Interesting story in Riptide, entitled "Hungry for Jesus", written by Michael E. Miller. The article starts off with a very inaccurate statement that "kids are starving themselves for salvation." Although Mr. Miller did one biblical citations for his hollow research on Daniel the prophet in the Old Testament, clearly the most important biblical figure, Jesus Christ, and the entire concept of salvation seems to have slipped through his research. First of all, not only has fasting been mentioned in the Bible since before the New Testament, meaning it is not something designed specifically for Jesus, but rather for God, but moreover salvation as described in the Bible (the book the author himself cites as a source for background information) comes through faith in Jesus as being the son of God that was crucified for the sins of all people so that by faith in him they will receive above referenced salvation. It is described as being given freely and undeserved, not being granted to someone through works or rituals but a simple evaluation of their heart by God. It's very simple and explained in the New Testament at length. Nowhere in the bible does it say that fasting will grant you salvation. Nowhere in the Bible is that a condition for salvation or a factor in determining whether or not you will get it. If you want to mock a religious group for practices you find silly how about you at the very least not distort the concept behind the practice in question with misleading statements. Fasting is a personal decision based on the believer that they may want to strengthen their relationship with God and worship him for a period of days or weeks. Not only is this not exclusive to Christianity, but it is offensive and unethical to question a person's religious practices that have no endangerment to the safety or well being of others. Rich Wilkerson, the Ken Doll, is not the first person to promote such an act of worship, nor the inventor of this idea. Obviously those people are not fasting for their personal health or to drop 20 lbs for a movie role like the celebrity actors quite frequently do and is cited in magazines all the time. So what exactly is your point by pointing out that it's not healthy? Clearly this point is merely a weak attempt at weakening the religious practice of others without an ounce of respect of legitimate inquiry.
Mr. Miller should refrain from criticizing children on their belief on God, whoever God their God may be, or criticizing groups of multi-cultural and multi-ethnic people coming together in peace and harmony, who are not enforcing their views on others and are simply coming together as an assembly consistent with all of the freedom provided by our constitution? Solidarity, a common term used by people with regard to standing together against divisive oppressors, is a beautiful thing whether it is done in the name of civil rights or it be done in the name of God. I would think the latter would be more sustainable for bringing people together seeing as it is something that involves no politics in its truest form. If it brings about unity, why bash it? Unless Mr. Miller is hell bent on debunking religious practices all together by his original and ground breaking scientific observations.
PS - Daniel, is most famous not for his refusing to eat at King Nebuchadnezzar's sumptuous table, but for standing up for what he believes in, even when he was ordered by an oppressive king to stop praying, he did not stop doing so, and consequently the king ordered that he should be killed by the cruel and tortuous death of being fed to Lions. He didn't die, and the King acknowledged that he was in fact protected by God, and that King worshipped Daniel's God after that incident. Just a little background that should have struck out to Mr. Miller had he actually understood the significance of the biblical figure, Daniel.
I hope the Miami New Times continues to encourage their principles of exposing the truth and of strengthening the community by admonishing their writers from slanderous pieces that defile a religious group for no reason other than to mock it and use it for satire. For as we all know that those who oppress freedom of religion and freedom of speech are never friends of the rights of the people and are never advocates of truth.
One more thing, check out the link to see what the kneeling skeleton kids really look like:http://vimeo.com/19266868