What Happened to ChristianWritingToday.com?
Many of you are coming to my author site because you have visited ChristianWritingToday.com. But, after 15 years and over 44,000 page views per month at the time, it went silent on September 14, 2022. What happened?
It was shut down by what I would describe as a “woke” cyber-bully. And rather than give in to the person’s unreasonable and likely illegal demands, my longtime blogging ministry remains dormant. Some content on this site first appeared on ChristianWritingToday.com. Needless to say, I have had a deep sense of loss over the smashing of my longtime worldwide ministry to Christian writers.
How did this person manage to shut down ChristianWritingToday.com? By filing a Trademark for a common Christian term and then “protecting” the trademark by insisting that I do not use it AND that I remove all references to the entire subject from my site. That was an outrage, of course. The term in question has been in use by Christians since at least since the 1600s, and the article I wrote had been on ChristianWritingToday.com for five years before the person filed the trademark notice.
I contacted a Christian lawyer, and he felt the woke person’s actions were without merit for these reasons:
- The trademarked term had not been examined, but the person was busy forcing people off the internet with provisional approval. Since the term has been used since the 1600s and is a generic Christian term, it is unlikely to survive trademark office examination.
- Since the article the person is complaining about on ChristianWritingToday.com was published by you in 2017, rights in using the phrase have priority over any alleged trademark rights, and the person cannot possibly succeed in efforts to somehow force you to take that article down.
- The term was used descriptively, and everyone is allowed to do that. That’s why we can all talk and write about Coca-Cola and other products if we wish. We are not producing a soft drink, so using a trademark as intended is not wrong.
The big question for me was whether or not to waste time and money on what I perceived to be an irrational person. I corresponded with the person in the kindest possible way, and even contacted the person’s lawyer, but it fell on deaf ears. Both were completely unreasonable about resolving the situation without a possible lawsuit.
The Way Forward
My decision was to avoid the time and expense of litigation. I’m very sad that nearly 600,000 Christian writers annually lost ChristianWritingToday.com as a resource. But I refused to remove the article as requested by the aggressive, malevolent person who demanded it.
It is a concern when people of questionable spirituality hijack Christian terms in this way. It is a subtle attack on Christian values, not just my ministry. Yet, I believe the Lord will deal with the person who so cruelly abused US Trademark law in this way. As King David said in Psalm 5:
Lead me, O LORD, in your righteousness because of my enemies; make your way straight before me. For there is no truth in their mouth; their inmost self is destruction; their throat is an open grave…. Make them bear their guilt, O God; let them fall by their own counsels; because of the abundance of their transgressions cast them out, for they have rebelled against you.
We can only pray that people will see the error of their abusive ways and repent. Meanwhile, we are left with the stark reminder of Ephesians 6:12: “We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”