Austin Ruse’s vulgar and childish Twitter attacks on Jesuit Fr. James Martin could be ignored if they were not so emblematic.
Ruse claimed something Martin has written was “pansified.” Now, I happen to like pansies and intend to plant many of them in my garden next year. As an insult, I think the last time I heard it used I also carried a Captain Kangaroo lunchbox to my second grade classroom.
Ruse called Martin a “beta male,” a term I had never encountered. Apparently, it is a modern day equivalent of “cuckold” for the alt-right, tinged with the aura of psychological insight but essentially just an ugly slur.
Ruse tweeted that Martin was “a perfidious priest” who was “leading young men to perdition.” Perfidy is not the stuff of a playground taunt nor a neologism crafted by white nationalists. It is a serious charge, and it demands a response. I should like to respond.