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h/t: Kyle Mantyla at RWW 


Twenty-one former Mars Hill Church employees have lodged charges against Senior Pastor (and church founder) Mark Driscoll, saying that he “engaged in a pattern of abusive and intimidating conduct and that he has not changed his domineering behavior.”

It’s not the least bit surprising, to anyone familiar with Driscoll’s steez and recentcontroversies, but satisfying nonetheless.

Via the Seattle P-I:

In a lengthy confidential letter, first obtained by Warren Throckmorton of Patheos, the former pastors voice gratitude for “Pastor Mark’s ministry” and say: “He has taught us sound doctrine.”

"Yet we believe that Mark has also impacted us, the church, and the watching and listening world with a pattern of harmful ways. We feel responsible to submit these charges for the sake of the gospel, our own consciences and the future well-being of Mars Hill Church."

Update: The church released this statement to our news partner KOMO News:

"We take these allegations seriously and we are thankful that we have a process in place where allegations will be reviewed by our board and our elders. As it is relatively new that these former elders submitted this, at this time we don’t have any information on how long that process will take or what the outcome will be, but we look forward to having Pastor Mark back from vacation this Sunday."

Couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy. In conclusion, look at his fucking necklace.

Image via AP.

Source: Lindy West for Jezebel

UPDATE: Here’s more information on Mark Driscoll’s alleged abuse of ex-employees:

I wouldn’t normally give extra attention to preening alpha evangedouche Mark Driscoll, but he seems to be popping up more and more in my mainstream feeds lately. His existence is not news, but if people are going to know who this guy is, I want to make sure they know who this guy is. The Seattle-based mega-pastor has turned “cool” Christianity into a thriving brand, luring new parishioners with his salt-and-pepper fauxhawk (I KNOW), phat sound system, and willingness to use phrases like “phat sound system” with a straight face. That marketability has landed him a bunch of book deals, nearly half a million Twitter followers, and the chance to get his butthole caressed on Fox and Friends. Oh, and he also bullies effeminate men for fun, thinks divorce is the fault of ugly wives riddled with sex demons, and requires congregants to sign a covenant vowing to abstain from “homosexuality, pornography, and fornication.”

Bitch summed it up tidily in this 2012 article:

The church’s blend of pop culture and strict Calvinist doctrine allows congregants to occupy a unique, rebellious niche between middle-aged conservative Christians and their secular liberal contemporaries. Mars Hill members talk about sex, drink alcohol, get tattoos, and swear. They listen to Fleet Foxes; they love Star Wars and graffiti art. They also believe homosexuality is a sin, men are meant to lead, and wives must submit to their husbands as the church submits to God.

I don’t blame young people for seeking a worship community that speaks to their demographics and aesthetics, but Driscoll’s Mars Hill Church sells oppressive traditionalism dressed up in tattoos and hoodies. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to suggest that young Christians look for a church that fulfills their spiritual and social needs without making them complicit in misogyny and homophobia. If you’re a socially liberal Christian, I don’t know why you’d want to make such a massive and destructive compromise. I’d also wager that you’re not as socially liberal as your vanity tells you.

Anyway, Driscoll’s latest arrived in my inbox via Christian Nightmares—he’s now palling around with Friend of Dorothy Glenn Beck on Beck’s online talk show. The interview is, predictably, focused on men and men’s problems and the importance of men and how men are our only hope of saving “Christiandom” [sic]. Driscoll admonishes his male flock for not bothering to “[take] a gal on a date, maybe to get a wife out of the deal”; parrots that old MRA talking point about how men do shitty in school; and adds that a lot of men don’t bother getting driver’s licenses because they’d rather “download porn on their phone while they’re on their bus trip.” (Quick Q: Whaaaaaaaat the fuck are you talking about. If you’re trying to convince me that you have no idea how porno works, then NICELY PLAYED, DRISCOLL.)

Because, of course, if you lose control of the men, then who will control the women!?

After that, Beck and Driscoll spend ten minutes whining about how oppressed they are by the concept of “tolerance.” Classic stuff. Great stuff.

Anyway, this seemed like as good a time as any to take a look back at a few of Mark Driscoll’s Greatest Hits—just in case there are people catching him on The View or being forwarded his video sermons by well-meaning aunts and feeling tempted by his faux-progressive peacocking. This organization is as regressive as they come. This dude is terrible and says terrible shit. But don’t take my word for it—take his.

