#1 Christian Website Hacked By Atheist!

Update: To read my An Open Letter to the Atheist Hacker of Christian Mega-site Crosswalk.com, click … well, there.

Instead of the largest Christian website in the world (2.5 million views a month; 200,000-plus subscribers), people who visited www.crosswalk.com this morning found a single, crudely designed static page featuring cheesy-looking burning crosses and a message from the hacker directed to “Christian sheep,” talking about how Christianity sucks and is nothing but lies believed by idiots and so on. The message was maybe 50 words long. (It was also about impossible to read, since, as the hacker/author readily admitted, English is not his first language. He’s from the great country of Finland.)

The #1 Christian website in the world, hacked by an irate Finnish atheist!

I write for Crosswalk; my job there is to be “funny,” “reverently irreverent,” and to “think outside the box.” For a writer (or one like me, anyway) it’s a dream gig. In the course of this year I’ve grown extremely fond of Crosswalk’s director. He’s a good man. (He’s also one of the funniest people I’ve ever met.) I hated to see his work get hurt this way.

I was surprised how disturbing it was to see what had happened to Crosswalk. It felt violent. It was like having your home robbed, or your car stolen. Just awful.

Right after I saw what happened to Crosswalk I did a quick posting here about it, just saying something like “Go see what happened to Crosswalk.com!” But within minutes of my posting that, the site got unhacked, and was back to normal. So right away I took down my posting about it, since then it wouldn’t have made any sense.

So the short story is: Crosswalk got hacked; the hack seemed to last about two, maybe three hours; then it got fixed. (My friend the Crosswalk director wrote me about it. “Short version of the story,” he said, “is that we got hacked, big time. Should be mostly normal now. Hope we didn’t cause you to stumble in your faith.”)

See? Funny!

Anyway, that’s what happened this morning with Crosswalk.com.

 

About John Shore

John Shore (who, fwiw, is straight) is the author of UNFAIR: Christians and the LGBT Question, and three other great books. He is founder of Unfundamentalist Christians (on Facebook here), and executive editor of the Unfundamentalist Christians group blog.  (In total John's two blogs receive some 250,000 views per month.) John is also co-founder of The NALT Christians Project, which was written about by TIME,  The Washington Post, and others. His website is JohnShore.com. You're invited to like John's Facebook page. Don't forget to sign up for his mucho-awesome newsletter.

  • windyblue

    So let the Atheist write, let him hack, He gets to go to HELL WHEN HE DIES, and you get to go to heaven. Wait until he see's the face of God.

    And the fires of hell. What a surprise will come to him.

    And YOU WILL SEE THE FACE OF GOD AND THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN.

    he will be with fire and brime stone, and you will be with peace, happiness, love, grace, for ever, and ever,

    You get rewards and he gets nothing.

    • Michelle

      Amen to that!

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Yeah, I just can't understand why anyone would have a problem with Christians…

  • JP

    Fear drives Christians and atheists to do strange and hurtful things. Individuals in both camps fear they may not be right so they strike out and condemn and tear down. Seems to me that we (Jesus followers) need a differentiator from all the rest. I remember that Jesus said that they would know us by our love. What a differentiator!!

    Thanks John,

    JP

    abbagod.wordpress.com

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    No, thank you.

  • Henrietta Irwin

    I've been following your comments, and your report that it has now been 'un-hacked', but I still see the same disturbing images that I saw yesterday. Did crosswalk change their address a bit? Or is there now some secret route to get to it? I want to re-instate it as my home page, but I won't until I get it without the disturbing page that I am now getting.

  • samwrites2

    John,

    Cool, Crosswalk.com is how I got to this blog. Now they're getting lots of free publicity, how cool! Of course, what happened was awful. The end result, however, looks good to me. I'm not hacked off at the hacker. I think the hacker is closer to meeting Jesus than ever. God's love and peace to whoever that person is.

