What was so wrong about Alabama Gov. Bentley's remarks
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."
People often wring their hands about where the line is when it comes to talking about your personal faith after you enter politics.
I think we've found the line!
This speech is a great example of what is not acceptable -- and why. Sure, it was delivered in a church. But just because you are giving a speech in a church does not suddenly give you the right to go from being governor (of all the people -- as Bentley acknowledged earlier) to being preacher, any more than giving a speech in a hospital entitles you to take over the surgery.
And wherever he speaks, Gov. Bentley should know better than to make this sort of polarizing and proselytizing statement. It's not wrong to talk about your faith. But, especially as governor, you need to hide your light under a bushel basket for a bit and not go around telling people they aren't your brothers and sisters because they haven't been saved. If you chafe at this, perhaps you ought to consider another line of work.
I also worry about what this will do to his other speeches.
Based on his inability to keep this proselytizing message out of his remarks, here is how I imagine Bentley would sound delivering other famous lines. To quote Bentley: ''We're not trying to insult anybody."
- Four score and seven years ago, our foredaddies brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. But those who have accepted Jesus Christ as their savior are more equal than others, because we have the same daddy.
- I have a dream today, that the brotherhood of man will become a reality in this age. But to make that happen, everybody needs to accept Jesus Christ as their savior, because if you don't, I'm telling you, you're not my brother.
- You don't know me, but I'm your brother. Except Episcopalians. They are my cousins. Atheists are strangers.
- Give me liberty, or give me communion!
- I regret that I have but one life to give for my country. But I really regret that some of you here aren't my brothers and sisters, because we don't have the same daddy.
- A house divided against itself cannot stand people who haven't been saved and who don't have the same daddy.
- The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. Also, you should look into Jesus.
- Luke, God is your father.
- We few, we happy few, we band of brothers and non-brothers, depending on whether or not you have accepted Jesus.
- And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Except anybody here today who has not accepted Jesus Christ, because he is not my brother, and I can't do anything about what's in his eye.
| January 19, 2011; 3:38 PM ET
Categories: Epic Failures, Petri, That's awkward | Tags: Robert Bentley, reality, religion
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