Hanna Rosin, in her Oct. 14 Style article, "Columbine Miracle," asserted that "in questions of death and faith it's the power of the story that counts" and "truth is a trifle." Her point is that the Cassie Bernall "myth" regarding her confession of faith at gunpoint carries sufficient force to galvanize the evangelical community, regardless of whether it is true.

She then cites my Oct. 4 story in Christianity Today. She says my article argues that Cassie's "heroic yes" has become a defining moment for this teen generation; that her "yes" defies today's self-centered secular humanism; and that it answers the question posed by Time magazine's April 1966 cover, "Is God Dead?"

Truth is not "a trifle." For me, as a journalist, truth is everything, which is why I remained nonplussed by the neglect in reporting the multiple witnesses who stand behind their recollections of Cassie Bernall -- and Val Schnurr -- being asked the question "Do you believe in God?" and answering in the affirmative.

In her use of my article, Ms. Rosin didn't state that in the aforementioned observations about the "heroic yes," I included the testimonies not just of Cassie Bernall but also of Rachel Scott and Val Schnurr to make my point.

Neither Ms. Scott nor Ms. Bernall survived to defend or dispel any "myths" regarding their testimonies. Val Schnurr did, and she upholds the premise of my piece: that Columbine has brought forth more heroes than villains.


Associate Editor

Christianity Today

Carol Stream, Ill.