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New Alabama Governor Says Non-Christians 'Not My Brother, Not My Sister'

4 years ago
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Alabama's new governor, Robert Bentley, told a Martin Luther King Day crowd that he plans to be a governor "of all the people," but then added that anybody "who has not accepted Jesus Christ as their savior, I'm telling you, you're not my brother and you're not my sister."

Bentley's remarks came after he delivered a warm tribute to Dr. King at the Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church in Montgomery, where the slain civil rights leader once served as pastor.

"I was elected as a Republican candidate. But once I became governor...I became the governor of all the people. I intend to live up to that. I am color blind," Bentley said in a short speech given about an hour after he took the oath of office.

But then Bentley, a longtime deacon at First Baptist Church in Tuscaloosa, gave what The Birmingham News said "sounded like an altar call."

"There may be some people here today who do not have living within them the Holy Spirit," Bentley said. ''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."

He added, ''Now I will have to say that, if we don't have the same daddy, we're not brothers and sisters. 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."

Bentley appeared to be echoing the words of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew, when some in the crowd around him announced that Jesus' mother and brothers were there to speak with him. Instead, Jesus turned to his followers and said, "Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father who is in heaven, he is my brother and sister and mother."

Some religious and secularist groups said they were appalled at Bentley's words, esepcially coming on the day he was sworn in as governor.

The Hindu American Foundation called Bentley's words "intolerant, repulsive and wholly unacceptable." Bill Nigut, regional director of the Anti-Defamation League, said Bentley's 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."

The governor later insisted he wasn't intending to insult people of other faiths, and his spokesperson said Bentley "is the governor of all the people, Christians, non-Christians alike."

Still, Bentley's comments are only likely to cement Alabama's reputation as a state where vying to see which candidate can be most religious takes precedence over which candidate can cut the most taxes.

One of Bentley's rivals for the GOP nomination, Bradley Byrne, was blasted during the campaign for suggesting that not all of the Bible was meant to be read literally. And of course Judge Roy Moore, who also ran for the Republican gubernatorial nod, first made a name for himself -- and lost his job as the state's top jurist -- for refusing to move a monument to the Ten Commandments from a state courthouse.

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The Governor may have had good intentions, but the way he said things and the forum he said it in, would certainly make people uncomfortable. If I were not a Christian, I would be uncomfortable with the Governor. He's going to have to do a lot of explaining to clear this mess up.

January 19 2011 at 2:47 PM
hello justin

Amen to that! He is right! Everyone else are lost souls that need salvation.; but you can become my brother and sister if you surrender to the Lord and turn from your sin and let him come into your heart and be your Lord and savior. It does not matter what you have done. That is why Jesus came to this earth to save sinners of whome I was chief! Christian persucution is coming in America, it is just biblical prophocy that must be fulfilled. The wicked shall increase. "Wickedness shall fill the earth". Says the Lord. Just look around you.
Those of you who mock and say there is no God are fools. "For the fool says in his heart, there is no God". Hell is real and Heaven is real and you will either go to one or the other. There is no between like these foolish ghost hunters teach. Make your choice heaven by making Jesus Christ you Lord.

January 19 2011 at 2:46 PM

This is not only anti-Muslim, anti-Jewish, anti-Hindu, and anti-non-believer, but it's also anti-non-Protestant. If you believe in God you should have the good sense to believe that we are all brothers and sisters in God. If you are a Christian you should have the good sense to love thy neighbor as yourself as Christ instructed. Not just your Protestant neighbor. Not just the neighbors you like. All of them.

January 19 2011 at 2:45 PM -1

I'm glad someone is standing up against this secular world we live in. I'm glad a Christian is taking a stand!

January 19 2011 at 2:45 PM +1

And here goes the Republicans going to far RIGHT. If this kind of BS continues then the country will swing back left. Neither party seems to get it right so we'll swing back and forth.

January 19 2011 at 2:44 PM -1
Anne Boleyns Crown

"This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion in it."
... John Adams, 2nd president of the US

January 19 2011 at 2:44 PM +1

ROMANS 10 verses 8 and and 9 check it out its free the price has been paid in full

January 19 2011 at 2:40 PM

Simply, the man is a liar. He states he's the governor to all people and then washes that statement out by erasing anyone that does not follow his religious beliefs. He should be a leader in his own church and not a governor that is supposed to represent ALL the people; all not just a specified group. I'm glad I don't live in Alabama. Ignorant man has forgotten that so many people have been killed in the name of religion.

January 19 2011 at 2:40 PM +1
1 reply to liz's comment

Did you vote for him? Did you vote? If you voted for him you are part of the problem. If you didn't vote, you are part of the problem.

January 19 2011 at 2:45 PM

This is why our forefathers demanded that the Constitution of The United States has a clause seperating Church and State. More deaths and Wars have been fought over religion than anything else. This is why we are at war in the Middle East. To all Politians I say "Go to the Church of your choice,love your God, but do not preach religion in your day to day politics. You offend the Constition and you offend God." I believe in God but I do not want it in my political views.

January 19 2011 at 2:39 PM +4
Pope of Truth

Well apparently he feels strongly about his faith. However, perhaps he should have made this statement prior to the election so people could decide if they wanted this brother and or non-brother to be their governor.

January 19 2011 at 2:39 PM +7

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