Rev. Robert Wright Lee IV, a North Carolina pastor and descendant of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, has resigned from his church after a “deeply hurtful” backlash he received after speaking against white supremacy.
In a letter published on the Auburn Seminary website, Lee said that he received some push back in his church after he appeared at the MTV Video Music Awards last month and endorsed organizations such as Black Lives Matter and the Women’s March as groups that are fighting against racial injustice.
“My presence at the church as a descendant of Robert E. Lee and an outspoken opponent of White Supremacy had already attracted attention, but with my appearance on MTV the media’s focus on my church reached an all time high,” he wrote. “A faction of church members were concerned about my speech and that I lifted up Black Lives Matter movement, the Women’ s March, and Heather Heyer as examples of racial justice work… the church’s reaction was deeply hurtful to me.”
He went on to say that he loved his congregation, but he decided to step down so his fight against hate and evil would not distract from the other good things his congregation is doing.
“I regret that speaking out has caused concern and pain to my church,” he wrote. “For this is I offer my heartfelt apology. I understand that my views could be considered to be controversial. I never sought this sort of attention. But, I do believe in God’s role in calling out for positive social change for the good of all.”
He continued: “We are all called by God to speak out against hate and evil in all its many forms. There are so many good things going on with this congregation and I do not want my fight to detract from the mission. If the recent media attention causes concern with my church, I reluctantly offer my resignation.”
Watch his speech below via MTV:
— MTV (@MTV) August 28, 2017
(Article By Jeremiah Jones)