What I love about WORLD is your clear view of reality and lucid musing upon it. Your first issue of the new year (Jan. 2) has a tight weaving of alarm and regret all the way through. From Joel Belz's opening column ("Nation of skeptics") to Andrée Seu ("Fault lines") and Marvin Olasky ("Manhattan microcosm") in the back, the message could not be clearer: We Americans, as a nation and regardless of religious persuasion, have allowed ourselves to be snookered, big time.
-Bill Swenson; St. Louis, Mo.
What we need
What we need isn't the patch of an "American doctor" ("Nation of skeptics") but the grace of the omnipotent God. On another level, we need members of Congress with the intestinal fortitude to stand up to this president.
-Doris J. Stanford; Colorado Springs, Colo.
Gone, but not forgotten
So Oral Roberts died surrounded by family in "wealthy" Newport Beach, Calif. ("Departures," Jan. 2), and you also reminded us of his son's problems at ORU. With a hint of scandal, you sent away a man, imperfect like the rest of us, who brought inspiration and hope to millions.
-Dan Johnson; Allyn, Wash.
In "Departures" you mentioned Holly Coors but failed to mention Joseph Corbett Jr., who died Aug. 24 at age 80. On Feb. 9, 1960, Corbett murdered Coors executive and heir Adolph Coors III after a failed kidnap attempt near Golden, Colo. An escaped murderer from California, Corbett was the object of a massive manhunt before being captured in Canada in October 1960. Corbett served less than 20 years.
-Al Shumard; Greensboro, N.C.
I was surprised at the omission of Patrick McGoohan, who died on Jan. 13 at age 80. He was best known as the creator, producer, and actor in the TV cult classic The Prisoner. McGoohan, a Catholic, reportedly turned down the role of James Bond due to the immoral sexual habits of the character.
-Joe Morovich; Cleveland, Ohio
Although I enjoyed your recent "News of the Year" issue, I was disappointed not to see any mention of the Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins in "Champs" (Jan. 2). Why the omission? As a Pittsburgher I am biased, but the Penguins are solid role models who epitomize the word teamwork.
-Cheryl Swartz; Pittsburgh, Pa.
Regarding your comment that "fans and pundits have long stopped considering NBA basketball a team game," I believe that fans and pundits are beginning to realize that individual offensive play may win some games but defense, a team effort, wins championships-as the New York Yankees, Boston Celtics, and Los Angeles Lakers have known for decades. Kobe Bryant is a great player partly because he raised his teammates' level of play with his passing and emphasis on defense.
-Pete Andreas; Pella, Iowa
You described the ouster of Honduran President Manuel Zelaya, in which the military seized him and flew him out of the country at gunpoint, as "constitutional" ("Surprises," Jan. 2). There may be legitimate suspicions about Zelaya, but this does not legitimize the kidnapping of a sitting president by a faction of his government. Further, your account doesn't mention accounts of the new regime's brutal crackdown on peaceful protesters who supported the left-leaning president.
-Algernon D'Ammassa; Deming, N.M.
He can change
I am no great fan of President Obama and have great respect for Andrée Seu, but I take issue with her suggestion ("Fault lines," Jan. 2) that America's debt troubles and gradual slide toward socialism could have been forecast had the American people paid more attention to his past associations with people like Saul Alinsky. America has been sliding toward socialism for decades and Republican presidents and Congresses have done almost nothing to stop it-consider Social Security and Medicare. And I am disturbed that Mrs. Seu would apply the fable of the scorpion and the frog to any human being. Scripture teaches that a man can change and be changed, that he is free in some real sense as a divine image-bearer despite his sinful flesh. Obama's nature is not immutable, and no one should suggest otherwise.
-Corban A. Klug; Charlottesville, Va.
The mainstream press and anyone who just wanted "hope" and "change" never bothered to look at the pesky details surrounding Obama's relationships with known terrorists and people who simply don't like the United States. We are reaping the consequences of electing a man who is doing exactly what he believes and told us he would do.
-Norm Stobert; Grand Ledge, Mich.
Regarding "Your tax $$$" (Jan. 2), I am one of those "overpaid" federal workers. A comparison of the average pay of a federal worker with average private sector pay is a non-statistic. Federal workers tend to be highly educated and trained, while the private sector figure includes many people on the minimum wage end. Just now, after 26 years of federal employment, is my pay as a software engineer coming into line with my private sector counterpart.
-Bill Lugg; Calhan, Colo.
Examples of courage
I must mention an unintentional omission in "Oppressed" (Jan. 2). We were in Belarus in 2006, and Christians there are suffering heavily under government persecution. The secret police raid "questionable" gatherings of believers and harass pastors, and missionary activity has been crushed. In a country plagued with agony since the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, Christians are on the front line providing relief amidst a communist regime. They are examples of courage.
-April Billups; Belton, Texas
"Out of Egypt" (Jan. 2) is exceptionally good because we all share the same sin-sickness and slavery. Thank you for putting a new slant on the greatest Christmas message ever, a reminder that only the Incarnation can break us free from our voluntary bondage.
-Roger & Vicki Gorman; Gladstone, Ore.
I used to consider myself an environmentalist. I recycle, have a compost pile in the garden, and my garden is listed with the National Wildlife Federation as a wildlife refuge (no mean feat, since I live in a small city in a row house). But now I find that those who use that label tend to be arrogant, pushy, and self-righteous ("Eco-manifesto," Dec. 19). They also tend to be pantheistic, ascribing to nature things that belong to God. Some of their literature makes one wonder if they want the human race to collectively commit suicide to preserve the Earth.
-Dan LaRue; Lebanon, Pa.
Thanks for a ray of truth and common sense. We run a family cattle ranch in Eastern Oregon and are trying to survive against eco-terrorists who put fish, sage hens, salamanders, and wolves in the same nest as God. What Mindy Belz described is but a small microcosm of the mentality of the liberal mind.
-Rich Wilburn; Long Creek, Ore.
Not feeling safe
Lynn Vincent hits the nail on the head with "Homegrown terror" (Dec. 5). I read it again after the events of Flight 253. Let us proceed with full body scans and do what must be done: profile, profile, profile. As a frequent flyer for 50 years or more, I do not feel safe at all.
-Jack H. Titus; Marsing, Idaho
Amazed and inspired
I've been reading WORLD since I was 12, and every time a new issue arrives I think there is no way it could get better. But the Dec. 5 "Daniel of the Year" issue is now one of my favorites. From "Running free" to "Serving with Miss America," I was amazed by these inspiring articles.
-Virginia Keckler, 18; Gardners, Pa.
Pitcher Aroldis Chapman last month signed a six-year, $30 million deal with the Cincinnati Reds ("Sports," Jan. 16, p. 60).
Collin Wilcox-Paxton's TV roles included Mrs. O'Teale in the inspirational series Christy ("Departures," Jan. 2, p. 86).
Prince Caspian sails to the Lone Islands to discover what became of the seven lost lords ("Movies," Jan. 16, p. 53).