Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock is running for re-election which also means he has a book to promote and to do that he joined NPR’s Michel Martin on Thursday’s edition of Amanpour and Company on PBS. During the interview, Martin would ask Warnock to explain pro-life Christians and wonder why President Biden’s approval ratings are so low despite all his alleged accomplishments.
Martin opened up the floor for Warnock to go after pro-lifers by wondering, “How do you understand the fact that, at this juncture in our history, there are people who—who– say they are animated by the same faith. They love the same God, the same Savior and they say it’s leading them to want to ban abortion or reconsider the practice of same-sex marriage. How do you understand that?”
Warnock responded by pointing out “There were Christians on both sides of the struggle around abolition. There were Christians on both sides of the Civil Rights Movement.”
Presumably in this analogy Warnock meant to compare pro-lifers to slavers and segregationists, “And so, it is this basic commitment to humanity in all of its variations, in all of its expressions that guides the work that I do around reproductive justice, around the dignity of members of the LGBTQ+ community. It’s the realization that, as Dr. King stated, we all share the same destiny. What happens to one person directly impacts all others indirectly. And so, I think that’s—that’s– the work and that’s the vision that inspires what I do every single day.”
Naturally Martin glossed over that absurd comparison and shifted gears to Biden’s approval ratings, “How do you understand the fact that, for example, his polling numbers are as low as they are when he’s managed to do things that his predecessor long promised and didn’t accomplish? You get my point. I mean, you’re making the case around values, but if the public doesn’t understand or agree that your values would be — or their lives are getting better, what do you do?”
Warnock dodged the subject of Biden’s poll numbers and despite just painting his pro-abortion views as the heir to King and the Civil Rights Movement, informed viewers that politics isn’t about him, “Here’s what I refuse to do, and that is to make the politics about me. And I really do mean that.”
While he would portray himself as an exemplary public servant, anyone disagreeing with him would be focusing on his re-election campaign. Martin would then talk about Martin’s book, which was published the same year that he ran for reelection. But, for all of the talk about moral values, Warnock never asked about claims that he used campaign money to fight lawsuits.
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This transcript is for the show on July 14.
PBS Amanpour and Company
MICHEL MARTIN: How do you understand the fact that, at this juncture in our history, there are people who—who– say they are animated by the same faith. It is the same love for the same God as the same Savior that leads them to seek out abortion bans and to reconsider their stance on same-sex marriage. What is the best way to understand this?
RAPHAEL WIARNOCK: This is not a new idea. On both sides, there were Christians. Christians were present on both sides in the Civil Rights Movement. At this point, however, I cannot tell you that faith for me is a bridge. It is not a weapon. It isn’t a weapon I would use against anyone. What informs me, is that I believe the fundamental values found in the great religious traditions are, according to my understanding, Love your neighbor as yourself.
So, this is my core commitment to humanity, in all of it’s forms, that drives the work I do in the area of reproductive justice and the respect of dignity for LGBTQ+ members. It’s the realization that, as Dr. King stated, we all share the same destiny. It is the recognition that what happens to one indirectly affects everything else. And so, I think that’s—that’s– the work and that’s the vision that inspires what I do every single day.
MARTIN: I think what I am trying to get at is that you have argued that politics and government are your faith in action. You can see faith manifesting it. So, I don’t think anybody would argue that Joe Biden—Joe Biden– is a deeply moral man. I think that he has tried to live his faith. He has been open and honest about his efforts to live out his faith during his public career.
Is it possible to grasp the fact that his polling numbers have dropped so much because he accomplished things that his predecessor had promised, but failed,? Are you getting my point? Do you see my point?
WARNOCK This is something I truly mean. That’s because politics is dangerous. We must run for reelection, and that, I feel, is the danger. Do I really want to continue serving six years more in the Senate? Yes, I do. I have some goals for Georgians.
But I think inherent in the requirement which is—which is– good of having to run for reelection. The danger is—is– that a—a– person who serves in politics will become his or her own highest cause. Then, it becomes the thing. There are a lot of politicians that have their eyes on next year’s election and don’t think about the future. As we discussed, universal background checks are a topic that the American people agree on.
I’m glad we got something—something– done after 19 kids were slaughtered in a classroom. The need for common and realistic responses to climate change. The politicians’ focus on their own interests means that we are unable to move quickly on matters on which even Americans can agree. Maybe it is because I have spent most of my life serving the Lord. My life is not going to be rearranged and I will continue spending my time and energy on me. It’s my job to make this happen.