The Martyrdom of Mark Elrod

All of us here at Politics & Culture are crying a river of tears over Mark Elrod’s announcement that he will be making his blog private. He and all his cronies are lamenting the fact that he is pretty much being forced to do this because his employer (Harding University) is so close-minded. All his disciples are also doing their best to kiss his butt in an effort to be invited to his new private blog.

In all this, Elrod is trying very hard to play the martyr. But as they say in his part of the country, “That dog won’t hunt.”

He works at a Christian university that is conservative theologically and politically. Did he really think he could publicly endorse things like gay marriage in such an environment with no repercussions? Of course not. He knows what he’s doing — he’s stroking his own ego, trying to make the Harding University administration look bad, and perhaps even setting himself up for another job elsewhere.

I’ll bet that Facebook groups like “Free Mark Elrod” and “Stop Censorship at Harding” are already being formed. We were going to comment on his post today, but alas, Politics & Culture was banned from his blog a while back. So much for “dissent in a public forum.”

The good people over at The Moratorium Site will be weighing in on The Martyrdom of Mark Elrod later today.

Stay Tuned!


Update: Burt Hollandsworth, Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Harding University, made this brilliant observation regarding The Martyrdom of Mark Elrod: “I’m moving to China. There’s more freedom of speech there than in Searcy”

Update 2: Elrod removed the Trackback to this blog post from his comment section.  I guess I over-estimated his ability to deal with critical thinking or dissent in a public forum.


38 comments so far

  1. Roland on

    Good post. Yeah, I did notice all his followers whining and crying about it Hey, he knew exactly what he was doing and what might result….IF we are to believe that HU put any pressure on him. It could all just be a big play. You notice, Elrod never said that, it was others who talked about any sort of “pressure.”

  2. Roland on

    Did you notice people actually crying about censorship and freedom of speech?? Ever notice that Liberals always cry this river EXCEPT when Conservatives are the target? Then, it’s hate speech.

    Don’t these people understand that there are consequences to ones actions?

  3. policulture on

    That’s right. Words have meaning, and speech sometimes has consequences.

    How long until the “Free Elrod!” t-shirts go on sale?

  4. Burt Hollandsworth on

    I guess sarcasm is lost on folks with sub-75 IQ

  5. policulture on

    Wow! You really skewered me with that one Burt!

    Actually, your comment is not worthless. It serves to illustrate Elrod’s hypocrisy. He cries about censorship, but he would never allow a comment like yours on his blog, if it were submitted by someone here at P&C.

  6. Roland on


  7. Burt Hollandsworth on

    No problem poli. I understand your comments about the hypocrisy, and I don’t know the history between you and ME but I would assume you were making some pretty inflammatory comments to get banned from what used to be a pretty open forum of discussion.

    I don’t dare speak for ME but I imagine he was less interested in shutting down your conservative thoughts than in protecting his neck from people going over his head and complaining about your comments on his blog. I don’t know for sure because I haven’t seen your comments (I would assume they were deleted when you got the boot). If you have some of your comments archived, then I’d love to read them them.

    Roland is right that there are consequences to one’s actions, but in the blog universe I would like to think that we can voice opinions (popular or not) so that we can talk about them without fear that people will call up our bosses and tell on us for having a different opinion, like we’re in the fifth grade. Not that we had bosses in the 5th grade, but you know what I mean.

  8. Roland on

    Burt, I was banned as well and my comments were always fine. Never out of line at all. He just didn’t like it when I pointed out where he was wrong or when he was inconsistent.

    Also, he never really had a problem with bad comments. Remember, he moderated EVERY comment. Any inflammatory comments on his blog were there because HE allowed them.

  9. policulture on

    No doubt I said some things in ways that could be labeled ‘inflammatory’ — but it was usually in the context of illustrating absurdity by being absurd. That seemed to be lost on Elrod.

    And I was not the only ones posting ‘inflammatory’ comments. Look back at some of the things JH or GKB have said. The difference is that they either agree with Elrod or are friends of his, so they are held to a different standard.

    For example, during the whole Ann Coulter dust-up, many harsh and negative things were said about her. But few positive comments were tolerated. And anyone supporting her was shouted down and ridiculed.

    I actually stopped reading Elrod’s blog a while back. With very little discussion and debate, it became a place where like-minded liberals could pat each other on the back for being so much more enlightened than those stupid conservatives. How boring.

    And I imagine that his new invitation-only blog will be a lot more of the same.

  10. Travis on

    This post is so unchristian and hateful. As a person of faith, and I assume leader in the church, you should be ashamed.

  11. motherfulkser on

    This is one of the most unChristlike posts I’ve ever read in a blog. Way to be the “stronger” Christian example in this mess of a situation.

