So much. Prayer.
Starting debates, woven into speeches, and emanating from pulpits that serve as pit stops for election campaigns, God is everywhere, everywhere, everywhere in the Senate runoff between incumbent Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock and his Trump-backed challenger Herschel Walker. I grew up in the Southern Bible Belt and even I am overwhelmed by the sheer volume of Jesus Flooding the campaign as the final vote approaches.
The electorate is already in record numbers ahead of Dec. 6 to see if Democrats, who again clinched their narrowest Senate victory in November’s midterm elections, can enjoy some measure of legislative space, including more control over the Senate Committees. as a counterbalance to the new Republican house majority.
But if you listen to the mood of the campaigns, the stakes are, as there is no other way to put it, apocalyptic.
During recent trips to Georgia to visit family and friends, it became clear that voters will not only choose red or blue, but will also choose between two vastly different visions of Christianity itself, as embodied by these two dramatically opposite candidates: One whose religious ancestry traces directly from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the civil rights movement; the other, preaching the gospel of right-wing Christian nationalism, where the waters between church and state are murky and the topics of conversation revolve around seditious culture war politics. Mother Jones Readers don’t need to point me out which is which.
In other words, Christianity itself is on the ballot in Georgia.
In this new video – my first for Mother Jones– I am speaking to two religious leaders who speak openly about this divide to try to understand the political interests. But I also try in my conversations with Derek Berry, senior pastor of Tabernacle Baptist Church in Hiram, Georgia, and Rev. Dr. Neichelle Guidy, Dean of the Sisters’ Chapel of Spelman College in Atlanta, to delve deeper into the religious dynamics of this struggle for Georgia’s soul.
While Berry, who supports Walker, wants to rewrite the nation’s laws in God’s image — “I don’t believe in the false narrative of separation of church and state,” he told me — Guidy, a Warnock supporter, sees faith as a means to inclusion.
“I think that he’s someone who hasn’t armed his faith but sees his faith as a means to do good things,” she said. “Do justice, love mercy, walk humbly.”