Letters to the Editor
Yes, I can verify that “World War II POW Jake DeShazer chose a life
of love not hate” (Spring 2004 Response). As his daughter, I’ve had
a front- row seat to watch my dad and to observe the rock-solid commitment
to the Lord he made in the Japanese prison, his commitment to his
marriage to mom and his commitment to bring others to the Lord. I
feel very blessed and honored to have such a genuine, loving, honest
and supportive father to model my life after.
It has been almost
60 years since dad was released from prison and his surprising
announcement of God’s call on his life to return to Japan as a
also been almost 30 years since his retirement from a lifetime
of missionary activity in Japan. Yet dad’s story is still relevant
today; people remind me time after time of how his story continues
to be shared amongst friends, pastors, military people, schools
and churches all over the world. Yes, all because he chose love!
Thank you, Clint Kelly, for depicting dad as he is. Thank you,
President Watson and the SPU family, for giving my dad such a
warm welcome on your campus. Thank you also, SPU, for equipping
and preparing him for the great mission that lay ahead. You encouraged
and supported him on his journey of trusting God for everything
— Carol Aiko DeShazer Dixon ’79,
I WAS VERY DISAPPOINTED with your glorification-of-war
issue of Response (Spring 2004). While the editor reminded us “seldom
has there been a greater demonstration of the principles of Christianity
,” the photos you chose were all about war. Anyone who
has talked to Jake DeShazer knows that the bombing raid lasted
a few hours, and his ministry was what he put his whole life and
soul into. Pictures speak louder than words. Your full-page cover
is a picture of a bomber like the one he spent a few hours in.
Your huge, two-page opening spread is another bomber. Your last
full picture is Jake showing off his medals. What are you saying
really? I wish the emphasis of the pictures could have been on
his ministry, which was so powerful, rather than the hardware and
medals of war.
It was the gospel of forgiveness from a man who
had every earthly right to be bitter that opened the Japanese hearts
to the gospel of Jesus.
Jake DeShazer might have embodied the Sermon on the Mount and the
Golden Rule, this issue glorified the opposite for me. You can
do much better. Please do.
— Michael Bade ’77, Seattle, Wash.
by Brooks and DeShazer
WHAT AN EVENING OF inspiration I had tonight
reading the current issue of Response! In particular, the articles
relative to David Brooks were superb. What a good thing it was
to have him on the SPU campus and in Seattle.
And the Jake DeShazer
story including the informational editor’s note were outstanding.
Strangely, as I read the “Footnotes” section, which I always do,
it struck me what an advertisement those quips are for the best
in Christian higher education. SPU has a host of alumni who,
everyday in places all around the world, demonstrate the qualities
David Brooks is looking for in upcoming leaders. The SPU alumni
have been doing this for a long time.
— John F. Sills, Cascade
College ’62, Portland,
“It’s Like Mount Rainier Is Gone”
WHAT A WARM FEELING came
over me as I opened the cover of the Spring 2004 Response and
realized SPU had not forgotten my dad: President C. Hoyt Watson!
He held sway during those war years, when my world fell apart
as I received word of my husband’s death in France. The Allan
Fisher ’40 Memorial
Chapel was created on campus in honor of the SPU veterans who gave
their lives for their country.
When the news broke that POW Jake
DeShazer was released from prison, my dad invited him to enroll
at Seattle Pacific. I remember well greeting Jake as he appeared
in the library his first day on campus.
The week following
my dad’s death, I was at Safeway on Queen Anne Hill in Seattle,
looking down into the frozen foods section, when suddenly [the
late Seattle Pacific Professor of Economics] Mendel (M.B.) Miller’s
head appeared next to mine. He quietly said, “It’s like Mount Rainier
Watson Fisher Pettengill ’37, Seattle, Wash.
Toshiko’s Story Is
I READ WITH INTEREST the recent Response article
about Toshiko Senda. When Japan attacked Pearl Harbor on December
7, 1941, the lives of the Japanese in America citizens and aliens
overnight. We came to be viewed as potential enemies of the American
My family received official orders to leave our
home on Bainbridge Island in six days. Armed soldiers came to pick
us up on March 30, 1942. Our destination was Manzanar Reception
Center in the dry, hot desert in Owens Valley at the foot of
the High Sierras. This camp was in the process of being built
and provided only the basic necessities of living. Measuring 1
square mile, it was enclosed with barbed-wire fence and had watchtowers
manned by armed guards.
Eventually, essential services were provided:
post office, general store, schools, hospital, city council, recreation
programs, beauty shop, barber shop, etc. Protestant, Catholic and
Buddhist churches served the spiritual needs of the evacuees. My
parents were Buddhists, but my close friends started to attend
Sunday school at the Protestant church, so I tagged along. Soon
I became a believer and enjoyed the fellowship with Christians.
A good thing came out of difficult circumstances.