  12. Travis on

    By the way, I could careless if you disagree with Mark Elrod, his politics, his faith, or his blog-keeping practices. I am not defending him. But the way you have disagreed with him is harmful.

  13. Marti on

    People voice their opinions about topics that need to be addressed. Not because the topics are easy to address and certainly not because they think it’s going to make them popular. Typically it does just this. It makes people uncomfortable enough to slander another human being, yet not uncomfortable enough to do some research and soul searching to understand where the other person is coming from.

    Do you think it was easy for folks like William Brewster or Martin Luther King, Jr. to speak on Civil Rights? No, it wasn’t easy, and they weren’t popular among some of these same institutions (even churches and Christian universities). But their personal integrity and moral and ethical conscience, is what gave them the courage, strength and know-how to stand up and fight for what they believed in, no matter the obstacle.

    Just because you do not share the same perspective as someone else, doesn’t mean you have the right to ridicule them. Jesus wouldn’t.

  14. Burt Hollandsworth on

    If you are into illustrating absurdity with the absurd then I think we can be pals. Makes me wonder if you get along with GKB ???

    Not to change the subject, but what did you say about Ann Coulter? I’m intrigued …

  15. amackenzie on

    Perhaps the problem with folks like policulture and Roland getting “banned” from Elrod’s blog has to do more with the fact that you are anonymous rather than known? I mean, your blogs reveal very little of who you actually are (see About on this blog and Roland’s). Everyone knows exactly who Elrod is. His blog spells it out nicely. I have no idea who you are. Your (speaking to policulture and Roland, again) blogs give you anonymity, something both convenient for commenting and not tolerated on the Lame-O blog. Maybe that has something to do with it? Just a thought.

  16. Dustin Sullivan on

    I don’t know when you made the second update, but at 8:18pm EST, I see your trackback at the bottom of his “Going Private” post.

    Also, I think you assume too much.

  17. Julie on

    I remember the whole Ann Coulter affair. Mr. Elrod did not speak well of her, and he and his commenters were brutal in their treatment of anyone who actually supported her. I don’t feel that true conservatives really got fair treatment on his blog.

  18. Matt Mason on

    I guess Dr. Elrod now knows how conservative professors and speakers feel when they go to most state universities!

    Perhaps he could talk about that on his blog! Yeah right!

  19. Dustin Sullivan on

    Oh stink.

    I was wrong. He has a trackback to a blog called “And Another Thing…”

    Sorry about that.

  20. policulture on

    No problem Dustin. Honest mistake. Click on that trackback — there’s a good discussion going on there.

  21. policulture on

    amackenzie — I was not anonymous to Elrod. He knows who I am. And I wasn’t the only one who “appeared” to be anonymous on his blog.

  22. Roland on

    Does it matter how I run my blog? I started my blog because Elrod stopped letting myself and others post on his. He suggested it, I took his advice.

  23. B. Johnson on

    Ah well, at least we can agree on one thing…this is a coward’s blog. And pretty darn un-christian, to boot. At least I assume you all at P & C call yourselves Christians? If not, disregard that second comment. As an occasional reader of Elrod’s blog for some time, i remember your comments. Maybe you were banned because they were incredibly asinine. Right or left-leaning, I could care less. Hypocritical philistines, however, tend to rub me the wrong way.

  24. Roland on

    How is this a cowards blog? I see no posts deleted. All comments are welcome (I assume they are).

    So, what does that make the Elrod blog? Is he a coward for taking it private? Isn’t that the same thing as posting anonymous?

  25. motherfulkser on

    He’s not acting cowardly by making it private; in fact, he is being incredibly respectful of his employer by eliminating anymore possible “fires” which will inevitably be spread to said employer by people who cannot handle intelligent dialogue. He is being the opposite of cowardly.

  26. Roland on

    Sooooo….what if having an anonymous blog is being respectful to ones employer by eliminating anymore possible “fires”?

    Oh! That’s right. That’s different, right? Sheesh! Give me a break. You make about as much sense as GKB.

  27. GKB on

    Tee hee hee.

  28. Roland on

    I have noticed on other blogs now the conversation has turned from Elrod to how horrible Harding is and how it is doomed and going to shut down soon. Funny stuff.

  29. motherfulkser on

    Roland – I actually hadn’t thought of that. But thank you for enlightening me in such a Christ-like manner. I really hope that my kid will be exposed to and influenced by great examples of God’s love like yourself! That will give me many more opportunities to teach him just how Christ would NOT have treated people or spoken to them. As far as I can tell, my “non-cowardly” comment was quite unoffensive…

  30. kristisweeney on

    If you’re going to say all about anything, you might want to make sure that’s correct. I didn’t lobby to be included on his private blog, but I have been included. I did not speak to the demise of Harding University, in fact, my degree is from there and I was well prepared for graduate school. These two things mean that ALL did not participate. Surely you can see that.

