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Thursday, January 20, 2011
By Steven L. Taylor

There was some speculation that former Colombian president Álvaro Uribe might pursue the mayoralty of  Bogotá, the Colombian capital.  The position is the most significant electoral position in Colombia after the presidency, so the speculation was not as absurd as it may sound to American ears, but it did always strike me as something of a longshot.

Still, Uribe put the speculation to rest, as reported by El TiempoUribe le aclaró a ‘la U’ que no será candidato a la Alcaldía de Bogotá.

By Steven L. Taylor

The newly sworn in Governor of Alabama, Robert Bentley (R) has been in office a few days now, but has already managed to garner some national attention.

Via the LATAlabama governor’s remarks on non-Christians raise eyebrows

Speaking to a large crowd Monday at Montgomery’s Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church — where the Rev.Martin Luther King Jr. once preached — Bentley said that "if you’re a Christian and you’re saved … it makes you and me brother and sister," according to a report in the Birmingham News.

"Now I will have to say that, if we don’t have the same daddy, we’re not brothers and sisters," he added, according to the paper. "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."

By Tuesday, the comments were reverberating beyond Alabama. David Silverman, president of Cranford, N.J.-based American Atheists, called the remarks "outrageous."

More from the Birmingham NewsGov.-elect Robert Bentley intends to be governor over all, but says only Christians are his ‘brothers and sisters’

Bentley is a Deacon at the First Baptist Church of Tuscaloosa1 where he has taught Sunday School.  As such, these views are perfectly within the realm of basic Southern Baptist theology.

In the Governor’s defense, from his perspective he is saying something positive insofar as he was trying to say that he wants everyone to be in the family, so to speak because, being in the family means having been saved.

However, the Governor is going to have to learn that (as he said in his inaugural address) he is governor to all the people of the state and that means statements like that quoted above are going to cause division and difficulty.  Indeed, to have made such statements in the first few hours of his term underscores, I think, the fact that Bentley is still adjusting to statewide politics that also has a national component.

Bentley was at one point considered a longshot candidate and he managed to capitalize on a multi-candidate race for the GOP nomination.  As more polished and better-funded candidate knocked themselves out of the race, Bentley emerged as the winner of the nomination.  Indeed, my initial reaction to this situation is that it exposes that Bentley is likely to face s steep learning curve in terms of having moved from local politics (his previous electoral experience was in the state legislature) to a state level post that includes national spotlight. 

In short:  while one may well have deeply held views, one still have to mindful of how one presents them.  Saying things that one might say in one’s role as a Sunday School teacher are no appropriate when one is speaking as governor, even if one is speaking in a church.

A such, I have to agree with my OTB co-blogger, James Joyner:

Granted, this is Alabama we’re talking about and very public Christianity is the norm there. But he’s now the governor, not a preacher.  And he’s got a duty to give every appearance of equality under the law, especially on fundamental matters like freedom of religion.

Meanwhile, via the AP:  Ala. governor apologizes for remarks on Christians

  1. No, that’s not a euphemism for Bryant-Denny Stadium where the Crimson Tide play football, I am talking about an actual church.  However, having lived in Alabama for over a decade, I can attest that many people treat Bryant-Deny as something of a shrine of utmost consequence. []
Monday, January 17, 2011
By Steven L. Taylor

Wii Action

365.16 (1/16/11)

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Saturday, January 15, 2011
By Steven L. Taylor

It has just been one of those weeks where I not only didn’t blog as much as I might have liked (and most listed below are brief posts), but I also did a lousy job of linked my OTB posts back to PoliBlog.

So, here you go:

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Monday, January 10, 2011
By Steven L. Taylor

We really need a better understanding of mental health disorders in this county, and events like those over the weekend underscore this fact:  Jared Loughner And The Sorry State Of Mental Health Care, Part II.

(Part I by Doug Mataconis).

Filed under: OTB | Comments/Trackbacks (2)|
By Steven L. Taylor

Orly Taitz, Queen of the Birthers, loses in court (again):  SCOTUS Refuses to Hear Birther Case.

Filed under: Courts,OTB,SCOTUS,US Politics | Comments Off|
Sunday, January 9, 2011
By Steven L. Taylor

Surveying the Game

365.9 (1/9/22)

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By Steven L. Taylor

Aftermath

365.8 (1/8/11). Oldest son had a sleep-over to celebrate his 14th birthday. Lot of boys can consume lots of junk food.

By Steven L. Taylor

On the Attack

365.7 (1/7/11)

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By Steven L. Taylor

Me and My Shadow (Or, Really, Just My Shadow)

365.6 (1/6/11)

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