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Mailbag

Letters from our readers

Mailbag

‘Conflict within and without’

July 22  Thank you to Mindy Belz for this clear, easy-to-understand report. I remember when the Jews returned to their land in 1948 and have been aware of their battles since, but learned more about their situation from this article than I ever had before. —Anne Phillips / Ashland, Ohio

‘Three looks at cremation’

July 22  I respect John Piper but strongly disagree with his stance on cremation. What difference does it make if my body becomes ashes before it turns to dust? I can have a Christ-exalting memorial service without having my body hauled to a church for a funeral. —H. Harold Carter / Snellville, Ga.

I agree that our bodies are precious to God, but to teach against cremation produces needless guilt for those of us who have chosen that option. Better to take to task the funeral industry for its flagrant manipulation of the bereaved. —Debbie Bergren / Rockford, Mich.

I am a 78-year-old widow and recently began planning my own funeral. I prayed, and the Lord brought to mind passages about burying the bones of the patriarchs and burning children to Molech. I don’t think God wants any of His children to be burned, and this article was a huge confirmation. —Martha Wood / Raytown, Mo.

I understand the reluctance of Christians to have their bodies cremated, but at the resurrection the Lord will easily bring together the bodies of the saints. —Mike Bricker / Springdale, Ark.

‘Grave matters’

July 22  An alternative to traditional burial in a coffin or cremation, “green burial,” is available in some areas of the country. The unembalmed body is buried in a parklike setting and marked with a stone or a tree. It is less expensive than traditional burial and a bit more expensive than cremation. —Leah Farish / Tulsa, Okla.

‘Goodbye to the Grand Pooh-bahs?’

July 22  Big Media would be powerless without credulous listeners. Shame on We the Bedazzled for our dependence on pundits. —Brendan Bossard on wng.org

Would that reporters lived by Tucker Carlson’s motto, to be “the sworn enemy of lying, pomposity, smugness, and groupthink.” Most anti-Trump rhetoric by major news organizations such as CNN and NBC diminishes their credibility and exacerbates this country’s fractures. —Eberhard Roell / Boulder, Colo.

‘Tyranny of the majority’

July 22  Ezekiel Emanuel’s comparison of doctors and soldiers, claiming that both have to do things they find offensive because they have voluntarily joined the profession, overlooks one thing: A soldier who is ordered to commit a war crime must disobey that order. No human authority is absolute. —Clyde Herrin / Bonner Springs, Kan.

Doctors of medicine are not made virtuous by their profession. Let us be wary of those who use their bully pulpit to further their own careers and life-destroying aims. —Glenda Cloutier on wng.org

‘Hollywood appeal’

July 22  Video Night in Kathmandu by Pico Iyer opened my eyes to the negative effect of Hollywood on the rest of the world. He described traveling to the Far East to discover cheap Disney toys, Filipino terrorists wearing UCLA shirts, and Rambo remakes. —Michelle Ule on Facebook

A lovely young Chinese lady, an American college graduate, told me that when she first arrived she thought America would be like American Pie and other crass movies. She was disappointed at first, but truth upon truth finally brought her to accept Christ. —Beth Hamrick Swan on Facebook

‘Canada envy’

July 22  This excellent and patriotic column is a great reminder of why refugees from many nations risk all to come here. We Americans are greatly blessed and therefore held accountable for how we use our priceless liberties. —R. Hudgins / Bartlesville, Okla.

Canada had such an easy time moving to independence largely because of Britain’s experience with the United States. The French Revolution and the Napoleonic era were also factors, but the generation of English politicians after the American Revolution learned from the problems of their predecessors. —Phil Hawkins on wng.org

‘Lessons in lying’

July 22  This was a familiar story. When my mother passed, her death certificate read “unknown” regarding “tobacco use contributed to death.” It was ridiculous; she didn’t smoke, and she died from a staph infection. I made them correct it because it was important for her life insurance. It’s the way our society is now. —Donna Cooley / Battleground, Wash.

‘The opposite way’

July 22  Mindy Belz’s column was illuminating. Many Christians fear that Muslims who have immigrated to the West threaten their Christian heritage and democratic way of life, but the International Redemption Center shows how the power of the gospel could instead draw many Muslims to Christ. Are we up to the challenge of sending missionaries into the Seine-Saint-Denis of Europe and North America? The field appears white for the harvest. —Doug Karan / Evington, Va.

‘Wheat or white?’

July 22  The article about the battle of the breads resonated with me. In the 1990s the push toward whole wheat made aspiring “good moms” toss out the polka-dotted bag for the “healthy” brown stuff. We switched even our spaghetti to wheat, and I can trace my digestive discomforts back to that time. —Elaine Neumeyer / Seacrest, Fla.

‘An eye toward others’

July 22  Thanks to Andrée Seu Peterson for this excellent discussion of dress standards. My husband recently found himself castigated as selfish in a massive Facebook discussion for saying the obvious: Scanty clothing can cause men to struggle. —Elisabeth Bodey / Urbana, Ohio

Corrections

The church that meets at Lamar and Sade Simms’ home is named Legacy Christian Fellowship. Freddie, Sandra, Tamir, and Akai are the names of people who have died in custody or during encounters with police (“Block by block,” Aug. 5, 2017).

More letters, emails, and comments we didn't have space for in the print edition:

‘Friends in adversity’

July 1 The implication that character doesn’t matter much to evangelicals anymore seems to ignore our political reality. Donald Trump’s character is not what we want, but was Hillary Clinton’s any better? Character does matter, but is it better to stay out of the political system or try to make the best of it? —Mel Swanson / Carver, Minn.

The doubtful tone about Trump’s character is simply shameful. He was elected to be our president and clearly loves America. —Greg Stuchell / Hillsdale, Mich.

‘Being in hate’

July 1 Andrée Seu Peterson observed that when hate has “bored like a cankerworm” into your soul, it’s hard to realize what it does to your outlook. Thanks for shining the light of Scripture on this. —Dale Espy Hicks / Longmont, Colo.

‘Endangered agnosticism’

July 1 Charles Murray’s observation that the internet, like the drug “soma” in Brave New World, distracts us from thinking about big questions is what I have observed in my fellow high-school students and, honestly, myself. We’ve been raised on screens, and I foresee a real difficulty ahead in convincing us to pull away. —Jonathan Morris / Fort Worth, Texas

‘Encountering a dark domain’

July 22  This is a beautifully written article on a very hard subject. A friend of ours, a drug counselor, sees many short-term successes yet so many men who fall back into addiction. Only the grace of Jesus makes him able to “bear all things” and “hope all things.” —Jennifer Eason on Facebook