Alabama Governor Tells Voters That They Need To Believe in Jesus To Be His Brother or Sister

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley had a special message for non-Christian citizens immediately after his swearing in as governor: believe in Christ or do not consider me your brother.

Here is Bentley’s uplifting message: “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.”

His office later issued a statement explaining “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.”

Perhaps they could have added Christian and Non-Christians to the list.

Bentley has since apologized.

Source: LA Times

Jonathan Turley

71 thoughts on “Alabama Governor Tells Voters That They Need To Believe in Jesus To Be His Brother or Sister”

  1. One of the top 5 people that need a punch in the face. Along with Pelosi, Huckabee, Reid, and Luke Walton. Just say’n (and definitely not encourg’n).

  2. I am very familiar with the traditional view that people need to be punished in order to learn to not misbehave. It has clung to humanity from before the dawn of written history, as best I can discern.

    Nevertheless, I am powerless to place any limitations of my personal choosing upon existence; I cannot limit existence such that I can believe that there is anything which existence cannot accomplish. In the sense of the Christian Tradition, for me to set such limits would be for me to commit the penultimate offense of aspiring to G-dhead. This I decline to do.

    It is clear to me that your life experiences inform you that there are evil people and their punishment is justified because they are evil as a result of their improperly using their free will. Circa 1750, Jonathan Edwards wrote on “Religious Affectations,” “Freedom of the Will,” and “Original Sin,” and I have the Diggory Press versions at hand.

    I find your view of evil and those who do evil somewhat reminiscent of what may be Edwards’ most recognized sermon, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God,” which is available online at the Yale University web site.

    Personally, I find your view solidly within the Calvinist tradition, it has been well accepted for well over 250 years. Nonetheless, I observe something called “science” to be useful, and indeed, were I to profess belief in “G-d,” it would be science that would most persuade me to do that.

    My work is grounded in my personal experiences living through a sequence of (for some members of my close family, fatal) medical blunders which allowed me to live in hospitals with people who, given trivial changes in their life circumstances, would easily have scored near the upper limit of what I guess you may have learned to regard as “evil people.”

    Living with such folks as roommates, I learned how to talk with people in such a way that, as long as I never violate confidentiality, allowed people to share with me the nature of the life experiences which, but for trivialities, would have led them to doing evil things about as well as anyone can.

    My reasons for finding only hurt and hurting people is grounded firmly in concrete personal experiences with people who, again, given trivial changes in their life experiences, were, so they informed me, capable of almost any evil act I believe imaginable.

    I find that my understanding of evil and why there are no evil people–only hurting people who find themselves bereft of alternatives to evil acts for want of society allowing anything else.

    Please note that I only describe my life and my experiences, though I allow that using words often makes it very difficult for me to make that clear; this is, I find, a language limitation and not a limitation of my understanding of pure (without words) meaning.

    The reason I cannot assert that another person is evil is simply because I cannot ever know enough about the minute details of another person well enough to exclude socialization experiences as the actual cause of the person’s seeming evil aspects.

    Because I am forbidden by the Code of Ethics of my profession to be deceptive, and because claiming to understand someone else well enough to find them evil is impossible for me, if for no other reason than professional ethics, I cannot find any person to be evil. The issue is, as I have already mentioned, easily found in an introductory college social psychology textbook, the issue of dispositional-situational attribution error.

    Show me a valid scientific refutation of human error (that human error cannot happen) and I will allow that attribution error does not exist. Alas, if there is human error, there may be human error regarding human error.

    That is why my thesis fieldwork study was named, “An Inquiry Into the Nature of Mistakes,” I particularly inquired into mistakes regarding the nature of mistakes and mistakes regarding mistakes about the nature of mistakes.

    As previously indicated, it is not my purpose to persuade; rather I am describing, as best I can, what I find I have learned, for the sake of the chance that someone else may find it useful.

    For myself, I find that the continuing process of existence (whether called creation or evolution, I find not important) appears to add knowledge and understanding to the knowledge and understanding of the past. The process of adding to the past in terms of knowledge and understanding, I call “science.”

