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13,000 people of faith, 45 organizations reject attacks on Rev. Warnock and the Black Church

Senator Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) and her allies have attacked Black liberation theology and Rev. Raphael Warnock’s faith throughout the Georgia Senate runoff. In response, 13,292 people of faith and 45 faith-based organizations have released a letter calling these attacks an immoral, dangerous attempt to hijack religion for political gain.

The letter states in part, “As people and organizations of faith, we applaud the Rev. Raphael Warnock for preaching our shared values of nonviolence, righteousness and justice in the prophetic tradition of the Black church, following in the legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., his predecessor at Ebenezer Baptist Church…

“Senator Loeffler and her allies must apologize to people of all faiths and stop these immoral, racially charged attacks on Rev. Warnock’s prophetic ministry at once. Such smears divide Georgians, denigrate citizens of faith, and undermine the crucial role that religion can play in building a more ethical and just nation.”

Georgia organizations signing the letter include the ELCA Southeastern Synod, the Georgia NAACP, the New Georgia Project, and local congregations. They are joined by national organizations with Georgia members including Bend the Arc: Jewish Action, Faith in Public Life Action, Faithful America, Green the Church, GreenFaith, the New Moral Majority, NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice, the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference, the Unitarian Universalist Association, Vote Common Good, and more.

The following faith leaders issued statements in support of the letter:

Rev. Dr. Donny D. Green, Sr., Pastor of Bibleway Missionary Baptist Church, Albany, GA, and Assistant Dean of Bethany Divinity College and Seminary, Albany Campus: “Now, more than ever, our political leaders need a prophetic, moral voice to move our country toward policies that help all Americans. To suggest that Rev. Warnock, who has been working on the ground in Georgia for years, is not a patriot is to misunderstand the crucial role that Rev. Warnock and a whole cavalry of Black ministers before him have played in making our country better. Kelly Loeffler seems to be more concerned with her stock portfolio than with using her votes to love her neighbor, as Jesus asks us to.”

Sister Simone Campbell, SSS, Executive Director of NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice: “The Republican Party and Senator Kelly Loeffler claim to care about religious liberty, yet they are leading the attack on the faith of Rev. Raphael Warnock, the pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta. This is a shameful stunt in the Republican effort to diminish the importance of this church and of Black Christians in Georgia. This must stop now!”

Rev. Jennifer Butler, CEO of Faith in Public Life Action: “Rev. Warnock has worked extensively to advance justice, equality and democracy in Georgia. Attacks on his prophetic ministry and witness are part of a shameful, dishonest, and racist tradition of attacks on the Black church. Senator Loeffler and her surrogates must stop attacking a pastor for preaching the truth.”

Rev. Colin Holtz, Board President of Faithful America, Atlanta, GA: “Because Rev. Warnock dares to speak prophetic Christian truths as a Black pastor, Senator Loeffler has viciously twisted his words to score cheap political points. It’s the classic religious-right playbook: Ridicule the beliefs of progressive people of faith, pretend to have a monopoly on religion, and abuse race and religion to divide Georgians. Faithful America’s Christian members strongly condemn these attacks on Rev. Warnock, the late Rev. Dr. James Cone, and the Black church.”

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Contact

Rev. Nathan Empsall
[email protected]
(203) 343-0549

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Religion News Service or Religion News Foundation.