By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
God Is Not Dead
Nature did it: Great article ("God in the Details," by Mark Stuertz, May 3). One thing I've noticed for years is that scientists, even those clearly not leaning toward belief in God, ascribe all of his characteristics to nature when describing it in print and on television. They regularly, and without a trace of irony, attribute will, intelligence, creativity, a sense of purpose, power and even a sense of humor to what is, in their theory, impersonal, random and accidental (and therefore, if they are honest, ultimately meaningless). It seems they can't help themselves; and they certainly can't seem to hide their wonder, awe and reverence for "nature." What is equally amazing is that most theists don't seem to notice this and point it out, even to their children. If they did, maybe they wouldn't see the need to force intelligent design to be specifically taught in schools (because it already is—to those who listen closely). Given this, it seems that much of the debate over God's existence is merely semantics.
No proof: The article makes not a single "God proof." Varghese's repeated argument seems to be that "ignorance is a source of wonder." For example, the clap-and-fling model of bee flight was scientifically established way back in the early '70s; Varghese relates it as unexplained by science even today. The article suggests that the "mystery" of bee flight has been recently unraveled.
Rich and balanced: Mark Stuertz's article "God in the Details" was stunningly interesting for such a deep topic. Typically, analyses of faith-based or God-oriented debates turn out to be little more than a transparent attempt by an author to present his own views to prop up one side or the other. Mr. Stuertz allowed the proponents to speak for themselves and laid out their angles clearly, without pushing any noticeable view of his own. Rich, deep, thought-provoking, excellent article. I hope for more articles from him that explore controversy or debate with balance, and I feel enriched from having read this one.
The Jerk upstairs: Thanks for a very interesting article. I was particularly intrigued with the one fellow who was concerned about God "...because the facts of the universe suggest that it's run by this evil sort of being." That's not the way I see it at all. To me God seems more like a mischievous, imaginative and slightly mean 12-year-old boy, one who likes to pull the wings off a fly, blow up all the firecrackers he can and generally be a jerk. More like Alfred E. Neuman—or me at that age—than anything else. Let's hope he's growing up fast!
Belo the Belt
Grave expense: Thank you, Mr. Schutze, for describing the attempts being made to enrich the despicable Dallas Morning News with the city's coveted advertising money ("We See London, We See France...", April 12). The Dallas Morning News is a terrible corporate citizen. Imagine my horror when I submitted a modest obituary for my late mother's funeral and was charged $2,000 because the Morning News perceives that it has no competition, can gouge people like me with impunity and laugh all the way to the crypt! The same ad ran for $200 in Amarillo.
Amarillo Jailhouse Conversion
How to be a crook: Where do criminals learn to become great criminals? The answer is prison. After my brother finished his prison sentence, we spent several days discussing his experience. We covered everything from prison culture, criminal college and the re-incarceration rates. As a seminary student at Dallas Theological Seminary and a chaplain candidate in the Army, I could only wonder what possible solutions the government could come up with, because the current standard methods obviously continue to fail.
And then I read this article. I found myself both excited and disheartened. Excited that such a program as InnerChange Freedom Initiative exists and disheartened that such a successful program now finds itself in the crosshairs of liberalism. We need to confess the limitations of government and search for solutions outside of the bureaucracy, especially when those solutions work. The government simply can't reach people at a heart level—the area of a prisoner's life that needs the most change.
Now the government can't deny other religious groups involvement in programs like IFI, but if other religious groups do not step up to the plate, then that doesn't mean we should cancel IFI for standing alone against an overwhelming societal problem. Nor should we cancel them for using faith to better society. Last time I checked, chaplains functioned within the military—a government program. And chaplains have remained because of the wisdom of generals who see the difference chaplains make in units. So just as with the chaplaincy in the military, IFI can work as a religious program within the government.