Archive for Ex-Muslim

Kamal Saleem Still Selling His Fake Ex-Muslim Story

Posted in Loon People with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 21, 2011 by loonwatch

Saleem is still defrauding mostly gullible Evangelical Christians of their money.

Forum: Saleem challenged by member of the crowd

By Shakil Saghir

After a long and hard debate, I finally decided to attend Kamal Saleem’s Sept. 25 talk at the Midland Center for the Arts. My purpose of attending the talk was to take notes and ask questions during a Q&A session. Because there was no Q&A, I decided to raise my concerns here.

He started his talk with a few sentences of peace and right after that started to describe the importance of Sept. 11 for Muslims, linking it to the Battle of Vienna and revenge, which was news for me — a born Muslim. That was the beginning of his, what I believe, hate speech.

His next claim was “God of the Quran does not love his people”; whereas, at least 11 of 99 attributes (names) of Allah have a meaning of love, compassion, mercy, or peace including Al-Wadood, The Loving. His love is mentioned in the Quran many times including: “And He is oft-forgiving, the Loving (85:14)”. Saleem claimed that Allah wants Muslims to die for Him and says this is the primary reason for the terrorism/ suicide bombing in the world, ignoring the underlying geopolitical reasons and terrorism by non-Muslims, including Christians (remember the Crusades). According to a 2008 Pew poll, only 5 percent of Pakistanis justified suicide bombing, even though Pakistan is the country most affected by the menace. As a Muslim, I was taught that suicide is prohibited in any circumstance, no exception. The Quran specifically says: “O you who have believed, do not consume one another’s wealth unjustly but only [in lawful] business by mutual consent. And do not kill yourselves. Indeed, Allah is to you ever Merciful (4:29)”. The concept of suicide bombing was alien to Muslims; for example, in Pakistan, the first suicide attack occurred only in the mid- ’90s and none were recorded in Afghanistan until 2002. However, the history of suicide bombing goes back to 1 AD (see, “Dying to Win” by Robert Pape). The Tamil Tigers of Sri Lanka (LTTE), a Marxist organization, invented the suicide vests and killed many, including Rajiv Gandhi, then Indian Prime Minister.

Saleem also kept calling Muslims as Moslems, which was weird. As a former believer of the religion he should know the correct pronunciation.

According to Kamal, most of the terrorism and killings in history have been perpetrated by Muslims, which is a fallacy. Ironically, even ignoring earlier historical events such as the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, the genocide of native North and South Americans and of other native people, most of the killings in the last 100 years have been carried out by non-Muslims (e.g., WWI, WWII, USSR [Stalin], China [Mao], Congo [Leopold II of Belgium], British India [1947]; Cambodia [Pol Pot], North Korea [Kim Il Sung], Ethiopia [Menghistu], Korea, Vietnam, Sri Lanka [LTTE], Gulf, Balkans, Afghanistan, Iraq, to name a few). A detailed, but not exhaustive, list can be found at http://www.scaruffi.com/politics/dictat.html. The FBI database indicates that attacks by Islamic extremists on U.S. soil comprised only 6 percent during 1980-2005.

He also spent significant time on the concept of Taqiyya and linked it to stealth jihad by saying Muslims are allowed to lie by their religion. Growing up as a Muslim, I only heard this term in reference to Shia religion; however, I never encountered a situation confirming this even with my Shia friends with whom I grew up. The term Taqiyya is a false concept not belonging to the authentic teachings of Islam — I did not find a single entry in Hadith (Sahih Bukhari, the most authentic compilation) or the Quran which can relate to this concept. (I even searched with words: lie, lying, Taqiyya, etc. at http://www.searchtruth.com/). One of the Hadith that I found during my search was “The signs of a hypocrite are three: Whenever he speaks he tells a lie; whenever he is entrusted he proves dishonest; whenever he promises he breaks his promise (Book #51, Hadith #12).”

During the Google search, however, I saw “Lying is not permitted except in three cases: (1) a man’s speaking to his wife to make her happy; (2) lying at times of war; (3) and lying in order to reconcile between people. Even though I could not find any Hadith to back this up, if we consider this to be true, it is not different from the teachings of Judaism (e.g., Talmud, Baba Kamma 113a) or Christianity (e.g., 1 Samuel 16 incident), for detail see http://www.loonwatch.com/2010/08/silencing-spencer-taqiyya-and-kitman-are-part-of-judeo-christian-belief/.

