Monday, May 31, 2010

In Memory of Our Honored Dead

Memorial Day is the day set aside to remember the unpayable debt we owe. In our nation's 233 years of history, 657,970 service men and women have died in combat. That is combat deaths on the battlefield, not total war deaths nor all deaths in the line of duty.

On Memorial Day, May 31, 1982, after placing a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery, President Ronald Reagan made the following remarks. While there are references to the geopolitical situations of the era, but the sentiments are timeless.

Mr. President, General, the distinguished guests here with us today, my fellow citizens:

In America's cities and towns today, flags will be placed on graves in cemeteries; public officials will speak of the sacrifice and the valor of those whose memory we honor.

In 1863, when he dedicated a small cemetery in Pennsylvania marking a terrible collision between the armies of North and South, Abraham Lincoln noted the swift obscurity of such speeches. Well, we know now that Lincoln was wrong about that particular occasion. His remarks commemorating those who gave their ``last full measure of devotion'' were long remembered. But since that moment at Gettysburg, few other such addresses have become part of our national heritage -- not because of the inadequacy of the speakers, but because of the inadequacy of words.

I have no illusions about what little I can add now to the silent testimony of those who gave their lives willingly for their country. Words are even more feeble on this Memorial Day, for the sight before us is that of a strong and good nation that stands in silence and remembers those who were loved and who, in return, loved their countrymen enough to die for them.

Yet, we must try to honor them -- not for their sakes alone, but for our own. And if words cannot repay the debt we owe these men, surely with our actions we must strive to keep faith with them and with the vision that led them to battle and to final sacrifice.

Our first obligation to them and ourselves is plain enough: The United States and the freedom for which it stands, the freedom for which they died, must endure and prosper. Their lives remind us that freedom is not bought cheaply. It has a cost; it imposes a burden. And just as they whom we commemorate were willing to sacrifice, so too must we -- in a less final, less heroic way -- be willing to give of ourselves.

It is this, beyond the controversy and the congressional debate, beyond the blizzard of budget numbers and the complexity of modern weapons systems, that motivates us in our search for security and peace. War will not come again, other young men will not have to die, if we will speak honestly of the dangers that confront us and remain strong enough to meet those dangers.

It's not just strength or courage that we need, but understanding and a measure of wisdom as well. We must understand enough about our world to see the value of our alliances. We must be wise enough about ourselves to listen to our allies, to work with them, to build and strengthen the bonds between us.

Our understanding must also extend to potential adversaries. We must strive to speak of them not belligerently, but firmly and frankly. And that's why we must never fail to note, as frequently as necessary, the wide gulf between our codes of morality. And that's why we must never hesitate to acknowledge the irrefutable difference between our view of man as master of the state and their view of man as servant of the state. Nor must we ever underestimate the seriousness of their aspirations to global expansion. The risk is the very freedom that has been so dearly won.

It is this honesty of mind that can open paths to peace, that can lead to fruitful negotiation, that can build a foundation upon which treaties between our nations can stand and last -- treaties that can someday bring about a reduction in the terrible arms of destruction, arms that threaten us with war even more terrible than those that have taken the lives of the Americans we honor today.

In the quest for peace, the United States has proposed to the Soviet Union that we reduce the threat of nuclear weapons by negotiating a stable balance at far lower levels of strategic forces. This is a fitting occasion to announce that START, as we call it, strategic arms reductions, that the negotiations between our country and the Soviet Union will begin on the 29th of June.

As for existing strategic arms agreements, we will refrain from actions which undercut them so long as the Soviet Union shows equal restraint. With good will and dedication on both sides, I pray that we will achieve a safer world.

Our goal is peace. We can gain that peace by strengthening our alliances, by speaking candidly of the dangers before us, by assuring potential adversaries of our seriousness, by actively pursuing every chance of honest and fruitful negotiation.

It is with these goals in mind that I will depart Wednesday for Europe, and it's altogether fitting that we have this moment to reflect on the price of freedom and those who have so willingly paid it. For however important the matters of state before us this next week, they must not disturb the solemnity of this occasion. Nor must they dilute our sense of reverence and the silent gratitude we hold for those who are buried here.

The willingness of some to give their lives so that others might live never fails to evoke in us a sense of wonder and mystery. One gets that feeling here on this hallowed ground, and I have known that same poignant feeling as I looked out across the rows of white crosses and Stars of David in Europe, in the Philippines, and the military cemeteries here in our own land. Each one marks the resting place of an American hero and, in my lifetime, the heroes of World War I, the Doughboys, the GI's of World War II or Korea or Vietnam. They span several generations of young Americans, all different and yet all alike, like the markers above their resting places, all alike in a truly meaningful way.

Winston Churchill said of those he knew in World War II they seemed to be the only young men who could laugh and fight at the same time. A great general in that war called them our secret weapon, ``just the best darn kids in the world.'' Each died for a cause he considered more important than his own life. Well, they didn't volunteer to die; they volunteered to defend values for which men have always been willing to die if need be, the values which make up what we call civilization. And how they must have wished, in all the ugliness that war brings, that no other generation of young men to follow would have to undergo that same experience.

