Alabama Republican Governor Robert Bentley said in a Martin Luther King Jr. Day message Monday that he does not consider Americans who do not accept Jesus Christ as their savior to be his brothers and sisters.
"There may be some people here today who do not have living within them the Holy Spirit," Bentley said shortly after taking the oath of office, according to the Birmingham News. ''But if you have been adopted in God's family like I have, and like you have if you're a Christian and if you're saved, and the Holy Spirit lives within you just like the Holy Spirit lives within me, then you know what that makes? It makes you and me brothers. And it makes you and me brother and sister."
''Now I will have to say that, if we don't have the same daddy, we're not brothers and sisters," he continued. "So 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."
American Atheists President David Silverman told Hotsheet that the comments were "bigoted" and show that Bentley "puts his Bible above the Constitution of the United States."
"There is a difference between being a governor and being a mullah, or being a preacher," he said. "Being the governor of all people means that you are a representative of all people. It certainly does not mean that you abuse your position to push your religion on people who differ from your faith."
The Anti-Defamation League, a Jewish rights group, also condemned the comments.
"It is shocking that Governor Bentley would suggest that non-Christians are not worthy of the same love and respect he professes to have for the Christian community," ADL Southeast Regional Director Bill Nigut said. "His comments are not only offensive, but also raise serious questions as to whether non-Christians can expect to receive equal treatment during his tenure as governor."
Nigut added: "Governor Bentley's remarks suggest that he is determined to use his new position to proselytize for Christian conversion. If he does so, he is dancing dangerously close to a violation of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which forbids government from promoting the establishment of any religion."
Asked about Bentley's comments, his communications director, Rebekah Caldwell Mason, told the Birmingham News, "He is the governor of all the people, Christians, non-Christians alike."
While Bentley, a deacon at a Baptist church, drew a distinction between Christians and non-Christians in his comments, he also said he was "color blind" and would represent all the people in his state.
Bentley's comments may not be much of a problem for the new governor. During the Alabama GOP gubernatorial primary, candidate Bradley Byrne was attacked for allegedly suggesting that evolution, as opposed to creationism, "best explains the origin of life."
His response was to deem the ad awash in "despicable lies" and insist, "As a Christian and as a public servant, I have never wavered in my belief that this world and everything in it is a masterpiece created by the hands of God." He went on to tout his efforts to ensure creationism be taught in public schools.
<------Not dumb and not poor. From Alabama. This (of course) includes my family. Also, please cite your information...... Thank You.
I am appalled by the new governer's statement, and rather speechless. (seeing as how I do not keep up with politics)
And I have to live in this accursed state.
I have yet to talk to a friend who isn't at least mildly offended by this.
But sadly, this is most people around here--this is most of the way they think, this is the way my own father thinks.
Belief in god--their god, the god that thinks women are servants, that black people are lazy, that white people are the chosen race to uphold the ideal--that belief is more important than preventing violence, than preventing malnutrition, than fixing poverty or even than the pursuit of knowledge.
People here are very single-minded, and push bullishly towards the idea that if everyone was just like them, and all the rest were servants or died off, then all of our problems in the world would be solved--it is assumed that anyone who doesn't follow the bible and the ideals preached at every little church around here, that they are doomed to hell and damnation, and deserve to be "helped along to the end" by whatever means possible.
It was suggested at one church that help of any type should be refused to homosexuals, when they need it, so that they might repent from their "sinful lifestyles"--any suffering was to teach them what they were doing wrong(aka AIDS is their punishment....), "mixing of the races" was also preached against, and in any talk, black people were always described with the stereotypical words of lazy, stupid, and violent. Nevermind that these people also fit those words. Segregation may not be legal in schools--but it's still encouraged. So any words someone from this state says about equality--they ring hollow to me, they are simply sounds and posturing.
You'll be hard-pressed to get a candidate into office for Alabama that -isn't- ass-backwards like the rest of this state currently is.
Also, camouflage is formal wear here. I can't think about this too much otherwise it makes me want to go puke on someone. Purposefully. I hate this state. Decent weather, cheap land, but people and general fashion that makes me never want to leave my room. Tuscaloosa is probably the more -evolved- place in Alabama that I've 'lived', but it's still pretty bad. The only thing that redeems it is all the out-of-state-awesome teachers and students.
My father--racist, sexist, anti-equality, anger issues, mild mental instability(he forgets which daughter I am a lot):
He owns a lot of guns
A lot of guns.
He finally got a safe for them, rather than just setting them in the closet, but of course no one else in the family knows the combination for the safe. Just my dad.
I wouldn't be surprised if this is true for a lot more men in this state--everyone goes hunting, everyone owns guns, guns are tied to manhood(just like the olden days) and it's not seen too strange for guns to come into a fight at some point in time.
Also, yeah, they know all they need to know about anything--suggest otherwise and they'll stab or shoot you for being "so damn uppity". You aren't ALLOWED to know things they don't already know, especially if they're older than you, or they'll throw you a beating for "talking back" or "smart mouthing".
I was punished for talking about Urban Legends once--because my parents didn't know what they were.
Are there any Buddha statues in Talibama?
Backpedal backpedal! Quick, before you make the rest of Alabama look even worse!
Whoops, too late!
I knew a redaction would come, but does it make it never happen? Nope. Alabama's governor still said something stupid.