Maybe the fact that their tweet with the “really big news” that Patheos would be hosting Mark Driscoll only got one retweet and four likes in more than 24 hours should have been the first clue for the blog site dedicated to “hosting the conversation on faith” that their readers are not excited to see Driscoll considered a worthy part of that conversation. After all, Driscoll is not only a representative of toxic, patriarchal “muscular Christianity,” a man who managed to make it “cool” for a while to say really sexist things from the pulpit while cultivating a #FakeHipster image. He’s also a man who has been accused of plagiarism, who was caught misappropriating church funds in order to inflate his book sales, and who was very abusive toward his congregants, according to many of them who have spoken out. His Mars Hill megachurch came apart at the seams due to his many self-inflicted scandals.
In other words, Driscoll does not simply represent “another side” of the conversation on faith. Until he shows some serious repentance for his many failings and some evidence that he can handle attention and power responsibly, he should not be given any more large, prestigious platforms.
And, make no mistake, while the quality of Patheos’s blogs, which rightly represent a wide variety of viewpoints on faith, does vary widely, the Patheos brand does lend its bloggers a certain prestige. And Patheos is not required to lend its brand to anyone. The folks at Patheos apparently decided that hosting Mark Driscoll would be a good idea. And so this morning, I suggested that we take to Twitter to tell them why it is not, and that we request that they cancel this very poor decision. If you’re on board, tweet #NoDriscoll at @Patheos, preferably with your reasons why you don’t think this toxic, extremely privileged white man deserves such an easy path to public redemption. Here are some examples of people who already have: