Perhaps we shouldn’t have been surprised that Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute head Austin Ruse wanted to have liberal and women’s studies professors “taken out and shot,” as he once called for the murder of Hillary Clinton.
Back in 2001, Catholics for Choice released a report [PDF] on Ruse and his lobbying efforts at the United Nations, especially his campaign against the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the Beijing Platform for Action, which he dubbed the work of “radical feminists.”
The report notes that in a 2000 address to the Cardinal Mindszenty Foundation, Ruse told a story about talking to a Catholic priest about killing Clinton: “Hillary [Clinton] is the ‘conquering queen’ at the United Nations…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.”
Catholics for Choice adds that Ruse sees his conflict with “radical feminists” in “terms of war and attacks and battles”:
Its values and the way in which it promotes them have a negative impact on international policy discourse, especially the efforts of NGOs and governments to work more closely for the development and implementation of public policies on social issues. Perhaps most disturbing is the warlike mindset that permeates [Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute’s] thinking and actions. It is of course very shocking that such a mindset should exist within the Holy See delegation, where, according to Ruse, a priest member of the delegation suggested to him that he should “take out” Hillary Rodham Clinton. It is hard to believe that a member of the Catholic clergy would even joke about such things, but why would Austin Ruse lie about such things?
Suggestions of this kind emerge when groups or individuals see value conflicts in absolutist terms; when they believe God is on their side. The values and ideas of the “other”—who is demonized—need to be crushed. Note how frequently and passionately Austin Ruse talks about this conflict in terms of war and attacks and battles:
My friends, we are in a war….this war is being fought exclusively in quiet and carpeted room at international fora in Rome, Istanbul, Cairo, Beijing, and Rio. I believe one day these place names should be recognized as battlefields just like Bunker Hill, Normandy and Khe San for they are the sites of major battles in this war…
…In the summer of 361 B.C., a Theban general gathered an army of 60,000 freemen, yeoman farmers, a democratic army of citizens…Their victory came almost all at once and their victory rocked the ancient world.
Long under attack by her enemies, the family seems now to be disintegrating all around us….I will focus on one institution with which I am most familiar, the United Nations, an institution that is increasingly at the forefront of the attack on the family.
It was a windowless office where UN negotiators held something called informals…It is the room where the battles are won and lost.