As we honor their memory today, let us pledge that their lives, their sacrifices, their valor shall be justified and remembered for as long as God gives life to this nation. And let us also pledge to do our utmost to carry out what must have been their wish: that no other generation of young men will every have to share their experiences and repeat their sacrifice.

Earlier today, with the music that we have heard and that of our National Anthem -- I can't claim to know the words of all the national anthems in the world, but I don't know of any other that ends with a question and a challenge as ours does: Does that flag still wave o'er the land of the free and the home of the brave? That is what we must all ask.

Thank you.

I can add nothing to President Reagan's words except my own humble, "Thank you," to all who have paid the highest price for the liberty that you and I enjoy.

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Friday, May 28, 2010

The Squirrel Did Not Cook This Week...

So, instead, enjoy the Mississippi Squirrel Revival by Ray Stevens:

I'll have food for you next week...

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Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Squirrel's Nut Cache - 5/27/2010

The Nut Cache - a collection of recent things I found interesting, or amusing, or nutworthy.

State Troopers in Fairbanks Alaska are investigating a brutal mass slaying. Twenty-six decapitated bodies were found arranged in an, as yet undeciphered, pattern. The victims heads were not located. Three residents of the same facility were left unharmed, but are too chicken to talk. Actually, the victims are all chickens, too. But police are still baffled...

The Constitution of the United States. Hundreds each day file past this document in its display case in the National Archive. Just about everybody knows that a bunch of guys wrote it along time ago, and that it is kind of important somehow. Now it seems that many people are starting to talk about the Constitution and what it says and what it means. In fact, it seems that reading the Constitution is becoming a popular thing to do! Gives me hope, it does.

It always worries me when I hear people say things like, "God told me to..." First, I've got very strong convictions about the sufficiency of Scripture and the Canon of Scripture being closed. Second, there's the fact that nobody every even tries to satisfy the Test of a True Prophet that God gave in Deuteronomy 18:22. Then there's the fact that too many of them say stuff like, "God told him to walk the streets naked to save his soul." Hmm... that's not what my Bible says...

Government interference seems to just be getting more and more intrusive. Smoking bans, salt limits, no more trans-fats. Now the government wants to say what we can and cannot wear. Yes, it's true. It is now against the law to vote in Nevada while wearing a chicken suit. (And, until that killer is caught, I wouldn't wear a chicken suit in Alaska, either...)

A couple of months ago, we had the story of a druggie who sent a text to the wrong number and invited the cops to share the drugs instead of her buddies. Well, stupid phone tricks continue. I seems that two dope dealers where staying in hotel rooms across the hall from each other. The guy in room 118 tried to call the guy in room 119. Well, he dialed the right numerals, but he dialed them in the wrong order... Yep, that's why they call it dope!

I remember reading The Amityville Horror when it was published in 1977. I was 12 years old, and it was terrifying to read. It scared me so badly that I didn't watch the 1979 film version until 1983 at a Halloween party my senior year of high school. I've not seen the re-make at all. I don't believe in ghosts, and I don't believe The Amityville Horror story to be true, but some things stick with you. Well, the house where these hauntings supposedly took place is up for sale. I'm not interested in purchasing that property. Thanks anyway.

That's the Nuttiness for this week! Keep those Nuts and letters coming!

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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Yes, Squirrel's Are Very Clever!

SquirrelFan Julie from Herding Grasshoppers recently sent me a great video of a squirrel obstacle course:

I had seen this video before, in fact I've posted it before, but it's worth a second look.

And it got me looking. There's lots of squirrel obstacle course videos out there. It seems that making squirrels work for their supper is a common pastime.

This one is from the BBC, and features the cutest of squirrels, the Eurasian Red Squirrel:

And this one is actually a beer commercial!

Yes, clever squirrels, indeed!

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Monday, May 24, 2010

Hawaii Five-O Redux?

Hawaii Five-O is one of those iconic television shows, almost legendary; like Bonanza, Gunsmoke, or Joanie Loves Chachi.

Hawaii Five-O had what may be the most perfect opening credit sequence of all time:

I may be a bit behind, I don't really track the new fall television line-ups like I did when I was younger, but I've recently learned that Hawaii Five-O is being remade, and will be part of CBS's fall line-up this year.

The casting looks great, with Alex O'Loughlin, who I thought was excellent as vampire-detective Mick St. John in Moonlight, as Steve McGarrett, and Scott Caan, son of James Caan, as Danny. The cast also includes my favorite Cylon, Grace Park, as Kona Kalakaua (Funny how she keeps reprising roles that were originally male,) and Daniel Dae Kim, last seen in Lost, as Chin Ho.

The new opening credits look good, and the updated theme music still has that old "kick":

I look forward to seeing how it turns out. I hope that they get it right.

