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Walker, Warnock, and the Epic Battle for Georgia’s Soul

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Two wildly different visions of Christianity are on the ballot in the critical Senate run-off.

So. Much. Prayer.

Kicking off debates, woven into speeches, and emanating from pulpits serving as campaign pit stops, God is everywhere in the Senate runoff between Democratic incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock and his Trump-backed challenger Herschel Walker. I grew up in the Southern Bible Belt, and even I’m blown away by the sheer amount of Jesus inundating the campaign as the final vote draws near.

Voters are already turning out in record-setting numbers ahead of December 6 to help determine if Democrats, who clinched the narrowest of Senate victories again in November’s midterm elections, can enjoy a certain measure of legislative breathing room, including more control of Senate committees, as a counterweight to the new Republican House majority.

But if one listens to the mood of the campaigns, the stakes have become, for wont of another word, apocalyptic. 

During recent trips to Georgia to visit family and friends, it became clear that in addition to voting red or blue, voters also will be choosing between two wildly different visions of Christianity itself, as embodied by these two dramatically contrasting candidates: One, whose religious lineage traces directly from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the civil rights movement; the other, who preaches the gospel of right-wing Christian nationalism, where the waters between church and state are muddy and the topics of conversation revolve around incendiary culture war politics. Mother Jones readers don’t need me to point out which is which.

Christianity itself, in other words, is on the ballot in Georgia.

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