Shawn Mathis has written over 300 articles in six years for Examiner.com as a “Christian Perspectives Examiner.” On Wednesday he was fired. In an email Mathis tells Caffeinated Thoughts, he was told, “”We appreciate the time, effort and consideration you put into this work, but we feel that your content is not the right fit for Examiner.com at this time.”
Mathis is also the pastor of Providence Orthodox Presbyterian Church in Denver, CO and the author of Uniting Church and Family: Observations About the Current Family Crisis.
Mathis was surprised by the email. “Yesterday they had promoted me as a reliable news-source. My hits were going up the last few days. Bing cycled two of my articles on their news-feed. I have been a faithful writer for six years with not one complaint,” Mathis said on his Facebook profile.
What changed? Mathis said the firing came after his last five articles centered on the gay marriage debate.
“Now, after five articles on gay marriage, written in an irenic or newsy tone, my last one, on harassment of Christians, is a fitting note for a new age of conformity,” he added.
Mathis said that his articles have been scrubbed even though archives from other defunct writers have been left up on the website. Currently there are a number “Christian Perspectives” articles left on the site with some dealing with the Supreme Court’s ruling on marriage, but it is uncertain why some have been taken down and others allowed to stay.
His last article was left up on the website for 30 minutes before he received his email and it was taken down.
The title of the article was “The increasing marginalization of Christianity and why it is a good thing” which dealt with the harassment of Christians and can be read here via Internet Archive Wayback machine. Prior to that article Mathis wrote “Gay marriage: June 26, 2015, a day which will live in infamy,” “The aftermath of gay marriage: the push for polygamy,” and “Why I will preach on God’s covenant and not on gay marriage this Sunday” (also made available through the Internet Archive).
Mathis notes that other writers have had articles on same-sex marriage taken down.
- Keith Alan Wimer Wilmington Religion & Politics Examiner: “Does SCOTUS have final say defining marriage”
- Joseph Gilbert, Christian Life Examiner: “The agenda behind the same-sex ruling”
- Robert Moon, Conservative Examiner: “Top 10 signs gay marriage ruling will criminalize and persecute Christianity”
These articles Mathis notes were written and then removed after the Supreme Court’s ruling.
“Sometimes they give feedback on articles for better writing. The last I looked, Monday I recall, I had no feed back but I did not look at all of my articles since they are slow on feedback (which is never emailed) . Around Friday, they promoted me to the second tier (out of three) for reliable news,” Mathis told Caffeinated Thoughts in an email.
“My Monday article, The aftermath of gay marriage: the push for polygamy, was not submitted as news but ended up Bing news (internet news engines only promote sources that past muster). My other recent articles made Bing news, even before Friday. It made first-page news under ‘polygamy’ search. By Tuesday, I had made top 2 of local writers for Examiner.com (by number of hits), top four for Western Religions Examiners (out of 152) and national 12, as I recall (of 334),” he added.
His biggest frustration is that there wasn’t any warning.
“No email warning, just the email with an email address to the legal department for any further questions. They let me write from an explicit Christian perspective (opinion and news) for six years. Now the policy has changed. I don’t take it personally. The days of Christian commentary in secular news sources is numbered,” Mathis told Caffeinated Thoughts.
Examiner.com actively recruits contributors who are hired on an independent contractor basis who earn based on page view traffic, subscriptions, and session length. Examiner.com was reached, but has not returned a request for comment.