Over the weekend, a group of Black pastors wrote an open letter to Georgia Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler and her campaign, responding to recent attacks from her against Democratic Senate candidate Rev. Raphael Warnock’s faith and sermons.
The coalition of pastors, primarily from Georgia, claimed that Loeffler’s attacks against Warnock are “a broader attack against the Black Church and faith traditions for which we stand.” The group is demanding Loeffler’s campaign stop using this sort of targeting.
“We call on you to cease and desist your false characterizations of Reverend Warnock as ‘radical’ or ‘socialist,’ when there is nothing in his background, writings or sermons that suggests those characterizations to be true, especially when taken in full context,” the letter reads.
The New York Times was the first to publish the letter, which comes during a highly contested Senate runoff race between Loeffler and Warnock set for January 5.
The Loeffler campaign has run several ads in recent weeks which includes clips from Warnock’s past sermons, many of which occurred while he served as the senior pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, the same historic Baptist church where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once preached.
One of the sermons pulled was from 2011 during which Warnock said that “nobody can serve God and the military.” Warnock has since defended the sermon, informing Loeffler during a December 6 debate, that the reference has roots in biblical passages.
“It was a sermon about a moral foundation for everything that we do,” Warnock told Loeffler. “And that when you have everything in order, that actually makes you a better solider. It also makes you a better senator.”
Warnock tweeted the New York Times article on Sunday (December 20) with the caption, “My faith is the foundation upon which I have built my life. It guides my service to my community and my country. @KLoeffler’s attacks on our faith are not just disappointing — they are hurtful to Black churches across Georgia.”