First, Christian radio host Janet Mefford accused Mars Hill Pastor Mark Driscoll of plagiarism. Then, things got weird. Then Mefferd seemed to back down to pro-Driscoll pressure. Now, Slate's Ruth Graham just published some new information:
[Mefferd] says her apology shouldn’t be mistaken for a recanting. “I stand by my allegations of insufficient sourcing, absolutely and unequivocally,” she said by email. “His plagiarism is a very serious ethical and moral breach. Academics and journalists alike have lost their jobs over less than what Mark Driscoll has done.” Mefferd says that “no attorneys were involved in this situation” and that no one at Mars Hill Church, where Driscoll is pastor, suggested she remove the materials.
On Monday, Mars Hill made its first explicit comment on the issue since Driscoll’s original interview. In a corner of its website devoted to the Driscoll book with several paragraphs apparently copied wholesale, the church posted a statement blaming a research assistant for “citation errors”: “During the editing process, content from other published sources were mistaken for research notes.” The head of communications at Mars Hill did not respond to an email and direct messages on Twitter requesting comments from the church or from Driscoll.
Ah, the old blame-the-assistant trick. Oldest gambit in the Good Book. Remember when Jesus blamed the cleansing of the temple on Peter, and everybody had a good laugh about it later on? Good times.