Here is the article that was mentioned in Mr. Karpf's letter. Isn't it interesting how some of the professed Christians seem the least compassionate.
Delivering the Gospel to Ground Zero's Streets
By ANDREW JACOBS
The Dow was shaky on Wall Street Tuesday, but the men and women who trade in the Lord's Word were experiencing something of a rally.
By late afternoon, William Bollman had nearly handed out the last of his 2,000 free Bibles, and Brian Biggs, a revved-up street preacher from Tennessee, was drawing an appreciative crowd a few yards from the New York Stock Exchange, although not as large as the one that stopped to watch the teenage choir from New Jersey belt out "Nothing but the Blood of Jesus."
A block north, just downwind from the smoldering World Trade Center, Dorothy Ivey, her singsong voice both mesmerizing and unnerving, was reminding people about the coming apocalypse while a man held aloft a sign that read, "Repent ye and believe in the Gospel."
Religious fire and brimstone are flourishing on the circuit of grief and picture-taking that skirts the edge of ground zero. Inspired by the soul- shaking events of Sept. 11, hundreds of earnest missionaries, evangelical orators and New Age healers from across the country have been flocking to Lower Manhattan, staking out patches of pavement and handing out Gospel tracts, hugs or ominous warnings about the Final Days.
Some say they have come to a wounded — and sinful — city to rescue souls, while others are simply trying to ease the agony of a citizenry still reeling.
Roy Rosedale, 68, a missionary instructor from Lake Arrowhead, Calif., said the climate of fear and anguish had made it easier to talk about Jesus Christ. "When the bombs are flying, there are no atheists in the foxhole," he said.
Since late September, he and dozens of other volunteers have handed out nearly two million glossy pamphlets titled "Fallen, but Not Forgotten." The booklets, which document the calamity with essays and striking color photographs, also present Christianity as an aid for healing and recovery.
Bill Boyd and his wife, Beverly, were quietly distributing a folksy booklet titled "Grief and Stress Management" paid for by their rural congregation in Little Hocking, Ohio. Mr. Boyd, 46, a chaplain for the local sheriff's department, said he and his wife were so moved by events in New York that they hitched a trailer to their motor home and drove 500 miles Sunday night to a church parking lot on Staten Island, where they have been sleeping.
"We didn't come here to be pushy or dogmatic," Mrs. Boyd, 44, said. "We came because we love people, and everyone here has a little void that needs to be filled."
Not every evangelical visitor was so gentle. As Mr. Biggs bellowed about sin and redemption to a lunchtime throng on Broad Street, his traveling companion from Chattanooga, Jerry Layne, expressed disapproval of New York. "The only difference between hell and New York is one of them is surrounded by water," he said.
But he and his friend became even more agitated when they made the acquaintance of Abdurahman Haji, a Somali immigrant from Queens who had decided to spend the day bravely talking up Islam to a largely unreceptive crowd.
Mr. Haji, 33, seemed to take pleasure in buttonholing out-of-town preachers like Mr. Layne, 63, who was wearing a red-white-and-blue necktie, his pants pocket stuffed with a well-worn Bible. "Allah loves you," Mr. Haji said repeatedly, prompting a burst of loveless words from Mr. Layne. "You can believe in Muhammad all you want, but you're still going to hell," he said. Mr. Haji just smiled and moved on.
For those who live or work on the fringes of ground zero, the frenzy of religious activity is just another reminder of how different their world has become. As Phil Salerni, a born- again Christian and saxophonist from Ohio, alternately played "Amazing Grace" and shouted about the glories of God, a group of stock exchange clerks could barely contain their smirks. "There was always a couple of nut jobs around here, but these days there are more than normal," said Joseph Butler, who works for a securities firm.
Still, plenty of people, many of them New Yorkers, have been snapping up literature and engaging preachers in soul-searching conversation. Debbie Walcott, 38, on her lunch break from her job at a brokerage firm, stopped to listen to a impassioned sermon about the Devil's role in the destruction of the trade center. In the last six weeks, said Ms. Walcott, who was downtown when the first tower collapsed, she has become more contemplative and spiritual.
"I think what happened was a wake-up call, but I'm still struggling to figure out what it all means," she said. "It's really difficult to be here every day." With that, she grabbed a pamphlet from the preacher, tucked it into her novel and went back to work.
end of article