Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America

JWV Condemns Recent Remarks by Alabama Governor

January 2011

The Jewish War Veterans of the USA (JWV) condemns remarks made by new Alabama Governor Robert Bentley just moments after his inauguration that he would accept only Christians as his brothers and sisters.

A Governor, or any political leader, must be the leader of all Americans within his jurisdiction, not just those who profess the same faith. To do otherwise is an affront to the Establishment Clause of the Constitution which affirms the right of freedom of religion to all. The Governor's remarks come dangerously close to proselytizing.

As Past National Commander Robert Zweiman recently asked in an article in "The Forward" of Jan. 21, 2011, "When did separation of church and state become a slogan rather than a core element of the American way of life?" While PNC Zweiman was discussing in his article the legal case brought by the JWV against the Cross on Mt. Soledad in CA that purports to memorialize all veterans, the question can be applied equally to the remarks of Gov. Bentley.

While the Governor has retracted his remarks and stated that "he will be the governor of all Alabamians," it is difficult for the JWV to believe that his original remarks do not represent his core convictions and that his understanding of his Constitutional obligations is superficial.

There is no place in this country for even the suggestion that members of one religious group may be favored over the rest of the citizenry.

The JWV will be taking a keen interest in Governor Bentley as he takes up his duties to ensure that no group is favored over others and that he is serious about his clarifying statements that he will be the Governor of all of the residents of his state. For him to do otherwise is to discredit the Constitution he is sworn to uphold.


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