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Alabama’s new GOP governor: If you’re not a Christian, you’re not my brother

Discussion in 'Alley of Lingering Sighs' started by Ragusa, Jan 21, 2011.

  1. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    From the article:
    ... forgetting the point about dog whistle politics, that the whistle remains inaudible to non-dogs.

    On the other hand - the Alabama governorship as a platform for witnessing - priceless (and separation of church and state - a myth!). Now go and find Jee-zuz as the good governor understands it, so he can be your brother. Apparently he really wants to be, but that's up to you.
     
  2. NOG (No Other Gods)

    NOG (No Other Gods) Going to church doesn't make you a Christian

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    Well, scripturally he's right. Still, not the place to do that. The guy should witness with his life first, and only with his words if someone asks. Lives make much better witnesses than words. Words can lie, lives have a lot more trouble doing that (still possible, but it takes a lot more work).
     
  3. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    Should I pretend to be surprised?
     
  4. T2Bruno

    T2Bruno The only source of knowledge is experience Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    "Scripturally he's right"?

    Give me a break. That is not what Jesus taught. "Scriptures" teach that we are all God's children ... and therefore all brothers and sisters. Some people have chosen to take a narrower, and intentionally prejudiced, view.
     
  5. The Great Snook Gems: 31/31
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    Why are people upset? It appears that the governor is a devout Christian. He considers people who share his views to be his brothers and sisters. I'm not a Christian so he wouldn't consider me a brother. Does that mean my taxes are higher then someone elses? I'm guessing no. How does this effect anyone or is this just more wailing from the "Church of the Perpetually Outraged"? I think people need to relax and see if he is any good at his job first.
     
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  6. T2Bruno

    T2Bruno The only source of knowledge is experience Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    TGS -- I agree. Religion and religious beliefs have nothing to do with competency and should have nothing to do with politics. If his comment though are revealing a darker side to the man (i.e., a deep seated prejudice against non-Christians -- which I personally don't see) the there may be cause for alarm. But, as you say, his performance in his job will be the most important factor. Then again, I'm not from Alabama and have no intention of living there so I really don't care all that much.
     
  7. LKD Gems: 31/31
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    I concur. Nothing in that speech indicated he planned on screwing non Christians over. His actions will determine if he really is a bigot of some sort.

    That said, it wasn't the most inclusive, bridge building of comments to make. I would hazard he is pandering to his voter base, however. I mean, I wonder how many Alabama citizens are not Christian in one way shape or form. I would guess that compared to the national average, Alabama has a higher percentage of Christians and a much lower percentage of other religions or atheists. It just has that kind of reputation in my mind. Appearances could be deceiving and I could be wrong - it has happened before!
     
  8. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    IMO it is to be understood in the context of race (especially in light Alabama's history). Southern protestants (take for instance the Southern baptist Convention) have gone a long way to eventually accept black Christians as brothers in faith. That is quite an achievement of the South. Bentley's statement reflects that. I believe that he is honest when he says that he is colour blind. So far so good.

    But that's not all: Bentley said that to him people, irrespective of colour of the skin, are all brothers - with a qualification - as long as they are Christians. One can't just gloss over that qualification.

    So if they aren't Christian, too, well, then brotherhood is off the table? Beyond the good intentions, the comment comes across just outrageously innocent. He is essentially inferring: Gee, I'm not a racist bigot. I discriminate along religious lines!

    You may easily find fault with a statement like that, especially since 'born agains' (that's what accepting 'Jesus Christ as their savior' is about) define what Christian actually means quite narrowly. It probably excludes Catholics (unsaved), not to mention Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims or Jews (instrumental, but also unsaved unless they convert), or Atheists or whatever else.
     
  9. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

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    Excuse me for pointing this out, but he was the one that brought all this up; he made the statement. Why bother to make it in the first place if it of no importance, as some of you are claiming?

    Well isn't that just a beautiful thing to behold? If Obama had made the comment there would be no end to the " perpetual outrage" from the other side.
     
  10. LKD Gems: 31/31
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    And it'd be just as wrong from them.

    I'm not saying it's good optics or a bright thing for him to say -- it wasn't. And my favorite doctrine of reversability says if Abdullahi Mohamed were elected as the first Muslim Governor or somewhere like, oh, let's say Conneticut and said this, swapping out "Muslim" for "Christian", there would be a hue and cry like nobody's business. BUt it would still be a load of crap unless he said something like "I'm going to enact different laws for different groups" or "get out of the State if you don't share my religion" or something of that nature.

    As I said, it'll score him points amongst Alabamans(?) who are staunchly Christian, and if it pisses off people from outside the State, well, that might help him rally the Alabamites(?) even more!
     
  11. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

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    Oh, that's what we need: More irrational dislike of non-Christians, like Muslims, in this country. And I guess there are no Muslims, Hindus, Jewish people, or atheists in the great state of Alabama. I see, they all live outside the state. I wonder why?
     
  12. LKD Gems: 31/31
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    No one said demagogery was pretty Chandos. I'm sure there are some Muslims in Alabama. But given the climate* there, (or I should say, the perceived climate, I've never been there myself) I was making the guess that not a lot of Muslims choose to live there. Statisticians correct me . . .

    *I'm not talking meteorology, either.
     
  13. dmc

    dmc Speak softly and carry a big briefcase Staff Member Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    Well, the 9000 Jews in Alabama were just told that the governor doesn't think they're his brothers and sisters. I'd imagine that might cause a bit of consternation, don'tcha think?

