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Tilting at Windmills

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January 18, 2011

BEING GOVERNOR OF 'ALL THE PEOPLE' -- WITH MINOR EXCEPTIONS.... Republican Robert Bentley will be sworn in soon as Alabama's new governor, and explained this week his commitment to serving "all" of his constituents.

He's not above playing favorites, however.

Bentley spoke at Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church, where the late civil rights leader Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. once was pastor, and vowed to parishioners, ''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."

That's a nice sentiment, delivered in the context of race relations. But Bentley couldn't leave well enough alone. (via Taegan Goddard)

"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."

Bentley 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."

Asked later if he meant to be insulting to people of other faiths, Bentley replied, ''We're not trying to insult anybody."

No, of course not. It's just an example of a soon-to-be governor announcing publicly that constituents who don't share his faith should remember, "You're not my brother and you're not my sister."

Why would anyone find that insulting?

I am curious, though, what Bentley considers everyone else in his state who "has not accepted Jesus Christ as their savior." Great uncles and aunts? Second cousins? Family friend who shows up at birthday parties?

Steve Benen 11:20 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (28)

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ooooh, slacktivist,/a> is going to love this one.

If only Jesus had addressed this question.

Posted by: Gregory on January 18, 2011 at 11:27 AM | PERMALINK

..what Bentley considers everyone else in his state who "has not accepted Jesus Christ as their savior." Great uncles and aunts? Second cousins? Family friend who shows up at birthday parties?

Damned.

Posted by: Mr Bill on January 18, 2011 at 11:27 AM | PERMALINK

Argh! HTML fail. Apologies, all.

Posted by: Gregory on January 18, 2011 at 11:28 AM | PERMALINK

Obviously he has forgotten the parable of the Good Samaritan.

Posted by: mkcasey on January 18, 2011 at 11:30 AM | PERMALINK

"I am curious, though, what Bentley considers everyone else in his state who "has not accepted Jesus Christ as their savior."

Ooh, Ooh, I know Mr. Kotter - vermin ready for slaughter.

I guess he's never heard of "The Brotherhood/Sisterhood of Man/Woman," huh?

Posted by: c u n d gulag on January 18, 2011 at 11:32 AM | PERMALINK

"I am curious, though, what Bentley considers everyone else in his state who "has not accepted Jesus Christ as their savior." Great uncles and aunts? Second cousins? Family friend who shows up at birthday parties?"

He considers everyone else the enemy. He was elected to perform his duties a Governor not go on a mission.

...and "the same daddy..." is there something just plain creepy about that?

Posted by: SaintZak on January 18, 2011 at 11:33 AM | PERMALINK

I don't know what to say , but I'd be OK with him not being my brother

Posted by: Jamie on January 18, 2011 at 11:34 AM | PERMALINK

Nothing to see here, folks -- I have no doubt this guy is a racist and complete jackass -- he is a Republican, after all! -- but he very clearly says to the heathen "I want to be your brother."

Say what you will about fools like this who want to save the rest of us, it's hardly the most objectionable thing I've heard from a holy roller.

Also, just to point out, he is pandering to an African-American audience: say what you will about pandering, it's better than demonizing!

Posted by: ManOutOfTime on January 18, 2011 at 11:35 AM | PERMALINK

Considering the context, I'm not terribly concerned about Bentley's remarks. He was simply playing to his audience.

Posted by: KTinOhio on January 18, 2011 at 11:46 AM | PERMALINK

What does he consider everyone else? Sinners and damned souls who will burn in hell for all eternity and really not his problem since they are bringing this upon themselves.

And no, I am not kidding.

Posted by: fourlegsgood on January 18, 2011 at 11:49 AM | PERMALINK

I agree with ManOutOfTime--This seems relatively inoffensive in context; he is, after all, speaking in a Church. I would reserve judgment on him and see how he acts as Governor before jumping to conclusions about any discrimination against non-Christians.

Posted by: DRF on January 18, 2011 at 11:49 AM | PERMALINK

Once again, Organized Religion stumbles into the Secular World.

-and channels Sarah Palin?

Posted by: DAY on January 18, 2011 at 11:51 AM | PERMALINK

That's OK "Governor Saved", I don't want you in my family either!

