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.
What was remarkable about the overturning of Proposition 8—California’s
ban on same-sex marriage—was the weakness of the case mounted by the
defense. At times during the proceedings, Judge Vaughn Walker had to
ask the legal team in charge of defending the proposition, in effect:
“Haven’t you got something better than this?”
I was perilously close to becoming an agnostic—at least about certain statistics. Specifically, I really didn’t know the data on Christians in China, and for a while I was not sure if anyone did. Only now, perhaps, do we have the glimmerings of an answer to one of the most pressing questions in global religion: just how many Chinese Christians are there?
The attention given to the extreme and increasing wealth of the top 1 percent can be misleading. It glosses over the fact that the people just below them—those in the 81st to 99th percentile—are also gaining wealth much faster than other sectors, pulling away from the middle-class people below them. The focus on the top 1 percent gives those other members of the upper class the illusion that they’re in the same economic boat as the population below them when they are not (Brookings, September 10).