A Faith Leader Coalition Is Asking Sen. Kelly Loeffler to Stop Attacking Her Opponent’s Religion Views

The political showdown in Georgia has transfixed the U.S., with control of the Senate hanging in the balance of a couple of upcoming runoff races. But as we’ve already written, the political race has become a religious battle as well, with incumbent GOP Sen. Kelly Loeffler taking frequent aim at her oppinet Rev. Raphael Warnock’s religious views. Though both Warnock and Loeffler are Christians, Loeffler has painted Warnock — who has served as a senior pastor of Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church for 25 years — as a religious radical. Now, a coalition of faith leaders are calling on Loeffler to back off her religious attacks.

A letter signed by 100 faith leaders calls on Loeffler to “cease your false attacks on Reverend Warnock’s social justice theological and faith traditions which visualizes a just and ardent world where love, fairness and equal justice under the law for marginalized people of all races is not only accepted as an authentic prophetic message in the tradition of Dr. Martin Luther King, but also a central message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” Ebenezer Baptist is the church where King preached before his death.

The letter was mostly signed by Black pastors from across the U.S., who say Loeffler’s criticisms of Warnock amount to attacks on the Black Church tradition. “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 says. “We see your attacks against Warnock as a broader attack against the Black Church and faith traditions for which we stand.”

Loeffler called Warnock a “radical liberal” 13 times during a recent televised debate, and has defended herself against accusations of racist attacks, saying “there is not a racist bone in my body.” But critics have pointed to repeated instances of her showing up in photographs alongside notable extremists like white supremacist leader Chester Dole.
Warnock has fended criticism over his condemnation of Israeli attacks on Palestinians, which drew the ire of Orthodox rabbis in Georgia. His support of abortion rights has also drawn criticism, including an open letter from two dozen Black pastors who told Warnock that “open advocacy of abortion is a scandal to the faith and to the Black community.”
In a tweet, Warnock said that “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.”
Loeffler fired back, saying “No one attacked the Black church. We simply exposed your record in your own words. Instead of playing the victim, start answering simple questions about what you’ve said and who you’ve associated yourself with. If you can’t — you shouldn’t be running for U.S. Senate.”

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