Remarks made by Alabama's new governor, Robert Bentley, on the day of his swearing-in, have given Alabama's non-Christians pause for thought. He promised to be "governor of all of Alabama Â— Democrat, Republican and independent, young and old, black and white, rich and poor," and is probably wishing he would have stopped there.
Robert Bentley got off to a very rocky start in his new job when he announced in his inaugural speech that only Christians were his brothers. The governor told the assembled crowd that, Â "Now I will have to say that, if we don't have the same daddy, we're not brothers and sisters.Â 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."
Some Alabama residents are angry at what they deem to be divisive remarks while some accuse Bentley of using his position to proselytize.
Richard Friedman, who is the executive director of the Birmingham Jewish Federation, said that the Federation will assemble a panel of Christians and Jews and reach out to the new governor to initiate a dialogue. He charitably explains, "These folks typically don't mean any harm at all. It never occurs to them that they're saying anything that would make others uncomfortable. They're simply motivated by their passion for their own religious faith."
Bentley comes to the office after spending eight years in the Alabama state legislature and that makes his remarks all the more surprising. Â He may be a well intentioned man, but it would seem that after that many years in government, he would understand where and when an altar call would be appropriate. Do you agree?
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