Posts Tagged “copyright”

Don't Copy & Paste! by PsiCopMy thanks to a correspondent who emailed me to notify me of this. I’m indebted to him.

I haven’t a clue who Pastor Michael Frisbee DD/DM is. But it seems he knows my work and liked it enough to copy it and use it as his own.

That’s right, we have someone who calls himself a “pastor” who copied passages from one of my own blog articles, did some editing, and added them into one of his own (WebCite cached article). Here are some examples of his copying (I’ve removed hyperlinks and styling, for simplicity).

  • Mine: Christians have always celebrated “Christ’s birthday”: This is just not the case. For the first several centuries of Christianity, the birth of Jesus was not celebrated — at all. There are a number of reasons for this, but perhaps the most significant is that the earliest Christians viewed the celebration of birthdays, by definition, to be a pagan practice. Christians were discouraged from celebrating their own birthdays, so it’s hardly likely they’d have wanted to celebrate Christ’s.

    The Pastor’s: Christians have always celebrated Christ’s Birth. For the first several centuries of Christianity, the birth of Jesus was not celebrated. The earliest Christians viewed the celebration of birthdays, by definition, to be a pagan practice. Christians were discouraged from celebrating their own birthdays, so it is unlikely they celebrated Christ’s.

  • Mine: The customs of Christmas are age-old: This is also not true. We think of things like gift-giving as an old Christmas tradition, but really, it’s not. From the time Christmas was first observed by the Church — intermittently in the 4th century, then more steadily by the middle of the 5th — and on into the Middle Ages, the only Christian activity performed on Christmas, was the celebration of a special Christmas mass — and in the first few centuries these special Christmas masses were attended only by clergy, not the laity.

    The Pastor’s: Christmas customs are centuries old. This is quite false. We think of things like giving gifts as an old Christmas tradition. From the time Christmas was first observed by the Church, intermittently in the 4th century, then more steadily by the middle of the 5th and on into the Middle Ages, the only Christian activity performed on Christmas was the celebration of a special Christmas mass. Within the first few centuries these special Christmas masses were attended only by clergy, not the congregation.

  • Mine: All Christians celebrate Christmas: This claim is absurd on its face. There are, even now, some Christians who refuse to celebrate it, such as Jehovah’s Witnesses. Historically, there have been Christian sects who also did not celebrate it, and they even repressed it where they could (such as the Puritans did in colonial New England). The truth is that the only holiday that all Christian sects have in common, is Easter — but even then they don’t all observe it on the same date. Most sects also observe Pentecost in some way, even some that don’t observe Christmas.

    The Pastor’s: Christmas is celebrated by all Christians. This claim is ridiculous on its face. Even now, there are some Christians who refuse to celebrate it, such as Jehovah’s Witnesses. Historically, there have been Christian sects who also did not celebrate it, and they even repressed it where they could. The truth is that the only holiday that all Christian sects have in common, is Easter. Even then they don’t all observe it on the same date. Most sects also observe Pentecost in some way, even some that don’t observe Christmas.

  • Mine: Christmas has always been celebrated only on December 25: This is not true, not only because not all Christians have designated December 25 as “Christmas,” but because not even all of those who do, actually celebrate that day. Some Christian sects — e.g. the Russian Orthodox Church — assign Christmas to days other than December 25. Other sects celebrate Epiphany, the annual commemoration of the visit of the Magi, in preference to Christmas. This is more common in Orthodox Christianity, but it’s found even among some western Christians, e.g many Hispanic cultures, which celebrate what they call “Three Kings Day.”

    The Pastor’s: Christmas has always been celebrated on December 25. This is not true, not only because not all Christians have designated December 25 as “Christmas,” but because not even all of those who do, actually celebrate that day. Some Christian sects assign Christmas to days other than December 25. Other sects celebrate Epiphany, the annual commemoration of the visit of the Magi, in preference to Christmas. This is more common in Orthodox Christianity, but it’s found even among some western Christians, among many Hispanic cultures for example, which celebrate what they call “Three Kings Day.”

  • Mine: Christmas is the most sacred holiday on the Christian calendar. This is commonly stated, but is absolutely, undeniably, 100% not true. The most sacred holiday for Christians, is Easter, the day which commemorates Jesus’ resurrection. Easter was celebrated long before Christmas ever was, to the point where its dating was a point of contention among Christians a couple centuries before Christmas ever was pegged to the calendar. Easter was observed on varying dates as early as the middle of the 2nd century, and dating it was discussed, for example, at the Council of Nicaea in 325 CE. At that time — as noted already — Christmas was merely a mass that was held annually, and attended only by clergy, only in some places. It was not a “holiday” in any conventional sense, not even in terms of the Greco-Roman culture of that period.

    The Pastor’s: The most sacred holiday on the Christian calendar is Christmas. Undoubtedly this statement is untrue. The most sacred holiday for Christians, is Easter, the day which commemorates Jesus’ resurrection. Easter was celebrated long before Christmas ever was, to the point where its dating was a point of contention among Christians a couple centuries before Christmas was a thought. Easter was observed on varying dates as early as the middle of the 2nd century, and dating it was discussed at the Council of Nicaea in 325 CE. At that time it was noted that Christmas was merely a mass that was held annually, and attended only by clergy, only in some places. It was not a “holiday” in any conventional sense, not even in terms of the Greco-Roman culture of that period.

Now, I originally added a comment to the pastor’s blog article requesting credit for my “contribution” to his blog post. A couple of anonymous commenters replied to that, saying my link didn’t work (even though it clearly does), along with denials of the copying that took place (some of it lifted as-is, some of it mildly edited), and the truly fucking laughable claim that I was just trying to “use” the Pastor’s blog post to bring traffic to my own.

Unfortunately for these defenders of the Pastor, there clearly has been plagiarism here, and saying the Pastor is “honest” does nothing to change that. It’s a fact.

I wonder if Pastor Michael Frisbee has the fortitude to come here, admit what he did, apologize for it, then edit his blog post to give me credit. I don’t think this is too much to ask — even if his anonymous defenders think I haven’t been wronged. Really, it’s not up to them to decide.

For the record, all of my content on this blog is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

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