More than a dozen black Christian leaders and pastors urged Georgians during a press conference Friday to oppose Democrats Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff in the U.S. Senate runoff, saying both men hold positions antithetical to Scripture.
The press conference inside the state capitol was held just over two weeks before a Jan. 5 runoff that will decide which party controls the U.S. Senate.
Garland Hunt, pastor of the Father’s House in Atlanta, said he was appealing to Christian voters to vote against Warnock and Ossoff.
“We believe that the Bible is very clear about abortion. We believe that Jeremiah 1, Psalm 139, are very clear that the baby in the womb is a person separate from the woman – that in fact that child has a right to live also.”
Hunt said he is “offended” by Warnock labeling himself a “pro-choice pastor.” Warnock is pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta.
“We must stand on our values. We must stand on that which is spiritually and biblically correct,” Hunt said.
Dean Nelson, executive director of Human Coalition Action, said more than 50 black ministers had signed a letter to Warnock asking him “to change his extreme position on the subject of abortion.”
“Rev. Warnock supports abortion up to the ninth month,” Nelson said. “... He is supported by Planned Parenthood, and if he is elected would certainly, along with other Democrats, vote to reverse the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits taxpayer funding for abortion. His views are out of step with the black community. His views are out of step with Christian faith, and his views are out of step with most Georgians.”
Nelson added, “The heinous position of Rev. Warnock is also mirrored by his Democratic colleague, Jon Ossoff. They show that they have little regard for black lives and only are pursuing black votes. We are urging all Georgians as they cast their votes in this critical runoff election to vote their biblical values of righteousness and justice.”
Gerald Henry, a former host on BET, emceed the press conference and called Warnock’s positions “clearly anti-biblical.”
“I want to appeal particularly to black Georgians, as well as Georgians at large who share Christian values – vote your values,” Henry said. “... Don't be moved by someone who just matches the color of your skin tone. Because you're a better person than that.”
Catherine Davis, the executive director of the Restoration Project, also encouraged Georgians to oppose Warnock and Ossoff.
“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,” Davis said.
A full 63 percent of abortions in Georgia in the past year involved black women, Davis said.
“As long as organizations like Planned Parenthood are allowed to target women and their babies based on the color of our skin, my dream, like Martin Luther King's, will remain just that – just a dream,” Davis said. “So I am urging Georgia to send a message to Raphael Warnock, who is betraying black women, that we will no longer stand with you because you are not standing with us.”
Photo courtesy: ©Jessica McGowan/Stringer/Getty Images
Video courtesy: The Fredrick Douglass Foundation
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.