Wednesday, March 7, 2012

"Anonymous" Declares War On Religion: Hacks and Defaces Christian Websites

Anonymous declares war on religion: hacks and defaces Christian websites, leaves atheist video by Richard Dawkins as a calling card, along with this message: “Religion Sucks LOL."

On Friday, hacktivists claiming to represent the international Internet hacktivist collective known as Anonymous hacked and defaced three Christian websites representing three different North Carolina churches.

IBT reports the homepages for Bethel Outreach International Church, Charlotte International Church, and Crossfire Ministries were all hacked and temporarily defaced on Friday - replaced with the 30-minute long YouTube video, "Richard Dawkins: An Atheist's Call to Arms," and an informal declaration of war, with the title, "religion sucks lol (laugh out loud)."

The Richard Dawkins video, "Richard Dawkins: An Atheist's Call to Arms,” is an inspiring 31-minute speech in which Dawkins urges fellow atheists not to hide their beliefs, and to aggressively fight the incursion of religion into politics and education.

Declaring religion a sickness, the Anonymous hacktivists left a message on the hacked and defaced websites declaring war on religion. The following is an excerpt from that declaration, as reported by WebProNews:

Greetings fellow pirates,

Let us be clear from the start: any kind of religion is a sickness to this world. A sickness that creates hate and intolerance, a sickness that brings people to wage war on their fellow people, a sickness that has come to this world long time ago, when mankind wasn’t educated, a sickness that brought false hope and suppression to those who believed and often even more terror and suppression to those who dared not to believe.

Religions are authoritarian hierarchies, designed to dominate your free will. Religions are mind control.They’re power structures that aim to convince you to give away your power for the benefit of those who enjoy dominating people. When you subscribe to a religion, you enroll in a mindless minion training program. Religions don’t market themselves as such, but this is essentially how they operate. In case you ever wondered why religious teachings are invariably mysterious, confusing, and incongruent? This is no accident — it’s intentional.

We see religion pretty much the same way as we see many governments. Fear mongering and making lots of money,so a small group of ppl will become insanely rich, while the believing masses can eat dirt...

So people of the world, don’t let religion control your life. Don’t fight against each other for contrary beliefs.This world and our life can be a wonderful adventure, where you have the unique chance to help mankind and your fellow citizens. Where we can all work together to make this earth a better place for ourselves,our children and all those generations who will come after us. ^(;,;)^

On Friday, @AnonymousIRC, one of the largest and most popular Anonymous related twitter accounts, with over 277,000 followers, tweeted a link to one of the hacked and defaced websites with the following message: "Hacked - Reason: religious idiocy and foh dah lulz."

China Pastors See Many Come To Christ Through Hotel Outreach

Ministry reports out of China are mixed. Some report ministry is more open in China than it's ever been before. Others say Christians are more oppressed. Eric Burklin, president of China Partners, just returned to China with an eye-witness report that offers another perspective.

Indeed, Burklin says pastors are using avenues outside the local church to introduce people to Christ. For example, Burklin says one registered church pastor is seeing many turn to Christ through hotel outreach.

Here's how it works: Organizers rent a ballroom at a local hotel. Each church member brings a non-Christian friend or family member to the special event.

"They have dancing, plays and music," Burklin says. "At the end, he preached an evangelistic message, and 60 accepted Christ." That pastor also says he's baptized more than 200 new believers.

Many people wonder if the hotel outreach is illegal. Burklin did, too.

"I asked this pastor very specifically, 'Isn't this illegal?' He said, 'Well, we didn't ask authorities ahead of time. We just did it. We figured that if they weren't going to say anything, we were just going to do it.'"

China Partner provides training to church leaders in the country. Burklin says the leaders are asking for something controversial: youth training. It's illegal to evangelize children under 18.

"They would have to figure out how they could legally do that," Burklin says. "The government is very concerned about not forcing anybody under 18 to make a decision in any religious direction."

Despite that, China Partners is raising money for this new ministry push. Burklin says it's important, especially since many young people who are in their late teens and early 20s are interested in knowing about God.
Read More From Charisma News

Pat Robertson Blaming Victims Of Tornadoes Not God For Distruction

Pat Robertson, host of "The 700 Club," said Monday during the program's airing that God does not send tornadoes "to kill people" and that those affected by the deadly string of twisters in the Midwest and Southeast only had themselves to blame for living in tornado-prone areas.

Answering a viewer from Illinois as to why it is that "God sent the tornadoes," Robertson was quick to respond that "God didn't send tornadoes."

The question, featured in the program's "Bring It On" segment, in which the program invites "millions of viewers" to send in questions about "life, love, finances, morality, and what it means to be a Christian."

As co-host Terry Meeuwsen listened, Robertson went on to provide a meteorological explanation as to why and how tornadoes occur.

"God doesn't send tornadoes to hurt people," the Christian Broadcasting Network founder said. "He doesn't send – what you call 'acts of God' – but they're not. So, all I can say is – why do you build houses in places where tornadoes are apt to happen?"

Meeuwsen suggested, however, "The bigger question for people spiritually is always...why didn't He intervene?"

Robertson responded by speaking about prayer being able to "still storms" – as exemplified by Jesus in the Bible – before turning to offer a scientific explanation for hurricanes. He ended his commentary by repeating once more that people who suffer from natural disasters only had themeselves to blame for deciding to build houses "on the edge of an ocean."

"It's their fault, it's not God's," Robertson concluded. "Don't blame God for doing something foolish."