  3. Harris

    You wrote:

    “When there are no laws, the tyranny of lawlessness rules, doing so with despotic ruination. When there are so many laws that no one can possibly understand them before they are applied to an unfamiliar situation, the tyranny of lawlessness rules no less than with no laws.”

    Yes! I agree. What you describe above is addresses how destructive law becomes when it is used a weapon against the citizen instead of a shield to protect him.

    The law in America is now a weapon (and that is why I contend that it is members of the justice system who are the biggest criminals these days). It is our leaders and those in the justice system who are responsible for turning justice into a ballistic missile wiping out whole swaths of our liberties.

    A wonderful book called “The Tyranny of Good Intentions” discusses how this happened to America and I recommend it highly. It is written by Paul Craig Roberts and Lawrence Stratton.

    A quote or two from it:

    “What Blackstone means by law are prohibitions ON government, not prohibition FROM the government. According to Blackstone, law is a handful of principles that prevent the government from using the legal system as an instrument of oppression. What differentiates the fortunate few who live under Anglo-Saxon jurisprudence is to the number of laws–other nations have vast quantities of their own–but the requirement that law serve justice, not government.”

    (This is now gone in America and it is likely that you are suffering under this oppression as much as others are).

    To show how bad things are, the authors quote Edmund Burke on American law, justice, and the citizen. Burke before the House of Commons, 1775:

    “…in no country perhaps in the world is the law so general a study as in America, where ‘all who read, and most do read, endeavor to obtain some smattering in the science.’ As proof, Burke reported that a prominent bookseller told him that Blackstone’s Commentaries were a colonial American best-seller, nearly matching English sales.” (page 33)

    The point here being that the justice system has now been ripped from the hands of the people and used to attack them. And I believe it has been ripped from their hands by lawyers, law schools, and judges. And, of course, legislators have let them do it. And the public school system has buried the treasured power the citizen has to hold its leaders to account. Naturally, this is what a despotic government can do in schools it runs and forces children to attend at gunpoint.

    You also wrote that you hope “society may eventually welcome me and my resistance to hurting others.”

    I believe there will never be such a society and if there were you would not want to be part of it because “it” will demand you surrender who you are in order to gain their acceptance.

    I think the best any of us can hope for is that some other individuals will see our worth. And even at that, if worse comes to worse and there are none here on earth who can, our God will.

    It appears that people are not really interested in the truth and generally hate hearing about it when confronted with it and finding it conflicts with their world view. What I am saying is that seekers of truth and peace are, sadly, hated by this world no matter how much the world claims to be interested in it or gives out awards for it.

    Consider that Abraham Lincoln, a vicious murderer of hundreds of thousands, and a man of profound lawlessness and dishonesty, is lauded by our best and brightest as a man of virtue. This indicates what big trouble all of us are in.

    It seems that the true nature of truth and peace are detested by the human race at large and that only a few seek out what is real. And sadly, it appears that they are always outcasts. These people must seek each other out for friendship, even if it is across the ages with those who suffered rejection in the past.

    Jesus was gentle, kind, and harmless. And they murdered him anyway.

    And this is because there is not only evil in the world, but evil people, who without some God somewhere in the universe who can punish, will have gotten away with it.

  4. I have previously mentioned a book, one my parents gave me at Christmastime, 1945. This book is available as a .pdf file from the Library of Congress.

    The url:

    The story that I find best illustrates my approach to life is “The Princess Who Could Not Be Silenced.” Boots, the Cinderella male model of the lowliest of siblings, silenced the Princess and won her in marriage and half the Kingdom. That story begins on page 147 of the book.

    Let “The Princess” be as though “The Princess of Darkness,” as a pseudonym for “The Delusion of Guilt,” and you may find me making the best effort I can manage to silence the delusion of guilt.

    In that book, the adversarial system of law I find well represented in the story, “The Giant Who Had No Heart in His Body,” which begins on page 71.

    Copyright 1912, this book is in the public domain.

    To introduce those unfamiliar with this book, I here give one of the shortest of the stories therein found:

    [begin story]
    The Parson and the Clerk

    There was once a parson who was such a bully that whenever he met anyone on the king’s highway, he called out, ever so far off,–“Out of the way! Out of the way! Here comes the parson!”

