A Message from a Moderator at Ruthblog

Rob Tisinai

November 22nd, 2011

As a follow-up to my post NOM’s Special Right, I got this comment from Betsy, a moderator at Ruthblog. As thoroughly as I disagree with her on most everything we’ve talked about, I’ve never viewed her in the same light as I do many NOM folk, so in response to her request, I’m highlighting this message.

Hi, Rob. Long time no “see.” About this Ari business, this was entirely my fault. NOM has nothing to do with the Ruth blog, and they had no idea about Ari. I’ve never met or even spoken to anyone at NOM. I’m just a stay-at-home mom whom Dr. Morse hired to manage her blog. As she gives me almost entirely free reign there, she’s not to blame for the Ari thing either. Therefore, Ruth Institute isn’t to blame either. Dr. Morse didn’t know anything about the Ari post until today.

Months ago she and I had reprimanded Ari for going over the line in his comments. We suppressed him for a while, but then let him try again months later. He sometimes writes good stuff, but now it’s clear he has his own agenda and is using the Ruth blog to get readers for his own site. What he posted on the Ruth blog seemed safe enough, I thought, so I allowed it, but it was my fault for not following it back to his blog to see where else he would go. If he had written that ridiculous stuff on the Ruth blog I would never have allowed it. I only saw it today. I get the impression that he is being purposely inflammatory in order to sell his book.

I’ve never met the guy. He wasn’t employed by Ruth. Dr. Morse let him start posting things years ago because she thought he was witty, but he has clearly changed.

Rob, I remember you asking me to print a retraction on the Ruth blog, and I complied. I would expect you to extend the same courtesy now. If you want to blame someone for the Ari debacle, it should be me, as manager of the Ruth blog. Pinning this on NOM is completely unfair.

Thanks, Rob.


I would like to point out that my problem wasn’t with Ari’s post. He’s a fringer, and that’s what I expect from fringers. My issue, rather, is that when schools and companies want to dissociate themselves from people with extreme anti-gay views that affect their work, NOM accuses them of repressing freedom, even though NOM is doing the same thing with Ari. Frankly, I believe NOM — or Ruthblog, as you prefer — did the right thing in cutting off their association with Ari. I do, however, wish they extended the same courtesy to Bank of America’s (temporary) decision to dissociate themselves from the hateful distortions of a man like Frank Turek.


November 23rd, 2011

“Pinning this on NOM is completely unfair.”

How ridiculous. Anyone who follows NOM’s antics is fully aware that they’re two peas in the some bigoted pod.

Tony P

November 23rd, 2011

And I checked out their blog and noted that they turned off commenting on virtually all posts.

I guess they really don’t want to tip their hand.

You have to wonder how long before they get the coveted SPLC hate group designation.


November 23rd, 2011

Ari’s blog is perfectly in line with NOM comments I’ve seen over there all the time. And as Rob pointed out, right in line with people NOM regularly defends. Poor Ari must truly be rightfully puzzled as to why he was banned.


November 23rd, 2011

Tony P, I don’t think they’d care much if they got that designation. To the Religious Right, the SPLC is just a liberal activist group who labels anyone a hate group if they’re against gay marriage. It doesn’t matter that that’s not true. (It certainly doesn’t affect Perkin’s livelihood or social standing or media appearances where they never so much as mention his group’s status). Those on the right inclined to be supportive of NOM won’t care a whit about what the SPLC says.

Ray Harwick

November 23rd, 2011

Poor Ari. With a stable full of people at NOM doing exactly what he does (watch for their books at a retailer near you), Ruth is canning him? In this time of high unemployment? For doing his job?


November 23rd, 2011

Honestly, I kinda like Betsy. Don’t have to agree with her.


November 23rd, 2011

I don’t see what’s so objectionable either from their POV. He fits perfectly with the way NOM has become ever crazier and shrill over the last months. Maggie and Brian hold the exact same opinions and voice them frequently


November 24th, 2011

Is Betsy trying to say that the Ruth Institute has nothing to do with NOM? Or is her position as a paid employee preclude her from understanding the connection between the organizations?

As for sanctioning a person posting comments for excessive sarcasm of inflammatory language, has anyone at NOM or the Ruth Institute really listened to Dr. Morse’s rhetoric?


November 27th, 2011

I’m glad you’re charmed by this person who makes pin money working to interfere with my civil rights. I just found myself linked to the foul blog which employs Betsy and was not charmed.

Perhaps Betsy can let us know who pays her salary.


November 27th, 2011

Calling Ari a “fringer” is a nice distinction that seeks to paint him as somehow different from NOM, as more extreme. Honestly, I don’t see that difference any more than I see a substantive difference between Fred Phelps and the pope. Bigotry with a smile is still bigotry. (And, yes, I agree with Stephen: Betsy, too, seems very smiley.)

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