    -Sam

  • http://HotTamales.wordpress.com Hot Tamales

    All we can really say is that it's a lost soul that made a grievous error. Try not to say too many angry things about him, it'll only turn him further away from Christ. I understand it's hard not to, but let us not forget that even Jesus didn't condemn the people that did what they did to him, he prayed on their behalf.

  • http://dmbennett.wordpress.com/ Dave Bennett

    "So let the Atheist write, let him hack, He gets to go to HELL WHEN HE DIES, and you get to go to heaven. Wait until he see’s the face of God. And the fires of hell. What a surprise will come to him.

    And YOU WILL SEE THE FACE OF GOD AND THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN.

    he will be with fire and brime stone, and you will be with peace, happiness, love, grace, for ever, and ever,

    You get rewards and he gets nothing."

    Does anybody else think that telling an atheist they are going to hell is the least Christ-like thing you can do? As I recall, Christ was more angry with religious hypocrites than people who worshiped other gods or no god at all.

  • Leif Sr.

    "Love will cover a multitude of sins."

    1 Peter 4:8

    "Do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain."

    Galatians 2:21

  • Angela

    Ephsians 6:12 "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." (NIV)

    Unbelievers are merely prisoners, as we all were before our rebirth.

    Remember Twila Paris's song – Rescue the Prisoner? Click here for the lyrics:

    http://www.geocities.com/jesusislord_514/RescueTh

  • Miss Bethany

    Also this comes to mind (in regards to my previous comment): "‘As I live,’ says the Lord GOD, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked'"

    Ezekiel 33:11

    If God takes no pleasure in this, neither should we.

  • wolfshowl

    Heh-heh. I think it's kind of funny. Wrong. But funny.

    Anyway, both that action and the comments on this blog just go to prove what I've been saying for years….

    It's not the beliefs that make a person good or not, it's just the person. Hence, good atheists and bad atheists. Good christians and bad christians.

  • http://fitnessfortheoccasion.wordpress.com Dan (Fitness)

    Sorry to hear it. What a crummy hacker. Have crosswalk's developers looked into owasp?

    I second that wolfshowl.

  • Ted

    What you describe happened is more the sort of thing that religions do to one another. Non-theists would have less reason to do this.

  • http://thedailycolumns.wordpress.com aniche

    now that's a story :)

  • AJ

    They are hackers. let them be.

    We cannot stop the killing, robbing, stealing in the world. We tell people that these behaviors are really really bad. And we see them happen everday.

    Hackers are individuals who sees being successfully invading system a gratification of their intelligence. Regardless of knowing such act is not moral, and illegal.

    Like a child, isn’t he(or she)?

  • petersonion

    Only people who are part of an organization they know to be weak and disintegrating complain of and are encouraged by attacks, and then attack in return. The powerful simply don't notice them, being preoccupied with doing their own thing.

    I wonder how will this comment be interpreted, in favor of the atheists or in favor of the Christians?

  • http://www.gotoccc.com Tim Smith

    Christianity under attack? Shocking — say it ain’t so!

    If my church history memory serves me, Christianity has been attacked from its inception and throughout history since. Didn’t Jesus say; “you will be hated because of me” (Mark 13:13)? He also said, “Blessed are you when men hate you” (Luke 6:22). Oh yeah, his response to all the hatin’? “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you” (Luke 6:27). Wow.

    Crosswalk, welcome to the big leagues.

  • Dale

    You know john we serve a powerfull God and if only a few of the christians that read your blog pray for this person he had better look out because God WILL use this person in GREAT ways! Once God gets a holt of you woo-wee! hang on for the ride of your life… God will do it. ( HE SAID SO ) I beleave it and that settles it.

  • http://www.skipjenkins.com skipjenkins

    An both a hacker (though a far different breed than the bottom feeder that attacked crosswalk.com) and an atheist (please keep the bans tick still for just a moment), I have to say that attacks like this do nothing to make bridges between ‘live and let live’ atheists and the vast majority of Christians that simply seek to add order and peace to another person’s life.

