On Wednesday, Kentucky's embattled governor Matt Bevin posted a video attacking his Democratic opponent's religion — and in the process, directed disturbingly violent, gun-related rhetoric at him.
"I'm responding to an ad in which Andy Beshear claims his views on abortion and his faith is informed by the Baptist traditions of his grandfather and great-grandfather, who he says were Baptist preachers," said Bevin, who is attempting to win a second term in November. "I'm willing to bet they would not have taken money from abortion providers like Andy Beshear does ... I think it's insulting to the Baptist tradition."
"The question I ask of you is, which side are you on?" said Bevin. "If you're a Baptist pastor in Kentucky in 2019, which side are you on? ... there's no middle ground here. This is not a time to hold your powder dry or wait and see what someone else is doing. This is a time to stand up and be accounted for."
The expression "hold your powder dry" is a reference to the mechanism by which guns are fired — something that seems ill-advised in the immediate aftermath of tragic mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton.
Dr. Leigh Bond, the senior pastor at Beshear's church, sharply pushed back on Bevin's notion that Beshear opposes Baptist values.
"Andy and his family are active members of our church, where Andy serves as a deacon," said Bond in a statement. "He is a person of strong faith and it is clear that he and Britainy are passing those values along to their children. Even with their demanding schedule, the family makes it a priority to be present in worship. And they don’t just ‘show up.’ Their faith and commitment to God inspire them to serve others and engage in ministry beyond the walls of the church."