April 9, 2015 5:50 AM EDT


Our cover package on the battle between religious-freedom bills and civil rights for gay people prompted sharp responses. Richard Metz of Fort Myers, Fla., criticized “bullying tactics” from gay-rights activists, saying that religious liberty is a constitutional protection while antidiscrimination laws are not. But the vast majority of religious readers voiced frustration with the Indiana bill and others like it, even taking offense at TIME’s calling their supporters “believers.” “To me a ‘believer’ is someone who has faith in a loving God, a God who I believe would be as disgusted as I am with what is being done in His name,” wrote Nicole Mohr of Simi Valley, Calif., adding that many churches are standing up for LGBT rights. Wrote Barb Miller, an evangelical Christian from Reedsville, Pa., “the business of Christians is to spread the gospel, not worry about other people’s life choices … If I were going to refuse services to those whose behavior I don’t condone, I would be refusing to serve those who cheat on their partners or don’t pay enough attention to their children.”


“Mr. Klein is the only major national columnist who has correctly identified Iran’s rights to peaceful nuclear development under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty as the crucial reason why their nuclear program cannot be totally dismantled,” wrote William Beeman, professor and chair of anthropology at the University of Minnesota. But on TIME.com, doctor.j wrote that “a bad diplomatic ‘solution’ is not our only option,” citing other paths such as “more comprehensive international sanctions and economic isolation” and “surgical military strikes against Iranian nuclear facilities.”


Our story on a chalice being crafted for Pope Francis’ September visit to the U.S. didn’t sit well with some readers. Jerry Mobley of St. Cloud, Fla., called the cup a “misguided symbol of reverence draped in opulence” that should be created only after “every child throughout the world is well fed, kept safe from harm and provided with needed medicine and clean water.”


“Mountains are steeped in mythology,” says English photographer Charles Emerson, whose work features peaks from all over the world (like Romania’s Jepii Mici, above) presented using multiple exposures, to give the images a dreamlike quality. See more on lightbox.time.com.


“Hello from Space.” That’s the subject line of an email TIME got April 3 from astronaut Scott Kelly (above, top, aboard the International Space Station), whose yearlong mission got off to a smooth start. “Ride up hill was awesome,” wrote Kelly. “Settling in very nicely here. It’s almost like I never left.” NASA will study him and his twin brother back on Earth to look for effects of space on the body. For TIME’s ongoing coverage, visit time.com/space.

This appears in the April 20, 2015 issue of TIME.

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