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Letters from our readers

Issue: "Profiles in effective compassion," April 24, 2010

Thousands and thousands

I read the article about Adm. Zeimer ("Survivor," March 13) with great interest. My father, a medical researcher who served in the Navy doing malaria control in the Pacific during World War II, used to say that banning DDT was costing thousands and thousands of lives. It is a shame that people slant the truth when they are trying to get their way.
-Tom Howell; Sherman, Texas

As an owner of a pest management company that does mosquito control, I can speak first hand to the dangers we face from environmentalists invoking the precautionary principle. The banning of DDT and the refusal of environmentalists and lawmakers to right their wrong is just one of many examples of the danger of allowing emotions, make believe, and junk science to rule the day. Where is the outrage?
-Chuck Russell; Brighton, Mich.

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Thank you for "Survivor." Malaria hit me hard six different times while I was in Indonesia and I can attest to the effects it has on people. It is a scourge of huge proportions in Africa and Asia. Thank the Lord for people like Adm. Ziemer who are in this dynamic fight using DDT.
-Daniel Mitchell; Los Angeles, Calif.

Defining ourselves

Andrée Seu spoke a beautiful truth in "What's in a name?" (March 13). The question of which doctrinal camp membership one aligns with needs to be second to obedience, for as James notes, "What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such a faith save him?"
-M. Myers; Nixa, Mo.

Thank you for saying something we've long been waiting for someone to have the guts to say, and articulating it so well.
-J.D. Teichroew; Mora, Minn.

We do have to avoid a party spirit, but true unity comes from being good Bereans and in humility dealing with the substance of what separates us, not just in dropping labels. Simply saying, "I am of Christ" may sound pious, but it fails to deal with the substance of anything.
-Jason Wallace; Salt Lake City, Utah

Caring deeply

As the mother of an incoming freshman at Wheaton College who has wondered if the college truly was holding to its biblical moorings, I was very pleased to hear of Dr. Ryken's appointment as president ("Nothing matters more," March 13). Thank you for caring deeply about Christian higher education.
-Julia Sharma; Minnetonka Beach, Minn.

It's good news that Ryken is out of Westminster Seminary and was senior pastor at the famous Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia. But he's got his work cut out for him.
-Gary Livingston; Milan, Ohio

Real pacifism

"Plea from the past" (March 13) calls Christian pacifists "religious leftists" under the "cherished doctrine of liberal Christianity." It describes the failure of German religious leaders to stop Hitler as proof pacifists are ineffective, but what of the thousands of German pastors, priests, and laypeople who were tortured and killed because they continued to preach Jesus Christ? Jesus did not appease the powers of the world; He conquered them by dying on the cross, the symbol of our victory over the violent systems of the world.
-Chris Hertzog; Bakersfield, Calif.

Are we to be overthrowing governments that do not share our faith or values? As a missionary who has worked in the Middle East, I believe we must stop meddling in the affairs of other nations, costing lives and dollars. That is not pacifism; it is common sense and sound theology.
-James Loos; Williamsville, N.Y.

A destructive animal

SeaWorld just doesn't seem to get it ("Three strikes," March 13). Killing a destructive animal (or a whale) is in keeping with God's commands. Exodus 21 says that if a bull gores someone to death, the bull must be stoned but the owner isn't responsible. But if the owner doesn't take precautions and it happens again, "the bull must be stoned and the owner must also be put to death."
-Norman De Jong; Fremont, Mich.

I enjoy your magazine but have a problem with "Three strikes." In writing that we shouldn't "expect Tilikum to pay for his crime(s)" and, "killers like Tilikum," you seem to make the killer whale into a criminal. My sympathy goes out to the friends and family of the trainer who was killed, but we should learn from this instead of killing an animal that didn't know any better than to act according to its nature.
-Rebecca Brooks; Abilene, Texas

A healthy response

Although my only knowledge of Olympic snowboarder Lindsey Jacobellis comes from reading "Boarded up" (March 13), it seems presumptuous to read her less-than-heartbroken comments to the press as a "false front of nonchalance" and an "unwillingness to show her humanity." Might these remarks be the healthy response of someone unwilling to buy into our collective worship of performance and who regards snowboarding as something she does, not the sum of who she is?
-Stan Haegert; Muskegon, Mich.


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