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‘Ex-towelhead’ chief of Liberty Baptist Seminary stands accused of deception

DR Ergun Caner, the President of Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, has been a rising star on the religious right, entertaining audiences at major fundie gatherings with his hip, irreverent stories about his upbringing as a radical Muslim and his conversion to Christianity.

Fantasy merchant Ergun Caner

Just this week, according Right Wing Watch, his story was featured on Focus on the Family’s broadcast, From Jihad to Jesus.

But it turns out, according to a growing chorus of critics – many of them Southern Baptists and other Christians – that Caner has apparently been lying for years about his childhood and his life story.

It’s hard to even summarise the extent of the deceptions being described by his critics, but they include his claims to have grown up in Turkey and to have personally involved in Islamic Jihad, when court records from his parents’ divorce place him in Columbus, Ohio when he was just a few years old.

Check some of the critical websites for voluminous debunking of Caner’s colorful (and apparently fanciful) stories about  learning about America through TV broadcasts in Turkey and more.

Some charges are even more directly related to his ministry, such as his claims to have debated top Muslim scholars around the world. Caner’s critics say there’s no evidence of those debates.

These are no vague or reckless charges, but carefully documented exposes that draw from Caner’s sermons, speeches, and online videos, and other public records.  Liberty doesn’t seem to have responded publicly, but recently posted a revised version of Caner’s bio with disputed claims removed.

Some of Caner’s critics are willing to forgive him, but only if he owns up to his massive deceptions.  Meanwhile, Caner and his supporters have been trying to get his critics to shut up. Caner himself has pulled the religious right’s favored religious persecution card, reportedly saying in a memo to his Liberty colleagues

I never thought I would see the day when alleged ‘Christians’ join with Muslims to attack converts.

Meanwhile, others are starting to raise questions about the extent to which Ergun’s brother Emir, who heads a Baptist college in Georgia, may have assisted in Ergun’s deceptions, whether actively or by passively allowing false claims to go unchallenged.

In this 2006 report of the North Alabama Bible Conference, Caner – recruited to the Liberty Seminary by the ghastly homophobe Jerry Falwell (now dead from over-eating) – jokingly called himself a one-time “towel-head” – and told the crowd at Decatur Baptist Church that he had moved three times and has changed his phone number eight times due to threats from Muslim extremists. But:

What can they do to me? If they destroy my body, I’ll be in heaven.

Hat tip: Alan

10 Responses to “‘Ex-towelhead’ chief of Liberty Baptist Seminary stands accused of deception”

  1. Grumpy Bob says:

    Looking at the photo in the story, are you sure this isn’t a “Little Britain” sketch?

  2. AngieRS says:

    No, you lying twat, if they destroy your body you’ll be dead.

  3. barriejohn says:

    He’s obviously enjoying all the extra attention he’s getting. I’ve just read this on his Twitter thing:

    Glenn Beck at the LU Graduation! Love it! And I’m loving the snarking of the haters. LU folk: rejoice when they revile!

  4. barriejohn says:

    Here’s another comment – I’m in stitches!

    Just finished reading the latest book by @emircaner and John Ankerberg. My little brother is brilliant.

    I wonder who his “little brother” is praising to the skies?

    More bollocks here, if you’ve got a strong stomach!!

    http://twitter.com/erguncaner

  5. barriejohn says:

    Found this on Emir Caner’s site:

    http://twitter.com/emircaner

    Glenn Beck is speaking at Liberty University grad. Congrats to LU for making a great choice. Perhaps it will kick off a presidential run.

    @erguncaner:My brother is wishing to start a tweet-war.Of course, I’d never mention the fact he played a gay bartender in a high school play.

    Now THERE’S a revelation! (Do people REALLY waste their time following twaddle like this?)

  6. barriejohn says:

    They’re Calvinists, evidently, and, much as I suspected from the above, and from past experience, they spend most of their time fighting, not against “spiritual foes” but with their fellow “Reformists”! How sad.

    http://www.aomin.org/aoblog/index.php?itemid=1576

  7. Broadsword says:

    When’s the vote of no confidence coming I wonder?
    When you get to a prominent position you’d better hope no skeletons start rattling.

    I was raised by wolves you know, and was “rescued” by humans aged about eight….

  8. Alan says:

    Ted Haggard, Jimmie Swaggert Jim Bekker how many more of these frauds will be caught molesting children and stealing money before people say enough. I have my own atheist experiment I can’t be bothered working anymore will you atheists, freethinkers and skeptics please give me £500 a month to expose the Christian right. I suspect fuck off if the best answer I will get

  9. RussellW says:

    So Caner lives in a fantasy world,this is a necessary condition for believers,his problem is rather too much imagination.

  10. NeoWolfe says:

    It’s entertaining, I guess, that a fundie Muslim rejects his past. Yet he jumps from the frying pan into the fire. Now his mind is clear now that he found christianity :-)

    Maybe he should call me an I’ll tell him some stories that will curl the hairs on the back of his neck, about CHRISTIANITY!!!!!! Not just about the sadistic childhood I endured in a fundie christian family, but the history of the catholic wing called the flaggelators who murdered all the Jews in catholic controlled France believing they caused the black plague. If he hasn’t puked yet, we’ll move on to the Inquisitions and the Witch burnings. Then nazi war criminal smuggling and pedophile coverups.

    But, let me quote the last track on “The Wall”, Pink Floyd of course:

    The bleeding hearts and artists take their stand.
    After giving their all, some stagger and fall,
    After all, it’s not easy,
    Banging your heart against some bad bugger’s wall.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freethought

    I guess the general consensus is that you must be an atheist to be a freethinker. My direction has been to encourage free thinkers to keep their minds open, assume nothing that cannot be proven.

    My objection is not just a violation of the definition of freethought, but the intolerence that other freethinkers suffer as a result of the arrogance of atheists. While the most renowned astrophysicists on the planet say, “I have no idea”, atheists pretend that they know.

    Explain to me please!!!!!, how that’s not religion.

    NeoWolfe