    Roland, I will say this: it is very easy for you to say that all your posts/comments on Dr. Elrod’s blog were fine. However, that wasn’t his perception, and it was his blog. I have no idea about your comments there, because I have no idea what your handle was on his blog. I’m simply pointing out the discrepancies between perceptions. That is all.

  31. Roland on

    I said it befor Kristi. You’re right. Since you can’t see my comments, it looks like I am just making it up however, I know several people who had their comments deleted. Also, it’s very easy for Elrod, it being his blog, to sit back and say “Comments deleted? What comments?”

    Also, you are right, it is HIS blog. But for him to sit back and in his best condescending voice (which he uses for all his classes) and say people can’t handle “critical thinking or dissent in a public forum” is laugable since, obviously, he cannot.

    I have been thinking about this whole thing and I now honestly believe that he wanted people to think Harding forced him to go private. Why not just go private and tell people he was tired of the hate mail? Why not tell people he was sick of moderating. No. He had to write an almost cryptic “good-bye” that led people to read between the lines and think Harding had something to do with it. Then, a few days later, he comes out and says “Oh, Harding didn’t make me do it.” I call BS on that. He wanted to get a buzz going before he went private. It’s just the kind of arrogant person he is. Trust me. I know.

  32. Hans Hacker on

    The problem with Harding University is that it has confused Arkansas Church of Christ provincialism with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The more I hear about how nasty you all can be toward people who do not think like you do (even to the degree that they endorse gay marriage), the more I think “I like your Jesus, but your Christians not so much.”

    Perhaps all of you (Elrod included) should take a step back and consider your actions in light of what Christ would have you do. Would he have you talk about each other as having sub-75 I.Q.? Would he have you call each other names, and write them out here for every heathen to see and say to himself “Ahhhh. See! I was right about those people. They have no idea how to show love, or to respect one another.” Is that what we should be doing . . . just so someone (Elrod or his detractors) can claim some perverse, short-lived ideologically motivated political victory, or some petty vindication of your ideas? What difference is there between you and any other heretical religfious ideology in the world whose people flay each other for having ideas?

  33. marks on

    Roland, were you “Baron” on ME’s blog? If so I imagine you were banned because of your tone just as someone mentioned earlier. “Baron” may have had good arguments but the tone was horrible. Assuming you are “Baron”, I am not surprised you don’t think you were rude or disrespectful. Usually rude people don’t understand that they are rude.

  34. policulture on

    I can tell you that Roland is not Baron. Baron is, well, Baron. That’s his name. Roland has his own blog and is also a member of Politics & Culture.

    I can tell you this: Elrod once rejected one of my comments because I referred to Democrats (in a joking way) as Demeecrats.

  35. Roland on

    Correct. I actually was ChrisM. The “final straw”, I think, was when Elrod called for the U.S. to do more concerning Darfur and the suffering there. I tried to point out that the U.S. was doing just that in Iraq but Elrod doesn’t support that and asked what the difference was. He never posted it.

    Oh, well. It was his ball and he took it home which is fine. I have my own blog and people post and we disagree and it’s fun.

  36. Steve Parker on

    I am one of those people who contacted Harding regarding Mark Elrod. I have never been a student there, but I have a daughter who was considering attending the university. She will never step foot on that campus again. I don’t hate Mark Elrod, but I disagreed, strongly, with his statements. My biggest issue, his stance on gay marriage. Also, he talked about abortion being a tragedy. Well, if you are a Bible believing person, homosexuality and abortion are sins. Of course, we have all committed sins. Those I have mentioned and many others, and I am so thankful for the love of God lavished on me through Jesus Christ. Because of Him, I am forgiven. For me, it comes down to this, you either believe the Bible is the infallible, inerrant, inspired Word of God, or you do not….

    My perception, again, my perception is that Dr. Elrod does not believe the Bible applies to everyone and all situations. I believe God’s word transcends culture, politics, and societal norms and is the ultimate authority. I want my children to attend a university where all ideas can be brought up, but in the end, it is all brought back to God’s Word, and the final truth found in it.

    Frankly, I believe Harding University should have let him go, and he could have moved on to a more liberal private university or public school. I am disappointed with the school. Again, these are my opinions and perceptions and I do not expect everyone to agree with them.

    I love the Lord. I love people. I am a sinner saved by grace. I will always look to God’s Word for the answers to life’s questions.

  37. Burt Hollandsworth on

    Boy this topic sure died out didn’t it? I guess a presidential election will do that …

    SPALIN for president … er, I mean vice president.

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