March 17, 2021

Consider this agnostic open to conversion when Rev. Sen. Raphael Warnock is speaking.

In his first speech on the Senate floor, Rev. Sen. Warnock called out the hypocrisy of using the filibuster to limit voting rights for non-white people, which is exactly what Republicans are doing. Now that Pres. Biden has gotten behind the notion of filibuster reform, the GOP is terrified they might have to actually work to oppress Black people once HR1 and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act come up.

"This issue, access to voting, preempting politicians' efforts to restrict voting, is so fundamental to our democracy, that it is too important to be held hostage by a Senate rule. Especially one historically used to restrict expansion of voting rights," Rev. Sen. Warnock said.

"It is a contradiction to say 'We must protect minority rights in the Senate' while refusing to protect minority rights in the society." Go ahead. Argue with that. The filibuster has been thought of as a way to protect the minority party in the Senate. It has always been used to protect white supremacy.

Rev. Sen. Warnock moved, then, to call his fellow senators in, rather than out.

"Colleagues, no Senate rule should overrule the integrity of our democracy. We must find a way to pass voting rights whether we get rid of the filibuster or not," he implored.

"And, so as I close, and nobody believes a preacher when he says, 'As I close,'" (cue laughter,) he finished with some political religion.

"Let me say that as a man of faith, I believe that democracy is the political enactment of a spiritual idea. The sacred worth of all human beings. The notion that we all have within us a spark of the divine, and a right to participate in the shaping of our destiny," he insisted, citing a notion completely foreign to most of the GOP. "Reinhold Niebuhr was right. Humanity's capacity for justice makes democracy possible, but humanity's inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary."

The filibuster, at least in its current (lack of) form, needs to go.

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