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Mailbag

Letters from our readers

Mailbag

Beyond opioids

[ Nov. 10 ] Your articles on marijuana and the opioid/benzo crisis were very informative and insightful. It is the height of hypocrisy for elected leaders to speak loudly about the need to do something about the opioid crisis while state after state legalizes the recreational use of marijuana. What is the church doing about this? —Jim Richardson / Oro Valley, Ariz.

It is really sad that addicts get stunned silence when opening up about addiction to church people. Addicts need a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on, and prayer support, not advice or platitudes. The people next to us in church could be hurting beyond belief. —Rexann Bassler on wng.org

A doctor told me that the potential for addiction with opioids was downplayed when he was in medical school. Some of my own doctors have offered to prescribe benzos without telling me about their addictive potential. I’m grateful to God for His protection. —Liz Jones on wng.org

There are Christ-centered recovery programs that offer a safe place to take off the mask and find warm acceptance. All of us long for freedom from hurts, habits, and hang-ups; some of us are honest enough to stop denying it and address them. —Monica Kroft / Springfield, Ill.

More with less

[ Nov. 10 ] Education could be more efficient in some minor ways, but not in any way comparable to the manufacturing world. Teachers are not robots, and students are not widgets. —David Couchman / Fair Oaks, Calif.

It would be far more beneficial for children if technology money were instead spent to hire more teachers, decrease class sizes, and provide the teachers with excellent training and resources. Our children require and deserve so much more than the occasional “loving arm wrapped around the shoulders.” —Kyle Renard / Dallas, Texas

Educators have resisted the “Gutenberg-Ford style of thinking” because education is not a free market, and they have no incentive to apply that kind of innovation. It baffles me that conservative Christians generally balk at socialist healthcare systems while running gleefully into the arms of government-run school systems that teach un-Christian worldviews. —Don Stenberg on wng.org

Student-teacher ratios often are already far higher than 20:1, while today’s teachers are expected to be surrogate parents, disciplinarians, nurses, nutritionists, and so on. Visit a typical classroom for a week and then tell educators that they need to operate on less money with more kids per teacher. —Colleen Garton / Loveland, Colo.

I agree with Joel Belz. The educational establishment will never be satisfied with how much money it reaps from taxpayers, and the results we should see are not there. It’s just one huge money pit with a motto: “For the children.” —Dave Dahlke / Port Orchard, Wash.

If children were Fords and education involved merely filling their heads with knowledge and skills, higher student-teacher ratios might work. But teachers, especially in disadvantaged schools, teach children struggling to navigate a broken world where many of our society’s deepest sins have come home to roost. And we should ask them to do more with less? Bricks without straw, perhaps? —Ann Maouyo / Baltimore, Md.

Moving to the music

[ Nov. 10 ] Our church uses “traditional hymns” only a few Sundays per year and otherwise sings new Christian songs. I would welcome a gospel choir that could breathe new life into our worship. Something is missing today, and this could well be part of it. —Sam Lochinger on wng.org

This beautiful story put a smile on my face. —Mary Stoy on Facebook

When my American niece took a job in Japan last year, I was surprised the community center choir she joined was singing gospel music. Thank you for this explanation. God’s ways are marvelous. —Doreen Drews on Facebook

A big bright side

[ Nov. 10 ] Thanks for putting in skillfully crafted words an answer to the question, “So how’s the world shaping up?” —Dennis Estell on wng.org

I really liked this column, especially Janie B. Cheaney’s reference to “trimming our lamps.” It is the hope of Christ’s promised return that fuels our determined faith! Thanks for reminding all of us of the good news. —Barbara Rainey / Little Rock, Ark.

Target of the state

[ Nov. 10 ] The article about the courageous Huang Yan was fascinating. She was real, admitting that if God continues to let the Chinese government destroy churches, “I don’t think I can believe in this God anymore.” She might have been encouraged by reading “The turn” (Nov. 10), where Andrée Seu Peterson writes that we all yearn for justice “and godly souls feel ill at ease till it’s complete.” God will resolve the tension in His own time. —Eric Fletcher / Matthews, N.C.

Farm without a farmer

[ Nov. 10 ] I guess we farmers will be obsolete soon, what with vegetables grown hydroponically by a robot, meat manufactured from cells in a lab, and so on. But how long until farming has no connection to the earth? Meanwhile, rural communities fall apart with increasing isolation, unemployment, drug abuse, and suicide. And we call this progress? —Anna Stewart on Facebook

Traumas that persist

[ Nov. 10 ] Your article on missionaries and PTSD makes me wonder what my pastors go through. I’m certain they hear all sorts of horrible things that none of us congregants can imagine. —Adam Rodriguez / Port Orchard, Wash.

Ballpark lessons

[ Nov. 10 ] Thank you to Marvin Olasky for his historical perspective on welfare and baseball stadiums. He reminded us that our strength and ideas still come from our local communities and, as the Founders knew, that states have their own needs and solutions. —C. J. Julius / Edinburg, Pa.

Comment

I thought WORLD’s election website (wng.org/election) was great—informative and really well done. The color map of the United States was the best I’ve seen. —Paul Matlock / Pagosa Springs, Colo.

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

More with less

[ Nov. 10 ] Bloated administrative staffs are also a major problem. In the high school from which I graduated, one individual was the athletic director, assistant principal, and social studies teacher. Though the school has grown a bit, each of these positions now has a full-time staffer, and others have been added. The result is higher taxes while delivering less in terms of quality education. —Don Wilkinson / East Berlin, Pa.

As a teacher with 30 years of experience, I can assure you that the student-teacher ratio matters tremendously. Try helping 33 sixth-grade students practice and master an abstract language concept, or try helping 35 high-school students revise and edit their writing. Students in both scenarios need lots of one-on-one work. —Jody Hurlburt on wng.org

Dear Anonymous Dad

[ Sept. 29 ] Jesus had on earth a sense of belonging because He knows His father and sees Himself in His father; that is what is missing for those birthed by sperm donors. Yes, they might have wonderful dads, but they are missing that primal affirmation at their core. That’s why they’re driven to know about their donor dad, and why their having only the facts of their origin isn’t enough. —Louise Korade / Hollywood, Md.