A video surfaced this week of Georgia Democrat Senate candidate Raphael Warnock saying during an April 2011 sermon that Americans could not serve their country in “the military” while also serving God.
“America, nobody can serve God and the military,” Warnock said. “You can’t serve God and money. You cannot serve God and mammon at the same time. America, choose ye this day who you will serve. Choose ye this day.”
Warnock’s unearthed controversial remarks come as he is running for U.S. Senate in a state that has 14 military installations and where nearly 80% of the state’s residents identify themselves as Christian.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) posted the video on Twitter, writing that he was “not shocked” by Warnock’s extreme comments.
Rubio added, “These and even crazier things is what the radicals who control the Democratic party’s activist and small dollar donor base believe.”
Not shocked #Georgia Democrat Senate candidate Raphael Warnock said “You cannot serve God and the military” at the same time. These & even crazier things is what the radicals who control the Democratic party’s activist & small dollar donor base believepic.twitter.com/bQyBuKLwjb
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) November 18, 2020
Warnock’s campaign claimed that Warnock, 51, was referring to Bible verses about serving two masters.
“This sermon is based on a biblical verse that reads ‘No man can serve two masters… Ye cannot serve God and mammon,’ a biblical term for wealth,” Terrence Clark, communications director for the Warnock campaign, told Fox News. “Reverend Warnock was speaking about the need to commit to moral life before pursuing other priorities. As the video of the congregation’s response makes clear, this is another blatant effort by Kelly Loeffler to take Reverend Warnock’s words completely out of context. Given her own decision to spend her first days in the U.S. Senate profiting off the pandemic, perhaps she should watch the sermon more closely.”
The verse that the campaign appears to be referencing, Matthew 6:24, is from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, which does not state anything about serving in the military.
National Review senior writer Dan McLaughlin noted that a Bible verse, Luke 3:14, actually told soldiers to “be content with your pay,” which McLaughlin noted was “the opposite of telling them not to serve.”
The Gospel literally tells soldiers to “be content with your pay” – the opposite of telling them not to serve. https://t.co/nggLDEwzXh
— Dan McLaughlin (@baseballcrank) November 18, 2020
McLaughlin’s remarks came in response to Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI), who, while admitting that is he not a religious person, said that criticisms of Warnock’s remarks were a “low blow” because he discovered the meaning of Matthew 6:24 simply by googling it.
MSNBC producer Kyle Griffin, widely panned online as being a Democrat activist, also rushed to Warnock’s defense, attacking Rubio’s tweet by writing: “The senator is using hyperbolic language to sensationalize a standard Christian take on the concept of serving two masters. But he sections out the military portion of Warnock’s sermon and only the military portion because he wants to drum up a fake controversy.”
The DNC comms director has logged on https://t.co/brUL82WTvj
— Caleb Hull (@CalebJHull) November 18, 2020
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