Posts Tagged “converts”

Ergun CanerI blogged four years ago about lying preacher Ergun Caner, who lost his job as dean of theology at Liberty University but ended up skipping immediately off to another job in evangelical academia. He and his brother had built careers on the evangelical Christian circuit, telling everyone they’d once been Islamist extremists who’d seen the error of their ways and converted to Christianity. That whole thing turned out to have been a lie.

Well, it turns out Caner hasn’t been able to avoid problems. As Religion News Service reports, the school he now heads, has come under siege (WebCite cached article):

A small Baptist college now led by Ergun Caner, the outspoken evangelical who stirred controversy over his story of conversion from Islam, has lost its accreditation.

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges recently voted to remove Brewton-Parker College in Georgia from membership one year after it placed the school on probation over finances.

RNS goes over the reasons Caner had been tossed out of Liberty University (which, as I’d explained in my blog post, never managed to actually fire him … rather, the school just sort of let him drift off on his own). Three years later, Brewton-Parker decided Caner’s lies and disingenuity were, in reality, a credential:

Brewton-Parker chose Caner in 2013 because of his past controversies, saying he has endured “relentless and pagan attacks.”

Ergun Caner finds himself in good company once again, as RNS explained, since his lying brother is also having problems at a different evangelical institution he’s currently running:

Caner’s brother and co-author, Emir Caner, has also weathered controversies at Truett-McConnell College, the sister college of Brewton-Parker. The school, also in Georgia, was named by Time magazine as one of the worst “dropout factories” in the U.S. The school graduates just 14 percent of its students within six years of enrollment, one of the lowest rates in its peer group.

I guess if Brewton-Parker and Truett-McConnell colleges want to hire known liars — and specifically because they are known liars — then I guess they have no one but themselves to blame if they find themselves falling apart.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons.

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Comments Comments Off on Lying Preacher Still Finds Ways To Get Himself In Trouble

Ergun Caner by Biglo at en.wikipedia [Public domain], from Wikimedia CommonsFor a few months now, questions have swirled around Ergun Caner, the dean of theology at Liberty University, a college founded by the late Rev Jerry Falwell. He claimed to have originally been a devout Muslim, but converted to evangelical Christianity. For this he became relatively famous in fundamentalist Christian circles, going on the fundie-church lecture circuit around the country, especially after September 11, 2001. The fundies, you see, just love hearing about people who go from being a devout {something-other-than-Christian} to a devout Christian.

In any event, the fundies in charge of Liberty University found they could no longer credibly ignore the controversy; they investigated Caner, and decided he’s out as head of their theology department. The AP via Google News reports on their decision (WebCite cached article):

A Baptist minister who toured the country to talk about his conversion from Islam to Christianity is no longer the dean of Liberty University’s theological seminary following allegations he fabricated or embellished facts about his past, the school said Friday.

The university founded by Rev. Jerry Falwell said that a board of trustees committee concluded Ergun Caner made contradictory statements. Although it didn’t find evidence that he was not a Muslim who converted as a teenager, it did discover problems with dates, names and places he says he lived, a statement said.

Caner will remain on the Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary faculty, but won’t be dean when his term expires on June 30.

During the course of the controversy, when bloggers had just started discussing the conflicting and/or incorrect claims he’d made, Caner went around the Internet asking for information about him, or material by him, to be deleted. Unfortunately, covering one’s tracks on the Internet doesn’t work too well.

Note that — in spite of Caner’s documented lying and dissembling, LU still couldn’t summon the courage to fire Caner completely or concede he’d never been a Muslim; they said, in a statement (courtesy of WSET-13, Lynchburg VA; locally cached version):

However, the committee found no evidence to suggest that Dr. Caner was not a Muslim who converted to Christianity as a teenager, but, instead, found discrepancies related to matters such as dates, names and places of residence. … Dr. Caner will remain on the faculty of Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary as a professor.

That’s the way it is with fundamentalist Christians … they may have their disagreements, and they may even have to admit wrongdoing on the part of one of their own, but — no matter what any of them might do — ultimately, they all stick together nonetheless.

This sorry episode makes Ergun Caner another member of my “lying liars for Jesus” club, and the directors of Liberty University gain honorary membership in it, for essentially being apologists for a lying liar for Jesus. Way to go guys!

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons.

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