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Letters from our readers


Unbreakable bonds

[ May 11, p. 34 ] I am so grateful for your magazine. I can enjoy the movie critiques and news reports, such as the one on Notre Dame (“Burning issues,” p. 10), and then savor the insight and hope-filled writing of Mindy Belz on Christian persecution, all in one sitting. —Tom Hovsepian / Lahaina, Hawaii

Thank you for breaking down the ethnic makeup of brothers and sisters in Christ in the Sri Lankan churches that were attacked. Where else, indeed, can broken people gather? Only in Christ, worshipping and, in these tragic days, dying together. —Kelly Jessup Casebeer on Facebook

Whatever you might think of cathedrals, their raison d’être was their builders’ burning desire to express creatively their love for God. Thanks for your good coverage of these issues and your fearless coverage of all things Christian. —Maureen Kerce / Lake City, Fla.

The burning of Notre Dame seems a sad metaphor for the church in Europe and the West. As the mainline churches decline, their historic buildings decay or are repurposed for secular use. I will be surprised if secular France puts up $8 billion to restore the cathedral to its former glory. —Rick Rosetto on

Viral complications

[ May 11, p. 50 ] I appreciate your reporting on vaccinations in a respectful and balanced way. It saddens me that vaccinations have become such a divisive issue among Christians. The wrong opinion is practically an unpardonable sin in many circles, rather than a family’s private and prayerful decision. —Heather Munoz on

The truth cannot be suppressed indefinitely. The real risks and limited benefits of vaccines are being exposed to more and more people. —Gisele Baribeau / Dorchester, Ontario

As a physician, I want my 2-month-old child vaccinated soon, but I also want to stand against abortion. It would be nice if there were an alternative to the vaccines derived from cell lines from aborted babies, but none is readily available. So what now? I don’t have an answer. —Jeb Rice on

What a one-sided piece of writing! Reactions happen all the time. Are we supposed to trust God and His design for our bodies to fight off infection, or man’s attempt to vaccinate us? —Jeff Mitchell / Banning, Calif.

Of course using the cells of a person murdered for scientific research legitimizes that murder. I’m appalled at your disregard for human life on this issue. Until an ethical option exists in the United States, I cannot have my children vaccinated with MMR. —Michelle Bishop / Lynnwood, Wash.

The vaccination issue is a symptom of the loss of public trust in our corrupted scientific, medical, and political institutions. Soon our overbearing government will try to mandate this issue, making it even harder to discriminate between valuable medicines and the pharmaceutical and medical industries’ attempts to bioengineer society. —Christopher S. Thorgesen / Haynes, Ark.

The trouble with formulas

[ May 11, p. 4 ] There may be no simple checklist for foreign policy decisions, but a more important document frames lesser checklists: the Constitution. Only a few federal politicians have consistently voted against “foreign entanglements.” —Jim Foxe / Chesapeake, Va.

Getting the big story

[ May 11, p. 30 ] Thank you for the engaging interview with Emma Green. Marvin Olasky’s concluding question about coverage of abortion and LGBT issues was on target. We are living Paul’s analysis in Romans 1. May God grant us repentance and renewal. —Don Poundstone / Portland, Ore.


[ May 11, p. 25 ] This was a good movie, but it left out the book’s emphasis on prayer and use of Scripture that made it so powerful and inspiring. The movie was a nice story but will leave those who read the book wishing for more. —Amy Kay on Facebook

Avengers: Endgame

[ May 11, p. 25 ] I was disappointed the movie didn’t show why Thanos was wrong for wanting to eliminate half the population of the universe. A co-worker of mine felt sorry for him after the last film. Endgame was a wonderful movie, but it missed its own big idea. —Dave Renken on

Killing a legend

[ May 11, p. 23 ] I think one of the best features of The Highwaymen was showing the Texas Rangers as real men who really had no desire to kill but knew someone must. As a parent of five myself, seeing the sorrow of Clyde’s father over what he knew would have to happen to his son hurt me inside. Great movie. —Dorothy Fincham on

American Gospel: Christ Alone

[ May 11, p. 24 ] This film is well worth watching. The prosperity gospel distorts the gospel of Christ, sometimes beyond recognition. It has infected much of the Caribbean and Africa (we have lived here for 20 years) where the culture strongly discourages the questioning the authority of a pastor. —Bob Barnes on

Quick Takes

[ May 11, p. 19 ] The piece about an old bomb found in Frankfurt’s river reminds me of a story my dad, a missionary in Korea, told. In the 1950s some villagers asked him for help turning a bomb they had found into church bells. He referred them to the military, but later discovered they instead cut it in half with a hacksaw while pouring water over it. They sold the explosives inside to fishermen and had enough money left over after making the bells to fix their bus. —David H. Hopper / Greensboro, N.C.

Speech scrum

[ May 11, p. 63 ] I live in Australia, and the noose is tightening on religious freedom. We would do well to quote Scripture rather than using our own words. —Katherine Powers on

How full is FULL?

[ April 27, p. 34 ] Thank you to Mindy Belz and Sophia Lee for traveling to risky places to discern truth. And thank you for reminding us that “immigration” is a faceless word, but “immigrants” are fathers and mothers and children fleeing danger and seeking mercy. —Frankie Bennett / Asheville, N.C.

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

Unchurched election

[ May 11 ] The best evangelical candidate, Ted Cruz, would have lost a general election, so I am glad that Donald Trump became our president despite the bad advice of evangelical leaders who valued their personal consciences over the consequences of a Democratic victory for the country. —David Dileas on

Trump’s policies are good for Americans regardless of church attendance. —John Vezzosi on Facebook

Burning issues

[ May 11] I appreciated the article but wanted to add that the priceless pipe organ, itself a work of art, was also spared. —E.J. Bos / Apex, N.C.

Unbreakable bonds

[ May 11 ] Another great column by Mindy Belz. And she brought in the atrocities in Sri Lanka and New Zealand so we can see how people view them differently. —Eric McCarty on Facebook

Sin in the city

[ May 11 ] I fully expected my debt-ridden state of Connecticut to show up on the gambling front given we have the second- and third-largest casinos, by square footage, in the United States. —Peter Kushkowski / Portland, Conn.

Easter heroism

[ April 13 ] As a college student struggling through junior year English finals, I needed the reminder that these stories I’m studying are beautiful because they are reflections of the greatest story we’ve ever been given, not just because we happen to like them at the moment. They are part of the gift Christ has given us. —Elyssa Warren / Hillsdale, Mich.