By Frederick Clarkson | 15 March 2017
Talk To Action
Today, Donald Trump appointed C-FAM Executive Vice President Lisa Correnti to the US Delegation To UN Commission On Status Of Women. (C-FAM is a Catholic Right organization involved primarily in advocacy at the UN.) Three years ago, Correnti’s boss, Austin Ruse, said that women’s studies faculty “should be taken out and shot.”
Ruse launched into his eliminationist broadside as he guest-hosted a show on American Family Radio in 2014. His remarks so horrified the not easily horrified conservative Christian broadcaster that he was fired and banned from further appearances.
But Lisa Correnti and Austin Ruse rode out the crisis.
Austin Ruse doesn’t understand why people were so upset when he said on a national radio program that university leaders “should all be taken out and shot.” Ruse was reacting to reports that a Duke University freshman had launched a career in porn, partly to pay for her college tuition. The Catholic Right leader who heads the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (C-FAM) blamed less than one semester of exposure to women’s studies for the freshman’s choice of part time jobs.
Ruse initially apologized for his violent outburst, claiming, “I have dedicated my life and career to ending violence.” But as I reported at the time, Ruse had nothing to say about the threats of violence and death against the student, (whose stage name is Belle Knox) about whom he pretends to care. While Ruse is still whining about the episode, he also still has nothing to say about the ongoing threats against young Belle Knox — who is nevertheless bravely continuing her college education at Duke.
In any case, Ruse’s latest comments demonstrate that when he made his original apology, he didn’t really mean it.
“I made a stupid gaffe on the radio last week.
While hosting a national radio show, I said that, in general, the liberal professors who have turned higher education into the toxic stew that produced porn star ‘Belle Knox’ needed to be ‘taken out and shot.’
This was a figure of speech; I certainly did not mean it literally. It is a figure of speech, I suspect, that everyone reading this has used, and everyone who clamored for my ruination has used also.”
Personally, I never said anyone should be ruined. I have also have never said that anyone should be taken out and shot. But in those rare times I have heard anyone else use the phrase — it was stated with the certainty of the angry zealot who thinks it is a Truth that Must be Told — mature people of conscience do not make such reckless statements in public. Not even in jest. Austin Ruse should have have known better.
But of course, violence was not the only issue in his remarkable outburst, and he has not retreated from those problems either. Ruse is still saying — with zero evidence to support his claim — that
“so-called higher education massively failed and created a Belle Knox, poor girl, the Duke University porn star.”
As I previously observed, there is no more evidence for this than that Knox’s first semester at college had made her a libertarian or a College Republican — although those are also part of her identity.
Ruse also went on to blame liberals and bloggers for his plight, but Dave Neiwert reports at Hate Watch that Ruse is finding himself isolated — and not just from bloggers and liberals. Ruse fails to mention that conservatives are also repulsed. “The American Family Association — on whose program he made the rant — severed all ties with him, saying:
“AFR condemns such comments, no matter who makes them. One of C-FAM’s board members, Monsignor Anthony Frontiero, resigned from the board after Faithful America petitioned him to do so. And C-FAM may lose its status at the United Nations.”
Frontiero, a prelate from New Hampshire has served the Holy See in a variety of capacities in the past, including as a member of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.
Hate Watch also notes that this is not the first time that Ruse cloaked a threat of violence inside an attempt at humor. Nor is a college kid the only target of his verbal thuggery. Catholics for Choice reported in 2000 that when Ruse addressed the conspiracist, anti-communist and anti-Obama Cardinal Mindzenty Foundation he told a story about talking to a Catholic priest about killing Hillary Clinton. “Hillary [Clinton] is the ‘conquering queen’ at the United Nations,” Ruse said. “I was standing on the floor of the UN a couple of months ago, when she was thinking about running, and I was talking to a priest from the Holy See delegation and — I shouldn’t tell you this but he offered me guaranteed absolution if I just took her out — and not on a date.”
Ruse would no doubt be the first to say he didn’t really mean it and blame it all on bloggers, liberals and feminists.
Reprinted with permission from the author.
Frederick Clarkson is the co founder, with Bruce Wilson, of Talk to Action. He is a Senior Fellow at Political Research Associates, and has written about politics and religion for thirty years. Clarkson has written many ground breaking exposes.
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