Hillary Clinton’s pastor has been caught plagiarizing part of a prayer he sent the ex-presidential candidate the day after she lost the election and later published in a book released last week.
The Rev. Bill Shillady said he was “stunned” to learn his prayer, “Sunday is Coming,” was so similar to a blog post written by an Indiana pastor in March 2016, CNN reported.
Shillady has apologized to the Rev. Matt Deuel and will credit the Mission Point Community Church Pastor in future additions of his book, "Strong for a Moment Like This: The Daily Devotions of Hillary Rodham Clinton," The New York Post reported. Clinton’s image appears on the cover of the book and she wrote the forward.
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The book is based on emails that the Rev. Bill Shillady exchanged with Clinton between April 2015 and December of last year, and Shillady readily admits his musings and devotions are based as much on Scripture as on the perspective of other pastors, more than 200 of which are credited in his book.
Mary Catherine Dean, editor-in-chief of Shillady’s publisher, Abingdon Press, said in a statement, “We fully accept his explanation that he did not intentionally leave Matt Deuel’s passages unattributed.”
Deuel contacted CNN four days after the book was released after he noticed Shillady’s writings appeared “inspired” by his work.
For example, Deuel wrote, "Death will be shattered. Hope will be restored. Redemption is coming. But first, we must live through the darkness and seeming hopelessness of Friday."
Shillady's email to Clinton, published in his book, says, "Death will be shattered. Hope will be restored. But first, we must live through the darkness and seeming hopelessness of Friday."
Several other passages and ideas in Deuel’s column were echoed by Shillady and left unattributed.
Deuel told CNN he was “shocked” when he read Shillady’s email to Clinton, which was posted on CNN.com and realized it was his words. But he also noted he is “not interested in publicly pursuing anything.
"The last thing the world needs right now is two pastors having a public dispute over a blog. The reality is, there's nothing new under the sun," he said to CNN.
The concept and phrase “It’s Friday, but Sunday is coming,” referring to Jesus’ death and coming resurrection on Sunday, is a common thread. Deuel himself was inspired to write his blog post by an even earlier sermon on the topic.
"If my blog then, in turn, inspired Rev. Shillady and it was used to encourage Hillary Clinton, then praise God for that! Could it have been done differently? Probably," Deuel said to CNN. "But for me to fire back publicly would be inappropriate and out of line on my part."