The Time Mark Driscoll Referred to Women as “Weaker Vessels”

I don’t know if this really counts as “a time,” because it’s one of the cornerstones of Driscoll’s messaging so he’s kind of never not saying it. But don’t worry, girls! Just because you’re “weaker” doesn’t mean you’re inferior. In fact, Driscoll goes out of his way to make it clear thatmen and women are equal: “Equal but different. Within the covenant of marriage, men are the head and women are the helpers.”

Like, brah, maybe you’re just catching up on the reading list, but I crushed Animal Farm in the SIXTH GRADE.

The Time Mark Driscoll Said that Men Should Prune and Fertilize Their Wives Like a Prize Turnip or Something

Via The Stranger:

A husband should be the firm and responsible head of his household, the leader of a “little flock called home and family.” He should think of his wife as “a garden” and himself as “the gardener.” If you look at your garden and don’t like how it looks, Driscoll preaches, just remember: “You are the gardener.”

The Time Mark Driscoll Told Women that If They’re Unhappy with Constrictive Gender Roles Then the Baby Jesus Will Send Them a Punishment-Headache

Via ExChristian:

Women will be saved by going back to that role that God has chosen for them. Ladies, if the hair on the back of your neck stands up it is because you are fighting your role in the scripture.

The Time Mark Driscoll Compared Being Married to a Woman to Water Torture

Via Slog:

They’re quarrelsome. They’re a nag. And some women — you’re a nag. You’re disrespectful. You’re quarrelsome. Being married to you is like a life sentence, and the guy’s just scratching on his wall every day. Proverbs talks about certain women—they’re like a dripping faucet. You ever tried to sleep with a dripping faucet? Plunk, plunk, plunk, plunk, plunk. It’s what we use to torture people who are prisoners of war. A wife is like that.

A wife is like that.

The Time Mars Hill Church Announced They Were Opening a Parish Near Seattle’s Historically LGBT-Friendly Neighborhood So They Could Help All the Gross AIDS People

In January of this year, Mars Hill management announced the opening of a new parish in downtown Seattle (taking over the gorgeous First United Methodist Church, where I had my choir concerts when I was little, so SCREW THEM FOR THAT TOO), gleefully explaining: “Being closer to Capitol Hill is a blessing as we are serving and ministering to those who are infected with AIDS on the hill.” Spoken like a true ally/medical doctor! As usual, Slog responded best:

What services does Mars Hill perform for people with AIDS on Capitol Hill? Did they mean actually HIV, which is more common than AIDS? Why do they believe Capitol Hill is such a hotbed of AIDS? Because it’s younger? Because it’s gayer? Do they regret moving farther away from older neighborhoods like Magnolia that presumably have higher rates of cancer and other, generally more fatal diseases? Do they think that Capitol Hill is a disease-infested bastion of faggot heathens who can only find salvation in their hateful rhetoric, generalizations, and misappropriation of Jesus to control their cultish society and promote their repressive political agenda?

The Time Mars Hill Didn’t Actually Let Gay People Be Members of the Church, Despite All the AIDS They Supposedly Have that Needs Ministering

Via Crosscut:

To be clear, GLBT are welcome to attend and participate at Mars Hill Downtown. They are not able to become members of the church.

The Time It Turned Out They Were Just Lying About Doing that HIV/AIDS Outreach Anyway

When asked what sort of “serving and ministering” they’d be doing for Seattle’s purportedly AIDS-riddled homosexuals, a Mars Hill spokesman explained that they were in the “beginning stages” of volunteering with the Lifelong AIDS Alliance. When reached for comment, Lifelong replied, “What? Ugh, no.”

The Time Mark Driscoll Said that Jesus Sends Him Special Hallucinations of Children Being Molested

That’s probably the greatest impression of “grandfather admitting to molesting a baby” ever committed to film.

The Time Mark Driscoll Asked His Congregants to Join Him in Mocking Effeminate Men

Via Rachel Held Evans:

"So, what story do you have about the most effeminate anatomically male worship leader you’ve ever personally witnessed?"

