A couple of weeks ago I posted Nora Roberts’s response to the plagiarism issue going on with a Brazilian author who has become known as #CopyPasteCris. According to @CaffeinatedFae, “We are now up to 64 books, 35 authors, 3 articles, 3 websites & 2 recipes that were plagiarized by #CopyPasteCris.” (https://twitter.com/CaffeinatedFae/status/1104161561399123969) Yes, I copied @CaffeinatedFae’s words, but because I’m telling you where it comes from, it becomes research. And you can go there and read a lot more about the situation
A number of years ago I used to write a satirical column that I emailed out. (This was before Facebook and Twitter) I had a radio DJ who had a talk show and did some comedy pieces as part of it that he would love to use my work if I didn’t have a copyright notice on it. I told him that I had no problem with him using some of my stuff, just let people know where you got it. (I know – being paid in exposure. I didn’t know anything about it at the time.) He declined to do that, even though it would be throwing a bone to a local, struggling writer by giving me the recognition for my work. At least he had the integrity to not use my stuff then.
We’re seeing a lack of integrity in the writing in many situations right now. We had the romance writer who tried to trademark a common word used in the Romance Genre, “cocky,” that threw a lot of writers up in arms. If this could happen in the romance genre, it could happen elsewhere. A lot of people got mad. Some friends wrote a Romance Anthology with the title “As Cocky as They Come” as a protest – with every story title including the word “cocky.” I tried to write a story for the anthology, but if there was any doubt before, there isn’t now: I’m not a romance writer. I wrote a forward about the importance of fighting that kind of censorship. Whatever your view on the genre, and some of the stories are ones that I wouldn’t read, trying to trademark a word is blatant disrespect to others. I think we should stand in support of the rights of others, even when their expression of their rights isn’t our cup of tea.
What really bothered me today was reading a Christianity Today article about a popular author for Christian ladies. Many of my friends admire her work. They made the claim that her second book, “Girl, Stop Apologizing,” is full of plagiarism. I haven’t read the books, but I’ve heard others talking about them. That a Christian author would plagiarize like that, if the article is correct in its assertions, is unconscionable. Holly Hansen, a friend who’s done more research on this than I have, wrote a blog post that dealt not only with the plagiarism, but also the theological quality of the books. Her blog, titled, “Girl, Read a Great Book” helps to highlight to problems the author of “Girls, Wash Your Face” and “Girl, Stop Apologizing” has set in motion.
There are other posts out there that deal with this problems of theology, but sadly, self-help and self-adoration appears to be a popular genre among people who claim to follow Christ. I would make the point, and saw that some of those other posts made the same point, that Christians need to stop worrying about getting a hold of our lives and start learning to let God take control. The best life I could ever have is one where I’m walking with Christ and living in obedience to Him. Should I plan? Sure. Should I work hard? Sure, but I should always be living and writing ethically and in accordance with His will. So stop worrying about taking control of your life, and learn how to give that control over to God.