Russell Moore has called for President Donald Trump to be removed from office, saying that he is willing to lose his position as president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention in doing so.
Moore has been a frequent critic of Trump for years, often putting him at odds with more conservative members of his evangelical faith tradition.
Last week, following the attack on the U.S. Capitol by a mob of Trump supporters, many faith groups demanded the president’s removal. Moore tweeted a plea for Trump to resign.
On Monday, Moore went further, addressing a community of Southern Baptists directly in his newsletter.
“If I were the vice president, I would assemble the cabinet in accordance with the 25th Amendment,” Moore wrote in an email newsletter sent via the ERLC. “If I were a member of Congress, I would vote to impeach. And if I were a United States senator, I would vote to convict.”
“And I would be willing, if necessary, to lose my seat to do so,” he continued. “As a matter of fact, I am willing, if necessary, to lose this seat.”
Moore said he hesitated to write the newsletter, lest he come across as saying “I told you so.”
“Throughout all these years, I held out the possibility that maybe I am crazy, that I am completely unable to see what others were seeing,” Moore wrote. “And all of this was even more confusing because many of the people who would say boldly in public how great this leader was and would say, privately, the exact opposite.”
But last week’s attack was different, according to Moore. “This is not about politics,” he wrote. “This is about our country, about the rule of law, and about the sanctity of human life.”
Moore also sent his readers a stark warning: “If you read nothing else, read this: If you can defend this, you can defend anything” (emphasis his).
In the more than 2,500-word newsletter, Moore also warned against calls for “unity,” writing that unity cannot come until there has been accountability for the attack on the Capitol.
“To hope that this all will just quietly go away and resolve itself is to incite future terrorists and is to do exactly what the Bible forbids—to ‘justify the wicked and to condemn the righteous’ (Prov. 17:15),” he wrote. “Unity demands accountability. Justice demands accountability. Without such, all we are left with is ‘lawlessness leading to more lawlessness’ (Rom. 6:19).”