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Belief Beat

Hope everyone had an introspective Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, whether observed as a faith-related holiday, a nice break from the work week or something else entirely. Check out this story from Religion & Ethics Newsweekly about how mandatory sentencing for drug crimes and non-violent offenses has created “The New Jim Crow” system in America, in that something like half of all adult black men in Chicago and other big cities now have criminal records.

Better late than never, I found an intriguing parallel in these two Sunday New York Times stories:

Israelis Facing a Seismic Shift Over the Role of Women:

At a time when there is no progress on the Palestinian dispute, Israelis are turning inward and discovering that an issue they had neglected — the place of the ultra-Orthodox Jews — has erupted into a crisis.

And it is centered on women.

Evangelicals, Seeking Unity, Back Santorum:

Evangelical leaders, along with many other components of the conservative movement, have been fractured over the race, which contributed to Mr. Romney’s success in Iowa and New Hampshire. But with time running short and Mr. Romney holding considerable advantages, the leaders sought to table their divisions and chose, by a wide margin, to support Mr. Santorum over Newt Gingrich or Gov. Rick Perry of Texas

Ah, the strange bedfellows a common enemy can create… and how we inevitably are surprised when these alliances fall apart once that shared threat is sidelined, resolved or vanquished.

What do you think? Share your thoughts in the Comments section below.

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