Warnock in Sunday sermon warns of kings in wake of U.S. Supreme Court ruling

Caleb Groves, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on

Published in Religious News

During his Sunday sermon at Ebenezer Baptist Church, U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock spoke out against the U.S. Supreme Court ruling about presidential immunity, saying the court is “mired in corruption” and encouraged his flock to pray, organize and vote.

“I came to warn you we are in dangerous territory,” Warnock said. “If ever we needed to pray, we need to pray right now. If ever we needed to organize, we need to organize right now. If ever we needed to vote, we need to vote right now.”

The ruling, which determined that presidents have absolute immunity for their official acts but are not immune for unofficial acts, could deem former President Donald Trump partially immune in the Fulton County criminal case against him.

Warnock, the senior pastor at Ebenezer, said the court “mired in corruption” made way for state legislation like Senate Bill 202, which limits ballot drop-off locations, requires different forms of voter ID absentee voting and bans food and drink handouts for people waiting in line to vote.

“They did this in response to a man who has demonstrated an incredible ability to engage in lawlessness for fun, that’s his way of life,” Warnock said. “I don’t trust any president with that much power. The people wanted a king, and they did this in response to an insurrection.”

In his sermon, he drew parallels between Bible verses in the book of Samuel and the Supreme Court ruling. In the Bible, Samuel’s sons, who were appointed as judges, became corrupt as Samuel aged, leading to calls for a new king.

Similarly, in Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s dissent to the Supreme Court ruling, she said the ruling allows for a king.

In the sermon, Warnock never explicitly addressed President Joe Biden’s poor performance during the June 27 presidential debate, but he did say, “Be careful how you pray and what you pray for, because you just might get it.”

As Warnock and other prominent Democrats in Georgia remained steadfast in their support for the 81-year-old president, other Democrats called for Biden to step down after his poor performance at the presidential debate in Atlanta.


Outspoken critic and former U.S. Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux wrote her second op-ed since Biden’s debate debacle. She said the interview with George Stephanopoulos did little to reassure wary voters. Instead, she urged the president to pass the torch and called it irresponsible for him to continue his bid for reelection.

The crowd at Ebenezer was set on backing the Democratic ticket come November.

Atlanta resident Ishmail Jordan, 30, said he largely agreed with Warnock’s remarks about the ruling. He said Supreme Court Justices are trying to limit access to elections and that the only way to prevent that is to rally behind Biden.

“Yeah, he had a bad performance, he was sick,” said Jordan after Warnock’s sermon. “We can’t sit up here and judge a man by his age. This man has changed the country in three and a half years. He got us out of COVID, all the way out of COVID. You fight for what you want. And right now, we need to be on the right side of democracy.”

Similarly, Mel Daggs, 54, is open to another candidate for the party but is certain that, as a lifelong Democrat, she is voting blue.

“I’m looking for good leadership,” Daggs said outside of the church. “We have an older man who moves slowly, but he talks about policies even in his slow, slurred speech, versus someone else who’s so corrupt.”

“I just pray that whoever the president is from this point on and moving forward, he will have a heart for God and a heart for everyone,” said Atlanta resident Daggs. “And not speak of evil, bigotry, lying or just have a mean spirit.”

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