Rick Warren Tells Staff Not to Follow Atheists on Twitter

Apparently, the megachurch pastor told his staff yesterday not to follow people like us:

Some of you (and some of our church accounts -like our 12 cities accounts) are following people on Twitter that you should NOT be following.

I frequently notice that often atheists, critics of saddleback, and mean-spirited or vulgar accounts often have dozens of staff or Saddleback accounts following them! This is true even when these people only have a very few follower. Because of automatic adds, we often make up the majority of followers of these mean-spirited Christian or anti-Christian folks!

I understand not wanting staffers (using official church Twitter feeds) to follow non-Christians. But staffers? On their own time? What are you worried about, Rick? That some of them will see our tweets and suddenly become rational? That they’ll see something you consider inappropriate and magically fall into a life of drugs and alcohol?

This isn’t just a boss managing his staff. This is Warren fulfilling his role as captain of the thought-police. It’s not enough to be a good Christian; you’re also not allowed to have your mind “corrupted” by anyone who might deviate from the Biblical message.

I guess staffers will have to cue up the anonymous Twitter accounts… or they’ll just have to follow people like Rick Warren, who can tweet no wrong:

(via Christian Nightmares)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • http://northierthanthou.com/ northierthanthou

    Lol, so apparently Rick Warren knows the atheist accounts on twitter pretty well, lol, …but of course he doesn’t follow them.

  • http://northierthanthou.com/ northierthanthou

    A second theme that comes to mind is the absolute demonization of his critics.  To oppose Christianity is, according to his approach in that letter, vulger and hateful. …this same standard should of course be applied to criticism of homosexuality, right? or maybe not. I get confused.

    • The Other Weirdo

       No, because when he is the critic, why that’s OK of course. But you! How dare you criticize me and my beliefs? Some people just believe their own propaganda.

      • nowaRINO

        ..but, but, but Rick Warren has God on his side. Any criticism of Rick is blasphemy and must be shunned!

  • http://chaoskeptic.blogspot.com Rev. Ouabache

    Sounds like he’s more worried about image than anything else. If his staffers follow atheists then people in his congregations might start to realize that atheists aren’t amoral baby eaters. And we can’t have that, can we?

  • MegaZeusThor

    My adult mind can not believe in Santa. I wonder if Rick is worried that his staff might actually think about the idea of a deity (not too different than Jolly Old Nick) and question the existence of the invisible magic man.

    Ever notice how Yahweh was supposedly happy to communicate with characters in the bible, but not so much now?

  • http://twitter.com/oceanclub Paul Moloney

    Perhaps Rick was worried about them finding out about saddlebacking:

    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Saddlebacking

    P.

  • Spherical Basterd

    Dat Debbil, he do hate to be mocked!

  • ortcutt

    Atheists never tell people not to read what Christians write or not to read the Bible.  (A handful of atheists may advise that it’s a waste of time, but that’s another matter.)  You have to wonder whether if Christianity were true and supported by the facts, why Christians (and Jews, Muslims, etc…) are so afraid of their “flocks” reading opposing arguments?

    • http://annainca.blogspot.com/ Anna

      It seems to be extremely common in the evangelical and fundamentalist world, this desire to seal oneself off from non-Christians. Not only are they not supposed to follow atheists on Twitter, they’re really not supposed to interact with us at all, unless they’re doing so for the express purpose of converting us. “Unequally yoked,” and all that. There’s such an emphasis on fear in this subculture: fear of dissension, fear of doubt, and this constant fear of falling off the path, of needing to build faith up and be surrounded only by people, media, etc. that support what they already believe.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ORRVVC5R2QWLTXEM6SX5L6BORE Jay Arrrr

    This isn’t surprising. when I worked for a TV ministry, there were memos coming down from On High all the time about not being seen buying a 6-pack of beer at the grocery, or smoking, or coming out of a bar or strip club, etc.
    The corker was the one that decreed that you could not go to lunch with a person of the opposite sex unless you were married to them.

