Governor's race heats up over Hindu prayer ceremony

By: Andy Cunningham Email
By: Andy Cunningham Email

During an event last Friday to mark an Indian company's arrival in Elizabethtown, Governor Beshear took part in a Hindu ground-blessing ceremony, which is considered a traditional service in India.

But one of his challengers, Republican nominee David Williams, attacked Beshear, claiming he took part in idol worship.

"He's there participating with Hindu priests, participating in a religious ceremony. 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," said Williams.

Beshear's campaign fought back, saying the governor was proud of the job creation in the central Kentucky city, and denounced the attack from Williams.

"These are pathetic and desperate remarks by a candidate facing devastating poll numbers," said Matt Erwin, Beshear's campaign spokesman.

On Wednesday afternoon David Williams responded.

"To be clear, I very much support economic development and strongly believe in freedom of religion. What I cannot understand is why Governor Beshear has a long pattern of opposing outward displays of the Christian faith such as Christmas trees, prayers before high school football games, and posting the 10 Commandments but apparently has no problem personally participating in displays of non-Christian religions," said Williams.

"I see nothing wrong with a governor attending a religious gathering and respecting other cultures. But for him to engage and participate in a Hindu religious ceremony where prayers are being offered to gods in which he does not believe is not only disrespectful of Hinduism but stands in direct opposition to his own expressed Christian faith which recognizes but one God. It also flies in the face of his previous record of stamping out religious displays in governmental settings, which all happened to be Christian in nature," Williams went on to say.

Gatewood Galbraith's running mate and Independent Candidate for Lt. Governor, Dea Riley said they do respect the rights of all to express their religion, but went on to say, "Certainly Gatewood and I would have handled it very differently. We would have remained observers rather than participants in the ceremony."

The company Flex Films, will eventually bring 250 jobs to its Elizabethtown location. Mayor Tim C. Walker said.

"I am shocked that David Williams would suggest that participating in a welcoming ceremony for a new company - one that is bringing hundreds of new jobs -- is disrespectful," Walker said in a statement.

"Here in Elizabethtown, we were very happy that Flex Films is locating here and I was pleased to participate in the blessing ceremony. It did not compromise my faith, and it's despicable to suggest that we should not welcome this company and their investment."

The president of a national group --- The universal society of Hinduism --- is calling on David Williams to issue a public apology for his comments before next week's election.

WKYT Anchor and Political Analyst, Bill Bryant said, "This has been a hard fought contentious Kentucky campaign. There have been a lot of issues in the mix and it's probably no surprise here in the final stretch of the campaign, that religion now entered the discussion as it often does in Kentucky races."

