The Dr J Show

Welcome to our newest project. The Dr. J Show is a weekly broadcast with an interview segment that features some of the foremost leaders and thinkers on issues relating to marriage, family and human sexuality. New episodes come out every Friday; catch them here or over at our YouTube channel.


Transitioning isn't a cure. Hear the Whole Story

Detransitioner Maritza Cummings: What is it like to be born in the wrong body? Where did this phenomenon come from? I will explain my view point and lived experience that I've been through for the past 38 years.

First, I lived as a lesbian for 22 years, then I transitioned and lived as a male transsexual for an additional 17 years.

I was born in Havana, Cuba. My mother was given a form of estrogen to prevent miscarriages. She was able to carry me to term, but not without ramifications. I dealt with all sorts of health issues ranging from asthma to reproductive female issues. I had a deeper voice, bad menses, and a slew of emotional and neurological instabilities.

I was sexually molested from the age of 8 to the age of 12. I was socially awkward and did not fit in with other kids. I was mature for my age and preferred the company of adults over children in my age group. My parents were dysfunctional. My father was an abusive alcoholic and control freak; my mother was emotionally incapable of dealing with my demands --she was a very ill woman and was very spoiled by my grandmother.

I truly believe that many of our childhood traumas come back to haunt us as adults. Many unresolved emotional issues show themselves in various faucets of disassociation and grief, to the point we create poor coping skills to mask the real pain. I believe same-sex attraction stems from rejection, sexual abuse, and/or a mother or a father wound.

Readings & Resources


A Warning from a Former-Trans Child

Erin Brewer developed a trans identity in first grade. She did everything she could to be a boy. Her teacher sent her to the school psychologist for assessment because her behavior was concerning. Thankfully the school psychologist did not affirm her, instead she came up with a plan for her mother and teacher to help Erin manage her difficult feelings. It took years for Erin’s trans identity to resolve but she is thankful that she got the help she needed to address the underlying cause of her trans identity rather than being told she was born in the wrong body and inherently flawed.

Erin grew up in Salt Lake City and earned a B.S. from Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts. She has a Doctorate in Instructional Technology and Learning Science from Utah State University.

Erin shares her deeply personal story to help others understand the damage that is being done to our children by the transgender movement.

Readings & Resources


The UN Sexual Education is Insane

Sharon Slater is the president of Family Watch International (FWI) and the chair of the UN Family Rights Caucus. She is a consultant to multiple UN Member States on issues of life, human sexuality, and family policy and the author of the book Stand for the Family: A Call to Responsible Citizens Everywhere, also known as the “Family Defense Handbook.” Sharon also serves on the board of directors of No Left Turn in Education and on the board of the Political Network for Values, a global platform and resource for legislators and politicians across the globe defending human life, marriage, family, religious freedom and conscience. Sharon co-chairs the U.S.-based Protect Child Health Coalition (ProtectChildHealth.org). Sharon has directed multiple widely acclaimed documentaries including “The War on Children: The Comprehensive Sexuality Education Agenda,” “Cultural Imperialism: The Sexual Rights Agenda,” and “Porn Pandemic: The Devastating Impact on Marriage, Children and Families.” She is currently the executive director of a series of videos on transgender issues (see at familywatch.or g/transgenderissues/). She and her husband Greg reside in Arizona and have seven children (three of whom are siblings adopted from Mozambique) and twelve grandchildren.

Resources


We Need to Look At What Happens to Society After Abortion

Eric Scheidler is the executive director of the Pro-Life Action League, founded in 1980 by his father, veteran pro-life leader Joe Scheidler. The League recruits, equips and trains pro-life Americans to put their convictions into action at the grassroots level through peaceful direct action. Under Eric’s leadership, the League’s headquarters city of Chicago has become “ground zero” for pro-life activism nationally.

Take part in the Pro-Life Action League's event on Good Friday, April 2, the Way of the Cross for Victims of Abortion. This is an annual nationwide prayer vigil and a "springtime rebirth" of the national public witness against abortion as the pandemic recedes.

