This Month's Cover

Sojourners Magazine: February 2011

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For most of the century following the Civil War, "Jim Crow" laws enforced the segregation of blacks and whites in this country, a caste system of legalized racial discrimination that lasted into the mid-1960s. Today, as author Michelle Alexander explains, it's no longer socially acceptable to use race to justify discrimination -- but the discrimination continues in another guise. Millions of African Americans, especially men and boys, are under the control of the U.S. criminal justice system, a significant percentage of them for nonviolent offenses.

Read the feature article, Cruel and Unequal, and see videos of Michelle Alexander speaking on the new Jim Crow.

Read Logan Mehl-Laituri on his decision to become a conscientious objector to the Iraq War, and find resources on selective conscientious objection.

Michelle Alexander, a longtime civil rights advocate and litigator, is an associate professor of law at the Moritz College of Law and the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at Ohi
Current regulations (Instruction 1300.6 for the Department of Defense) are clear that conscientious objector

Cover Story

Blacks and whites use drugs at about the same rate, yet African Americans are 10 times as likely to be imprisoned for drug offenses. The unbalanced effects of the 'war on drugs.'
Where prisoners stand in the divine politics of Jesus.


A newspaper columnist in Memphis confronts racism in her hometown -- and is surprised to discover she is not alone.
He was in the army. Then he realized that, as a Christian, he couldn't kill. An Iraq vet grapples with conscience and war.
Seven myths and seven paradoxes of Christian leadership.
Listening for God's voice at each new stage of life.


What brings churches together? Is a common language enough?
U.S. militarization of the border takes a stark toll in lives, human rights, and money.
The moral route is clear: Obama must take a stand.


Last week the body of a young woman was found near my house. She was 17 years old. She'd been murdered. The garbage men reported finding her in a supercan in the alley.
As one would predict, many humor writers are taking cheap shots at the new pat-down rules at airports. But at Sojourners we're different.
Six Christian women from an evangelical church in Texas invited six Jewish women from a local synagogue and six Muslim women from a local mosque to form a cooking club.
When Pastor Terry Jones threatened to burn Qurans at his church in Florida this fall, he hurt a lot of Muslims I know. He also hurt a lot of Christians.
Time and again, we heard from President Obama on the campaign trail that Washington was broken and he was running for president to fix it.

Culture Watch

Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals, by Shane Claiborne, Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, and Enuma Okoro. Zondervan.
On a September morning in 1963, terror came to the Sixteenth Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama.
Split Ticket: Independent Faith in a Time of Partisan Politics, edited by Amy Gopp, Christian Piatt, Brandon Gilvin. Chalice Press.
Two very different tellings of the life and times of Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
Preachers in American fiction are usually not to be trusted -- Elmer Gantry might steal from you, the priest in Mystic River might kidnap you, Robert Duvall’s Sonny i
Bio: Helps local women's groups in Central America, Mexico, and Haiti start and run grant-seeded community lending pools. Website:
In the past two years, the culture wars have been complicated on the Right by the rise of the "tea party." In a time of grave economic crisis and massive government action, the traditional right-wi


Regarding "The Theology of the Tea Party" (by Jim Wallis, November 2010): I have felt for a long time that libertarian thinking, as well as ultra right-wing conservatism, are not consistent with Ne
Reading Walter and June Wink's interview with Steve Holt ("Confronting the Powers," December 2010) brought back blessed memories of their warmth, humor, intelligence, and love of life while they at
My husband, he die without water in desert. Walking Saudi Arabia -- no jobs in Yemen for policemen from Somalia.
I am an RN who practiced in hospital delivery for 10 years.
As a mother of three, former doula, and active Catholic, I've long felt the disconnection between birthing and faith.
In the 18 months since I trained as a doula, I have become quite aware that, too often, birth loses its sacredness in a hospital setting.
We enter into a season focused on Christ’s human possibility as a defiant alternative to the human self proposed by the dominant values of our culture.