Satan Tagline Church Not The Victim of Hackers

February 14, 2006 by

And this is why it’s a good idea to be a little skeptical and not jump on every bandwagon that rolls by. The Limerick, Penn. church that appeared to have a tagline from the lips of Satan now seems to be the victim of hackers poor proofing.

At least that’s the early word from the Bene Diction blog, and helps explain why the tagline has been replaced with the church’s phone number. Rumor is that the church will be posting a statement later today.

Update: The church currently has this statement on their home page: “For those of you who were kind enough to inform us about our previously inaccurate quote…we thank you!” I’m not sure what to make of that.

Update: And now they’ve added this statement:

We were recently made aware that the former quote we had posted in the header on our site was actually not based on the word of Jesus but was a quote posed to him during his temptation. As soon as we were made aware of this we removed the quote from our site. We removed it…not hackers as some ill-informed bloggers would have you believe. This unfortunate lesson is a demonstration why when using tools online to identify quotes that you think deliver the honest and sincere message you intended you should always view the quotes in their whole context.

You’ll also notice our first comment comes from the church’s webmaster correcting us. I guess that’s what you get for listening to other bloggers and not checking up on it yourself. My bad. Guess I should have taken my own advice and not jumped on the hacker bandwagon.

Dealing with a Crisis
What’s especially interesting is seeing the incredible buzz in the blogosphere about this (which we certainly added to). Their number of visits just exploded, as you can see from their stats.

What will be more interesting is what happens in the aftermath. Will they put up some sort of statement? Will they wish they had some sort of mechanism to get something up faster (they appear to have a Blogger-powered news box, but nothing there)? Will they actually retain any traffic (I found the top ten list on their home page pretty interesting–if they had continually updated content, I might check it out for the sake of curiosity)?

Some have suggested that we should contact the church and get the inside story. While I’d love to do that, I imagine the church staff is pretty frazzled right now and I’d hate to add to it. Other bloggers are doing that, so we’ll just rely on them at this point. Bad idea. At this point a statement is on the church web site, plus the church webmaster has commented here a couple times. So we’ll just let it rest there.

Post By:

Kevin D. Hendricks

When Kevin isn't busy as the editor of Church Marketing Sucks, he runs his own writing and editing company, Monkey Outta Nowhere. Kevin has been blogging since 1998, runs the hyperlocal site West St. Paul Reader, and has published several books, including 137 Books in One Year: How to Fall in Love With Reading, The Stephanies and all of our church communication books.
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8 Responses to “Satan Tagline Church Not The Victim of Hackers”

  • Art Gelwicks
    February 14, 2006

    The quote on the site was an unfortunate mistake that was present for quite a while before being caught. As soon as it was caught it was corrected and the note of appreciation for the catch is a sincere thank you to those who informed the church.
    This has created a spike in our traffic and is something that we’re rapidly dealing with. The response has been more than we had planned on but and is honestly a little surprising but nothing that cannot be addressed.
    Making statements like you have in your first paragraph though about being a victim of hackers is woefully inaccurate. I encourage you to contact the church to get the truth on events at any time.
    Art Gelwicks
    St. James UCC of Limerick, PA

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  • Justin
    February 14, 2006

    I was gonna say “Hackers” is a load of crap. “Hackers” don’t get access to a site and modify a PICTURE with a bible verse. Typically they’ll trash the entire site, or they’ll insert some nasty coding on each html page to cause damage to users. I suspect this is someone finding a verse that sounds good, and not reading anything before or after it.
    I give Art credit for stepping up and doing damage control.
    Now that you have all this free PR, take advantage of it. =)

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  • RC
    February 14, 2006

    Very interesting, I can just imagine some people in the church being like “what…blogs…how did this get out of control? what?”
    Churches typically don’t seem very prepared to handle PR in these circumstances.
    –RC of

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  • Conservative Culture
    February 14, 2006

    UPDATE: Satan Speaks For One UCC Church

    Update: It appears now that the rather humorous and odious tag-line was a potential hack. I appreciate Bene Diction Blog for having actually written for a response from the church in question. Good advice to not jump on the bandwagon. Certainly the UC…

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  • Kent Shaffer
    February 14, 2006

    Let this be a wake up call to the church world of the viral nature of the internet.
    Art, I send you my sympathy.

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  • Shane
    February 14, 2006

    As one of their major accomplishments, this church lists ordaining the first gay and lesbian ministers. Hopefullly that is the result of hackers, but unfortunately probably not.

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  • Kevin D. Hendricks
    February 14, 2006

    Hey, Shane, uh, not sure if you noticed but the hacker bit was untrue. I’ve tried to correct that everywhere I could. No Hackers.
    If you know anything about the United Church of Christ, the bit about ordaining homosexual ministers is true. You may have heard that more than a few congregations are going through controversies over that, and the UCC is one of the few that has embraced homosexuality. I’m not saying it’s right, I’m just saying them’s the facts.

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  • Joe
    February 17, 2006

    Yup. Not a controversy for them anymore.

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