|Lee at the VMA Awards.|
Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File
"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."
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 only just appointed pastor of the church in April.
Some members of his church were outraged by his politics, while clearing remaining quite comfortable with their own: "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.