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Friday, May 21, 2010

The Squirrel Can Cook – Italian Sausage and Mozzarella Omelette

I did not consciously set out to alternate breakfast and dinner dishes, but it seems that I’ve fallen into that pattern. I’ll have to do something about that… later. In fact, I fixed today’s omelette for dinner, not breakfast, anyway! (And I haven’t done a classic omelette since June.)

Today, we’re going to make an Italian Sausage and Mozzarella Omelette.

Our ingredients are:
3 eggs
1 Fresh Italian sausage, cooked and diced (about ¼ pound)
1 cup Shredded mozzarella cheese
¼ cup Chopped onion
¼ cup Cold water
1 to 2 tablespoons Olive oil
1 pat Butter

The first thing we need to do is prepare the sausage. I used fresh Italian sausage, which means that, basically, it’s just a bunch of spiced ground pork stuffed into a casing. It isn’t smoked or cooked at all, so that is where we need to begin.

Take a medium (1 ½ - 2 quart) saucepan and fill it to half with cold water, put the sausage in the water, place over high heat, and bring to a boil. Once the pot reaches a boil, turn the flame down to med, just hot enough to maintain the boil, and cook the sausage for 6 to 8 minutes. When the time has expired, remove the sausage from the pan and place on a cooling rack and let cool for 20 minutes or so.

After the sausage is cool, remove the casing and cut into 3/16 inch thick coins. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and brown the coins for about 2 minutes on each side. Then cut the coins into quarters and set aside.

(The sausages I buy come in packages of 6, and I’ll boil up the whole bunch, wrap them in plastic and store them in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Then you have sausage that is already cooked and cooled available for all sorts of recipes.)

Now let’s move on to the omelette itself.

Crack the eggs into a large glass and add the ¼ cup of cold water. (I like to use a glass rather than a bowl, because it’s easier to beat 3 or fewer eggs in a glass, since they’ve got nowhere to run to.) Beat the eggs well with a fork.

Place an 8-10 inch non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. As soon as the pan is hot, add the butter to the oil. When the butter is melted and starting to brown a little, add the eggs and reduce heat to medium. Using a wooden or plastic spoon, pull the cooked edges to the middle of the pan, tilting the pan to let the uncooked eggs run to fill in to the edge of the pan. As the omelette firms and is almost set, place 2/3rds of the cheese on the half of the omelette opposite from the handle of the pan. Arrange the sausage evenly on top of the cheese, then spread the remaining cheese on top of the sausage. (Only put the filling on one half of the omelette. If you spread the filling over the entire omelette, you will have difficulty folding and plating.)

There is no need to fold the omelette in the pan, because then you'd have to flip the omelette over, so it would cook evenly. We'll fold it as we plate.

When the eggs are set and the edges of your omelette have become a light brown, it's ready to plate. Hold the pan over the plate, and tilt it so that the omelette begins to slide off, loaded half first. Slide it onto your plate, lifting the pan, and folding the omelette as it slides off. This sounds daunting, but, once you get the hang of this, it's the easiest thing in the world to do. (And it really impresses guests, too.)

Serve with hot garlic bread. Enjoy!

The Squirrel shall not live by bread NUTS alone!

(Confession: at this point, I need to confess to something. I started out to fix a pizza omelette. When it was just about ready to come out of the pan, I slapped my forehead and cried, “I forgot the sauce!” For this option, take a ½ cup of pizza sauce and stir in the sausage before adding it to the omelette. You might want to warm the sauce in the microwave first.)

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Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Squirrel's Nut Cache - 5/20/2010

The Nut Cache - a collection of recent things I found interesting, or amusing, or nutworthy.

It's CSI meets pooper scooper for the residents of the Scarlett Place condos in Baltimore. While responsible pet owners police their pets, not all pet owners are responsible. Tired of finding canine "deposits" about the building, the management has decided to DNA test all resident dogs, so that they'll be able to match poo to pooch and see that the poopetrator is brought to justice...

Who doesn't like Italian cooking? The spices! The sauces! The pasta! The stewed feline! Yes, feline. It seems that, growing up in Valdarno, Tuscany, celebrity chef Beppe Bigazzi used to enjoy a little cat casserole now and then. On a recent television program, he recommended cat to viewers as a “succulent dish”. This resulted in lots of angry calls to the television studio, which resulted in Chef Beppe and his cat recipes being shown the door. What's wrong with eating cat? It worked for Alf! (And it's not like he was giving out squirrel recipes or anything sick like that.)

I wonder who was more surprised, the car's owner or the car's thief? It seems that the car that was stolen wasn't exactly unoccupied. See, it was a hearse... and it had a "passenger" in the back... When police officers later found the abandoned hearse, inside there was a note that told where the "passenger" had been dropped off. So, he wasn't late to his own funeral after all.

So, have you ever Googled yourself? It's kinda scary to see just how much information about yourself is out there on the internet. It has been said lots of places and lots of ways, but it bears repeating: once something goes out on the internet, it is there forever. A waitress at a pizza place in Charlotte, North Carolina, learned that lesson the hard way, when she was fired for complaining about a poor tip on Facebook. My Daddy used to always tell me, "Never say anything about someone that you wouldn't say to them." The new version should be, "Never post anything about someone that you wouldn't say to them." Dad was smart.

