Saturday, June 30, 2012

You Don't See Many Jewish Boys in Prison

Someone once made the comment, “You don’t see many Jewish boys in prison.” This simple statement made me stop and think.

It appears to be true. Consider the following: 

“Maximum-security prisons in the United States have relatively few Jewish inmates, according to the Aleph Institute, a Chabad-affiliated organization that reaches out to Jews behind bars. Most Jews in the prison system usually end up at lower-security facilities for crimes such as fraud or tax evasion.”[1] (With exceptions like Bernie Madoff (left) , David Berkowitz, and some mafia types!!)

Another website says, “Jews in prison in the United States are a small group in absolute or relative numbers. In 1998, there were approximately 1,700 Jewish prisoners out of 1.5 million, according to Congressional testimony--a little more than one in 1,000.”[2] That is .00113% of those in prison. At one point only 10 Jews waited on death row.

Relative to Black, White, and Hispanic inmates, it seems to be true. "Not many Jewish boys go to prison."

Why? Are they better people? No. They’re just like everyone else. Is it because many of them are rich? That might be a factor but not the whole picture.

Jewish culture is largely based on belief in God and a moral code. Hard work, family, and faith are important concepts. The moral code applies to each member of the community. This is the root reason as to why few turn to a life of crime. They traditionally live by a moral code that includes God. That is my point. When people live this way, things go better for them.

You might think, “But many of the prisoners are Christians and Muslims, they have a moral code too.” True. But the vast majority of them come to those religious convictions after they are imprisoned. Crises like divorce, a near death experience, a hurricane, or going to jail - fuel religious conversion!

One study by a Department of Justice researcher noted, “A disproportionately high number of prisoners were not in any way practicing religionists prior to incarceration. That is, they exhibited none of the standard sociological measures of religiosity, such as regular prayer, scripture study, and attendance at worship services.”[3]

A lot of men and women come out of prison as Christians, but few start out that way. Desperation leads to change.

It is not people committed to a belief system and moral values who primarily end up in prison.

Which belief system? Which moral values are superior? The Christian Bible and ethic is unique and produces amazing results. That’s for another discussion.

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Quotes of Note ... The Invisible World

“Spiritual warfare is learning to recognize the strategies, refusing to cooperate with them, and aggressively cutting off the schemes of the devil in Jesus’ name.” Dean Sherman

“those who protest that God cannot exist because there is too much evil evident in life… Evil exists; therefore, the Creator does not. That is categorically stated… If evil exists, one must assume that good exists in order to know the difference. If good exists, one must assume that a moral law exists by which to measure good and evil. But if a moral law exists, must not one posit an ultimate source of moral law, or at least an objective basis for a moral law? By an objective basis, I mean something that is transcendingly true at all times, regardless of whether I believed it or not.” Ravi Zacharias

“But the Devil is no big threat to God’s purposes; he is not even remotely comparable in power. He has been given a limited time before his final judgment to try to prove his case, just as all other moral beings who have chosen to live in rebellion against heaven.” W.A. Pratney

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I've served as a life-long missionary in Samoa, the Pacific region, India, and now in Pennsylvania. The Christian faith is reasonable and works in real life. It is true to the facts. Hope you enjoy some of the thoughts. I appreciate feedback.

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