Barely visible among the high-rise apartment buildings and cocktail lounges, a battered steel door in Manhattan's trendy Tribeca neighborhood leads to a basement jammed with barefoot men praying on their lunch break.
After a five-month absence, parts of Port-au-Prince looked marginally better than when I had last seen the city in February. At least some debris from the January 12 earthquake had been removed. But generally, the city seemed at a standstill.
Bishop Mark S. Hanson, the outgoing president of the Lutheran World Federation, appealed to delegates at the LWF gathering in Germany to hold together and avoid splits in the face of differences over issues of sexuality.
Religious leaders of the Metro Industrial Areas Foundation have urged President Obama to use the purchasing power of the federal government to change the firearms industry. Noting that the federal government is the nation’s top gun buyer, they say it can pressure gun manufacturers to sell only to dealers that sell guns responsibly. The government can also press gun makers on gun safety technology. Smart guns should be manufactured that can be fired only by authorized users. Manufacturers who refuse to cooperate should be denied government contracts (New York Times, July 17).