New Alabama Governor Robert Bentley explains that he’s totally colorblind in his worldview, because the only thing that really matters is your relationship to Jesus:
“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.”
I’ve seen Bentley taking some heat for this on blogs. And certainly it’s an impolitic thing to say. But isn’t it very orthodox Protestant Christian doctrine? Back in the day we used to have long-winded debates about whether or not progressive politicians need to talk about religion more, and I’ve always thought this is a reason to be leery of the idea. The coexistence of multiple robust but mutually incompatible faiths is one of America’s great strengths, but I’m not sure it actually withstands a huge amount of theological scrutiny. Everyone is ultimately happier when we let this sleeping dog lie.