    One day when he was driving along and behaving so, he met the king. “Out of the way! Out of the way!” he bawled a long way off. But the king drove on and held his own; so it was the parson who had to turn his horse aside that time, and when the king came up beside him, he said, “To-morrow you shall come to the palace, and if you can’t answer three questions which I shall ask you, you shall lose your office for your pride’s sake.

    This was something quite different from what the parson was wont to hear. He could bawl and bully, shout and scold. All that he could do,but question and answer were not in his line. So he set off to the clerk, who was said to be worth more than the parson, and told him he had no mind to go to the king. “For one fool can ask more than ten wise men can answer;” and the end was, he got the clerk to go in his place.

    Yes, the clerk set off and came to the palace in the parson’s clothes. There the king met him out on the porch with crown and sceptre, and he was so grand he fairly glittered and gleamed. “Well, are you there?” said the king.

    “Tell me first,” said the king, “how far the east is from the west?”

    “Just a day’s journey,” said the clerk.

    “How is that?” asked the king.

    “Don’t you know,” said the clerk, “that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, and he does it just nicely in a day?”

    “Very well!” said the king, “but tell me now what you thing I am worth, as you see me stand here?”

    “Well,” said the clerk, “our Lord was valued at thirtypieces of silver, so I don’t think I can set your price higher than twenty-nine.”

    “All very find!” said the king, “but, as you are so wise, perhaps you can tell me what I am thinking about now?”

    “Oh,” said the clerk, “you are thinking it’s the parson who stands before you,but there’s where you are mistaken, for I am the clerk.”

    “Be off with you,” said the king, “and be you parson and let him be clerk.” And so it was.
    [end story]

    Let the bully parson be authoritarianism of every form, let the king be truthfulness as authoritative reciprocity, and let the clerk become parson be humanity learning to live decently with self as with each other as with the universe.

    It is my consistent observation that no form of authoritatianism is not a form of bullying.

    When I come upon a structure of law and law enforcement which commands my obedience while it cannot obey its own commands, methinks I have encountered something both dishonest and self-deceived regarding its being dishonest. Such is my experience with the adversarial system of law and justice.

    I find no fault with lawyers, nor with the law as it is, for, were I to find fault, I would have to be first finding fault with myself; were I to do that, I would not be able to object to being harmed by the actions derived from the mistaken beliefs which drive authoritarian bullying, for I would also be an authoritarian bully.

    What I find humanity needs to develop, with great urgency, is a system of law which people can, with conscientious intent, conscientiously accept, and in full accord with, actually live.

    When there are no laws, the tyranny of lawlessness rules, doing so with despotic ruination. When there are so many laws that no one can possibly understand them before they are applied to an unfamiliar situation, the tyranny of lawlessness rules no less than with no laws.

    There is no less lawlessness, as I can fathom law and lawlessness, when there are so many laws not even lawyers can know in advance what the law will be in a situation which never happened before. as there is lawlessness when there are no laws.

    There is an alternative to lawlessness; an alternative to the lawlessness of no laws (and no context for law) and to the lawlessness of so many laws (unfathomably complicated context for law) that no one can conscientiously understand them in any real context before being at risk of being falsely accused of having intentionally violated laws impossible to to understand.

    I sometimes wonder whether the present structure of law in the U.S.A. is of the form of an unwitting Ponzi scheme, such that attorneys will replicate the sad path of folks like Bernie Madoff, who ride the Ponzi until it destroys all that was invested in it and damages severely all who invested in it.

    I do not expect people trained to the standards of belief required for effective professional practice of law to easily accept the understanding given to me. Yet, there is one contrast between my understanding or existence (such as my understanding of adversariality being a delusion compounded by other delusions circular delusions) and the beliefs I find in use by adversarial system operatives, to wit, I find no fault with those operatives, yet they quite often find great fault with me.

    It is intensely obvious to me that, within the beliefs of the adversarial system, my beliefs are perhaps utterly criminal. It is blatantly obvious to me that anyone who really “believes in” the adversarial process may find my beliefs absolutely heretical and may find my personhood an atrocious abomination.