Readings & Resources


Expert on Disinformation & Spies Talks About Digital Misinformation

Dr. Ronald J. Rychlak is Distinguished Professor of Law and holder of the Jamie L. Whitten Chair in Law and Government at the University of Mississippi, where he has been on the law school faculty since 1987. In 2019 he received the university’s highest research and publication recognition, the “Distinguished Research and Creative Achievement Award.” For 13 years, Ron served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, and since 2007, he has served as the university’s Faculty Athletic Representative and chair of the University’s Athletics Committee. He is on the Southeastern Conference (SEC) Executive Committee, an advisor to the Holy See’s delegation to the United Nations, and a member of the Mississippi Advisory Committee to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission.

Ron graduated from Wabash College and Vanderbilt University School of Law. Before coming to Ole Miss, he practiced law with Jenner & Block in Chicago and served as clerk to Judge Harry Wellford of the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. Ron is the author or editor of twelve books and over 100 articles. The Congregation for the Causes of Saints at the Vatican called his book, Hitler, the War, and the Pope “definitive” in its response to allegations made against Pope Pius XII. He was awarded the Blessed Cardinal Stepinac Medal from the Archdiocese of Zagreb (2008).

Readings and resources below cut...


Readings & Resources


Was Keeping Society "Out of the Bedroom" A Disastrous Idea?

Dr. Scott Hahn his wife Kimberly have six children (two of which are seminarians) and eighteen grandchildren. An exceptionally popular speaker and teacher, Dr. Hahn has delivered numerous talks nationally and internationally on a wide variety of topics related to Scripture and the Catholic faith.

Dr. Hahn has been awarded the Father Michael Scanlan, T.O.R., Chair of Biblical Theology and the New Evangelization at Franciscan University of Steubenville, where he has taught since 1990, and is the founder and president of the Saint Paul Center for Biblical Theology. From 2005 to 2011, Dr. Hahn held the Pope Benedict XVI Chair of Biblical Theology and Liturgical Proclamation at St. Vincent Seminary in Latrobe, PA. From 2014 to 2015, he served as the McEssy Distinguished Visiting Professor of Biblical Theology and the New Evangelization, University of St. Mary of the Lake in Mundelein, IL.

Dr. Hahn is also the bestselling author of numerous books including The Lamb’s Supper, Reasons to Believe, and Rome Sweet Home (co-authored with his wife, Kimberly). Some of his newest books are The First Society, The Fourth Cup, Romans: A Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture, The Creed, Evangelizing Catholics, Angels and Saints, and Joy to the World.


Scott received his Bachelor of Arts degree with a triple-major in Theology, Philosophy and Economics from Grove City College, Pennsylvania, his Masters of Divinity from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and his Ph.D. in Biblical Theology from Marquette University. Scott has ten years of youth and pastoral ministry experience in Protestant congregations (in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Massachusetts, Kansas and Virginia) and is a former Professor of Theology at Chesapeake Theological Seminary. He was ordained in 1982 at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Fairfax, Virginia. He entered the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil, 1986.

Readings & Resources


The Grassroots Battle Against the Sexual Revolution

Peter Wolfgang joined the Family Institute of Connecticut as Director of Public Policy in 2004 and became Executive Director in 2007. Peter holds a Juris Doctorate from University of Connecticut School of Law and is a member of the Connecticut Bar. He also has a Bachelors Degree in International Studies from The American University in Washington, D.C.

Peter was born and raised in Manchester, CT. He and his wife, Leslie, live in Waterbury with their seven children.

Family Institute of Connecticut: ctfamily.org


What is it Like to be the Family Member of Someone who Transitions?

Maria Polaris (not her real name) and her husband’s lives were turned upside down when their daughter ran away from home after her first year of college in 2015. Someone they didn’t know picked up their daughter and helped her attempt to change sex.

"Since then," Maria says, "our family has had to find ways to cope, because once a child is 18, they can do whatever they want in the U.S. including, full medical transition without psychological assessments. This has led to regret and grave errors in the medical community. Ohio has six major gender clinics with the largest one boasting over 1600 patients (funded by a family in the process of transitioning their own child since age 3)."