I've talked to people who've worked in funeral homes. They've all, every one, told me about weird stuff that happens. When Dan Brown, owner of the Brown Funeral Home in , stopped by his shop one evening, he certainly didn't expect to find someone... well, someone alive, anyway... in one of the coffins! Nope, not a vampire (although the report says that she did try to bite him,) an escapee from the county jail. Police had been looking for her for hours, now they've got her dead to rights.

A Toronto woman, Gabriella Nagy, was cheating on her husband. He saw some suspiciously long phone calls on her cell phone bill. He investigated and discovered her affair. He left her, and she's mad... really mad... at the cell phone company! She blames their billing procedures for he husband finding out that she was cheating. She's even filed a lawsuit against them. Everything is always someone else's fault...

I really wonder who thought this would be a good idea? Did he ask them to do it? Or were they just sitting around and came up with the idea on their own. In any case, we're not talking genius-level thought processes here. The fact is that this mishandling of Scripture was criminal, absolutely criminal.

And the Nuttiness goes on and on...

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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Are You Manipulated?

A guest post by Richard C. Pierce of Alpha & Omega Ministries

The world has been laughing at Christianity for hundreds of years. This video shows how "Christianity" has surrendered the ground by reversing the roles and employing the manipulative techniques that Hollywood and Madison Avenue perfected years ago. It is, of course, a parody, but it is also a perfect example of how everything that goes on in the modern church, the lights, the décor, the music, the “sermon”; everything is calculated to exude a particular reaction from the congregation.

The music makes you feel a particular way? They tell you, “That's the Holy Spirit! Now you’re worshiping!” (Don't mention that this is the very technique that Mormons use and call “a burning in the bosom.”) The pastor makes you feel guilty about something half a world away? Give more money and don't think about the fact that they are tracking and analyzing how much each and every heart string that they pull yields in cash. The message is disjointed and watered down. Little effort is made to actually examine the text at hand, and the “pastor” is an expert at knowing when to make you feel guilty, yet he also knows exactly when to switch over to making you feel good about yourself so that you will be back next week. And everything is orchestrated, manipulated, poll-driven, focus-group tested, and tracked for accuracy.

Seriously, this really goes on! They count on the fact that music affects us that way and they know how to use it. This video didn't come out of thin air. It is an accurate portrayal of the “market-driven” mentality that sees church as just another commodity to be sold. The whole “marketing-driven” character of modern worship has the stench of deception about it, and it’s time that God’s people woke up to the smell!

Two things:

First, I would remind everyone of the great hymn lyric, "turn your eyes upon Jesus....and the things of the world will grow strangely dim," which reminds us that our eyes are to be upon Jesus, not ourselves or on the people up front.

Second, I want to point out how any religious event makes us "feel" is a poor standard for right worship. Proverbs 14:12 and Jeremiah 17:9 make clear that our hearts are Satan's playground. He uses our hearts to manipulate us and our feelings cannot be trusted. Yes there are lots of things in church life that make us feel good, but what happens when difficulty comes and we have grown dependent on those feelings? Have we not then traded the humble obedience and self denial that is called for in Romans 12 for a self centered, "I have to get X, Y, and Z out of church or I am not going back,” mentality?

Of course, if anyone thinks this is an issue about music, they have missed the point entirely.

Music consists of instruments and singing, and is shown in the Scriptures to be a normal part of worship (Ephesians 5:19). Musical styles, whether contemporary or traditional or whatever, are not the issue, but rather the use of music to manipulate the “target audience.” Evangelicalism is being seduced by people who have been trained to know just how to manipulate the emotions of others in order to prod them into performing a desired result. And the style of music doesn’t matter at all. Take, for example, the Baptist preacher who plays 27 stanzas of "Just As I Am" during an altar call. It is all just an effort at manipulating people into doing what they want and then telling them to be led by the "Holy Spirit." It’s all a big con and works very well, even to the point that those being conned feel that they can't "worship" without it. I often wonder what would happen to these people if the power went out or even if the church burned down with all of the toys inside. Would they still be able to "worship" without all the trappings? What would they do if they found themselves in a situation of persecution where they had to worship quietly for fear of being discovered? Would they still go to church?

Disturbingly, this entire marketing-based movement is what leads to the whole “cult of personality” culture with “celebrity pastors” who are more interested in self-promotion then they are in proclaiming the truth.

Something to think about.

~Richard C. Pierce

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Must Read Stuff on Ergun Caner

TurretinFan has posted more documents for The Caner File over at Thoughts of Francis Turretin. If you are following this story, you need to read this.

Who Is Ergun Caner?

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Friday, May 14, 2010

The Squirrel Can Cook – Easy Chicken and Rice

We’re all strapped for time, so today I’m giving you a nice quick fix meal that is also mighty tasty, too. Other than cutting up the onion, this can be fixed with a minimum of prep time. This is also great if you've got a lot of people to feed, or, if you're like us, enjoy having a lot of leftovers.

