Jan. 25 The cover image of little Vena is just captivating! She seems to be saying, “Didn’t you know that I was made in the image of God Almighty, my Father in heaven? I am so glad to be alive!” Thank you for all the encouraging articles in this issue, especially “Radiating truth.” There are no “necessary” abortions. It is always a choice, an evil choice.
—Ritva Menbere, Elkhart, Ind.
Jan. 25 Reading about Ryan, Bethany, and all the Bombergers was such an encouragement. I catch myself smiling every time I think about them. Such people in this tired old world remind us that, to paraphrase Carl Sandburg, a baby is God’s opinion that life should go on.
—Jayne Neal, Tijeras, N.M.
Jan. 25 Back in 1990 I realized that I could not remain quiet. Pastoring a small church near four abortion clinics, I did not want to have to tell my then-small children some day that I did nothing for the unborn. My life has been enriched by working on the sidewalk alongside others committed to a quiet, legal, compassionate approach. Nowhere else in five minutes could I engage with people I would never normally speak to about the most painful and important issue facing them.
—Gary D. Starbuck, Memphis, Tenn.
Kudos for a masterful article on “Still-silent shepherds.” I would add that “the fear of man” and the desire not to be viewed as “uncool” are far stronger when the issue is same-sex marriage.
—Gary Brown, Edmond, Okla.
I was born on the day Roe v. Wade was decided, so the issue is very dear to my heart. I agree that too many churches avoid the topic out of fear or the assumption that church members already believe the right thing. These articles were a great encouragement to me to continue the fight.
—David Thorin, Greeley, Colo.
Abortion supporters treat pregnancy as if it is a disease that can’t be avoided, or just a card that’s been dealt to us. Is abstinence impossible? Between abortion, euthanasia, homosexual marriage, and easy divorce, we have become a society where human life is expendable and commitment is a myth. We have a sick society.
—George Nettleton, Willow Street, Pa.
Jan. 25 I first met pro-life legislator Tony Lauinger years ago in Tulsa. He and his wife Phyllis are humble and dedicated advocates for life. I am pleased to know of his successful efforts on behalf of the unborn.
—Dan Marshall, Monroe, N.C.
Jan. 25 We had a beautiful weeping willow in our backyard where we had graduation and birthday parties, swung the grandchildren, and so on. Like Mindy Belz’s big white oak, down it went. We all cried.
—Nancy Taylor, Andrews, N.C.
In June 2013 straight-line winds descended on my property, dropping a dozen trees and hanging up another three or so. God knew when He planted these trees on this spot how tall they would be, their width, their age, and their end, as well as the fact that their fall would cause the loss of my left hand and leg. He also gave me faith that because He is in control a “charted” season awaits me.
—Jerry Gibree, Roswell, Ga.
I have been drawn to trees all my life and mourned with Mindy Belz the loss of a magnificent organism (white oak, or Quercus alba) that spanned many human generations. Wherever I go I plant trees because each is a tangible opportunity to give to future generations.
—George A. Damoff, Farmers Branch, Texas
Jan. 25 Thank you for expressing so well the sentiments of those so appalled by the amoral complacency of our current administration. I’m disappointed that Congress has failed to stand up against this executive tyrant.
—Kimon Nicolaides III, Honolulu, Hawaii
Joel Belz observed that he has yet to find anyone his age who “remembers watching public trust being devastated the way it has been in recent months.” I have one word for him: Watergate.
—Michael D. Swain, Niceville, Fla.
This column made some good points, but the statement that the 2012 elections were between “mutually exclusive views of government” is curious. What I remember from the Obama-Romney contrast is still being said of their political parties: Their views overlap far too much. Romney appeared to be a step in the wrong direction, although Obama was many more wrong steps.
—Phil Wade, Ringgold, Ga.
Jan. 25 Regarding your brief on the death of Alicia Rhett as the last living “notable” cast member from Gone with the Wind, I would point out that Olivia de Havilland, who was nominated for an Oscar for her portrayal of southern belle Melanie Wilkes, is alive and kicking at 97.
—John W. Kennedy, Springfield, Mo.
We all got a kick out of the dog translation device. If our dog Oscar had to wear that he’d be saying, “What is this?! What are those people trying to do to me now? It’s just like those stupid antlers at Christmas! Get it off!”
—The Perkins Family, Hettinger, N.D.
Jan. 25 The DEA and the ATF aren’t the only ones recruiting spies and then hanging them out to dry. Our local paper, The Gazette, reported last month that an Air Force agency did the same thing to a small number of cadets in the Air Force Academy it recruited to spy on classmates. They were ordered to break rules and lie if necessary to keep their cover. The agency promised to protect them if they were caught, but it reneged and at least one of these recruits was expelled last year just weeks before graduation.
—Doris Stanford, Colorado Springs, Colo.
Jan. 25 Thanks for injecting some much-needed balance and history into the discussion of “Palestine.”
—Clarence Grafton, Lynch Station, Va.
Without disagreeing with Andrée Seu Peterson’s conclusions about the Impact: Holy Land conference, I was struck by her claim “that ‘Palestinian’ is not an ethnicity at all but a cobbled invention describing” people of various extractions. Rather like “American,” is it not? Both refer to national identities, which are human inventions but still very real.
—Daniel Zimmerman, East Earl, Pa.
Jan. 25 The Mormon church removed its ban of blacks from its temples 35 years ago but continues to ban Christian parents (and others who have not “received their endowment”) from the weddings of their Mormon children. When will it acknowledge this family-damaging prophetic error and reverse it?
—Bob Tozier, Fairfax, Va.
Jan. 11 I have been a monthly supporter of the American Bible Society for years, but after reading the exposé of extravagant and careless spending and the firing of Douglas Birdsall, I am regretfully withdrawing my support.
—Nancy Hull Ngele, Carson City, Mich.
Texas prisoner James Zarychta is eligible for parole in March 2028 (“Dead seriousness,” Oct. 19, 2013, p. 41).
T’s involuntary treatment led to her being escorted to the hospital by police, not arrested (“Broken minds, broken lives,” Feb. 22, 2014, p. 52).
Submitted by Rod Clemmer
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