Fox News' Todd Starnes: 'I Was Banned from Facebook'

I got banned from Facebook.

They blocked me for 12 hours and removed a message I had posted invoking the National Rifle Association, Jesus and Paula Deen.

"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."

The folks over at Facebook took great offense to that message.

"We removed this from Facebook because it violates our Community Standards," Facebook wrote me. "So you're temporarily blocked from using this feature."

I wasn't even allowed to post our daily Bible verse -- a popular feature called "Morning Glory -- Start Your Day Inspired."

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.

So I'm honestly perplexed at Facebook's actions. Did they have a problem with Jesus or the plump juicy chicken breasts?

I was genuinely concerned that I had violated Facebook's community standards. So I decided to brush up on their list of commandments. Among the "Thou Shalt Nots" were bans on 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. I do admit my Facebook page had some spam, though. In my defense, it was a great recipe for a fried spam sandwich (quite tasty I might add).

It's even more puzzling that they would target a patriotic, conservative website like mine when they allow a host of vulgar, violent and pornographic sites to stay in business.

Among the sites I found:

  • "F*** Conservatives"
  • "F*** Mitt Romney"
  • "Tea Party Can Kiss My A**"
  • "Rush Limbaugh is an Abject A******"

I suspect that, had I been reading Saul Alinsky's Rules For Radicals, wearing a Planned Parenthood ball cap, smoking a joint, and sporting butt-less leather chaps, Facebook would've left me alone.

Facebook's decision to block me generated quite a bit of outrage. Don't choke on your Fruit Loops, but even the folks over at The Washington Post came to my defense.

And a few hours after banning me, Facebook had a change of heart.

"A member of our team accidentally removed something you posted on Facebook," they told me in an email. "This was a mistake and we sincerely apologize for this error."

In other words, Facebook blamed it on a pair of low-level employees in their Cincinnati office.

It's not the first time my espousal of traditional American values has come under assault.

Last year Amazon suspended sales of my book Dispatches From Bitter America -- Culture War Stories From a Gun-Toting, Chicken-Eating, Son-of-a-Baptist.

Amazon refused to say why they temporarily banned the book, but it had come under attack by liberal activists who flooded the site with bad reviews.

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, penned a column about what he called the "dangerous trend of online censorship.

"The 'customers' (a.k.a. liberal activists) had flooded Todd's page with fake reviews of the book until the company pulled the plug," Perkins wrote. "It was a stunning display of liberal censorship from -- which sells far more objectionable and obscene material than a book by a mainstream radio host."

"Yet this tiny protest from an intolerant fringe was all it took to strip the book from the shelves and expose the company's true agenda," Perkins wrote.

And it's not the first time Facebook has targeted conservatives.

The popular "Chick on the Right" website was blocked last year for posting a critical comment about the White House press secretary. Facebook relented after a massive national outcry.

It's really sad that Facebook objects to people who share traditional American values. And quite frankly, any community that doesn't allow sweet tea and the Bible violates my personal standards.

Todd Starnes is the host of Fox News & Commentary – heard daily on 250+ radio stations. He's also the author of Dispatches From Bitter America. To check out all of his work you can visit his website or follow him on Twitter @toddstarnes. In his spare time, Todd is active in his church, plays golf, follows SEC football, and eats barbecue. He lives in New York City.

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