Jeers to Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley

19 Jan

The New Face of "The Church Lady"

How my heart goes out to those that live in the state of Alabama right now, especially if you are not a “christian.”  According to Gov. Robert Bentley (R – AL):

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 said. “Now I will have to say that, if we don’t have the same daddy, we’re not brothers and sisters.

Once again, we have a concrete example of a civil servant who is supposed to work to protect ALL citizens admitting he is playing favorites.  Does this mean if you are Jewish, Muslim, or Atheist you will not be treated fairly?  Given the governor’s own words, I would say I would not feel safe in Alabama.  Unfortunately, (big surprise) Bentley represents the very same “christians” that adhere to an anti-gay agenda.

What happened to religious freedom? Separation of church and state? Was not the purported reason for coming to America to escape religious persecution?  Shall we start burning non-christians at the stake?  I would like to support ALL non-Christians in Alabama to ask they not pay any state income tax–don’t fund a government that considers you less than equal!  See Jeremy’s blog for the full article.

4 Responses to “Jeers to Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley”

  1. Jay January 19, 2011 at 2:30 pm #

    I imagine many Christians would at least partially agree with him–the imagery of being “brothers in Christ” or “brothers in the Holy Spirit” or “children of God” are all in common parlance in Christian circles. What’s unusual is for anyone–especially an elected official–to take that to the next logical step and baldly state that non-believers are non-brothers.

    In a weird way, I appreciate his candor. He’s a fellow human being, he’s a fellow American, he’s a fellow white guy, and for all I know he’s a fellow blood-type O-Positive, but I have no problem with not being considered this schmuck’s ‘brother’. Imagine being obliged to interact with him at holidays?

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt January 19, 2011 at 3:02 pm #

      Jay, while I have less of an issue with his religious beliefs, my primary objection is that as an elected official that is supposed to represent all citizens within his state (even the very substantial Jewish population) his behavior is completely unacceptable. What made it worse was that he delivered this venom on MLK day–a day I would like to consider reserved for reflection on how to promote peace, not promote exclusivity.

  2. Jay January 19, 2011 at 6:41 pm #

    I agree with you. His statement was explicitly exclusionary to those who don’t share his religious beliefs, and his decision to express these views on MLK Day was particularly egregious, tone-deaf, and contrary to the intended spirit of the day. As a Governor he has a particular obligation to represent all the people of his state, and he should retract the statement–or at least clarify that his sentimental feelings of attachment to fellow-believers in no way diminishes the worth or rights of other residents of Alabama.

    The point I was trying to make is more subtle. There’s a good deal of ‘coded’ exclusionary language out there, particularly from the far right, about the values, patriotism and so forth of those with whom they disagree. When the exclusion is more explicitly stated, as in this case, it provides a window of opportunity to discuss the forces driving us asunder. Religion, politics, economics, art, language–all can be divisive forces, and all can be forces of unity. On MLK Day one lesson should be on how potentially divisive issues–like religion–can be unifying ones, and on how diversity of opinion, belief and taste enhances our society. So the Governor missed a teaching opportunity–our society is made up of a community of communities. That he feels special kinship with those who share his faith is understandable, but the lesson he should take from that is other people love their communities too–and that all communities and individuals are equal under law.

    And an aside, I accept the notion that we can be respectful fellow citizens without needing elevated rhetoric about universal brotherhood. But that’s just me being skeptical (if not cynical) about language I perceive to be overblown.

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt January 19, 2011 at 7:45 pm #

      Jay, that was absolutely lovely! Despite your cynicism, your humanity shines through–your spirit inspires and mostly prevents me from sinking into a deep misanthropic abyss.

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