January 23, 2011

Idiot of the Week: Gov. Robert Bentley

Robert BentleyI did not realize that yesterday was Saturday until the day was half over and I'd already posted something. Yeah, it was that kind of week. I am not going to be able to do an Idiot of the Week post each week, but I do plan to try to continue to highlight the worst examples. And we've got ourselves one hell of an idiot this week.

Alabama's Republican Gov. Robert Bentley easily beat out other contenders to win Idiot of the Week honors this week. While speaking at a Baptist church, Bentley told his audience:
There may be some people here today who do not have living within them the Holy Spirit...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.
He went on to say:
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.
So basically, he does not consider anyone who does not share his particular brand of evangelical fundamentalist Christianity his brother or sister. This is not an appropriate sentiment for an elected official to express. But the governor's statement conveys something else: bigotry.

And as if all this wasn't plenty bad, Gov. Bentley made it worse by issuing one of the non-apology apologies which are so popular today because the media continues to accept them. Here's Bentley's "apology:"
If anyone from other religions felt disenfranchised by the language, I want to say I am sorry. I am sorry if I offended anyone in any way.
Two problems here:
  1. This is NOT an apology. Saying you are sorry if someone was offended by what you said is NOT an apology, and you or I would never be able to get away with something like this. Try it the next time you screw up, and see how it is received.
  2. He directs his statement to "anyone from other religions," excluding atheists from consideration.

How can atheists in Alabama possibly feel that this governor has any interest in representing them? They can't. He does not appear to consider them his equals.

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