Saturday, May 17, 2014

Ergun Caner and "Assistant Rabbi" Peter Hirsch

Ergun Caner has several times complained about a post-9/11 ecumenical prayer gathering (sorry, I don't have the speeches and timestamps available).  I think that's why I was surprised to read an account from the Fort-Worth Star Telegram (apparently dated May 3, 2002), reporting Caner's participation in a National Day of Prayer group event (link to article).  The article states:
Ergun Caner, whose family is Turkish, grew up a devout Muslim before converting to Christianity.
"For the first half of my life, I assumed I was supposed to hate you. ... But through the faith and hope of other Christians, they did not return the hate I had for them," said Caner, an assistant professor at The Criswell College. "Pray for the capacity, ability and tenacity to love those who don't love you back."
During the closing blessing, Peter Hirsch, assistant rabbi of the Baruch Ha Shem synagogue, embraced Caner to the cheers of the crowd and said, "Where else can [we], committed Jews, and Dr. Caner, who grew up a committed Muslim, come together and show love for each other?"
a) Unfortunately, the article is not illustrated with a photo of this ecumenical embrace.
b) While Caner's father is from Turkey, his mother is from Sweden.
c) Considering his grandmother (who helped raise him) was apparently a Swedish Lutheran, this allegation of hatred seems implausible.
d) The idea that Caner was "devout" seems implausible in light of his making mistakes like thinking that Ramadan is 40 days long.
e) Oh, and I checked out this "assistant rabbi."  The "Baruch HaShem Synagogue" calls themselves a "Messianic" Jewish synagogue (you can read more about their vision here).


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