Our ingredients are:
1 pound shredded chicken. (I cooked two breasts in my pressure cooker then shredded them with a pair of forks, but canned chicken works just as well for this recipe.)
2 packages of Knorr Garlic Butter Rice
1 medium onion, chopped
1 ½ cups frozen green beans

Using a large Dutch oven, prepare both packages of rice together, according to package directions.

Place about a tablespoon of oil in a skillet or sauté pan, sweat the onions until translucent. Then add the frozen green beans and continue cooking until the beans are thawed.

Add the chicken and the onions and beans to the rice. You may want to add a ½ cup of water, also. Stir everything well, cover, and place in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.

Remove from oven, let sit, covered, for 5 minutes, and serve. Serves 8. Enjoy!

The Squirrel shall not live by bread NUTS alone!

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Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Squirrel's Nut Cache - 5/13/2010

The Nut Cache - a collection of recent things I found interesting, or amusing, or nutworthy.

"'Get him!' screamed Ginger Strong in her bed slippers." Recently, I visited an emu farm. They're very large and... amusing... looking birds. They're kinda cute and goofy looking, and I understand that they taste real good, too! (Mom's got two pounds of ground emu meat in the freezer, but we've yet to try it.)It seems that they are also very very wily, as the Rock Hill Police Department recently found out.

"The wicked flee when no one is pursuing." (Proverbs 28:1) Seems that a woman in Columbus Ohio knows that feeling. She tried to rob a bank with a note, caught site of a uniformed police officer (who had no idea that a robbery was in progress) and ran away, while trying to eat her demand note. Brilliant...

So, it seems that Cinco de Mayo is not a major Mexican holiday. I'd always heard that it was Mexican Independence Day, their equivalent of the Fourth of July, but that turns out to be September 16th, Dieciséis de Septiembre. There was a battle in Mexican history, on May 5, 1862, but, in the grand scheme of things, it's a very minor battle. America celebrating Cinco de Mayo would be like Canada celebrating November 11 as a major American holiday. So, why do we celebrate Cinco de Mayo? Ask Corona Beer...

Imagine you get a phone call from your neighbor while you're at work. He says someone's digging up you yard... with a backhoe! That's what happened to Peter Collard last week. The guys who were removing trees and digging the hole for the new swimming pool, upon realizing that they were at the wrong address, packed up and left in a hurry. Police are still looking for the unidentified excavators, who did $20,000 in damage before they fled.

My eldest sister, no fan of vegetables she, has long maintained that chocolate, being made from beans, is a vegetable and is, therefore, healthy. If it's healthy and good for you, then you should eat a lot of it. Well, studies conducted at Johns Hopkins Medical Institute show that there might actually be some truth to her position.

I remember the press giving Sarah Palin a really hard time for jotting some notes on the palm of her hand before giving a speech. Well, instead of mocking her, at least one Democrat politician would have been well advised to imitate her. I doubt very much that Florida gubernatorial candidate Alex Sink will ever forget the University of Central Florida's initials ever again. Don't know if she'll ever be invited back, either.

Not really nutty, but a story that's near to my heart. My hometown is Atlanta, Georgia, but I've lived in and around Missoula, Montana, since I was 11 years old. Despite my long displacement from Atlanta, I have always remained faithful to my Atlanta Falcons football team. Locally, I'm nuts for the Montana Grizzlies. For the past two seasons, I've been able to cheer for Grizzly Kroy Beirman as he's played for my Falcons. Next year, there'll be two Grizzlies on the Falcon's rostor, as Shann Schillinger joins the defense. And it looks like Kroy might be starting next season! Go Griz! Go Falcons!

Zhao Zuohai spent 10 years in a Chinese prison knowing that he hadn't killed anyone. The police tortured a confession out of him using chili water and firecrackers. But now the provincial police have egg fu yung on their faces. It seems that the man police thought Zhao had murdered is very much alive, and seeking welfare benefits in the town where he was "murdered." This is a sad, sad story of a horrible miscarriage of justice!

I just want everybody to know that it is 2016 miles from Superior, Montana, to Cleveland, Ohio. At 60 miles per hour, it would take 30 hours and 45 minutes to drive from Superior to Cleveland one way. On Thursday, May 6th, I was seen in Missoula, Montana, by multiple people in Safeway, Walmart, and Costco. And I have receipts and bank records that show that I made purchases in Missoula, Montana, on May 6. I just want everybody to know that I've got an airtight alibi. (h.t. TurretinFan)

Keep those Nuts and letters coming!

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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Caner File

Note: Many of these links are now broken. For example, Dr. Caner's messages from 2007 are no longer available at the Ohio State Association of Free Will Baptist website. According to the Associated Press, "Since questions arose about contradictory statements, he changed the biographical information on his website and asked friendly organizations to remove damning clips from their websites. But the questions didn't go away, leading to the Liberty investigation." ~Squirrel

This is the timeline that I’ve put together regarding the questions about Dr. Ergun Caner’s claims together with the evidence refuting them. I did this for my own edification, I’m posting it because I thought that others would find it useful. While it is rather lengthy, this is in no way an exhaustive treatment of the evidence available and I’ve tried to keep it very much in the spirit of Sgt. Joe Friday, “Just the facts, Squirrel.” Much of the information comes from the fine investigative work done by Jason Smathers, Turretinfan, and My Friend in Ireland. I have tried to link to everything I could find, but some links are broken, and some archived pages are no longer available.

