God cares how you dress

As is customary for omnipotent beings, the Christian god has a deep concern regarding what you wear, as John van Heerden reminds us on his News24 blog. Five crucial questions need to be asked and answered to god’s satisfaction before you can present yourself to the world with your virtue and dignity intact, and your soul unthreatened. As was recently the case with Frontline Fellowship, though, god doesn’t seem to care much about what us non-believers tend to think of as genuine moral issues, such as plagiarism or lying. This, at least, seems to be the message that John van Heerden is attempting to convey through presenting someone else’s article as his own – the advice on attire is entirely cut-and-pasted from Momof9’s place.

The first comment on John’s post pointed this out to him – well, it was at least the first comment when I read the blog yesterday. Today, however, the accusatory comment has been deleted – but those of us with experience of Christians know to take screenshots at times like these:


Curiously, while John seems to have deleted this comment from Cloudgazer, he nevertheless posted a response to it, which is still on the site. In case it disappears by the time you read this, what he said was:


Damn, thought I – while I’d certainly prefer for John to have made it obvious where he sourced the article from, he has provided a link to the original, and I (plus Cloudgazer and the person who alerted me to this article) must simply have missed it. So let me look more closely… Nope, it’s not there. But surely, I wonder, John wouldn’t condescend to Cloudgazer like that unless he’s telling the truth, and the link is there somewhere? So instead of having to read the drivel in question again, I hit Ctrl-F5, and search for the source URL – and it’s there. Look:


Do you see it? If not, perhaps that’s for one of the following reasons:

  1. The font size is 1
  2. The font colour in white, as is the background
  3. The URL isn’t hyperlinked, and is therefore not underlined or distinguished in any other way

In this case, it’s for all three of those reasons. Viewing the source code of the post in question gives us:

<font color=#ffffff size=1 face=”Times New Roman”>http://www.momof9splace.com/modesty3.html</font>

Ah, Jacques, you may think, give the guy a break – he merely forgot to hyperlink the URL. But no, I’m afraid that’s not true – the saved page I have from yesterday lacks the invisible citation, which was only added after Cloudgazer caught him out. And instead of taking the easy route of saying to Cloudgazer “damn, I forgot – thanks for pointing it out, but there’s no need to accuse me of plagiarism”, our man John instead uses this as an opportunity to (try to) make Cloudgazer look like the fool, by drawing his attention to the invisible citation.

As I’ve said before, a charming bunch these believers are.

Update: Seeing as Mr. van Heerden has now deleted his entire News24 blog, anyone wanting to read the article in question can download it here. If Momof9 or anyone else wants the source code of the posts in question, I’d be happy to mail them to you.

By Jacques Rousseau

Jacques Rousseau teaches critical thinking and ethics at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, and is the founder and director of the Free Society Institute, a non-profit organisation promoting secular humanism and scientific reasoning.