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Anatomy of a Takedown Print E-mail
By Austin Ruse   
Friday, 21 March 2014

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.

The reaction was swift, massive, and unforgiving – first playing itself out on Twitter but then exploding outward.

At first, I tried to take them on. On Twitter, I went after them hammer and tongs. Big mistake. Blood was in the water and the chum only brought more into the swarm. They wanted to know if I intended to pull the trigger myself. They wanted to know, besides liberal professors, did I also want to shoot gays and blacks. I was accused of calling for murder. These were from self-identified university professors.

I went on the radio the very next day and went into a long explanation of how it was a figure of speech. I quoted long passages from Wikipedia and gave examples of figures of speech. And I went on the attack. I called the left “dumb.” I didn’t mean that either. Of course, they knew it was a figure of speech. Of course, they knew I did not mean it literally. It did not matter. It was a gaffe and one they delighted in exploiting.

My gaffe went up immediately on Right Wing Watch. They have a whole file on me over there. The folks at American Family Radio told me Right Wing Watch posts AFR shows faster than AFR puts them up on its own site.

And then it went to the Daily Kos, and to various liberal blogs, one called Joe.My.God and another called Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters run by a guy calling himself Black Tsunami. Emails poured into my organization all calling for my head. 

And then the story went up on the Huffington Post. You may not be aware of it, but the Huffington Post is one of the most trafficked sites in the world. According to the traffic-measurement service Alexa.com, Huffington Post is ranked twenty-first in the United States and eighty-fourth in the entire world. And they all came my way. The good news is by the time my face went up on Huffington Post, I had taken down my Twitter feed. It was beeping all night long with vulgar comments and even death threats.

The situation was not helped by the fact that I am a readily identifiable Catholic. “Who would Jesus shoot?” I got that a few million times. The left is nothing if not original. Lots of people told me this was why they left the Church a long time ago and are never coming back.

I issued a formal apology. The apology was not accepted, to say the least. It was mocked and derided and only added fuel to the fire.

The funny thing is I am a virtual nobody. I am not Rush Limbaugh. I run a small NGO with a tiny budget and only six employees. I am the smallest of fish in the center-right ocean. I am known by Right Wing Watch and also by Media Matters – that I already knew – but they obsess about everyone on the right. It baffles me still that my gaffe became any kind of scandale de l’Internet.

One unfortunate thing among many is that none of these people seemed the least concerned about the thing I was addressing when I made the stupid gaffe, which is how so-called higher education massively failed and created a Belle Knox, poor girl, the Duke University porn star. She couched her porn in the language of women’s studies.

Is that what they are teaching at Duke University? Duke’s Vice President of Student Affairs actually said the university was supportive “of all student identities.” This is what I was thinking of when I made my comment, the people who have ruined higher education and souls. I think they should all be taken out – and hugged. 

And what lessons have I learned? First, be more careful. It is hard to fill a radio show with your own voice for an hour or more. Still, be more careful.

But further than that, my mind went to public takedowns. After all, that is what has been happening to me.

Oddly, I thought of Vince Foster, the Clinton lawyer who came under attack from the right and who killed himself. I do not compare my situation with his. But mine has been awful enough to make me deeply sorrowful for what happened to him.

And then I thought of my own work. In my day job, we have named names of individuals who have done wrong. We named a young diplomat who went against his government in negotiations at the U.N. on life issues.

I have also exposed a young man who runs a “homopunk” band that makes misogynistic videos and who was the official blogger for the Girl Scouts. To me, it shows the leftward spiral of the Girl Scouts and their tone-deafness toward traditional moms and dads.

We live in an age of political take-downs. Sadly much of the Internet fisticuffs are deplorably ignorant, nothing more than playground mockery and bullying, and I guess I have done a bit of that myself. And so, I am chastened and will have to figure out how to avoid all such rash judgments myself in the future. I have a lot of thinking to do. Praying, too.

 
Austin Ruse is the President of the New York and Washington, D.C.-based Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute (C-FAM), a research institute that focuses exclusively on international social policy. The opinions expressed here are Mr. Ruse’s alone and do not necessarily reflect the policies or positions of C-FAM.
 