The day after
V-J Day, we left camp, free at last, to return home. Our strawberry
farm was overrun by tall weeds, and my parents had to start all
over again. I was able to complete my junior and senior years of
high school with my classmates. The principal, Clifford Axelson,
an SPC alumnus, introduced me to Seattle Pacific. I enrolled
in September 1947 and completed the nursing program in 1952.
I WAS INTERESTED in
Sarah Jio’s story: “Dear Toshiko.” The story evoked my own memories
of the Japanese-American citizens’ incarceration during World War II.
For 30 years, my father was pastor of
the Japanese Baptist Church in Seattle. I was 5 years old in 1942
when our church was vacated and locked. Our people had been sent
to Minidoka, an internment camp near Twin Falls, Idaho. We followed
them and rented a house nearby.
I have vivid memories of the indignities
we endured while continuing ministry in the camp.
If a picture
of the camp were juxtaposed to a picture of the Nazi concentration
camps in Europe, one would be hard-pressed to tell the difference
between the two.
Toshiko’s story is part of my story. Thank you
for printing her story so we would not forget the injustice and
prejudice suffered by American citizens during World War II.
Brooks Andrews ’62,
Editor’s Note: Response readers helped us solve
the mystery of whether Toshiko Senda was able to attend her 1942
Commencement (click here for the story).
Rick Steves and the War
I SO ENJOYED
THE ARTICLE on Rick Steves. It made me hanker for a European vacation.
I loved his emphasis on the people and not the monuments. That’s
the way I’d
love to travel.
Thanks also for being forthright about Steves’ position
on the war. This is such a polarizing issue, and I’m refreshed
to see SPU being open to the many varying Christian responses to
it. I am a longtime pacifist, by the Quaker influence of my mother,
who sent me to SPU. After spending so many years around Republican
Evangelicals (beloved Republican Evangelicals!),
it is refreshing
to see, as an SPU alum, that liberals are also welcome in the
Thank you for an intelligent and inspiring publication.
Grace Hotchkin Bond ’86, Duvall, Wash.
The Da Vinci Code and Women
in the Church
THANK YOU FOR YOUR review on The
Da Vinci Code.
Professor Vogt answers a number of questions that naturally arise
when one reads this page-turner, but he seems to have missed one
aspect that really needs to be mentioned.
Regardless of what one
believes about the historical accuracy of the book, it does raise
questions about how women are viewed in church today. It seems
hypocritical to me for the church, which has been one of the leading
champions of women’s
issues worldwide, to say that women should not be denied any opportunity
based solely on gender, and then to turn right around and say that
women cannot occupy certain leadership roles within the church
itself based completely on gender.
The Da Vinci Code requires
Christians to re-examine our stance on the role of women in our
churches. I have never been convinced of the traditional interpretation
of Scripture on this subject, but I am convinced that if we do
not re-examine this issue, we will continue to be seen as irrelevant
— John Matas ’84, Manitou Springs, Colo.
Commentary on “The Passion”
DR. [ROB] WALL STATED (in the Spring 2004 Response)
that believers must “voice graceful commentary” to
correct impressions made by Mel Gibson’s film “The Passion of
The Christ.” Allow me
to attempt graceful commentary in response to Dr. Wall’s comments.
If Gibson’s film is not an attempt to provide a literalistic take
on the gospel of Christ, then what is it? It certainly isn’t “Godspell,” “Jesus
Christ Superstar” or “Last Temptation of Christ” each of the
aforementioned, it can be argued, are “artful commentaries” or “exposi-
tions on biblical texts.” Certainly, Mel Gibson has taken artistic
license in some areas. But many Christians, Protestant and Catholic
alike, have viewed this film and have been able to separate that
license from the gospel narrative.
Second, Dr. Wall believes that
the film is anti-Jewish. But if the film is anti-Jewish, then
one must assume that the four gospels are anti-Jewish as well.
Even if the conflict between Jesus and the Jewish establishment
of the day was given greater context, I don’t see how a faithful
interpretation of Christ’s life avoids the fact that the Jewish
leaders ultimately rejected the Messiah, and arranged to have him
executed as a common criminal for political reasons.
contrary to Dr. Wall, I think one reason this film is so powerful
is that the viewer is given an insight into the suffering of
our Lord. If all I know is that a debt was paid for me, then I
might have a muted sense of gratitude to the one who paid it. But
if I realize that my debt was infinitely beyond my ability to pay
it, then my sense of gratitude becomes much more profound. What
this film did for me and for many other believers was remind
us of how much it cost for Jesus to redeem us.
McBurney ’88, Richland, Wash.
No Need for Other Subscriptions?
THIS TIME YOU’VE done it all: missions/ spiritual journey/history/the
Iraq war/art/book and film reviews/cultural issues/travel (just
returned from Paris where we toted Rick Steves’ Paris 2004)/stewardship/AIDS
awareness/sports/news. Let’s see: Toss in a recipe or two (no,
please, just kidding), and I can cancel all my other magazine subscriptions. Well done!
— Marilyn McGinnis ’61, Glendale, Calif.
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