Thanks again, Charisma, for making me think. Your story on immigrants (August) reminded me of the richness that different races and cultures bring to our relationships.
One of my favorite experiences at my church has been getting to know Peter and Tetyana, a Ukrainian couple who had moved to New Orleans then fled to my city during Hurricane Katrina. Two avenues opened up to facilitate our friendship. One is music; the second is language. Were they not willing to learn English, they would remain always at a disadvantage.
What if they had refused to learn English and demanded that the U.S. government and culture adapt to their individual needs? That is neither practical nor logical. I admire Hispanics in our area who are committed to retaining their culture, and I admire those who speak Spanish in their homes. But they will not serve themselves or their adopted community well if they refuse to learn English.
Immigrants can teach their children the richness of living in a multicultural society, but unless they learn English, that won't happen. They'll isolate themselves in cultural neighborhoods and never experience all that this country has to offer.
English is not a threat to anyone's heritage or culture. It offers immigrants a path to a richer, fuller life.
The Immigration Debate
Regarding your coverage of immigrants ("Immigrant Faith" by Joel Kilpatrick, August), my mother was an immigrant, as were my father's parents. I'm thankful they came to the United States. However, they came legally!
The issue of open or closed borders is all about people who are coming here illegally. Let's be open to those who come here legally and closed to those breaking the law and entering illegally.
I am so glad someone is finally speaking out about the role that Pentecostal ministers should take concerning illegal immigration. Until now the matter was left to Hispanic ministers and Catholic bishops to address.
In God's kingdom there are no borders. Where are the conservatives? Are they not the ones who oppose abortion and gay marriage? Yet the church is keeping silent while our immigrant nation turns into a nation of hatred.
New Brunswick, New Jersey
Christian conservatives have written far too many words that are denigrating to immigrants, trampling their dignity in the name of the law. A higher law commands us to love our neighbors—even if they weren't born in this country.
It is time to close the borders. Unsecured borders in Texas have allowed every kind of crime to affect our citizens. It is not just drugs and the mafia that come from Mexico. Illegals take jobs from American citizens.
Illegals have ripped off our hospitals and schools. Quality health care and education programs have been replaced by bilingual classes that don't teach English well. It is your grandchildren who will not have education or job choices because of this foreign invasion.
San Antonio, Texas
Few if any Americans are opposed to immigration when it is done properly. The point of today's problem is folks who come here without permission. That is a violation of our laws and must not be allowed.
These folks do not want to be U.S. citizens or to learn our language. Therefore we are not a melting-pot nation any longer.
Raleigh, North Carolina
There is a real difference between immigrants and illegal aliens. How many years should we support illegal immigrants who have no evident desire to become citizens?
They come here with no plans of becoming citizens. They pay $5 for a green card. They drain our social security system while hospitals provide free care for them. They are given a free ride at taxpayers' expense.
It's time we started drawing lines between these two distinct groups. Immigrants? Yes! Illegal immigrants? No! And, as Christians, we need to show our opinions when we go to the polls to cast our votes.
I thought conservatives were concerned about people entering this country in an orderly and legal way. Unregulated numbers of immigrants result in too great a strain on our health-care and educational systems.
Immigrants have contributed much to make this nation what it is today. But at the same time people need to know that we're a nation of laws, not anarchy.
I'm not aware of any other country in the world that would allow millions of people to cross its borders illegally, settle and then expect all the benefits of a national citizen. We need to pray for a just resolution to the current immigration situation in our country.
Greensboro, North Carolina
The real issue is not immigration, prejudice or being liberal. The real problem is rooted in drugs, gangs, terrorists and other criminals. Fox News reports that there are 80,000 illegal immigrants in the United States right now who have active warrants out for their arrest. Their crimes range from murder to rape to shoplifting.
Can Worship Be Too Loud?
Thanks for your recent cover story on the David Crowder Band ("It's a Worship Revolution" by Chad Bonham, July). I know there are people who are probably uncomfortable with Charisma's focus on this group because the band's music is loud and because the members look different from people we see on Christian television. But God is using them to reach a different generation for His glory.
New Orleans, Louisiana
A decibel meter will easily prove that today's worship music is too loud. It damages our ears and prevents us from entering into worship with the congregation. Who will challenge the "worship leaders" and "musicians" to bring the sound level down to a respectable volume?
Prescott Valley, Arizona
My heart has been grieved by the exploitation of music in the church. Many churches have become entertainment centers and include rock and rap music, fog on stage and colored lights. Is this not a bar scene?
I am sure there are talented individuals on the instruments. But is their talent glorifying God? Or is it showmanship?
Must the drums and rhythm guitars be so loud that we feel each beat in the center of our chests? I once asked a worship director why the music had to be so loud. He replied, "The people need to feel the beat in their bodies to get into the 'presence.'"
What happened to getting on our knees and being quiet before the Lord?
Women and Domestic Violence
I am pleased Charisma tackled the subject of domestic violence ("The Sin We Hide From View" by Marcia Davis-Seale, August). However, the article presents a biased portrayal of this problem. Research consistently shows that women are as likely to instigate domestic violence as men are.
In the area of dating violence, the Centers for Disease Control shows that women are actually slightly more likely to engage in partner aggression. Ignoring the problem of female aggression will not help us solve the problem of partner abuse.
Edward E. Bartlett
Editor's note: U.S. government studies and many other sources clearly indicate that 92 percent of domestic violence incidents are crimes committed by men against women. It is outrageous to claim that women are more violent. Also, many cases of female violence occur in lesbian relationships and are not, in fact, directed at men but rather at their female partners.
This certainly does not mean we should overlook the issue of domestic violence against men. But it is reprehensible to suggest that women are not the more vulnerable gender.
A Forgotten Pioneer
I enjoyed your recent profile of Matthew Ward and the music of the Jesus Movement ("The Jesus People: Where Are They Now?" August). But I wondered how you could have omitted Dallas Holm.
A true forerunner of Christian music, Dallas' influence on the genre is legendary. He has won multiple Dove awards, received many Grammy nominations, and has gold records. But of infinitely greater importance is the reality that thousands have given their lives to Jesus at his concerts. My husband and I were greatly impacted by Dallas Holm and Praise when we were younger.
Rev. Teri Downs
Woodland Park, Colorado
Bush and Condoleezza
In your article about Condoleezza Rice ("The Quiet Faith of Condoleezza Rice" by Leslie Montgomery, June), you didn't mention that as head of the State Department she was sent by President Bush to tell Israel to give up land given to them by God. The land for peace practice has never worked, and even now Israel is being pressured to give up the West Bank. Could this be the very reason the Bush administration seems to be cursed in everything it does?
Let's Get Real
In J. Lee Grady's column called "Hurricane Warning" (Fire in My Bones, July), he asked why people don't hold church leaders accountable for their moral actions. I think it's because of greed on the part of church members and the abandonment of the true gospel. In a world where we've learned to build large congregations with marketing, we have reaped what we've sown.
Jesus never told us that the church was to function as a hierarchy, an organization or an institution. He made us a family. Church was meant to be very simple. We've complicated it beyond recognition.
Grady's questions are good and there are answers, but are church leaders ready to listen? The culture in charismatic churches is to have one man set the vision. There is really no understanding of teamwork. Until old mind-sets and lack of accountability are dealt with, we will continue to see the superstar pastors crash and burn.