 
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Comments (72)Add Comment
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written by Nathan, March 20, 2014
Learn from your mistake, but don't beat yourself up. You are on the front lines where the fighting is nasty. We appreciate what you do and we need you to do it. Speak the Truth in Love, but speak the Truth. The world is going mad and needs the Gospel truths that you are sowing. Stay stong and Truth on!
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written by Ryan, March 21, 2014
Jesus got angry at the moneychangers in the market. I'm sure Jesus used popular "sayings" in getting his point across, too. Anger for good reason - a young girl falling into treating her body un-like a temple - is deserving. Read Fulton Sheen's The Seven Capital Sins. You apologized for the choice of words. Move on and continue to defend the Theology of the Body.
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written by Rob, March 21, 2014
My only comment is I wish you would not have apologized.
You know and I know you did not literally mean you wanted these morons "shot." Who gives a rip?

Now, had you said, "tortured, then shot."
Well, now, THAT may have taken things just a bit too far.

Anyway, there is way too much apologizing being asked for and then sometimes given when everyone in the room knows the apology itself is a joke.

Shoot, I weary of milquetoast attitudes everywhere.
Uh-OH, perhaps I should not have said "shoot."
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written by Deacon Ed Peitler, March 21, 2014
Worse than saying that these types should be "taken out and shot" would be to suggest to them that you would like to introduce them to one named "Jesus Christ". Could you imagine how they would vilify you for making that suggestion?

I do think your only response to this criticism is to actually make this offer: that of sitting down with them to share with them this person you know who is Christ. And when they try to de-legitimize you as a follower of Christ because they accuse you of being a hypocrite, offer to introduce them to one named "Peter."

Lent is a good time to remember the One who was falsely accused. Nothing better than to be named among his followers.
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written by Mrs. Rene O'Riordan, March 21, 2014
"...........the liberal professors who have turned higher education into the toxic stew that produced porn star “Belle Knox”.....the people who have ruined higher education and souls...." - Before God what these statements say are true. I will use these expressions, if you don't mind, (I wont reference you) as they hit the nail right smack bang on the head. This is the fact of the matter and this is what people should be mulling on and this is what any serious lover of education should be trying to deal with. You know, I know and most importantly God knows that those who attacked you did not do so because of the "taking out" bit but because of the stark naked revealing of the ruination of minds and souls in what now passes for education. I am pleased with your clear sightedness but most importantly God is pleased with you. Keep on truckin'. Blessings - Rene
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written by Michael Runatz, March 21, 2014
Hang in there. The professors you are addressing never like to see the light of day. They will parse your words so they will find offensive comments in no matter what you say or write.
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written by Chris in Maryland, March 21, 2014
The first commandment of the "regressives" - the speech code.
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written by Mack Hall, March 21, 2014
Let's go back to the beginning: you said what on the radio?

Was that nice?
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written by schm0e, March 21, 2014
Quit whining and take your medicine.
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written by Austin Ruse, March 21, 2014
Thanks for all the kind words posted here and for the ones to come. I sure could have used you on Twitter when this thing first broke!
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written by DeGaulle, March 21, 2014
Mr Ruse, you must never forget that these liberal types are almost wholly lacking in a sense of humour. It is no laughing matter to spend one's entire life taking offense at everything that doesn't fit with one's own world-view and it is very difficult for joy to co-exist with constant outrage. I think it regrettable that you apologised. It was, as you say, a figure of speech, and perhaps it would have played out better to defy the ranks of the 'sincere' and 'decent', but perhaps I may have felt compelled to do the same if I was in your position-it's easy for me to talk.
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written by Bill Hocter, March 21, 2014
The non acceptance of your apology is sadly typical. Those who hold your mild hyperbole against you can discuss it with Jesus in the next world. May He forgive them.
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written by grump, March 21, 2014
Austin, you should have stuck to your guns. Once you give in to the mob you're done. Posted on my front door: "Due to the rising cost of ammo, don't expect a warning shot."
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written by Tony Esolen, March 21, 2014
Austin -- you must know quite well that the same people use similar language all the time, and occasionally even mean it. I once was present at a talk given by a candidate for a job in our department, and heard her say that the Black Panthers were notable for their use of humor in their protests. Her example: "Off the pigs!" That meant, "Kill the cops!" I didn't find it funny. She was serious about it, though. I'm glad to say that she didn't get the job.

You must understand that you offended nobody. Their glee illustrates it. They "caught" you, and that's all. But as long as you are a human being on this earth, and as long as you are going to speak up passionately about things that are important, you are going to say things that can be wilfully misconstrued. There is simply very little that you can do about that.

