(JTA) — Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley apologized for saying in inaugural day comments that non-Christians were not his "brothers and sisters."
Bentley met Wednesday for an hour with representatives of Alabama’s Jewish community, including leaders of Birmingham’s Jewish federation, the Birmingham News reported.
Afterward he told reporters that he was sorry.
"What I would like to do is apologize. Should anyone who heard those words and felt disenfranchised, I want to say, ‘I’m sorry,’ " Bentley said. "If you’re not a person who can say you are sorry, you’re not a very good leader."
Bentley, speaking Monday at a Baptist Church on the day of his swearing-in, spoke of his evangelical fervor. He said Christians are his "brothers and sisters."
"Now I will have to say that if we don’t have the same daddy, we’re not brothers and sisters," he said. "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."