    Yet, also in apparent contrast with those whose beliefs my research confronts, I am unwilling to hurt anyone who is willing to hurt me just as I am unwilling to hurt anyone who is unwilling to hurt me.

    I find, within every religious tradition I have been able to study, essentially the same core issue, a tradition of some human difficulty as though as impossible to understand as it is impossible to escape. It matters not the name of the religious tradition, whether atheism, agnosticism, monotheism, polytheism, deism, denialism, retaliationism, facism, socialism, communism, survivalism, scientism, nationalism, legalism, authoritarianism, bullyism, dominationism, denominationalism, sectarianism, secularism, and any -ism anyone can dream up which some person may experience as being religious. This human difficulty is, in my life experiences, everywhere pervasive.

    I suppose an absurd analogy may be of little use, but little use may be better than no use whatsoever.

    Perhaps my life is like a little particle that may or may not be nutritious, caught by the van der Waals force on the outer menbrane of a hungry amoeba. The amoeba forms a food vacuole, which envelops me and carries me across the membrane, but the inner workings of the amoeba find me repugnant and I am expelled from the inside of the amoeba. The amoeba, yet hungry, forgets its dislike of me, and again, I am in a food vacuole and again expelled.

    In this manner, I learn both of what is outside the amoeba and what is inside, whereas the amoeba knows only its membrane and what is inside its membrane.

    Whereas what is inside the amoeba’s cell membrane knows only what is inside the membrane, I experience what is inside the membrane, what it is to pass through the membrane, and know something of what is outside the cell membrane.

    Because society sometimes takes me within it and rapidly finds me unappetizing and spits me out, I spend most of my life outside society, a little of my life entering or exiting society, and perhaps a little more within society, hoping that society may eventually welcome me and my resistance to hurting others.

  5. For those who have enough curiosity, one comment from the dust jacket of “Atheist Delusions,” :

    “In this learned, provocative, and sophisticated book, Hart presents a frontal challenge to toeay’s myopic caricature of the culture and religion that existed in previous centuries.
    Richard Louis Wilken, University of Virginia”

    I am a skeptic which I now demonstrate. Did Richard Louis Wilken, university of Virginia, actually write the above dust jacket comment?

    No. He did not write it. The information on the dust jacket is wrong. (It is wrong, as best I can tell, for I am skeptical of the content of this paragraph and this sentence.)

    Richard Louis Wilken has never, as my research informs me, been a University of Virginia Professor.

    However, being a competent research scientist hopeful, I do not stop with refutation of something I have read or otherwise learned. According to my research findings…

    Robert Louis Wilken is professor emeritus at the University of Virgina. He is also a Senior Fellow in the Law School Center for the Study of Law and Religion of Emory University.

    When I find the timing proper, when someone has told me that the work I do is lacking in scholarly validity, I wait patiently until I have learned enough, and then, in my own way similar to that of David Bentley Hart, I gently point to a counter-argument which, in the way of truthfulness, may best demolish the superstitious notion that my work is somehow not appropriate.

    My Carleton Religion and Physics professor, Ian G. Barbour is far from the only competent scholar to inquire into the relationship of religion and society from a scholarly scientific basis.

    Out of curiosity, I did a Google search for “Richard Louis Wilkin” and Google came back with “no results.”

    I wonder if the reason Richard Louis Wilken did not write that comment on the dust jacket of my copy of “Atheist Delusions” is simply that there was no Richard Louis Wilken who could have written it.

    Fixedly believing that Richard Louis Wiken wrote it because it so printed might be like believing something else in print which is also untrue, and believing such untruth because it has been imprinted on human minds and brains for thousands of years, and has become an untruth embedded in the deepest recesses of the depths of human experience.

    What else might get no results in a Google search?

    Well, methinks the Internet search engines search this Turley Blawg, so, in a while, I anticipate being able to get at least one Google Search result for “Richard Louis Wilken,” that result being this comment to the effect that Robert Louis Wilken plausibly wrote the comment on the aforementioned dust jacket.

    A flash of manic inspiration, a Google Search for “guilt is not a delusion” and the Search comes back with “no results…”

    Methinks that is capable of being corrected.

