On George Grant, Plagiarism, and Omnibus

George Grant is pastor of Parish Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Franklin, Tennessee. He founded Franklin Classical School, where he “continues as President, Founder, and Humanities teacher”; and he founded New College Franklin.1 Both schools appear to be clones of Logos School in Moscow, Idaho, and New St. Andrews College; and both schools are affiliated with the Association of Classical & Christian Schools (ACCS), which is one of two primary marketing bases for Veritas Press to sell its Omnibus textbooks (homeschoolers being the other). George Grant also sits as a director ex officio on the ACCS board of directors along with Pastor Douglas Wilson of Christ Church, Moscow. Mr. Wilson’s co-editor, G. Tyler Fischer, currently serves as chairman of the board of directors for the ACCS.

George GrantPresumably George Grant led the push to confer legal accreditation authority on the ACCS for church-related schools in Tennessee. The state senator who wrote the bill never heard of Douglas Wilson, which leaves Mr. Grant as the only other ACCS director with an interest in spreading the ACCS’s reach in Tennessee.

According to Wikipedia, George Grant has authored or co-authored sixty books, though no one knows how much of his work is original. George Grant is one of several Omnibus contributors who adheres to theonomy,2 which is a theological system that calls on society to institute the Mosaic law. In 1987 George Grant wrote the book The Changing of the Guard: Biblical Blueprints for Political Action for theonomic publisher Dominion Press. Consider this excerpt:

Christians have an obligation, a mandate, a commission, a holy responsibility to reclaim the land for Jesus Christ — to have dominion in the civil structures, just as in every other aspect of life and godliness.

But it is dominion that we are after. Not just a voice.

It is dominion we are after. Not just influence.

It is dominion we are after. Not just equal time.

It is dominion we are after.

World conquest. That’s what Christ has commissioned us to accomplish. We must win the world with the power of the Gospel. And we must never settle for anything less.

If Jesus Christ is indeed Lord, as the Bible says, and if our commission is to bring the land into subjection to His Lordship, as the Bible says, then all our activities, all our witnessing, all our preaching, all our craftsmanship, all our stewardship, and all our political action will aim at nothing short of that sacred purpose.

Thus, Christian politics has as its primary intent the conquest of the land — of men, families, institutions, bureaucracies, courts, and governments for the Kingdom of Christ. It is to reinstitute the authority of God’s Word as supreme over all judgments, over all legislation, over all declarations, constitutions, and confederations. (The Changing of the Guard: Biblical Blueprints for Political Action [Fort Worth, TX: Dominion Press, 1987], 50, 51).

In 1993 George Grant co-wrote the book Legislating Immorality: The Homosexual Movement Comes Out of the Closet (Moody Press). Upon finishing this work, both authors claimed it “involved the fiercest spiritual warfare that either of us has ever experienced.”3 The book apparently calls for the execution of homosexuals,4 which is a doctrinal position consistent with the theonomy movement as a whole, including Doug Wilson’s written opinions.

In 2005 George Grant contributed an article titled “The Song of Roland” to Omnibus Volume II: Church Fathers through the Reformation (eds. Douglas Wilson & Tyler Fisher), which is published by Veritas Press. However, as Rachel Miller has demonstrated, Mr. Grant filched the primary content of his essay from two sources: SparkNotes & two different GradeSaver pages. And George Grant’s plagiarism in this case rules out the possibility that Doug Wilson’s three explanations could account for the fraud:

  1. It did not occur “in captions and inserts, which were included in the textbook in the production process, after the edited manuscripts were submitted and edited.” The plagiarized text appears up & down throughout the body text of the essay.
  2. Mr. Grant’s plagiarism was not “prone to false positives,” because he did not limit himself to an elementary historical fact such as “America was discovered in 1492 by Columbus.” George Grant ripped expert text like this:

    “The Song of Roland . . . consists of roughly 4,000 lines of verse, divided into 298 poetic units, each of which is called a laisse . . . these laisses are irregular in length, averaging . . . under fourteen lines; the lines are mostly decasyllabic . . . and are connected by . . . assonance.”

  3. And since Mr. Grant lifted his content from non-open source sites, then it was not possible that he plagiarized from an “Omnibus graduate.”

