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Insight from Clyde Francisco


What an interesting article on plagiarism in the Nov. 9 issue of The Christian Index. As a Christian and layperson, I was a bit surprised to think about pulpit presentations and sermons as concerns for plagiarism. I always looked at what a person said in the pulpit as something delivered by God, no matter how many times it was pulled from the refrigerator.

Having started publishing my writing in Billy Grahamís DECISION magazine in 1982, I thought the copyright was a protection against someone stealing my work. However, I never ever gave any thought to someone reading anything Iíd written and using it to feed a flock. I always thought of plagiarism as something to avoid when one wants to profit materially from their writing and using someone elseís as their original thoughts.

Itís really quite sad to think of pastors having to quote litanies of credits every time they use another pastorís words. Sometimes I canít even remember who I heard say what that stuck in my mind when I repeat it.

Thank you so much for including Carol Franciscoís comments in summation to your article. Iím grateful to read what she said.

Her dad was a guest in my humble little rented home in Connecticut back in the late 70ís. I will never forget the answers he gave to my brand-new born-again questions. Iíve shared his answers over and over with people whoíve had similar questions as new believers. I, like Carol, have no doubt Dr. Francisco wouldnít have cared one whit if I told people from whom I got the answers, even though I always credited his name when sharing that knowledge. Not because I thought Iíd be plagiarizing if I didnít; no, much worse than that Ė I was proud. Proud to have known him for a tiny speck in his time serving the Lord. Humbled that I was given opportunity to serve him, and overjoyed that God sent him into my life when I needed his very answers.

I wonder, do ya think they were his original thoughts, or someone elses? I donít care. I just know how much they helped me in a time of struggle.

And I really loved the fact that I actually got to break bread with him and serve him New England clam chowder in my brand new bowls I purchased just because he was coming to my house for supper. He enjoyed my chowder and then proceeded to tell me how great oyster stew was. I bet he would have eaten anyoneís leftover oyster stew and never once complained.