Maria is now part of a support group for parents of Rapid-Onset Gender Dysphoria. They are also active advocates for more humane, evidence-based public policy in the area of gender identity.

No one is "Born in the Wrong Body."

Previously it was nearly exclusively older males that wanted to "transition" to female. Now there’s a huge number of young girls, mostly teenage girls -- a 5,000% increase. Even Catholic schools that have these "Spectrum Clubs." PHLAG ("Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays," with over 400 chapters and 200,000 members and supporters) and GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network) are culprits offering money to schools to get their resources in the school.

Groups & Resources

Readings & Related Resources

Action Items

  • Look at your school's website and look at its clubs. Question teachers – especially the English teachers – what they think about the gender ideology. Get on the school board and get to know them well. Ask the principal if there is an LGBT club of any sort. If there’s a club, there’s a teacher activist behind it.
  • Contact your local doctor and ask them to be part of the Society for Evidence-Based Gender Medicine network. They need to get involved or soon, they will be forced to participate in medical malpractice.
  • Find out what legislation is happening in your town, city, and state. Is there a conversion therapy bill with gender identity in it? Write letters as constituents and call them up. Tell them they need to stop supporting this.
  • Stay away from gender clinics. The "First, Do No Harm" approach has been lost in the money to be made.
  • Law firms should put out nets and advertise in counties of gender clinics. The abuse is there, they need to collect those harmed and begin class action lawsuits. The facts are on their side because none of these treatments are approved by the FDA.
  • Talk to your local school and ask them what their policy is. If they are offering “comprehensive sex education,” gender identity is part of this. Ask for a meeting with the school board about this.
  • Read Irreversible Damage by Abigail Shrier. There are many parents out there like us who are just being silenced by the media.

When Did We Start Leaving Reality? The History of the Sexual Revolution

Carl R. Trueman is a Christian theologian and ecclesiastical historian. He was Professor of Historical Theology and Church History at Westminster Theological Seminary, and in 2018 he became a professor at Grove City College in their Department of Biblical and Religious Studies.

Among Dr. Trueman's books are John Owen: Reformed Catholic, Renaissance Man, The Creedal Imperative, Fools Rush in Where Monkeys Fear to Tread: Taking Aim at Everyone, and Republocrat: Confessions of a Liberal Conservative. An ordained minister in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, Dr. Trueman contributes to First Things journal, blogs regularly at Reformation21 and co-hosts the Mortification of Spin podcast.


Trueman studied at Marling School, Gloucestershire, St Catharine's College, Cambridge and the University of Aberdeen, and previously taught at the University of Aberdeen and the University of Nottingham. He was editor of Themelios from 1998 to 2007, and is a council member of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals.

Readings & Resources

 
Transcript

Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D.

Hi, everyone, I'm Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, founder and president of the Ruth Institute. My guest today on this episode of the Dr. J show is Dr. Carl Trueman, history professor at Grove City College in Grove City, Pennsylvania. And I think he's going to be especially interesting to the many people among our followers who are concerned about the transgender issue. Now, we're going to be talking about the self and modern philosophy and the development of the concept of the self. So, it's going to sound like it's very abstract. But I know that those of you who care about the transgender issue are going to be very interested in what he has to say. So, hang in there with us. And I think you'll get right to the point pretty quick, about why this topic is going to be very interesting for you. And I welcome everybody who is concerned about the transgender issue, including our friends across the religious traditions, our friends who are radical feminists, our friends who are lesbians, everybody who's concerned about this, and especially, I want to have a special welcome to those of you who are parents of trans children, and who are really, really struggling with how to deal with this issue and how to make sense of it. So, without further ado, Dr. Carl Trueman, I am so grateful that you've made the time to come and join us today.

Dr. Carl Trueman

It's a pleasure to be on. Thanks for having me.

Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D.

Great. Well, now you've got-- it was a book that caught my attention. Tell everyone the name of the book, and what got you interested in writing such a topic.

