‘I choose hope.’ Warnock’s memoir documents his path to politics

Loeffler, Warnock face off in heated debate

Loeffler, Warnock face off in heated debate

In fact, Loeffler is hardly mentioned in the book. Instead, it’s full of tales about Warnock’s upbringing in a public housing project with 11 siblings and two doting parents, and the go-getter gumption it took to rise to one of the nation’s most important pulpits.

He documents his early dreams of becoming a preacher – and playing pranks on an unsuspecting brother – along with his growing passion for influencing public policy as he took pastoral jobs in New York, Baltimore and finally the famed Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta.

Of the latter, he outlines how he was initially rejected before a surprising turnabout helped him land the coveted job – and his desire to ensure that Ebenezer continue to serve as “a real church, a resilient church, not a monument.”

That job hasn’t been without tension, such as when Warnock and then-Attorney General Thurbert Baker – a prominent Ebenezer member – took opposing sides in a high-profile criminal justice case involving a Georgia teenager.

Rev. Raphael G. Warnock delivers the eulogy for Rayshard Brooks at his funeral in Ebenezer Baptist Church on Tuesday, June 23, 2020 in Atlanta. (Curtis Compton/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution/TNS)

Credit: TNS

Rev. Raphael G. Warnock delivers the eulogy for Rayshard Brooks at his funeral in Ebenezer Baptist Church on Tuesday, June 23, 2020 in Atlanta. (Curtis Compton/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution/TNS)

Credit: TNS

Rev. Raphael G. Warnock delivers the eulogy for Rayshard Brooks at his funeral in Ebenezer Baptist Church on Tuesday, June 23, 2020 in Atlanta. (Curtis Compton/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution/TNS)

Credit: TNS

Credit: TNS

As he grew more forceful advocating for voting rights, Medicaid expansion and criminal justice changes, local Democrats took notice. Several friends and allies urged Warnock to seek public office, an idea that the pastor wrestled with for most of the last decade.

When he asked civil rights hero John Lewis, an Ebenezer congregant, to mentor him, Warnock was surprised by the then-congressman’s response: “Oh, you don’t need it.”

“His words didn’t feel dismissive; that was not his way,” Warnock wrote. “He just seemed to be saying there was no magic complicated formula that needed studying. That in his line of work you learn by doing, by showing up, by putting your body in the game.”

Warnock, of course, would do just that after deciding against running for U.S. Senate in 2014 and 2016. After Johnny Isakson decided to retire early, Warnock prayed, consulted with advisers, met with parishioners and prayed some more.

“Finally, I came to realize there may never be a more perfect moment, that life was full of unexpected dips and curves, but that so many people, including me, had put in years of work for this opportunity.”

President-elect Joe Biden, center, along with democratic candidates for the U.S. Senate Jon Ossoff, left, and Rev. Raphael Warnock, greet supporters during a campaign rally the day before their runoff election in the parking lot of Centerparc Stadium on Monday, Jan. 4, 2021, in Atlanta, Georgia. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images/TNS)

Credit: TNS

President-elect Joe Biden, center, along with democratic candidates for the U.S. Senate Jon Ossoff, left, and Rev. Raphael Warnock, greet supporters during a campaign rally the day before their runoff election in the parking lot of Centerparc Stadium on Monday, Jan. 4, 2021, in Atlanta, Georgia. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images/TNS)

Credit: TNS

President-elect Joe Biden, center, along with democratic candidates for the U.S. Senate Jon Ossoff, left, and Rev. Raphael Warnock, greet supporters during a campaign rally the day before their runoff election in the parking lot of Centerparc Stadium on Monday, Jan. 4, 2021, in Atlanta, Georgia. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images/TNS)

Credit: TNS

Credit: TNS

There’s little about campaign controversies or backroom strategies in the final months of the epic election, which culminated in Democratic victories that flipped control of the chamber. An altercation with his ex-wife that drew headlines isn’t mentioned.

Warnock instead sticks to broader themes. He goes into detail about policy positions on major debates that will help define his reelection bid – and his outlook at a time of great uncertainty about the nation’s future.

“We are the latest generation that gets to decide whether we’re going to give in to bigotry or fear or push closer to our democratic ideals,” Warnock wrote.

“I choose hope. I choose inclusivity. I choose equal protection under the law. I choose truth and justice. I choose the beloved community.”

https://www.ajc.com/politics/politics-blog/i-choose-hope-warnocks-memoir-documents-his-path-to-politics/GQI6YIV7HNGOVKZ2BJF33EV3IU/

Previous post Public Opinion on Abortion | Pew Research Center
Next post Moroccan public push for Ukraine death sentence citizen’s release | Russia-Ukraine war News