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Mailbag

Letters from our readers

Issue: "Blurred Vision," April 5, 2014

‘Broken minds, broken lives’

Feb. 22  Our son suffers with schizophrenia. Shocked and broken, we got information and then we asked (and sometimes still ask) the hard questions: Where is God? Where is the church? Where is my casserole? I lost the son I knew and now have a son who thinks and behaves very differently. Our whole family is learning to love the unlovely, and churches need to learn how to reach these people and their families.
—Lori Wood, Derri, N.H.

As a licensed therapist, I believe that the deinstitutionalization of the mentally ill was one of this country’s worst decisions. Chronic, severely mentally ill people end up in jail or homeless. I don’t understand how that is compassionate. Thanks for speaking boldly and truthfully about the state of mental illness in this country.
—Kimberly M. Chastain, Easley, S.C.

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As parents of a son who has had schizophrenia for 10 years, we can relate to these parents. The strain is incredible. Parents need the support of churches, but some are reluctant to seek help because they worry that people won’t understand. Christians have even told me that they believed that our son’s schizophrenia was caused by spiritual problems.
—Kim Siebert, Arlington, Wash.

‘Upside-down Golden Rule’

Feb. 22  Joel Belz could have told his employees that he would pay minimum wage, but added that if they proved over the next few months to be more valuable than that he would give them a raise. For those working to show their worth, that would have been a learning moment and an encouragement.
—Russ Frisinger, Divide, Colo.

I agree with Belz, and would add that the major problem with the minimum wage is that it interferes with free markets. Stipulating a minimum wage that exceeds the true market price of labor is a fool’s errand and leads to all sorts of adverse consequences. If a minimum wage is a good thing, why not make it $100/hour?
—Jeff Mumma, Marlton, N.J.

Demonstrators calling for McDonald’s to pay $15 per hour say those workers don’t earn “a living wage.” That’s right. Those jobs are entry-level positions that help people establish a work history. Workers aren’t supposed to stay in those jobs.
—Peter G. Malone, St. Charles, Ill.

‘Reasonable fears’

Feb. 22  As a psychologist, I love Marvin Olasky’s subtle dig at my profession for making everything a treatable irrational fear, but mostly I appreciate how he pointed out the growing intolerance and tyranny of the homosexual lobby. Also fascinating was the parallel between Islamofascism and the gay lobby.   
—Jeffrey C. Danco, Bridgewater, N.J.

I have heard many people say, “I have claustrophobia,” but have never heard anyone say, “I have homophobia.” It is not a psychological diagnosis but a pejorative that gay-rights supporters use against opponents.
—Bruce J. Lindbloom, Eden Prairie, Minn.

‘The quiche test’

Feb. 22  Bravo! By God’s grace, I too in my marriage seek to respond more by the Spirit than the flesh. May God bless us with His enablement to persevere.
—Sandy Parker, Hood River, Ore.

‘Foolish defiance’

Feb. 22  Janie Cheaney gets it right: We have too much of everything, including technology, debauchery, and leisure time. We have too much insulation from nature and from manual work, along with too much government (which insulates us from the consequences of unmarried childbearing) and easy credit (which insulates us from the real cost of things). We really have become alienated from what it means to be human.
—Linda Ames Nicolosi, Encino, Calif.

The tension between smelt survival and human agriculture is a tough situation, and it calls for creative solutions, not a simple either/or position. Certainly some environmentalists deny human exceptionalism and hold bizarre positions, but Christians should be at the forefront of the stewardship movement. The best response to environmentalist overreach is not retrenchment, but a thoughtful presentation of a more Christian vision.
—Jeffrey Bilbro, Jackson, Mich.

‘Red state risk?’

Feb. 22  Thank you for your analysis of the study noting higher divorce rates in areas with higher concentrations of evangelicals. Of course, correlation does not equal causation. But one factor might be that, in conservative evangelical communities that encourage marriage, couples that attend church only at Christmas and Easter fold to the social pressure that gets them to the altar, but then lack the covenant community that keeps them from divorce court.
—Jared Bakker, St. Charles, Ill.

Dispatches

Feb. 22  You misattributed the cause of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s early demise. Although possibly one could die from a “heroine” overdose, I think it was “heroin” in this case.
—Amanda Miller, Hutchinson, Kan.

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