Dr. Carl Trueman

The title of the book is The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self. And it's really an attempt to look at the sexual revolution, and particular aspects of the sexual revolution in terms of broader changes in culture, and society over the last 300 years. The origins of the book are a little odd in that I'm really a 16th 17th century reformation historian, that's my training and my background. But I was approached a few years ago by Rod Dreyer, the American Conservative, and Justin Taylor, the senior editor at Crossway Publishing House, who asked me if I would be interested in writing a little introduction to the sociologist Philip Rieff thought. Philip Rieff famously wrote, The triumph of the therapeutic in the mid-1960s, which is a very intense prophetic book about the situation we now find ourselves in. And while doing research for what was originally intended to be a short introduction, I realized that a far more interesting book would actually be an application of Rieff's thinking to the current situation in which we find ourselves and coincided with the explosion of the trans question in the popular media, particularly with the transition of Bruce to Caitlyn Jenner. So, I decided it would be interesting to use Rieff in order to try to understand how it is that the sentence, I am a woman trapped in a man's body has come to make sense, not just to Philosophers in university seminars, but intuitively to the man or the woman in the street. So that was the origin and intention line behind the book.

Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D.

Well, and I think the main idea of your book is that the modern concept of the self is something very different from something that pre modern people would have thought of 400 years ago, 500 years ago from your preferred period around the reformation. Reformation man would never have thought of-- it would be incomprehensible to him to say that I'm a man trapped in a woman's body or whatever. But that the whole concept of the self now is quite different. Can you tell us a little bit, give us kind of a quick tour, if you will, of how the pre modern self-developed into the sense of self that seem to have today?

Dr. Carl Trueman

Just on the way in which thinking about the self has changed. Obviously, the causes for that are very complicated, but primarily, we could say the big difference between the selves that we have today, the way we think about our identity, the way we think about what makes us who we are today and say, the view that would have been dominant 600 years ago is that today, we really give huge or authority to that inner space, that inner voice within us to determine who we are. A graphic example that would bring this home and it would be if let's say, 300 years ago, you'd gone to a doctor and it said, I'm a woman trapped in a man's body, or a man trapped in a woman's body, the doctor would have said, Wow, you have a problem with your mind, with your inner feelings, we need to work on those inner feelings to bring them into line with your physical body. If you go to a doctor today and ask that question, he'd say, well, we got a problem with your body, we need to bring your body into line with your inner feelings, that inner space. So, the story of the modern self is really the story of how we have come to give supreme authority to our inner emotions, sentiments, convictions, feelings, however you want to characterize them. And I see that as involving three basic steps. The first one occurs really in the late 18th through to the mid-19th century where the idea that the ‘true you’ is your inner feelings emerges, comes out of the thinking of a man like Jacques Rousseau, the Geneva philosopher and finds artistic expression. In the work of the romantics, you read romantic poetry or you listen to romantic music, Franz Liszt, for example. And you realize that it's different to Mozart, it plays on your emotions, what it's trying to do is get you in touch with that inner voice. So that's the first stage. The second stage is the transformation of that inner space into a sexual space. And really, Sigmund Freud is not the only figure in that, but he's the key most influential figure in that story where he sort of agrees with the romantics. Yeah, that the ‘real you’ is that inner space, that inner voice, but you know what? That inner voice is primarily a sexual voice, that inner voice is primarily shaped by your sexual desires. And in doing that Freud, the genius of Freud, if you like is he turns sex from being an activity, something we do into something we are no longer is sex, something we do with somebody else, by sexual desires are fundamentally determinative of who I am. And then the third phase which occurs in the early in the mid-20th century, and it's almost inevitable after one starts to identify oneself with one's sexual desires is that liberation, political liberation, personal liberation comes to be identified with throwing off the old sexual taboos and the old sexual codes because by definition, if I am stopped from fulfilling my sexual desires, or my sexual desires are not approved by society, then by definition, I'm being oppressed in some way. And that's why sex becomes so politicized. Why even in the week where we're recording in the week where the new president aside a couple of executive orders on the transgender issue, those orders only make sense once that inner space has been authorized and sexualized and politicized in a dramatic way.

