Jan. 12 I wept when reading your article about the shooting, then I prayed that God would use these senseless deaths as seeds for new life in Christ to grow in Newtown. Sometimes I think Christianity is such a bizarre faith, bringing life from death, but then I remember the wonderful, eternal life gained for us from Jesus’ death. What a glorious faith!
—Renee Pouchak, St. Anthony, Minn.
The nation will mostly forget in a few weeks, but the parents will never, never forget. They will not quickly process this grief and get back to normal living. Grief is draining, a most abnormal thing, and it’s deep and dark and bigger than us. The parents and families need our long-range prayers, friends with arms around them, and a listening ear. I know, for I lost a son five years ago.
—Rudy G. Hoggard, Marion, N.C.
I was dismayed to see the long list of shootings as it reminded me of so many other incidents, including one you didn’t mention in Chardon, Ohio, on Feb. 27, 2012. There one student shot at a group of students, killing three and wounding two more. We do forget, don’t we?
—Joan Booth, Cincinnati, Ohio
I was disheartened at your comment that Newtown is known as “spiritually dead.” Thousands of believers living in Newtown have been helping each other these past three weeks. When they were down, you kicked them.
—Robert Schipul, Cohasset, Mass.
Praise God when the purveyors of false religion show their empty hand as thoroughly as did the Episcopal priest in Newtown. Of what relevance is “Santa” to those who know their child died terrified at the hand of a madman? May God redeem this horrendous circumstance and give Christ to many in Newtown.
—Jennifer Eason, Huntsville, Ala.
You published a timeline of other shootings, but why does the list cover only those in which unarmed people are mass-murdered? We tend to ignore the frequent instances where proper use of a weapon saved people from further harm.
—Lynda Wang, Los Angeles, Calif.
Jan. 12 Regarding Marvin Olasky’s request for a new term for “compassionate conservatism,” “economic mainstreaming” comes to mind. We want poor people to join the economic mainstream so that they will become producers and taxpayers, adding to the wealth of our system rather than taking from it.
—John Cogan, Farmington, N.M.
We need to look locally to find solutions, whether that starts in the family or the community, so the key phrase is, “Solutions start at home.” Involvement and relationships build far more effective ladders out of a crisis than just another check from Washington. If we can name options other than a government check, people might start listening.
—Danielle Wilkie, Chattanooga, Tenn.
I submit a “Community Covenant” approach to effective poverty fighting. Community calls to mind stakeholders who are decentralized and local rather than centralized and national. The call to covenant is a call to walk together in promise and love. Those who received would, in turn, contribute back to the community, so the promise goes both ways.
—David Gehne, Racine, Wis.
WORLD has already coined an excellent term, “effective compassion,” but if our goal is a term that would appeal to secular audiences, I humbly suggest “strategic welfare.” The latter word would send a thrill up the leg of liberals, but we conservatives could smile, secretly knowing what the phrase really means.
—David Franklin, Lineville, Ala.
Jan. 12 The military is doing great things for the soldiers who suffered traumatic brain injuries and were not discharged, but not for those who were discharged and turned over to the Veterans Administration and the civilian medical system. These soldiers all fought for us and deserve the same care. We should all sacrifice willingly to pay for their care for as long as they live.
—Elizabeth Kerr, Ontario, Calif.
Since my son became a Marine, I have been unwilling to watch or read anything depicting the dangers they face. As suggested in the article, they may come back a different person.
—Leonor Lee, Alexandria, Va.
Great job. I know people who have some of the same symptoms from serious trauma. They do not want to admit that to recover they need to rest and sleep longer than in the past.
—Sondra Hampe, Portland, Ore.
Jan. 12 Some years ago I taught a Sunday school class on illegal immigration on the premise that “aliens” are simply people who want better for their families. Based on reactions from my class I must reluctantly agree that we are in trouble, and that evangelical Christians are no different from the rest of society when it comes to a biblical approach to immigration.
—Laura Marshall, Lewisberry, Pa.
To avoid the calamity to which this article refers Christians must develop a “singularly biblical approach” to all issues. Churches must hold themselves accountable and provide a role model of holding biblical standards of behavior while displaying love, hope, mercy, and grace. In this manner, Christians could attract both the young and immigrants.
—Craig Jacobson, Auburn, Calif.
Jan. 12 I cried as I finished reading this column. I cried for the Nigerian Christians, and because our government does not recognize Boko Haram as a terrorist group. I cried because of Pastor Mohamed Dan’Amoriya’s prayer, and because Western churches seem oblivious to the assault on Nigerian Christians and others in the world.
—J.D. Moyers, Centennial, Colo.
Jan. 12 My father would agree with Andrée Seu Peterson. He taught me that deceit leads to delight, delight to desire, desire to defeat—and defeat ends up in despair. The secret is to break the sequence early.
—Jim Schultz, Taylorville, Ill.
Jan. 12 Jamie Foxx says we can’t ignore that film violence does indeed have influence. But in December he joked on Saturday Night Live, regarding his role in Django Unchained, that he gets to “kill all the white people in the movie. How great is that?” So exactly what type of influence is Mr. Foxx trying to have?
—Denny Brownlee, Mt. Juliet, Tenn.
Dec. 29 After raising a family I am faced with searching for a career job because my husband is ill. I’ve been putting it off because I’m not sure what I’m qualified for at this “late date,” and good jobs seem scarce. At times, I get excited about my future and how God will work it out, but I guess I’m also a little scared. I know God will be faithful, but I really needed that encouragement.
—Sue Mercer, Anderson, Ind.
The photo on p. 33 is of Elise Smith’s son and daughter-in-law (“40 years and millions of lives,” Jan. 26).
Bougainville, Papua New Guinea
Submitted by Kim Blewett
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