Oregon Gov. Kate Brown says she believes each of us has a “spirit living within us,” and she cited yoga and meditation as being central to her life.
The governor talked about her religious beliefs after prominent evangelist Franklin Graham said at a Canby rally Sunday that he was praying for Brown to someday “know your son Jesus Christ as her lord and savior.”
Brown was asked about Graham’s comments, first reported by Willamette Week, during a telephone call with reporters Thursday.
“I believe that each one of us has a spirit living within us and we have to acknowledge the spirits within all of our human beings,” she said. When asked if she went to church or has a practice, Brown replied, “I have a meditation practice and I’m a yogi.”
Later, the governor clarified that she didn’t see being a yogi — which she said means someone who practices yoga — in religious terms. When asked if she would regard herself as agnostic, Brown said she did not.
“I believe very much that each of us is spiritual beings,” she said. “And that’s how I see the world. For me, it’s about [being] on a path of treating human beings with respect, and that I want to make sure that that’s honored in my work and my day-to-day life.”
The Democratic governor’s beliefs are not uncommon in Oregon, one of the nation’s most unchurched states. A 2016 Gallup poll found that 29 percent of the state’s adults regarded themselves as very religious, tied for fifth lowest in the country.
Graham, the son of evangelist Billy Graham, preached at Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration and regularly talks with him. He’s brushed aside questions about Trump’s personal morality, saying he needed to give him the benefit of the doubt.