Pastor Rick Warren hospitalized after eyes burned
July 22nd, 2010
12:34 PM ET

Pastor Rick Warren hospitalized after eyes burned

Megachurch pastor Rick Warren is home recovering after his eyes were burned as he pruned a firestick plant in his yard, his spokesman told CNN Thursday.

Warren was hospitalized Monday after the incident and released Tuesday, said his spokesman, A. Larry Ross. Warren is expected to make a full recovery, Ross said.

"My eyes were severely burned by a toxic poison," Warren wrote in a Twitter message Thursday morning. "Hospitalized Mon. Excruciating pain. Now home. Pray my sight loss is restored."

Though the pain was initially so intense that Warren could not open his eyes on Monday, he was seeing well enough Thursday to send the Tweet himself, Ross said. "The pain was excruciating - 12 on a scale of 1 through 10," Ross said. "It's now down to an 8."

Warren was pruning shrubs in the yard of his Southern California home when he wiped his eyes after picking up leaves from a firestick plant, Ross said.

The sap of the firestick is toxic and can cause skin irritation and temporary blindness if it comes in contact with the skin or eyes, according to the website gardenguides.com. The firestick is a succulent with spiky orange branches.

Warren is currently on leave from his church, called Saddleback, to write a book, so the injury is not expected to affect his public schedule, Ross said.

"A doctor put protective contacts on my corneas as bandages during the healing," Warren said in another Tweet on Thursday. "I am NOT blind."

The firestick is found around the world, Ross said, and grows well in Southern California.

"Pastor Rick, an avid gardener, purchased it locally himself," Ross said.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Leaders

soundoff (682 Responses)
  1. Brian

    He's just been RICKrolled – LOL!!!!

    July 22, 2010 at 2:50 pm |
  2. Brian

    He's just been RICKrolled – LOL!!!

    July 22, 2010 at 2:49 pm |
  3. SDFrankie

    Sometimes God sends you excruciating pain in your eyeballs just to see how you react. Rick Warren reacted by asking us all to please ask God to MAKE IT STOP!!!

    July 22, 2010 at 2:49 pm |
  4. HeIsGod


    Yeah, we all have figured that out!

    July 22, 2010 at 2:49 pm |
  5. Brian

    He's just been RICKrolled – LOL!!

    July 22, 2010 at 2:49 pm |
  6. Brian

    He's just been RICKrolled – LOL!

    July 22, 2010 at 2:48 pm |
  7. wilson

    i just got a paper cut

    July 22, 2010 at 2:48 pm |
  8. Brian

    He's just been RICKrolled – LOL

    July 22, 2010 at 2:47 pm |
  9. SerpentSpawn


    "My eyes were burned by a very toxic poison." Hmmm....is there such thing as a Non-toxic poison? That's like saying "I was burned by a very hot fire." or "I was soaked by very wet water." (...and this guy owns a mega-church?)<<<<<<<<<Another cnn moron. Poisons have different levels of toxicity and fires burn at different temp depending on the fuel type, amount of fuel , presence of oxidizers and so on…….. before you attempt to write about someone’s intelligence, better check your own so you don't sound like a fool.

    July 22, 2010 at 2:47 pm |
  10. david

    Guess God didn't care to warn him. That figures.

    July 22, 2010 at 2:46 pm |
  11. tony

    shame it didn't kill the bigot

    July 22, 2010 at 2:46 pm |
  12. Ronnie Harper

    Oh no, another bigot with eye trouble. The blind leading the blind.

    July 22, 2010 at 2:46 pm |
    • PHIL

      Why you got eye trouble, hope it gets better.

      July 22, 2010 at 3:57 pm |
  13. Cuso

    I don't believe in what he preaches but I wish him a speedy recovery.

    July 22, 2010 at 2:45 pm |
    • abl123

      That's right! I cannot believe the divisiveness in our society. WHY, oh why, do people insist on spreading hatred, for ANY reason?? The mean-spiritedness that runs through the comments made on websites these days is so LEFT VS. RIGHT and Christian vs non-Christian, with very little in between. (And the bigotry and misinformation is truly disturbing!) And I don't sense much effort being made to bridge the chasm at this point...Very sad. Where do we go from here?

