MLK’s niece disputes Warnock’s legacy claims

by WorldTribune Staff, December 31, 2020

The niece of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. is disputing Georgia Democrat Senate candidate Raphael Warnock’s contention that he has a strong connection with the late civil rights leader.

Alveda King, an evangelist, pro-life leader and the niece of the civil-rights icon, “has challenged Warnock’s claim to the King mantle, arguing that her legendary uncle would have recoiled at the Democratic Senate candidate’s embrace of unfettered abortion rights,” Valerie Richardson noted in a Dec. 30 report for The Washington Times.

Raphael Warnock / C-SPAN

“You’re not going to pretend that the King family legacy is the same thing as what you’re promoting,” King said about Warnock in an interview with The Washington Times.

Warnock is senior pastor of MLK’s former congregation, Ebenezer Baptist Church. He also attended Morehouse College, where King went, and often touts his connection to the civil rights leader though he was born one year after MLK died.

But MLK’s niece pointed out that Warnock describes himself as a pro-choice pastor. He reiterated his stance on abortion at the Dec. 6 Senate debate against Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler, saying “I have a profound reverence for life and an abiding respect for choice.”

“The question is, whose decision is it?” asked Warnock. “I happen to think that a patient’s room is too small a place for a woman, her doctor and the U.S. government. I think there’s too many people in the room.”

King said: “If you’re a pastor, you must stand for Christian values first and foremost, so politics cannot supersede what the holy Bible says. I’m very convinced that he’s manipulating his pulpit, the Bible, and everything else.”

King spoke at a CatholicVote get-out-the-vote rally last week with pro-life leader Abby Johnson; participated in a Keep America America Action Fund bus tour with John Pence, Vice President Mike Pence’s nephew; teamed up with the Frederick Douglass Foundation on a voter guide; and signed a letter from more than two dozen black church leaders to Warnock about his support for abortion.

“As a Christian pastor and as a black leader, you have a duty to denounce the evil of abortion, which kills a disproportionate number of black children,” said the Dec. 11 letter. “Your open advocacy of abortion is a scandal to the faith and to the black community.”

Since Warnock became senior pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church in 2005, King said the church has embraced a progressive “social gospel.”

“It has become extremely liberal. It wasn’t always,” said King. “That’s the difference between the historic Ebenezer and the Horizons Ebenezer. It’s not just a different building. It’s a different mindset. It’s a different theology — totally different. It is not the theology of the three King preachers. It’s not.”

King says she worries that Warnock would “misuse the Bible to defend indefensible positions,” citing his criticism from the pulpit of Israel as well as his support for the Equality Act, which would require schools to allow transgender participation in women’s and girls’ athletics.

“Raphael Warnock supports males competing in female sports,” King said. “I promise you my daddy, granddaddy and uncle would not be saying that. They just would not.”

King said she winced at Warnock’s sermon honoring Rep. John Lewis, Georgia Democrat, a pivotal civil-rights figure who died in July, which included the line that he was “wounded for America’s transgressions, bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and by his stripes we are healed.”

That description comes from the Book of Isaiah in the Old Testament, and refers to Jesus Christ.

“Martin Luther King Sr., Martin Luther King Jr., and A.D. King would say Jesus Christ was wounded for our transgressions and bruised for our iniquities,” said King. “They did not preach a social gospel. They preached the gospel of Jesus Christ. Raphael Warnock preaches a social gospel.”

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