Black ministry leaders hosted a press conference at the Georgia State Capitol to warn voters about Democratic candidates Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff.
The coalition stated that they represented a political spectrum of Black Christians’ concerns regarding the two Democratic candidates’ political stances and their implications ahead of the runoff election.
Gerard Henry, former host of Black Entertainment Television (BET) Lift Every Voice, opened up the press conference.
“What I’ve seen concerning Jon Ossoff, who is very quiet on many issues, is that’s not someone I could personally endorse or support,” explained Henry. “And concerning Raphael Warnock, and the stances that he’s been adamant about, [he’s] clearly anti-Biblical [and he] goes against my values. And so I want to appeal particularly to Black Georgians, as well as Georgians at large who share Christian values, is to vote your values. Don’t be moved by headlines and creative speaking, and don’t be moved someone who just matches the color of your skin tone. Because you’re a better person that that, I believe. I believe you’re an intellectual person. I believe you’re a person of substance who doesn’t just get moved by their emotions.”
Human Coalition Action Executive Director Reverend Dean Nelson was the second to speak. Nelson quoted Frederick Douglass, the ex-slave abolitionist who’d stated that his political views were informed by the Bible. Then, the reverend criticized Warnock’s political stances on abortion, including supporting abortion up to the ninth month and reversing the Hyde Amendment that prohibits taxpayer-funded abortions.
Nelson shared that a letter, signed by over 50 ministers, was sent to Warnock this past week to encourage the candidate to change his “extreme position” on abortion.”
“His views are out of step with the Black community, his views are out of step with the Christian faith, and his views are out of step with most Georgians,” asserted Nelson.
Bishop Garland Hunt, a senior pastor at The Father’s House, concurred that both candidates’ stances on abortion are unbiblical.
“We believe the Bible is very clear about abortion: we believe that Jeremiah chapter 1 [and] Psalms 39 is very clear that the baby in the womb is a person separate from the woman,” stated Hunt. “That in fact, the child has a right to live also, and that you have to defy the Scriptures in order to say words like, ‘I am a pro-choice pastor.’ I’m totally offended at that, so I’m appealing to all of those that hear this, that call themselves Christian, that even if they’re African American, even if they’re pastors – do not defy the Bible. Do not turn away from the Scriptures, to say that ‘I have to follow a person because of their race, or their party.’ We must stand on our values. We must stand on what is spiritually and Biblically correct.”
The pastor also condemned the Equality Act, calling it “unscriptural.”
Catherine Davis, Restoration Project Executive Director, asserted that Warnock doesn’t stand for the same values as Dr. Martin Luther King. She accosted Warnock’s support of Planned Parenthood.
“My dream is to stop Planned Parenthood from targeting ministers, like Raphael Warnock, to ‘straighten it out’ if I realize that Planned Parenthood is trying to exterminate the Black community,” stated Davis. “My dream is to hold Planned Parenthood accountable for selling body parts of the black and brown babies they abort. I am coming here today to say to every Bible-believing Georgian that we can begin to hold Planned Parenthood accountable by not voting for men who are betraying Black women as they partner with Planned Parenthood[.]”
Pastor Dwayne Harden, Embassy Kingdom and Organization referenced the founding beliefs of Planned Parenthood via their founder, Margaret B. Sanger, who created the abortion network mainly to eradicate minorities and the disabled.
“Abortion is an issue that cannot really be legislated as a moral thing. But, what needs to not be done is to make laws that support immorality,” explained Harden. “We cannot stand up and say we’re men of God and support the thing that breaks God’s heart. If killing the young men on the street breaks his heart when police do it, killing the baby in the womb breaks his heart.”
Dr. Loretto Greier-Cudjoe, Black Catholics for Life member, bolstered the claim that abortion is an attack on the Black community by referencing previous President Richard Nixon’s White House tape. She questioned the idea that Constitutional rights stop for an individual because they’re unborn.
“We know that the Black child was the intended victim of legalized abortion in America,” stated Cudjoe. “Abortion has practically exterminated the Black middle class. Wealth is generational, and it affects every aspect of our lives and you have to have a family in order to have a family business or to convey wealth to a family.”
Bishop Aubrey Shines, Conservative Clergy of Color, stood as the final speaker. Shines emphasized the racist underpinnings of abortion.
“It was Margaret Sanger, the eugenist, who was a White racist, hatred of Black people, that said the only way she could have success – and that would be to find ministers that would help her cultivate this idea that Blacks need to be eliminated. And, she has found her prophetic ‘arm’ in the life of Mr. Warnock,” stated Shines.
Shines finished by stating that Warnock’s support of Jeremiah Wright and Black Liberation Theology rendered the candidate “anti-Semitic” and against the Bible.
Neither Warnock or Ossoff acknowledged the religious leaders’ press conference.
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Corinne Murdock is a reporter at The Georgia Star News and the Star News Network. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Bishop Aubrey Shines” by The Frederick Douglass Foundation.
Star News Digital Media executives also own Old Ironsides Advisors, a management consultancy serving conservative nonprofits including Conservative Clergy of Color.