the streets.
-Ryann Roth; Canton, N.C.
World of hurt
I feel very strongly that if the Obama presidency failed, it would hurt everyone in the world ("Hoping for a stumble," Dec. 13). The office of the presidency would be maligned, our safety would be jeopardized, and we would be hated around the world even more than we are now. The "loyal right" has to get its act together.
-Bob Trepa; Holland, Mich.
Hope and prayer
Joel Belz's column ("Get real," Nov. 15) was very insightful. Political clout is important but, as a positive force for good within the system, the prayer groups meeting across America are what give me hope.
-Elaine (Bonny) Boniface; Hackettstown, N.J.
I watched with amazement as George Bush's administration ignored the ballooning unpopularity and crippling expense of the Iraq War. And then we were given the same formula to vote for. There were a lot of lesser concerns that contributed to the election results, but unless we own the arrogance of ignoring the electorate, we will remain on the bottom where we belong.
-Tony Smith; Toms River, N.J.
No nation that countenances the murder of over a million unborn children a year has any right to expect the continued blessings, prosperity, and protection of God. As long as the church remains mostly inert we will continue our slide to a fearful day of judgment as a nation and culture.
-John Nixdorf; Naperville, Ill.
When pilgrims can anticipate treading through a dark night, they are grateful for the person holding a lit candle. Marvin Olasky's "Minding our P's and C's" (Nov. 15) was worth the year's subscription to WORLD.
-John & Laurie Stone; Santa Clarita, Calif.
Reviews of reviews
I do not intend to renew. You have too many reviews of TV, movies, music, and books.
-David Whitesitt; Seeley Lake, Mont.
Publishing movie reviews is an excellent idea. Your movie critics give us, the readers, a chance to have a Christian perspective on movies. When I want to see a movie, I always check with WORLD first.
-Mark Lohstroh, 15; Plano, Texas
Breast cancer surgeon Angela Lanfranchi says that first-trimester spontaneous abortions (or miscarriages) occur because of low hormone levels, so they do not increase breast cancer risk-but if an abortion (either spontaneous or induced) occurs in a pregnancy with normal hormone levels, the abortion increases breast cancer risk by creating more cancer-vulnerable breast tissue ("Life or death?" Jan. 17, p. 53). City University of New York biology professor Joel Brind notes that a full-term pregnancy-but not an aborted one-leaves a woman with a lower long-term risk of breast cancer, compared to not having gotten pregnant. A pregnant woman who chooses abortion will have a greater long-term risk of breast cancer than if she chose not to have an abortion.