Internet and television evangelist Bill Keller takes “Live Prayer” to competing station; his remarks on Islam prompt switch.
August 28, 2007
Evangelist Bill Keller will move his late-night, live call-in prayer and faith program to another Tampa Bay area station after claims that his show was pulled off the air because of pressure from a Muslim group.
Officials from the Council on American Islamic Relations this month wrote the TV station’s owners asking for an investigation of the show it broadcasts, “Live Prayer With Bill Keller,” according to the Associated Press.
In a May 2 broadcast, Keller said Islam was a “1,400-year-old lie from the pits of hell” and called the prophet Muhammad a “murdering pedophile.” He also called the Qur’an a “book of fables and a book of lies.”
Council officials asked for equal airtime for Florida Muslims to counter Keller’s comments but never got the chance, according to Saturday’s AP story.
WTOG station manager Laura Caruso said ending Keller’s contract was a programming decision made by station executives and the televangelist.
In a statement released to ChristianNewsWire, Keller writes:
First and foremost, it is never my intent to offend anyone with my remarks. I have, however, over the past five years of airing “Live Prayer With Bill Keller” stood for the truth based on the worldview that the Bible is the infallible and inerrant word of God. And based on that, those who follow other gods are on a sure path to hell. Yet the Bible tells us that God wishes that none should perish and we are commanded to preach the truth of the gospel to all the world.
An example of my commitment to spreading the gospel is my online Liveprayer.com. Through LivePrayer.com, we have seen over 190,000 people make decisions to come to faith in Christ over the past eight years.” Liveprayer.com answers over 40,000 emails for prayer each day, having answered some 60 million in the past eight years. Nearly three million praise reports have been archived by people who took the time to write back about how God met their prayer requests.
I do not hold any ill will toward Muslims. I want them to know the truth and find true salvation. And the truth is that Islam is a false religion that follows a false god that will lead them to eternal condemnation. Since the very beginning of the Islamic faith some six hundred years after the death of Jesus Christ, Muslims have had a rich history of attacking anyone who disagrees with them. And this is just another one such historically redundant attack. This religious terrorism is conducted by an organization found to have deep rooted ties to terrorist groups, the Council on American Islamic Relations, or CAIR, to infringe on my First Amendment right of religious expression, and CBS Viacom is an accomplice.
CAIR, who is currently listed as an unindicted co-conspirator in a Dallas trial involving a terrorist fund raising operation, is viewed by much of the mainstream media as a Muslim version of the American Civil Liberties Union instead of the face of the radical Islamic movement that it has been proven to be since its inception here in the United States. CAIR believes that free speech ends when someone tells the truth about Islam. CAIR believes they have silenced my free speech, but to the contrary, Liveprayer is excited that our new morning program in the Tampa market that we have been working on for 6 months will debut on a competing network Monday, September 3rd. We are also close to finalizing plans to have the late night program on nationwide this October.
The media has called him the “Dr. Phil of prayer” and the next big thing in mass media religion. “Live Prayer with Bill Keller,” was the nation’s only “live” call-in faith and values based program airing on secular TV. The program and Keller’s web site deals with such issues as divorce, abortion, sexual abuse and drug addiction, and more from a conservative, biblical world view.
LivePrayer.com has been up on the web for eight years as an online faith outreach site. Keller says that the site has responded personally to more than 60 million online requests for prayer.