    Ol’ Rick seems to know a lot about which Atheists are being followed by the folks at Bareback church, don’t he?

  • cipher

    And he’s considered to be one of the most “liberal” in their world – so much so that many of them don’t consider him a Christian.

  • Tom

    How are they supposed to rescue us sinful atheists from hellfire and bring us to Jesus if they’re not allowed to communicate with us?

    Or are they allowed to talk to us, but not listen to any response we make (deploying “this is not a conversation” flowchart in 3…2…)?  Because that would severely limits their capacity to even try to refute any sticking points we might have. 

    For the purposes of evangelism, it’s stupid behaviour – it works against their own goals and benefits nothing and no one else.  Unless, of course, their evangelical goals have shifted from “witness and recruit more into the fold” to “keep hold of who we’ve already got,” which is encouraging because it means they’re on the back foot, but disquieting because this siege mentality is the kind of thing that could eventually set the people already inside the cult on the road to Jonestown.

    As Peter Watts put it, perfect shielding is
    perfect blindness, and this is not the kind of neighborhood where you
    want to keep your eyes closed.

    • cipher

      How are they supposed to rescue us sinful atheists from hellfire and
      bring us to Jesus if they’re not allowed to communicate with us?

      See, here’s how it works – they’re allowed to talk to us; they just aren’t allowed to listen.

  • Matto the Hun

    Yeah, they should lead a Purpose Driven Life… so long as that purpose is directed by a preacher man… and more importantly, when that man is Rick.

  • Tainda

    You can catch atheism through cyber contact now!!!  RUN!

  • http://twitter.com/TominousTone Thomas Lawson

    One of his deacons was following me. Too lazy to check if he still is, but I hope he saw my tweet that revamped the sexist tweet he deleted…

    Here’s the revamp: https://twitter.com/TominousTone/status/208648749801684992

    Attached is the original…

    • Gwydion Frost

      Gee, Thomas, it’s worse than just being sexist… it’s mocking the “holy institution of marriage”. Doesn’t this guy profess that marriage is solely between a man and a woman…? Neither of these creatures are human– ergo, “GOD HATES HERMIT THRUSHES!”

      • http://twitter.com/TominousTone Thomas Lawson

        Oh, so THAT’s the reason he deleted it from his feed. I thought it might have been the condescending I Timothy 2 verses that tell women to shutty their holy-holes.

  • http://twitter.com/TominousTone Thomas Lawson

    I don’t have that many followers, so it was easy to check. What do you think, should I get this guy in trouble? I mean, c’mon, I have a big picture of my book “Letters from an ATHEIST Nation” on my profile page! Maybe he’s out of the email loop?

  • Ibis3

    I don’t know why he’s worried. From that tweet, it seems like he and many of the atheists are in the same camp.

    • Ancora62imparo

       In contrast, I would encourage christians to READ THE BIBLE!  Doing so is what converted me to atheism.

    • Anony

      After reading your comments, I understand his concern.

  • http://www.summerseale.com/ Summer Seale

    Wow, they really do think that we’re the worst people in the world, don’t they.

    No mention of not being allowed to follow others “groups” of people?

  • Glasofruix

    I can’t even imagine that my (future) boss could tell me what i can or cannot read or listen during my free time, because i’d respond with a “Fuck you, i’m not ten and you’re not my mother”.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001627228091 Alexander Ryan

    Apparently we’re so deplorable that even keeping tabs on what we’re doing is wrong. We’re not even worth their hate time anymore. *sniff* Where’s the lo- I mean hate?

  • Rick

    The funny thing is that Rick “favorites” tweets that are critical of him. I remember I tweeted directly to him about some stupid shit he was saying, and he “favorited” my tweet. I believe he manages his own twitter account, or at least was at that time. I guess he likes to remind himself of how persecuted he is.

  • Rwlawoffice

    Why ignore the real reasons he stated in his memo and make up ones that have no basis?  

    • http://twitter.com/TominousTone Thomas Lawson

      Valid excuse right here! Warren’s not telling his staff not to add them to a private list or anything. He just wants their profiles to look good, not give atheists big Follower Counts, and not poison other wholesome followers that might want to copy them and follow the people they follow. I get it.

