Robert Bentley, Alabama Governor, announced to a church crowd that he considers only those who subscribe to Christian faith, that is the saving faith of Jesus Christ, as his brothers and sisters.
The newly elected governor’s remarks caused a stir, raising a question of personal belief and political correctness. Bentley’s comments bordering on both Christian idealism and its political complication seemed to appear more disturbing than it really was, especially to those critics questioning Bentley’s qualification as public servant.
Fortunately to Bentley, there is neither legal device that nullifies elected officials because they babbled around in front of their constituents, filled with crowd pleasing sprit, nor did the born-again southern conservative seem to actually put on a show for the “lost American public”, depicting Bentley as a martyr in cross-burning rally.
According to the Birmingham News, Bentley apparently urged those who hadn’t yet accepted Jesus Christ to stay in the same side with him so that they could be his brothers because if they don’t, they’re “not [his] brother … not [his] sister. He also asserted that his conviction dictates a brotherly love in “anyone who believed in Jesus … regardless of color”.
Bill Nigut, the regional director of Anti-Defamation League on Tuesday labeled Bentley’s comments “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 also added that Bentley had violated “the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which forbids government from promoting the establishment of any religion”.
Ashfaq Taufique, president of the Birmingham Islamic Society, questioned Bentley’s intention whether or not he meant “those who are not saved are less important than those who are saved”.
Facing criticism, Bentley issued a statement that “he will be the governor of all Alabamians – Democrat, Republican and Independent, young, old, black and white, rich and poor”.
However, despite Bentley’s heroic embracing for all after he had publically flaunted his firm, express belief based on “the only saving faith”, the kind of notoriety that left behind, which reminds of the carnage that his Christianity have since the first Christmas produced in history, are not something that the lightheaded Bentley would be able to blot out so quickly as he would hope nor did he seem to have had an astute idea of its political complication in this day and age.
It might be just an uncalculated blunder or an honest talk with his constituents, but it’s the same old quandary of politicians who have, historically, always invented agendas for inclusion in order to justify exclusion.
If Bentley can be discriminative based on religion, whether sentimentally or dogmatically, as has recently surfaced, it’s fairly reasonable to speculate that his personal devotion can be a stumbling block, which therefore affects him counterproductively in his job performance that ultimately will lead him to a failure as a responsible representative.