Dr. Carl Trueman

Well, that's a very good summary that you just gave that is first authorized, then sexualized, then politicized, it seems to be one of the things that changes along the way is the understanding of human nature itself. And our mutual friend [08:23] Scott Yenor has talked a lot about that, how the concept of human nature becomes kind of disconnected from the natural order and becomes connected purely to something subjective. Talk a little bit about how we think of human nature, versus how your reformation era people would have thought about human nature.

Dr. Carl Trueman

Yes, I think Scott's absolutely hits the mark in in his arguments on that front. We could look at it in terms of the end. What is the end of being human being? What's the purpose of being a human being? And in the book, I draw a contrast between my grandfather and myself, it's always good to put yourself in the crosshairs in these things as you appear to be speaking about other people. If you could ask my grandfather, does he get job satisfaction, he'd have said something to the effect of, Sure, my job allows me to have money that enables me to put shoes on my children's feet and bread on the family table. My children are clothed and fed. My grandfather worked in a factory all his life, on a factory production line. Well, I would have regarded as very boring, tedious job, but he could have said no, it was satisfying because it allowed him to fulfill his obligations to others, there was an external direction to the purpose of his life. Once we allow that inner psychological space to become dominant, then the tendency is to regard the purpose of human existence as me feeling psychologically happy. And if you ask me the question, Trueman, do you have job satisfaction? I'm intuitively going to answer the question long lines of Yeah, I enjoy standing in front of a class, I get great personal satisfaction. When I see light bulbs going on in the students minds as they come to grasp a complicated idea. You'll notice the self referentiality of the answer.

Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D.

That's right. That's right. So, there's so there's nothing wrong with either of these answers. But what we're calling attention to is that-- and one might think that a well-balanced person would need to have some elements of both. But what you're calling attention to is the way that the balance has tipped way down to the inner life, as you say, and away from the exterior sort of lower objective, I don't want to say completely objective, but at least more objective standards of satisfaction. Is that right?

Dr. Carl Trueman

Yes. And I think the key move here that I didn't mention in my earlier summary is, in the 19th century, let's say beginning of the 19th century, Rousseau, the romantics, they may have given up on Orthodox Christianity, but they still assume that human nature has a moral structure, that it doesn't matter where you are in the world, if you get to that inner voice, it sounds the same as it does everywhere else, that human beings have a common nature and a common moral structure that gives them a common purpose. By the end of the 19th century, thanks to the critical theories of people like Karl Marx and Friedrich Nietzsche, that idea has been abandoned, there is no moral structure to human nature that all human beings need to discover and conform themselves to. As Nietzsche would have said, You're, you're a work of art, you need to go and make your own meaning and purpose in life. And that, of course, tends to default then on the therapeutic inner satisfaction.

Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D.

And, the part about Nietzsche in your book was apart one of the-- one of the parts that I found chilling actually, to see him take that and run it way down, you know, like this, pedal to the metal, all the way, where do you end up with that. And one of the things that's striking about it is that it appeals to a person's vanity to say, you can be the author of your own self. But on the other hand, no one ever thinks about, well, what would it be like to be the Untermensch? Everyone wants to be the Übermensch and make the world according to their precepts and to dominate and so on and so forth. That's appealing, but what would it be like to be on the bottom in that system? What would it be like to be used-- I often think of our sexual cultures as used and be used rather than love and be loved. And the used and be used, we all think about ourselves as the user. But somebody is going to be the 'usee' here somewhere along the line, they never thought of that. Talk to people a little bit about Nietzsche and his influence on this, because most people I think, are not used to thinking about Nietzsche as being somehow implicated in the sexual revolution.