The viewer who posed the question about God sending tornadoes revealed that he was from Illinois, which is one of the handful of states that saw a string of tornadoes and freakish weather over the past few days that has claimed at least 39 lives, including that of a 14-month-old girl. The little girl, from New Pekin, Ind., was initially found alive in a field after surviving the tornado, but later succumbed to her injuries. She also reportedly lost her mother, father and two siblings in the storm.

Kentucky, Ohio, Alabama and Georgia also experienced fatalities related to the tornadoes that struck last Friday. Recovery efforts were currently underway in those states, with faith-based organization Samaritan's Purse working with a church in Charlotte, N.C., which also saw storms.

On Saturday, "The 700 Club" posted a link to Operation Blessing on its Facebook page, informing followers as to one of the ways in which they could aid tornado victims in Illinois.

One follower, Donovan White, responded to the Operation Blessing post on Monday, well after the "Bring It On" segment had aired, writing:

"Which is it Pat? This time around you said [G]od doesn't cause tornadoes 'it's just nature' but during Katrina and the Haiti earthquake you said they were being punished for being make it up as you go and no one seems to notice!"

Read More From Christian Post

Anti-Pornography Group Attacked Over Support Against Porn On Airplanes

One News Now--An anti-pornography organization says reaction to a recent incident on an airplane demonstrates the type of heavy attack the group receives from the porn industry and those who support it.

Morality in Media's (MIM) Dawn Hawkins says she was exposed to child-themed pornography on a Delta flight to Texas last month when a man in front of her was openly viewing it on his iPad. She asked him to put it away, and even asked for help from a flight attendant, but to no avail. Following the incident, she made a YouTube video detailing her experience.

Pat Truman, president and CEO of Morality in Media, says he and everyone else in the organization were surprised by what happened next.

"A group of porn consumers produced a video and condemned her for being uncomfortable looking at pornography that she didn't want to look at and condemning her for producing a video to tell about it," he details. "And these people, many of them said that it should be fine to look at pornography on an airplane; people should just get used to it."

Truman tells OneNewsNow that MIM, its executive director, and her family have all been harassed for Hawkins' stance against pornography being displayed in public.

"These pornography consumers shouldn't assume that their rights trump everybody else's rights," Trueman contends. "Yet that's what they assume when they condemn Dawn Hawkins and try to shut down our website over this incident."

Since Hawkins' experience, MIM has been contacting airlines to make sure that they have good anti-pornography policies in place. In a new video, she reports that "surprisingly, Delta has been very positive," assuring people that they "do not allow pornography or obscenity on their airlines."

Read More From One News Now

Government Using "Pink Slime" Meat For School Lunches

Huffington Post--Pink slime -- that ammonia-treated meat in a bright Pepto-bismol shade -- may have been rejected by fast food joints like McDonald's, Taco Bell and Burger King, but is being brought in by the tons for the nation's school lunch program.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is purchasing 7 million pounds of the "slime" for school lunches, The Daily reports. Officially termed "Lean Beef Trimmings," the product is a ground-up combination of beef scraps, cow connective tissues and other beef trimmings that are treated with ammonium hydroxide to kill pathogens like salmonella and E. coli. It's then blended into traditional meat products like ground beef and hamburger patties.

"We originally called it soylent pink," microbiologist Carl Custer, who worked at the Food Safety Inspection Service for 35 years, told The Daily. "We looked at the product and we objected to it because it used connective tissues instead of muscle. It was simply not nutritionally equivalent [to ground beef]. My main objection was that it was not meat."

Custer and microbiologist Gerald Zernstein concluded in a study that the trimmings are a "high risk product," but Zernstein tells The Daily that "scientists in D.C. were pressured to approve this stuff with minimal safety approval" under President George H.W. Bush's administration. The USDA asserts that its ground beef purchases "meet the highest standard for food safety."

Controversy surrounding "pink slime" stems from various safety concerns, particularly dangers associated with ammonium hydroxide, which can both be harmful to eat and has potential to turn into ammonium nitrate -- a common component in homemade bombs, according to MSNBC. It's also used in household cleaners and fertilizers.

In 2009, The New York Times reported that despite the added ammonia, tests of Lean Beef Trimmings of schools across the country revealed dozens of instances of E. coli and salmonella pathogens.

Between 2005 and 2009, E. coli was found three times and salmonella 48 times, according to the Times, including two contaminated batches of 27,000 pounds of meat.

A public outcry against the "slime" is led perhaps most prominently by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver,
who had also successfully waged war against flavored milk in Los Angeles schools and continues a crusade for healthier school lunches.

News of the USDA's plan to bring 7 million pounds of "pink slime" to school cafeterias nationwide comes just weeks after the government announced new guidelines to ensure students are given healthier options for school meals. The new standards call for more whole grains and produce as well as less sodium and fat in school meals. While the measures mark a step forward from previous years, they still compromise amid push-back from Congress to keep pizza and french fries on the menu -- counting both the tomato paste on pizza and the potatoes that make fries as vegetables.

Still, some schools -- like several in California -- have taken the matter into their own hands, and have found ways to profit from those efforts. Umpteen school districts have taken part in a decade-long initiative, supported by a philanthropic organization, that provides schools with equipments and chefs who teach cafeteria workers to cook from scratch and produce fresh meals.

A recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that more than a third of high school students were eating vegetables less than once a day -- "considerably below" recommended levels of intake for a healthy lifestyle that supports weight management and could reduce risks for chronic diseases and some cancers.

Read More From Huffington Post