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  • by Richard Location: Lexington on Nov 8, 2011 at 06:28 AM
    Won't they both be surprised when Gatewood is named our next Governor!
    • reply
      by Jennifer on Nov 9, 2011 at 06:21 PM in reply to Richard made a joke...just like Gatewood IS a joke!
  • by Jeff Location: London on Nov 5, 2011 at 03:44 PM
    It's very ignorant for a sitting governor to sit down with a bunch of Hindus and participate in a prayer, when years not too long ago when he was attorney general, told classroom teachers to take down the ten commandments. Now, how ignorant is that??? Taxpayers money is invested in the ground and buildings, if he was correct as attorney general, he broke the law.
    • reply
      by Jennifer on Nov 7, 2011 at 04:35 AM in reply to Jeff
      @ Jeff, it's not ignorant of the Governor at's your attitude that's ignorant. Quit comparing apples & oranges. Showing respect by being a participant in a ceremony is simply that...respect. Putting the 10 Commandments in a classroom is endorsement of a specific faith.
  • by EB on Nov 4, 2011 at 05:56 AM
    Jerry, you are a bigot, drowning in your own ignorance. The intolerance of Christians is certainly on display here for all to see. David Williams is an ongoing embarrassment to Kentucky, but his followers here are equally embarrassing.
    • reply
      by Jerry on Nov 4, 2011 at 04:20 PM in reply to EB
      EB Why are you hiding behind your name?? Im proud to tell mine and where Im from. Obviously you are not from Kentucky, and if you are..please up in the northeast where you would fit in better. No, it's Little Stevie BAAAAshear that'a the embarrassment, sitting down in a pit crossed legged, with a dot in his forehead. Now, that's stupid!
      • reply
        by Melinda in London on Nov 5, 2011 at 09:43 AM in reply to Jerry
        Just because you live in Ky doesn't mean you have to be ignorant. Sitting in on another religions services doesn't automatically mean you've sinned or turned against your religion. Maybe it means you'd like to learn but since you appear to be a small minded person anything you'd learn wouldn't take anyways.
        • reply
          by Jerry on Nov 5, 2011 at 03:29 PM in reply to Melinda in London
          Melinda, maybe it means you will stoop to whatever it takes to get a vote. Im sure most Primitive Baptist would never do what Steve BAAAAshear did. Just like the song says, You'd better stand for something, or you'll fall for anything. We, the people in Kentucky, are not as ignorant as you think. After all, Barak Obummer lost this state by 250,000 votes.
      • reply
        by Jennifer on Nov 5, 2011 at 11:59 AM in reply to Jerry
        It's closed minded, ignorant people like Jerry who are bigoted and prejudice that give southern states like Kentucky a bad name. I am a transplant to Kentucky from the northeast, and it's people like Jerry who give all of the USA a bad name. AND, it's the United States of America, not the United CHRISTIAN States of America!!!
        • reply
          by Jerry on Nov 6, 2011 at 04:16 PM in reply to Jennifer
          No, it's know it all's like Jennifer, who come from other states and think's she knows more than anyone else and tries to tell us how to think and what to say and how to vote. Take it back where you came from Jennifer or better yet, just head off to Mexico, I hear they need some replacements for the people that have left them.
        • reply
          by Jennifer on Nov 7, 2011 at 04:35 AM in reply to Jennifer
          @ Jerry...probably know a lot more, and a lot more intelligent than you!
  • by Anonymous on Nov 4, 2011 at 04:35 AM
    Where was Aqua Buddah?
    • reply
      by Jeff on Nov 5, 2011 at 03:29 PM in reply to
      Floating around Little stevies head.
  • by Bill Location: Harlan on Nov 3, 2011 at 06:07 PM
    I will be VOTING REPUBLICAN on Tuesday.
  • by abstaining Location: cyberworld on Nov 3, 2011 at 12:45 PM
    This has challenged me to get out and vote, in a race I wasn't going to bother with. Neither candidate has a lot to offer but, I am convinced now to vote for williams
  • by Freddy on Nov 3, 2011 at 09:25 AM
    I prefer Hindus to Christians any old day of the week. Christians are repressed bigoted fools.
    • reply
      by Jim on Nov 3, 2011 at 01:29 PM in reply to Freddy
      I want to be judged by God not a cow. I feel for you
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Nov 3, 2011 at 04:23 PM in reply to Jim
        whats the difference?
        • reply
          by Jim on Nov 4, 2011 at 04:24 PM in reply to
          You'll find out when you leave this world what the difference is.
      • reply
        by EB on Nov 4, 2011 at 05:57 AM in reply to Jim
        You're ignorant Jim. But the only thing I feel for you is contempt.
        • reply
          by Jerry on Nov 4, 2011 at 04:23 PM in reply to EB
          Here you go again, attacking someone else. Hiding behind initials again. Why dont you tell us your name and where you're from??? CHICKEN! You are the same piece of _____ (four letters) that the governor is.
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Nov 4, 2011 at 08:38 AM in reply to Jim
        please start reading books . it will help u
    • reply
      by Jeff on Nov 3, 2011 at 08:22 PM in reply to Freddy
      Then, pack up and move to India. They'll be glad to have you with the other one billion they have. Better take a lot of things with you, from what I've seen...your life will never be the same. Bonvoy ageee.
  • by Early Cuyler Location: Squidville on Nov 3, 2011 at 08:03 AM
    Gatewood for the WIN on Tuesday! Williams has become a rabid dog that needs to be taken care it in the voting booth and he will will fade away forever come the next election. I am a lifetime Republican but this guy has to be the dumbest politician I have ever seen, no vote from me and I hope the rest of the republicans in Frankfort vote in a new Senate President after his very emberassing showing next Tuesday. RESIDENTS OF BURKESVILLE........WAKE UP AND GET RID OF THIS IDIOT!
    • reply
      by Jennifer on Nov 3, 2011 at 01:46 PM in reply to Early Cuyler
      @ Early...I agree Williams is not the brightest bulb on the tree, but neither is Gatewood.
    • reply
      by Jerry on Nov 3, 2011 at 08:26 PM in reply to Early Cuyler
      Im afraid lots of people are going to have to deal with Mr Williams for a long time to come. Rat face Baaahear will be sorry for the things he's said and done in this election. You might want to check the newspaper and read the story about the 43,000. dollars Ky taxpayers have pd to keep Baaashear safe at his private home and the 1.17 million dollars Ky taxpayers have just put up to Joe Prather the former transportation secretary. Now tell me, who is it that has been wasting taxpayers money???
      • reply
        by Jennifer on Nov 4, 2011 at 07:48 AM in reply to Jerry
  • by Smokezilla Location: P-Ville on Nov 3, 2011 at 06:32 AM
    I don't care if it takes resorting to "snake handling", bring in more jobs into this state!!! Williams needs to get a clue!!!
  • by Mark Location: Frankfort on Nov 3, 2011 at 06:19 AM
    "It is the people of Kentucky who brought us to Kentucky." Audi Chaturavedi, director of Flex Films, Inc.
    • reply
      by Jeff on Nov 3, 2011 at 08:28 PM in reply to Mark
      Did he tell us too about all the phony Indian and Pakistani doctors we have that are passing out drugs?? Welcome to Kentucky, drug capitol of the world.
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