Glad to share
We were very happy to see Aaron Schock on the cover of your Jan. 31 issue ("Schock factor"). We tried hard to find some blessings in the aftermath of the November elections and found two: Obama would no longer represent us in the United States Senate, and Schock would now serve in Congress. We are sorry to lose him in the Illinois state legislature but glad to share him with the nation.
-Scott & Pam Johnson; Tolono, Ill.
Blue Slug Democrats?
Blue Dog Democrats ("Blue Dog comeback?" Jan. 31) say that they are pro-life and for fiscal restraint, but their voting record shows that they are neither. They said they were reluctant to expand the deficit but gave no indication that they would oppose it, and they believed that President Obama would rein in spending. Are they simple political opportunists, or do they just have the backbone of a slug?
-David Albertsen; Arvada, Colo.
Rep. Heath Shuler seems to think Christian charity is the government's responsibility. Someone should tell him that the biblical model is for a Christian to reach into his own pocket to help others; it is not the coercive hand of Caesar taking from productive people so politicians can claim credit for giving to others.
-Ron Olson; Rugby, N.D.
I read "The horror, the hope" (Jan. 31) just after returning from South Africa to visit some friends and witnessing (in a seminary, AIDS clinic, and other ministries) what Christ can do in desperate situations. Along with the beautiful stories, there is so much devastation brought on by hopelessness, promiscuity, selfishness, and denial. Only the Holy Spirit could transform people to give unselfishly to a community that is not, ethnically speaking, their own.
-Connie Sikma; Grand Rapids, Mich.
Thank you for the reminder of the civil wars and slavery going on in Africa and its need for the gospel. Through an online ministry, I am corresponding with believers and some folks considering a relationship with Jesus Christ from places like Liberia, Nairobi, Johannesburg, Dakar, and Abuja. It's exciting to be in contact with them, although many must struggle through the tough things going on in those places.
-Chris Payton; Albuquerque, N.M.
Former NAE Vice President Richard Cizik's comments supportive of same-sex unions were disappointing ("Evangelical shift?" Jan. 31). True leadership would speak out against the sinful trends of the day, not support them. Are we serving God or man's changing moral values?
-Bill R. Dickson; O'Brien, Fla.
After reading the startling statistics about the anti-scriptural leanings of younger "evangelicals" coupled with other dismal numbers coming out of church polls, isn't it time to stop being surprised and redefine the word evangelical? And if 89 percent of Americans say that they believe in God, then why aren't we a godly nation?
-Elaine Neumeyer; Big Canoe, Ga.
I can't wait for the next installment of Marvin Olasky's memoirs of his "weird years" ("Deeper into sin," Jan. 31). Any testimony of God's grace is heartwarming, but to hear of His work in turning a man so radically from one worldview to another is just thrilling.
-John Bray; Houston, Texas
I sat mesmerized reading "Deeper into sin." It is rich in information on Marxism, Communism, the beauty of America, and the rich irony that everything Olasky was searching for can only be found in America. He illustrated a great truth: Tell us your story, with understanding, clarity of hindsight, a little humility, and some humor, and we will stop and listen, searching for clues about what is right and what is true.
-Janet Hammerquist; Fruitland, Idaho
Silent no more
I live in New York City, the home of many scrappy, argumentative people. My best friend and I take solace in talking with each other about heavy issues, but we often don't speak up in public because we are afraid of the drama that might ensue afterwards. "Silent betrayal" (Jan. 31) made me think that maybe if I speak up more often, there may be someone nearby who wishes he could do the same.
-Victoria Folkerts; New York, N.Y.
It is quite unjust that Capt. Hill be made the scapegoat in this tragic situation ("No good choices," Jan. 31), and it seems that Lt. Col. Tony DeMartino has some answering to do for ignoring Capt. Hill's request for help with these spies, who were eventually released. I wish Capt. Hill Godspeed and a new life as a civilian.
-Joseph M. Gates; Mount Prospect, Ill.
Thank you for "A caregiver's lifestyle" (Jan. 31) about CNA Gwen Dickson's wonderful care for her elderly patients. I work as a nurse in a nursing home and the CNAs there are hard-working, underpaid, and underappreciated. They often put up with residents who scream, swear, kick, hit, and scratch them while they do extra work because of understaffing. When I asked one older CNA how she kept going, she responded, "You know, I have had a pretty good life. This is my way of giving back."
-E. Kenney; Beverly, Mass.
Back to Bastiat
Kudos to WORLD for including Proverbs on a list of recommended books to maintain financial sanity ("Sane reading," Jan. 31). But I would point out that the "broken window fallacy" ascribed to Henry Hazlitt actually traces back to a mid-19th century French economist, Frederic Bastiat. Hazlitt's Economics in One Lesson recommends Bastiat's essay to its readers.
-T. Norman Van Cott; Muncie, Ind.
David DeBoor Canfield's statement that TV is the "single most destructive thing to come upon American society" ("Collector of collections," Jan. 31) may well be true. Watching TV encourages us to distance ourselves from others, compromise values, and waste time. So why is Congress increasing the national debt to subsidize TV converter boxes?
-Char Pulliam; Stevensville, Mont.
The recent review of Gran Torino ("Clint at his best," Jan. 31) was dead-on regarding Eastwood's gripping depiction of redemption juxtaposed with the vivid portrayal of sins such as racism and resentment. I would add that Thao's initial, failed attempt to possess the car was the result of lustful greed and human effort, but in the end ownership was the result of Walt's unmerited favor.
-Alvin Sell; Simpsonville, S.C.
What we need most
Leonard and Smith ("Profound witness," Jan. 31) rightly question the giving habits of Christians and they present a decent challenge to readers. However, I say we should give the first 10 percent of our gross income to our local God-centered church while looking for opportunities to give beyond that. Our giving is an expression of our belief that what we need most is Christ, not money.
-David Cullum; Janesville, Wis.
The unborn outside
Thank you for describing how pro-life activists sent a life-affirming statement bearing almost half a million signatures to UN ambassadors ("Disunited Nations," Jan. 17). It's good to know that pro-life leaders are active in defending the innocent lives of the unborn outside the United States. The UN has been pushing abortion in Latin America in particular, and we must make a strong effort to help protect the unborn in these countries.
-Ignacio Gomez; Pasadena, Calif.
Offense to defense
Thank you for your historical overview of abortion ("Lessons from the past," Jan. 17). As an adoptive parent, I am relieved to learn that the focus of pro-life groups is shifting from offense to defense. There is no better way to comprehend your own election in Christ than to parent a child by adoption.
-Bobbi DeZarn; Crestwood, Ky.
Daily chopped to bits
"Lessons from the past" suggests to me that the German citizens of the 1940s got a bad rap for not protecting Jews. Germans who did so risked suffering the same fate as the Jews, but there has never been any such danger in America for praying in front of abortion clinics, volunteering at CPCs, or writing letters to politicians. Thousands of children are chopped to bits daily with only the faintest and weakest protest from the church.
-Bob Brown; Belcamp, Md.
Novelist Bret Lott wrote one of his novels while listening to musician Bill Frisell ("The power of words," Jan. 17, p. 66).