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Mailbag

Letters from our readers

They don't judge

I think it's wonderful what Mr. Anderson is doing ("Church of the disabled," Sept. 26). It is hard for many people (myself included) to feel comfortable among special needs people and willingly volunteer to help them. I recently became a volunteer with an organization that helps special need kids ride horses. One of the most wonderful things about these people is that they don't judge you; they see you as a person and a friend, no matter what you look like.

-Daniel Jacob Lyons, 15, Marietta, Texas

Real fear

Re: "Planned parenthood" (Sept. 26): Wonderful piece! My peers and I have long talked about how fear makes us raise our children differently from how we were raised. I'm not sure I agree that our fear is irrational, but the fear and its effects are real. I also love how Janie Cheaney ties our children's loss of freedom to our selfishness in abortion.

-K.A. Straughn; Norman, Okla.

What is at issue is the idolatry of control. Cheaney notes that most parenting fears are irrational before hastening on to the connection to abortion, but there is much to explore about this idolatry. Note Isaiah 8:12: "Do not fear what they fear, and do not dread it."

-Alison Fairfield; Houston, Texas

Nice new direction?

Thanks for "Refreshing reversal" (Sept. 26). It's nice to know about Zondervan's new direction and that we might have even more alternative Bible translations.

-Noah Bertilson; Minneapolis, Minn.

While I can appreciate Joel Belz wanting to think the best of people, especially those trying to correct an error, I do not share his optimism that Zondervan's "revised" translation coming out in the next year or two will be more faithful to original Scriptures than the TNIV. I see no indication that they actually believe that any of the gender-inclusive translations should be reversed.

-Luie Trudy; Ridgecrest, Calif.

Follow the evidence

Your column on the "Hidden pain" (Sept. 26) of abortions shows where Christians should focus their attention. After 40 years of abortions, if the evidence is out there that most women who have had abortions regret it, that information should be spread widely. If women are not convinced that abortion is murder, the idea that they will regret it could be incentive to stop the killing.

-Larry Craig; Wilmette, Ill.

I appreciated "Hidden pain" and "A grief conserved" (Aug. 15). As a (I hope) future doctor or nurse, I've been so encouraged. It's spurred me to go into healthcare so that I can be more directly involved with the pro-life movement.

-Elizabeth Ritter, 17; Malta, Ill.

One of several

"Remarkable providence" (Sept. 26) was well written and I appreciate the irony of the tornado in Minneapolis. But I would point out that the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America is just one of several Lutheran denominations. I happen to be a member of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod. Our churches do not condone homosexual men or women in any leadership position, but we do welcome them to our worship services and prayer fellowships. All of us need the forgiveness offered through our Savior, Jesus Christ.

-George W. Fellendorf; Keene, N.H.

Already a reality

As a pastor who has ministered to many who are without health insurance, I am begging you, please offer more balanced coverage of the issue ("Bad side effects," Sept. 26). Perhaps you could acknowledge the thousands of Americans who die each year because they do not have access to the care that has kept Charlie Wedemeyer alive for so long ("Finding quality at the end of life," Sept. 26).

-Jeremy Peters; Fenton, Mich.

My husband, Brian, was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer at age 45. If President Obama's entire plan for revising healthcare [including end-of-life counseling] had been in place at the time, Brian probably would have been advised to "let go," as the prognosis was grim from the start. Instead, his doctors treated his cancer aggressively and added three years to his life. Our son Bobby and I were both very thankful for those extra years.

-Lydian Davis; Tempe, Ariz.

Brilliant display

It was amusing to watch Shaq hit his home runs over the Little League fence ("Shaq vs. reality," Sept. 26), and I too enjoyed his banter and found him quite humble in taking lessons from Albert Pujols' young son. I was astounded by Pujols' intense concentration when he had to come from behind to beat Shaq. What a brilliant display of concentration, skill, and God-given ability.

-Neil Johnston; Grand Prairie, Texas

Pray, share, engage

Regarding "Aid dependents" (Sept. 26): World Relief is grateful for funding that the United States government has made available to fight global poverty, reduce child mortality, prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS, and assist the transition of State Department--invited refugees as they replant their lives here in the United States. We are inviting the North American church to pray for the world's most vulnerable people, to share resources generously, and to engage with the suffering in the world-whether across the ocean or in our own backyard-in real and deep ways.

-Sammy T. Mah, President/CEO, World Relief; Baltimore, Md.

Just icky

Bruce Hornsby's mean jab at disabled people ("Bruce goes berserk," Sept. 26) can only be described as icky. Is it hateful contempt of God's love in general or simply a really ugly heart?

-Mike Inwards; Pelican Rapids, Minn.

Not buying it

I was deeply disappointed in the section of "No excuses" (Sept. 26) praising an Islamic school. Having lived as a missionary in an Islamic country, I am not taken in by the claim that they seek peace and religious understanding. Muslims want to use our liberty to take over little by little.

-Priscilla Weese; Wheaton, Ill.

Lost nothing

I read Alisa Harris' essay ("Social insecurity," Sept. 12) with interest and resonated with some of her feelings. Like her, I have struggled with how to begin and end conversations, and I seem to have missed out on a couple of decades of cultural experiences. But I went to public school and I think I learned about half of what I could have learned in a more vigorous environment. She lost nothing being a homeschool pioneer.

-Brian Schwartz; Tigard, Ore.

I question whether homeschooling is really the cause of Harris' insecurity. When a classroom child cops an attitude, we shrug and say, "Well, kids are like that," but when a homeschooled child hits a social glitch, we say, "Well, he was homeschooled, you know." Would that we said, of the young person who resents authority, "Well, his education was farmed out to an institution, you know," and of the one awkward around the opposite gender, "Well, kids are like that."

-Holly Emmert; Houghton, Mich.

Best and worst

My heartfelt thanks to Rob Koons and Marvin Olasky ("The purge," Sept. 12). I am a relatively recent University of Texas alumnus and some of my fondest memories and most engaging experiences happened in their classrooms. I have met a number of students who have found that Koons' conclusions about the faculty-centric, "uncurriculum" design of the university apply far beyond the liberal arts and communications colleges. At UT I saw the best and the worst of higher education, and even that polarization taught me something. Perhaps this article will find an advocate who can reignite this fight.

-J. Taylor; San Marcos, Texas

If only

My wife, who remained home during my one-year mission to Tanzania, forwards issues of WORLD to me. Today I read with tears Olasky's "Is social justice just ice?" (Aug. 29), which notes that "Christianity emphasizes bonding into a relationship with Jesus." This week I begin meeting with Muslims who have befriended me and I want them to know the relationship they can have if only they will seek the truth.

-Steve Hart; Babati, Tanzania