Speaking to a crowd of supporters, Republican gubernatorial candidate David Williams criticized Democratic Governor Steve Beshear on Tuesday for participating in a Hindu religious ceremony ground blessing for an Indian-owned company.
Last week, Beshear announced Flex Films was building a manufacturing plant in Elizabethtown that would create 250 jobs. He joined other community leaders in a traditional Hindu service to celebrate the opening of new homes, businesses and other facilities.
The ceremony included people sitting “cross-legged on a white cushion for an hour” while observing the blessing “through a haze created by burning incense and a ceremonial fire.” But Williams attacked the governor for being involved in “polytheistic situations.”
From the Lexington Herald-Leader:
“He’s there participating with Hindu priests, participating in a religious ceremony,” Williams said during a campaign stop in Shelbyville. “They can say what they want to. He’s sitting down there with his legs crossed, participating in Hindu prayers with a dot on his forehead with incense burning around him. I don’t know what the man was thinking.”
Williams also questioned the governor’s religious faith as a Christian, reminding the audience his grandfather and father were Baptist ministers while claiming Beshear’s participation flirted with idol worship.
From the HL:
“If I’m a Christian, I don’t participate in Jewish prayers. I’m glad they do that. I don’t participate in Hindu prayers. I don’t participate in Muslim prayers. I don’t do that,” Williams later told reporters. “To get down and get involved and participate in prayers to these polytheistic situations where you have these Hindu gods that they are praying to, doesn’t appear to me to be in line with what a governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky ought to be doing.”
The Beshear campaign has called the attacks “pathetic and desperate.”
Political observers may recall that Williams has made coded controversial attacks in the last throes of a campaign before. In 2004, Williams, while campaigning for then U.S. Sen. Jim Bunning, R-Ky., the state Senate president called Democratic challenger Daniel Mongiardo a “limp wrist,” which many inferred as a suggestion that he was gay.