Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Governor Bentley: Christian and Colorblind. Which is Worse?

During a speech at a Baptist church in Montgomery on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Robert Bentley, Alabama’s newly elected governor, admitted to having a serious handicap: color blindness: “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."

I think the Governor should have told the citizens of Alabama about this during the campaign. It might have impacted their voting choices. My dad is colorblind and he often mixes up the wrong socks, and sometimes wears an orange shirt with red pants (he lives in Miami, red pants are cool there), and when he does it is embarrassing to the entire family. Imagine the governor of your state going out like that. It would make you the laughing stock of the nation.

Rebekah Caldwell Mason, the Governor’s communications director, wasn’t available to comment on the issue of colorblindness, nor was she available to answer another question reporters had about the fact that Governor Bentley only considers his fellow Christians to be his brothers and sisters:

"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… 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."

For some reason some Alabamans are more upset by the Governor’s Christian bias than by his colorblindness, but I think they have it backwards. I don’t want to be the Governor’s brother. The last thing I want is for Governor Bentley to invite himself over to my house for Thanksgiving, or to ask me for money, or any of the other things brothers may do. But I do want him not to wear orange shirts with red pants.

Look, if the Governor doesn’t care about nonChristians, fine. If he thinks we are all going to Hell, so what? If he limits his compassion and concern to Christians, well, that is what you get when you put a fundamentalist Christian in office. The Governor isn’t evil; he’s just that kind of Christian. I’m sure voters knew that before casting their ballots. But if he is going to inadvertently dress like a clown—my God that is grounds for impeachment.

1 comment:

Mary Bea Sullivan said...

Thanks for setting me straight. As a resident of Alabama, I had been so distraught over the governor's exclusionary comments, I completely missed the color blind admission. Now I have multiple things to worry about for the next four years!