I seem to remember that a female journalist expressed her wish, in print, without apology, that Clarence Thomas's wife would feed him bad food, so that he would suffer a heart attack and die early. Nobody called for her resignation over that.

You should apologize for unkindness directed at a specific person. That was not involved here, and anybody with the tiniest of brains knows that you were speaking figuratively. They ought to be tarred and feathered, you might have said, or horsewhipped, or taken to the woodshed....
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written by Gina Nakagawa, March 21, 2014
I like the idea of taking these people out and hugging them. I think I might hire an anaconda to do that job thoroughly. One person here mentioned that liberals have no sense of humor. That is not quite correct. They find crude, vulgar, mindless attacks on people who think very funny. They can certainly dish it out, but they can't take it. May God bless your endeavors on His behalf. Please continue to fight the good fight.
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written by grump, March 21, 2014
Postscript:

Lawrence Torcello, a philosophy professor with a Ph.D. from the University at Buffalo, has called for the incarceration of any American who actively disagrees that climate change is solely caused by human activity.

According to a Gallup Poll, two-thirds of Americans do NOT believe that the colder temperatures the country has been experiencing are related to human-caused climate change or global warming, instead believing that normal seasonal variations are at play.

Therefore, in the professor's view, 200 million Americans ought to be behind bars, perhaps some of the more vociferous being placed on bread-and-water rations only.

Of course, no mention in the mainstream media but the conservative nets are aghast.

Whither Free Speech? To borrow from Will Rogers, "There ought to be one day -- just one -- when there is open
season on politicians." And might I add, liberals.
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written by Walter, March 21, 2014
A second grader in your predicament would have been given sage advice by any good nun; "Do unto others..."

It seems to me that you enjoy creating circumstances that allow you to play the role of martyr.
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written by Dan Deeny, March 21, 2014
My information is that Belle Knox grew up in a Catholic family and went to Catholic schools. Is that incorrect?
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written by Ted Seeber, March 21, 2014
Seems to me you need to learn the ancient art of flame war meta-combat. The correct response would have been "So, you teach women studies? How many co-eds did you pimp out today?"
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written by Jamie, March 21, 2014
You are a self-proclaimed "nobody," a small fry. What are these people about, that they have all day to hang on Austin Ruse's every word? And you ask above: Where were your friends when the Twitter frenzy was going down? We were doing what we do all day, what Right Wing Watch is NOT doing all day--leading productive lives, welding something, or cleaning something, or teaching some kids. Sure, the other side says much more awful things, and they actually mean them! But we can't launch this kind of attack--the kind of attack they launched upon you and others--because we're too busy Being and Doing. But we also pray, and we'll pray for you. The saints were people who were very comfortable with blame, especially unjust blame. I hope this experience refines you, Dr. Ruse.
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written by Dana, March 21, 2014
If we Catholics truly believed that when unrepentant souls die they face eternal suffering by being cut off from all goodness, love or from any hope of EVER experiencing them ever again...to be deprived from God's presence and wanting it endlessly...if we truly believed that, wouldn't we want to end the evil influence of those individuals who lead to the ruination of those young souls? If we truly loved our youth, wouldn't we protect them from these truly malignant vampires who lurk and spawn in the vast majority of universities around the world, who deliberately and systematically set out to undermine not just the faith and morals of their students but turn them into liberal zombies and dead souls like themselves? You have nothing to apologize for. Anyone of sense knows you didn't mean it literally. It's just that when the light shone from your crucifix and struck the eyes of these ghouls they started howling. Don't let their shrieks silence you. You've simply done what C.S. Lewis warned all believers about...hoisting your brave little flag in the face of the devil and saying "I'm here, I'm here"! God bless you Mr.Ruse. Many of us truly need your courageous voice to speak for us.
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written by Black, March 21, 2014
The part about taking out shooting was obviously not to be taken literally it was jumped on because so many love to avoid the Truth and shout and roar to avoid the real argument.............I agree 100% of what you said BUT I would Not Nor I ever will apologise - Homosexuality is wrong Abortion is Murder All sex outside Holy Matrimony is wrong Our Children are being forced feed filth Our Elected daily dance with evil There is only one Saviour and that is Jesus – I would rather do natural Life in Prison than apologise or Support or give way to any Law that supports the breaking of the 10 Commandments
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written by Maria Tierney Koehn, March 21, 2014
Hi Mr. Ruse,

As Deacon Ed said you are like Peter.

