Pastor and author Rick Warren has joined the chorus of leaders across the ideological spectrum who are calling on the United States to stop importing Russian oil.
Warren, the pastor of Saddleback Church in California and the author of The Purpose Driven Life, said on social media that the United States has a moral imperative to stop purchasing Russian oil.
Everyday that the U.S. continues to buy 600,000 barrels of Russian oil A DAY, we are funding the murder of Ukraine. Appalling. Indefensible. Stop it now.— Rick Warren (@RickWarren) March 2, 2022
Warren added that he had "been in contact with many pastors" in Ukraine, Russia and Poland and urged Christians to continue praying for the region.
The U.S. gets approximately 8 percent of its oil from Russia, Reuters reported. A bipartisan 80 percent of Americans believe the U.S. should stop importing Russian oil, according to a new Reuters/Ipsos poll.
U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, a Republican from Florida, on Sunday called on the Biden administration to stop importing Russian oil.
"I think that's something that you can construct a plan to phase that in pretty rapidly," Rubio said on ABC's This Week With George Stephanopoulos. "And you could use reserves for the purposes of buffering that. But we have more than enough ability in this country to produce enough oil to make up for the percentage that we buy from Russia."
Rubio said the Biden administration's hesitancy to stop importing Russian oil shows that Vladimir Putin "has leverage over us."
"Why would we want that leverage to continue?" Rubio asked. "Why would we have someone like him to have the power to raise gas prices on Americans, which is basically if he cuts us off, what would happen in the reserve?"
Former Vice President Mike Pence, a Republican, last week said "the time has come" for the Biden administration to impose an embargo on Russian oil.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat, also has called on the U.S. to stop importing Russian oil. Over the weekend, she said the House is considering a bill to halt such purchases.
"Our bill would ban the import of Russian oil and energy products into the United States, repeal normal trade relations with Russia and Belarus, and take the first step to deny Russia access to the World Trade Organization," Pelosi wrote to colleagues, according to The Hill. "We would also empower the Executive branch to raise tariffs on Russian imports."
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Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.