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Letters from our readers

Stalling the virus 

Jan. 16—Lance Radbill/Birmingham, Ala.

As a physician being assaulted with patient and medical staff concerns regarding the efficacy and safety of the COVID-19 vaccines, I found your cover story very helpful.

Richard Merriam/Arcadia, Okla.

I found it odd there was no counterargument on the efficacy of such a rushed-through vaccine. Some medical professionals hold an opposing view on the validity of the trials as well as the vaccine itself, and we would benefit from learning as much as we can before embracing it.

Slipping through the cracks

Jan. 16—Dennis Shannon/Auburn, Ala.

This is the most compelling article I have read on the dire consequences of strict laws regarding involuntary commitments. Until lawmakers give family members more power to make decisions for their mentally incapacitated loved ones, this problem will persist.

Nancy B. Graham/Richmond, Ky.

As a psychiatrist, I regularly see the tragedy of severe, untreated mental illness. But attempting to help people who are not immediately a danger to themselves or others by making decisions in their perceived “best interests” and against their will can lead to abuse of power.

First freedom agendas

Jan. 16—David Stageberg/Kingston, Wash.

Although the article was in the form of what Joe Biden is going to do regarding international religious freedom, it was good to see something in print espousing some of President Trump’s accomplishments.

Gospel-centered politics

Jan. 16—Joe Villanyi/Beavercreek, Ohio

I agree with Erick Erickson that, for some, politics has become a type of religion. But evangelicals who did their civic duty in voting for Trump and his policies as the only viable option were not spiritual dupes who thought he was a saving figure for America’s problems.

Richard Fowler/Clarkesville, Ga.

Erickson says, “Those with different values … are not my enemy, nor do they want to destroy the country.” Fifty years ago, that might have been true. Today, however, the current differences in values cannot be blended. For example, I believe a Christian cannot compromise on God’s value of human life.

Avoiding martial law

Jan. 16—Mickey Giles/Austin, Texas

Lee Greenwood’s tune is nothing but a memory. We now pledge allegiance to the Banana Republic of America.

Soul gets life right

Jan. 16—John Banks/Lake Ariel, Pa.

Megan Basham was right to look at the eternal and afterlife motif in her review, but she missed the film’s extended subnarrative of gender dysphoria. The current push for the acceptance of people who are simply “a girl trapped in a boy’s body” made this difficult to miss.

Sunnie Waggoner/Fountain Hills, Ariz.

I was disappointed that your review missed the movie’s emphasis on one of the key tenets of Mormonism: “a holding station where souls who have yet to be born prepare for life on Earth.”


Daniel Prude, a mentally ill black man, stopped breathing while police physically restrained him and died in a hospital a week later on March 30 (“2020 News of the Year: Deaths,” Dec. 26, p. 90).

In the movie News of the World, Capt. Jefferson Kyle Kidd takes Johanna to her relatives in Castroville, Texas (“Circuit storyteller,” Jan. 30, p. 27).

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

Slipping through the cracks

Jan. 16—Luke Neuman/Mebane, N.C.

I want to thank Sophia Lee for shining a light on these issues. I am challenged to minister more to vulnerable people and to grow in compassionate action. I am realizing there is not always an answer to these deep problems. Who is sufficient for these things? God, please give us wisdom.

Gospel-centered politics

Jan. 16—Keith Hueftle/Evansville, Ind.

Marvin Olasky’s interview with Erick Erickson disappointed me. There was no regard for the hourslong fraud hearings in various states. I can’t “move on” as though the whole idea of fraudulent voting was a bad dream.

Congressional chaos

Jan. 16—Daisy Negron-Haskamp/Rio Rancho, N.M.

It was with good reason President Trump criticized the huge COVID-19 “relief bill” loaded with excessive left-wing pork and a limited amount specified for American citizens. Painting the president as insensitive to the needs of Americans was unfair.

Ruth Wallace/Louisville, Ky.

President Trump was correct in calling Republican leadership “pathetic.” After he wanted Congress to pass a clean COVID-19 relief bill for months, congressional leaders settled on a law that contained enough pork to sink our great-grandchildren’s future.

Avoiding martial law

Jan. 16—Anne Robertson/McLeod, Mont.

I know that millions are disappointed with the outcome of the election and many believe the election was stolen. Let’s take the anger we feel and put it to work to reform our election process so that no one can ever doubt the validity of future elections.

Who has the power?

Jan. 16—Betty Nelson/Barneveld, Wis.

I thank Janie B. Cheaney so much for her column’s closing paragraphs. I have also been drawn to Scripture about the power of Jesus. He is on the throne now!

The great division

Dec. 26—Jorge A. Velez/Long Beach, Calif.

Andrée Seu Peterson’s column reminded me of Plato’s story of the prisoners in the cave. Knowing only darkness and shadows playing on the wall, they were convinced this was ultimate reality. However, one prisoner was set free, and upon his return, he labored to convince his companions of reality outside the cave. Plato describes his companions’ reaction: “If they could lay hands on the man who was trying to set them free and lead them up, they would kill him.” Human nature, driven by original sin, has not changed since the beginning.

Quick Takes

Dec. 26—Janet Geary/Damascus, Md.

While it is true the world is certainly getting smaller and travel to foreign countries is easier than ever before, there are many reasons why parents may not choose to have their children travel outside the country or far from their home. Every state in our country possesses innumerable cultural opportunities, incredible sights, a variety of people groups, and unforgettable experiences. It is a bit snobbish to imply that to be considered “cultured,” one must have traveled outside the country.

Strong and courageous

Dec. 26—Johanna Voss/Muncie, Ind.

A page dedicated to suggestions for books to be read by “boys of all ages” seems less like a matter of perspective and opinion, but outright sexist: Being strong and courageous is only for boys? Good grief. I thought the days of overt gender role rhetoric in Christian publications would be over … in this case, it’s not.