Note: May 20 pm: We realize our intent for this post was misunderstood by a few readers and decided to clarify our position.  We changed our title and the opening question to define our thoughts more closely.  We believe that Liberty University invited Beck for a variety of reasons, and we are exploring some possibilities.  As one pastor put it — "Even on my best days my motives are mixed."  However, today, we will present our strongest  theory for why Glenn Beck addressed Liberty grads.

Liberty University has been feeling the heat from the controversy swirling around its seminary president, Dr. Ergun Caner, which began earlier this year.  The Chancellor and Board of Trustees likely met after a firestorm of media (and blog) criticism broke out to determine how to deflect attention away from the Caner controversy.

Here is our question:  Was Liberty University's invitation of Glenn Beck to speak at its 2010 Commencement a diversionary tactic or political maneuvering or…?

Take a look at the definition of the word "diversion".


1. The act or an instance of diverting or turning aside; deviation.
2. Something that distracts the mind and relaxes or entertains.
3. A maneuver that draws the attention of an opponent away from a planned point of action, especially as part of military strategy.


Personally, I love the second definition — "Something that distracts the mind and relaxes or entertains." 

Yes, I believe everyone was thoroughly distracted last Saturday (May 15) when Beck addressed the 2010 graduates of Liberty University. 

Here's the link to his commencement address:


Now let's consider the recent timeline of events involving Liberty.

According to a blog named SBC Today, Ergun Caner released his "official" statement on February 25, 2010 (which has since been removed from Caner's official website).


Fortunately, SBC Today posted Caner's statement at the above link.  Here's an excerpt:


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."

Around two months later, Liberty announced its selection of Glenn Beck as the 2010 commencement speaker (Paige Patterson was chosen as the speaker for Liberty's Baccalaureate Service).  Check out the announcement on Liberty's website:


Christianity Today wasted no time in getting the word out by posting a brief article on the same day as Liberty's announcement:


On May 10, 2010, Christianity Today reported that Liberty University had formed an investigative committee.  Here's how Liberty's announcement begins:


"This evening, Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia released by email this updated statement about Dr. Ergun Caner, president of the university seminary:

Liberty University Provost Dr. Ron Godwin is forming a committee to investigate a series of accusations against Ergun Caner, president of Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary.
The Internet allegations have questioned public statements Caner has made regarding the details of his personal life story. Godwin is forming a committee to conduct an official inquiry with a goal of issuing its conclusions by the end of June. Following inquiries from several members of the mainstream media, Liberty decided to initiate its own investigation. “Liberty does not initiate personnel evaluations based upon accusations from Internet blogs,” Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr. said. 'However, In light of the fact that several newspapers have raised questions, we felt it necessary to initiate a formal inquiry.' "


Then the CT article states the following:

One week ago, ChristianityToday.com published online a report highlighting extensive questions about Dr. Caner's background, speeches, and comments. Bloggers have alleged that Caner has knowingly deceived the Christian community about his Muslim background.

Some of these allegations include:

* Growing up in Turkey, when he actually grew up in Ohio.
* Being raised in a devout Muslim home, rather than a nominal one.
* Having been involved in Islamic jihad.
* Having debated dozens of Muslims about the Islamic faith, although there is no video or audio evidence.

This sequence of events leads us to wonder whether inviting Glenn Beck was primarily a diversionary tactic.   What do YOU think? 

Tomorrow we will editorialize on Liberty's selection of Mormon Glenn Beck to address graduates, along with their family and friends.



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    Do you really think that in February the powers that be at LU sat around and brain-stormed what they could do to divert the attention from Dr. Caner? While they sat there brain-storming someone said; “I know, let’s invite Glenn Beck to come and speak to the graduating class”. Someone else said; “that would be a great idea and it would also make the bloggers that are causing this Caner stuff begin to think about something else.” So, then someone called Glenn Beck and said; “We here at LU have decided we need you, a Mormon, to come and speak so we can get out of this mess. Oh, and by the way, since you have started the God and Country theme it would be a great time to follow that up by having Jerry Falwell Jr. on your show. So, as conservatives, you scratch our back and we will scratch yours.

    Do you not realize the months of negotiating and scheduling that goes into getting someone of Glenn Beck’s appeal to come speak at an event that is locked into one particular day of the year? I usually follow your thought pattern on various issues, but on this one I think you are pushing the envelope to the point it will not seal.


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    Why has Patterson refused to answer questions from the media concerning Caner?

    I think the Beck appearance was in the hopper before. As a potential media diversion, I do not think it worked at all. If anything, it made the media pay MORE attention to Caner and his lies. (I wonder if Beck regrets going there)

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    Why has Patterson refused to answer questions from the media concerning Caner?

    Why are you asking this question? I am not his personal media PR representative. Have you called and asked his office? There does seem to be some sense of decorum that others do not comment on ongoing investigations. It could also be as simple as remaining quiet for the same reason that Dr. Caner is remaining quiet–the investigation truly is an investigation and not something played out in the blogs and media. Of course I suppose that I should not expect someone that believes the powers that be at LU can see so far in the future as to invite Glenn Beck so he can be a media diversion for the attacks of a group of Christian bloggers that align with a Muslim intent on destroying the character of other Christians to grasp such a concept.