The Time Mark Driscoll Told a Woman in Marriage Counseling that She Had “Sex Demons” and Then Performed a “Surprise Exorcism

Via Slog:

Amy describes Mark’s demeanor toward her as a “fiery tirade”. During this encounter, Mark told Amy he believed that every one of her sins were “sex based.” He said that the demons inside her were out to destroy every one of the marriages in their circle of friends.

"At one point," says Amy, "he asked me which one of my husband’s friends I had imagined sleeping with."
Amy was dumbfounded by Mark’s questions and accusations. But she also admits, because she no longer trusted Mark, she was also slightly terrified of what was about to happen.

The Time Mark Driscoll Said that Male Masturbation “Borders on Homosexuality” Because You’re Touching a Dude’s Dong

Via Slog:

First, masturbation can be a form of homosexuality because it is a sexual act that does not involve a woman. If a man were to masturbate while engaged in other forms of sexual intimacy with his wife then he would not be doing so in a homosexual way. However, any man who does so without his wife in the room is bordering on homosexuality activity, particularly if he’s watching himself in a mirror and being turned on by his own male body.


The Time Mars Hill Church Harassed and Invasively Pried into the Lives of Members Who Violated Its “Covenant”

Via The Stranger:

Lance quit the church.

But the church didn’t quit him. Not only was he barred from speaking with his now-former friends at the church, Lance says his pastor threatened to contact any future church that he might attend. And then Lance’s pastor took the extra step of calling the father of Lance’s girlfriend in Colorado. “They were warning him how dangerous I was,” Lance says. “That I was on a path of destruction that could result in the death of his daughter.”

The Time Mars Hill Church Used “Cool” Christianity to Prey on Vulnerable Young People Who Are New in Town, Going Through a Traumatic Stage of Life, Estranged from Their Families, and/or Just Lonely and Looking for Friends at the Coffee Shop

I don’t need a citation for that one. I live in Seattle.

The Time Mark Driscoll Wrote Nine Million Words About How Yoga Is “Demonic”

Via Pastor Mark TV:

As I’ve explained in this post, yoga is a religious philosophy that is in direct opposition to Christianity. Thus, in its true form, yoga cannot be simply received by any Christian in good conscious [UGH, SIC]. To do so would be to reject the truths of Scripture and thus Jesus himself.

The Time Pastor Mark Wrote “Conscious” Instead of “Conscience” Like a Fucking 9th-Grader


The Time Mark Driscoll Behaves Just Like the Satan He’s Supposedly Decrying

Via Amazon:

He saves his Satan talk for the last chapter in which he says “Satan’s goal is for you to take the bait without seeing the hook. Once the hook is in your mouth, he’ll reel you in to take you as his captive” (p. 222) which is especially eerie for me in context of those I’ve known who have been involved at Mars Hill Church and have left. The good things on the surface drew them in. The shame and vying for absolution kept them there. But if Jesus said his yoke is easy and you are toiling under what you are being taught, is it possible something is wrong? If you are not allowed to bring your questions to your faith community, is it even a community of faith?

The Time Mars Hill Church Was So Oppressive and Abusive and Manipulative that Former Members Felt the Need to Form Support Groups and Blog Communities to Cope with Their Experiences There

See MarsHillRefugeJoyfulExiles, and probably others.

The Time Mark Driscoll Said that Ted Haggard Had Meth-Sex with a Male Prostitute Because His Ugly Wife Probably Didn’t Blow Him Enough

Via The Stranger:

"A wife who lets herself go and is not sexually available to her husband in the ways that the Song of Songs is so frank about is not responsible for her husband’s sin, but she may not be helping him either."

The Time Mark Driscoll Called James Cameron’s Avatar ”The Most Demonic, Satanic Movie I’ve Ever Seen”

Via Christianity Today:

Driscoll denounced its “demonic paganism” and its portrayal of a “false Jesus” and a “false heaven.” He also took issue with the film’s depiction of “connecting, literally, with trees and animals and beasts and birds.” Driscoll also said, “That any Christian could watch that without seeing the overt demonism is beyond me.”

Everyone’s a critic.

The Time Mark Driscoll Called Me a Murderer

Via Fox News:

Both science and Scripture are absolutely clear that life begins at conception. Taking a human life is murder, by definition, which makes abortion a murderous act.

