The spokesperson for the National Religious Broadcasters, an international association of evangelical communicators, was fired Friday following an appearance on MSNBC's “Morning Joe” earlier this month in which he discussed how his faith motivated him to get the Covid-19 vaccine.
Pastor Daniel Darling appeared on the cable news show last Wednesday to talk about his most recent column for USA Today titled "Why as a Christian, and an American, I got the COVID vaccine."
In his conversation with MSNBC host Joe Scarborough, Darling said faith played an important role in his decision to get vaccinated, particularly the idea that "we ought to love our neighbor." By getting the vaccine, people don't only protect themselves, but become less likely to infect others, he said.
Darling also urged leaders to stop politicizing vaccines "because I don’t want to see anyone else die of Covid," he said.
His exit from the National Religious Broadcasters came after the organization determined his comments violated an internal policy of remaining neutral about Covid-19 vaccines. Darling was fired two days after refusing to sign a letter admitting insubordination.
The National Religious Broadcasters did not respond to NBC News' request for comment on Saturday.
According to their website, "NRB works to protect the free speech rights of our members."
In a statement to NBC News, Darling said he is "sad and disappointed that my time at NRB has come to a close. As someone who has been profoundly shaped by Christian media, it was an honor to work on behalf of our members who strive every day to deliver the Gospel around the world."
"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, which was shared by a representative.
"While I will not continue my work at NRB, I will continue to try to unify believers around the truth of the Gospel," Darling, who also hosts "The Way Home" podcast, said.