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The upside

Good things have come out of the war with Iraq: God's name has been glorified; some portion of the evil in this world has been eradicated; the display of military might may give pause to North Korea and Syria; it has shown many how useless the UN has become; it has shown us who our friends are; and we have shown the world that it is possible to fight a war honorably. Young Americans have seen examples of selfless courage and that there are opportunities for heroism even. People might now realize that some things are worth dying for, and that life should be more than an endless quest for more comfort and prosperity. - Bonnie S. Graham, Santee, Calif.

Worse than before

Cal Thomas's article about the Scott Peterson case and the murder of Laci's unborn son raises more than an interesting case ("Connor's case," May 3). The pro-abortion lobby denies that unborn fetuses are persons. However some, in recent years, will recognize the personhood of an unborn baby but argue that he intrudes upon a woman's liberty and she should be allowed to use deadly force to stop the intrusion. This thinking, to me, is more horrifying than the original argument that the fetus is not a person. - Neil Pike, Coshocton, Ohio

Hearts of darkness

I appreciate the insights of both Joel Belz and Gene Edward Veith on the looting in Baghdad and what it reveals about Islam and sin nature ("Warning signals" and "Heart problems," May 3). Another interesting question results from looking in-house: How much looting would there be in the United States if we had anarchy, and why? - D. Eric Schansberg, New Albany, Ind.

I was shocked by "Heart problems." We would all agree that the pillaging in Iraq was a tragedy, especially the antiquities. However, you assumed that this was "pious" Muslims doing the looting and that Christians wouldn't do this kind of thing. Muslims might just as well see the Los Angeles riots as an example of "Christians" stealing, looting, and burning. - Greg H. Parsons, Pasadena, Calif.

Mr. Veith says, "What Moses received on Mt. Sinai, of course, is much older" than the Code of Hammurabi, now feared lost in the looting in Iraq. The Mosaic law is perhaps older because God's Word is eternal in the heavens, but Hammurabi dates to about 2100 b.c. while Moses (variously guessed by some more liberal than others) dates between 1300 and 1600 b.c. - Bob Gilbert, Tallahassee, Fla.

Ancient Mariner

The quip in "Spring reading" (May 3) about the Red Sox infielder ("He stoppeth one of three") brought to memory a similar description of Seattle's Edgar Martinez as "The ancient Mariner who hitteth one in three." - Roy D. Hall, Diboll, Texas

Backbone wanted

When I heard of the "controversy" over Sen. Santorum's biblical remarks, I knew that the left was out for its latest Newt Gingrich/Trent Lott ("He's not Trent Lott," May 3). Because Sen. Santorum represents the views of many religious people in this country, many of his own constituents, and many of those who make the base of the Republican Party, the Republican leadership should show some backbone and stand up for his right to voice his opinions without retribution. - William R. Smith, Levittown, Pa.

As a member of a multiracial congregation, a church that is building on the strengths of many different types of people, I always object to the perception within the white evangelical church that we should be "color-blind." I noticed that you used this phrase to define what we as Christians should be striving toward in "He's not Trent Lott," and "Spring reading." I worship each week with my brothers and sisters of different races not by "overlooking" their color but by celebrating the differences. I feel privileged to have even a small taste of how the body of Christ should look. - Alexandra Taylor, Houston, Texas

No Rush

Conservative or not, Rush Limbaugh is far too egomaniacal to have a place in a Christian publication like WORLD (Flash Traffic, May 3). What Mr. Limbaugh has to say, let him say on his own time. - Christopher Wilbers, Springfield, Mo.

Typical travesty

I find it both interesting and ironic that in the same issue in which both Joel Belz and Marvin Olasky discussed CNN's shocking and repulsive confession of not reporting the horrors Saddam's Iraq, we were warned about Time's plans to blow the cover of numerous tentmakers within the Muslim world ("Truth delayed," "Aimless reach," Flash Traffic, April 26). CNN hesitated to endanger a translator who knew the monster for whom he worked while Time magazine may endanger those who are seeking to create an opportunity to tell others about the best news man has ever heard. - Doug Papenmeier, Rolla, Mo.

The American plot

The picture of the Marine placing the American flag on the statue in Baghdad is a perfect example of the misunderstanding that does and will exist between Americans and Arabs ("After the rout," April 26). Although many assume the flag is an example of American occupation, the vast majority of Americans see the Stars and Stripes as a symbol of freedom. As Colin Powell put it earlier this year, "We have gone forth from our shores repeatedly over the last hundred years and put wonderful young men and women at risk, many of whom have lost their lives, and we have asked for nothing except enough ground to bury them in." - Rich Hilty, Nampa, Idaho


It was a terrific article by Priya Abraham on child prostitution in Japan ("Preteen allowance," April 26). She got everything right except that I was aided in the distribution of 300,000 comic books by Japan Campus Crusade for Christ, International Christian Chapels, YWAM, and John Stouckey. - Kenny Joseph, Tokyo, Japan

Slammed fan

I was surprised by your reviewer's hard slam of Gotta Serve Somebody: The Gospel Songs of Bob Dylan (Bestsellers, April 26). Yes, there was tinkering with lyrics, Aaron Neville's voice quivering, and strong emoting (so what else is new?) as well as an absence of, well, Bob and the nuanced power he can bring to a song. But as someone whose appreciation of gospel has hitherto been just about limited to Merry Clayton's great rendition of "Angels We Have Heard on High," this CD helped make me a fan of this genre. - William W. Sabol, Gulfport, Fla.

As a mom of three teenagers, I just want to thank you for your music, book, and movie reviews. I am simply unable to preview all of the media out there and have come to rely on your quick reviews. Normally I can't understand the lyrics to the songs and appreciate the "objectionable material" section. - Connie Kay, York, Pa.

Getting grim

I have been a subscriber to World for about eight or nine months now and enjoy it very much. I live in London and appreciate learning more about America and your politics (I am a Conservative Party member here). Americans should pay good attention to Tim Montgomerie's piece on Prime Minister Tony Blair ("The book on Blair," April 19). Things are grim here because the European Constitution that Blair supports has horrendous implications. By this time next year the UK could no longer be a sovereign nation. - Chris Orton, London, United Kingdom

Both sides

"Truth or CAIR?" (March 22) was a well-researched article, but you did not mention that there were well over a thousand recorded instances of violence against Muslims and people who look Arabic after Sept. 11. We need to be apprised of the aggressive stand CAIR has taken for Muslims, but we also need to condemn violent acts against innocent civilians based on their race or religion. - Rajendra Pillai, Clarksburg, Md.