Robert Bentley, the new governor of Alabama, didn’t just kick off his swearing-in ceremony yesterday. Bentley, a longtime deacon at First Baptist Church in Tuscaloosa, also kicked a good percentage of his state’s residents off his list as constituents worthy of respect and equal treatment from his administration.
Addressing a large crowd at Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church — where Rev. Marin Luther King, Jr. once preached, Bentley declared “There may be some people here today who do not have living within them the Holy Spirit. 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,” according to this report in the Birmingham News.
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.”
According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2000 figures, 84% of the Bible belt state identified as Christian. That leaves 16% of Alabamans fatherless and out in the cold.