The magnitude of the loss and suffering which occurred at that one location in a matter of hours, is absolutely mind boggling. We also stopped by a small museum that had artifacts from 9/11, along with walls of the actual "Missing" posters that were put up by survivors just after the event in hopes their loved ones could be found alive. Visiting the site brings back the emotions that I felt on that day - the anger, the fear, the uncertainty of days ahead - and remembrance of the impact that day had on our own family.
After we left the site Tuesday, a sickening thought hit me, a thought that I couldn't help but think as a blogger who has written so much about the Ergun Caner hoax over the past 4 years. It was that event, the event that caused thousands of innocent, hard-working civilians to lose their life in a span of a few hours, and then thousands of U.S. servicemen and women in the ensuing wars - that Ergun Caner exploited for personal and professional gain.
It is mind boggling. Who would do such a thing as use an event as terrible as that, to lie to people for professional gain? Who does such a thing as exploit the events of 9/11, get caught, and then claim they did nothing wrong? Who does such a thing, and then sues two people who dared to expose his worst lies, and then labels them "cyber terrorists"?
Let's take it a step further: what kind of people, what group of professionals, would see one of their own do such a thing, yet refuse to denounce his hoax and not hold him accountable and deny that he ever lied - and at the same time be brazen enough to attack and ridicule those who are trying to expose the hoax?
Well, apparently Ergun Caner, and Southern Baptist Convention Georgia Baptist Convention pastors are men who WOULD do just that. Caner exploited 9/11 for his own gain - he got caught - the SBC leadership has either been silent OR a few have aggressively defended Caner and denied the obvious - and the Georgia Baptist Convention has actually hired Caner to lead one of their colleges. I can speak first-hand on the hoax - because I was in the audience just after 9/11 when Caner proclaimed he was a trained Jihadist, that he was "raised in Europe" (with rolling r's), and that Jesus died so he "wouldn't have to strap a bomb to my back". I know the feeling he left with all of us that day - that he was almost one of the 9/11 terrorists, but Jesus saved him just in the nick of time. And that was the beginning of the hoax.
I'd like to contrast this with how the New York City police department dealt with those of their own who exploited the events of 9/11 for personal gain.
Just this past January more than 100 New York City police and firemen were indicted in a social
Thankfully, the legal system is going to see that these men are held accountable. And just as importantly, their actions of using the events of 9/11 for their own personal gain by claiming some false connection of the events of 9/11 to some supposed "disability", has embarrassed themselves and those in their profession.
Said the NYC Police Commissioner, William Bratton:
This is the kind of outrage one would expect from Southern Baptist pastors everywhere over the Ergun Caner hoax that he perpetrated for about 9 years until he was busted by bloggers. The reaction of Commissioner Bratton is what I would expect from Tim Lee, the Baptist evangelist and very decorated war hero and Marine. How can Lee show any respect for Caner, or claim "We never found one instance of Ergun lying," especially considering Caner pulled his hoax on Lee's own fellow Marines who were subjected to the false claims of Caner. Imagine - he was speaking to Marines to prepare them for battle in Turkey, based on his 9/11 hoax, claiming to have lived in Turkey and received training in madrassas in Beirut and Cairo. These were bogus claims for which there is zero evidence that Caner made UNTIL AFTER the planes flew into the twin towers and the Pentagon. Then all of a sudden, out of the rubble, emerges Ergun Mehmet Caner - previously known (by very few people) as Michael Caner. Maybe the stench of Caner's hoax wouldn't be so bad IF he were telling his tall tales before 9/11. But no such evidence exists. He used 9/11 as the starting point. Sick stuff.
While Caner didn't break any laws, still the comparison is that both the indicted NYC cops and Ergun Caner used the horrific 9/11 events as a launching pad for a better life. They concocted carefully crafted stories and they sold their stories to those who for a time believed them - until they were busted by the evidence that their stories were lies.
But these are the strange days of modern evangelicalism. While Southern Baptists are crying the end of civilization is upon us from the rotten culture in which we live - time after time we see examples of how our "culture" - as in our government, our schools, our secular professional organizations - hold themselves to much higher standards of decency and morality and transparency than these self-proclaimed "men of God" and their religious organizations.
And so many "Men of God" wonder why their churches are dying, why pastors are leaving their professions, why people don't want to darken the doors of their sanctuaries, and why their gospel message is laughed at by so many. You can't claim to preach the "truth" of your religion, when your own actions deny interest in the truth of real events happening today - as in the Caner hoax.
Here is my statement, taking NYC Police Commissioner Bratton's and fitting it to the the Ergun Caner scandal:
"As a Southern Baptist, as a United States Citizen, I can only express disgust at the actions of these individuals involved in this scheme, particularly Ergun Caner himself and those Southern Baptist leaders who have remained silent or denied Caner's hoax, as they all have certainly disgraced themselves and embarrassed their families. The idea that Caner chose the events of 9/11 to brand himself as a Jihadist to launch his religious career brings dishonor to himself and the religious and educational organizations he represents.”