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    Tim, I don’t think Lydia was asking that question of you. If she was, she would have replied directly, as I am doing.

    That being said, I can’t see LU thinking that inviting Glenn Beck would be a diversion to Caner’s troubles. More than likely, they felt the Caner problem to be a tempest in an internet teapot, and one that would eventually blow over. After all, who listens to bloggers anyway? It took the mainstream media to wake LU up to the fact that, yes, this was a problem, and no, it wasn’t blowing over anytime soon.

    I think the choice of Glenn Beck was more one of celebrity and political agreement. A lot of Christians listen to Beck and agree with what he has to say, especially when he talks about the current administration. I think the fact that he is a Mormon has been downplayed in favor of his political views.

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    Oh, and one more thing, just because Mr. Khan is a Muslim doesn’t mean he’s lying. The bloggers who have sided with him aren’t siding with a Muslim vs. a Christian. They are siding with the Truth vs. lies. Right now, Christians like Caner (and Gilyard, and Brunson, and Young, and Rekers, the list goes on) are doing a fine job destroying their own characters with their actions, words, and attitudes towards fellow believers and the unsaved.

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    Today we will actually build on the political agenda idea. I am of the opinion that LU is a political machine and Deb will offer evidence of that today.

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    My friend. I am not, nor have I ever been aligned with a Muslim to destroy Christians. Christians seem to have the uncanny knack of doing that all by their lonesomes.

    We may be wrong about the the diversionary tactic, please note the question mark. But, we will not be wrong today about the political nature of LU.

    As for the investigation, I want to state this as strongly as possible. The moment the Muslim gentleman raised a question about Caner, LU should have investigated. We MUST present ourselves as truth tellers and the moment we lie, big time, we have lost our witness in the world.

    We point fingers at the world, scream about the homosexual agendas, the lying Bill Clinton, Ellen Degenerate (Falwell’s own words), and project a holier than thou attitude and then get all bent out of shape when the world plays “gotcha.”

    I am sorry that you feel that we might not be intelligent enough to grasp your comment. However, it was easy enough to understand and we will do our best to clarify what we are thinking.

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    Well shucks y’all, they coulda invited Sarah Palin too!

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    Oh Muff, she is just a woman and there were men in the audience. Wait a minute, are there any men at LU that have the “you know whats” to stand up against wrong INSIDE as much as they do OUTSIDE?

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    Liberty IS a political machine. Does no one remember Jerry Falwell’s part in the moral majority? Ralph Reed?

    And inviting Sarah Palin would not be so strange since she is a vocal professing Christian. But she would not be allowed to speak about Jesus or the Word since that could be ‘preaching’ and women are only allowed behind the lecturn to vacuum as per Caner’s own words.

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    Tim, I saw this on another blog and laughed out loud because it is so on target:

    The strongest evidence that Caner is guilty is that Richard Land refused a media interview.

    If you know Land, you will get it.

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    I have no idea what goes on behind closed doors at Liberty regarding its negotiations with prospective speakers, and you may be absolutely correct.

    However, I do find it extremely ironic that when Sean Hannity had a scheduling conflict at almost the last minute and couldn’t address the NRA on May 15 (BTW – the same day as Liberty’s graduation) Glenn Beck was able to go. I guess Beck made a mad dash to Charlotte after addressing the Liberty grads. What an accommodating guy!

    Here’s the info.

    “Conservative pundit Glenn Beck will deliver the keynote address for the “Freedom Experience” at National Rifle Association’s annual meeting in Charlotte on May 15.

    Beck will speak at Time-Warner Cable Arena. He replaces FOX broadcaster Sean Hannity, who canceled due to a scheduling conflict.”

    Read more:


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    wow I am not sure if I’ve ever encountered so many morons in one place until I read this blog. If you are wondering why Liberty invited Glen Beck wouldn’t the logical approach be to at least try to ask them? BTW Beck was already on the roster for the NRA conference when he accepted the invitation to speak. Palin would have been a good choice if Beck couldn’t make it and NO it would not have been considered preaching. Does it make you people feel smart or something to speak authoritatively about things you really have no clue about? Get a life.

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    BTW I am glad to see you at least break down hard words like diversion that your intellectually challenged readers might have problems with.

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    How’s the weather up in Lynchburg? Is this what they teach you in your Bible class at Liberty? Did you know that a soft word “turneth” aside anger? Did they tell you that Jesus said to turn the other cheek? Did you learn to call people morons in one of your classes? Or perhaps during a church service?

    What are they teaching in Christian colleges these days??

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    Apparently, we are in extremely good company because there is a plethora of websites critical of the decision to invite Beck to address the 2010 LU graduates. Some of the most outspoken critics are conservative Christians.

    Looking forward to reading Liberty’s investigative report on Ergun Caner later this month. We’ll be updating our readers when it is released, and we sincerely hope you’ll come back and comment then.

    By the way, we’ve been called much worse than “morons” here at TWW. Our response – we just keep on blogging. Good try though…