      But Rick’s still a douche because he said: “…as a follower of a worthless account…”

      We’re worthless? I may not believe in the talking ass in the Bible, but I believe in the one named Rick Warren.

    • http://www.facebook.com/Vinnehkins Ashley Delano

      “Some of you (and some of our church accounts -like our 12 cities
      accounts) are following people on Twitter that you should NOT be
      following.”

      I would think the “Some of you” part would imply their personal account since he continues with the “and some of our church accounts”. After all, if he was simply talking about one’s church account wouldn’t he simply state their church accounts and not mention the people themselves? I could be wrong in assuming that, and you know what happens to people who assume.

      Also, the “WHO YOU FOLLOW ON FACEBOOK AND TWITTER IS A WITNESS TO OTHERS” is a pretty good key in to the fact that he doesn’t want anyone dealing with us “hateful atheists” at all, even on a personal level. Especially since they believe that their god can see them and will judge them as less than worthy if they follow and friend atheists on facebook and Twitter since they’re acknowledging people who don’t believe what they believe and…y’know, us atheists “deny God” and only speak hate and such nonsense. That would then imply that they’d have to have anonymous accounts so nobody would know they follow atheists. But again, that’s my assumption with the way that it’s worded in the email.

      • http://twitter.com/TominousTone Thomas Lawson

        He says nothing about putting atheists on a private list. Lots of atheists are ahead of the game and have tons of fundies on private lists, which keeps the fundies’ Follower Counts low.

        This is all about appearances. He doesn’t want atheist accounts to have bloated Follower Counts and he doesn’t want his staff to appear to endorse atheist accounts, which lemmings would follow just because their Kool-Aid providers follow them.

  • DesertSun59

    That’s so amusing.  I’m an atheist and I follow them… like a hawk.

  • B_R_Deadite99

    In the words of Hit Girl; “Whatta douche!”

  • me99

    Megachurch is just another word for cult.

  • Robert Herrick

    I’m not smart about twitter, etc. but that screen capture shows Pastor Rick Warren’s e-mail address, something I assume he intends to keep private.  Would it be possible for someone to “accidentally” sign him up for all kinds of twitter feeds?

  • Gregory Lynn

    What a pathetically small minded little shit.

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

    “Don’t look over there.”
    “Huh?”
    “I said, don’t look over there!”
    “Over where?”
    “Over there!
    “I’m not sure exactly where…”
    “Look where I’m pointing.”
    “Oh there? Wait, there, or there?”
    “Here, look down my finger where I’m pointing. See? Right there.”
    “Oh therrrre. I see where now. Now, what where you saying about there?”
    “I said don’t look over there.”
    “I wasn’t.”
    Good. I just wanted to make sure.”
    “Oh. …  …  …  …Why?”
    “Why what?”
    “Why did you want to make sure?
    Because I don’t want you to look over there!
    “Why not?”

    (etcetera, etcetera, etcetera…)

     

  • spudeyes

    Wow!  This sounds like something a former pastor of mine did about twelve years ago!  I am no longer a Christian BTW. 

  • NickDB

    I think this is awesome. What’s the best way to get someone to do something?

    Tell them not to do it, especially if they’re teenagers.

  • 3rdtry

     ‎”You cannot speak truth to a Christian who has the power to prevent it and expect to get away with it.” 
    Christians cannot prove their faith, all they can prove is that their faith absolutely requires deliberate ignorance. And deliberate ignorance is not only the antithesis of science, it is also nothing if not the definition of stupidity.
    And they wonder -why- we cannot bring ourselves to respect their faith?

  • kaydenpat

    I guess he’ll follow any staff members who disobey this edict.  Talk about a benevolent dictator. 

  • Delarosalindsay

     His staff won’t be allowed to follow those twitter accounts, yet Warren still finds it perfectly acceptable to call atheists ‘swine’, ‘dogs’, and ‘fools’.  


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