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Mailbag

Letters from our readers

Issue: "Coming to America," April 6, 2013

‘Loaded questions’

Feb. 23 I agree that little in legislation so far proposed would stop the kind of violence that happened at Sandy Hook. “Gun-free” zones contribute to that kind, and it is not at all clear that the mental health data will be available for effective gun control.
—C. Gabbard, Maineville, Ohio

‘Running scared’

Feb. 23 As a Christian adult female and an avid video gamer, I agree that insular behavior and victim complexes aren’t terribly uncommon and some games are gratuitously violent. But most are not, and in blaming video games for this tragedy a frightened society is giving a wonderful industry a black eye.
—Jessica Davis, Knoxville, Tenn.

‘Where “little lies” lead’

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Feb. 23 I largely agree with Joel Belz but would take it a step further. The Apostle Paul warns that a time will come when the ungodly, wanting their ears “tickled,” will “turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.” Our society does not just tolerate lies; many prefer falsehood. Naturally this desire in the individual heart spills over into every aspect of our lives, including the government.
—Dale Shattuck, Lansing, Mich.

Some time ago my son and I were discussing how lying is accepted in our culture, and it reminded me of Isaiah 59, where the prophet warns that “justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter.”
—Edith Nedrow, Otis Orchards, Wash.

When you pronounce a plague on both their houses (Republican and Democratic), it suggests that you don’t perceive the difference between the authoritarian, dissembling left and the irresolute, stumbling right in national politics. The tactics of the left have come to resemble those of despots.
—David Hillquist, Arcadia, Mo.

‘The cavalry is not coming’

Feb. 23  I appreciate Kay Coles James’ work but am a bit baffled. Is she saying that the black community will vote for Obama even if his policies hurt them, harm others, or destroy this country? How sad.
—Bobbie Keith, Garland, Texas

Is James suggesting that the only response Republicans need is to offer candidates of color? Would Herman Cain have done better than 30 percent among blacks against Obama? My point is that it’s not just color; it’s policy. And am I the only one who sees the ugly irony of our first black president, who belonged to a racist church, being inaugurated on MLK day? We face a spiritual crisis, not a political one.
—Gabe Haugland, Clear Lake, Iowa

I hear in this interview James’ frustration with “color blindness,” as MLK described it, in that it fails to appreciate the history and differing experience of African-Americans and ignores the covert racism that still abounds. But I and many sincere white Christians who reject the racism of the past would welcome suggestions for what we can do to fulfill Dr. King’s ideal.
—James R. Vestigo, Damascus, Ore.

‘Seeking and saving the lost’

Feb. 23 Another great column. What struck me about that Muslim missionary’s strategy was the phrase, “develop a lifestyle of caring relationships.” That’s the difference between real Christianity, built on a relationship with Jesus, and a Christianity built on worldly techniques.
—Wayne A. Bley, Fort Belvoir, Va.

Christianity is not expanding in America because we convince ourselves that we have it all together. Of course, we do not. This column called me to pray for the expansion of the gospel in my life at home, and not just overseas.
—Michelle Case, Dallas, Texas

So many of our churches reflect “branding” and centralizing control—the opposite of the missionary you described. It reminds me of a sociological theory: McDonaldization.
—Sven Trenholm, Loughborough, U.K.

‘The existential life’

Feb. 23 As a natural planner, I have never handled spontaneity very well. However, this column makes me want to be more attentive in following the simple leading of the Spirit.
—Jalee Gill, Richardson, Texas

Thank you for expressing these timeless truths so clearly that I grasped the possibility of actually living in the moment. And, finally, an explanation for “Jesus’ most baffling behaviors.”
—Heidi Goerl, Appleton, Wis.

‘Mixing the military’

Feb. 23 Putting women in combat is an unwise policy. It is not a question of equal opportunity to serve; women don’t have an equal opportunity to survive. Also, the physical inability to carry wounded male soldiers off the battlefield will cost lives. The feminist response is to lower the standards, but war is life and death: If we “gender norm,” we lose.
—Adele Weeks, Racine, Wis.

‘Early maturity’

Feb. 23 I loved what Robert Walter said about how having children matures you. When we started having children a few years ago, my husband decided to stop being, as he said, a “man-child” and take responsibility for his family. So many don’t allow their children to spur them on to maturity, but God was the outside cause that made the difference in our lives.
—Mollie Patterson, Ammon, Idaho

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