By Charlie Johnston
Alabama Governor Robert Bentley is in the midst of a great controversy because of a sex scandal right now. I have never worked for Bentley, nor even met the man. But he did something four years ago that I deeply appreciated and, I think, revealed his fundamental character.
My youngest brother is part of the Aviation Unit of the Alabama State Troopers. It is a small unit, just 11 people four years ago. Part of the Aviation Unit’s job is to take the governor to official meetings in different parts of the state. Four years ago, my mother died the day before Mother’s Day.
State troopers do not usually participate in funeral processions, but the Aviation Unit had decided to live solidarity with my brother by leading my mother’s funeral procession.
Governor Bentley had to go from Montgomery to Huntsville on official business on the day of Mom’s funeral, so several troopers had stayed behind to take him, hoping to get to my Mom’s funeral right afterward. Somehow, the Governor found out what was going on – and he called and told the commander so. He said he had made other arrangements for that day – and they should go take care of one of their own.
It deeply touched me. I have worked with and in proximity to many high officials. For most, it is always about them. The humility and grace of gently telling those troopers to “go take of your own” that day told me what a decent man Governor Bentley is at heart.
Alas, I know all too well the disorders that can crop up in the midst of the intense, passionate atmosphere of politics and government. It does not surprise me to hear that someone has stumbled. But I know that when Governor Bentley could have demanded he be taken care of first with no one ever the wiser, he told his people to “go take care of your own.” I will not forget it and I hold him in affection regardless of any stumble he may have made in his personal life.
Many have contacted me about another episode of official thugs weaponizing the justice system to punish and persecute those who do not bow to the progressive line. It is true that California Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris, who is running for the U.S. Senate with the support of Planned Parenthood, ordered a raid on David Daleiden’s apartment yesterday seizing all of his computers and video equipment as part of a dicey search warrant. Daleiden exposed the practice of Planned Parenthood trafficking in the organs of aborted children. Certainly, it was a shock, when Daleiden and his attorneys have been cooperating with authorities on all legal matters. I am doing some research on the matter and will have a piece up this weekend.
Our friend Mark Mallett wrote a nice piece wrapping up his virtual Lenten Retreat yesterday. Unfortunately, he has faced some unusual financial pressures of late. I am alone, so easily able to deal with the pressures that come with living the sort of vocation I do. Mark has a large family still, so it is a lot tougher for him and he depends on donations. I appreciate any who can reach out to him.
Finally, this marvelous piece by Monsignor Charles Pope on Revelation caught my eye today. As is the case so often with Monsignor Pope, it is deeply insightful and heartening. A hat tip to reader Jose, who directed my attention to it.