Jihad was described as a Holy War (the term itself has come from the Crusades) by Kamal and was explained as the 6th pillar of Islam, obligatory for every Muslim. Jihad is never considered as one of the pillars of Islam by Sunni Muslims, and fighting is only permitted in self defense after exhausting every other option.

And even then, Muslims must follow strict rules of combat including prohibitions against harming civilians and against destroying crops, trees, and livestock. The notion that Islam spread through the sword was emphasized by the speaker — one question I had for him was how did it spread to Indonesia, Malaysia and many other parts of the world where no Muslim soldier ever put his feet? Compulsion in religion is in fact forbidden in the Quran: “Let there be no compulsion in religion. Truth has been made clear from error (2:256)” and “And neither I am going to worship that which you have worshipped, nor will you worship the One whom I worship. For you is your faith, and for me, my faith (109:4-6).”

Unfortunately he was not open to Q&A. Contrary to Saleem’s assertion that all the verses of love and peace in the Quran came when Muslims were weak (prior to their immigration to Madina) and were abrogated thereafter (after the establishment of Islamic state in Madina), the former verse was revealed in Madina (two years after the immigration) prohibiting Muslims to forcefully converting anyone to Islam, including their own children.

Of course his talk could not be complete without bringing up the fear of Sharia in the U.S. Scholars agree that Muslims living in non-Muslim countries have to comply with laws and regulations of the country where they have been living — this is what I was taught and therefore, I don’t see an issue of Sharia laws taking over our Constitution.

Kamal also kept quoting verses from the Quran (e.g., 5:51, 5:80) out of context and generalizing from them; whereas, those verses were revealed on specific occasions mentioning specific groups of people. He mentioned that slavery is not prohibited in the Quran (it isn’t in the Bible either), which is true; however, he forgot to mention how many times the Quran mentions the importance of freeing slaves; only one of many verses in the Quran should suffice as an answer: “…Righteous are those who believe in God, the last day, the angels, the scripture, and the prophets; and they give the money, cheerfully, to the relatives, the orphans, the needy, the traveling alien, the beggars, and to free the slaves; and they observe the prayers (Salat) and give the obligatory charity (Zakat); and they keep their word whenever they make a promise; and they steadfastly persevere in the face of persecution, hardship, and war. These are the truthful; these are the righteous. (2:177).”

Even the POWs were treated with respect by Muslims and subsequently released (e.g., see POWs of the battle of Badr) — a thing never practiced at that time; POWs were either killed or enslaved. This verse also answers his assertion that when Muslims sign a peace treaty it is only valid for 10 years and it has to be broken within that period

I believe he wanted to mention the peace treaty of Hudaybiyya, which was signed between the Muslims of Madina and the polytheists of Mecca for a stipulated period of 10 years but which was broken by the Meccans two years later. He misquoted many other verses which are popular with Islamophobes. Explanations of a few can be read at the following site as I cannot go in detail of all here: http://www.load-islam.com/.

Another topic was the presumed ambitions of Muslims to dominate the world and convert everyone to Islam which can easily be rejected as Muslims ruled India for over 500 years and remained a minority. Similarly, large populations of Christians live in Lebanon (40 percent), Palestine pre-1948 (30 percent) and Egypt (10 percent), to name a few countries. Jews and Christians (always called people of the books in the Quran and never nonbelievers or infidels) and Muslims lived together in peace for millennium; even when Jews were persecuted in Europe, they were safe in Muslim countries. The issues that we currently see are the result of geopolitics (colonization, occupation [Palestine, Kashmir, Afghanistan, Iraq], denying freedom by supporting dictators and preventing the liberation [Kashmir, Chechnya]), not religion. More information can be gleaned at: http://www.al-bab.com/arab/background/jews.htm.

Saleem mentioned killing of Jews of Bani Quraiza in Madina after the Battle of Trenches without giving any details. They were guilty of treason by helping Meccans in the battle when they had an agreement to support Muslims and their fate was determined using Jewish laws (Deuteronomy 20:10-18) by one of their former leaders upon their agreeing to his adjudication (read Martin Lings’ book, “Muhammad: his life based on the earliest sources.” This is the common punishment of treason even today (Section 110 of Article III states, “…such person or persons shall be adjudged guilty of treason against the United States, and shall suffer death …” and this is exactly what happen to Anwar Al-Awlaki recently).

