CV NEWS FEED // Democratic Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear is facing national scrutiny ahead of his 2023 reelection race after a photograph of him posing with an anti-Catholic hate group went viral online.
The photo shows Beshear standing with local members of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence (SPI). The news comes amid a widespread outcry against SPI due to the group’s public acts of sacrilege and blasphemy against the Catholic faith.
CatholicVote recently reported on
how aggressive SPI has been in its performative anti-Catholicism. Examples of SPI’s public acts of blasphemy and sacrilege include pole dancing on a cross, filling chalices with yogurt to simulate ingesting semen as part of a mock-Mass, and suggestively touching and dancing on a man dressed as the crucified Christ.
The photo was taken in February 2020 at a statewide LGBTQ rally where Beshear became the first sitting Kentucky governor to speak at such an event. It features him posing with five members of the local chapter “Kentucky Fried Sisters.” One “Sister” wore a KFC chicken bucket reshaped to imitate a nun’s habit. Others wore various costumes intended to mock Christianity, such as devil horns.
Beshear’s then-spokesman Sebastian Kitchen explained the photo by saying it was the governor’s way of promoting inclusivity. Kitchen added that Beshear should not be shamed for merely taking a photo with Kentucky citizens.
With the upcoming governor’s race in November, the photo has caught the attention of Beshear’s Republican challenger, Daniel Cameron. “The fact that [Beshear] would host an anti-Christian hate group that makes fun of people of faith is disqualifying,” Cameron tweeted. “This November, he’s going to have plenty of free time to hang out with those people, but it won’t be in the state capitol.”
Cameron also cited the photo during an interview with Fox News Digital. “This is just another example of how out of touch Andy Beshear is with our values. He’s the governor of Kentucky, not California.”
Alex Floyd, Beshear’s reelection campaign spokesman, attempted to defend the photo by arguing Cameron was using the photo to stir up anger and division in Kentucky. Floyd then tried to redirect the conflict by suggesting Cameron focus his attention on investigating the disturbing pardons of child rapists made by former Republican Gov. Matt Bevin.
Beshear insisted at a rally this year that he is keeping in line with his Christian faith by practicing inclusivity. “My faith teaches me three things: No. 1, we are all children of God, all of us. Second, we are to love our neighbors as ourselves. And third, everyone is our neighbor,” he said. “No exceptions.”
Even now, after repeated backlash from the public and the press, the Democratic Kentucky governor has expressed no regret about the photo.
This week, he admitted to local NBC affiliate WLWT that he would be willing to take the picture again.