A strong witness
Prof. Robert Koons is to be commended for his tireless Christian approach to the conflicts surrounding the Western Civilization and American Institutions program at the University of Texas ("The purge," Sept. 12). His willingness to engage his detractors without malice, revenge, or invective has been an outstanding witness to me. This article also showed how the liberal establishment will stop at nothing to ward off any threat that would expose the "uncurriculum" that is rampant in institutions of higher learning.
-Joseph M. Gates; Mt. Prospect, Ill.
As a parent of a high-school senior beginning the college application process, I was particularly interested in and saddened by "the purge." I wonder whether Christian colleges are also reducing the requirements for a liberal arts degree and deemphasizing the study of Western thought. And will there be any Christian professors left at non-Christian colleges and universities?
-Julia Sharma; Minnetonka Beach, Minn.
I have to admit unease as I was reading your article. As a doctoral student in communication studies at a secular university, I have found wholehearted support for my intention to research communication from an evangelical Christian perspective. Most of my college professors have been open to differing worldviews, including the Christian worldview, if they could be defended in an intelligent manner.
-Christy Mesaros-Winckles; Holland, Ohio
University and college donors must look at how our schools from kindergarten through college are molding young minds in their image. We should all funnel our dollars to institutions that do not discriminate against the Christian influence on our history, literature, and thought processes.
-Beverly Roe; Hamilton, Ohio
This "uncurriculum" is troubling. If one only wants to sample a wide variety of topics, the library is cheaper. And the point is well made that our system has come to serve the faculty rather than the students. Could this have something to do with the escalating cost of education?
-Judith Weber; Houston, Texas
Alisa Harris really captured the homeschool outlook on many life experiences, like not having an ear for Michael Jackson ("Confessions of a homeschool pioneer," Sept. 12). I too have had to make the split-second call of whether to explain the whole homeschooling gig or just try to pass myself off as a public-schooler. It can work until they ask which teachers you have.
-C. Clark; Bedford, Pa.
The author is envious that her "younger siblings now have dozens of homeschool friends with the usual dramas of dating and not dating and dumping and dances and gossip." This is a good thing? For most Christian homeschool families, certain "gaps in a student's social and cultural education" are desirable, not evidence of some mishandled experiment that leaves children socially inept.
-Leigh Ann Pierce; Elizabethtown, Ky.
I took offense at Harris describing what I did last week to my 5-year-old boy as dumping him with "other 5-year-olds who might bite him or pilfer his toys or shatter his fragile 5-year-old self-esteem." I consider public school to be preparation for my son to become a functional member of society by teaching him what it means to be in a community with people who are not exactly like him, but have value as God's creation.
-Jennifer Jones; Huntsville, Texas
Out of options
Thank you for "How then shall we educate?" (Sept. 12). We were committed to sending our children to private Christian schools until high school, but at least three Christian schools have closed in our area recently. We ran out of options, so our son started public middle school this year. It has many wonderful Christian teachers, which provides some comfort. I wish we had vouchers in our state.
-Kimberly Chastain; Liberty, S.C.
I grew up in church, went to a Christian school, and then was homeschooled. Momma always said college was going to be a culture shock for me. It is. I have just finished my second week at the University of Louisville and "Sense and sensibility" (Sept. 12) is dead on. There is pressure to accept everyone, however "diverse" they may be, and in my philosophy class students are pressured to think outside their traditions, habits, and religion.
-Joshua Tucker; Shepherdsville, Ky.
What'll it take?
Regarding "Rest stop reminder" (Sept. 12): Great column! The men in our church here in rural Michigan have also been wondering why we give government so much power. And we're getting a little concerned with the amount of debt and waste. What's it going to take to wake American citizens up to the fact that government is not the candy man?
-Todd Voshell; Grand Rapids, Mich.
When the cash spigot is turned off, governments tend to cut services in ways that will most adversely affect us, such as road repair or rest stops, but continue to fund "necessities" like million-dollar turtle tunnels. The solution is simple: Let somebody build a fast-food business nearby and let him take care of the grounds.
-Larry Mills; Sherwood, Ark.
As one of those blind merchants enjoying a "monopoly" on servicing rest stops, I feel obligated to mention that this is part of the federal government's 1930s-era Randolph-Sheppard program. It is designed to help employ blind adults, whose unemployment rate is over 70 percent. In many states we do not have a monopoly, and we compete with large corporations-every gas station and truck stop on the interstate-and sometimes we have to compete in the courts to take advantage of the law.
-Chris Hollingsworth; Indianapolis, Ind.
Much more complex
Regarding "Victim of a bad economy or a house of cards?" (Aug. 15): [Former Cornerstone Ministries Investments President Cecil] Brooks and I were never in a position to "unilaterally" change the lending policies of Cornerstone. All loans were approved by Cornerstone's board of directors in accordance with the terms of the prospectus; Mr. Brooks and I served on the Board but recused ourselves from the voting process. The events that followed our retirement were disheartening, discouraging, and in some cases tragic. I regret what took place after my departure from Cornerstone, but the events that led to Cornerstone filing a bankruptcy action are much more numerous and complex than the business history you described.
-John T. Ottinger Jr.; Atlanta, Ga.
For this time
Thank you for "Don't head for the hills" (Sept. 12). Of those who would recommend running to survive, I would ask, why does God have them here, now? Does Esther 4:14 ("Who knows whether you are come to the kingdom for such a time as this?") only apply to opportunities for fame and fortune? If all the Christians had fled China during the Communist oppression, what would the church in China look like now?
-Nathan Snell; Lancaster, Pa.
A young member of the ELCA warned ("Lutheran leap," Sept. 12) that "young people find it hypocritical to bar gays from entering into loving relationships"? It is hypocritical to teach obedience to God's Word but then say, "This is an exception where it is more loving to ignore God's rule."
-John Cogan; Farmington, N.M.
In "One large misstep" (Aug. 29), Janie Cheaney stated that NASA's Apollo program was a "humanist endeavor done for the glory of man not God." NASA as an institution may be in general humanist, but there are many, many Christ-followers within NASA and its contractors who see their work as God's calling and an expression of the God-given desire to explore.
-Lanette Holland; Houston, Texas
When I read "A grief conserved" (Aug. 15), highlighting perinatal hospice, I reflected back four years ago when I could have used such support. While early in pregnancy with my fourth child, he was diagnosed with a severe birth defect. I was told to consider abortion. But doctors can be wrong, and I have living proof of the healing that God provides in my 3-year-old son.
-Kathleen Brickley; Houston, Texas
World Vision's annual revenue is $1.1 billion ("Aid dependents," Sept. 26, p. 74).