Monday, August 25, 2008

What He Said – Are Those Actually His Words, or Those of Someone Else?

"Biden debuts with attack on McCain" --- Internet headline on August 24, 2008

Now it’s really getting interesting since we have been informed that Joe Biden will be the Democratic candidate for vice president of the United States in the upcoming November election.

Some of us will always be wondering each time he opens his mouth – are those words actually his, or did they originate with some other person of genuine prominence? You know, do you not, that Joe has had a problem with a thing called plagiarism in the past? It happened more than once and has been documented.

It seems Joe passed off some statements as though they were his own, but in reality they were statements made by other persons in public settings. This is considered a serious offense when you try to steal statements made by other persons and then use them as though they originated with you without giving credit where credit is due.

It comes down to a thing called ethics and honesty in communication.

I remember a class I was teaching years ago in which a student in doing her assignment of preaching a message made some rather impressive statements. Later I followed up on those and discovered she had literally used some statements by Martin Luther King, Jr. word for word! They were from a message he had given in the past. But she did not acknowledge that she was using his material!

There will be any number who will go to Joe’s defense and the fact that he eventually had to acknowledge his wrongdoing in passing off some stuff as originally his when in fact other persons were the real source of some of those things he stated.

But then, such qualities as high ethical standards and basic honesty are practically looked upon as major irritants these days. Surveys taken are showing the shocking reality that increased numbers of high school and college students do not think it is wrong to cheat and to lie – if you can get away with it, so much the better!

And we wonder why our republic resembles more and more a tissue which has been used to wipe a very runny nose and is immediately flushed down the toilet!

Don’t forget during upcoming presidential campaign – when Joe speaks, ask yourself, “Are those his words, or did they originate with someone of far greater significance and who holds to far higher ethical standards than he?”

Remove from me the way of lying, and grant me Your law graciously. I have chosen the way of truth; Your judgments I have laid before me. I cling to Your testimonies; O LORD, do not put me to shame! I will run in the way of Your commandments, for You shall enlarge my heart. Teach me, O LORD, the way of Your statutes, and I shall keep it to the end. Give me understanding, and I shall keep Your law; indeed, I shall observe it with my whole heart. --- Psalm 119:29-34

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