After only minutes in his new role, Alabama Governor Robert Bentley made a speech that shocked the crowd and left many wondering if he was the right person for the office.
Bentley stood before the people gathered at Dexter Avenue King Memorial Church following his inaugural ceremony and professed that those who had not accepted Jesus as their savior were not among his brothers and sisters. “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 your brother,” he spoke.
Bill Nigut, regional director of the Anti-Defamation League noted that the comments were offensive to many and that it left questions as to how non-Christians would be treated by the Governor. Other expressed their concerns over the speech as well. Many questioned Bentley’s ability to lead the state fairly in light of his words. Some felt he came close to violating the First Amendment.
After the speech the Governor declared that he never intended to offend anyone. A statement from his office indicated that Bentley saw himself as the Governor of all Alabamians and his job as one to make everyone’s life better.