His portrayal of the status of women in Islam was also completely wrong. In order to understand the issue of the treatment of women in Muslim countries, we should separate the religion and the culture. The maltreatment of women by Muslims can always be traced to the cultural practices and never to the teachings of the religion itself. The Quran clearly states that men and women are equal in creation and in the afterlife, but not identical. Both of them are created from a single soul. One person does not come before the other, one is not superior to the other, and one is not the derivative of the other. A woman is not created for the purpose of serving a man. Rather, they are both created for the mutual benefit of each other (Quran 4:1, 30:21).

And before I end, I would like to write summary of my research on Kamal Saleem. He was born in 1957 and according to his claim, he was recruited by the PLO in Beirut, Lebanon when he was 7 years old, that would be 1964 or 1965. This cannot be true as the PLO was founded on May 28, 1964 in the West Bank and had its first armed wing in Southern Lebanon in 1969 and was not deployed to Beirut until the mid 1970s. His claim that he was a member of both the PLO (a socialist organization with Christians as members [e.g., Hanan Ashravi, George Habash]) and the Muslim Brotherhood (an arch rival of the PLO) and that he met Yasir Arafat, Moammar Gadhafi, Hafiz Al-Asad and Saddam Husain is ridiculous.

To further this, I include excerpts from one of the posts I found online which is supposedly from one of his nephews, Mohammad Itani. The real name of Kamal Saleem is Khodor Al Shami. He was a Sufi with Sheikh Rajab who never believed in militancy and the Brotherhood was not in existence in Lebanon during his time there. His Dad, Kamal Shami, was a blacksmith in downtown Beirut. Many of his close friends were Christians and he could not ask his son to kill Christians, as Kamal Saleem claims, while being friends with them. Additionally, Kamal Saleem’s older brother, Mahmound Shami, married a Christian, Madlin Khoury; this gives the lie to his claim that his mother and father taught him to hate and kill non-Muslims. He used to work with his brother and never handled a gun. Before his coming to the U.S., he worked in the Persian Gulf where he was introduced a man who helped him come to the U.S. As to his time in Afghanistan, he was actually living in the U.S. and had regular phone contact with his family. It is all about fame and fortune.

This sounds right, since just before ending his talk he started selling his and similar books, videos and CDs including interpretations of the Quran for Christians (Snake oil salesmanship!). I hope the audience will choose to go to the original sources and not fall into his trap and see the world through his eyes.

Shakil Shagir is a Midland resident.

Ergun Mehmet Caner: Another “ex-Terrorist” Exposed

Posted in Loon Pastors with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 10, 2010 by loonwatch

ergun-caner

If you ever wanted proof that the Christian right-wing is filled with opportunists and charlatans who will exploit the masses and smear others for their own diabolical ends look no further than Ergun “Mehmet” Caner. This guy jumped onto the bandwagon of anti-Muslim haters, created a powerful (and false) testimony about being an ex-terrorist and laughed all the way to the bank until all the lies caught up to him. (hat tip: iSherif)

Christian Right’s Favorite Muslim Convert Exposed as Jihadi Fraud

By Peter Montgomery

Ergun Caner’s rise to the top of conservative evangelical celebrity — and to the presidency of the Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary founded by the late Rev. Jerry Falwell — was fueled by how aggressively he capitalized on the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, to portray himself as a personal example of the power of Jesus to save even someone raised as a jihadist, which he claimed to be.

There’s only one problem with that part of Caner’s story: it appears not to be true.

In 2001, Caner was pastoring a church in Colorado. After 9/11, he became a hot commodity on the speaking circuit as someone who knew about the evils of Islam firsthand. Before the shock waves from the terror attacks had died down, he was lacing his sermons with his own tale of having been raised in Turkey as the son of a religious leader and trained in a madrassa to wage jihad against Americans.

He said he’d learned about America from TV shows — “Dukes of Hazzard” in some tellings, “Dallas” or “Andy Griffith” in others. He talked about learning English after moving to Brooklyn as a teenager. His personal testimony was used to sell books and videotapes. In one 2001 sermon, “From Jihad to Jesus,” he said he didn’t know much about Christians the first 17 years of his life because “there’s not that many of them in Turkey.” One CD was until recently marketed this way: “Do you believe God can change the heart of a hardened terrorist? Former Muslim Ergun Caner, who came to America to be a terrorist, shares his testimony of how he came to know Jesus Christ.”

