In the state of Georgia, black churches are on track to play a huge role in the tight Senate race between Democratic candidate Michelle Nunn and Republican David Perdue. And Rev. Raphael Warnock of Atlanta’s historic Ebenezer Baptist Church has emerged as a major player in the battle for the hearts of Georgia voters.
Last Friday, Warnock suggested that the Republican Party in Georgia will likely pay for neglecting the interests of black voters and attempting to suppress voting rights — by requiring a valid ID before voting — in mid-term elections culminating next Tuesday.
Continuing in the footsteps of the Rev. Martin Luther King Sr. and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., who served as pastors of the church founded in 1886, Warnock actively works to get minorities registered to vote in what he sees as a complex mix of spiritual and civic obligation.
“Voting for us (blacks) is not only a civic responsibility, it’s is a sacred obligation. I often remind my parishioners that in a real sense our ballot is a blood-stained ballot. It’s a right won and redeemed literally through the shedding of the blood of martyrs,” said Warnock in an interview with The Christian Post on Friday.
“The likes of Medgar Evers who died in his own driveway fighting for the right to vote … that struggle continues, and so we see it not just in political terms but in moral, spiritual terms. And so any given Sunday at Ebenezer Church you will find a registration table set up at our church encouraging people to register to vote,” he said.
In a “Souls To The Polls” event on Sunday, Oct. 19, Ebenezer Church transported Fulton County residents in Georgia to cast ballots in the early voting period that opened in that area on Oct. 13 and closed Oct. 31.
Data collected from early voting last Sunday in Georgia and North Carolina show that 53 percent of the 25,000 early votes cast were from black voters, according to The New York Times.
Last month, however, Warnock’s voter registration efforts were marred by controversy. The office of Georgia’s Republican Secretary of State Brian Kemp announced that they had opened an investigation into a group Warnock is associated with called the New Georgia Project. The group pushed to register 100,000 minority voters before the Oct. 6 registration deadline, but Kemp’s office alleged there was evidence of fraudulent registrations.
Warnock wasn’t pleased.
“You don’t have to wear a hood — you don’t have to be a member of the Ku Klux Klan to be engaged in voter suppression. We know voter suppression when we see it,” he charged at a press conference in Georgia’s Capitol building.
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SOURCE: The Christian Post