Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Bob on you

We preach tolerance.  We like the idea of tolerance, of being allowed to do as we wish, within the law, of course.  We don't tolerate crooked jobbers or bank robbers or highway speeders or crime repeaters, but other than criminals, most of us pride ourselves on letting each other live as we all wish.  

Frankly, I don't know how some people find the time and energy to be the air traffic controllers of so many lives, telling everyone how much to eat or drink or what shows to watch or listen to and which shows to avoid and where to go for vacation and what to do about those annoying wrinkles and age spots and where to go to church and what deity to worship...and how.
We don't do that, right?   I mean, we have Brotherhood Week and collect coins for Unicef and have canned food drives at the holidays and we wouldn't dream of not letting that foreign family down the street join the country club, right?

Well, won't you come with me to Alabamy, where they're fryin' eggs and boilin' hammy?  Here's something for you from the Birmingham NEWS:  

MONTGOMERY -- Gov.-elect Robert Bentley in a speech at a Baptist church Monday afternoon said he plans to be the governor of all Alabamians and be color-blind, but he also said people who aren't ''saved" Christians aren't his brothers and sisters.
  Bentley told a big crowd at Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church, where the late civil rights leader Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. once was pastor, that he believed it was important for Alabamians ''that we love and care for each other."
  ''I was elected as a Republican candidate. But once I became governor ... I became the governor of all the people. I intend to live up to that. I am color blind," Bentley said in a short speech given about an hour after he took the oath of office as governor.
  Then Bentley, who for years has been a deacon at First Baptist Church in Tuscaloosa, gave what sounded like an altar call.
  "There may be some people here today who do not have living within them the Holy Spirit," Bentley said. ''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."
  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."
  Asked later if he meant to be insulting to people of other faiths, Bentley replied, ''We're not trying to insult anybody."
  Bentley's communications director, Rebekah Caldwell Mason, when asked about Bentley's comments said, ''He is the governor of all the people, Christians, non-Christians alike."
  Bentley then said he would work to help Alabamians whether they live in Wilcox County, where many poor blacks live, or Mountain Brook, where many upper-income whites live.
  ''You know, (for) a lot of people, it's hard to trust a Republican governor," Bentley said. ''Let me tell you. I want to tell you today that I promise you that I'm going to do everything I can for everybody in this state."
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Yes, friends, we love and care for each other, but if you don't worship exactly the same way I do, you're not my brother!

You're off to a really great start down there, Bob.  

When I was in high school, there was a popular country song by popular country singer Roy Clark called "Do You Believe This Town?" 

The woman next door has gone to the PTA
And stopped to see her best friend's husband on the way
The folks down the street have a different faith
So everybody's putting them down
Do you believe this town?

Deacon Jones preaches brotherly love every Sunday
And forecloses loans on widow's homes every Monday
But the smart guys say it's the only way 
To keep the economy sound
Do you believe this town?

Do you believe they voted this town dry?
Well you won't believe it when I tell you why
The mayor and his cousin and the chief of police
have got the bootlegging all nailed down
Do you believe this town?

Do you believe they burned a house down yesterday 
You won't believe the reason that they gave
If the folks who lived there had known their place
They could still be hanging around
Do you believe this town?

Do you believe this town? 

That song was around in 1968. Since then, we have walked on the moon, developed amazing technologies in fields ranging from medicine to entertainment, and cured many people of awful diseases.

Apparently, we're still working on the disease of prejudice and exclusionism.

UPDATE!  Live, local, latebreaking!  The Governor said the other day, "I did not mean to offend anyone with my comments there," to a group of Jewish leaders. He went on to claim that when he made the comments to the church audience, he assumed he was speaking as a private citizen and not as the Governor of Alabama.  And he made those comments one hour after he took the oath of office to be governor of the great state of Alabama.  Roll Tide!

He has four years left in office.  As Flounder said, this is gonna be great!

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