That surprising Mr Warnock

Just read a fascinating article about Raphael Warnock, Georgia’s freshly elected Democratic Senator.1

Mr Warnock is still a pastor, of Martin Luther King’s old church in Atlanta. He has, it seems, a fresh take on the tired left/right, liberal/conservative tropes that like leaden wordclouds, rain down on our politics both in the UK and the US. There’s just a sniff of Advent hope about him. Here are a few quotes:

‘Democracy is the political enactment ofa spiritual idea, the sacred worth of all human beings.’

‘A vote is a kind of prayer for the world we desire.’

Martin Luther King, he says, ‘Used his faith not as a weapon to crush other people, but as a bridge to bring us together.’ Now there’s an idea.

He is a kinder sort than is typical among democrats, seeing the Jan 6th sackers of the Capitol as people who had suffered the ‘violence’ of poverty, ‘a kind of violence that crushes all the humanity of poor people,’ but who retaliated badly and mistakenly. I’m not myself a massive fan of stretching the word ‘violence’ to mean ‘any bad stuff that happens to people’, but still, this reaching out in sympathy to the illiberal is notable if only because it doesn’t represent a default setting for Democrats in my observation. It’s something a little new, loving his enemies. He reiterates:

‘There’s a kind of violence of poverty, a failure to recognise that there is enough in God’s world for all God’s children. There’s no poverty of possibility. There is a poverty of moral imagination.’

Interesting.

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  1. The Economist 10/12/22, Lexington column, ‘Defender of the faith’.

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