A pastor and spokesman for National Religious Broadcasters was fired on Friday after he promoted COVID-19 vaccines, NBC News reported.
In an interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on August 18, Daniel Darling said he was motivated by his evangelical faith to get vaccinated.
Darling told MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough that getting the vaccine helps promote the concept of loving “our neighbor” since those who are vaccinated are less likely to spread the virus.
“I believe in this vaccine because I don’t want to see anyone else die of COVID. Our family has lost too many close friends and relatives to COVID, including an uncle, a beloved church member, and our piano teacher,” Darling told Scarborough.
On August 1, Darling also published a column in USA Today titled “Why as a Christian, and an American, I got the COVID vaccine.”
Religious News Services reported that Darling was fired because he refused to say his statement was a mistake. NBC News reported that NRB has an internal policy requiring members to remain neutral about vaccines.
“Dan is an excellent communicator and a great friend. I wish him God’s best in all his future endeavors,” Troy Miller, CEO of NRB, told RNS.
Darling told NBC News that he was sad to leave the NRB.
“I’m grieved that the issues that divide our country are also dividing Christians. My desire is to build bridges and bring Christians together around our common mission of loving Jesus and loving our neighbor, but sadly we are sometimes tempted by the same things that tempt the world,” Darling said in the statement to NBC News.
NRB and Darling did not respond to Insider’s request for comment at the time of publication.