Democratic Senate candidate Raphael Warnock decried the “moral bankruptcy of the American church” following the 2016 presidential election, citing heavy support among white evangelicals and Catholics for Donald Trump.
“Perhaps more than anything else we have seen in modern times, a rise of Trump and Trumpism on the shoulders of Christians brings into sharp focus the moral bankruptcy of the American church,” Warnock said during a lecture at Howard University on Nov. 10, 2016, two days after Trump was elected president.
Warnock, a senior pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, criticized white evangelicals and Catholics who supported Trump, whom he referred to as an “admitted sexual predator.” (RELATED: Raphael Warnock Criticized Second Amendment In His Sermons)
Warnock, 58, will face Republican Georgia Sen. Kelly Loeffler in a runoff on Jan. 5 that could determine which political party will control the Senate.
Republican Sen. David Perdue is facing off in a runoff against Jon Ossoff for the other Georgia seat.
Republicans must win one of the contests to maintain majority control of the Senate.
Warnock, who has not previously run for political office, has come under heavy scrutiny during his campaign for his comments in sermons and lectures regarding social justice issues.
Republicans have also seized on Warnock’s remarks regarding Israel, Second Amendment rights and members of the military.
“Nobody can serve God and the military,” he said in a sermon in 2011, The Free Beacon also reported.
Warnock has also come under fire for defending Jeremiah Wright, the Chicago-based pastor of former President Barack Obama’s who shouted “God damn America!” during a sermon in 2003.
Republicans ran ads of the sermon during the 2008 presidential campaign.
Warnock defended Wright in his 2016 lecture, saying that Wright’s remarks had been taken out of context when they were used in campaign ads against Obama.
“The sermon presented the critical reflections of a serious and thoughtful theologue,” Warnock said in his Howard lecture.
Warnock compared what he said was the historic “radicalism” of the black church to majority-white churches whose parishioners largely supported Trump.
“Will the black church…live up to the best of its prophetic vocation, or will it give in to the seduction that has garnered for Mr. Trump, an admitted sexual predator, the support of 81% of white evangelicals and 60% of white Catholics,” Warnock asked.
He also predicted that millennials will view churches as hypocritical for supporting Trump.
“I have a sneaking suspicion that increasing numbers of millennials, a generation that has little tolerance for hypocrisy, will be exercising their religious liberty to studiously avoid the church,” he said.
Warnock asserted that Trump “ran as a fascist, racist, sexist, xenophobe who would expand the law-and-order mechanisms for the incarceration capital of the world.”
The Warnock campaign did not respond to a request for comment.
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