Posted by: robert on January 18, 2011 at 11:51 AM | PERMALINK

Of course, Jesus was inclusive of everyone, and wanted his followers to, uh "follow" his lead, yet, so many of his followers hate the nonbelievers, which is very unChristlike. And this isn't me pretending to "know the mind of God," this is based on the cat's supposed philosophies (talking the talk) AND actions (walking the walk) according to the New Testament.

Unless Bentley believes the New Testament is a crock to be utilized for his political purposes and doesn't believe a word of it. But that would make him a hypocrite, and as well all know, they have no place in our political arena...

Posted by: slappy magoo on January 18, 2011 at 12:01 PM | PERMALINK

I think , after hearing him , that I am his illegitimate second cousin, twice removed. I guess he won't be loaning me any money soon, eh? Nauseating...

Posted by: stevio on January 18, 2011 at 12:01 PM | PERMALINK

OMGoodness, What a dick! Stick your crucifizz where the sun doesn't shine, asshole!

Posted by: Trollop on January 18, 2011 at 12:11 PM | PERMALINK

@ManOutOfTime: "I want to be your brother" is not an attempt to reach out to non-Christians. It's a blatant plea for conversion. He's proselytizing in the body of a political speech.

Posted by: Mass Hysteria on January 18, 2011 at 12:15 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, Alabama. The gift that keeps on giving (to us here in Georgia)!

Posted by: ComradeAnon on January 18, 2011 at 12:53 PM | PERMALINK

"I don't know what to say , but I'd be OK with him not being my brother"

Or my sister.

Posted by: shadow on January 18, 2011 at 1:01 PM | PERMALINK

Just imagine had Keith Ellison made such a comment.

Posted by: shadow on January 18, 2011 at 1:02 PM | PERMALINK

No wonder they hate the no establishment of religion part of the Constitution.

I remember seeing a Texas girl whooping it up when it appeared GW Bush won the presidency yelling: "We're gonna have a white Christian nation again!" I never saw anyone replay that one, but it should be televised over and over again to show what Republicans are all about--and very little more.

Posted by: jjm on January 18, 2011 at 1:14 PM | PERMALINK

As a Christian I always cringe when I read about something like this. It makes all of us look to non-Christians like bigoted idiots. PLEASE don't view this guy as representative of the vast majority of us.
And as for what he said being excusable because it was in a church, I guarantee you that if one of my pastors said anything even remotely like that, he would be sent out the door the next day. Christ taught us to love everyone; not just people in our own little "saved" club. Treating non-Christians as "other" would, I believe, have been anathema to Jesus.

Posted by: wihntr on January 18, 2011 at 1:21 PM | PERMALINK

That's fine, Mr. Bentley, the First Amendment doesn't require you to be my brother. I have a perfectly good brother, and like him a lot better than I like you. It does however require you not to attempt to establish your own religion as the official one, and prohibits you from interfering with my own freedom to believe, or not to believe, as I see fit.

Posted by: T-Rex on January 18, 2011 at 1:45 PM | PERMALINK
@ManOutOfTime: "I want to be your brother" is not an attempt to reach out to non-Christians. It's a blatant plea for conversion."Blatant pleas for conversion" are how someone like this attempts to reach out to non-Christians. It's not an either/or.
Posted by: drkrick on January 18, 2011 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK
I remember seeing a Texas girl whooping it up when it appeared GW Bush won the presidency yelling: "We're gonna have a white Christian nation again!" I never saw anyone replay that one, but it should be televised over and over again to show what Republicans are all about--and very little more.

Yeah, a real Christian nation except for all that Helping The Poor, Love Your Neighbor, etc., etc., etc.

As to who we are...we're the crazy uncle that shows up at Thanksgiving and makes everyone in the room uncomfortable by talking to ourself and eating Readi-Whip out of the can - right at the table.

Posted by: MsJoanne on January 18, 2011 at 3:54 PM | PERMALINK

Um, Governor Bentley is married. But, according to him, his wife is his sister. Ewwww.

"Christian". You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Posted by: josef on January 18, 2011 at 4:10 PM | PERMALINK

I marvel at the utter self-complacency of people who think they are "saved."

Posted by: tamiasmin on January 18, 2011 at 4:23 PM | PERMALINK

"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

"I am curious, though, what Bentley considers everyone else in his state who "has not accepted Jesus Christ as their savior." Great uncles and aunts? Second cousins? Family friend who shows up at birthday parties?" - Benen

Brother from another mother?

Posted by: Marko on January 18, 2011 at 7:33 PM | PERMALINK
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