Objections to an Atlanta archbishop’s view of the 2016 presidential race

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President-elect Donald Trump, left, stands with boxing promoter Don King as he speaks to reporters at Mar-a-Lago, Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2016, in Palm Beach, Fla. AP/Evan Vucci

More proof that the 2016 presidential contest is far from over has arrived via a Facebook post by Matt Towery, longtime publisher of the InsiderAdvantage website and an early supporter of Donald Trump.

According to his post, Towery nearly did a spit-take when he got to Page 36 of his copy of the Georgia Bulletin, the official newspaper of Atlanta’s Catholic archdiocese, and saw this headline: “2016: The year racism and fear make a comeback.”logo-all

Wrote Towery:

And make no mistake, it all ends up, in the “news story,” at the feet of Donald Trump. My disgust is not over the conclusion (which I think is wrong) but with the fact that it is my church, running a “news story” that quotes Archbishop Gregory in its veiled and very stacked piece, pushing “fake news.” Really? The church waging subtle political war? CNN is one thing, but the church? I’ll be sending my end of year donation to the Salvation Army.

The article that sent Towery over the edge draws several paragraphs from a Dec. 5 analysis on politics and race, written by the Most Rev. Wilton Gregory, archbishop of Atlanta, for the Catholic News Service. From Gregory’s original piece:

The venom of and the reaction to our recent presidential election have caused many to believe that whatever progress we thought we’d made was only illusory…


Whenever one can play on the fears of some people and depend upon the ignorance of others, racism flourishes. As a political strategy, such taunting may win votes, but it destroys national unity and our future….


The attitudes emerge: “The immigrants are taking our jobs.” “Public aid only rewards laziness.” “Poor and struggling white people have been forgotten.” The conditions necessary for the transmission of racism were thoroughly mixed with such attitudes during the recent election process. Left untreated, the prognosis is bleak.

Like we said: Even when it’s over, it ain’t over.


The money-in-politics website Open Secrets has created a handy spreadsheet to track the money that Donald Trump’s top appointees and their families have donated to the U.S. senators who will now consider their nominations.

The watchdog found that, in total, top appointees and their families have given more than $66 million to 52 U.S. senators — mainly Republicans but also a few Democrats — since 1990.

Georgia’s two Republican U.S. senators received relatively small pieces of that pie. David Perdue received a total of $10,400 from three such donors, while Johnny Isakson got $4,200, putting both toward the bottom of the list of recipients.

The biggest recipient was Florida Republican Marco Rubio, due to his run for president earlier this year.


The Republican candidate for an open state Senate seat in northwest Georgia filed for bankruptcy in 2013, claiming more than $8,000 in credit card expenses and another $3,390 consumer bank loan in debt.

Former Whitfield County GOP chair Chuck Payne filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection in June 2013, saying in the court filing he had less than $100,000 in assets. Payne faces ex-Whitfield commissioner Debby Peppers in the Jan. 10 runoff. Georgia GOP leaders have rallied around Payne, while Democrats are backing Peppers, who is running without party affiliation.

Payne a retired juvenile court probation officer, said in a statement his financial struggles gives him a unique view of Georgia’s economic needs.

“Like many hard working northwest Georgians, my family struggled greatly during the recession. Our local economy impacts us directly, times were tough and we did what we had to do to get through it,” said Payne. “I’m running for office to give a voice to those who often feel like they don’t have one.”

The relatively ho-hum affair to replace Republican Charlie Bethel — tapped last month for a judgeship — has turned into a closely-watched race.

The Democratic Party of Georgia on Wednesday said it was investigating whether Republicans were intentionally seeking to suppress votes in the conservative Dalton-based district after mailers advertising the incorrect date of a special Senate election showed up at the home of several North Georgia Democrats.


Over at the Gwinnett Post, Keith Farner has picked up a few details on what state lawmakers intend in the way of help for failing schools, short of a governor-backed Opportunity School District:

Senator Renee Unterman, R-Buford, said one response to the proposed Opportunity School District being voted down in November is that the focus may shift from the academic nature of the issue, to reasons why children are sick, or have poor attendance. Rep. Brooks Coleman, R-Duluth, suggested an audit for schools that have high poverty rates to identify the core issues.


Some of Atlanta’s leading Jewish leaders gave mixed reviews to Secretary of State John Kerry after he accused Israel’s government of blocking peace deals in the Middle East.

Dov Wilker, the regional director of the American Jewish Committee in Atlanta, said the organization deeply appreciates Kerry’s “good-faith efforts and longstanding, steadfast commitment to Israel and to the pursuit of Israeli-Palestinian peace.”

“Unfortunately, there were too many issues not addressed in Sec. Kerry’s address today, especially as it relates to necessary actions by the Palestinian leadership,” he said. “We, AJC, will continue to reaffirm our support for the two-state solution and to a long-lasting peace.”

David Harris, the group’s chief executive, adds: “As long as the Palestinian leadership believes it can internationalize the conflict, it will have little incentive to return to the table, from which it’s been AWOL for years, and engage in the tough, direct bargaining that is the essence of any such negotiation.”

The Union for Reform Judaism sent word to metro Atlanta’s reform congregations it was receptive to Kerry’s remarks, calling them a “powerful affirmation of the bipartisan bedrock of American policy in the Middle East.”

“That support was, rightly, cast in some of the staunchest pro-Israel language and most forceful denunciations of Palestinian instigation of violence that we have ever heard from the podium at the State Department,” said Rabbi Rick Jacobs, the group’s president.


President-elect Donald Trump was asked by reporters on Wednesday about whether to sanction Russia over claims of hacking Democrat Hillary Clinton’s campaign. He blamed computers.

“I think we ought to get on with our lives. I think that computers have complicated lives very greatly. The whole age of computer has made it where nobody knows exactly what is going on,” he said on the steps of his Mar-a-Lago resort, flanked by Don King. “We have speed, we have a lot of other things, but I’m not sure we have the kind the security we need. But I have not spoken with the senators and I will certainly will be over a period of time. ”


U.S. Sen. David Perdue has laid out his policy wish list for the new year in an op-ed in the Augusta Chronicle.

On the Republican’s list of resolutions for 2017: repealing the Environmental Protection Agency’s new climate and water regulations, approving the Keystone XL pipeline and doing away with the repatriation tax as part of a broader overhaul of the tax code.

“This election cycle and its outcome were a loud message to the Washington establishment. In 2017, it’s my resolution to continue working to ensure that message translates into real results,” he wrote.

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