    You folks are Christians, I’m not. I don’t see any reason that means we can’t be friends, or at least civil to each other.

  • Jonathan

    Um, unhacked?

    It's *still* not working at my end. And yes, I've reloaded the page, checked the different sections of crosswalk, etc., but it ain't workin, bruthu. Apart from crosswalkradio.com, that is.

    Cool post.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Oh, wow. Bummer. It must be still hanging up in some router pockets. So. No good. I'll let 'em know. Can I ask where you're at, geo-wise?

  • Roger

    I am a believer in Christ and I know he preaches nothing but love. I could not help but notice the underlying venom in the first response. It is almost as if the author wished the worst for the hacker. Dont allow the hacker to get the better of you. If you can, pray for his salvation. Pray that God opens his eyes. I struggle with managing my anger so I know how easy it is to get carried away. We need to be alert all the time. It is a war we are in.

  • http://OzAtheist.org ozatheist

    Hi John,

    First time to your blog, you can probably guess what side of the fence I'm on from my pseudonym.

    Christians are not alone in having websites hacked, I know of at least one atheist blog which was hacked and taken over by a 'christian' (yes that is in quotes, because I know one of you will say "but he's not a 'real christian'") who also stole his email ID and promptly started defaming the poor guy throughout the blogoshpere, by posting untruths in his name.

    I have also read a few reports of DoS attacks on atheist blogs.

    Now, I don't condone any of these attacks, including the one on crosswalk, I'm just trying to point out, whilst what Finnish boy did was wrong, you are not alone.

    I see the link to 'Christian Website Hacked By Atheist' and thought "that's rude, better read about that" and after reading the story, what's the first comment I see?

    windyblue's rant about going to "HELL WHEN HE DIES" – and you wonder why sometimes atheists think you christians aren't being very 'christian'.

    John, I had to laugh at your response, and the one to Lori on the open-letter page

    By the way – atheists don't believe in hell, so no point threatening us with it.

    JP

    I don't know any atheist who 'fears they might not be right'; christians yes, agnostics maybe, atheists no.

    Apart from twits like Finnish boy, most atheists only fear what might happen if their country gets turned into a theocracy and therefore try (usually in a polite and constructive way) to diminish the impact religion has on ALL our lives.

    see comment No 62, from Damon, on John's Olive Branch post, for some examples.

    Tim

    I'm not sure if this is a sarcastic comment or not, It should be:

    Christianity under attack? Shocking — say it ain’t so!

    Robert (on open-letter)

    Atheists don't hate god (how can one hate something they don't think exists) they just don't like some of the things some religious people do 'in the name of god'.

  • Vicky Armstrong

    Dudes. Seriously. Do you find it offensive if someone says “I don’t believe in God” in front of you? I’m guessing yes.

    Did you ever think that saying you love God in front of athiests can have a similiar effect?

    I personally have no problem with Christians – or any other religion for that matter – but I sometimes find that the Christians I know can be ignorant. If they get annoyed at a science teacher for talking about the Big Bang and start rambling on about Creationism and ignoring a proven theory, it can get really, REALLY annoying.

    My basic idea for this is – Don’t shove religion down my throat and I won’t shove athiesm down yours. =]

    • Paul

      Dudette. Seriously. I don’t find it offensive if someone says “I don’t believe in God” in front of me, and my guess would be that neither do the vast majority of those who frequent John’s column.

      Hacker Man didn’t just say “I don’t believe in God.” He basically grabbed a group of Christians by the collar (Christians who were minding their own business and communicating with each other) and screamed in their faces, “YOU ARE ALL A BUNCH OF IDIOTS!!!”

      Some of the atheist crowd is an exact mirror image of the fundy Christian Right – frothy and just downright rude. Funny how that works.

  • David Cocco

    [Wow...i didnt know people could hack big sites..but hey...its alright now....thanks for the loving respnses. =]


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