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Warnock hit by Republicans over 'cannot serve God and the military' comment

Republican lawmakers are taking to social media to hammer Georgia Democratic Senate candidate the Rev. Raphael Warnock over comments he made in 2011 regarding the military and religion.

During a sermon Warnock delivered nearly a decade ago, the Democratic pastor paraphrased Bible verse Matthew 6:24, which states, “No one can serve two masters.”

“America, nobody can serve God and the military,” he said. “You can’t serve God and money. You cannot serve God and mammon at the same time. America, choose ye this day who you will serve. Choose ye this day.”

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The video has been resurfaced by various Republicans, with some even calling for Warnock to drop out of Georgia's Senate runoff race on Jan. 5.

Warnock's opponent, Republican Sen. Kelly LoefflerKelly LoefflerFeinstein departure from top post sets stage for Judiciary fight House Democrat accuses Air Force of attempting to influence Georgia runoff races Ossoff, Warnock to knock on doors in runoff campaigns MORE, seized on Warnock's comments, calling them “disgraceful.”

“@ReverendWarnock’s comments disparaging the men and women who serve our country & risk their lives to defend freedom are disgraceful,” Loeffler tweeted.

Sen. David PerdueDavid PerdueTrump set for precedent-breaking lame-duck period Feinstein departure from top post sets stage for Judiciary fight House Democrat accuses Air Force of attempting to influence Georgia runoff races MORE (R-Ga.), who is fighting to keep his seat in a separate Georgia runoff race, called upon Warnock to issue an apology while saying his own opponent, Jon Ossoff, needs to urge Warnock to drop out of the race.

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“I am outraged over Reverend Raphael Warnock’s remarks that he made from his pulpit in his church that you 'can’t serve God and the military,'” Perdue said.

“Thousands of Georgians proudly serve in our Armed Forces, and anyone who serves them in the United States Senate should treat them with dignity and honor,” he continued. “Warnock’s comments deserve condemnation and his running mate Jon Ossoff’s silence on this speaks volumes to his own character. I hope Ossoff will join me in urging his teammate, Warnock, to immediately apologize to those who serve our country and their families.” 

Republican Florida Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC - COVID-19 fears surround Thanksgiving holiday Rubio signals opposition to Biden Cabinet picks Democrats brush off calls for Biden to play hardball on Cabinet picks MORE also took to Twitter to comment on Warnock's past statement, saying he was “not shocked” to learn of the reverend’s comments.

“These & even crazier things is what the radicals who control the Democratic party’s activist & small dollar donor base believe.”

Sen. Tom CottonTom Bryant CottonO'Brien on 2024 talk: 'There's all kinds of speculation out there' Loeffler isolating after possible COVID-19 infection More conservatives break with Trump over election claims MORE (R-Ark.) called on Warnock to remove himself from the race.

“This is an insult to everyone who served,” Cotton wrote. “Raphael Warnock should withdraw.”

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President TrumpDonald John TrumpUSAID administrator tests positive for COVID-19 Kamala Harris, Stacey Abrams among nominees for Time magazine's 2020 Person of the Year DOJ appeals ruling preventing it from replacing Trump in E. Jean Carroll defamation lawsuit MORE adviser Steve Cortes echoed Cotton's call-to-action, calling the comments “totally disqualifying.”

Warnock defended his comments amid the backlash during a virtual press conference, stating, “What I was expressing as a person of faith that my ultimate allegiance is to God.”

“This sermon is based on a biblical verse that reads ‘No man can serve two masters … Ye cannot serve God and mammon,’ a biblical term for wealth," Terrence Clark, communications director for the Warnock campaign, said in a statement to Fox News.

"Reverend Warnock was speaking about the need to commit to moral life before pursuing other priorities. As the video of the congregation’s response makes clear, this is another blatant effort by Kelly Loeffler to take Reverend Warnock’s words completely out of context. Given her own decision to spend her first days in the U.S. Senate profiting off the pandemic, perhaps she should watch the sermon more closely," Clark added.