U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock.

U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) speaks during a campaign event on November 26, 2022 in Sandy Springs, Georgia.

(Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

2 Baptist Pastors and US Senators Vote for More Killing of Palestinians in Gaza

The vote showed the hypocrisy of the two senators who are pastors of the Christian denomination.

The February 12, 2024 U.S. Senate vote on $14 billion to Israel shows the depravity of most of the members of the legislative body.

In particular it showed the hypocrisy of the two senators who are pastors of a Christian denominations as well as the shallowness of the few senators who called for a cease-fire and then voted for money to kill more Palestinians. Only three Senators who caucus with the Democrats voted against the funding—Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Peter Welch (D-Vt.), and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.)

Senator Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) voted for $14 billion for Israel. He is a Baptist preacher from Georgia. For 19 years Warnock was the pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia, Martin Luther King Jr.’s former congregation. He is the fifth and youngest person to serve as Ebenezer’s senior pastor since its founding, and he has continued with the position while serving in the Senate.

Would Martin Luther King, Jr. be proud of Ebenezer Church Senior Pastor Warnock? I think not!

Warnock was elected with the help of volunteers who came to Georgia from all over the country… and by funds from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) that wanted desperately for the Democrats to be in charge of the Senate so that Israel super-supporter Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) would become the Senate majority leader. Schumer ties President Joe Biden as the strongest supporter for the state of Israel in the U.S. government. They both have protected the criminal actions of the state of Israel for decades, throughout Biden’s 36 years in the Senate, eight years as vice president, and now three years as president and Schumer’s 25 years in the Senate.

A small group of us caught Senator Warnock outside the door of the private entrance to his office in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on February 12, less than 15 hours before the early morning vote on $14 billion to Israel to continue the Israeli slaughter of Palestinians in Gaza.

In our appeal to his Christian values, we pleaded with him as a pastor, the only pastor in the Senate, to not vote for money for Israel to continue the killing in Gaza. He shook the hands of each in our group, our red-stained hands from our daily protests, symbolizing the blood on the hands of those protecting Israeli crimes in Gaza and the West Bank. Warnock thanked us for our comments but would not say he would call for a cease-fire, and he didn’t say he was voting for the money to Israel and why.

But, as an aside, Warnock mentioned that he was not the only pastor in the Senate. We asked who the other one was?

Warnock replied, “James Lankford,” to which our group gave a collective groan. Lankford is from Oklahoma and is known as an ultra-conservative and is a strong supporter of Israel. He said that Israel is fighting “morally” while Hamas is not. Lankford was for 15 years the director of student ministry for the Baptist Convention of Oklahoma.

During the 2022 Georgia run-off election, Warnock’s 2018 sermon in which he condemned Israel for directing fire at unarmed Palestinian protesters near Israel’s separation fence with the occupied Gaza Strip was dug up by opponent former Sen. Kelly Loeffler.

As an African-American church leader, Warnock certainly knew of Israeli apartheid actions in Gaza and the West Bank. In 2019, he signed a statement published on the website of the National Council of Churches which compared Israeli control of the West Bank to “previous oppressive regimes” such as “apartheid South Africa” and said that the “ever-present physical walls that wall in Palestinians” are “reminiscent of the Berlin Wall.”

The statement was signed by several Christian faith leaders who traveled to Israel and the Palestinian territories in late February and early March of 2019 as part of a joint delegation including representatives of “historic Black denominations of the National Council of Churches” as well as “heads of South African church denominations of the South African Council of Churches.”

Despite his comments that challenged the Israeli apartheid treatment of Palestinians and Israel’s actions in the West Bank and Gaza, Warnock interestingly received campaign donations from the Democratic Majority for Israel (DMFI) and began parroting its agenda, which includes supporting unconditional aid for Israel; condemning the boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement; and strengthening the U.S.-Israel relationship. All of this to get another Democratic Senator so that Chuck Schumer would become the Senate majority leader.

15 hours after our conversation with Pastor Warnock, at 5:00 am in the morning of February 13, the two Christian pastors in the U.S. Senate voted for $14 billion for Israel to continue the killing of massive numbers of Palestinians.

Would Martin Luther King, Jr. be proud of Ebenezer Church Senior Pastor Warnock? I think not!

As Warnock is a pastor in the footsteps and in the church of Martin Luther King Jr., one is quite sure that MLK in heaven is not pleased with Pastor Warnock’s vote for more military funding for Israel and for Ukraine.

One hopes that MLK comes to Warnock in his dreams to give him counsel for any future votes, votes that one would hope would reflect an abhorrence to genocide instead of bowing to Israeli political pressure.

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