Reason number 212 why we should probably leave religion out of government as much as we possibly can. Down south Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley told a big crowd just moments into his new administration that those who have not accepted Jesus as their savior are not his brothers and sisters. What he said was "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 have called Bentley's remarks shocking.
"His comments are not only offensive, but also raise serious questions as to whether non-Christians can expect to receive equal treatment during his tenure as governor," said Bill Nigut, the ADL's regional director.
After his speech, Bentley said he did not mean to insult anyone. But it shows you how even the best of intentions can go awry. In one fell swoop you have alienated and insulted Buddhists, Jews, Muslims, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Atheists…anyone who is not Christian.
"The governor clearly stated that he will be the governor of all Alabamians — Democrat, Republican and Independent, young, old, black and white, rich and poor. As stated in his (inaugural) address, Gov. Bentley believes his job is to make everyone's lives better," the statement said.
The official with the Anti-Defamation League, which fights discrimination against Jewish people, said it sounded like Bentley was using the office of governor to advocate for Christian conversion.
There is a good reason people have advocated a separation of church and state…it’s the same reason that talking religion or sex at parties can be fraught with danger …because you run the risk of insulting people who just might not share your particular belief. The grand irony of it all of course is that the biggest champion of tolerance, inclusion and treating all people equally was the Jesus fellow himself.