Pastors: Kelly Loeffler's Smear Of Rev. Raphael Warnock Is Broad Assault On The Black Church
A stinging open letter signed by a coalition of African American pastors in Georgia has blown up Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler's attack on rival Rev. Raphael Warnock as a broader assault on black church faith traditions.
Loeffler has tried to tarnish the reputation of the democratic pastor by repeatedly calling him radical, socialist and "radical liberal".
The letter, signed by more than 100 religious leaders, portrayed Warnock's support for social justice as an integral part of his faith. When Loeffler attacks this, she attacks Warnock's religion and the beliefs of the black communities who believe in the same religious values.
"We see your attacks on Warnock as a broader attack against the black church and the faith traditions for which we stand," the letter reads.
According to the Atlanta Journal's Constitution, the open letter called on Loeffler to stop her “false attacks” on Warnock's theological and religious traditions of social justice, “which visualize a just and passionate world in which love, fairness and equal justice are law for marginalized people from all races are not only presented as an authentic prophetic message in the tradition of Dr. Martin Luther King accepts it, but also as the central message of the gospel of Jesus Christ. "
The letter also attacked Loeffler's support for President Donald Trump's unsubstantiated allegation of electoral fraud in Georgia and his attempt to dismiss the results of the presidential election.
"What can be more radical and inflammatory than supporting 59 attempts to overthrow the will of the people by casting black votes?" asked the letter.
Warnock, the senior pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, stressed the connection between his social values and his religion in a tweet on Sunday:
Loeffler hit back on Twitter at Warnock, referring to the religious leaders' open letter:
Earlier this month, the Jewish activist organization Bend the Arc retweeted a photo of Loeffler posing with Chester Doles, a former KKK leader who was in jail for beating a black man almost to death. Loeffler's campaign claimed she had no idea who Doles was. But Loeffler has posed with white supremacists and other extremists in the past.
Last week she and Georgia Sen. David Perdue said they had decided against changing the name of the Atlanta Braves baseball team. The name, they said, "honors our Native American heritage."
Loeffler, who paints herself a supporter of the second amendment, has also said that black protesters who legally carried guns during a demonstration practiced "mob rule".
Loeffler reiterated her controversial statements in a debate against Warnock earlier this month, insisting, "There is no racist bone in my body."
She and Purdue face runoff elections on January 5th against their Democratic rivals who will determine who controls the Senate.
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This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.
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