    After all, if the governor considers you his brother, I imagine he's looking out for you in some way a bit more than if you aren't related. Policies don't need to be written to be enforced and I really think that was a very stupid thing to say on his part. The implication of the comment, whether reality or not, is that he will discriminate based on religion.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2011
  14. NOG (No Other Gods)

    NOG (No Other Gods) Going to church doesn't make you a Christian

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    The scripture teaches that we are to love everyone, but they are called our 'neighbors', not our 'brothers'. The scripture reserves that term for the Church. We are also encouraged not to marry non-christians, because we would be 'unequally yolked'.

    I don't know, I don't think they consider him their brother. Remember, 'brother' doesn't mean 'my only allies', or 'only people I like'. It refers to a special bond, in this case a special spiritual bond. I don't think the Jews would generally be very happy if a Christian (or Muslim, or Buddhist, or whatever) claimed a special spiritual bond with them. Friends, sure. Neighbors, definitely. Not brothers.

    This, I think, is reading into things a little. Not inappropriately given the context of the statement (an official statement from a governor), but I think it's reading into it nonetheless. If he had casually made the statement to a friend at a dinner party, and it somehow made it into the news, I don't think anyone would have real grounds to object.
     
  15. dmc

    dmc Speak softly and carry a big briefcase Staff Member Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    But he didn't casually make this statement at a dinner party, now did he? He made it an hour after he was sworn in as governor, in, as best I can tell, his initial public appearance as governor. I don't really care what he meant by it, it's just stupid and divisive. If he meant nothing by it, then he's clueless, IMO, to be making that statement.

    I think he rather did mean something by it. He's a former deacon and probably is strongly religious and doesn't understand that he can't really push his religion as an elected official, which is, IMO, what he's doing.
     
  16. NOG (No Other Gods)

    NOG (No Other Gods) Going to church doesn't make you a Christian

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    I agree it was stupid, and obviously it's at least somewhat divisive. I don't think it indicates a necessary bias, though that's always something to watch for (with any politician, really). He may have simply felt that, as governor, he still has freedom of speech and can verbally encourage people to convert. Again, I don't think he meant any other 'encouragement' towards conversion, but it's always something to watch.
     
  17. 8people

    8people 8 is just another way of looking at infinite ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran

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    [​IMG]
    Spiritual incest? ;)

    Whilst religion is important, I do believe it should be a private, personal matter, it should be about devotion and personal sacrifice - not an instrument for politics and playing favourites.

    If his aim was to encourage community and his policy of standing for everyone is admirable even if it should be a standard for a representative. Though there are other ways to go about such encouragment.

    I understand the speech was given in a church, right? So religious overtones are fine if the intention is to remain within the church, it is a place of faith afterall, but encouraging conversion within a church just seems... redundant. So either he's targetting the people outside to enter within or he considers those who do attend to not truly be christian - which I'm sure anyone with faith sees in those of their respective communities.

    I can only see such a speech dividing the people though, those who aren't his spiritual sibling may feel put out and those who feel he questions their devotion might likewise.
     
  18. Master of Nuhn

    Master of Nuhn Wear it like a crown Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I don't see what the fuzz is about. The man is speaking in a church, a common place for many Christians. Is it so strange that he states a bond with them?

    To me it seems that he will be a governor for his "brothers and sisters" and for his "neighbours" as well. He might as well have said: "If I'm not your brother, I will still do my best as your governor."
    Some people are just too suspicious of religions, IMHO.

    As for the word brother: A black man doesn't discriminate a white man, if he called a black man his brother. Military people do not discriminate others when they talk about their brothers in arms. Same thing with Christians. No big deal. Stating a bond with a group of people doesn't necessarily mean you dislike other groups.

    Edit:
    Wow! I really am a slow typer!

    Christians converse every day again and again, because it's in our nature to be drawn away from God. We actually get told to converse every day when we go to church.
    Personal stories are not uncommon in churches. Nor is talking to the unreligious people in a church. Combined, they can be quite powerful. Perhaps this was just a personal way of the governor to reach the unreligious people inside the building: I will do my best as your governor, but I'd like to be your brother as well.
    A nurse in the same meeting might have said that she will do her best to keep you healthy if you end up in her hospital and that she hopes God will be with you as well. Would she get in trouble / sacked if she did?
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2011
    NOG (No Other Gods) likes this.
  19. dmc

    dmc Speak softly and carry a big briefcase Staff Member Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    MoN - the concept is the same thing as the prayer in school issue. A teacher espousing it is completely different than a group of students, because the teacher is an arm of the state. The governor is as well, and really can't say something like this WHEN HE IS ACTING AS THE GOVERNOR, which it appears he was.
     
  20. NOG (No Other Gods)

    NOG (No Other Gods) Going to church doesn't make you a Christian

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    Oh, that's nothing. We engage in spiritual canibalism, too. Don't you know? We eat our God! :grin:

    I saw that in some Norse/viking movie, where one of vikings was talking about the 'invading Christians'.

    Mmm, not sure I entirely agree. The teacher has a distinct authority over the students, and the students have to be there. If he called a staff meeting and gave this speech, I'd agree with you. A public speech in a church for the press, though, isn't the same thing. He doesn't have authority over the people he's talking to, and they don't have to listen to him.
     
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