Safir Ahmed

Safir Ahmed has been a writer at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and was editor of the Riverfront Times, St. Louis' alternative weekly newspaper.

Recent Articles

Talent for Deception

B ack in 1984, a single radio broadcast forever changed the life of James Talent, a young lawyer in Missouri making his first foray into state politics. It was the peak of the Reagan era. God and country were hot topics, and religious broadcasters were cranking at a fever pitch. James Dobson, who heads Focus on the Family, a conservative Christian organization, was hosting his daily radio show from Colorado Springs. His guest that fateful day was Luis Palau, an evangelist and author of It's a God Thing . After a heated religious broadcast, Dobson wound up his program by entreating his listeners to "trust Jesus Christ" as Palau led them in "a simple sinner's prayer." Over in west suburban St. Louis, Talent, in the midst of a campaign that would eventually earn him the job of state representative, was listening to the program on his car radio. At Dobson's exhortation, Talent pulled over into a school parking lot, got out of his car, went down on his knees, bowed his head and accepted...