A group of black pastors penned a letter rebuking Democratic Georgia Senate candidate Raphael Warnock for what they describe as his “open advocacy of abortion” and urge Warnock “to fight against the systemic racism of abortion.”
Twenty-eight black leaders in the Christian community pushed back against Warnock’s hardline abortion views in the letter, including evangelist Alveda King, who is the niece of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
Warnock presently pastors Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, a congregation which King also once pastored.
Warnock, whose runoff Senate race in Georgia is under intense national attention for the potential it has to swing the upper chamber to the Democratic Party, has before raised eyebrows among some Christians for comments he has made about Christianity, such as when he described Jesus Christ as “a poor Palestinian prophet” and a “Palestinian peasant.”
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Warnock also offended some when he compared Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to former Democratic Alabama Gov. George Wallace during a 2016 sermon that recently resurfaced.
Warnock campaign spokesperson Michael Brewer told Fox News regarding the letter: “Reverend Warnock believes a patient’s room is too small a place for a woman, her doctor, and the U.S. government and that these are deeply personal health care decisions — not political ones. He also believes those who are concerned about life ought to be focused on the incredibly high rates of infant mortality and maternal mortality and working to make sure we are expanding access to healthcare, not taking it away.”
The Rev. Dean Nelson, who organized the letter, denied that politics had anything do with it, telling Fox News: “The message of the letter is relevant no matter who some of the signatories support, even though there are Republicans, Independents, and Democrats who have signed it. Rev. Warnock’s extreme embrace and advocacy for abortion conflicts with biblical teaching and true justice for humanity. We urge him to reconsider his support for it.”
The scathing letter issued to Warnock reads:
We are a coalition of Black Christian ministers who, like you, feel called by God to preach the Bible, advocate for justice and fight against societal evils. We applaud your commendable effortsto share Christ while pursuing political solutions to our most pressing problems today.
But precisely because we share so much in common with you, we feel compelled to confront your most recent statements concerning abortion. You have gone on the record saying that you are a “ pro-choice pastor ” who will “always fight for reproductive justice.” You have publicly expressed your views that abortion is an exercise of “human agency and freedom” that is fully consistent with your role as a shepherd of God’s people.
We believe these statements represent grave errors of judgment and a lapse in pastoral responsibility, and we entreat you to reconsider them. As a Christian pastor and as a Black leader, you have a duty to denounce the evil of abortion, which kills a disproportionate number of Black children. Your open advocacy of abortion is a scandal to the faith and to the Black community.
Abortion is fundamentally in conflict with the plain reading of the Bible. The Bible clearly teaches that human life is created by God beginning at conception. As Psalm 139 proclaims: “You knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am wonderfully and fearfully made.” What human being could possibly have the right to blot out an innocent life that God has wonderfully and fearfully made?
Abortion prematurely thwarts God’s providential and loving plan for a promising human life. And by terminating an innocent unborn life in the womb, abortion directly violates the seventh commandment: “Thou shalt not kill.” God demands that every faithful Christian protect and uphold the sanctity of innocent human life, at every stage of life. Supporting abortion represents a serious abdication of and a transgression against that responsibility, just like the disrespect of the poor, the disabled, or the elderly.
Couching abortion in the language of “reproductive justice” may be savvy marketing, but killing an innocent human life has nothing to do either with reproduction or with justice. Do American adults really need another public voice urging them to put their own short-term desires ahead of the needs of their children? As a pastor who speaks for the Christian community, we implore you to speak the plain truth about a practice as barbaric and destructive as abortion.
And then there is the uniquely devastating impact that abortion has on the Black communities you serve. The pro-abortion movement in America has been characterized by racism and white supremacy since its inception. And to this day, abortion continues to unequally and disproportionately harm Black lives, perpetuating systemic racism. Despite making up only 13% of the female population, Black women represent 36% of all abortions, and Black women are almost five times more likely than their white counterparts to receive an abortion.
In some cities across the country, more Black children are aborted every year than are born alive. Can you in good conscience defend abortion, knowing that abortion kills 474 Black babies for every 1000 live births? Abortion decimates Black communities, disrupts Black families and inflicts untold harm on Black women. Black women and Black families need your advocacy; they need your protection, and they need your support. But they do not need Black pastors making excuses for the racism in the abortion industry. Killing Black lives, especially killing unborn Black lives, does nothing but brutalize and scar vulnerable Black communities who are already suffering so much.
For all of the above reasons, we entreat you to reconsider your public advocacy for abortion. Unborn Black, brown and white lives are so much more than clumps of cells, burdensome inconveniences, or health problems. They are sacred human persons endowed by God with inalienable dignity and worth. We implore you to uphold the Biblical defense of life and to fight against the systemic racism of abortion.