Image

12:28 PM / Friday November 17, 2017

14 Sep 2017

Lee descendant resigns as pastor over racial justice comment

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
September 14, 2017 Category: Diaspora Posted by:

ABOVE PHOTO:  Rev. Robert W. Lee IV

By Jonathan Drew

Associated Press

RALEIGH, N.C.–A descendant of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee has stepped down as pastor of a North Carolina church after negative reactions to his comments supporting racial justice during an MTV awards show.

Image

The general’s distant nephew, the Rev. Robert W. Lee IV, issued a statement saying he resigned from Bethany United Church of Christ in Winston-Salem after the congregation decided to put his tenure to a vote.

He said some church members were uncomfortable with his remarks praising the Black Lives Matter movement during the Aug. 27 MTV Video Music Awards. He was introducing the mother of Heather Heyer, who was killed during demonstrations over a Robert E. Lee statue in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Lee also used the televised remarks to lament that his ancestor has become a symbol of racism.

“We have made my ancestor an idol of white supremacy, racism, and hate,’’ he said. “As a pastor, it is my moral duty to speak out against racism, America’s original sin.’’

The MTV appearance brought unwanted attention to the small church about 100 miles west of Raleigh, Lee said.

“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,’’ he said in the statement explaining his resignation.

Two church leaders listed in state nonprofit filings didn’t respond to messages seeking comment Tuesday. The church’s phone rang unanswered.

Lee also issued an apology to church members for causing them pain with his remarks on MTV. But he said he continues to “strongly support’’ removal of monuments to his ancestor and other Confederates.

Lee, a recent graduate of the Duke Divinity School, was appointed pastor of the church in April, according to its website.

Lee’s remarks on MTV came in the aftermath of a rally by white nationalists in Charlottesville, Virginia, that turned violent as the demonstrators clashed with counterprotesters. Heyer died when a driver plowed into a crowd that had gathered to denounce the white supremacists.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Leave a Comment

Recent News

Go With The-Flo

CeCe Winans accepts the Spirit Award at Lisa Collins’ 20th Annual “First Ladies High Tea”

November 16, 2017

ABOVE PHOTO:  CeCe Winans (Photo: Jamie Lamor Thompson / Shutterstock)   By Florence Anthony Lisa Collins’ 20th...

Seniors

Savvy Senior: Assistance dogs provide help and love

November 16, 2017

Dear Savvy Senior What can you tell me about assistance dogs for people with disabilities? My sister,...

Food And Beverage

A Very Versatile Holiday

November 16, 2017

ABOVE PHOTO:  Cola and Brown Sugar Glazed Ham   Family Features When planning this year’s holiday menu,...

Entertainment

Debate over Ken Burns Civil War doc continues over decades

November 16, 2017

By Hillel Italie associated press NEW YORK — From the time it aired nearly 30 years ago,...

Health

Simple ways to follow a low-glycemic eating plan for better health

November 16, 2017

BPT Adopting a diet that mainly consists of foods ranking low on the Glycemic Index (GI) can...

Oasis

God won’t let you be defeated

November 16, 2017

By Dianna Hobbs In my most recent YouTube family vlog (I love that you’re subscribing!), as I...

The Philadelphia Sunday Sun Staff