Atlanta, GA, January 18, 2011 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today condemned remarks by Alabama Governor Robert Bentley, who told an audience in Montgomery that citizens who do not accept Jesus as their savior are "not my brothers and sisters."
"It is shocking that Governor Bentley would suggest that non-Christians are not worthy of the same love and respect he professes to have for the Christian community," said ADL Southeast Regional Director Bill Nigut. "His comments are not only offensive, but also raise serious questions as to whether non-Christians can expect to receive equal treatment during his tenure as governor."
Bentley made his remarks during an appearance at a service at Dexter Avenue King Memorial Church in Montgomery. He was sworn in as governor yesterday.
"Governor Bentley's remarks suggest that he is determined to use his new position to proselytize for Christian conversion," Nigut said. "If he does so, he is dancing dangerously close to a violation of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which forbids government from promoting the establishment of any religion."
ADL called on Bentley to apologize for his remarks immediately and make it clear that he has no intention of using his platform as governor to try to proselytize nor afford any preference to Christians in conducting the state's business.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.