Russell Moore urges President Trump to resign, appeals to his ‘sense of responsibility’

Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, speaks at the Caring Well conference in Grapevine, Texas, on Oct. 3, 2019.
Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, speaks at the Caring Well conference in Grapevine, Texas, on Oct. 3, 2019. | Caring Well Conference

Russell Moore, a prominent theologian and president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, has called on President Donald Trump to resign from office after some of his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol building on Wednesday. 

Moore took to Twitter Friday to respond to a tweet from Trump, who has acknowledged that Joe Biden is president-elect after his efforts to challenge the results based on allegations of voter fraud failed. “The 75,000,000 great American Patriots who voted for me, AMERICA FIRST, and MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, will have a GIANT VOICE long into the future. They will not be disrespected or treated unfairly in any way, shape, or form!!” Trump wrote.

“Mr. President, people are dead,” Moore wrote in response to Trump’s tweet. “The Capitol is ransacked. There are 12 dangerous days for our country left. Could you please step down and let our country heal?”

Following a peaceful rally and protests attended by tens of thousands of Trump supporters in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, Trump urged his supporters to rally outside the Capitol. Five people died after hundreds broke through barricades and stormed the Capitol building. Police shot and killed an unarmed woman as she attempted to climb into the House chamber, three others died from health emergencies, and a U.S. Capitol Police officer died Thursday after he suffered injuries while responding to the riots. Officer Brian D. Sicknick, 42, had joined the force in 2008 and was an Iraq War veteran. 

Moore elaborated on his call for the president to step down during a Zoom webinar hosted by the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission called “Chaos at the Capitol.”

“What I’d like to do is to appeal to the president’s sense of responsibility,” he said.

“We have differences in this country over the president, I have differences with a lot of my fellow evangelicals about the president’s character. … We can have those disagreements, we can have those arguments … and we can live with one another and … understand one another and not seek to change one another on those things,” Moore added.

“This is a moment where the entire country is waiting to see what is going to happen next. It is a very dangerous sort of time,” he continued. 

Moore also condemned the “mobs of people” who shouted "traitor" at Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., at Reagan National Airport and the threats against Vice President Mike Pence for “carrying out his constitutional duties” and not objecting to the certification of electoral votes for the 2020 presidential election.

“This is a very, very dangerous time,” Moore maintained. “What we need is leadership that is going to say ‘let’s heal’ and the way that we heal is by saying ‘violence and attacks on the United States government are always wrong and we’re going to prosecute them.' And then everything else that we disagree about and differ about, we can talk about those things, we can debate those things as Americans who, in common, cherish our Constitution even if we disagree on maybe some ways that that is applied.”

“That’s what has to happen right now. There has to be … a time of healing and … if the president can’t or won’t do that, then there’s 12 more days left. … Then, I think he should … take responsibility one way or the other but we have to have stable, unifying leadership in this country. This is not the same thing as an election where … someone’s supporting one candidate, somebody’s supporting another, it’s not the same thing as some legislative proposal where some people think it’s good and some people think it’s bad.”

“This is a dangerous time in which people have been killed and it has to be taken very, very seriously,” Moore reiterated. “One of the things that we’re dependent on in this country is the kind of presidential leadership that in moments of great crisis is speaking not only to one’s supporters but also to the entire country.”

Moore is not the only public figure to suggest that the president must leave office before his term expires one way or another as a result of the violent riots at the Capitol building earlier this week. Both House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., have called on Pence and the cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office and announced intentions to move ahead with impeachment if the cabinet declined to pursue invoking the 25th Amendment.

According to Fox News, Pence does not support the push to remove Trump from office via the 25th Amendment. The president’s term in office will expire on Jan. 20 at noon.

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