If a man of the cloth espouses an admiration for Jeremiah “God damn America” Wright can his praise for Louis Farrakhan be far behind? (RELATED: Now that he has nothing to lose, Obama shares real opinion of Jeremiah Wright)
In 2013, Rev. Raphael Warnock, one of two Democratic challengers for open Senate seats in Georgia, was asked about the church’s relationship with the Nation of Islam. Warnock not only praised the radical group as “important” but credited its leader, Louis Farrakhan, with pointing out that Christianity is “the white man’s religion” and “a slave religion.”
A video of the exchange appears below, followed by a transcript.
Unidentified Man: Good afternoon, welcome. What — you refer to ‘the church,’ and I realize that there are many different churches, but what would you say is the church’s relationship today with the Nation of Islam and the Islamic movement that has a growing number of African American members? And perhaps as part of that, can you discuss whether the black church is having the same type of attendance problems that the so-called mainstream white churches and synagogues are having and if so, why or why not?”
Raphael Warnock: “Well, the Nation of Islam is significant, but its numbers don’t come anywhere near the membership of our churches. Its voice has been important and its voice has been important even for the development of black theology, because it was the black Muslims who challenged black preachers and said, ‘You’re promulgating…’ — you know they call it ‘the white man’s religion.’ That’s a slave religion. You’re telling people to focus on heaven, meanwhile they’re catching hell. And so we’ve needed the witness of the Nation of Islam in a real sense to put a fire under us and keep us honest about the meaning of the proclamation coming from our pulpits. Mainline Protestantism has been in decline now for decades. On the other hand, a number of our churches are growing and — you know, I could talk long time about that, but a number of our churches are growing. Very often the issue is our willingness, I think, to respond, to be flexible in terms of methodology, to be attentive to the waves in the culture, and yet at the same time not concede to the materialism, the narcissism and nihilism. How is it that we can have a liberation, this message, and still not be road kill in cyberspace, understanding what Facebook is and Twitter, as Robert Michael Franklin talked about on yesterday. So I think that many of our churches that have a liberation as focus sometimes don’t have the hearing that they ought to have because they haven’t been as savvy where media and some other things are concerned. So I’ve tried, in my own church, the bridge that conversation. I hope that helps.”