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Republicans continue to hammer Georgia Democratic Senate candidate Rev. Raphael Warnock over what they believe are “anti-military” stances in his past sermons as the race continues to heat up for the Jan. 5, 2021 runoff election.
“He is the most radical major party candidate for the Senate, I think ever in American history,” former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich said in a Fox News interview Tuesday.
“He’s said you can’t be in the military and serve God. He’s described the police as thugs and gang members and says they’re an active danger to children,” Gingrich said. “And that’s without getting into his theology and the people he admires who believe deeply in an anti-white theology.
“I think the more people that realize that Warnock is this radical the more trouble he’s in,” the former speaker concluded.
Warnock’s past sermons have been under increased scrutiny with the special election in Georgia less than a month away.
Late last month the Democrat came under fire after a 2011 sermon resurfaced where he said no one can serve “God and the military.”
“America, nobody can serve God and the military,” Warnock said during a sermon titled “When Truth Meets Power.” “You can’t serve God and money. You cannot serve God and mammon at the same time. America, choose ye this day who you will serve. Choose ye this day.”
His challenger, Republican Sen. Kelly Leoffler, also condemned the reverend and said "I'm the daughter & granddaughter of veterans, and proud to serve on the VA Committee.
“[Warnock]—this is despicable, disgusting, and wrong,” Loeffler wrote. “You owe our active military & veterans—who sacrifice so much for our country—an immediate apology."
Warnock, who has preached from Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta since 2005, the same parish Martin Luther King Jr. gave sermons from, has long been critical of military violence, condemning the War in Iraq and attending a 2009 protest in front of the White House coinciding with President Obama’s 100th day in office.
The event was led by Christian Peace Witness for Iraq and supported by civil rights activist Archbishop Desmund Tutu, also protested military violence in Afghanistan, Abu Ghraib, Darfur and Gaza.
REPUBLICANS HAMMER WARNOCK OVER RESURFACED 'GOD AND THE MILITARY' SERMON
Warnock reportedly gave a speech in front of the White House and passed out bread “to emphasize Christ's insistence that we are people of life, not death; of peace, not war.”
Warnock has defended his reference to “God and the military,” telling Fox News, “This sermon is based on a biblical verse that reads ‘No man can serve two masters…Ye cannot serve God and mammon,’ a biblical term for wealth.”
"Reverend Warnock was speaking about the need to commit to moral life before pursuing other priorities,” Terrence Clark, communications director for the Warnock campaign, said in a statement. “As the video of the congregation’s response makes clear, this is another blatant effort by Kelly Loeffler to take Reverend Warnock’s words completely out of context. Given her own decision to spend her first days in the U.S. Senate profiting off the pandemic, perhaps she should watch the sermon more closely.”
Warnock’s beliefs echo similar statements made by Martin Luther King Jr., who said, "A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death."
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Loeffler has hit the major conservative talking points in trying to rally her base, accusing Warnock of being a “socialist” and an “anti-Semitic” because of his pro-two-state solution between Israel and Palestine.
Early voting in Georgia has already broken October’s previous early voting record, showing that voters remains heavily invested in the contentious Senate runoff election.
Morgan Philips contributed to this report.
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