I too think of you as Peter ...in the garden...defending Jesus...interesting Peter cut off an ear and Jesus healed it.

Ears are quite sensitive.

So they feel justified to have you shot because you did what they do...get upset and speak over-passionately when there could be victims.

I am glad you find that there are limits to what one should endure for a degree. I know a few years back in Farmington Hills, Michigan there was a girl student that became a prostitute for her college studies and was murdered. So sad. Guidance and boundaries are so needed.

Pray the Our Father prayer, pray it often, in the everyday. It holds the answers. Remember Jesus retreated from the crowds to pray several times. In the end we are to be the Alleluia. Sounds funny but being the "praise God" is the mission...in good times and bad, in sickness and health, in wealth and poverty. Took me a little time to get here :) Praise God :) Still working on it with God...Praise God.

Good Lent, Maria
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written by Emina Melonic, March 21, 2014
Irony is one of those things which has left the public sphere of discourse. People are not quick enough to comprehend it. Best thing one can do is use humor when the situation gets sticky or stickier, particularly in the aftermath of your initial comment.
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written by Jose, March 21, 2014
Austin my prayers for you. Keep up your good work.
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written by Howard Kainz, March 21, 2014
You could have just quoted Scripture: "MK 9:42 And whosoever shall cause one of these little ones that believe on me to stumble, it were better for him if a great millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea."
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written by kristinajohannes, March 21, 2014
Austin, we make mistakes, we apologize, we learn from them, and we move on. It sounds like that is what you are doing.

Those with whom we disagree need to know that we love them.
I remember one political struggle I was involved in…we won and at the end I went to hug an opponent because I could tell he was upset. He recoiled from me. I’m not sure if it was his problem or mine but it taught me that when you oppose what some do or believe, you need to make sure as you go along that they know that you love them. I always try to treat those with whom I disagree with respect and friendliness but that one experience showed me that it probably doesn’t hurt to tell them explicitly that while you disagree with them vehemently, it is not personal, you are opponents on the issue but not enemies at heart.

Our motivation is love and the desire to help everyone we meet get to Heaven. That’s always a good yardstick to judge everything we do and say.

As to the figure of speech you used, yes, I agree that it was thoughtless because in that particular community, that particular comment would be taken more literally since they have suffered from gun violence more so than others.

Sounds like you have already asked God to use this experience to work His Will in you and to train you in the way you should go from here. All things work to the good of those who love the Lord, all things. That is so helpful to remember.

Of course it doesn't mean we won't suffer for loving others. Jesus assured us that we would!
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written by Joseph Burke, March 21, 2014
Wouldn't it have been more effective and courageous to just say you are sorry for the several mistakes you made regarding this matter, and that you will reflect on your mistakes and try to do better in the future. This is one of the most convoluted apologies I have ever read! It seems to attack others almost as much as it notes you own mistake.

Are you apologizing here, or trying to add more fuel to the fire of intoleration?
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written by Richard A, March 21, 2014
Christ would never have said they should be taken out and shot.

Howard, above, beat me to it. He'd have them drowned in the sea.
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written by Bee, March 21, 2014
I will keep you in my prayers Mr. Ruse. I have every bit of faith that your angels are ministering to you.
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written by Austin Ruse, March 21, 2014
I am so grateful for this outpouring of support. Seriously moved. Will remember you all in my prayers in Rome this week!
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written by Fr. J, March 21, 2014
The Left LOVES this kind of thing. They make such comments all the time and get a pass. You will not win. At some point if you are on their radar they will find something to bash you for. Apologizing only makes it worse. They don't care. The best thing to do is ignore them like the bullies they are. Hard to do, but all the ones chiming in already hated you anyway. This just gives them the chance to show it and be patted on the back. Of course they know it was a figure of speech, but truth doesn't matter to them. They did a whole movie on assassinating Bush and got away with it. They are hypocrites.