November 3, 1966 – Ergun Caner is born in Stockholm, Sweden, to Acar and Monica Caner, who had been married on April 1st that same year. (Source: Acar’s and Monica’s separation agreement, Ergun Caner’s Facebook page (now a dead link))

July 16, 1968 – Ergun’s younger brother, Erdem (Mark), is born in Stockholm, Sweden. (No internet source)

Sometime in 1969 – The Caner family moves from Stockholm, Sweden, to Columbus, Ohio. (Source: Monica Caner’s sworn affidavit dated July 31, 1975.)

August 25, 1970 – Emir Caner is born in Columbus, Ohio. (Source: Emir Caner’s Official Biography.)

1975 – Ergun Caner’s parents separate. According to his brother, Emir, their mom had adopted the lifestyle of a hippy. The brothers live primarily with their mother. (Source: separation agreement, Monica Caner’s sworn affidavit dated July 31, 1975, Emir Caner sermon from September 20, 2009)

1978 – Acar and Monica Caner’s divorce is granted. Ergun and his brothers continue to live primarily with their mother. (Source: divorce decree)

1979 – The Dukes of Hazard goes on the air. (Source: International Movie Database)

1981 or 1982 – Ergun Caner professes Christ at Stelzer Road Baptist Church at 2235 Stelzer Road
Columbus, Ohio. (There is some confusion as to the exact date of Ergun’s profession of faith. In Unveiling Islam November 4, 1982 is listed as the date of Emir’s profession of faith, and it say that it was a year after Ergun’s, but Ergun claims November of 1982 as the date of his conversion in several lectures, like this one in Ohio in 2007.)

Between 1982 and 1999, Ergun Caner pursues his education and serves as pastor of several churches.

1999 – Baptist Press reports on “E. Michael Caner, senior pastor of Central Baptist Church, Aurora, Colo.” and his work in the wake of the Columbine High School shooting in Littleton Colorado. (Source: Baptist Press)

2000 – Ergun Caner writes for Baptist Press under the byline “E. Michael Caner” (Source: Baptist Press)

After September 11, 2001, Dr. Caner, now using the name “Ergun Mehmet Caner,” begins to speak about his Muslim past, making claims that are in clear contradiction to many of the facts documented above. Following are some examples. (Again, this is not an exhaustive list.)

2001 – Ergun Caner speaks at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas. (Source: Focus on the Family’s April 23, 2010 broadcast “From Jihad to Jesus”)
Claims made:
  • Came to America in 1978

  • Father was an Islamic Cleric

  • Ergun spoke broken English in 1982

  • Wore a turban in high school

2002 - Caner tells the Associated Press "...that he was born in Sweden to a Turkish father and Swedish mother, who brought the family to Ohio in 1969, when he was about 3 years old. He said he accepted Christ as a teenager at a Baptist church in Columbus, and then pursued ministry, getting a degree from Criswell College, a Baptist school in Dallas." (Source: Associated Press article dated May 17, 2010)

May 2002 - SBC Life reviews Islam Unveiled. Review contains this paragraph with debate claims: (Source:
The heightened interest in Islam has drawn each of the Caner brothers into additional debate settings at mosques and universities, speaking in English, French, and Arabic with Muslim scholars. And they have been interviewed by the BBC, CNN, Moody Broadcasting Network, Salem Radio Network, and USA Radio. Talk show invitations have come from Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, Marlon Maddux, and Zola Levitt.

2004 – Biography from (Source:
He has been called the “Intellectual Pit Bull of the evangelical world” by the national media. He debated Michael Moore in a nationally syndicated column entitled “Hatriotism.”
He has spoken on over fifty university and college campuses, debating Hindi, Buddhist, Muslim and Bah’ai scholars. He has been interviewed on virtually every national media outlet, and has been castigated by the Washington Post and the LA Times. He has addressed the Southern Baptist Convention Pastors’ Conference twice, and has given keynote addresses at seven major denominational meetings. He has spoken to over fifty thousand college and high school students in major concerts. Recently, he was called the “leading young voice for cultural apologetics and world religions” by the PAX network.

