One day ahead of the federal holiday honoring the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Georgia Sen.-elect Rev. Raphael Warnock took to the pulpit of the civil rights icon's spiritual home to preach a message of equity, integrity, possibility and inclusivity.
Warnock, who served as the senior pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta for more than a decade before his election to the Senate, spoke at length about "God's vision of the land" in a livestreamed sermon that paid tribute to King's work and the ways in which it continues today.
The wide-ranging sermon touched on a number of issues related to politics, the economy, the criminal justice system and public health. Warnock offered words of hope from the Book of Isaiah, asserting that God's vision of the land is one of equality, integrity, possibility and unity, even if societal divisions have made it appear blurry.
"When you're accustomed to privilege, parity and equity and equality may feel like oppression," he said. "And that's what the current backlash is all about. That's what this unleashing of unembarrassed bigotry is all about. That's what this moment, in which we're so divided, in many ways is all about."
Warnock spoke of a "dark and difficult period" marked by the coronavirus pandemic, associated economic downturn and dangerous political rhetoric culminating in the insurrection at the Capitol earlier this month, which he described as an attack "by those who are driven by the worst impulses, stirred up by demagogues."