Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Gospel-inator Rises In Alabama

Governor Robert Bentley was sworn in as to his new, state-wide role, and then immediately continued with what is apparently his higher mission: bringing new believers into his little known, often subjugated religion. He is not a Scientologist, a Buddhist or even Jewish (or heaven forbid Muslim). Gov. Bentley is Christian. 

Moments into his administration, he told a Church crowd that, "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." 

Okay, first off, he said this in a church. So chances are, most people there were already Christian. Next off, he is not writing off non-Christians, which would have been bad enough, but rather actively attempting to bring people into the fold. Anyone who wants to be brothers with the Governor need merely accept Jesus Christ as their personal lord and savior. And bare in mind, this decision will bring bigger dividends than simply a potential audience with his honor, it will guarantee you a place in Heaven for eternity. Almost seems like a better perk than the original sales pitch, no?

Now of course, this little foray into an attempt at converting the masses while a government employee, did not go unnoticed. Groups immediately came out questioning it. Some plucky constitutionalists have even pointed out that this statement may have (ironically) broken the First Amendment. It is ironic because while the First Amendment guarantees the right to free speech, little to Christine O'Donnell's knowledge, it also guarantees a couple of other things as well. And one of those little known further guarantees is the separation of Church and State.

Now here, in my humble opinion, is where it really gets interesting. When asked to clarify, the Governor's office released a statement. In that statement, they clarified that "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." Okay, that is a good and solid talking point. But he STILL never clarified if he could be the Governor of any Alabamian who is not Christian!!! It seems that since the issue was about religion, he might have included a caveat promising that he was still your Governor if you were Jewish, Muslim, Mormon, or even a member of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

Alabama is in the top ten most Christian states in the nation. That being said, it is still only seven-out-of-ten Alabamians that Governor Bentley would consider his brother or sister. What about those other three? Are they less likely to a fair trial? Or a chance to air their complaints with an audience of the highest official in the state? What about public funding? 

Bentley needs to decided where his priorities are. He needs to be the Governor of all Alabamians, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Shinto, Atheists (!!!), Mormon and beyond. Or he needs to step down and work for the church. I hear that they are always hiring.

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