Hillary Clinton is in the news again, and predictably it is not for anything positive. This time the controversy surrounding the most corrupt politician in American history concerns the plagiarism Hillary Clinton’s spiritual advisor, Rev. Bill Shillady committed when he wrote “Strong for a Moment Like This,” detailing the daily devotionals and prayers of Hillary Clinton and communications she had with Rev. Bill Shillady.
However, a pastor in Indiana by the name of Matt Deuel read Shillady’s book, noticed that the part where Rev. Bill Shillady emailed Hillary Clinton the morning after the 2016 Presidential election was in fact his words. These words originated from a blog post Pastor Deuel published in March of 2016. Rev. Bill Shillady has apologized and has released the following statement:
“My entire approach to this book project has been to credit all of the many ministers and sources who contributed to the devotionals that were written for Hillary over the course of the campaign. In preparing the devotional on the morning of November 9, I was determined to provide comfort with the familiar adage that “It’s Friday But Sunday is coming.” I searched for passages that offered perspective of this theme. I am now stunned to realize the similarity between Matt Deuel’s blog sermon and my own. Clearly, portions of my devotional that day incorporate his exact words. Matt and I have spoken. He was extremely gracious and understanding. I have assured him he will receive full credit moving forward.”
The explanation, which Rev. Bill Shillady gives simply does not hold water. When one plagiarizes someone else’s work, it is rather clear what you are doing. Especially when you know that what you’re publishing matches word for word. Rev. Bill Shillady even admits that the work he attempted to pass off as his own matches word for word exactly what Pastor Matt Deuel published on his blog post.
Rev. Bill Shillady has been a spiritual advisor to Hillary Clinton going back to 2015. He is a United Methodist clergyman from the state of New York and has been friends with the Clinton family for a considerable amount of time. Last month, Julie Zauzmer from the Washington Post reported of the plagiarized text showing it includes sentences almost identical to Deuel’s: “For the disciples and Christ’s followers in the first century, Good Friday represented the day that everything fell apart. All was lost. The momentum and hope of a man claiming to be the Son of God, the Messiah who was supposed to change everything, had been executed. … Death will be shattered. Hope will be restored. But first, we must live through the darkness and seeming hopelessness of Friday.”
The publisher of the book, Abingdon Press is not happy with this revelation and has since pulled the plagiarized book from store shelves. Rev. Brian Milford, the President of Abingdon Press, conducted an investigation and confirmed the plagiarism. “Abingdon Press initiated an extensive review of the book and was alarmed to discover other content unattributed by the author. Abingdon Press has zero tolerance for plagiarism. Consequently, we have discontinued sales, will remove existing copies from all sales outlets, and will have them destroyed along with our existing inventory.”
Initial reports back in August suggested that the book would remain on shelves, but the publisher and Rev. Bill Shillady would give proper credit moving forward. However, despite Rev. Bill Shillady claiming he made nice with Pastor Matt Deuel, the book will no longer be available for sale. This move by Abingdon Press surely cost them a considerable amount of money, and a lawsuit is likely to follow.
Abingdon Press has not stated if they will refund any customers who have already purchased “Strong for a Moment Like This.”
Thankfully, Abingdon Press did the right thing and complexly removed the book from shelves, but they should have had the foresight to double check the work of Rev. Bill Shillady given his close association with Hillary Clinton and her reputation for being less than honest. Many people find it hard to believe, myself included, that Rev. Bill Shillady didn’t know he was copying someone else’s work. Citing your source appropriately is a task even the most novice writers are taught prior to publishing anything. Hillary Clinton has not released a statement regarding this latest controversy of dishonesty.