To guide your summer getaway book selections, try this formula: E=FB²
I enjoyed the Narnia movie ("Narnia unleashed," Dec. 10). I was disappointed that Lucy and Susan didn't have the delightful spring romp with Aslan after his resurrection, but I was glad to see that Edmund truly was a better person at the end of the movie. I commend the filmmakers for a good piece of cinema. They did some things differently than I would have done, but overall I'm thrilled that they did such a good job. I have to believe that Lewis would have been pleased.
-Jane Breederland; Traverse City, Mich.
My only complaint was that Aslan's roar didn't shake the building. I expected more bass. The battle was well done. The cheetahs rocked! I liked the flash of victory in Edmund's eyes when he broke the wand, and the way the witch's eyes changed color when Aslan was about to end her. I think Mr. Adamson got the gist of the book, even though I think he missed some of the "deeper magic."
-Thomas L. Wallace; Brandon, Mo.
Some things (Lucy's character, especially) were handled very well, but too much of the movie tried to be a second Lord of the Rings, which isn't what The Chronicles of Narnia are about.
-Alex Szatmary; Baltimore, Md.
Thanks for your great article on the journey The Chronicles of Narnia traveled on the road to screen adaptation. Having been held captive by the books as a child, and watching my children enjoy them as well, I look forward with great delight to seeing the movie.
-Pat Moore; Scituate, R.I.
Bravo to Gene Edward Veith for showing us the true origins of Christmas ("Why December 25?" Dec. 10). Our family has struggled with this for many years. Thank you for putting our mind at ease that we may be free to express our joy in Christ's birth without the feeling that we are perpetuating something pagan.
-Kristin Hoffman; Englewood, Tenn.
The real question is, "Why Christmas at all?" Religious holidays are entirely God's call. In the New Testament, we find no command from Christ or command or approved example from the apostolic founders for any church-sanctioned observance of the birthday of Jesus. Had the Lord wanted us to annually observe the day of His birth, He'd have provided the proper date.
-Steve Rauen; Port Orchard, Wash.
Thank you for your reporting on the situation in Ethiopia, which gets worse by the day ("One-party rule a tough habit to break," Dec. 10). We have a group of Marxist dictators cloaked with false pretensions for democracy in order to fool the West and thus get funding to keep them in power. Unfortunately, Western powers, seeing that Mr. Meles' regime is "containing" the terrorism threat in the Horn of Africa, are blindly supporting them. Ethiopians have had enough of this terrorist rule.
-Abay Haile; Los Angeles, Calif.
I was very surprised by this one-sided article. The opposition lost and resorted to inciting violence. Ethiopia's government is to be applauded for its efforts to keep the peace. Third World leaders who want to lead their countries through the democratic process must keep the vultures from advancing anti-progress and divisive agendas.
-Hagazi Kebede; Culpeper, Va.
Knock 'em sockless
Thank you for your wonderful article on the Alito nomination process ("War of words," Dec. 10). It is truly a shame that the same political mess that often accompanies elections now chases after court nominees as well. The framers of the Constitution tried to shelter justices from the torment of the political process through appointment by the president. This was to ensure a judge did not have to worry about reelection, so he could concentrate on making the right decision. God bless Mr. Alito. I'd like to see him knock the intellectual socks off some liberal senators.
-Jacob Pfister; Indianapolis, Ind.
The idea that the U.S. Constitution, a legally binding document, is somehow "living," "breathing," and modifiable beyond the amendment process is absurd. If the Constitution can be reinterpreted due to changing circumstances, then why not mortgages, leases, and other contracts? Imagine the outcry if mortgage companies informed customers that their rates have gone up because the firm's board members "changed their minds about the original intent of the document."
-Bill Bader; Eden Prairie, Minn.
Out of sync
When I graduated from Ohio State I was a radical liberal. My worldview was perfectly in sync with and in fact was shaped by OSU's teachings. Now, as a Christian conservative, I am opposed to many of those philosophies and beliefs, so I don't donate much when the school's fundraisers come calling ("Beyond knee-jerk giving," Dec. 10). I like to use my money to further the kingdom of God, not secularism.
-Ronald E. Davitt; Columbus, Ohio
Getting it in
It's been years since I'd seen A Charlie Brown Christmas, but I watched it last week ("Ghosts of Christmas past," Dec. 10). During Linus' speech I cried because it was beautiful, and because a monologue that Christ-centered may never again make it into a prime-time TV show.
-Daryl Hyde; Chelsea, Ala.
One of my favorite Christmas films that didn't make your list, Scrooged, is of course no Wonderful Life, and nothing compares to Alastair Sim as Ebenezer. But Scrooged offers an effective story of compassion's triumph over selfishness and cynicism. Even though Christ isn't mentioned, when Bill Murray's Frank Cross finally "gets it" in the last scene, my tears flow in remembrance of the day I finally got it.
-Dorsey Marshall; Mullica Hill, N.J.
I see no connection between Disney executive Al Weiss' church-planting efforts and what my view of Disney should be ("Minnie movement," Dec. 10). Mr. Weiss is doing this on his own. If Disney puts out good stuff, I might watch it; if not, I won't.
-Kevin Braun; West Chester, Pa.
Now, the next
My husband's job just ended yesterday, our car died on his way home from work, our lease is up in two months, and we have three young children. Thank you to Andree Seu for reminding me that I can do a load of laundry, I can continue homeschooling, I can cuddle my 4-year-old, and I can proofread my husband's latest e-mail job inquiry. With the Lord in control, it's on to "The next thing" (Dec. 3) that needs to be done.
-Amy Gearhardt; Coral Springs, Fla.
"Left behind" (Dec. 3) depicts the condition of over 250 million Dalits in India very accurately. The caste system, which is illegal, has captured these people in a hopeless situation. The Dalit Freedom Network is also establishing schools and medical clinics and is providing vocational training for adults.
-John E. Kyle; Monroe, N.C.
Free agent pitcher Tom Gordon signed a contract with the Philadelphia Phillies (Sports, Dec. 17, p. 37).