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Right in line

Like Marvin Olasky, I too became a Christian while pursuing a higher education ("Marriage month," June 8). I am married to a wonderful Christian man and we also have four children (who stand in line with us to read this magazine each week), and we too will celebrate our 25th anniversary this summer. Thank you Mr. Olasky, Joel Belz, Andree Seu, and the many others who help us see God's grace through your WORLD view. - Liza Hopper, Princeton, W.Va.

I found "Marriage month" right in line with the way our culture is today. Too many movies, magazines, and soap operas portray sleeping around and "live-in" couples as all right and overly exciting. Our culture has a serious problem with only one solution: Jesus Christ. - Lindsay Malone, Nashville, Mich.

Culture shock

I have been an enthusiastic subscriber for 10 years, but I had about decided not to renew because WORLD covers things about which I, wanting to think only on "pure" things, don't want to know. Then I received my AARP publication My Generation. What a culture shock. I learned-in positive, upbeat terms-that "boomers" are selfish, shallow, immature, and fixated on themselves and sex. Suddenly WORLD looked pure and chaste. I realized that, while I thought I understood what you were doing, I wasn't willing to go there with you. This wake-up call showed me what a truly monumental task you have and how well you do it. - Kathy Ritenour, Clearwater, Fla.

I have been reading WORLD for several years and have at times enjoyed the magazine and at times been shocked and dismayed at what you decided to publish. A number of issues ago in Culture Beat was an article on art that described the use of dead bodies in compositions. I felt sickened in my spirit for days thinking about that. Over the years there have been articles on sexual issues that have been overly graphic (e.g., clergy sexual abuse, sex trafficking, and others). The advertisement picturing a homosexual couple holding a child in the June 15 issue was particularly disturbing for two reasons. First, unless the image was computer generated (didn't you recently publish an article regarding virtual child pornography as something we need to combat?), some little girl had to sit in the lap and pretend to be the happy "daughter" of a gay couple. This is just plain disgusting. Second, if the photo was staged it is disheartening to think a respected denomination like the Southern Baptists used such material. There are just some things neither I nor my children need to know about. If you can produce a newsmagazine I could feel safe having my 9-year-old read, I would consider subscribing again. Until then, please cancel our subscription. - Chris Hardy, Ypsilanti, Mich.

Spirited dispute

I was very disappointed in Mr. Coffin's largely negative review of the movie Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron ("Summer's sizzling start," June 8). Before going I too was concerned about possible religious worldview issues I would have to discuss with my daughter at the conclusion, but in this case we were able to just enjoy the movie. It taught lessons about trusting and earning trust that I think were valuable. - Desirae Clark, Copperas Cove, Texas

I read with interest Andrew Coffin's review of the new video release The Others because I saw it on a flight to Germany in April. I disagree with Mr. Coffin that the film has any redeeming value. Its contempt for the lead character's devout faith was not thinly veiled, and I thought this film was a disgrace and insult to anyone who believes in the inerrancy of the Bible. - Janet Hasak, Paradise, Calif.

All of the above

Regarding the quote,"23," in the June 8 Quotables section (the percentage of multiple-choice questions Palm Beach County, Fla., high-school students must answer correctly to pass a standardized history test): A random selection of answers, given four possibilities on a multiple-choice test, would yield an average score of 25. Therefore, a mathematically skilled school administration would: A. Save costs by eliminating printing of the test; B. Have an orangutan write the test for the students; C. Save student time and aggravation by issuing grades before the test day; D. All of the above. - Philip Allen, Port Hueneme, Calif.


I agree with Mr. Belz that the debate is the distinction between the church "gathered" and "dispersed" ("Fine-tuning the nuances," June 8). As I see it, though, the church in America is far more comfortable at being gathered than dispersed. Did Jesus allow the disciples to remain holed up in the Upper Room? Or get their spiritual highs at annual retreats on the shores of Lake Galilee? No. He commanded them to disperse to make disciples of all nations. For a nation whose government is "of the people, by the people and for the people," dispersing is critical in reforming the government. - Lauri Rogers, LeRoy, Ohio

How providential that I read Joel Belz's column on the same day I read the late R.J. Rushdoony's remark that too many pastors and church leaders accept the Marxist view of the "separation of church and state." They refuse to discuss "political" subjects like abortion, homosexuality, or euthanasia from the pulpit claiming, he wrote, "the name of orthodoxy for their confusion, cowardice, and heresy." He added that because there are no limits to God's sovereignty, there "can then be no limits to the areas of the church's witness, its preaching, and its commanded concern." In my opinion, Focus on the Family is basically right and Cal Thomas is basically wrong on this issue. - Marshall Pierson, Bellefontaine, Ohio

Separate showers?

I found "Gay authority" in your June 1 issue quite interesting, particularly as I have found myself increasingly uncomfortable taking a shower at my health club, which does not discriminate based upon one's sexual orientation. In fact, based upon the conversations in the locker room, I no longer consider taking a shower there an option. I have to wonder if it is time for those who suggest that homosexuality is normal behavior to fund the construction of either individual showers or separate locker rooms for those of differing sexual orientation in all our schools and health clubs. Swarthmore College officials would more likely make all shower and locker rooms available to everyone. - Keith Moore, Kenmore, Wash.

Tapped off

As per Andree Seu's tongue-in-cheek invitation, I am taking a leisurely moment to send a couple of ideas for staying not-busy ("Death by detail," June 1). Find the source of the flood of details and turn the tap off; taps may include cable TV, the daily newspaper, video games, and any pets without a family sponsor. Avoid puppy-sized time consumers that grow into monsters, like ministry opportunities for "only a couple of minutes" per week that require 60 hours of errands. Also, question what you "owe" to your mother, father, husband, children, and neighbors. For example, I don't owe any visitor a clean house half as much as I owe them an open house and open ears. - T.C. Epperson, San Antonio, Texas

Get involved

The public-school educators in your June 1 "Dopey awards" column certainly deserve their nominations, but as the wife of a teacher I take exception to the attitude behind the award. Those interested in truly changing the face of public education should instead pray for these teachers, who must deal with many students from troubled families, keep up with their children's textbooks, and show teachers some respect. Also, they should attend local school-board meetings, call your legislators, and write letters to the editor of the local newspaper regarding school issues, and stand up for Christian values. - Janet Bayless, Camdenton, Mo.

Now, the truth

What do Yuri Gagarin, Carl Sagan, and Stephen Jay Gould have in common? They are former atheists who now know the truth. Each has met the Creator face to face ("The Gould standard," June 1). - George T. Thompson, Gonzales, La.

Call of the mentor

In February I heard James Dobson speak about the struggle children face today in single-parent families, public school, and in a world where Satan is thriving. In April I heard the same message from Janet Parshall. Three weeks ago I promised the vice principal at our local middle school that "I'll call you Monday" about their mentoring program. Last night I read Mr. Belz's May 18 column, "Step in for the missing man." Today I have just come from the middle school. I meet with "my child" tomorrow. - Martha J. Parks, Princess Anne, Md.