I’m assuming “Science” is just the name of a guy he met on the bus?

The Time Mark Driscoll ALL OF THIS

Via the NYT:

As hip as he looks, his message brooks no compromise with Seattle’s permissive culture. New members can keep their taste in music, their retro T-shirts and their intimidating facial hair, but they had better abandon their feminism, premarital sex and any “modern” interpretations of the Bible. Driscoll is adamantly not the “weepy worship dude” he associates with liberal and mainstream evangelical churches, “singing prom songs to a Jesus who is presented as a wuss who took a beating and spent a lot of time putting product in his long hair.”

…The mainstream church, Driscoll has written, has transformed Jesus into “a Richard Simmons, hippie, queer Christ,” a “neutered and limp-wristed popular Sky Fairy of pop culture that … would never talk about sin or send anyone to hell.”

Okey dokey, bro.


During a speech in Texas last week, Rafael Cruz, the father of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), encouraged religious leaders to “restore America” by distributing biblical voting guides in church.

“When government ceases to work towards those ends it is our right, and it is I believe our duty, to remove that government and replace it with another government,” the conservative pastor said July 31 at Trinity I.S.D. Auditorium, paraphrasing the Declaration of Independence.

The event was promoted by the Trinity County Republican Party of Texas.


Mississippi Republican Sends Bibles To Everyone In Congress For ‘Advice Meditating On God’s Word’

Hagee on pro-choice and LGBTQ-affirming Christians:

“You people who are running around calling yourselves Christians supporting abortion, you are not!” he thundered.

“Our greatest problem in this nation is counterfeit Christianity,” he explained later in the sermon, telling gay-affirming pastors, “Those of you who got on national television and endorsed homosexual lifestyle because the president did so, you are a counterfeit Christian, you are a moral coward, you are a hireling shepherd. Shame on you.”

Hagee on welfare and immigrants:

One of these was social safety net programs. “To those of you who are sick, to those of you who are elderly, to those of you who are disabled, we gladly support you,” he said. “To the healthy who can work but won’t work, get your nasty self off the couch and go get a job!”

“America has rewarded laziness and we’ve called it welfare,” he said, adding that “God’s position” is that “the man who does not work shall not eat.”


Hagee also linked the possible doom of America to the crisis of unaccompanied minors fleeing violence in Central America, who he claimed are being used for cover by “rapists, murderers, pedophiles, drug pushers, terrorists” who are “being treated like royalty at your expense.” 

h/t: Jack Jenkins at Think Progress LGBT

H/T: Scientistocrat at Daily Kos


You might remember swaggering, misogynist evangedouche/human Affliction tee Mark Driscoll from being terrible on Glenn Beck, being terrible on Fox and Friends, or being terrible any time he does anything ever, which is all the time. But he’s really ramped up the action in the last month or so! It seems like dude can’t open his praise-hole lately without face-planting in a big pile of PR doodoo.

Brendan Kiley at the Stranger rounded up some of Driscoll’s latest greatest shits (if you aren’t familiar with Mark Driscoll at all, you can play catch-up here):

The backlash against pastor Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill church is growing—and this time, it’s Christians and former Mars Hill insiders who are beginning to lead it. This Sunday, Driscoll released a quasi-apology video with a little stab at his “critics” in the church, calling them “anonymous” with the implication that they’re cowards. That kicked off the "We Are Not Anonymous" Facebook page (with comments like “Mark Driscoll you know who we are… look under the bus!”) and calls for a protest at the Mars Hill Bellevue site this Sunday.

"It’s like Romney at the party talking about the '47 percent,'" says protest organizer Jim Henderson (referring to the video capturing the presidential candidate dismissing 47 percent of Americans as idiotic freeloaders who will vote for Obama). "It’s just one of those moments when he served it up for us to hit it out of the park."

And the VERY latest: Former Mars Hill members have dug up some old posts—written pseudonymously by Driscoll—in which he declares that “we live in a pussified nation” and, by contrast, hell looks like a good placebecause at least a man is in charge, has a bit of order and let’s men spit and scratch as needed.”


Hahahahahahaha, crash and burn, dong-face. Thanks for confirming what we already knew about you: Faith is just a cover. Oppressing women and gay people is your real religion. You and your hate and your profit margins are your real God.