George Grant committed textbook plagiarism:

volume-ii-143 volume-ii-144 volume-ii-144-145 volume-ii-6a volume-ii-6b

1 New College Franklin’s plagiarism policy:

Academic Integrity
New College Franklin students are expected to complete their studies with diligence and integrity (Eph. 5:8–17), willingly seeking to learn and complete whatever is true, honorable and just (Phil. 4:8–9). Students are expected to be truthful and honest in all areas of the college life. Dishonesty, alteration of documents, plagiarism, misrepresentation or misappropriation of any sort, intentional or otherwise, may be grounds for disciplinary action by the instructor and the administration. These offenses may be grounds for dismissal from New College Franklin. (New Franklin College Catalogue, 2009–2011)

2 The list of theonomic plagiarizers who contributed to the Omnibus includes Randy Booth, George Grant, Benjamin Merkle (president of New Saint Andrews College in Moscow, Idaho), Douglas Wilson, and Steve Wilkins.
3 Quoted in Didi Herman, The Antigay Agenda: Orthodox Vision and the Christian Right (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1997), 65.
4 “In his 1993 book Legislating Immorality (co-authored by Mark Horne), Grant advocates the death penalty for gays, saying ‘[t]here is no such option for homosexual offenses’ except capital punishment (pp. 186–87).” (Dr. Dale Graden, December 27–28 Moscow-Pullman Daily News op-ed, “Coalition says conference undermines diversity.”

8 Comments

  1. What excuse will Doug Wilson offer for George Grant’s faux scholarship? What explanation will George Grant offer for his shameful, unabashed word thievery? Who will Marlin Detweiler blame for publishing this egregious example of plagiarism?
    “And he taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves.”
    Matthew 11:17 KJV
    Rose Huskey

  2. I suspect “Pastor” Wilson will, at least initially, completely ignore any of these facts regarding his buddy George Grant. If pressed into making some sort of response, it will be the usual obfuscations, distortions, and condescending “my enemies have no reading comprehension, blah, blah, blah.” And that will serve as Moscow’s faux “Pastor’s” discussion. In the meantime, he will continue dwelling on the apparently very important topic, as a visit to his blog shows, of tattoos. Tattoos. Apparently an exceedingly vital matter to Mr. Wilson, given the length of his, uh, thoughts on the topic. Plagiarism? Meh….. Tattoos? Majorly critical.

  3. We know that noncitizens hate us. Noncitizen Muslims hate us the most, because they know the truth, that Jesus Christ is the redeemer, and that Mohamed was a fraud.

    So these noncitizens, these aliens, have plotted to besmirch the reputation of my good friend George Grant. They’ve accused him of plagiarism, and claim they have proof that his article in Omnibus is a copy of articles from two small time publications called SparkNotes and GradeSavers.

    They are wrong. SparkNotes and GradeSavers plagiarized the Omnibus, and I have proof!

    There’s this noncitizen alien who has been seen wearing a fez, a sure sign that he’s a Muslim. This noncitizen alien has been traveling inside the United States without a visa, or even for that matter a passport. He has been doing this for years, a clear indictment of our border services!

    He’s been seen at different times, wearing different looks, obviously masks. He is often seen near a blue British style police box. If you see this noncitizen alien please contact me. I’ve contracted with Mister Davros of D. A. Lek Security to ensure that he doesn’t interfere with out publishing operations again.

  4. A long long time ago George Grant and his bow tie showed up at the Christ Church Moscow history conference and spoke on Booker T Washington. As he spoke I was like, “What?!?, this sounds exactly like the book I had just taught my class (a.k.a. son and friend) — Up From Slavery. Like EXACTLY. Like he lifted his entire speech from the book.” I felt so cheated. We had spent good money and good time to be at this enlightening conference and all I got was an oral pilfering of Up From Slavery.

    Sort of new to this whole Christian world view, I thought, “So that’s what Christians do — steal content,” and I hunkered down for retread material.

    I learned important things at that Christ Church Moscow History Conference that day- so long as no one calls them on it, these self proclaimed scholars feel no compulsion to honesty. I learned that their Christian world lives by a much lower standard than the secular world. And so long as they can get away with it; they will. And all the better if they can fleece a fellow Christian in the process.

    Cha Ching!

  5. As a former academic, I’m boggled not just by not citing sources, but by the choice of sources. Sparknotes? GradeSaver? Has Rev. Dr. Grant ever even read the Song of Roland?

    These are not sources used by a scholar who somehow forgot to adequately cite things. These are sources used by someone who wants the cheap/easy way to complete an article or essay, and doesn’t want the reader to know. Which of course is one reason why scholarship requires proper sourcing; evaluating the sources is part of evaluating the argument.

  6. When I was a freshman in college (nearly 40 years ago), I had to write a term paper on one of the lesser-known works of Charles Dickens. We had to cite five works. So I dutifully read the book and hit up the libraries for books on Dickens. But I came up with one idea from the Cliff’s Notes of the book, and I didn’t find it in any of the other academic tomes on Dickens, and I felt honor-bound to cite it. So I did.

    I got an A on the paper, but my teacher told me not to cite Cliff’s Notes, because that was expected to be “common knowledge.” I still disagree with her. I didn’t find that information in any of the other books I consulted and I thought it should be footnoted.

    1. From Cliff Notes website: “Some people think using CliffsNotes guides is cheating, but it’s not . . . unless you plagiarize (that is, copy information from CliffsNotes without giving us credit). Avoid plagiarism by knowing how to cite CliffsNotes, whether it’s a print or online source of information.”

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