Dr. Carl Trueman

Yeah, Nietzsche is interesting, in some ways. He's one of my favorite philosophers from the perspective that he calls it as he sees it, he's very consistent. And he's the man, really, in the middle of the 19th century, who turns around to the Enlightenment atheists and essentially says, if you've got rid of God, you have to build everything from the bottom up. You can't keep Christian morality and get rid of Christian metaphysics. And interestingly, you were commenting there that you found Nietzsche chilling, when Nietzsche talks about this, he's somewhat ambiguous. On one hand, he sees this as exhilarating, we've got to do it for ourselves. On the other hand, he also uses imagery about the Earth is unchanged from the sun, can we drink up the ocean, he uses language that also indicates this is exhilarating. Both, because it gives us power. But also, because it's terrifying. It brings with it, terrifying responsibilities. Nietzsche is the man who uncouples humanity from any moral structure, if you like it. And where he fits into the sexual revolution, I think it'd be on a couple of [14:06] fronts. One; clearly sexual morality for nature, the imposition of sexual morality becomes a power play, it becomes a contract pulled off by one group in society to keep another group subordinate to themselves. And so, the smashing of sexual morality, the smashing of all morality becomes key to finding yourself as an individual. Secondly, one of the things I say to the students in class is the big human dilemma is that we want to be free but we want to belong. Nietzsche is all about freedom. There's very little about belonging in Nietzsche. Nietzsche's view of human relations is a very stark and very bleak about Individual power, not love and self-giving as--

Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D.

Right. One word that kept coming to my mind throughout your book, not Just about Nietzsche, is narcissism, if we're all looking inside the self for all of the sense of meaning that you're describing in the grounding of morality and all the rest of it, is there any room for love? Is there any room to even take notice of another person? It seems to me this is the big cost of this exhilarating will to power that he's talking about.

Dr. Carl Trueman

Yes. It's interesting at the moment I'm rereading Michel Foucault's History of Sexuality, the great classic sort of post mortem critique of sexual mores in the ancient world. What's fascinating about Foucault and he draws very deeply on Nietzsche is he never mentions love. When he talks about sex, it's all about pleasure. Now, he's onto something there. Clearly, sex is about pleasure. But there's nothing about the giving of oneself for another. There's nothing about sex having a significance and intrinsic significance beyond the momentary pleasure. I looked up in the index of Volume One Love isn't mentioned. It's a very, very stark and bleak understanding of human existence that comes through in the post-Nietzschean world.

Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D.

And when they talk about unchaining and unshackling the self and then saying, well, the people who put the shackles on, they're conning us, they're tricking us and so on. One way to turn that on its head, you could say is that the people who were saying you have to repress your sexual desires, you can't act on all your sexual desires, they were reining in something that people with lots of power would use in a harmful manner. When I look at the me-too movement, and how sexual abuse and harassment seems to be endemic throughout so many different areas of society, and it's all patched over with Well, it was consent or you were really being liberated or whatever, it really is a preying upon the week. And the priests or whoever it was who were supposed to be holding his in and repressing it. Yeah, they were repressing it. They were repressing Harvey Weinstein, okay. They were repressing Theodore McCarrick, I'm okay with that. I don't know. I'm okay with that.

Dr. Carl Trueman

Yeah, I couldn't agree more. And I think, one of the good things about the hashtag me too movement is of course, that it's acknowledging that sex has some kind of significance. If I slap, perish the thought, but if I slapped you in the face, that'd be a very unpleasant thing to do. But it will not shape the rest of your life in a way that as a pastor, when I came across individuals who have been subject to sexual abuse, it shaped the rest of their life--

Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D.

Yes, yes, it does.

Dr. Carl Trueman

in a profound way. Yeah. And the hashtag metoo movement kind of acknowledges, or the irony is it's all Hollywood actors who spent their entire careers telling us that sex is just recreation. Now, they're telling us that it's just recreation, but it's also very, very serious as well.

Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D.

All right, right. And it's very confused, because it's been unmoored from any kind of grounding, it's become confused. One of the things that I found striking that we haven't brought up yet, which has to do with Philip Rieff, is the loss of the sacred. Sometimes I feel that, that here's the Ruth Institute, we think sex is sacred and a lot of our opponents think sex is natural. Right? And so that beginning orientation, tracks a lot of other things. So, say something to people about Philip Rieff, how he sees the move away from having a cultural sense of the sacred and, and how that plays into all of this?

