This is lengthy but I couldn't believe my eyes. It breaks my heart to think that there are people out there who have gone so far. But, this is where we are...
TEENAGERS CHALLENGED TO BLASPHEME THE HOLY SPIRIT!
Compiled by Duane
If you skip my own Introductory comments, please read the ariticles on this that I have copied from the Internet. -- Duane
A new Internet site called "The Rational Response Squad" is targeting teenagers, and encouraging them to deny The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit." Indeed, they want their converts to blaspheme the Holy Spirit!
One of most horrible and damning characteristics of anti-Christ is his BLASPHEMY. "And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that SPIRIT OF ANTICHRIST, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it IN THE WORLD" (1 John 4:3). Already in the world, the spirit is anti-Christ, as never before, is daringly provoking unbelievers to BLASPHEME: THE FATHER, THE SON, AND THE HOLY GHOST!
"And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast. And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and BLASPHEMIES; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. And he opened his mouth in BLASPHEMY against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. If any man have an ear, let him hear" (Rev. 13:3-9).
"And the scribes which came down from Jerusalem said, He hath Beelzebub, and by the prince of the devils casteth he out devils... Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme: BUT HE THAT SHALL BLASPHEME AGAINST THE HOLY GHOST HATH NEVER FORGIVENESS, but is in danger of eternal damnation: Because they said, He hath an unclean spirit" (Mark 3:22, 28-30).
"Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: BUT WHOSOEVER SPEAKETH AGAINST THE HOLY GHOST, IT SHALL NOT BE FORGIVEN HIM, NEITHER IN THIS WORLD, NEITHER IN THE WORLD TO COME" (Matthew 12:31-32).
Reading the following facts about "The Rational Response Squad" is enough to curdle your blood and send cold chills down your spine! I copied the stories from Online sites, but I have been careful to omit the URL of this Blasphemous Group! I leave the articles in the language of the unbelievers who wrote them, only to illustrate how horrible it is. Read on, but remember, though I have inserted some bracketed comments, I DID NOT WRITE THESE ARTICLES. -- Duane
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THE BLASPHEMY CHALLENGE OF THE RATIONAL RESPONSE SQUAD = RRS
Philadelphia -- December 14, 2006. The Rational Response Squad has launched a $25,000 campaign to entice young people to publicly renounce any belief in the sky God of Christianity.
Called "The Blasphemy Challenge," this campaign encourages participants to commit what Christian doctrine calls the only unforgivable sin -- blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. (The "Holy Spirit" is an invisible ghost who Christians believe dwells on Earth as God's representative.) Participants who videotape their blasphemy and upload it to YouTube will receive a free DVD of the hit documentary THE GOD WHO WASN'T THERE, which normally sells for $24.98. Beyond Belief Media, the distributor of THE GOD WHO WASN'T THERE, has donated 1001 DVDs to the Rational Response Squad for The Blasphemy Challenge.
More than 160 participants have already blasphemed the Holy Spirit and earned free DVDs during the pre-launch phase of the Blasphemy Challenge.
While anyone can participate in The Blasphemy Challenge, the Rational Response Squad is focused on reaching a young demographic. To publicize The Blasphemy Challenge to young people, today the Rational Response Squad begins an online advertising campaign focused on 25 sites popular with teens such as Xanga, Friendster, Boy Scout Trail, Tiger Beat, Teen Magazine, YM, CosmoGirl! and Seventeen.
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ABOUT THE RATIONAL RESPONSE SQUAD
The Rational Response Squad addresses irrational emergencies of all kinds, especially the ongoing emergency created by religious faith. What started in February 2005 as a popular internet radio show has since blossomed into an activist group with 21,000 members, seven regional chapters and a fast-growing youth division organized at FreeThinkingTeens.com. The Squad focuses on debunking false claims, publicizing the work of atheists and skeptics, and directly engaging the faithful with the goal of converting them to reason. The Squad's War on Christmas also includes initiatives to give free THE GOD WHO WASN'T THERE DVDs to Christians who request them as well as covertly planting DVDs in Christian churches. Richard Dawkins recorded a show with the Rational Response Squad in November
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ABOUT "THE GOD WHO WASN'T THERE"
BOWLING FOR COLUMBINE did it to the gun culture. SUPER SIZE ME did it to fast food. THE GOD WHO WASN'T THERE does it to religion. A #1 bestselling independent documentary at Amazon.com, THE GOD WHO WASN'T THERE holds Christianity up to a bright spotlight and asks the questions few dare to ask. Starting off by exploring the case that Jesus never actually existed, the movie goes on to examine other aspects of the Christian religion through interviews with Richard Dawkins, author Sam Harris, historian Richard Carrier and many others. Los Angeles Times: "Provocative -- to put it mildly."
