Here are the ten most visited pages on the blog for 2013. Two posts were written prior to 2013 but continue to be quite popular. I designate them in the list below by the year of publication.
1. On The Allegations of Plagiarism Against Mark Driscoll
2. Janet Mefferd Removes Evidence Relating to Charges of Plagiarism Against Mark Driscoll; Apologizes to Audience
3. Ingrid Schlueter Resigns from Janet Mefferd Show Over Mark Driscoll Plagiarism Controversy
4. John Piper Calls Out Famous Guys (Like Mark Driscoll) on Ghostwriting
5. Was the National Rifle Association Started to Drive Out the KKK?
6. A Major Study of Child Abuse and Homosexuality Revisited (2009)
7. Mars Hill Church Alters Statement of Mark Driscoll Plagiarism Controversy
8. Narth Loses Tax Exempt Status
9. Mars Hill Sermon Series Battle Plan Reveals Source Behind Mark Driscoll’s Book on Peter
10. The Trail of Tears Remembered (2011)
Clearly, posts about the controversy surrounding Mark Driscoll and allegations of plagiarism and ghostwriting were popular. With Driscoll’s apology the attention left the issue, even though he did not address several other instances in other books. To some degree, he was probably also aided by Christmas break and the Duck Dynasty hullabaloo. I was surprised that the most popular post about David Barton was about his claim that the National Rifle Association was started to counter the KKK. There are so many other claims that are even more outrageous. As far as I can determine, donations to NARTH are still not deductible. The two posts from past years have consistently shown up on the top ten lists since they were published.
The move to Patheos has been smooth thanks to the great folks there and I want to thank readers for making the switch and welcome all the new readers here.
Phil Robertson is getting all manner of scrutiny these days. Given his high profile and recent controversy over his remarks to GQ, it is understandable that his prior speeches will be examined. In the one below, Robertson appears to advise marriage for young teens. I say appears because I don’t have the entire video. He did however marry his wife when she was 16 and added that one should get parental permission.
Various bloggers (e.g. Rawstory where I saw it first) have examined Robertson’s dating advice which is just silly if he really means it. I want to call attention to use of a quote falsely attributed to George Washington. At 1:10 into the clip, Robertson says:
The reason you Georgia boys can deer hunt, duck hunt, squirrel hunt, hog hunt, (holding up his Bible) that’s the reason you can do it. What I’m holding in my hand right there. That’d be a Bible. You said, now let me get this right. If it were not for this, you would not hunt here. No sir. Here’s a quote, Georgia. ‘It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.’ George Washington, your first president. You know what they said? Name the capital of our country after him!
This quote has been misused frequently over the years and can be traced back at least David Barton’s 1992 book Myth of Separation. Barton took heat over use of such quotes and issued a list of what he called unconfirmed quotes. Nonetheless, those who get their history from Barton, and perhaps Phil Robertson is one of those folks, still use the spurious quotes to bolster their Christian nation view of the Constitution, in this case the Second Amendment. Mount Vernon addresses this particular quote here and even Barton now acknowledges that there is no indication Washington ever said it.
This is another illustration of why getting history right matters. Mr. Robertson has been misinformed by some religious leader who claimed expertise in history. He probably trusted the source because of common religion. As I said in a prior post, evangelicals claim to have a message of love and reconciliation and yet they often mix it up with lots of other messages, based on faulty information, that detract from the core.
This one is a bit humorous.
Mark Driscoll likes to tweet pithy little tweets to his zillion followers throughout the day. At least someone is tweeting them in his name. Given what we now know, I figure maybe someone at Docent Research Group is helping out. Anyway, just a bit ago, Twitter user Sherideth Smith pointed out that one of Driscoll tweets was actually from Bill Murray.
In fact, Murray probably heard it from someone who heard it on Tumblr, maybe from this guy.
Louis CK used it too:
I suppose if I were Driscoll in this season, I would not try to pass off stuff as mine no matter how innocent it might seem.
Actually, according to this article, passing off other people’s tweets as your own is known as Twagiarism and has ensnared a few folks along the way. Dreaming of being a Twitter star? Well, I have some advice.
Never give up on your dreams, keep sleeping*
*Source unknown, but I saw it first on Twitter.
For all posts on this topic, click here.
Last year, I reported that the International Healing Foundation struck gold in 2011 with an apparent donation of over 500k. Some of the money was used to promote a video for schools. However, salad days have returned for IHF as the current 990 form shows they burned through the rest of those funds in 2012 leading to a loss for the year of just over $202k. Another question raised by the 2012 990 relates to the nature of their services in 2012. From the 990, it appears that IHF is claiming that they did very little, if any, counseling.