Don't worry about it. Ignore them. Keep writing. Keep annoying them. Speak the truth to power. Don't expect them to be honest or fair. Keep the faith.
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written by Seanachie, March 21, 2014
Gee, Austin, I thought you meant shooting (taking) a photograph...how could your critics think anything else?
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written by Mrs. Rene O'Riordan, March 21, 2014
The "liberal professors who have turned higher education into the toxic stew" don't always get away with it!!! - A jury in North Carolina on Thursday found that the University of North Carolina-Wilmington retaliated against criminology professor Dr. Mike Adams for his political and social views
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written by Jack,CT, March 21, 2014
@FrJ, Who do u define as "Left". 51 percent of Catholics
voted for Obama,a large percent of your flock Fr.
So shall you "Ignore", "Annoy" these "Hypocrites
in your Church? or is confession only for conservatives?
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written by Marie Therese, March 21, 2014
I think you're wonderful, Mr. Ruse. Your against-the-grain message is sorely needed and I pray for your continued bravery and courage. I'm sorry you got shot down by those whose only tactic is to silence the messenger.

PS I'm working on the significance of the accompanying illustration. If Bozo can keep laughing in the middle of a nuclear mushroom cloud, so shall you.
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written by therepublic, March 21, 2014
"The Catholic Thing welcomes comments, which should reflect a sense of brevity and a spirit of Christian civility..."

The neo-falangist Ruse should read his own rules for commenting.

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written by Ben H, March 21, 2014
Austin - You should never never have apologized, you did nothing wrong at all. When people attack you like this - by twisting an obviously facetious and normal remark as if it were literal - I'd recommend demanding an apology from them.

By the way, there has been more reporting on this girl and it turns out that she is the sort of severely damaged person who abuses herself in other ways, like cutting herself with razors. Being abused on video is just another way that a truly pathetic broken psychology is manifesting itself.

People who react to this sort of behavior, the behavior of a desperate person intent on self-destruction, with non-judgementalism are enablers of it. They are enabling it just as much as the people who cheer on this girl's self destruction because they enjoy consuming it. We are used to administrators and media types, driven by fear, issuing bland statements that mean "itsnotmyproblemgoaway" but in some cases that attitude can be just as evil as actually encouraging the evil.
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written by AL, March 21, 2014
Austin, you put your foot in your mouth then you refused to deal with the consequences.

There was nothing 'humorous' about what you said: 'ha ha ha, take all the liberal professors out back and shoot them.'

Well I am a progressive intellectual. And I would have been the first against the wall. Or am I just a 'twisted-panty pajama boy?'

Grow up.
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written by John II, March 21, 2014
Actually, you shouldn't have said they should be taken out and shot. After 43 years in academia, I can attest that homespun chestnuts are of no use against the smug denizens of the ivory tower, except perhaps to flush out their contrived indignation for proper mockery.

What you should have said is something along the lines of a complex Tom Wolfe metaphor. Let's see: "Liberal professors should all be locked up in a string of Pullman cars without windows or air conditioning on a train chugging a very slow circular late-summer route between Orlando, Florida, and Columbia, South Carolina, with the collected speeches of Barack Obama piped into the cars at a medium-high volume hour after hour after hour after hour." Let the punishment fit the crime.

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written by Pj, March 21, 2014
I just got back Stations of the Cross and this psalm made me think of you:

"The LORD is my life’s refuge;
of whom should I be afraid?
[...]Though an army encamp against me,
my heart does not fear;
Though war be waged against me,
even then do I trust."

So keep your chin up. You are doing well.
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written by Daniel Nichols, March 21, 2014
I'm sorry. You get no sympathy here. Comments about people deserving a violent death are beyond the pale of civil discourse. Think for a moment: let us say that an agnostic blogger says, of a Catholic physician who refused birth control for a teenage girl, who then became pregnant, that he "should be taken out and shot." The conservative Catholic blogosphere and EWTN would be up in arms about persecution, and one would not blame them. That you do not realize that this - not making threats of violence- is an unspoken rule really means that you have no business in front of a microphone. And that in viewing a situation so rich in sarcastic possibilities the best you could do was talk about shooting someone shows an astonishing lack of wit. Maybe you are not cut out for this job. And that you first went on the offensive before finally apologizing? Dense. The fact is you were an as***le on the radio; no one with any sense wants to hear anything else you have to say.
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written by Mr. Loren Pankratz, March 21, 2014
History has shown that apologizing in these situations (arguing with the lunatic left) is always a mistake.
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written by Allan Cheung, March 21, 2014
So, 42 comments on, and I think we can agree: there is neither humor nor irony on the Left. No one on the Left ever misspeaks. Poor babies! Mean ol' Mr. Ruse's comments were hurtful, weren't they. Civility is dead! It's late now . . . it's sleepy time. Curl up in your PJs and let Mr. Obama sing you a lullaby . . .
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written by william manley, March 21, 2014
Austin, you made a mistake and you apologized for the mistake. Gun rhetoric (no matter the intention or the meaning) is simply inappropriate in our era of mass murders. I am proud of you that you apologized, and I hope that your apology was sincere and not simply forced by the passion of the responses that you provoked. The real issue here is what did you learn. I hope the lesson was that spokespeople for Catholic causes need to be civil in their dialog. Yes, sometimes that is difficult but ultimately you will be judged by your words and your tone as much as by the importance of your cause. There have been times when your responses to people who disagree with you on this site have been uncivil and uncharitable. You have much to offer if you meditate and pray on this experience. To a degree that is what life is mostly about….a learning experience. Thanks, and keep fighting the good fight.
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written by Amoratem Veritatis, March 21, 2014
Several suggestions for the future so that we do not have to endure another apologia of your completely unnecessary apology.