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A NEWSWEEK ARTICLE ABOUT THE RRS = RATIONAL RESPONSE SQUAD
'Hi my name is Lindy and I deny the existence of the Holy Spirit and you should too.'
Jan. 8, 2006 issue - With that five-second submission to YouTube, a 24-year-old who uses the name "menotsimple" has either condemned herself to an eternity of punishment in the afterlife or struck a courageous blow against superstition. She's one of more than 400 mostly young people who have joined a campaign by the Web site BlasphemyChallenge.com to stake their souls against the existence of God. That, of course, is the ultimate no-win wager, as the 17th-century French mathematician Blaise Pascal calculatedit can't be settled until you're dead, and if you lose, you go to hell.
The Blasphemy Challenge is a joint project of filmmaker Brian Flemming, director of the antireligion documentary "The God Who Wasn't There," and Brian Sapient... Their intent was to encourage atheists to come forward and put their souls on the line, showing others that you don't have to be afraid of God. The particular form of the challenge was chosen because, by one interpretation, blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, a part of the Christian Trinity, is the only sin that can never be forgiven. And once something you've said gets posted on YouTube, as any number of celebrities can attest, you never live it down.
For better or worse, though, hell may not be so easy to get into. Despite the seemingly clear language in Mark 3:28-29 ("all the sins and blasphemies of men will be forgiven them. But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven"), most theologians are reluctant to pronounce anyone beyond repentance and salvation. Richard Land, a leader of the Southern Baptist Convention, says the passage, read in context, refers to a very narrow and specific definition of blasphemy: maliciously attributing God's miracles to a demon. Merely "denying" the Holy Spirit, by this reading, doesn't qualify. "My response," Land says, "would be to pray for these people: 'forgive them, [for] they know not what they do'."
To which another self-described blasphemer, whose real name is Michael Lawson, replies that he knows exactly what he's doing: he's daring God to send him to hell. "We want to show that we really mean it when we say we don't believe a word in this book," he says. He means the Bible.
God could not be reached for comment.
[WHY SHOULD GOD COMMENT? HE HAS ALREADY SPOKEN IN HIS WORD ON THE SUBJECT! FURTHEMORE, GOD "CAN" BE REACHED FOR COMMENT! I AM ONE OF MILLIONS WHO HAVE HEARD HIM SPEAK! -- DUANE]
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THE BLASPHEMY CHALLENGE OF THE RATIONAL RESPONSE SQUAD
By John Berman, Ethan Nelson And Karson Yiu -- ABC News
Jan. 30, 2007 Brian "Sapient" is an average-looking 30-year-old guy who works out of his basement in Philadelphia. His job? Well, Brian is taking on God.
"Wow, that's a dramatic way of putting it," says Brian, who asked that "Nightline" not use his real last name for safety reasons. But however he defines his challenge, Brian is on the cutting edge of a new and emboldened wave of atheism.
"There isn't any good reason to believe in God," asserts Brian. "It's that simple."
What's wrong with God?
"What's wrong with the tooth fairy?" asks Brian. "There's nothing wrong with something that most likely doesn't exist."
There are an estimated 20 to 30 million atheists in the United States these days, and some of them say they feel like a persecuted minority.
"Atheists are completely vilified. And it's OK," says Kelly, an atheist who works alongside Brian and also asked that her last name not be used.
"It's actually OK to hate atheists," Kelly said. "We are like the last group that people overwhelmingly agree that it's OK to hate us, because there's an absurd caricature of atheism out there."
The Rational Response Squad
Brian and Kelly are co-founders of the Rational Response Squad. From Brian's basement they broadcast a weekly Internet radio show about God
or the lack thereof.
And recently they came up with a new way to publicize their cause. It is called the Blasphemy Challenge.
"Initially we wanted to find a way to allow atheists to come out of the closet, speak up and show other people that there are people that think like this," Brian says.
What they did was challenge people to make videos of themselves, denying, denouncing or blaspheming the Holy Spirit, and then post them on YouTube.
'We Are Not Scared of This Unforgiveable Sin'
"We wanted to do it in such a way where we stripped the power from religious institutions that instill fear in people," says Brian. "And we did that by blaspheming the Holy Spirit, by showing that we are not scared of this unforgiveable sin."
