In the Big Easy
The encouraging article about believers helping to rebuild New Orleans ("'Lord, keep me safe,'" Aug. 15) brought back fond memories. In June 2007 I and four other church members from Lafayette, Ind., worked on two new home roofs in the Upper 9th Ward. Guy Williams (profiled in your article) supervised us and was a great encouragement. God truly is at work in the Big Easy.
-Tyler V. Johnson; Lafayette, Ind.
Thank you for the inspiring, encouraging articles about those great people in New Orleans who are bringing the city back better than ever!
-Bernice Krahn; Fairfield, Idaho
This terrible bill
Thank you for your excellent analysis of the healthcare bill ("Killer bill," Aug. 15). I particularly appreciated your summary of 10 things the government may do under the provisions of this terrible bill ("Washington's prescription," Aug. 15). I am a senior citizen and reject the idea that I must get "end of life counseling" if I need some expensive medical procedure. Between the horror of abortion and the coming of euthanasia, we will have pre-cradle to pre-death control of our lives by the government.
-George M. Keck; Corning, Calif.
"End of life" counseling is promoted as a kindly gesture, but it is meant to convince the infirm, the elderly, and the weak that they need to "let go." Telling a person that his medical needs are to be solved by dying is but one step from forcibly inflicting that death.
-Larry G. Dillon; Cedaredge, Colo.
Been there, done that
I read this latest issue with tears of gratitude to God. When our baby was given an adverse prenatal diagnosis in 1990 with a 25 percent chance of survival, we were assigned a genetic counselor who encouraged termination over and over, despite our assurances that we would carry our child to term. What a blessing for those currently going through this to have a supportive hospice system as an alternative ("A grief conserved," Aug. 15). Our son will turn 19 this fall, but he became severely deaf at 3 months of age, so thank you for "Sounds of Silence" (Aug. 15). And thank you for "Getting to know Him" (Aug. 15); his hearing was miraculously and gradually restored at age 4 through the prayers of close friends.
-Rachel Olstad; Phoenix, Ore.
Thank you for an insightful peek into the world of the deaf in "Sounds of silence." For many years I developed educational and vocational programs for people with disabilities at a community college. I will never forget the time I met with 15 people who were deaf and the interpreter was for me. It was a humbling experience.
-Larry Ruddell; Wenatchee, Wash.
"Sounds of silence" was very good, but I would add that there are other problems with cochlear implants, including a variety of medical risks. Implants are often sold to hearing parents who embrace them as a miracle cure-one that fails for too many.
-Henry Patterson; Stillwater, Okla.
I kept hearing that same "96 cents on the dollar" figure from Cornerstone Ministries Investments all through 2008 ("Victim of a bad economy or a house of cards?" Aug. 15). That bubble burst with the Official Plan of Liquidation issued on Dec. 12 of that year. Last March, after the bankruptcy examiner's report was released, I asked a company director what was going on with the board, and he told me the directors had no idea what [company officers] Brooks and Ottinger were up to.
-Bob Wildrick; Blairsville, Ga.
I think it's an irony to have a company called "Ministries Investments." We should not mix church with business. The mighty invisible hand that moves the free market also tends to encourage greed.
-Alex Andreyev; Brooklyn, N.Y.
An exciting journey
I noticed in your last issue that WORLD promotes and supports adoption ("Challenges for the church," Aug. 15). My husband and I (currently without children) are just starting the process of adopting two babies from Ethiopia. We are very excited for this journey the Lord has us on.
-Rachel Nystrand; Monroe, Wash.
Rebecca Kelley ends her review of The Ugly Truth by suggesting that Apatow's movies are successful because, except for this one, they are coarse but also offer "profound insight" ("Ugly to the end," Aug. 15). May I suggest instead that he is successful because people find vulgar and crude sexual humor appealing, the consciences of so many people have been deadened to sin, and males and females alike are increasingly willing to accept pornography.
-Terry L. Brown; Billings, Mont.
Thanks for "Riding a surplus" (Aug. 15). Our local, state, and federal governments could experience surpluses if elected leaders established and lived within budget guidelines. I'm sending this article to my governor, Bev Perdue, in North Carolina.
-Jone Reid; Winston-Salem, N.C.
"Humanitarian surge" (Aug. 1) was stunning. What encouraging news in a sea of bad stuff! Gen. David Petraeus' "imperative" is brilliant. So much for the doomsday pronouncements of liberals on the future of Iraq. The operations on the little girl, the 30-year-old woman, and the blind man by the Provincial Reconstruction Teams show America cares.
-Bruce King; Hamilton, Mont.
The essential need
Sen. Jim DeMint ("The taxpayers' greatest ally," Aug. 1) underscores the essential need of our country, including those in Washington, to trust not just in "god" but in the God who revealed Himself in the Holy Bible. He is capable of blessing and punishing even superpowers.
-Robert J. Hughes; Monroe, N.C.
Sen. DeMint spoke about how the controversy over the display of the national motto in the Capitol Visitors Center is emblematic of the whittling away of religion in our nation's laws, economy, and culture. I agree. God, not government, is the giver of all rights and prosperity and freedom.
-Diana Cardwell; Blaine, Tenn.
Seeing Christ anew
I finally got to reading through the July 4 issue and was stunned by the review of The Stoning of Soraya M ("Movie with a message"). What a horrific betrayal she endured unto death. I turned to prayer and, realizing that God's Son had suffered so similar a death, saw my Savior anew.
-Eileen Schlaudt; Richmond, Va.
Not so equal
Mindy Belz's July 18 cover story, "Crackdown," included a full-page photo of Iranians marching in Tehran. Several marchers raised small signs that read "Honesty = Islam" (notably in English, not Farsi or Arabic). But the notion that Islam is honest is at odds with the Quranic concept of taqiyya, which Belz described as "sanctified hypocrisy" in the same issue ("Lie to me"). If Iran's fraudulent election is any indication, Muslim leaders apparently have no problem deceiving fellow Muslims. Islam couldn't be further from the truth of the gospel or from the One who is the way, the truth, and the life.
-Charles D. Eden; Atlanta, Ga.
Being WORLD subscribers living in East Africa, we're used to receiving our magazines a few weeks late. Thus, when we received two magazines recently, one dated in July and one in August, we were fairly impressed-until I noticed one was from July 26, 2008. Still, we found most of the articles to be interesting and even relevant. Thanks, WORLD, for helping us be better Christians and missionaries-no matter when the magazines arrive!
-Amy Medina; Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
The first researcher to argue that American Sign Language is its own language was William C. Stokoe Jr. ("Sounds of silence," Aug. 15, p. 57).
A chart on p. 38 ("Riding a surplus," Aug. 15) showed state tax collections, 1999-2009.
The first Jewish U.S. Senator was David Levy Yulee, elected in 1845 to represent Florida ("Innovation again," Aug. 15, p. 84).
Oklahoma Republican Sen. James Inhofe is 74 years old ("All in the family," Aug. 29, p. 30).