Here’s just a taste of what Mark Driscoll, “hipster pastor,” says when he thinks nobody’s looking:

We live in a completely pussified nation.

We could get every man, real man as opposed to pussified James Dobson knock-off crying Promise Keeping homoerotic worship loving mama’s boy sensitive emasculated neutered exact male replica evangellyfish, and have a conference in a phone booth. It all began with Adam, the first of the pussified nation, who kept his mouth shut and watched everything fall headlong down the slippery slide of hell/feminism when he shut his mouth and listened tohis wife who thought Satan was a good theologian when he should have lead her and exercised his delegated authority as king of the planet. As a result, he was cursed for listening to his wife and every man since has been his pussified sit quietly by and watch a nation of men be raised by bitter penis envying burned feministed single mothers who make sure that Johnny grows up to be a very nice woman who sits down to pee.

So, Johnny hits youth group one day to hear from his pussified youth pastor that he should perfect his virginity and dating skills. So Johnny tries to be a loving and patient man who looks for a nice woman like mom who will whip him into shape and beat him into submission so that he can one day join a men’s accountability group and learn how to keep his urges under control, which just causes him to be earn a B.A. in masturbation, M.A. in porno, andPhD in knuckleheadology as Johnny is now so terrified of women and his own penis that he sits in his room alone each night on the internet hoping to get some (with the occasional "falling into sin" with a woman as they inevitabaly cross "boundaries" of intimacy) because he’s so afraid of women and has no idea how to take one, or love one, or serve one, or take one to bed and make the Song of Songs sing again.

One day Johnny finally gives in to the pressure of his pre-humpers singles ministry and gets stuck with some gal left on the shelf long after her expiration date that is just like dear old mom who wants him to shut up like Adam, take his beating, and join a church men’s group that is really a woman’s group in disguise complete with cookies and crying andantidepressants to cope with the insanity.

Poor Johnny is by now so completely whacked that he’s afraid of having kids and hold off his taking on any more responsibility as long as he can because Johnny is a boy trapped in a man’s body walking around in a world of other boys all trying to keep their pee pee behind their zipper and do just like their momma told them and be good women.

And so the culture and families and churches sprint to hell because the men aren’t doing their job and the feminists continue their rant that it’s all our fault and we should just let them be pastors and heads of homes and run the show. And the more we do, the more hell looks like a good place because at least a man is in charge, has a bit of order and let’s men spit and scratch as needed. And all their whining and fighting is nothing more than furtherevidence that we are still kings and unless we do our job everyone and everything is getting screwed except Johnny (metaphorically speaking of course).

I know many of the women will disagree, and they like Eve should not speak on this matter. And, many men will also disagree, which is further proof of the pussified epidemic having now become air born and universal.

Pussified men are inarguably legion.

Nothing short of an exorcism is needed.

OKEY DOKEY, BRO. And there’s so, so much more here.

Reminder: Over ten thousand people attend services at this man’s churches. Hundreds of thousands of people watch his online sermon. Almost half a million people follow him on Twitter. If you live in the Seattle area, it’s pretty much a given that someone you know has left your social circle for Mars Hill’s promise of “cool Christianity”—which encourages members to distance themselves from non-believing friends and family.

This is what they left you for. This is Mars Hill.

Source: Lindy West for Jezebel 

UPDATE: Here’s more of the controversial comments that Mark Driscoll has made.

Mark Driscoll is wrong. 

Godly men stick up for people, not make fun of them.

Godly men honor women, not belittle them

Godly men love their gay and lesbian neighbors, not ridicule them

Godly men celebrate femininity, not trash it.

Godly men own their sexuality, not flaunt it

Godly men pursue peace, not dismiss it

Godly men rise above violence, not glorify it

Godly men build up the Church, not embarrass it

Godly men imitate Christ—who praised the gentle and the peacemakers, who stood up for the exploited and abused, who showed compassion for the downtrodden,  who valued women, and who loved his enemies to the point of death. 

If this Facebook status were Pastor Mark Driscoll’s first offense, it might not warrant a strong response.But Mark has developed a pattern of immaturity and unkindness that has remained largely unchecked by his church. In evangelical circles, he’s like the kid from high school who makes crude jokes at every opportunity, uses the words “gay” and “queer” to describe the things he most detests, encourages his friends to subject the unpopular kids to ridicule, and belittles the guys who aren’t “macho” or “manly” enough to be in his club.  