First, let’s look at the year’s summary as compared to last year.
First, IHF saw a dramatic drop in total revenue from 2011 to 2012. Second, while contributions increased substantially, program fees nearly dried up. Program fees represent client payments for workshops, counseling sessions and any other professional services conducted by IHF. Year to year, it appears that IHF lived off of what they made in 2011. IHF spent 202,393 more than they received in 2012.
Next, examine the description of revenue for 2012:
IHF claims just over $140k in gifts and donations and $27,547 in revenue from services provided. The 990 preparer typed in “seminars/conf/projects” as the source of those funds. I am aware that Richard Cohen traveled around the world to speak and that IHF staff conducted workshops and seminars. However, what about the counseling sessions which IHF touts as leading to change in orientation? According to a former IHF client, the organization charges $125 per hour for counseling. At that rate, it is hard to understand how IHF is keeping a full time counselor busy.
I reached out to IHF Director Christopher Doyle to ask if perhaps they consider client fees to be donations or for any other information which would shed light on these figures. However, he did not reply. Perhaps IHF didn’t report counseling income on the 990. Or perhaps they weren’t very busy providing reorientation counseling services in 2012. If the latter is true, what did they do?
IHF founder Richard Cohen was being cited by Unification Church leader Hjung Jin Moon as being the foremost leader in the UC on homosexuality. Cohen also spoke in Spain at the World Congress of Families conference (not Unificationist).
IHF’s Chris Doyle appeared on the Dr. Oz show to claim that what IHF does is mainstream therapy. While that is a ridiculous claim, it may be true that very little therapy of any kind is actually taking place.
International Healing Foundation Again Tied To Unification Church
Another Christian publisher is conducting a review of Mark Driscoll’s books. This evening, Becky Garrison reports at Religion Dispatches that publisher Crossway is conducting an internal review of Mark Driscoll’s books to ensure “proper citation and documentation.” That is the same thing Crossway told me when I asked about my prior posts on Death By Love, a book authored by Driscoll and Gerry Breshears and published by Crossway.
I contacted Crossway’s Executive Director of Marketing James Kinnard for comment about prior posts regarding Death By Love. In reply, Kinnard wrote:
I assure you we are in touch with Mars Hill and are conducting an internal review to ensure that our books published by Mark Driscoll have proper citation and documentation.
I also reached out to Driscoll via Mars Hill and his co-author Gerry Breshears. Breshears pointed me to Driscoll’s recent apology concerning his book on Peter, but declined to comment further on other instances which have been raised.
Driscoll has published nine books with Crossway, three of which are out of print.
In her RD article, Garrison asks pointed questions about how Tyndale House has addressed the controversy as compared to how secular media have handled similar situations. Head on over to RD and give it a read.
On The Allegations Of Plagiarism Against Mark Driscoll (12/2/13)
Zombies, Plagiarism And Mark Driscoll Helped Me Write This Blog Post (12/3/13)
Mark Driscoll And His Church On Plagiarism (12/4/13)
Janet Mefferd Removes Evidence Relating To Charges Of Plagiarism Against Mark Driscoll; Apologizes To Audience (12/4/13)
Ingrid Schlueter Resigns From Janet Mefferd Show Over Mark Driscoll Plagiarism Controversy (12/5/13)
Who’s Talking About The Mark Driscoll Plagiarism Controversy? (12/7/13)
IVP Says Bible Commentary Improperly Appeared In Book by Mark Driscoll; Mars Hill Church Responds, Blames Researcher Mistakes for Errors (12/9/13)
Mars Hill Church Alters Statement on Mark Driscoll Plagiarism Controversy (UPDATED) (12/10/13)
Mars Hill’s Sermon Series Battle Plan Reveals Background of Mark Driscoll’s Book on Peter (12/10/13)
Mars Hill’s Sermon Series Document Reveals Background of Mark Driscoll’s Book on Peter, Part Two (12/12/13)
Mars Hill Church, Mark Driscoll and the Case of the Disappearing Links (12/16/13)
Historical Problems In Mark Driscoll’s Death By Love (12/16/13)
Mark Driscoll’s Death By Love And Dan Allender’s The Wounded Heart: Is This Plagiarism? (12/17/13)
More IVP Reference Material Shows Up Without Citation in a Book by Mark Driscoll (12/18/13)
Mark Driscoll and Tyndale House Release Statement of Apology to Christian Post (12/18/13)
See all posts on this topic here.