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Mailbag

Letters from our readers

Mailbag

Survivors in a great war

[ March 16 ] We always enjoy Mindy Belz’s articles from overseas and just read her excellent piece from Syria about challenges Yazidi women are facing. We never know where she’s going to pop up next. —Peter & Gail Bergeson / New Richmond, Wis.

One family’s ordeal

[ March 16 ] Central Americans make the treacherous journey only to discover the dream is unattainable and they have exhausted their resources. It is an invasion when thousands of these hopefuls arrive at our southern border. The wall is a needed deterrent. —Gary S. Karwoski / Brookfield, Ill.

I appreciate the personal accounts and the questions about activists and financing. Sophia Lee and WORLD are top-notch. —Christina Joy Gilley on Facebook

The individual stories are heart-wrenching and endless, but we already have a huge and growing homeless population that needs to be addressed. The constant demonizing from both sides just makes things worse. —Kenneth Isgrigg / Valley Lee, Md.

Thank you for helping to put a human face on these issues. They are so easy to keep out of sight and out of mind. —Laura Weieneth on wng.org

Excellent report. We are affiliated with a Baptist church in Tijuana that has for decades assisted migrants from Central America in the barrios. They come to the border and get stuck, then build shantytowns out of cardboard and wood. The church provides assistance, but most importantly it provides hope in Christ. —Rick Flanders on wng.org

An international emergency

[ March 16 ] Lee’s sympathetic article says these migrants only realized that the United States does not want them once they arrive at the border. Am I supposed to believe that was a lightbulb moment? —Sally Jennings / Langdon, N.D.

Lee repeatedly described the migrants as seeking asylum, but in this context asylum means refuge from persecution for race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or social group. Those on our southern border are fleeing economic and civil collapse, not persecution. —Nancy J. Rice / Culpeper, Va.

Never give an inch?

[ March 16 ] Some say the emergency on the border justifies Trump’s plan to fund the wall, but if it was such an emergency, why drag out the shutdown? Trump should take a page from Reagan. He encouraged immigration and thought that, short of a war, the president had no right to declare a national emergency. —John Kloosterman on wng.org

Mind and body

[ March 16 ] As a licensed marriage and family therapist, one of the hardest things I face is convincing Christians to try antidepressant medication when they have struggled for years with no relief. They often feel God has abandoned them, but would they only pray for insulin or high blood pressure medicine? —Kimberly M. Chastain / Liberty, S.C.

As a psychologist, I’ve concluded that the medical model of “mental illness” is deeply flawed. The drug companies and medical establishment tell us that we need psychiatric drugs to function, but that is not the answer. With rare exceptions, mental health problems are simply problems in life. Love, empathy, constructive action, faith, and, when necessary, therapy help far more without the toxic effects. —Jeffrey C. Danco / Bridgewater, N.J.

Pharmaceuticals are a gift from God, but we must use them wisely, neither idolizing nor fearing them. Thank you for an insightful column. —Karl Johsens / Santa Cruz, Calif.

Thank you for addressing this issue. As a Christian and a psychologist, I’ve seen the damage that not addressing mental health holistically can cause. —Cindy Warren Mikeal on Facebook

The Venezuela test

[ March 16 ] Joel Belz states that socialism cannot survive the “Venezuela test,” and our president declares that the United States will never become socialist. Yet in the 2020 election about half of the population will likely vote for the Democratic candidate, even as the party of infanticide lurches toward socialism. Why? The promise of free stuff for all. —Brian Cage / Shawnee, Kan.

Governments, capitalist or communist, are run by people who are capable of evil yet by God’s grace can do good. If the government is evil, the people suffer. “When the righteous increase, the people rejoice,” as Proverbs says, “but when the wicked rule, the people groan.” —Parker Thomson on Facebook

I once saw a show in which socialists explained that switching from capitalism to communism was so messy because people needed a new way of thinking to accept the joys of socialism. Earlier revolutions called that “re-education,” and back then we called it “brainwashing.” —Tony McCord on wng.org

Authority in question

[ March 16 ] Part of the difficulty in holding autonomous churches accountable is our freedom. We do not like the idea of oversight, but freedom without responsibility is un-Biblical. —Dan Wagner on wng.org

Anatomy of an epidemic

[ March 16 ] Painkillers surely are overprescribed. After my horse kicked me in the face, they gave me enough codeine to take every four hours for a week. People don’t just want to avoid pain, they also want to avoid discomfort. —Anna Stewart on Facebook

Connecting the dots

[ March 16 ] Is it even possible to put the genie of the sexual revolution back in the bottle before it destroys Western civilization? —John Cogan on wng.org

Restless souls

[ March 2 ] I was uncomfortable with some of your children’s book recommendations, especially The Orphan Band of Springdale, which you noted has a sympathetic character described as a possible Communist. We must tread very carefully with artists and writers who defy Biblical truth while capturing elements of beauty and quality. We must be doubly careful when such work is aimed at children. —David Bunn / Salinas, Calif.

Correction

Wang Yi was a teacher at Chengdu University (“House church on a hill,” April 30, 2016).

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

Mind and body

[ March 16 ] My sister struggled with schizophrenia. She doubted her salvation. Her illness made her think people didn’t like her and she didn’t like herself. When she died, I knew she believed she was going to heaven, but her actions made it hard for anyone to be around her. —Joan Estes on Facebook

Good food for thought from a source that I trust. —Kathryn McGuise Manley on Facebook

Building a community

[ March 16 ] We were pleased to see the story about Community First Village. We visit regularly to see our daughter, who works there, and have noticed how many of the residents formerly worked in regular jobs. We’ve met a carpenter, a furniture-maker, a teacher, a journalist, a salesperson, a gardener, and many others. —Richard & Frieda Smits / Lansing, Ill.

Clemens and Jordan

[ March 16 ] Watching Michael Jordan was an absolute delight. After every thrilling game I would hope that he would recognize his ability came from the Lord, but it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. —Terrance Mason on Facebook

A healing story

[ March 16 ] We are appalled after reading Megan Basham’s positive review of Green Book. How can WORLD endorse a film with foul language, homosexuality, and sinful themes and say it “has a message that is worth celebrating”? —Howard & Blythe Amland / Spokane, Wash.