Christian Preachers in U.S. Senate Show Their Hypocrisy By Voting For Military Aid to Israel to Commit Genocide

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

In particular, it showed the hypocrisy of the two Senators who are pastors of 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 voted against the funding—Bernie Sanders (D-VT), Peter Welch (D-VT) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR).

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Raphael Warnock at Ebenezer Baptist Church. [Source:] 

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

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Martin Luther King, Jr., preaching at Ebenezer Baptist Church. [Source:] 

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 Chuck Schumer would become the Senate Majority Leader. 

Schumer ties President 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— during Biden’s 36 years in the Senate, 8 years as Vice President and now 3 years as President, and Schumer’s 25 years in the Senate.

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Two war hawks: Chuck Schumer and Joe Biden. [Source:] 

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 its 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 person 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 but he did not say he was voting for the money to Israel or why. 

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 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.

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Oklahoma Senator James Lankford at the pulpit. [Source:] 

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 surfaced by his opponent then-Senator 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 “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 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.”

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Reverend Warnock: Grade A hypocrite. [Source:] 

Despite his comments that challenged the Israeli apartheid treatment of Palestinians and its actions in the West Bank and Gaza, Warnock interestingly received campaign donations from the Democratic Majority for Israel (DMFI) and began parroting the agenda, which includes supporting unconditional aid for Israel, condemning the boycott, divestment and sanction 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.

Two Baptist Pastors and U.S. Senators Vote for More Killing of Palestinians in Gaza

Some 15 hours after our conversation with Pastor Warnock, at 5:00 a.m. on 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 MLK, Jr., Be Proud of Ebenezer Church Senior Pastor Warnock?  I think NOT!!!

As a pastor in the footsteps and in the church of Martin Luther King, Jr., it is certain 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 prior to any future votes, votes that one hopes would reflect an abhorrence to genocide instead of bowing to Israeli political pressure.

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This article was first published in CovertAction Magazine.

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