A passage in Mark 3:29 reads, "whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; he is guilty of an eternal sin."
While the passage is open to interpretation, the Rational Response Squad is taking it literally and challenging people to gamble with their eternal souls. So far more than 800 people have taken up the challenge.
One of the posts is by a young-looking man named Chandler. He says: "I've come to the conclusion that alongside the fact that there is no Santa Clause and there is no Easter bunny, there is also no God. So, without further ado, my name is Chandler and I deny the existence of the Holy Spirit."
Another: "My name is Joel. I deny the Holy Spirit, as well as God, Jesus, Buddha, Zeus, Mohammad, Joseph Smith, Sponge Bob, the pope, Santa Clause, Mother Mary, the Easter bunny, the tooth fairy, Optimus Prime, all the saints and Spiderman."
Dozens upon dozens have posted, including comedian Penn Jillette, who simply says, "I deny the Holy Spirit."
"I think how sad it is that someone would be rejecting hope essentially," says the Reverend Kathleen Liles, an Episcopalian minister, just one of many from the religious community who say this Internet challenge is misguided or worse.
"I think if people are courting blasphemy, going out of their way to cross that line, that is just dangerous," says Paul de Vries, the president of the nondenominational New York Divinity School, which provides ministry training. "They might get themselves in eternal trouble."
Brian thinks otherwise. "We are showing people that we are not afraid of what they are afraid of. He is saying that he is afraid in that situation. He is saying how he would feel if he were doing it himself. He would be afraid. I am not."
Taking risks with your own soul is one thing, but the Rational Response Squad advertises for the Blasphemy Challenge on Web sites for teens, like Tiger Beat. Why?
"They have already been targeted," Brian says. "So hopefully they are at a point where they are not so indoctrinated and set in their ways that they can overcome this religious superstition that has been put into their brain unfairly."
Isn't that simply another attempt at indoctrination?
Brian says it isn't.
"We are not indoctrinating people," he says. "There is no fear of hell in what we do, in our activities. We don't tell people that if they do believe in God they are going to hell. We are against fear-based systems."
Brian wasn't always an atheist. He was raised Catholic, and became a born-again Christian when he was 13.
[I DOUBT THAT! -- DUANE]
"That's what I was taught. And I really believed," Brian says. "I loved Jesus and he was my best friend and I talked to him and God all the time. I have to admit that they never talked back to me, and I think some people would say that God does talk to them and I think they're not being honest with themselves."
[THIS IS SADDDDDD!!!! -- SO CERTAIN AM I THAT GOD TALKS TO HIS PEOPLE THAT I WOULD HAVE TO LIE TO DENY IT!!!! -- DUANE]
'The Faith to Believe'
Liles says Brian is simply missing the point. Faith is not something that can or should be proven, she says.
"Faith is a gift, it is a mystery, as so many other gifts from God are," she says. "And when we open our hearts to God, then God will give us the faith to believe."
However Liles feels about atheism, it isn't going away and might even be getting stronger. Two of the best-selling books on Publishers Weekly's religion list are by atheists about atheism. There is a hard-hitting documentary questioning the very existence of Jesus. There is even an atheists' lobby in Washington.
Brian's decidedly black-and-white rhetoric has won him many enemies. He has received hundreds of death threats from Christians using decidedly un-Christian language more four-letter words strung together in a row than you can imagine.
[THESE ARE "PROFESSORS" OF CHRISTIANITY ONLY!!! -- DUANE]
Like his last name, he keeps his address a secret for safety reasons.
Despite the threats, the Rational Response Squad intends to keep Blasphemy Challenge going for some time. "Until the end of Christianity," Brian says.
Do Brian or Kelly worry their rhetoric and antics might land them in hell?
"No, because hell doesn't exist," Kelly says.
Even if there was a one in a million shot that Hell existed, would they still be so unconcerned?
Brian's response? "That would stink, huh?"
The jokes about hell and the whole Blasphemy Challenge open the squad up to critics' attacks who say that whatever its views, its methods are simply disrespectful.
"If I knew that their belief system was wrong and I didn't say something, that would be much more disrespectful," Brian responds.
And to the billions of Christians who have believed for the last 2,000 years, Brian says he is open to a dialogue.
"If they want to come to the table and present their evidence, I will present my evidence. And we will see how much of theirs is based on faith, and how much of mine is based on fact."