Senate President David Williams must be desperate in his longshot bid to unseat Gov. Steve Beshear in next Tuesday’s election. Far behind in the polls for the entire race, he decided this week to see if a little xenophobia might change his fortunes.
We don’t believe it will, and Kentucky will be better off not to elect a religious bigot.
Williams criticized Beshear this week for taking part in a Hindu ceremony during a groundbreaking ceremony earlier this week for a $180 million factory in Elizabethtown that will employ 250 people. The owners of the new factory, who are Hindu, had decided to celebrate the project with a traditional Hindu “ground blessing.”
As if those remarks were not bad enough, Williams stepped way over the line by accusing the governor of “praying to false gods” and “wearing a dot on his head.”
Williams should realize that the governor of Kentucky is not simply the governor of Christians. We view Beshear’s actions as showing respect for a different culture, not betraying his own.
And there is no precedent for Williams’ narrow-minded rejection of other cultures in Christian tradition. Many Christians will attend the worship services and other religous events of people of different faiths in an attempt to reach out to others and learn more about the world we live in.
Williams has embarrassed himself, his government, his faith and the entire state of Kentucky by making a statement that is so insulting and devoid of respect to an entire religious community. By all accounts an intelligent man, we are baffled by his willful display of unfettered ignorance.
There is little doubt that Williams will fail mightily in his election bid on Tuesday, so any call for Kentuckians to reject him at the polls would be a moot point. It would be a more fitting punishment, however, for Williams’ Republican colleagues in the state Senate to do the same, and elect a new leader who does not reflect quite so poorly on the entire party.
— The Floyd County Times