A member of President Trump’s Evangelical Advisory Board is urging the president’s Christian followers to reject conspiracies and stop “spreading fear.”
Tony Suarez, the chief operating officer of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference and a member of the evangelical council that advised Trump, made the comments on Facebook this week after watching several conspiracies spread online.
“I openly campaigned for President Trump and spent most of September through the beginning of ... November on the campaign trail when I wasn’t preaching. This is not the outcome I personally wanted,” Suarez wrote on Facebook, referencing Trump’s loss. “With that said, I cannot sit back and watch conspiracy after conspiracy be shared and not speak out.”
Suarez then refuted several conspiracies by writing:
- “The insurrection act was NOT signed.”
- “Nancy Pelosi did not try to escape the country nor is she in jail.”
- “There are NOT helicopters flying all over the place getting ready for martial law.”
- “There will NOT be martial law.”
- “President Trump has not been hiding in a bunker or military base in TX.”
- “General Flynn is NOT going to be named VP.”
“These conspiracies are simply that … conspiracies,” Suarez wrote. “There is no truth to them. I don’t blame those asking questions and even sharing the posts/emails, as I believe they do it out of sincere concern for the country but the producers of these emails and videos should not be trusted. I think they should apologize. Nothing they have posted has turned out to be correct.
“How many times have you read ‘something big is going down in 48 hours’ and nothing happens? … I think it would be proper for you to delete your posts and videos and apologize for spreading fear. I hope this post will influence/encourage some to unfollow/delete/ignore these messengers of fear and fake news,” Suarez wrote. “Let’s share the message of Jesus. Let’s tell the world there’s still hope, joy and peace because of the one seated on the White Throne.”
Wheaton College’s Ed Stetzer told CBN that the spreading of conspiracy theories by Christians harms the gospel.
“When we’re gullible and easily fooled, when we’re the people who are posting conspiracies and the next thing saying, ‘Oh the resurrection is true, all those conspiracies are, too’ – it undermines our witness,” Stetzer said. “It causes people to question our credibility.”
At least two Republican representatives this week lamented the speed at which conspiracy theories spread among their base.
“In seeing the events that transpired … it’s clear that people, some people, have been brainwashed,” Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) told the Wall Street Journal, referencing the attack on the capitol. “And I’m grappling with: How do we carefully and honestly pull these people out of it and bring them back into reality?”
Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) said Christian leaders must help believers reject conspiracies.
“I believe there is a huge burden now on Christian leaders, especially those who entertained the conspiracies, to lead the flock back into the truth,” Kinzinger tweeted.
I believe there is a huge burden now on Christian leaders, especially those who entertained the conspiracies, to lead the flock back into the truth.— Adam Kinzinger (@RepKinzinger) January 12, 2021
Photo courtesy: Tony Suarez Facebook
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.