MONTGOMERY, Ala., Jan. 19 (UPI) -- Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley apologized Wednesday for saying anyone who "has not accepted Jesus Christ as their savior" is not his brother or sister.
Bentley offered the apology after meeting with members of Alabama's Jewish community, The Birmingham (Ala.) News reported.
"What I would like to do is apologize," he said. "Should anyone who heard those words and felt disenfranchised, I want to say, 'I'm sorry.'"
Bentley, speaking Monday at the Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church in Montgomery, said although he was elected as a Republican he will be "the governor of all the people."
"I am colorblind," he told an audience at the church where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was once pastor.
Speaking prior to being sworn in as governor, Bentley -- who is a deacon at First Baptist Church in Tuscaloosa -- told his audience "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.
"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."
The Rev. David Freeman, senior pastor of Weatherly Heights Baptist Church in Huntsville, Ala., told the Huntsville Times Christian theology "entreats us to see all human beings as our sisters and brothers."