Southern Religion

ABP news pages were hosting malicious software: Update

Update: As of this writing at sunrise late Saturday morning, Sept. 18, connections to the The Associated Baptist Press site site and “partner sites” (Texas Baptist Standard, Missouri Word & Way and Virginia Religious Herald) were no long greeted by the cautionary Google message quoted below. Service was slow, often usually timing out and occasionally sporadically usable andgenerally unusable but apparently possibly cleared of the malware infections which led to the cautionary interruption.

On their Facebook page, ABP apologizes for the interruption and recommends users “may want to run virus and malware scans on your computer as a precaution.”

If you run a version of Windows and have accessed one of the affected sites recently, judging from data acquired via search based on Google’s various warnings and Symantec information about one of the infections involved, a thorough malware scan is indeed a good idea. IMHO, not merely as a precaution.


The Associated Baptist Press site has been blocked by Google for the following reasons:

Of the 107 pages we tested on the site over the past 90 days, 13 page(s) resulted in malicious software being downloaded and installed without user consent. The last time Google visited this site was on 2010-09-17, and the last time suspicious content was found on this site was on 2010-09-16.

You can still visit the site, albeit at some risk. Specifically, as Google explained:

This web page at has been reported as an attack page and has been blocked based on your security preferences.

Attack pages try to install programs that steal private information, use your computer to attack others, or damage your system.

Some attack pages intentionally distribute harmful software, but many are compromised without the knowledge or permission of their owners.

But an attack by “a particularly malicious hacker,” as they say? Well, malicious, certainly. All such attacks are.

September 17, 2010 Posted by | WWW | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Loss of trust

Tony thinks there’s a one-by-one way out of this pickle.

September 17, 2010 Posted by | Cultural | Comments Off on Loss of trust

From housecoats to statesmanship?

Kevin Ezell, who was on Sept. 14 appointed president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s troubled North American Mission Board, along the way blasted bloggers who were critical of his selection:

Typically those are bloggers who live with their mother and wear a housecoat during the day. Just ignore them, but I apologize if you are hurt by anything that they might say about me or indirectly about you.

Enid, Oklahoma, pastor Wade Burleson, well known for his blogging, responded calmly:

One of the things that turns leaders into statesmen is the ability to be gracious to all, even those who criticize. Regardless of whether or not the proposed NAMB President has the temperament to handle the criticism that will come his way, it would be helpful for him to be gently reminded that it is both inconsistent and illogical to call his critics “bloggers who live with their mother and wear housecoats” and then “apologize for the hurt” those bloggers cause. Criticism from respected leaders hurts. To publicly disrespect the character of one’s critics and then turn around and acknowledge their criticism hurts is a fallacy. It’s best to either remain silent in the face of criticism or answer the criticism while displaying respect for the critics.

Leaders who turn into statesmen learn this lesson quickly. I am hopeful Dr. Ezell learns this lesson quicker than most.

Others were also unimpressed. Even infuriatedhumorously peeved.

Ezell appears to be somehow new to the Southern Baptist blogosphere. He really must adapt. He ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

[H/T to Burleson for the House photo pun.]

September 17, 2010 Posted by | SBC | , | 2 Comments

Roman Catholic Church abuse survivors demand justice

Hilary Whiteman of CNN reports:

Sue Cox was 10 years old when she says she was raped by a priest in her family home on the eve of her Confirmation, a sacrament which signifies the cementing of bonds between baptised believers and the Church.

The attack occurred in her bedroom while her family was downstairs. “I was mortified. I started to self-harm. I was ashamed and guilty,” she said. Her mother told her: “Perhaps it was one of God’s plans.”

It wasn’t one of His better ones,” Cox said.

Cox was interviewed by Ruthe Glendill, religion correspondent for the Times of London. Glendill uploaded the interview to YouTube:

Michael Hirst of BBC interviewed Cox, who told him:

I feel liberated because I am now able to speak out; I believe that secrets keep you sick.

They do.

September 17, 2010 Posted by | Catholic, children, Crime, Pope Benedict XVI | , | Comments Off on Roman Catholic Church abuse survivors demand justice

Anglical mural upbraiding Catholic Church failure to ordain women priests

St. John’s, an Scottish Episcopal Church in Edenburgh, Scotland, has a tradition of murals which are an appeal to community conscience.

On their Web site, they explain:

Murals addressing contemporary issues relating to justice and peace have appeared at St John’s for many years. They are intended to provoke discussion and a response from passers-by on Princes Street. The murals are painted by Artists for Justice and Peace and planned by a small group including the Rector and Associate Rector of St John’s.

For the pope’s visit they offered the following mural commenting on the Roman Catholic Church’s refusal to ordain women priests, as the Scottish Episcopal Church has since 1994:

The pope is likely to have seen it, since the mural is along the procession route he followed.

The pope is meet Church of England Canon Jane Hedges this evening when he goes to Westminster Abbey for prayer. Four years ago, she was the first woman appointed as a residentiary canon at Westminster Abbey. She is a leading candidate to become the Church of England’s first female bishop.

September 17, 2010 Posted by | Anglican, Churches, Pope Benedict XVI | | Comments Off on Anglical mural upbraiding Catholic Church failure to ordain women priests