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Mailbag

Letters from our readers

Issue: "Agony and ecstasy," April 7, 2012

"Primary concerns"

(Feb. 25) Thank you for your affirmation of the importance of primary care medicine. In Ohio only one in 20 medical school graduates is entering the field. Earnings won't cover their massive debts and family doctors are drowning in unpaid administrative work. But after 28 years in family medicine I consider myself blessed beyond measure. Just when you feel at your lowest, an 85-year-old patient will hug you and tell you how much you mean to them-except that it's the other way around!
Kristofer Sandlund; Zanesville, Ohio

This article was a thinly veiled attack on the Affordable Care Act. The act has at least five initiatives that promote primary care; change for the better is coming. Also, one of your sources criticizes the act as creating many "underinsured" people on Medicaid and in the subsidized state exchanges, but that will be better than what those people have now.
Dean C. Coddington; Littleton, Colo.

"Unhealthy decision?"

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(Feb. 25) It is tempting to label advice to roll back screening as "rationing" or government meddling, but there are many examples of medical practices that are marginally helpful or even harmful. PSA screening seems intuitive but has no clear benefits and can lead to many clear harms (perioperative deaths, impotence, and incontinence). Not doing what doesn't work is ethical, not frightening.
Terry S. Ruhl; Altoona, Pa.

"The battle for accurate Bible translation in Asia"

(Feb. 25) Thanks for the article on translation issues in the Muslim world and for bringing in the voices of converts from Islam, who worried that they will be the ones "sweeping up all [the translators'] mistakes." Indeed. I am very encouraged that these brethren are shining very brightly in a dark place.
Jason Rosas; Creighton, Neb.

Although calling Jesus the Son of God may be an obstacle for unbelieving Muslims, it is certainly no more of an obstacle than Jesus telling the Jews that "unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you." That was "culturally insensitive" to a people with very strict dietary requirements.
Caleb Gardner; Kansas City, Mo.

I was very disappointed in WORLD's take on this. If a literal translation of "Son of God" communicates to Muslims that Jesus is God's illegitimate child, is this really an accurate translation? If Muslims stumble over Jesus Christ because of a true understanding of the Trinity, so be it. But it is a shame if they stumble because of a twisted understanding of this biblical concept.
Daniel Fada; Seattle, Wash.

There was a time when I sincerely believed that if we could make the message clear enough, without the hindrances of unclear translations, everyone would respond with real faith in Jesus. But that is simply not the case. Remember, the Word "came unto His own and His own received Him not," not because of a lack of clarity but because of the hardness of men's hearts.
Phil McIntosh; Strathmore, Calif.

"Living on SNAP"

(Feb. 25) We already are living on $2 per meal per person and eating a bit healthier. I prepare everything from scratch-even macaroni and cheese-and try to "shop the edges of the store." I buy meat on sale, but avoid food that's less than fresh: no Little Debbies, donuts, or nasty Hamburger Helper. Free school breakfast programs prepare millions for a life of unnecessary dependency, but families should eat together. A nation is only as strong as its families.
Beth McMichen; Meansville, Ga.

Marvin Olasky wrote that because SNAP households often use the extra income for non-food items, many "weren't hugely needy." But food is not the only thing that needy people need. Many people struggle to pay all their bills and food, for obvious reasons, is the last thing that people stop paying for. But I wholeheartedly agree that those who really want to help people with their food needs should support food banks.
Debbie Prout; Levering, Mich.

"Advantage America"

(Feb. 25) I've been thinking a lot about the plummeting fertility rate and how children are God's most unpopular blessing. With our current fertility rate of 1.2 here in South Korea, a whole generation is growing up without the love of siblings, aunts, uncles, or cousins. Young couples struggle to support two sets of aging parents. As parents demand the very best of their one or two children, academic pressure and workplace competition has led to an epidemic of depression and suicide. South Korea is just one example of how the "wisdom" of the world yields short-term material benefits, followed by long-term social devastation.
Anna Brinkman; Ilsan, South Korea

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