Bowen Rodkey for WORLD

Odd man in

Q&A | Mike Adams is a rarity at a secular university-an outspoken Christian and conservative with tenure

Issue: "All-American adoption story," Nov. 21, 2009

The formal introduction: Mike Adams is a professor at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington and a syndicated columnist. The informal: He is probably the most outspoken Christian conservative professor in the United States now teaching at a state university. He's gone from passive writing to fiery prose, and from an incendiary lifestyle to one centered on true ideas.

Q: Tell us about your 1.8 GPA in high school. I can't believe you brought that up! That was off limits!

Q: How hard did you have to work to get a 1.8? My goal was to graduate with a 1.0, the lowest passing grade possible, but I had accidents along the way and ended up with a few C's. I was a soccer player pursuing a professional career, then I was injured. I went to junior college and had to recover for a few years.

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Q: But you made it to graduate school. To fund my education I played in duos and trios: All I would ask for was an unlimited bar tab and a $100 bill. My last month in grad school, April of '93, we played 22 nights. I ended up making a little too much money doing it, and that's when I ran into some trouble with alcohol and drugs and all that. I'm surprised I'm here and alive. I didn't think I'd make it to 30, and I'll be 45 next month.

Q: Were you an intellectual atheist? I was not an intellectual atheist at all. Musicians get a lot of attention from women. If there is no god, I can have sex with as many women as I would like. Hurt them? Eh, we'll all be dead soon and we won't know it. There's nothing on the other side. There was nothing intellectual about it at all. It was an excuse to engage in selfish conduct. I didn't give a penny to a single charity when I was an atheist.

Q: You studied criminology and saw some things in Central America . . . In 1996 I was a leftist, an atheist, and a card-carrying member of the ACLU. In a prison in Ecuador I witnessed the torture of a young man who appeared to be in his teens. He was being beaten with a bat so badly you could almost hear his bones crunching. I was seeing all this brutal stuff firsthand, 45 people in a 36-square-meter cell, the smell of the rotten food they would give them, fecal matter and urine all over the floor, people walking around with cut marks from knife fights, and people shot in the back. I came walking out of that prison on March 7, 1996, thinking that there is an absolute right and wrong, a moral code that does not depend on my feelings or reactions.

Q: Others see the same things in prison and remain atheists. What happened in your case? There was a foundation. I grew up with a fundamentalist Baptist mother and an atheist father, so when I went to college I was inclined to fall away, but I had that core foundation to lean on. A lot of the things I heard when I was growing up came alive in me. I was really shaken to the core. That should have been the point when I became a Christian, but I went floating for about 3½ years. I wouldn't go back into a church because I felt that people could see my past written upon me.

Q: Sex, drugs, and alcohol? It was bad, to the point that I almost died in 1991. My heart almost stopped from consumption of amphetamines one night playing-I just ate too many of them and went to an emergency room. I felt like I couldn't go into a church. Then came an experience on death row in Texas: I met a mentally retarded rapist and murderer who was 13 days away from execution. I called myself an educated man, had a Ph.D., was a professor, but had never read the Bible. So I sat down and read it, and right around the time I finished I met a woman who said to me, "You're going to church with me." I became actively involved and haven't looked back.

Q: So you were a professor in North Carolina, fitting right in as an atheist and leftist, and then you did this disreputable thing, becoming a Christian? I didn't come out vocally until 2000, but they had granted me this thing called tenure in 1997. When it became known that I was a registered Republican and conservative Christian, they didn't like me much for a few years. Now, it's ratcheted up.


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