Forgive me father, for I have sinned. I took the words of a fellow Christian in an article I wrote almost a year ago without permission. Plagiarism? Such blasphemy would not escape my fingers, no. Linking to the very page the text came from, and giving the name of the website (BibleStudy.org) was no problem, but showing the text itself (which is pretty much the reason people write blogs) was too offensive for the sensibilities of my good Christian brethren. Indeed, I may have just become a “man;” a true blogger. Because today, I was threatened with my first lawsuit.
There’s really no exciting story to tell here; I’m just glad I double-checked my email today. I was given a 24-hour warning saying that I had to erase the text I used. Frankly, they’re right – I took their text without permission. So I’m not going to fight the legality of this practice – they’re right. If they want it off my website, that’s fine. It’s already off.
But why would they care? The article in question – “Did Jesus ‘Want’ to be Nailed to a Cross?” – was almost a year old. Well I’m not sure why it took so long, but I can imagine why they didn’t like it on my site. In that article, I wrote:
[. . .] All I understood as the answer to the question “why do we call it Good Friday” was “I have no idea, stop asking.” But then again, I suppose that is the rationale for a lot of religious events like the live crucifixion described above.
When it comes to the choice of crucifixions, rationality, etc., I’ll stick with the flying spaghetti monster. At least believing in that means I don’t have to whip myself. (Unless, of course, the Lord told me to.)
I’m sure if I had praised their religion, they would not have had a problem with it. And you know what? That’s fair enough.
Though I highly doubt they will read this webpage (or at least, not until another 11 months), I do sincerely apologize for using the text without their permission. This is a practice so commonly done in blogging that I never thought twice of it.
But no, this is not something that is inherently “wrong” or “bad.” I gave credit, and linked to the article (i.e., this is not plagiarism), and I’m going to continue doing this with other news articles and blogs, etc. which have demonstrated a certain thickness of skin.
I will instead merely be more careful with Christian sources, because out of everyone I have possibly offended, this is the only time someone has ever threatened to silence me.
So I apologize for this instance.
But I won’t apologize for my next article.
It will also be about religion.