1. Apologizing for another's willful ignorance...or their ignorant willfulness, makes about as much sense as going to confession for someone else's sins. Utterly pointless

2. In the culture wars, as in the type that involves live ammo, the enemy only respects strength...and is always encouraged by any show of weakness or lack of resolve. Attempting to attack and retreat at the same time is a strategy that ensures defeat.

3. Human nature is such that everyone engages in psychological projection. The difference is that the secular progressive left generally projects their anger, immaturity, moral relativism and lack of tolerance, while the religious conservative right projects their innate sense of peace, perspective, principle and charity to their adversaries. This makes genuine dialogue nearly impossible.

Next time, don't apologize. No matter what you say or write, someone will be offended.
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written by Deacon Ed Peitler, March 22, 2014
Once again I will remind you that what you have done is to create an opportunity to evangelize. Let's hear back from you about how you have used these opportunities to engage those who do not know Christ. What has happened to you is less important than to what end you will now direct it.
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written by Chris in Maryland, March 22, 2014
I think Mr. Manley's observations are best.

The "society" we live in is sanctimonious - it is counter-productive give "society's" wardens something to be sanctimonious about.

Instead, we ought to be giving them something important to ponder, to help others think and feel. That takes more effort.
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written by Austin Ruse, March 22, 2014
AL, let me demonstrate how easy it is to say illconsidered things.

First, no where did I say it was a joke or intended as humorous. Ha-ha.

Second, in what way am I not "dealing with the consequences"? How would one deal with the consequences? As far as I can tell the only consequences are suffering silly folks like you. And I think I'm dealing with that quite well.

As to you being a pajama boy: I don't know you so I cannot judge you on that but things are leaning that way, old boy.

And once more, thanks for this outpouring of support. Does a body good, and a soul.
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written by John B, March 22, 2014
Apparently you hit a nerve with the elite crowd of academics. Keep digging. Just what are they teaching the future generations, and how much are they bilking them for ?
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written by Guest, March 22, 2014
Do not apologize next time. Our shallow effete culture will only get the wrong message again.
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written by Tracy Mehan, March 22, 2014
PLEASE DO NOT BE TOO HARD ON YOURSELF. TRUE, PRUDENCE REQUIRES WATCHING EVEN OUR LEGITIMATE USE OF LANGUAGE, SYMBOLS, METAPHORS, ETC. BUT REMEMBER YOU ARE IN THE RIGHT.
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written by Chris in Maryland, March 22, 2014
Keep on Austin Ruse.
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written by Rosemary, March 22, 2014
While I agree that your words were un-Christian, if you were living in Minnesota, Mr. Ruse, you could have urged them to kill themselves; then as they did as you insist, you could make the condition (for your help in their suicide) that you watch it on your computer as it happened - and it would be legal! Free speech! Crazy!

Please write about our crazy laws. (And perhaps be a bit less vernacular on the radio.)

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written by kristinajohannes, March 22, 2014
Austin, I read up on the Duke University situation that you mention above, how they are accepting of this situation. How very sad. I've also read a number of the comments directed at you. No concern for the girl or the diabolical net into which she has fallen demonstrated there. In fact, amid all the self righteous indignation there seems to be an acceptance of it all.

AL and some others above have their chance to score the ugly truth that is being avoided here but so far choose to ignore it.

What about it? Yes, Austin should have done what Howard suggested, give Christ's warning. But now that he has apologized, why don't you address the substance of his concern?