All that made for great post-9/11 storytelling. And it helped Caner and his brother, Emir, sell a lot of books. (In 2002 they published and promoted Unveiling Islam: An Insider’s Look at Muslim Life and Beliefs, one of many books bearing the Caner name.) In 2005, Caner was appointed to his current post as president of Liberty University Theological Seminary.

In recent months, a group of Muslim and Christian bloggers have made an airtight case against many of Caner’s fabrications using the kind of documentation — videos, podcasts, recorded sermons — the digital age makes possible.

The Life Stories of Ergun Mehmet Caner

Here’s the basic outline of Ergun Caner’s actual life story, as told in some of his books and public appearances and pieced together from public records in recent months by bloggers. Ergun Caner was born in 1966 in Sweden to a Swedish mother and Turkish father. His parents settled in Ohio a few years later and were divorced when Caner was 8. Caner lived with his mother and spent time and religious holidays with his father.

His parents tussled over the terms of the divorce settlement and the degree to which his Muslim father would control his religious upbringing. As a teenager, Caner became a Christian. His father disowned him after his conversion, but his brothers, mother and grandmother also eventually became Christians. Caner earned undergraduate and graduate degrees (some of which he misstated until a recent bio revision on Liberty’s Web site), and entered the ministry.

Before 2001, he seems to have gone by Ergun Michael Caner or E. Michael Caner — or Butch Caner, which is what he says his wife calls him. Ergun Michael Caner is the name on his concealed carry gun permit, issued in 2009 by the Commonwealth of Virginia. But after 2001, Caner’s middle name, Michael, was replaced with the exotic-to-American-ears “Mehmet” on the covers of his books.

Ergun Caner is unquestionably a polished and entertaining performer. He stands out among conservative evangelicals with defiant rhetoric designed to elicit “did he really say that?” titters and a frisson of naughtiness from his audience. Part of Caner’s performing persona is his own brand of shock humor, which often relies on racial, ethnic and sexist humor. Speaking to one largely white audience, Caner joked about worship in black churches, where he said they pass the plate 12 times, women wear hats the size of satellite dishes and men wear blue suits that match their shoes and a handkerchief that matches their car. One black Baptist preacher asked for an apology.

At a conference in Seattle a few years ago, Caner joked about the Mexican students at Liberty this way:

“The Mexican students and I get along real well. They’re my boys. I always joke with ‘em, I say ‘Man, if I ever adopt, I want to adopt a Mexican because I need work done on my roof. [laughter], and, and uh, I got a big lawn….

At an Ohio men’s conference in 2007, he got the audience whooping and shouting with this gem:

“Dr. Caner, do you believe in women behind the pulpit? My answer is well, yeah, of course, how are they going to vacuum back there unless they get behind it….[laughter]…..and that’s going to be in half of your pulpits next Sunday. FEEL FREE!!! I LOVE THAT LINE!! But you know one line like that shuts it all up, ’cause they’re not going to talk about it, and they’re not going to talk to you for a while, which is good, which is good.

Sin and Redemption

The human story of sin and redemption is a fundamental theme in Christianity. When stars of the conservative evangelical movement have succumbed to the lure of sexual temptation, they have often won forgiveness on the force of a public confession. It has worked for politicians as well as preachers. So why is Ergun Caner, under fire for lying about the life story that catapulted him to evangelical stardom, refusing to repent and passing up the chance to earn redemption? And why is Liberty University supporting his stonewalling?

Since ascending to the helm of Liberty’s theological seminary, Caner has tripled student enrollment, due in no small part to his celebrity. That’s given him a prominent platform from which to speak and publish. It’s also given him some powerful allies with a strong incentive to protect his reputation. Rather than admitting that Caner lied about his upbringing in ways that made his “from jihad to Jesus” story (not to be confused with a book by that title by Jerry Rassamni) more compelling and marketable, Caner and Liberty University have hunkered down, portraying Caner as the victim of persecution and lashing out at his critics. At the same time, they’ve been working to strip some incriminating material from the Internet.

