Janie B. Cheaney

Janie is a senior writer who contributes commentary to WORLD and oversees WORLD's annual Children's Book of the Year awards. She also writes novels for young adults and authored the Wordsmith creative writing curriculum. Janie resides in rural Missouri.

Tinted glasses

| Red or blue eyewear will determine what the traveler sees in Oz
by Janie B. Cheaney
Posted 5/21/05, 12:00 am

Most people think of Kansas as a place to get through on their way somewhere else. Even L. Frank Baum, who made Kansas the springboard to Oz, had no descriptive words for it beyond "dry," "brown," and "dusty." Some speculate that Mr. Baum was using this middlest of Midwestern states as a symbol for turn-of-the-century Populism. If so, it's interesting that another author named Frank, 100 years later, has also made Kansas symbolic of a political movement.

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Patently offensive

| Better to write the Ten Commandments on the heart than on a wall
by Janie B. Cheaney
Posted 3/19/05, 12:00 am

While we await the Supreme Court's decision on Van Orden v. Perry and McCreary County v. ACLU, smaller Ten Commandments skirmishes go on across the country. Last year the superintendent of one of our local school districts hung a plaque of the Ten Commandments on the wall of the high-school cafeteria and a concerned citizen filed suit. Officials pulled the plaque, settled the case out of court, and terminated the superintendent.

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The big question

| God doesn't always give detailed answers; what He does give is far better
by Janie B. Cheaney
Posted 1/29/05, 12:00 am

By noon, they knew they were looking at an epic disaster: acres of land under water, tens of thousands dead, homes and public buildings churned to piles of rubble. Tallying up the damage would take weeks, cleaning it up would take months, evaluating its impact would take years. The aftershocks made an entire continent tremble, not only physically but spiritually. For the Lisbon earthquake of 1755 became as much a philosophic event as a tectonic one.

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