ATLANTA — Yesterday, January 4, Georgia faith leaders joined the Democratic Party of Georgia for an interfaith Souls to the Polls virtual press conference to encourage members of the faith-based community to get out and vote for Jon Ossoff and Reverend Raphael Warnock today in the Senate Runoff elections.
Faith leaders also sharply criticized Senators Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue for their lack of leadership and moral clarity.
Key quotes from the press conference here:
“I am looking into the eyes of people who are suffering. I have to go to graveside funerals where people cannot mourn for their loved ones the way they normally could. People cannot be comforted in the way they normally would because of this virus that has not been taken seriously,” said Reverend Hodari Williams. “And I will say that we have candidates in the Democratic Party that are concerned with the issues that I am concerned with as a pastor. And those issues center around the words that I have heard and have read from Yeshua, from Jesus himself, who said, ‘When I was naked, did you give me clothing? When I was sick, did you take care of me? When I was in prison, did you visit me?’ And those are the questions, I think, that there are some candidates in our party who can answer and they can answer them faithfully. So I am encouraging us to get out and vote and we make sure that we make our voices heard so that we can begin to move forward in a direction where this country heals and becomes whole again.”
“In my tradition, Isaiah reminds us that the service that is required of us as people who live in community is to ‘unlock fetters of corruption. To untie the cords of the yolk. To free the oppressed. It is to share the bread with the hungry and to house and clothe the poor. Not to ignore the need of our own kin.’ This care of the common good is essential, and it is clear that we have two candidates who are out of touch with the struggle of our fellow Georgians,” said Rabbi Joshua Lesser. “Loeffler and Perdue have been too busy worrying about their own gains, often at our own expense. All we need is to look at their stock portfolios. They pay more attention to the dramas and the charades of Donald Trump than to the cries and crises of our healthcare workers, of our teachers, our famers, our immigrants, our workers, and our families. They do not support better healthcare in the midst of a pandemic. That to me is beyond the pale. But they are good stewards of their own wealth and their own needs. Often only giving access to people who donate the most. That is not the kind of Georgia that can’t stand any further.”
“It’s a new year, and I don’t know about you, but I am ready for a new Senate. But in order to do that, we need you to get your souls to the polls and vote for Jon Ossoof and Reverend Raphael Warnock…this is the unfinished business that we must attend to. We simply cannot afford to sit this one out,” said Reverend Jennifer Maxwell. “We currently have two senators who have downplayed the severity of the pandemic, they have blocked economic relief for working families, and have stood by as President Trump undermines our democracy and attempts to disenfranchise thousands of Georgian voters…I am confident that Georgians of every faith will hold these failed senators accountable by voting them out of office.”
“The reality is that America is facing a moral crisis. People of faith can see that, and Georgia’s two current senators suffer from a lack of a moral compass. They have profited off the pandemic — gotten richer off of the backs of Georgians as Georgians have continued to get sicker,” said Reverend J. Ricardo Smith. “We have a chance to restore the soul of Washington. We have a chance to elect two leaders who will lead with both compassion and empathy. People of faith played a huge role in electing Joe Biden and electing Kamala Harris in November. And two people who we know are guided by their faith, and their pursuit of justice, prosperity, and equality for all. As people of faith, it is our responsibility to lead the way in putting our country on a path towards righteousness and a path towards hope. We can do the work of Jesus when he said that ‘we are here to give good news to the poor. To give liberty to the captives. To give recovery of sight to the blind, and to set at liberty those who have been oppressed.’ Let’s get to work, Georgia.”
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