That’s going to keep the story boiling in the Baptist — and Muslim –blogosphere. And some think it’s a disastrous course for Caner, for Liberty, and for the religion and movement they represent.

It was a 20-something Muslim blogger, Mohammed Khan, who started bringing attention to problems with Caner’s public “testimony.” Khan believes Caner is out to give Muslims a bad name, and his Web site, fakeexmuslims.com, has used YouTube commentaries of Caner on video to challenge Caner’s expertise on Islam and to question whether Caner was, as he insists, a “devout” Muslim. (As this story was being prepared, many of those were taken down at least temporarily by a copyright claim.)

But that question hasn’t generated nearly as much interest among Christian bloggers as the easily verifiable discrepancies in Caner’s personal story. It’s especially troubling, they say, because that story is tied to the story he tells about the power of the gospel, the story that fueled his rise to a position of authority.

Here’s how Oklahoma pastor and blogger Wade Burleson summarized it, disputing Caner’s claims:

The myth Dr. Caner has created about himself seems now to be unraveling. He never came to America “via Beirut and Cairo.” He has never been trained as a fundamentalist Muslim. He has never had been a jihadist. He has never debated top Muslim scholars, in Nebraska or anywhere else. It is impossible for any of us to understand why someone would fabricate or embellish his past, but there’s a great deal of money to be made selling books and DVDs about Islam in post 9/11. Who’s a better expert on the subject than a radical jihadist who has converted to faith in Jesus Christ, right?

Here’s how Tom Chantry, pastor of Christ Reformed Baptist Church in Milwaukee puts it:

Preachers are witnesses to the gospel of Christ, and like all witnesses, when they are compromised they weaken the case. Furthermore, no witness can do more damage to his own case than an expert witness….When a preacher allows himself to deceive in any way he invites the sinner to pounce upon his error and heap scorn upon the gospel. Embellishment from the pulpit is therefore a deadly error which may do inestimable damage to the immortal souls of our fellow men. What are we to think of any preacher who regularly and repeatedly tells stories which are not true and publishes facts which are not facts?

Baptist blogger Tom Rich recalls being in the pews at First Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida, when Caner came to speak just six weeks after the 9/11 attacks. When he started reading about the Caner controversy recently, he went back and listened to that sermon, and it confirmed what he remembered: With people still reeling from the terror attacks, Caner portrayed himself as someone who had been trained to carry out that kind of attack on America. It made for a powerful testimony.

Now, Rich says, he believes Caner was simply being opportunistic:

Unbelievable. Standing in front of shell-shocked Christians after 9/11, and Caner betrays their confidence by lying about where he was raised, where he learned English, and when he came to America. That is deception. A man that is misusing the pulpit to purposely mislead people about who he is and where he is from has no business being in the pulpit.

But several of Caner’s most vocal critics have said they’re not trying to get him fired — they just want him to tell the truth and apologize to those he deceived. But Liberty University officials have apparently decided it’s more important to protect the Ergun Caner brand. Southern Baptists and Liberty University have invested a lot in Caner’s persona, and now, in the words of one blogger, he’s “too big to fail.”

Back in February, in an effort to brush the controversy aside, Caner put out a statement some of his defenders characterize as an admission or apology. Here’s a portion of what it said:

I have never intentionally misled anyone. I am sure I have made many mistakes in the pulpit in the past 20-plus years, and I am sure I will make some in the future. For those times where I misspoke, said it wrong, scrambled words, or was just outright confusing, I apologize and will strive to do better.

This statement satisfied some people who want the controversy to go away, but it only inflamed others. Trying to pass off his false claims as mistakes feels to some critics like compounding the original lies with equally and embarrassingly transparent new ones. Caner has since pulled that statement from his Web site, but it’s still online at a Southern Baptist news site.

The Persecution of Ergun Caner

The current controversy about Caner’s “embellishments” is not the first one the pugnacious Caner has found himself in. He’s been part of sometimes heated debate over Calvinist theology within the Southern Baptist Convention. He’s a critic of one evangelical strategy for proselytizing to Muslims, and in February he called the president of the denomination’s International Mission Board a liar, for which he has since apologized. His word for fellow Baptists who might complain about Glenn Beck, a Mormon, being asked to speak at Liberty’s graduation? “Haters.”

