As violent demonstrations roil Hong Kong, a bold group of volunteers is providing moral support and physical protection for young protesters
Trials and trailers
I am a recent victim of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. We lost everything we owned and stayed in a one bedroom loft apartment with six people and 11 animals for over two months. We chose not to receive a FEMA trailer ("No way out," Nov. 26), but others we know didn't have the same opportunities. FEMA gave us $2,000 because we had insurance, which paid pennies on the dollar for our old house because the insurance company deemed it a flood instead of wind-driven water. It's pretty difficult when you have to start all over again, but I am thankful that God watched over me and my family.
-Tamae Price; Hanmond, La.
We should acknowledge the permanence of the Katrina diaspora and treat the New Orleans "refugees" the same way we did Vietnamese "boat people": Let them pull themselves up by their own bootstraps with charitable assistance from host churches in their new communities.
-Brad O'Brien; Killeen, Texas
There is no one-size-fits-all solution to the evacuee problem. It depends on the evacuees' financial and health status as well as what social and family supports they may have. Many families are too financially strapped to take in their evacuee relatives, nor can many churches and charities do much of a job. My own church of 350 members raised almost $2,000, which isn't enough to help even one family make a new start.
-Fran Froelich; Upper Darby, Pa.
Your praise of Hollywood's disastrous rendering of Jane Austen's acclaimed novel must have been the result of gazing upon the "intensely beautiful Ms. Knightley" ("Austen's power," Nov. 26).
-Michelle Protsman; Olympia, Wash.
Bravo to Gene Edward Veith for his excellent comments on the new Pride & Prejudice movie. His definitions of ladies and gentlemen are so true. In my circles of single men and women, I know several "ladies" but, sadly, there seem to be far too few "gentlemen" in our culture today. Would that men and women of our culture not only rise to the Jane Austen standards of intelligent, feminine women and forceful, honorable men, but to standards of godliness and Christlikeness.
-Beth Geiger; New Carlisle, Ohio
Gone to seed?
I appreciated Mr. Veith's article on the trivialization of the Scriptures that comes built into the animated package of Veggie Tales and others ("Roaches and cucumbers," Nov. 26). The carrot as baby Jesus is certainly Veggie Tales gone to seed. At the end Mr. Veith asks whether it would "kill" these products to mention Christ. The answer is yes, it would kill their acceptance in a broad market. Putting a true picture of Christ in a product is a terrible marketing strategy, Mel Gibson notwithstanding.
-Bob Dalberg; Ely, Minn.
Although I see the trivialization of Scripture in such products, at the end of The Lord of the Beans QWERTY (the computer) displays this verse: "For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10." I nearly fell out of my theater seat in amazement.
-James E. Iversen; Franklin, N.Y.
I have enjoyed the godly points of view in WORLD, but I think it is a sad day when WORLD publishes a cartoon implying that torture is an acceptable means of acquiring information (Quotables & 'toons, Nov. 26).
-Tim Meagher; Chesapeake, Va.
Bed and blessing
I have maintained my weight at a healthy level all my life by following the plan Marvin Olasky suggested: Eat slowly and thankfully ("The Lord's Prayer diet," Nov. 26). And I was tickled by the "bed debate" about the closeness provided by a double bed. I spent many sleepless nights in a double bed with a husband who snored, twitched, and thrashed much of the night. A king size bed was a blessing for me.
-Beverly Roberts; Houston, Texas
The real problem
As a 24-year Alaska resident who has worked in the oil industry, I am amazed at how uninformed the general public is regarding oil development on the North Slope and ANWR ("Black gold rush," Nov. 26). Big Oil is portrayed as a bunch of nasty, sinister characters hostile to caring for the environment. But the truth is that Big Oil is our family, friends, and neighbors who are responsible for developing the resource with their own families and communities in mind. We understand the risks and have the proven expertise to develop oil fields in harsh Arctic conditions. The difficulty is getting past the false perceptions the environmental lobby presents to an uninformed public.
-Lynn Aleshire; Anchorage, Alaska
I would have voted to approve drilling in ANWR. However, I wonder if the United States should focus on becoming truly energy independent. Wouldn't it be great to defund the Saudis and Hugo Chavez? Nuclear technology has progressed so that it is much safer and wind is another source of renewable energy. All it takes is a national commitment to change.
-Randall Van Meter; New Brighton, Minn.
Play or go
People complaining that their Christian curriculum is not being accepted by the University of California system need to realize that they cannot have it both ways ("Strange standards," Nov. 26). Parents send their kids to Christian schools to avoid liberal indoctrination-why are they surprised that a liberal college system would not accept Christian textbooks? Why would parents place their children in a collegiate environment that is openly hostile to Christianity? Parents of students in Christian schools have two choices: Send their children to a Christian university or "play the game" and do what is asked to enroll them in a very competitive, non-Christian, secular university.
-Mike Keene; Alpine, Calif.
The check I sent to renew my subscription was repaid the moment I read Andree Seu's column, "Andree's aphorisms" (Nov. 19).
-Don Gleason; Covina, Calif.
Regarding "Ban the culture" (Nov. 19): Each time a decision maker chooses not to purchase a book through the years, he or she is essentially banning it. In my career as a librarian, I observed repeatedly that the same professionals who wave the banner of intellectual freedom make choices within the confines of their budgets that in effect negate that very freedom.
-Patricia Smart; Sun Valley, Calif.
"Ban the culture" resonated with me because of my studies of Russian language and literature in college. The phenomenon that Mr. Veith described occurred in Russia nearly 100 years ago. To support Communism, it became necessary to refute things Christian, yet virtually all of the great Russian authors, such as Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, and Pasternak, had Christian themes. It is unfortunate that we are headed in the same direction.
-Jim Archer; Houston, Texas
President Bush delivered his speech encouraging China to follow Taiwan's example of governance in Kyoto, Japan (The Buzz, Nov. 26, p. 7).