On CNN Wednesday, anchor Erin Burnett interviewed Pastor Ed Litton, the incoming president of the Southern Baptist Convention. Litton, a political conservative who has been described as a moderate in steering the church through cultural issues, was reluctant to acknowledge the extent to which the QAnon conspiracy theory has infiltrated evangelical churches — but agreed that faith leaders have a role to play in stopping it.
"There is a recent poll that shows 25 percent of white evangelicals believe in the QAnon conspiracy," said Burnett, playing some clips. "CNN spoke to a retired Southern Baptist pastor in Mississippi and he said it was solid conservative thought. Pastor, have you encountered this?"
"I have not," said Litton. "I don't know many pastors who have. It's a fringe problem and so almost 50,000 Southern Baptist churches, most pastors are faithfully teaching God's word. They will open the Bible and bring messages of life to people. Conspiracy theories are across the culture. There are all kinds of fringe elements to believe a lie."
"You're taking issue [with] the poll with 25 percent, and another pastor said it's more like 10 percent of the congregation," said Burnett. "Do you feel any burden, obligation, responsibility to try to stop this, whether you define it as fringe or not?"
"Well, no, it is fringe but yes, I have an obligation with my people, especially that I teach on a regular basis, to not listen to fables," said Litton. "The scriptures are very clear about that, and so to build your life on the word of God. At that time the foundation of our lives. And so the Bible is very real and it deals with real-life issues and so yeah, there are conspiracy theories and people that follow those things, and our people, our pastors, you will find are faithfully shepherding their flocks with the word of God."
Ed Litton on QAnon presence in Southern Baptist churches www.youtube.com