floydius it's almost like you've got nothing better to do

10Jul/08Off

going private

I’ve come to the realization that I have over-estimated the capacity of both my academic and my religious community to deal with critical thinking or dissent regarding potato chips in a public forum. In the last few weeks, I’ve grown tired with dealing with members of both communities who seem to view the world in barbecue and ranch terms and think of all discussions as zero-sum games.

UPDATE:

I want to make it clear why I’m making the switch from writing a public blog to a private blog.

I’ve been fielding questions all day about this and I think it may be better to deal with it wholesale rather than retail.

For the record, I was not “pressured” by anybody to change my blog from “public” to “private” status.

I made this decision on my own as the result of the general frustration I have with members of our fellowship who want to make a spiritual judgment about me based on my preference in flavors.

One of those views is my public support for Miss Vickie’s Buttermilk and Ranch chips.

In the last few days, much of that angst has been directed toward my Alma mater and, as a result, toward me as well.

Because of this, I have decided that I would much rather have a private conversation about things that are important to me rather than a public conversation that leads to additional complaints about me to the Harding University administration.

I suspect that this arrangement is going to be beneficial to all of the parties involved.

I will be limiting my readership to ten thousand close friends. I expect we will generate some healhty discussion.

Comments (7) Trackbacks (0)
  1. Hello Lloyd. You don’t know me. I don’t know you! Thus the beauty of the blogosphere. To draw a caricature for you, I am a liberal hippy with a chip on his shoulder about a lot of things. I went to Harding and got a CS degree. Though I never read Elrod’s blog on a regular basis, I’m one of those people that have made a big deal about it, at least on a few comments here and there. I found your site linked off of Reinhardt’s blog.

    Introduction aside, what are your intentions with this post? You have a good sense of humor. On the one hand you could be ridiculing the whole situation. You could be drawing attention to the fact that this whole issue has been blown out of proportion. On the other hand, you could be specifically ridiculing Elrod. I’d like to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume the former. Unfortunately, the POV of your parody of Elrod’s statement gives more weight to the latter. If the latter was indeed your intention, then allow me to say you’re an ass.

    Uninvited insult aside, may I continue to read and comment on your blog? If you are as conservative as your posts seem so far, then this could provide for some stimulating (if at times abrasive) conversation.

  2. Bryan, thanks for your thoughts. I hesitate to make much in the way of commentary regarding Dr. Elrod, having neither taken any of his classes nor having formally met him. I’ve read a lot of speculation from those who would find fault with Harding’s administration for putting pressure on him, or at the very least for not protecting his academic freedom, as Jonathan suggested. I’ve also read from those who believe that Dr. Elrod is using this as an opportunity to publicize his cause, and that he has (intentionally or not) put Harding in a municipally untenable position. I suspect if I had a comprehensive purview, I’d find bits of error and truth in both camps. However, I don’t know the whole truth, and I don’t expect any of the parties immediately involved to be transparent; thus speculation from me is fruitless.

    As for my intention here, I find it amusing that anyone outside of the CoC would barely understand our internal arguments. Much effort and time have been expended reacting to this situation (I’m obviously guilty) compared to our investment in what might be considered weightier matters. That observation is the basis for this parody.

    Of course you are welcome to join in any discussions you wish here. I look forward to hearing from you.

  3. Just out of curiosity, are you referring to me when you say “I find it amusing that anyone outside of the CoC would barely understand our internal arguments?” Unless I’ve been ex-communicated (which is altogether possible), I’m still very much inside the CfC.

    And to continue in the tradition of the “agitator,” the CfC (as well as the rest of the evangelical right) is going through a massive shift in demographics. 2/3 of members under 30 are leaving the Church, and half (if not the majority) of the ones that stay are of the Brian McLaren, NT Wright, Donald Miller, e-mergent persuasion. This recent Elrod incident is a manifestation of the shifting political tectonic plates. Change is in the air buddy. And if the CfC is to remain solvent, people like you and I are going to have to learn how to engage in peaceful fighting a la Randy Willingham.

    I grant that calling people asses is not a good way to start :)

  4. Bryan, I assumed you (and basically anyone who would be interested in this matter) would be a member, or at very least a former member, of the CoC. What I hoped to convey is that someone outside the CoC would not comprehend how we could be getting so cantankerous about this.

    I think there is change coming for the CoC, but I am not optimistic that it will focus on the most important issues. I fear it will target relatively minuscule facets like acappella worship or whether women can pass out communion trays. Whatever beliefs we hold in those areas, I think we can all agree that loving our neighbor and spreading the hope of the resurrection demand our primary attention. Hurt feelings and large egos from both sides are inhibiting progress.

    I’m not sure this thing with Elrod is necessarily an indication of politics as much as it is an unfortunate airing of grievances. There have always been Democrats at Harding and within the CoC. I’m not politically savvy, but I find it hard to understand how Elrod’s supporting Obama is fundamentally more threatening than his supporting any other Democratic candidate from years past. I’m inclined to think that increased publicity due to the internet is causing much of the agitation.

    By the way, where did you come across your demographic figures? I’m in an evangelism strategies class right now and I’d be interested to read up on that.

    Finally, you are correct; we are going to have to learn how to deal with our disagreements. I have seen a lot of personal jabs delivered over this topic from people I respect. We must commit to a) turn the other cheek and b) use some sort of judgment with our words. We can deliver a prophetic message in a humble manner. We don’t always have to use Amos’ pattern and bring down the hellfire and brimstone. If I recall correctly, Ezekiel delivered messages to a judged Israel by laying on his side and cooking his food with cow manure.

  5. Bryan,

    I think you are missing the intended humor of this entry. The point was to laugh, and hopefully re-examine our sense of perspective on this particular topic. There are some of us who believe that this issue was blown out of proportion, and that the representation of the issues at hand was almost wholly one-sided in the blogosphere (we don’t like our Alma Mater being slandered). Parody & satire are usually amusing ways to bring ourselves back from taking a given issue too seriously.

    Also, I recognize that there is an element of personal pride in one’s sense of beliefs that is tangled up all in this issue. And perhaps taking a suggestion from a stranger bucks against that sense of pride. But furthering your ideological struggle in this particular blog entry appears quite hostile to the satirical spirit & mood that Lloyd attempted to set up. As a friend of his, I suggest you cease that.

    That said, I hope I didn’t just discourage what appears to be a genuine interest in Lloyd’s writing… and right after Lloyd took great effort to ignore your insult & let you feel welcome. I’m always prodding him to blog more because he has a great mind to share. Hopefully having an actual readership would inspire him to be more diligent! ; )

  6. @Lloyd

    Count me in as a reader. I’ve added you to my RSS list.

    Stats:

    “Seven in 10 Protestants ages 18 to 30 — both evangelical and mainline — who went to church regularly in high school said they quit attending by age 23” from http://www.usatoday.com/news/religion/2007-08-06-church-dropouts_N.htm

    http://religions.pewforum.org/portraits

    Flavil Yeakley’s CfC specific research “puts the percentage of our children who leave never to return at around 33%” (a lower number) from http://oneinjesus.info/2008/04/25/churches-of-christ-in-decline-good-news-and-bad-news/

    @Phillip

    “I think you are missing the intended humor of this entry”

    If you read my comment, the gist of it was that if he is specifically ridiculing Elrod then he is being an ass. I left that up to him to clarify. It turns out he was ridiculing the entire situation, which I hope includes both sides.

    Gentlemen, shall we put this to rest?

  7. Thanks for the stats, Bryan. I’ll be reading up on your blog.

    And both of you, thanks for taking the time to stop by :)


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