Russell Moore on the Capitol Insurrection and Why He's Willing to Put His Job On the Line to Speak His Mind

Russell Moore is the president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, which is the public policy arm of the Southern Baptist Convention. The SBC is the largest Protestant denomination in America, with 15 million or so members in its 47,000 or so congregations.

Moore was one of the most prominent evangelical critics of Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential campaign, but after Trump was elected president, Moore came under attack from Trump supporters inside the SBC who wanted him out of his job, which he took over in 2013. Moore, 49, survived the challenge, but was less outspoken about Trump after that.

After Trump incited his supporters with two months of lies about the election, encouragement about a “wild” day on January 6, and a speech on that day exhorting them to march on the Capitol, Moore made a decision to speak out against Trump once again. He wrote a 2,600 word essay and sent it out to the ERLC mailing list.

Moore dismantled the arguments that led to the insurrection, stating clearly that “it is not true — and it never was true — that this election was stolen,” and said that the riot had been “incited and fomented by the President of the United States.”

Moore said that he thought Trump should resign, or be removed by the Cabinet and Vice President Mike Pence, or impeached and convicted by Congress. “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,” Moore wrote.

“As a matter of fact, I am willing, if necessary, to lose this seat.” That was a reference to his own job, and an acknowledgment that those who tried to get him ousted four years ago might do so again based on his criticism now.

But it’s unclear whether he is now “almost all alone,” as he wrote he felt for most of the last few years. The shock of the events is still roiling the country, as thousands of armed soldiers patrol the U.S. Capitol and other parts of the capital city.

Moore’s latest book, his fifth, is rooted in that experience of feeling isolated and afraid. It’s titled, “The Courage to Stand: Facing Your Fear Without Losing Your Soul.”

Also, to see Moore's list of his favorite 20 books over the last 20 years click here.

Outro Music: "Look Long" by the Indigo Girls

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