March 1, 2007

Web Letters

How Much of a Voice?
As an European reader of Adventist Review, I wonder if the General Conference Department of Public Affairs and Religious Liberty has anything to say about the United States’ war in Iraq, the world-wide battle against terrorism, and the flagrant violations of human rights involved, especially in regards to the detainees at the Guantánamo (Cuba) detention center.
Eric Buchli
Langenthal, Switzerland

Thank you for your letter. In fact, we have been active in a number of areas you mention. Particularly, we supported anti-torture legislation that was passed last year in the U.S. Congress.

In addition, both in Liberty magazine and through our television program on the Hope Channel, we have dealt very publicly with violations of due process both domestically and internationally. It is likely we will be working on legislation regarding the right to timely and fair trial with this Congress, in cooperation with other civil liberties groups.
I should add that the article in the Review had a section about these due process issues, as well as issues of wealth inequality, healthcare access, genocide, and other related issues. But the article had to be edited for space; it was an unusually long article that exceeded the length requested. I am grateful to the editors for printing as much of it as they did.
To stay informed about what we are doing in Washington, visit and sign up for our free e-mail updates. Someone with a keen interest in civil and religious liberty will enjoy hearing about the public campaigns we are involved in. --James Standish, associate director, Public Affairs and Religious Liberty
What About Abortion?
I read with interest the article by Ellen White, “Pressing Back the Tide of Evil” (Jan. 25, 2007). I also read the editors’ note referring to the “history and the passion with which devout Adventists have historically engaged with the issues of their world.”
I agree wholeheartedly with this premise, as well as Mrs. White’s counsel about speaking out “by voice and pen and vote.” But I cannot help but wonder why, in the 50 years I have been a member of this denomination, I have yet to be aware of any stand taken by this church against the practice of abortion?
Regardless of the circumstances, abortion is still the taking of human life, viable or not.
I applaud the stand taken by the Roman Catholic Church on this issue. I wish the Adventist Church had the same courage to stand up for the “right to life” of all.
Ron MacDonald
Cobalt, Ontario, Canada
For the Adventist Church’s statement concerning abortion, click here  --Editors

One Lesson From Tragedy
Regarding Roy Adams’ editorial, “A Tragic Lesson” (Jan. 25, 2007):
A few weeks after Bishop James A. Pike’s tragic death in the wilderness of Judea (August, 1969), I read a book published by his surviving wife. In it she told how she was unable to lead the rescuers back to her husband, but she received encouraging messages from spirit mediums all over the world, telling her to keep looking; for he had fallen on some rocks but was still alive. Unfortunately none of them told her where to find him.
Even though the spirits did not help her in time to save his life, her book gave a clear message: “Trust the spirits!” The Pikes, whose son had committed suicide and assured them he was “just fine on the other side,” had given up their faith in Christ and replaced it with faith in the spirits.
Ralph Neall
Ooltewah, Tennessee
A Historical Correction
Ross Chadwick’s article, “Vanished Without a Trace” (Dec. 28, 2006), makes an excellent point regarding the destiny of the unsaved. However, in the interests of historical accuracy it should be noted that Sir Ernest Shackleton died of a heart attack on board his ship “Quest” on January 5, 1922. According to his widow’s wishes, his body was interred at Grytviken, South Georgia, March 5 of the same year.
If any explorer died without a trace it was Sir John Franklin.
Angus McPhee
Rathmines, New South Wales, Australia
What Did the Editors Mean?
I am very concerned about the article, “Bringing the Human Neighborhood Into Existence,” by Robert H. Brown (Feb. 8, 2007). The editors apparently questioned the authenticity of it with the editorial note published before the article. The article could confuse many of our people about creation.
My favorite text is Genesis 1:1: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” I cannot fathom such a powerful God, but by faith I believe it.
If part of God’s creation is questionable, that makes the rest of Scripture--from Genesis to Revelation--questionable. I thank God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit for their wonderful creative works and their sustaining power.
Robert Massengill
Anderson, Indiana