Oct. 6 You began by describing how high school teachers explain DNA, but in my biology class in 1960 Watson and Crick’s seminal discovery was not part of the curriculum. All I remember is not understanding why my teacher insisted that water is a food. Since then my frustration with biological terms has continued, so thanks for helping me understand the concept of DNA switches a little better.
—John Monroe, Carrollton, Texas
Thank you for the fascinating article on ENCODE research. We will never know everything about any aspect of our universe, but let’s keep searching and so continue to fulfill the creation mandate.
—Milton Werkema, Bloomington, Minn.
As we learn more about the switches in our DNA (and that of plants), and begin to manipulate them to cure various diseases and conditions, do we know whether that will have other long-range effects we can’t control? While we’re interested in what makes us tick and how He designed creation, we need to be careful not to really mess up.
—George Nettleton, Willow Street, Pa.
Well done. Obviously God would utilize 100 percent of the genome sequence. Our DNA codes and switches must control a staggering number of biological processes, from egg fertilization and implantation all the way to the triggers that govern our aging and planned body failure in death.
—Carl Nichols, Bozeman, Mont.
Oct. 6 As a Christian, homeschooling physician, I thank you for this story on homeschoolers’ attitudes toward immunization. There is an unreasonable mistrust in the Christian community about a practice that has radically reduced our risk of smallpox, polio, and many other diseases. However, public health recommendations regarding Hepatitis B and HPV virus are seriously at variance with widely held Christian attitudes about sexuality. I would plead for a nuanced approach to this subject, but what I often see is more heat and rudeness than light.
—Jim Pollock, Monroe, Wis.
Are homeschoolers really taking unnecessary risks by delaying vaccinations? As a physician, I wonder, are they instead protecting their children from long-term, unfavorable consequences of vaccines while alerting our communities to significant concerns about vaccine safety, efficacy, and universal necessity?
—Philip Ranheim, Lake Stevens, Wash.
This article was obviously biased in favor of vaccines. Shouldn’t parents decide what they are willing to inject into their children? Shouldn’t parents decide whether to take the risk of not vaccinating?
—Erika Banning Steip, Cadiz, Ky.
As an OB/GYN, I will continue to advise my patients to follow the advice of the CDC regarding vaccines, including the HPV vaccine. Even if a young woman remains sexually pure, she may marry a spouse who did not. It is not a license for promiscuity, for the HPV vaccine does not prevent pregnancy, HIV, herpes, or any other sexually transmitted disease.
—Kerri Brackney, Middletown, Pa.
As a Christian and a scientist I am proud to have vaccines tested on me for safety and efficacy. I assure anyone who asks me that the CDC guidelines are based on a solid foundation of facts.
—Jason Kaelber, Houston, Texas
Oct. 6 Thank you for the sidebar about African-American pastors at the Democratic Convention. “I’m not working for Mitt Romney!” is a pretty succinct summary of what that community is saying. This doesn’t surprise me, given the Mormons’ history with race.
—Penny O’Connor, Gilford, N.H.
Oct. 6 The producers of the new show Revolution hold religion in contempt. In one funeral scene from the second episode, the leader of the evil militia recites the 23rd Psalm, while the protagonists apparently have no faith of any kind. Message: It’s the “bad guys” who believe. We see the same message elsewhere in our culture. We have much work to do.
—John R. Kerr, Jacksonville, N.C.
Oct. 6 Federal lawmakers collect $163.54 an hour, “to say nothing of the generous benefits,” and all these politicians expect me to believe that they know how difficult it is for the middle class to make ends meet?
—Nelson Banuchi, Concord, N.C.
Oct. 6 Those who advocate for abortion rights but denounce sex-selective abortions are logically inconsistent. If a fetus is a human being, then abortion of either male or female unborn children should be forbidden. If not, then abortion should be allowable for any reason, including sex selection. Their consciences tell them that there is something deeply wicked about sex-selective abortions, but their unbiblical worldview can’t tell them why that is.
—David White, Mebane, N.C.
Oct. 6 Andrew Peterson is at the front of a quiet revival of acoustic artistry and lyrical depth heard only rarely since Rich Mullins. Light for the Lost Boy is an album of rare creative beauty and insight into Christian hope.
—Clay Clarkson, Monument, Colo.
Oct. 6 I thoroughly enjoyed your article on Arizona Dranes and plan to get the book to learn more about this pioneer of gospel music. But I was a little disappointed in the slam on Pentecostalism. I can understand having a difference of opinion, but to call our interpretation of Acts 2 “deficient” is over the top.
—Bob Conti, Agawam, Mass.
Sept. 8 For the last few decades, government has been assigning group rights based on ethnic heritage, age, sex, etc. It’s no surprise, therefore, that the government may now exercise passive or active euthanasia on some of the same bases.
—Dan Hobbs, Sparta, Mich.
Sept. 8 Janie B. Cheaney’s insights into the popularity of Fifty Shades of Grey were penetrating. Perhaps there has never been a time when the God-given roles of men and women have been so blurred and confused.
—John McMurray, Kingsport, Tenn.
A true husband loves, cherishes, and nurtures his wife as Christ loves the Church. But such love is uncommon in our culture and so women drift to men who hurt them physically, emotionally, and sexually. Women need not seek fulfillment in such books. We must find our identity in Christ alone.
—Carise Cruz, Tampa, Fla.
Sept. 8 Exhorting readers steeped in postmodern culture to be “open” to whatever they deem God’s Word to mean is as needful as sending an alcoholic to a bar. Both childlike faith and right divisions of the Word are necessary if we are to behold God’s image rather than our own.
—E. Ayres, Louisville, Ky.
The children accompanying pro-life activists at the Democratic National Convention did not speak through a megaphone. Only one activist declared: “Unless you repent, you will be cast into hell” (“Social convention,” Oct. 6, p. 40).
The first presidential debate between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama was at the University of Denver (Looking Ahead, Oct. 6, p. 7).
The heroine of Snow White and the Huntsman is Kristen Stewart (“Snow White and the Huntsman,” Oct. 6, p. 25).
Bob Dylan’s lyrics in “Tempest,” on his new album of the same name, include the line, “I’m sworn to uphold the laws of God” (Notable CDs, Oct. 6, p. 31).
The centurion in Matthew 8 asked Jesus to heal his servant (“Powerful inferences,” Sept. 22, p. 95).
Florida, in Camagüey Province, Cuba
Submitted by Marilyn Reed
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