Megachurch Pastor Praises Freedom of Speech, His Church Censors Videos

| by Michael Allen

Mars Hill Church, a megachurch in Seattle, Washington, has repeatedly made news, from so-called "demon trials" for depressed people to accusations of plagiarism by Pastor Mark Driscoll to questioning President Obama's Christianity.

Last Friday, Pastor Driscoll reportedly told his congregation how grateful he was to live in a country with free speech: "I really am blessed to live in a land where the law allows me to have freedom of speech, to have freedom of religion, to have freedom of assembly, freedom of the press."

"That means we get to assemble, and I get to open the Bible and teach whatever I believe to be true," added Driscoll. "But it means that others have that same legal opportunity. They have that same freedom, and so, and so others are free to, to say things as well."

However, psychologist Warren Throckmorton wrote on his blog today: "Justin Dean, acting on behalf of Mars Hill Church, requested that YouTube remove video clips of Mark Driscoll and Sutton Turner talking about Mars Hill Global."

"In the video clips, which were made available to illustrate my commentary on the subject, both Driscoll and Turner clearly identify Mars Hill Global as a ministry of Mars Hill Church for the purpose of supporting international missions," wrote Throckmorton.

"I have contested the notice and will await YouTube’s decision, which could take up to 10 business days," added Throckmorton. "I firmly believe that the video clips are covered by Fair Use and are necessary to report accurately the relationship between Mars Hill Church and Mars Hill Global."

Christian radio host Janet Mefford also mentioned this contradiction on Twitter by making reference to Driscoll's alleged plagiarism: "Mars Hill fine with serial plagiarism by its pastor but not so fine [email protected] posting its videos as fair use."

According to, Pastor Driscoll addressed his critics on Friday: "One of the things that has been complex is the fact that a lot of the people that we are dealing with in this season remain anonymous. So we don’t know how to reconcile or how to work things out with people because we’re not entirely sure who they are."

While some have been anonymous, because they fear retribution, some of the critics of Mars Hill Church have been very public, including former Mars Hill Church pastors Dave Kraft, Lief Moi and Kyle Firstenberg, who stated, “I participated in a cult of fear and promoted it through my actions with others," noted

Sources:, Twitter, Warren Throckmorton, (Image Credit: Ruthanne Reid)