In the war on terror, he understands both sides...because he has been on both sides. Dr. Ergun Mehmet Caner is Full Professor of Theology and Church History at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. Dr. Caner was raised the son of an Islamic leader. In 1982, he converted to the Christian faith after emigrating to this country. As a consequence of this conversion, he was disowned by his family. Caner has three Masters Degrees and two Doctorates, the Doctor of Theology coming from the University of South Africa. Along with his brother, Dr. Emir Caner (Professor of History and Anabaptist Studies at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary) Ergun is author of eleven books, including the new best seller CHRISTIAN JIHAD (Kregel 2004). CHRISTIAN JIHAD has been endorsed by Beth Moore and Ann Coulter, and examines the recent war in light of thirteen hundred years of Islamic-Christian conflict. His previous books on Islam have sold almost 200,000 copies. UNVEILING ISLAM won the Gold Medallion Award from the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association. Since the September 11th bombing, Caner has appeared on such national television shows as Fox News, various CNN shows, MSNBC, the 700 Club, Zola Levitt, John Ankerberg and others. He and his wife, Jill, have two sons.

2005, May 8th - The Washington Post publishes a profile of Ergun Caner, which says, in part, "Caner's star rocketed after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, when he became a controversial in-house expert on Islam for the evangelical Christian community" & "Caner said he believes that his popularity among Christians is largely attributable to his Islamic heritage" & "Caner was raised in Turkey and Sweden in an Islamic family before moving as a teenager to Ohio..."

2006 – Ergun Caner speaks at an unidentified conference in the Seattle area.
Claims made:
  • Does debates with Muslims on college campuses

  • Grew up in Turkey, near the Turkish-Iraqi border

  • Learned about America by watching The Dukes of Hazard on Turkish television

  • Came to the United States in 1978

  • Wore typically Arabic clothing in high school

  • Has done 48 debates with Muslims, Hindu, & Bah’ai

February 2007 – Ergun Caner speaks to the Ohio State Association of Free Will Baptists Men’s Retreat:
Claims made:
  • Has a Ph.D

  • Came to America in 1978

  • Wore Islamic clothing in high school

2009 – Biography from (Source:
Ergun Mehmet Caner (B.A., M.A., M.Div., Th.M., D.Min., Ph.D.) is president of the Liberty Theological Seminary at the Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. Raised as the son of a Muslim leader in Turkey, Caner became a Christian shortly before entering college. Serving under his Chancellor and President, Jerry Falwell Jr., Caner led the Seminary to triple in growth since his installation in 2005. A public speaker and apologist, Caner has debated Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus and other religious leaders in thirteen countries and thirty-five states. The author of seventeen books, Caner lives in Lynchburg with his wife Jill and two sons, Braxton and Drake.

October 15, 2009 – Dr. James White asks for help in locating examples of Dr. Caner’s debates. This caused some people to take a closer look at Dr. Ergun Caner’s claims. More questions begin to be asked.

February 25, 2010 – Dr. Caner releases the following statement: (Source: SBC Today
Recently a concerted effort has been made by a small group of professing believers, joined with a particular Muslim that posts videos, questioning my conversion, and the conversion of my brothers. And, what saddens my heart immensely is, this small band of professing Christians have now cited the Muslim’s videos as reason to attack my testimony as well. Indeed, the Muslims have used clips that attempt to show that through two decades of ministry and hundreds of sermons there exist discrepancies in my testimony. In all honesty, I probably could have saved them a lot of time and trouble. The truth is, I would be surprised if no discrepancies were discovered, given the hundreds of messages I have given during all that time!

Nonetheless, while normally it is wise to ignore these types of attacks, the Muslim’s videos- now surprisingly being cited by professing Christians- have sadly produced such ardor that I feel the need to speak to the issue. This has been done repeatedly to Muslim converts, but in this instance, I bear some responsibility to clarify.

I was born in Sweden, with a Turkish father and our mother who was a Turkish citizen.
I was born and raised a Sunni Muslim, just like my brothers.
I was led to Christ at the Stelzer Road Baptist Church in Columbus, Ohio, just like my brothers.

Now, on to the other issues:
Every minister has made pulpit mistakes. Being called a “liar,” however, is a serious charge, especially when it is made by Christians. That would indicate that (1) the accusers can know the motives of the accused person’s heart, and (2) the accused person intentionally misled people.

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.

A second question raised concerns debates. One gentleman believes it is misleading to call my interaction with people from other faiths and world religions “debates.” Since his definition of debate is limited to moderated, formal debates, that is his prerogative. He can call them whatever he wishes. My podcasts are readily available online through this website. If he finds them less than satisfying or helpful, then he does not have to listen to them. I do not offer them for his approval or his attention. Please feel free to look elsewhere. God has been gracious to call many Christians to practice evangelism and apologetics in a variety of ways.

The truth is, several evangelical apologists employ the “formal” debate template and are very effective in their presentations. Norman Geisler, Gary Habermas and William Lane Craig come to mind. Nevertheless, I will continue to do exactly as I have done. In fact, in order to attempt a measure of peace, I am more than happy to call my engagements “interviews,” or even “dialogues.” Since this is historically my method of choice, I shall continue to offer these podcasts here, for the edification of those who care to listen.

However, I would caution all evangelicals that no single method meets consensus. Nor is there only one exclusively biblical model. Certainly there is much good to be found in formal debates, and I also believe that there is enough room for all types of interaction. In fact I believe there is great value to be found in all forms, including conversational and informal methods.