Or are you just trying to deflect attention from that substance? I think that is a fair question. Grownups accept apologies and move on to the substance.
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written by Matthew Bright, March 22, 2014
The self pity in this article is so thick you could cut it with a knife. And to blame everyone but yourself for your calls for murder is both self serving and obnoxious.

Stop calling for the murder of your fellow citizens, and your fellow citizens won't respond angrily. It's that simple.
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written by AL, March 22, 2014

As someone else noted, there is a big difference between civil discourse and saying someone should be taken out back and shot. (Or tortured as some of your fans suggest).

Austin, you never apologized. Apologies do not attack the other party. Take responsibility and quit acting like Jimmy Swaggart. Your fans may be proudly anti-intellectual, but your opponents sure aren't. And we can tell honest apology from 'I HAVE SIIIIIINNNNNNED AGAAAAAAINST YOOOU LOOOOOOORD! Also, the other side are pajama boys.'

Speaking of which, what the HELL is a 'pajama boy?'
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written by Guest, March 22, 2014
Oh, the effete Left intentionally inflames things to further their immoral ideology. Taking a figure of speech as "murder" is intellectually dishonest and propaganda.
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written by Jack,CT, March 22, 2014
In a past while teaching at a non profit educational inst.
I experimented with a MUG.
I spent the day walking around and carrying a "Mccain,Palin"
mug for President.

The reception was a eye opener!!

Mr Ruse has a point and a valid one,our schools are overrun with a liberal slant.
The answer to it is not advocating what you did,I listened to your remarks and they crossed the line as you admitted,my
problem is people saying sorry for "Your Sorry"!

I have been very critical of Mr Ruse over the years as has
many others,we will not change him any more than he us.

I guess what i concede is there is a place for radical
views and we should celebrate our freedom to do so.

I plan to finish my current Novena and start one for
Austin Ruse,With the prayer for inspire "Tolerance
and Love for our fellow man no matter what his perception of our sins."

So there are validity to the views above and the problem


is it is diluted when the focus go "Sideways" in other
directions-

God Bless you Mr Ruse and as I remain a critic I am
one with absolutely no hatred for you.
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written by Austin Ruse, March 22, 2014
First, a compliment from a Mehan , any Mehan, but especially Tracey Mehan and an all caps one at that means a great deal. I'm a fan of your family.

And now to AL. this column was not intended as an apology. I wish you'd judge it for whatnot is, a rumination only something new that happened to me I'm the public square. As to an apology. Here's what I issued within 24 hours;



"I deeply regret and apologize for using the expression "taken out and shot" on the Sandy Rios Show this week. It was not intended to be taken literally. I have dedicated my life and career to ending violence. I regret that these poorly chosen words are being used to attack my friends at American Family Radio and American Family Association."


Austin Ruse
President
Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute

As for the fella suggesting I'm feeling sorry for myself. You misread.



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written by LAM, March 22, 2014
Austin,
Good work, but please, more gentleness in giving corrections.
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written by kristinajohannes, March 22, 2014
AL, were you answering my question? I couldn't tell.

Another question, what is a "progressive intellectual?" It seems like the minute you put an ideological adjective in front of "intellectual" you have demoted the noun as well. Shouldn't we all just strive to develop our intellects period? Seeking the truth with an open mind?
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written by Daniel Nichols, March 23, 2014
Sorry; no apology will suffice, especially as your initial reaction was to take the offensive (pun intended). There are certain ground rules for discourse, even heated discourse: you do not threaten violence, you do not suggest that anyone deserves a violent death, you do not threaten rape or declare that anyone 'needs' to be raped, you do not attack someone's mother, spouse, or children. You, with your 'gaffe' have violated a fundamental rule. Again, imagine the outrage if someone on the 'other side' said that Catholics should be taken out and shot. I am utterly appalled at the swell of support for your indefensible words, and the tendency to excuse it by demonizing 'the left'.
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written by AL, March 23, 2014
I'm an an intellectual with progressive political leanings.

You know, the people Austin wanted to shoot.