      July 22, 2010 at 3:32 pm |
  14. Ben

    @Bobbie. Firstly, Evolutionary Theory is not a theory detailing how the "Earth/Universe" came to be. It is a theory describing the process by which life arrived at it's current state.

    Secondly, it is treated as the prevailing Theory in biological thought and research for the same reason that the Theory of Gravity is treated as the prevailing theory for the explanation of mutual attraction between bodies in physics. It is accurately predictive and has yet to be falsified or supplanted by a more accurately predictive theory.

    Christian Creationism, as it stands, is fundamentally theological in nature, and thus incompatible with empirical science. It is not that 'we scientists' won't let Christians into the clubhouse – it is that Christians (and religious cosmologies in general) refuse to play by the club rules of empiricism, however abstracted.

    July 22, 2010 at 2:44 pm |
    • PHIL

      Gravity you can prove evolution not so much. Besides if you can't prove how everything started ,then whats the point .You don't get something from nothing..etc etc etc

      July 22, 2010 at 3:54 pm |
    • Ben

      You can't prove gravity actually. We only feel its effects.

      Also Richard Feynman proved that virtual particles exist and they do indeed come from pure vacuums in space. So "nothing comes from nothing" is not true.

      Your entire worldview is flawed and demands restructuring or you are being intellectually dishonest.

      July 22, 2010 at 4:26 pm |
    • AlsoAnotherBen

      So yeah, more than one Ben here, and I can see how that would get confusing.

      As noted by the venerable and right honorable sir with the fantastic name of Ben above proof and evidence are two different things. Mathematics has proofs (I believe, though I know there are some mathematicians who disagree with me), because mathematics is entirely a construct of our own intellect, it is provable and disprovable – perfect, unimpeachable knowledge is ascertainable.

      Evolution is evinced, or indicated, because it is a product of empiricism. It accurately predicts unicellular and microorganism evolution, as well as common genetic ancestry. It is a model, like all other empirical theories, which we use to more intimately grasp a system.

      As to your broader question of 'what does it matter without a prime mover', in a biblical sense God is 'Uncreated' and thus that unknowable, vexing and counterintuitive question remains for both of us. The difference for between a theologian and a scientist is that the scientist is willing to admit they do not know the unknowable, and yet still take joy in searching fruitlessly.

      July 22, 2010 at 4:57 pm |
  15. Whodat

    What about Mel Gibson & that bimbo that's pushing his buttons? Mel is a good man....not that bimbo...

    July 22, 2010 at 2:44 pm |
  16. MikeMazzla

    He is now as blind as the people who go listen to him and give him money.

    July 22, 2010 at 2:44 pm |
  17. S

    Someone said they don't like Rick because he made millions by selling a fairytale book. Well would you want the same to happen to the authors of childrens' books most of which are truly fairy tales ? If your answer is Yes, then I can certainly say that you have lost all the integrity to be called a human being. Show some empathy, compassion. P.S. The Bible is NOT a fairy tale book.

    July 22, 2010 at 2:42 pm |
    • MB

      Yeah, but unlike other fairy tales people actually try to follow and implement laws based what the bible says (to them). If people cited rapunzel as a valid reason to close down all barber shops, then I think you'd see a similar uproar. The bible is a collection of myths and stories with an occasional nugget of common sense.

      July 22, 2010 at 3:12 pm |
  18. Lee

    He asks us to "pray that his sight loss is restored"... does he really want to be blind again? He should have people praying that his "SIGHT is restored".
    Also, I have no doubt he will blame this on the gays, abortionists, america's godliness, etc.

    July 22, 2010 at 2:42 pm |
  19. dust

    Christianity is fairytale.

    July 22, 2010 at 2:42 pm |
  20. KawiMan

    If these evangelists truly followed the teachings of Jesus Christ in the bible, they would give away everything they own and go preach the gospel.

    Not so for these hypocrites.

    July 22, 2010 at 2:41 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.