Fox radio host Todd Starnes revealed on Monday that he had been temporarily banned from Facebook and had a post of his referencing Jesus, the Bible and the National Rifle Association deleted for "violating" the social networking website's community standards.
The message that Facebook deleted read: "I'm about as politically incorrect as you can get. I'm wearing an NRA ball cap, eating a Chick-fil-A sandwich, reading a Paula Deen cookbook and sipping a 20-ounce sweet tea while sitting in my Cracker Barrel rocking chair with the Gaither Vocal Band singing 'Jesus Saves' on the stereo and a Gideon's Bible in my pocket. Yes sir, I'm politically incorrect and happy as a June bug."
Starnes, who also contributes op-eds to The Christian Post, explained in an article for Fox that he wasn't even allowed to post the daily Bible verse, a popular feature on his page.
"For the record, I really do have a Cracker Barrel rocking chair, I'm quite fond of sweet tea, I love Chick-fil-A, I'm a huge fan of Southern Gospel music, I own several Paula Deen cookbooks and I'm a proud member of the National Rifle Association," he added.
The radio host noted that he was confused by Facebook's actions, and he read their community standards, which ban things such as nudity, bullying, harassment, graphic content, pornography and spam.
"To the best of my knowledge I was not buck-naked and Miss Paula wasn't doing anything untoward with a stick of butter," Starnes noted, questioning why Facebook would target a "patriotic, conservative website" like his, while at the same time allowing pages that feature blatantly offensive messages, such as "F*** Conservatives" and "Tea Party Can Kiss My A**"
Starnes noted that Facebook later apologized for the incident, stating that the post was "accidentally removed," but the radio host said the social networking website was basically blaming it "on a pair of low-level employees in their Cincinnati office."
He reminded readers that this was not the first time he has been targeted for his views. Last year, Amazon temporarily suspended sales of his book Dispatches From Bitter America – Culture War Stores From a Gun-Toting, Chicken-Eating, Son-of-a-Baptist without offering an explanation. Starnes suggested that the incident was due to "liberal activists" who had flooded the site with bad reviews.
"It's really sad that Facebook objects to people who share traditional American values," the radio host concluded.
In September 2011, the National Religious Broadcasters group said media outlets such as Facebook, Google and Apple, have been adopting policies that violate the fundamental rules of free expression, including religious free speech. According to NRB, such policies are aimed at censoring Christian viewpoints and controversial ideas on "hot button issues."