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Gov. Brown's religion: Yogi

In response to evangelist Franklin Graham's assertion that Brown isn't a Christian, she described her religious practice as 'meditation' and being 'a yogi.'

PAMPLIN FILE PHOTO - Gov. Kate Brown as her inauguration in January 2017Evangelist Franklin Graham told a crowd of 12,000 people at the Clackamas County Fair in Canby Wednesday that Gov. Kate Brown is not a Christian, Willamette Week's Aaron Mesh reported.

"Let's pray for your governor, Governor Brown," Graham said, according to the article. "Wouldn't it be something is she got saved?"

Graham is the son of Billy Graham, who was a personal adviser to several U.S. presidents before his death in February. The younger Graham is bringing the message of Jesus and conservative politics on a seven-city tour in Oregon and Washington, called "Decision America."

He described the close Oregon governor's race between Brown and Rep. Knute Buehler, R-Bend, in "subtler" terms, according to the Willamette Week article.

He "performed a sophisticated feat of verbal jujitsu on the governor that would impress the most passive-aggressive Portlander," wrote Mesh, who attended the rally in Canby.

In a call with several reporters Thursday, Brown said, Graham never asked about her faith beliefs.

"I have not had a direct conversation with Mr. Graham," she said.

Asked if she has a religious practice, Brown responded: "I have a meditation practice…I'm a yogi."

Jeff Mapes of Oregon Public Broadcasting asked the governor to elaborate on her beliefs.

"That was the first time I have heard a governor identifying their religious beliefs as being a yogi," Mapes said.

Brown denied being an agnostic, which essentially means a person who claims neither faith nor disbelief in God.

Brown also declined to comment specifically on whether she believes in the existence of God.

"I believe that each one of us has a spirit living within us, and we have to acknowledge the spirit within all human beings," she said.

She said she lives by a principle of "treating human beings with respect."

Chris Pair, the governor's communications director, later said that Brown was making "a little bit of a joke" when she claimed her religious affiliation was being a yogi.