Caner and his backers have energetically played the religious persecution card and attacked the motives and even faith of his critics. Caner wrote in a memo to Liberty faculty that “I never thought I would see the day when alleged ‘Christians’ join with Muslims to attack converts.” Both Khan and Baptist bloggers who continue to call for Caner to come clean have been barraged with hostile commentary.

Pastor Wade Burleson says that when one of his congregants, blogger Debbie Kaufman, first asked him about the Caner controversy, he told her he wasn’t interested. She poked around on her own and wrote a post asking questions about some of the discrepancies in Caner’s record. The response from Caner and his supporters was swift.

Burleson says he got an urgent call from someone insisting he get Kaufman to take down her post, which the caller said was putting Caner’s life and family in jeopardy. Startled, Burleson read the post and was astonished to discover that Kaufman was only asking questions about Caner’s truthfulness. He said as much in a comment on her blog. But the pressure intensified; Burleson says Caner even called Burleson’s father to put pressure on him.

Liberty University pulled Caner’s disputed bio, and put up a stripped-down version that reportedly was personally approved by the chancellor. Other incriminating or embarrassing materials have been pulled offline after Caner critics called attention to them. Focus on the Family, for example, broadcast Caner’s 2001 “From Jesus to Jihad” sermon on its April 26, 2010 program. In that sermon, Caner said he didn’t know much about Christians the first 17 years of his life because “there’s not that many of them in Turkey or in Sweden.” But that broadcast has since disappeared from the online Focus archives.

Liberty University was silent until last week, when Elmer Towns, dean of the school of religion, told Christianity Today the university’s board was satisfied that Caner has done nothing “theologically inappropriate.” Said Towns, “It’s not an ethical issue, it’s not a moral issue. We give faculty a certain amount of theological leverage. The arguments of the bloggers would not stand up in court.” The Christianity Today headline framed the story as an attack on Caner: “Bloggers Target Seminary President.”

In response to the Christianity Today story, one of Caner’s critics wrote on his blog:

So Caner’s deception is not “ethical” or “moral.” If I were a lost person, this would be a huge step forward in my belief that Christianity itself is a lie, and Christian leaders are mostly hypocritical charlatans selling their spiritual elixirs, whose “ethical” and “moral” standards are much lower than the average non-Christian.

Some Baptist bloggers say Liberty is sending a message to its students that celebrity is more important than integrity. One of them, Oklahoma pastor Burleson, says he can no longer recommend Liberty to potential students.

‘Get out of our way’

Caner’s critics insist their goal is not his personal destruction. Several of the bloggers campaigning for truth-telling and apologies said they believe Caner is a powerful speaker and talented leader. They would support him keeping his job if only he would apologize. Tom Rich says that in one of Caner’s books, Why Churches Die, the besieged seminary president wrote that public sin requires public repentance. And what is more of a public sin, Rich asks, than standing in the pulpit at First Baptist Jacksonville and lying to thousands of people about having been trained to kill Americans the way the 9/11 hijackers did?

Asked why Caner and Liberty would refuse the path of public repentance in the face of such clear evidence, Burleson says he is “baffled,” and insists he is not Caner’s enemy. “He is my friend and my brother in Christ.” Burleson says he, like many others, is not above the temptation to embellish. He thinks that a public admission of wrongdoing and an apology would bring an end to the story. But the Liberty response — pretending it never happened, circling the wagon, making other people the problem — is “the height of dysfunction,” he says. And the longer such stonewalling persists, the worse it will be — for Caner and for Liberty.

It’s not clear how this will end. Some bloggers have circulated a draft resolution with the notion that they would bring it before the Southern Baptist Convention, but it’s extremely unlikely that convention officials would ever let it get to the floor. After the story broke out of the blogosphere last week into Christianity Today, the Associated Baptist Press did a more in-depth story. The increased attention to Caner’s well-documented deceptions may make it harder for Liberty University to make them go away.

Caner seems to hope his celebrity and his bluster will carry him through. His attitude toward his critics seems to mirror the attitude he expressed in his speech at last fall’s Values Voter Summit. He ended his talk with this message to Christians he said were not being outspoken enough on the issues of the day: “You need to preach, teach, and reach, or just shut up and get out of our way.”

NOTE: This article has been corrected. The quote from Elmer Towns, dean of Liberty University’s school of religion, contained an error in transcription in the original version.