Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Sorry Does Not Cut It

Meet Alabama's Governor, Robert Bentley (R):
[I]f 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.

[...] 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.

Even worse, Gov. Bentley made these statements at the Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church, just after his inauguration, as part of Martin Luther King holiday observance. Way to honor King's message of equality.

That is a problem with so many Christians, Evangelicals in particular, that they do consider those who do not share their beliefs lesser, less moral, unfit for leadership or public office, not worthy of the same rights and privileges. They may say this is an untrue generalization, but--really--it isn't. Can you name 10 openly atheist members of the House or Senate? 5? 2? 1? OK, so there is one. And did you know that about 50 percent of Americans would not vote for a well-qualified atheist for president?

Whether religious people are going to discriminate based on their beliefs or not is of course a matter of individual sensibility and intelligence. But, as my wife is wont to tell me, what comes out of one's mouth is in his heart. It is a general statement, and, of course, generalizations have a lot of room for error. Nevertheless one has to wonder if what's in Gov. Bentley's heart--worse, his brain--will translate into any discrimination against those whose world view he does not share, or if it already has. Time will tell, as it always does.

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