As blogger Tyler Clark put it, “When you put out a call on Facebook for people verbally attack ‘effeminate anatomically male’ men, I find myself back in high school—shoved against a locker, with the bullies calling me a faggot.” 

What we have on our hands is a bully. 

And this bully is teaching the young men at his church and under his influence that bullying is an acceptable expression of “biblical manhood.”

This has to stop. As followers of Jesus, we are obligated to stick up for the least of these, especially when they are being publicly bullied in the name of Christ. 

We are also obligated to use the proper channels to do so. Many have asked that Mark apologize, but he has refused. Many have written blog posts expressing their concern, but he remains defiant. It’s time to take some more practical steps: 

Today I emailed Mars Hill Church to request that the elders take whatever measures necessary to stop Mark’s bullying once and for all. No more empty apologies. This behavior must change. 

If you wish to do the same, here’s how: 

Mars Hill Church 
1411 NW 50th
Seattle, WA 98107

(206) 816-3500


If you know Mark personally or attend his church, approach him as a friend and request that he get the counseling he needs to deal with this destructive pattern. Bullying is as harmful to the bully as it is to the victim.

And to turn this bad situation into something good, consider joining the “I’m Sorry Campaign" to apologize for the ways that we as Christians have harmed the LGBT community.

Mark’s bullying is unacceptable.

Stop talking about it and do something.

[Update: Mark Driscoll has responded.]

h/t: J. Lester Feder at BuzzFeed

h/t: Amanda Marcotte at AlterNet

H/T: Brian Tashman at RWW

h/t: Brian Tashman at RWW

h/t: Alexander Zaitchik at Rolling Stone

h/t: Michael Sherrard at TPM


Is your head spinning from all the talk about religious exemptions these days? From ENDA to Hobby Lobby to state-level "turn away the gays" bills, that phrase is on the lips of everyone who works in, advocates for, or cares about LGBT civil rights.

But what does it mean?

The Daily Beast's Jay Michaelson comes to the rescue with a piece called “Why Progressives Just Woke Up and Killed ENDA,” which contains an incredibly informative primer on the different kinds of religious exemptions.

Michaelson talks about religious exemptions as a series of concentric circles, or levels, starting with churches and ministers and becoming increasingly more broad as they radiate outwards. Here’s an overview:

  • Level 1: Churches, ministers, and Sunday School teachers. "Here," Michaelson writes, "almost no one disputes that some religious exemptions are justified." Indeed, no one wants to force clergy to marry any couple they don’t want to marry, straight or gay. Everyone agrees that that would be an unacceptable breach of the wall of separation between church and state. Next?

  • Level 2: Religious organizations. Most people support some exemptions in this circle as well, Michaelson notes, “but not as many. If you’re a church official working for your denomination, maybe. But what if you’re a secretary or working in the cafeteria?”

  • Level 3: Religiously-affiliated organizations, such as Catholic hospitals, nursing homes, schools, universities, and charities. This is where the entire debate about Obamacare’s contraception mandate took place, Michaelson points out (the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops also falls under this category), and the administration’s compromise widened the law’s exemption to include all groups in this circle. ENDA’s religious exemption falls into this circle as well.

  • Level 4: Private corporations whose owners are religious. The Supreme Court’s ruling in Hobby Lobby moved the contraception into this circle. And that leaves the right wing’s wet dream:

  • Level 5. The individual exemption. Anyone can discriminate against anyone else, as long as they claim that it’s for religious reasons. Michaelson correctly describes this scenario as “pandemonium” for same-sex couples, who when going out on a Friday night “could be married at the movie theater but not at the bar afterward.”

But it’s that Level 5 exemption — an unquestioned “right” to discriminate against anyone, at any time, because Jesus — that the Religious Right so desperately wants. It’s the quintessential special right and would be the ultimate form of Christian privilege. And it’s why we must stop them now, before they ever get the chance to obtain it.

Michaelson’s article is well worth reading in full. Click here to check it out over at the Daily Beast.

H/T: Miranda Blue at RWW