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Mailbag

Letters from our readers

Issue: "New breed of homeless," Feb. 28, 2009

Opening up minds

As a Caucasian mother of two African-American children through adoption, "Black genocide" (Jan. 17) wrenched at my heart. I thank God every day that my children's birthmother chose life. But I am saddened that far fewer families are willing to adopt African-American children than white children. Those in the Christian community really need to pray about opening up their minds as well as their hearts.
-Mary Schauer; Bovey, Minn.

My heart bled as I read "Millions cut down" (Jan. 17). Now, more than ever, is a time to pray for a softening of President Obama's heart, a breakdown of Planned Parenthood, a rise in crisis pregnancy centers, and that (somehow) the Freedom of Choice Act will not go into effect.
-Tim & Tama Shoemaker; Harrisonburg, Va.

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As 2007 Daniel of the Year recipient and director of the Pregnancy Care Center, I applaud your research and depth of coverage on abortion and the pro-life movement in America.
-Wanda Kohn; Leesburg, Fla.

What a poignant and convicting cover image that told simply and piercingly the story of an aborted child's life. It was beautiful, and tragically accurate.
-Kristine Wessler; Yorktown, Va.

The articles about abortion were excellent. We have long felt that a nation that grants a population the right to destroy its citizens through abortion has lost its soul.
-Bill & Doris Heyns; Cape Coral, Fla.

Pivotal strategies

I was deeply moved to see the references to Guy Condon and his impact on the pro-life movement ("Pro-life pivot," Jan. 17). Guy was my son-in-law. He had an absolute commitment to life and deep concern for fathers, who in many cases felt the grief of an aborted baby that was his as much as that of the mother. His vision encompassed the whole family.
-Donald R. Striffler; Willow Street, Pa.

Successful social reformers-from abolitionists to Gandhi to Dr. King-worked to change how people perceived the injustices at hand. We who are the messengers have to accept short-term persecution and stay on course to achieve long-term cultural transformation.
-Stephanie Gray; Calgary, Alberta

The history of abortion in America in the 19th century ("Lessons from the past," Jan. 17), the history of the last 20 years of the pro-life movement ("Pro-life pivot"), and my favorite, the article on outreach to New York Muslims ("Quiet witness," Jan. 17) were all excellently researched, original articles.
-Rick Randall; Broomfield, Colo.

But they work

Joel Belz recommends dumping fundraising appeals from nonprofit organizations and carefully picking one or two to support ("Trash it," Jan. 17). But fundraising letters are a very cost-efficient means of letting the public know of our efforts. Our letters tell how the gospel works to free the addicted and help those who have been run over by circumstances and economic downturn, and of their recovery and new life. How else would the public know of the good work we accomplish?
-Robert K. Gehman; Baltimore, Md.

Thank you for "Trash it." As the executive director of a strongly evangelical nonprofit organization, I have had the same thoughts regarding the high cost of many of the mailings I see my contemporaries send out. They look beautiful, but I wonder how much more direct service could have been done with the tens of thousands of dollars spent to look impressive.
-LoriJo Schepers; Zeeland, Mich.

As an executive director of one of those nonprofits sending out appeal letters to drum up new donors, I have many wonderful, long-term donors who found us just that way. Spending $50,000 to acquire potential long-term donors is the backbone of many nonprofits, especially in a world where Christians do not tithe.
-Bob Sweeney; Dallas, Texas

I could not disagree with Belz more. Just because one can't give to all the appeals is no reason to "trash" them. Small gifts are all that some of us can give.
-Sue Henry; Lynchburg, Va.

No better deal

Regina Herzlinger's suggestions for improving health care are generally good ("Healthy competition," Jan. 17) but the art and science of medical practice cannot be "transparent" in the same sense as the food, clothing, or housing industries. She is naïve to suggest that statistics such as "the death rate of a surgeon" would actually help. Surgeons work on human flesh, and that has too many variations in its response to surgery to suggest that their capability can be reliably measured by "the death rate."
-Carol K. Tharp; Winnetka, Ill.

I don't want any part of a third-party-payer medical system. I put my health-care dollars in the bank. Sometimes I take some out to pay a doctor, the rest I get to spend on other things. When my body eventually stops working (it's getting close now), I will go to heaven, and the leftover money will go to charity. Neither the Swiss nor the government can offer me a better deal.
-Tom Pittman; Bolivar, Mo.

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