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Put Christ back in Christian

By Joey Kennedy
Alabama Political Reporter

“Put Christ back in Christian.” Gosh, I wish I’d have come up with that. I didn’t. The author is lost to me, but I saw it sometime this week on social media somewhere.

“Put Christ back in Christian.” Whew. That’s strong stuff, folks. It may have come from those who oppose the trite “Put Christ back in Christmas” because Starbucks has red holiday cups that don’t have a Crèche or a Christian Cross or a pagan-inspired Christmas tree on the front. Who knows?

But it’s certainly appropriate now, as “Christian” leaders across the nation and, yes, in Alabama, want to ban Syrian refugees because of the terrorism in Paris. Some of the terrorists in France had Syrian backgrounds.

Why aren’t these same “Christians” wanting to ban immigrating Saudi Arabians? Most of the terrorists flying those planes into buildings on 9/11 were Saudis.

How about Nigerians? Let’s ban Nigerian immigrants. The supposed “underwear bomber “ was Nigerian. After all, we tolerate their scam letters; should we have to tolerate their refugees, too?

Why aren’t these “Christians” calling for a ban on other Christians? I mean, after all, Timothy McVey was a Christian, right? He committed the terrorism in Oklahoma City that killed many people, including children.

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What about Eric Robert Rudolph, Olympic bomber and the man behind the bombing of a Birmingham abortion clinic that killed an off-duty police officer and severely injured a clinic employee? People died in both crimes.

And, please, let’s not even bring up The Crusades.

“Put Christ back in Christian.”

Our “Christian” governor has decided not to let Syrian refugees come to Alabama. Of course, he has no real power to determine who immigrates to the United States and who doesn’t.

Oh, I have no doubt he thinks he does. After all, he signed the ill-advised, bigoted, xenophobic HB 56, that horrible anti-immigration bill aimed at, mainly, Hispanics and Latinos. Most of that travesty has been thrown out by the Supreme Court, but not because Mr. Burns – I mean, Gov. Bentley – had anything to do with it.

This fine “Christian’s” 50-year marriage failed under salacious rumors. He came into office declaring if you weren’t saved by Jesus, you weren’t his brother or sister. He refuses, to this day, to expand Medicaid that would help 300,000 of his constituents get vital health care they need. And this man is a physician.

Bentley is killing people, and he’s opposed to Syrian refugees, fleeing the very groups that are killing them, from living in Alabama?

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Of course, this is the same route other governors took with our African-American citizens. Keep them second class. Don’t drink from my water fountain and swim in my pools. Segregation now. Segregation forever.

Then, there are those who do, indeed, put the “Christ in Christian.” Take care of the least of these. Love your neighbor. Feed and clothe the poor.

Pastor Alan L. Cross, in his blog, says Bentley’s position is “contradictory” for “a governor and a state that often declares itself to be predominately Christian and a promoter of family values and the sanctity of human life.”

These refugees are well-vetted, Cross points out – correctly. “No visitor to the United States is more scrutinized than a refugee from a conflict zone,” Cross writes.

“If a terrorist wanted to enter the United States, going through the refugee resettlement process is absolutely the hardest way to do it.”

Terrorists can come in from any of our ocean borders. They can come in through Canada or Mexico. They can come in through lots of openings.

That’s because we’re the United States of America. We’re free. We’re open. And that makes us vulnerable to terrorist attacks. Like France and so many other countries in the world.

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What’s most important to us? Freedom to move about, to enjoy life, to have our democracy. Or to batten down the hatches, and keep us all inside, in fear, in terror – like the terrorists want us to be.

Of course, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama) is on board with Bentley. He is calling on the Senate to stop funding refugee resettlement in the United States. What else would we expect?

Hey. We are free. We are a fine nation. We accept immigrants because we all are immigrants, except for one-eighth of my wife, a Cherokee, and many other Native Americans whose ancestors were abused, killed, and relocated to crap lands by white Americans. Except for many African-Americans, whose ancestors were abused, killed and relocated to a land they didn’t know to be forced to work in fields of slavery.

Please, let’s not forget our history, or ignore it. We’ve been bad, and we’re still being bad. Our “Christian” governor, Dr. Robert Bentley, who won’t put the “Christ back in Christian,” proves it time and time again.

Joey Kennedy, a Pulitzer Prize-winner, writes this column every Wednesday for Alabama Political Reporter. Email: [email protected].

Joey Kennedy, a Pulitzer Prize winner, writes a column each week for the Alabama Political Reporter. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter.

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