Georgia Senate hopeful Reverend Raphael Warnock is facing scrutiny over a 2016 sermon in which he called on the US to “repent for its worship of whiteness” over the success of President Trump’s candidacy.
Video of the sermon, delivered in October 2016 at Emory University, reemerged over the weekend, as the battle between Warnock and Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.) in their special Senate race heats up.
In the sermon, entitled “How Towers Tumble,” Warnock discussed Genesis 11:4, in which humans want to construct a tower reaching heaven over fear of being scattered across Earth.
“Somebody lied and told them that uniformity, that sameness, homogeneity, was the key to their survival. Somebody lied and told them that diversity was a threat to their identity,” Warnock said a few minutes into his 20-minute sermon.
“God made all human beings in God’s image,” Warnock said, adding that it was humans who decided that “some human beings are better than other human beings.”
“That’s a construction. It’s called bigotry, it’s called racism and sexism and misogyny and xenophobia. Race is not a biological factor, it’s a sociological construct. God made us, but we make stuff up.”
“We have constructed towers of domination that lift up a few, structures of evil that God never intended in the first place. When the quality of your education and access to basic health care is a function of your ZIP code, the whole city suffers. And the tower tumbles,” the reverend continued.
The senior pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, where civil rights icon the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. once preached, then got political.
Warnock then stated that “fierce winds of change are blowing through our nation in this moment. The judgement of God is upon us. We have a decision to make. We can either bend, or break.
“When the wind blows, sometimes you have to bend, you have to recognize what’s going on in the world in order to keep from breaking. In other words, you have to repent, recognize what’s going on in the world. And the fierce winds of change are blowing through our nation like it or not. The complexion of this nation is changing like it or not. Change is coming, like it or not,” he said to applause from the audience.
“If it is true that a man who has dominated the news and poisoned the discussion for months needs to repent, then it is doubly true that a nation that can produce such a man and make his vitriol go viral needs to repent. No matter what happens next month, more than a third of the nation that would go along with this, is reason to be afraid. America needs to repent for its worship of whiteness, on full display this season,” the reverend continued to rising cheers.
Warnock then turned his attention to then-candidate Trump specifically, addressing the then-newly uncovered Access Hollywood tape.
“How is it that you can insult everybody? All Muslims ‘something other than children of God,’ all Mexicans ‘murderers and rapists.’ Insult the disabled. How is it you can insult everybody, but then one weekend, somebody discovers in a recording that you insult those whose daughters and wives look like those who have been supporting you, and then all of a sudden we can’t take it anymore,” he reverend asked.
Reached for comment by Newsweek on the sermon, Warnock spokesman Terrence Clark said that the lines were taken out of context, and that the remarks were made shortly after the tape of the then-Republican nominee had resurfaced.
“This sermon was delivered just days after the release of the Access Hollywood tape and Reverend Warnock observed that many people had tolerated then candidate Trump’s hateful comments toward people with disabilities and marginalized communities, and only expressed outrage after that tape came out. Kelly Loeffler claims to have never heard of the Access Hollywood tape but she certainly knows about the politics of division that she’s using to lie about Reverend Warnock’s words and record,” Clark said.
The Warnock campaign did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment.
Warnock and Loeffler will go head-to-head in a Jan. 5 run-off, while Democrat Jon Ossoff will face off against Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.). The roster in the Senate currently sits at 50 Republicans and 48 Democrats.
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