Kentucky Republican gubernatorial nominee David Williams, who is also president of the state Senate, recently sparked controversy when he attacked Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear for participating in a Hindu religious ceremony. And now, after Williams called upon Hindus to “love and know Jesus,” he says he doesn’t know why people would be offended — as the comment was rooted in his belief that Jesus is the one and only route to salvation.
“I can’t see how anyone could object to the fact that if I believe that, that I pray for them to have salvation,” Williams told the Louisville Courier-Journal. “I don’t see how that could offend anyone.”
Williams’s comments come in the wake of a phone conversation he had on Thursday, with the Hindu American Foundation — in which Williams stood by his previous statements.
After the talk, the foundation’s managing director Suhag Shukla sent a letter to Williams, recognizing his assurance to her that “you have not and would not discriminate against anyone on the basis of their beliefs.”
However, Shukla stated in the letter:
“It is difficult to understand how an individual of your education, experience and position would think that calling ‘gods’ of another religion ‘false’ and its practices ‘idolatry, and stating that your hope was that ‘Hindus open their eyes and receive Jesus as their Savior’ would not be taken as offensive…. While you say that you did not intend to offend Hindus, it is apparent that you did. Still, I appreciate the time you personally took to clarify your perspective.”
The polls throughout the race have shown Beshear heavily favored to win re-election — such as one out this week from the Louisville Courier-Journal, with Beshear ahead of Williams by a margin of 54%-29%. The election will be held this Tuesday.