    I find that the belief that “guilt is not a delusion” is a delusion of self-reference.

    The evidence is manifestly, blatantly given in my doctoral dissertation; absent invoking delusions of time-corruption and/or time-confusion, no refutation of the fact that, from a brain-biology basis, guilt is other than a dastardly delusion which rules out its being recognized as a delusion by its merely being believed to not be a delusion.

    Therefore, I state my scientific finding as a Wisconsin Registered Professional Engineer, having both B.S. (High Honors) and Ph.D. degrees in Bioengineering, working only within my area of established professional competence, that guilt is pure delusion and nothing but pure delusion; and I state this unequivocally and without limiting qualification of any sort.

    I further likewise state my research finding thus: “To believe that guilt is other than a delusion is as though to be held captive by what may usefully be recognized as the most terribly destructive of all possible delusions.”

    Guilt being readily shown to be a delusion to anyone sufficiently uncorrupted by time-corrupted-learning and/or sufficiently unconfused by time-confused-learning, in knowing, understanding, and living accordingly, I find the constructs of “responsibility,” “liability,” “accountability”, “fault,” “blame” and all other constructs of that ilk to also be delusions.

    Rather than struggle with an infinite regression of liabilities, accepting self-evident biological truthfulness makes the construct of liability, other than as pure delusion, vanish identically.

    I am aware of two clusters of humans who significant to unbreakable immunity to the social delusion of guilt and its compatriots, these clusters contain some folks of the trisomy-21 (Down Syndrome) brain-biology kindred and some folks of the autism brain biology kindred.

    Given that autism and trisomy-21 are commonly considered to be biological defects from the view that consensus is truth, which is more wisely deemed a defect? The ability to be deceived and become dishonest and/or deceptive as a result of having been deceived, or the ability to resist being deceived and thereby resist becoming deceptive and/or dishonest?

    People who have been deceived and therefore come to believe in tort liability are not liable for their having been deceived nor liable for the damage done to others as a result of having been deceived in such ways as to have been captured by the commonly-overwhelming deceptive power of the delusion of guilt.

    Perfect innocence is the inescapable human condition, the only actual freedom that I can imagine ever existing.

    I describe what I understand so others can reject it or use it as seems proper to whoever comes upon what I describe.

    Unless I share descriptions of what I find I have learned, no one else can reject it. Nor find it in any way useful.

    I intend never to teach people to believe as I believe.

    Were I to have such intent, my intent would be inextricably abusive.

  6. Harris,

    It’s done, I’ve ordered a copy.

    And I appreciate you kind words and fascinating thoughts.

  7. ShireNomad (great name)

    You wrote:

    “The instant he implied that non-Christians were not also children of God, loved by God, or that he was not called to love them as much as Christians (“But Lord, who is my neighbor?”), he missed the point.”

    I believe it was wrong for the governor to make his statement and I thought I made that clear.

    But as I see it, and apparently at the Governor sees it, according to the Bible all people are NOT automatically the children of God.

    It also appears that you confused the terms. A child OF God is not a brother or sister TO God (with exception). A brother or sister is a horizontal relationship between offspring (like you and I). And a child of God is the vertical relationship between the parent (God) and the offspring (like me). And my brother and I who believe Christ is Savior are both children of God.

    John 1:12 says

    But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name…

    In other words (as the Governor suggested) unless you believe in Christ you cannot be a child of God and therefore cannot qualify as a spiritual sibling in the family of God. You are a child ONLY when you believe Christ is savior (according to Christine doctrine).

    Now if people of other religions or no religion wish to have a different criteria for some kind of spiritual membership the human “family” that is their prerogative. But to suggest I cannot have mine own view of it and that theirs is supreme is as about close as they can get to being bigots.

    A neighbor is also something different from a child. It’s like with real families. Your neighbor is not a sibling unless your neighbor really IS a sibling.

    Same with the family of God. My neighbor can be anyone–a believer or not. Regardless, we are commanded to love them. Certainly, we have to be circumspect when our neighbors are bad guys (like gang members).

    Ergo: choose your neighbors wisely.

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