Finally, there is a legitimate complaint which I must address, namely, referencing a Muslim scholar that I have never met. Listening to the audio, I honestly have no idea who I was referencing, but it certainly could not have been the man I referenced. For this unintentional but nevertheless horrible mistake, I repent for saying his name, and I ask the forgiveness of all those who heard it. Sin is sin, and if I am dumb enough to say something like that, I should be man enough to deal with it and aim to never make such a grievous error again. This applies to any time when I wrongly used names. I shall be more careful.

As for the countless other volleys aimed at discrediting the work I do, I am unsure how to respond. If my pronunciation of Arabic phrases is not correct, then I apologize. The language of my lineage is Turkish, not Arabic. Even Arabic dialects differ regionally, such as Jordanian and Egyptian. Indeed, 80% of the Muslim world does not speak Arabic, so I doubt anyone will be fully satisfied at this juncture. I must add, however, the misguided attempt by Muslim apologists to discredit converts to Christianity is not limited to me; in fact it seems to be standard operating procedure. I do not believe I can do anything to stop these attacks. All I can do is continue to teach as I have for years, and continue to serve the Lord with the best I can give.

Criticism is many times helpful. In this particular instance, it has enabled me to correct the careless mistakes I addressed above. Nonetheless, I want to be clear about this current situation. This constant stream of criticism, blogging and berating is not acceptable between believers. I am as guilty as anyone else in instigating such things over the years, but these personal attacks are too much. I shall not participate in this anymore. This is absolutely of no interest to me.

So, may the Lord judge between us.

To all who are reading this, I want you to know– I am a clear example of a person who is constantly in need of God’s grace. Because Jesus Christ died on the Cross for the world, that includes all of us. He died to forgive my sin, and resurrected to give me life. He did the same for you. When I repented of my sin, and put my faith in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, He gave me new life. He can do the same for you. We are all sinners, and in need of forgiveness. If you will trust Jesus Christ and turn from your sin, you can find forgiveness and freedom from all the guilt that is upon you. Jesus loves you.
-Ergun Caner

February 26, 2010 - Fred Butler makes the first comparison between Ergun Caner and Mike Warnke that I'm aware of.

February 26, 2010 - @ErgunCaner blocks @Shinar_Squirrel from following him on Twitter.

March 12, 2010 – The February 25, 2010 statement is removed from (Source: James White’s blog.)

March 29, 2010 – Jason Smathers publishes Ergun Caner’s Secret Biography, & provides the hard evidence about when Ergun Caner came to America.

April 14, 2010 – the following biography goes up at (Source:
Ergun Caner is the President and Dean of the Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary and Graduate School in Lynchburg, Virginia. Raised as a devout Sunni Muslim along with his two brothers, Caner converted in high school. After his conversion, he pursued his call to the ministry and education. He has a Masters degree from The Criswell College, a Master of Divinity and a Master of Theology from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, and a Doctor of Theology from the University of South Africa. He has written numerous books with his brother, Dr. Emir Caner, who is the President of Truett-McConnell College, a Baptist college in Georgia

April 19, 2010 – A Squirrel in Babylon publishes Like Watching a Train Wreck; @XIANITY tweets a link to it, bringing a great deal of attention to this blog.

April 23, 2010 – A Squirrel in Babylon is interviewed by Christianity Today for an upcoming article about Ergun Caner’s embellishment of his life’s story.

April 28, 2010 – People for the American Way’s Right Wing Watch publishes an article about Ergun Caner.

May 3, 2010 – Christianity Today publishes their article on Ergun Caner.

May 4, 2010 – A Squirrel in Babylon publishes a response to the Christianity Today article.

May 5, 2010 – Associated Baptist Press publishes an article on Ergun Caner.

May 10, 2010 – Liberty University announces that a committee is being formed to investigate allegations of dishonesty and wrongdoing on the part of Dr. Ergun Caner, President of Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary.

It is now in the hands of Dr. Ron Godwin and the committee that he has formed. Please join me in prayer that they will follow the evidence wherever it leads them and that they may reach an unbiased and fair conclusion. Let us pray also for Dr. Caner, that he may come to repentance, and for God’s Grace upon Dr. Caner and his family.

UPDATE - June 25, 2010 - Ergun Caner removed from office of President and Dean of Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary but retains full professorship for the 2010/2011 school year. Liberty University issues the following statement (Source: The Lynchburg News & Advance):
After a thorough and exhaustive review of Dr. Ergun Caner’s public statements, a committee consisting of four members of Liberty University’s Board of Trustees has concluded that Dr. Caner has made factual statements that are self-contradictory.

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 has cooperated with the board committee and has apologized for the discrepancies and misstatements that led to this review.

Dr. Caner’s current contractual term as Dean of Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary expires on June, 30, 2010.

Dr. Caner will no longer serve as Dean of Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary.

The university has offered, and Dr. Caner has accepted, an employment contract for the 2010-2011 academic year. Dr. Caner will remain on the faculty of Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary as a professor.

Further your arboreal rodent sayeth naught.

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