Forced to resign from his church for speaking out against racism, Rob Lee has no regrets.

Pastor Robert Lee IV took the stage at the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards to share a simple message.

Lee, a descendent of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, was there to introduce Susan Bro, the mother of Charlottesville victim Heather Heyer. On stage, he denounced the use of his ancestor as “an idol of white dominance, racism, and hate” and claimed it was his “moral duty to speak out against racism.”

He devoted a shout-out to the Black Lives Matter movement, to everybody who participated in the Women’s March, and of course, to Heyer herself. It was a powerful, moving call to action for people to take a stand against hate.

Not everybody was a fan of Lee’s speech, and in the span of merely over a week, he was out as clergyman at Bethany United Church of Christ in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

In a blog post on Auburn Seminary’s website, Lee explained why he decided to resign his post in the church following his breakout appearance at the VMAs , noting that some congregants were uneasy with his vocal support of the Women’s March, Black Lives Matter, and Heather Heyer; others were just as uncomfortable with “the member states national” attention they received.

Lee with Susan Bro during the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards. Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/ Getty Images.

“The church’s reaction was deeply hurtful to me, ” he wrote, explaining that the church want to get bring his tenure up for a referendum after his appearance on MTV.

Instead, Lee resigned.

Doing the right thing isn’t always easy. Often, that’s even more reason to do it.

“A theologian I admire speaks of costly grace and sometimes speaking up expenses more than we could have imagined, ” Lee told Spectrum News Charlotte. “I love my church and will always have fond memories there for my first pastorate.”

“I’d just like people to know that a small group of voices is no match to the unwavering motion of justice in this world, ” Lee tells in an email, declining to comment on the specific circumstances behind his resignation.

“I do want the hate-filled rhetoric to aim so that we might focus on real issues like DACA being repealed and continuing to keep in the public conscious the question of racial inequality and the monuments that support those systems.”

Lee speaks during the VMAs. Photo by Kevin Winter/ Getty Images.

It may have cost Lee his task, but utilizing his voice to defy the continued persecution of others was the right thing to do. For that, Lee is an inspiration to anyone who feels too small to make a difference in the world. We all have a voice — it’s simply a matter of how we decide to use it.

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