Alabama Governor Declares Christian Brotherhood

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley managed to alienate non-Christians within moments of taking office.

Alabama’s new governor wasted little time letting non-Christians know where they stand with him.

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley told a church crowd just moments into his new administration that those who have not accepted Jesus as their savior are not his brothers and sisters, shocking some critics who questioned Tuesday whether he can be fair to non-Christians.

“Anybody here today who has not accepted Jesus Christ as their savior, I’m telling you, you’re not my brother and you’re not my sister, and I want to be your brother,” Bentley said Monday, his inauguration day, according to The Birmingham News.

Jesus Christ but this is a stupid thing to say. Naturally, he’s had to clarify:

After his speech, Bentley said he did not mean to insult anyone.

Responding to questions about it, Bentley’s office released a statement Tuesday saying he believes “he is the governor of all of Alabama.” “The governor clearly stated that he will be the governor of all Alabamians “Democrat, Republican and Independent, young, old, black and white, rich and poor. As stated in his (inaugural) address, Gov. Bentley believes his job is to make everyone’s lives better,” the statement said.

And I believe him. But why, then, deliver such bizarre remarks? Granted, this is Alabama we’re talking about and very public Christianity is the norm there. But he’s now the governor, not a preacher.  And he’s got a duty to give every appearance of equality under the law, especially on fundamental matters like freedom of religion.

FILED UNDER: Quick Takes, Religion
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Mithras says:

    Even on its own terms, it’s a stupid thing to say. Christian belief is that all people are brothers and sisters, whether they are believers or not. (Jesus also said something about giving up all your possessions, another thing Americans who call themselves Christians ignore or rationalize away.)

  2. mantis says:

    Why are so many militant Christians so unfamiliar with the teachings of Jesus Christ?

  3. tom p says:

    >>>”those who have not accepted Jesus as their savior are not his brothers and sisters”,<<<

    WHEW!! That's a relief. I don't have to worry about him showing up for the holiday dinner.

  4. Justin Bowen says:

    And he’s got a duty to give every appearance of equality under the law

    Why?

  5. gawaine says:

    Hey, compared to Fat Monkey and Fat Stupid Monkey of the 1998 Alabama Governors’ Race, this guy is a genius. (Fob James and Siegelman – from the name calling that evolved from their discussion of evolution).

  6. Stephanie says:

    What the governor said is commendable. He said, “I want everyone to be my brother.” Awesome you mean he put Jesus first in his own life!!! Great that’s the way it should be God, family, career, etc. Not career first. He loves people and wants the best for them. How much better can you get than Jesus! You can’t. He’s ALLL. And for those who think he won’t make a good governor for people of various beliefs–WRONG!! That’s what we need someone who gives freedom yet knows who’s in control of it all–the Lord. People are allowed to have opinions including that of this Governor–who took that quote right out of the Bible! A man of power!