A few days ago, I was watching the above video by Dr. James White, which touched on the subject of Ergun Caner and his apparent return to his old ways: playing the persecution card and claiming a Muslim Jihadi past.Then it hit me: perhaps I could utilize Caner's tactics to start my own career path to fame!
You see, I'm a descendant of Roman Catholic Italians. My great grandfather came over from Italy in 1913, and my first and last names are of Italian origin. Granted, my middle name is Scotch-Irish, but we can ignore that...in fact I'll just make it sound semi-Italian. I'll start emphasizing the Italian side of my first name too. From now on, I shall introduce myself as "Antonio Alan Cucolo." I'll also claim that I'm 100% Italian...OK, so maybe I'm not. In fact one time I did the numbers based on my ancestry on both sides of my family, and I'm maybe only 25% Italian and 50% German, but hey - no one needs to know that.
Now obviously as my father is third-generation Italian American I can't get away with saying he came over from Italy and that I was born in the homeland (which is too bad, I could claim I was born in Rome). Don't get discouraged, though, because that really doesn't matter. What I can claim is that I was born Roman Catholic, just as his whole family is Roman Catholic. That latter part is true - the former is not. I was baptized into the Episcopalian Church, and my mother was Episcopal. What is also true is that for most of my childhood and well into my late teenage years, my family mostly went to Roman Catholic services, and for my first three years in high school I went to a privately run Roman Catholic school.
Ooooh, think of the possibilities with all that!
I, Antonio, was a baptized Roman Catholic: growing up a devout Catholic, practically raised in the mass, attending it every day, even sneaking away from class to attend church services. I studied Latin vehemently, and would gleefully use it at school, even if it isolated me from classmates who could not understand it. I could say that I did the rosary throughout the day, even in the school bathroom. I could claim that I had been taught by family and priests that all Protestants were inherently evil and that they all hated Roman Catholics. I'd assume that Protestants hated me for who I am. I could claim that I pledged to wipe out all Protestant sects in a new inquisition.
Then I went to a Jesuit-run high school (never mind it wasn't run by an order, let alone Jesuits, but rather just people who happened to be Catholics). There I was trained by Jesuit agents to entrap and humiliate famous Protestant leaders to bring them down (no I am not ripping off Jack Chick! Why would you claim that?!). Then, some nice Protestant brother (Steven, do you want this honor?) invited me to his revival. I went there in full Italian garb (doesn't matter I was born in America), and yet realized that Protestants, in fact, didn't hate me, and in fact loved me. Then I realized that Christ is our only form of salvation, and repented. And that night, which happened to be Friday...I had me some meat.
Good! I've got my conversion falsehood - I mean - biography down, I need to find a way to go about this. I'll go to churches around the country and brag about it, and add more stories on top of that. I'll claim to have made 1,000 debates, sometimes directly in Latin with Catholic priests from Rome. I'll claim the original Latin mass had phrases such as "Licius docius hintin du" and explain that it means "Give us your little boys" (what does it really mean? I dunno, I made it up). I'll claim that Lent is twenty days long. I'll claim that Catholic leader Robert Sungenis, before he died, said that the Peter is the Church (don't tell me Robert Sungenis is an apologist and not a leader, is still alive and well, or even that the quote supposedly came from Ambrose). I'll then later claim that I debated James Akin in Nebraska, even though Akin and I haven't even met (and I highly doubt Mr. Akin even knows I exist). I'll tell people the Immaculate Conception of Mary means she was bodily assumed into heaven. I'll say the rosary has 100 beads. The sky's the limit!
Now now, I know what many of you are thinking: what will I do if someone catches me on all this? Quite simple, really, in fact I have a full proof plan. If anyone points out that what I've said is a complete falsehood...I'll tell them I misspoke. Yeah, yeah, that's the ticket! I misspoke! If that doesn't work, I'll accuse them of being in league with the Catholics. They might even be evil Catholic Communist alien ninja pirates. Yeah, that's right. They're always out to get me...me and my lucky charms...
I write this in the spirit of satire, but that men like Ergun Caner can get away with this when the blatant fabrications have been exposed ad nauseum simply makes me shake my head. While I feel bad for his family in the sense that they have to bear the indirect brunt of this, the criticism given to Caner is not unfounded, and they have continued because he has refused to repent. Many out there apparently still see him as a role model for young Christian men seeking work in apologetics and ministry.
The question is...what kind of influence is he giving?