He can twist it any way he wishes, but the fact remains. Freedom of speech is not freedom from consequences. And I'm glad I got under his skin. Maybe he'll think twice before thinking about killing Hillary Clinton this time.
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written by Reggie, March 23, 2014
People like you and your supporters here are the main reason I am not a Christian. You discredited the name of Jesus, and now you claim it's a figure of speech and whine about how you're being picked on. You're just sorry someone showed the rest of the world outside the right wing bubble what you and your kind are all about. You are disgusting.
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written by Austin Ruse, March 23, 2014
For the Gramscians here and elsewhere. My inadvertent gaffe aside, for which I am genuinely sorry, I am utterly unrepentant in my contempt for the cultural Marxists who ruined higher ed in general and Belle Knox and so many others in particular. Don't think for a second I've backed off of that even a hair. In fact, it's intensified.
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written by Guest, March 23, 2014
Oh, the crybabies and cowards cannot tolerate a stern figure of speech. It is too strident for the effete group. They does their demonic ideologies and relativism and when called on their evilness they complain like immature adolescents. How precious.
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written by Reggie, March 23, 2014
I see Christ's ambassadors on earth are still doing a bang-up job of representing their King. I tell you, if I see a Christian coming anywhere near me, I'm shooting first.

Just a figure of speech.
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written by JD, March 23, 2014
"The funny thing is I am a virtual nobody. I am not Rush Limbaugh. I run a small NGO with a tiny budget and only six employees. I am the smallest of fish in the center-right ocean."

Funny, that's not how you portray yourself on your online bio, now taken down. In that, you talked about how you briefed a variety of government officials, including “members of the U.S. House and Senate,” as well as “White House and National Security Council staff.” You said you'd “appeared on a number of national cable network programs discussing U.N. and Catholic issues, including news programs on CNN, CBS News, MSNBC and Fox News.” You told everyone how you've been published “on sites such as the National Review Online, Weekly Standard, Human Events, Touchstone, as well as newspapers around the world.”

So you're a big shot until you're under fire for your own words, then you're just a poor little fish being picked on by big bad liberals? Pfft.
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written by Guest, March 23, 2014
The Left ideologues are insincere. They want to complain as it serves their agenda.
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written by Brad Miner, March 23, 2014
PLEASE NOTE: COMMENTS ABOUT THIS COLUMN ARE NOW CLOSED.
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written by Daniel H., April 19, 2014
First, no apology needed, anyone that thought you meant what you said literally is void of any intelect whatsoever. I want to sate for the record I am a persecuted catholic within my own catholic faith. That is to say I am treated as an outcast because of my conservative stance within catholic dogma and doctrine, because tragically the catholic magisterium has become corrupted by the modernism of Vatican II, it has been this way since 1958-1960 to the present

It has made true Council of Trent catholics like me outcasts not to have any voice within catholic acedemia and local catholic archdiocese thoughout the country.

Liberal acedemia became powerful because conservatives abdicated from their moral obligations and duty, they caved into the godless altar of political correctness and to win approval and popularity from the masses.

We now have Vatican II preaching tolerance of sodomy, that is not true catholicism, nowhere in scripture, or from the Apostles, or catholic saints and Doctors of the Church does it state "tolerence" on the contrary it preaches just the opposite. It gives me great distress and heartache that many cathoics are ignorant of their faith.

How many catholics, including clergy and hierarchy thereof are well versed with papal encyclicals from Saint Peter to Pope Pius XII, precious few! Most only go back to maybe Pope Paul VI.

They talk about the World War II generation dying off, what about the Catholic generation that was alive prior to the novus ordo reforms and remember when every catholic mass celebrated worldwide was celebrated in latin, with the priest facing the Holy Altar of God, not the people, kneeling at the communion rail surrounding the altar, when is the last time a catholic mentioned ember days or saw it listed in catholic calendars?

When is the last time one heard a hail and brimstone homily rather than these silly novus ordo homilies of peace love and kumbyah and can we all just get along?

These and much more are the reason you have a "belle knox" the radical feminist "nuns on the bus" sex scandals a pope seeking vainglory enjoying being this or that organization's "man of the year"

We have all this because people of morals are always apologizing for their moral stands. Stand by what you said DON'T apologize. John the Baptist and Jesus himself referred to the harisees and Sadduces as "brood of vipers" Saint John Chysostom said "The road to hell is paved with the skulls of dead bishops" exactly right He did not care whom he offended because at the end of the day he was serving God not man nor the popularity of man. Jesus says in Matthew 6:24 No man can serve two masters. For either he will hate the one, and love the other: or he will sustain the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. We cannot serve political correctness and God...
May God Bless You All

--Daniel

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