Republican candidate David Williams on Tuesday criticized his opponent, incumbent Gov. Steve Beshear (D), for participating in a Hindu-style groundbreaking ceremony.
“He’s there participating with Hindu priests, participating in a religious ceremony,” Williams said during a campaign stop in Shelbyville, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader.
“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.”
The event in late October marked the construction of a $180 million manufacturing plant by a new India-based employer. The plant is expected to employ 250 workers in Elizabethtown.
“If I’m a Christian, I don’t participate in Jewish prayers,” Williams continued. “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. 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.”
Beshear, the son of a Baptist preacher, offered a 75 percent property tax discount to attract a biblical theme park to Kentucky. The 160-acre religious theme park, which is scheduled to open in the spring of 2014 in northern Kentucky, will contain a “full-sized” replica of Noah’s Ark in addition to a walled city, live animal shows, a children’s interactive play area, a replica of the Tower of Babel, and a first-century Middle Eastern village.
Williams said his comments were not meant to disrespect Hindus, but that as a Christian Beshear should have declined to participate in the ceremony.
“I’ve been in many countries, in Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines, and they’ll say clap your hands and it summons the gods,” Williams said. “I did not do that because that is idolatry. And that’s what he participates in when he does that.”
Photo credit: Gage Skidmore
[H/T: Mother Jones]