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The Volusia County Democratic Black Caucus and the Orlando Sentinel editorial board are calling for the immediate resignation of Volusia County Council Member Fred Lowry, after Lowry, a Baptist preacher, delivered a conspiracy-theory-laden sermon May 30 that was posted on social media.

“We are calling into serious question Mr. Lowry’s ability and judgment when it comes to making significant decisions that will affect the lives of those living here in Volusia County,” a statement released today, June 4, by the Black Caucus states, adding, “Decisions made by the Volusia County Council should be rooted in fact.”

Lowry’s 45-minute sermon included a plethora of popular fringe talking points. He called the COVID-19 pandemic a fabrication and said Hollywood elites involved in sex-trafficking are taking the blood of kidnapped children to make a mind-expanding, life-extending drug called “adrenochrome.” He also repeated the debunked notion that the 2020 presidential election was rigged, and referred to the president as “King Joe Babylon.”

Lowry is a senior pastor at Deltona Lakes Baptist Church and represents the Deltona and DeBary areas on the Volusia County Council. He is a former member of the Deltona City Commission.

Earlier this week, the Orlando Sentinel newspaper also called for Lowry to step down, because of the bizarre theories he espoused in the sermon.

In an editorial published June 3 titled “Meet Fred Lowry, a Volusia County Council member spreading the gospel of QAnon” the editorial board railed against Lowry’s sermon, calling for his resignation.

“Fred Lowry needs to resign. Now,” the editorial board argued. “And if he won’t do that, the County Council needs to use whatever powers it possesses to condemn Lowry for bringing shame not only on himself but on the office he holds.”

The Beacon reached out to Lowry, and he responded through the secretary at his Volusia County Council office to say that he had no comment on the Sentinel’s editorial. The Beacon tried to reach the church, but got no answer.

The following comments were posted on The Beacon’s social media in response to the story about Pastor Lowry:
“‘Cancel’ him, huh? The Slantinel? That’s funny. Words are so painful. Wimps. Just ignore what you don’t like, lib’s. A novel concept. ‘Sticks and stones’……. .” The commenter later added, in response to a reply, “I’m just standing up for his right to say whatever he wants. Cancel Culture sucks and so do the people that promote it.” 
“Seeing Qanon flags flying on trailers being towed through downtown DeLand during the last election, should give everyone pause regarding the radicalization of our area.” 
“It is sad that some religious beliefs are okay to be tolerant of, but not others. How far away we have gone from our founding principles.” To which someone replied, “spreading QAnon propaganda? I doubt our founding principles would have thought that was a good idea.” 

In his sermon, Lowry acknowledged that his beliefs may be seen as conspiracy theories — though he also said he believed many of them to be true — and that he may be unpopular for sharing them.

“You may not like it, you may get mad at me, you may think I’m stupid, you may think I’m goofy, you may think I’m dumber than a bag of hammers, I don’t care what you think,” Lowry said from the pulpit, his Bible held high. “I’m going to preach God’s word.”

Lowry told his congregation the American people have been lied to, not just about the COVID-19 pandemic, but about plenty other things, too, and that the end times were near for the United States.

“Folks we’re so lied to it’s amazing. I hope you realize that,” Lowry said during his sermon, where he at one point referred to Dr. Anthony Fauci, medical adviser to the president, as “Dr. False-y” and called him a “pervert.”

He also opined as to what would ring in the end times for the U.S., “Will it be a Civil War? Unrest? Some natural thing?”

The Orlando Sentinel editorial board said his comments should not be taken lightly.

“His colleagues ought to be appalled. Lowry’s not only an embarrassment, his judgment is now in serious question. The council is charged with making consequential decisions that are supposed to be rooted in fact and reality,” the editorial reads.

Volusia County Democratic Black Caucus President Dr. L. Ronald Durham said he and the caucus “condemn” Lowry’s comments.

Mr. Lowry cannot be trusted to make sound, fact-based decisions when he is preaching about cabals of Satanists using the blood of kidnapped children to get high and live longer,” the caucus’s statement said, echoing the Sentinel’s remarks.

QAnon is a discredited conspiracy theory that originated on one online forum and spread to other forums and websites. 

These websites have come under fire for hosting, among other things, manifestoes written by mass shooters, child pornography and content relating to other conspiracy theories.

What would become the QAnon theory began in 2017 when an individual posting under the alias Q claimed to have sensitive insider information about an ongoing battle between then-President Donald Trump and a cabal of — depending on who you ask — satanists or pedophiles, or both, who controlled the daily operations of the U.S. government.

Q claimed repeatedly that mass arrests of President Trump’s opponents were imminent, but no such arrests ever came to pass.

Conspiracy theories sometimes associated with QAnon include a story of satanists, pedophiles, etc., harvesting the blood of missing children to make a life-extending, personality-enhancing drug.

QAnon supporters also sometimes have claimed that John F. Kennedy Jr. is alive and in hiding.

— Noah Hertz 

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