I didn’t try hard enough to find out whether Clifford Russell was for real, she writes
I don’t know Clifford Russell … and I have never before heard the concept that he is said to be promoting.
His quotes are violent and extreme, but why? Is he an unstable individual? A psychopath? Is he part of the Taliban, promoting execution of people who don’t live or think according to protocol? Maybe so … but I hope not.
Could he be an honest man who simply can’t reconcile ongoing unjust violence against the innocent, and tried to say something that would be absurdly shocking enough to get his point across? I hope he is a well-intentioned guy whose worst fault is believing that all human life is valuable.
Were his interview quotes accurate? Were they misunderstood or taken out of context? We really can’t know that. Personally, I can’t see how anyone could take such absurd statements seriously. It seems so much more likely that he wanted to make us think.
We have all heard the extreme statements of frustrated individuals … of all political and moral persuasions … it’s pretty easy to discern that they speak out of frustration or passion and don’t really mean what they are literally saying. If you take the time to find out what’s really bothering these people, you will find that they just want to be heard … they want someone to care about their concerns … and they just didn’t choose a very wise way to get their message out.
His Bedford Bulletin quote, “…a better solution…” seems like he’s asking us to re-examine the morality of abortion, and see it as the execution of the innocent. The logical point would be that we should not be in the business of executing either the parents or the babies.
Jesus said it would be better that a millstone be hanged around the neck of someone who would hurt “little ones” … and for them to be thrown in the water to be drowned. Jesus did not seriously advocate that we should get together a bunch of millstones and start throwing convicted child abusers into Smith Mountain Lake.
Clearly, Jesus was making the point that it is a serious matter to destroy the lives of the next generation … he wanted us to understand how valuable children are, and how much they deserve to be loved, protected and cared for! The Golden Rule is a prescription for a life that shines with contentment … time spent loving, helping, protecting … not doing harm to those weaker than ourselves.
I wish you would have tried to figure out what was really going on with Clifford Russell. I would like to have known. You could have responded to his e-mail with written questions, and you would be reporting to us the answers that you received back from him. Instead, we have yet another article clearly designed to make a mockery of Clifford Russell.
Note from Dan: I tried to figure out what was going on with Clifford Russell, and whether his “better solution” was akin to Swift’s “modest proposal.”
I emailed him, and he replied (via email) that he was uninterested in another interview, but that he would write columns for The Roanoke Times (for pay). Then I called him, twice, and left messages asking him to call me, and he replied with another email that was quoted in the article.
So I am very comfortable with the attempts I made to figure out what was going on with him.
Russells 761-word response to The Progressive, and the item he wrote for the Bedford Bulletin (below) make it seem clear he was serious about executing unwed parent who are receiving welfare.
Russell wrote the Bedford Bulletin after after BB columnist Rick Howell published a column critical of Russell.
Personal opinions: A response to Rick Howell
I guess I should not be surprised Rick Howell is affiliated with Progressives.
Mr. Cook’s statement of what I said is not accurate. We were discussing what to do about the poverty produced by illegitimate children and I stated it would be better to execute the parents and put the child up for adoption.
The following is the first section of my response to the article on the Progressive Web site.
The Title and Subtitle of what was put on the Progressive Web site read, “Meet a Romney Extremist in Virginia – A staffer in a Romney campaign office wants to execute parents on welfare and give their kids up for adoption.”
I did not say that I wanted to execute parents on welfare and give their kids up for adoption. I said that it would be better to execute the parents of an illegitimate child and put their child up for adoption.
Does it bother you that Progressives have to intentionally lie to make their positions look good? Could that intentional lie be a basis for a defamation of character lawsuit?”
This represents my personal opinion and is not the position of the Republican Party. In order that no Republican should have to defend my opinions, I have removed myself from all Republican Party activities.
Maybe Rick Howell should remove himself from the Democratic Party or defend the homosexual marriage part of the Democratic Party Platform.