Dr. Carl Trueman

Yeah, revisit interesting figures, actually, he was a Jewish scholar, but I think was a secular Jewish scholar. I don't think he had any belief in God Himself.

Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D.

Is that so?

Dr. Carl Trueman

I think so. But he sort of thought God was a good idea, even though he may not actually exist. But one of the things he observed about society was that societies of the past have, without exception, organize themselves with some sort of sacred authority. What do you mean by that? Well, go back to ancient Sparta. In ancient Sparta, the let's say, you're a teenager and you're rebelling against your parents and the parents say to you “don't do that.” And your teenager says, why can't I do that? Say, well, because the law says you shouldn't. And the law was given to Lycurgus, the first king by the Oracle Adelphi. In other words, the law has an origin outside of this world. It has a sacred origin and therefore an authority. Same applies in the Middle Ages or the Reformation only with Christian scripture, why shouldn't I be rude to my parents? Well, the law was given to Moses. Honor your mother and your father, and it comes with the authority of God. These are societies that look beyond themselves in order to justify their moral and ethical codes. Rieff's observation on late 20th, early 20th century Western society is we'd got rid of that sacred elements, we don't see that there's anything beyond society by which we might justify how to organize society. And then, well why shouldn't I be rude to my parents? The response becomes a kind of, “because I say so.” We all know that that's not a particularly persuasive argument. Extrapolate that to our cultures in general, and you have a situation where, really, all cultures, of course, have ethical codes, we have no firm way to ground them there, which means they will tend to degenerate into constant conflict. And ultimately, moral codes will be set by the arbitrary will of whoever happens to be the most powerful group within a society at one time, it's a recipe for instability, long term instability.

Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D.

It's also a recipe for the law of the strongest. That's what you just said, it's the law of the strongest. So, whereas in ancient times or in Christian times, medieval Christendom, Catholic or Protestant, a person could say, that's wrong and everybody would have an idea what that meant on what basis he said that. And a poor person could say, you can't steal from me, and everybody would get that there was something there, and that the lawgiver was not allowed to —The court or the executive or whoever the sheriff, they weren't allowed to redefine the law as they went along, just because they happen to be the top guy on the totem pole, there would be something illegitimate about that. And even the critical Legal Studies people can complain all day long about power and abuse of power, but having an outside perspective, put some limits on what the most powerful guy can do. And ironically, maybe it's not ironic, maybe it was purposeful. I can't really say but the people who are complaining the most about abuses of power are in fact tearing down the various structures that would allow abuses of power to be reined in, in some way. So, I found that part about the sense of the sacred to be really compelling, very interesting. And what medieval Christendom adds to the picture, it has a faith and reason element to it the whole natural-- I think you talk about natural law a little bit, that idea of natural law is to say that there's a harmony between what is and what ought to be. And we can link those two in some intelligible manner. Talk a little bit about that, because I think that'll be interesting to people.

Dr. Carl Trueman

Yeah, but I think the point of [23:04] natural order, various iterations of natural law, but the essential point is that moral codes should reflect in some sense the structure of nature. Without wanting to be too distasteful, one might say that the heterosexual sex reflects the structure of the male and the female body and their complementarity in a way that other sexual activities does not. So, there is something in the structure of nature that actually brings with it a certain gravity towards certain kinds of morality. We might put it this way, we might say that natural law asserts ultimately that the universe is not just stuff, the universe is a Cosmos that has an order. Human beings have an order there are appropriate uses for our bodies, and there are inappropriate uses for our bodies. And in order to flourish, we need to find out what those appropriate uses are, and conform ourselves to them. And I think this has certainly with a rising generation of younger Christians, this can be helpful in explaining why the church takes such a stand as it does on sexual matters. Because there could be a knee jerk reaction from young people saying, Well, okay, I see that God teaches this about sex, does God just teach that because he doesn't want people to be happy? Well, if you have a natural law perspective, you can say, well, it should be enough for you that God says this is wrong to believe it's wrong, but actually God doesn't behave irrationally or unreasonably. There are reasons why and in the issue of say, male homosexual sex, well could point to government websites where the health conditions that come about through inappropriate sexual activity are laid forth with some tragic statistics, and we'll point to those and say, that's a good example of why it's best to follow God's design for the body and not to balk at that.

Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D.

Right? Well, you know, there are two different directions we can go here, I want to start by talking about children a little bit. Because at the Ruth Institute, we always try to start with the child and say what is owed to children? And one of our themes that we like to talk about is the fact that children have a right to relationship with their parents, they have a right to know who their parents are, to know their own personal identity, and that they have a right to be loved and welcomed into life by two people who love them and who love each other. The people who give them life should be involved in their life. And we talk about that in terms of legitimate entitlements of children. And when you start thinking like that, then you realize that traditional Christian sexual morality, Traditional Judeo-Christian Sexual morality, I should say, protects those rights of children. Whereas the sexual revolution ignores those rights of children, the sexual revolution shunts all of those considerations to one side, and when I was reading your book, on the part where you were talking about Wilhelm Reich and some of the other figures. But particularly Reich, they're keen that children should be allowed to have sex, the children are sexual beings, and children should be allowed to be sexual, and the world should be reorganized so that children can have sex. That's what they think of as children's rights, we think of as children's rights as the right to be with their parents and to be loved by their parents. Can you say something about Reich and other thinkers and their thought process about children just because I think a lot of people won't be familiar with what these guys have to say.

Dr. Carl Trueman

Yeah, well, Wilhelm Reich is a very significant figure, his book, The Sexual Revolution, which was written in 1936 could have been written last week. I mean, it's so stunning, in terms of what it is asserting as being good for human beings, which is essentially lots of sex all the time. It's a very prophetic book from that front. And of course, Reich is working with precisely that sexualized inner space I talked about earlier on. And when you think about that, when you think about, well, what does it mean that the self is really the inner space and is all about personal sexual satisfaction? It means that one thinks about the self as being in primarily an adversarial relationship with everybody else. Everybody else is a potential hindrance to one's happiness. So, when you say, well, you're we believe children have rights over their parents, children have a right, to parents have a right to a happy home, etc., etc., in the back of my mind is thinking yeah, that's true but the modern self sees children, actually, as primarily and first of all as a problem for parents because—

Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D.

That's right. That's exactly right.

Dr. Carl Trueman

-- children get in the way of careers, they get in the way of a regular sex life. There are all kinds of ways that children interfere with the personal happiness of their parents. So that's very much the background Reich's working with. Then one could say that if you have the view of Reich that human fulfillment is found, really through to finer point on it, found through orgasms, then having orgasms is key to human happiness, becomes key to childhood happiness. Where it gets difficult for Reich, of course, is he's very clear that he doesn't want to legitimate pedophilia. He says, it'd be wrong for an adult to do this with a child. But yeah, as I press in the book, why? Reich actually can't give you from his own thinking any rationale as to why that might not be good for children, beyond the fact that Wilhelm Reich himself finds it rather distasteful.

Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D.

That's right. It's all taste. When you've taken out the T loss, all you're left with is taste. Yeah. And so, I put this question to Scott [29:04] Yenor also because he talks about a number of the same figures. And to me, it looks like the pedophilia crisis that we're dealing with, it's like pedophilia is baked into the sexual revolution from the beginning. Because to make their worldview make sense, they had to kind of redefine childhood, they had to reimagine what it means to be a child. And so, for Reich, as I suppose for Freud, a child is a sexual being and so the priority is for the child to be able to have sex, but you don't think about what you're attracting when you do that. What other thoughts and feelings and actions are being encouraged by that kind of position?

Dr. Carl Trueman

Yeah. And it goes down to what we were talking about earlier on when you think that sex is purely pleasure and that any attempt to grounded in morality or grant it greater significance is just an ideological oppressive construct, you're missing something very important about sex, it is intrinsically something distinctive. And we intuitively know that that's what a slap on the face is treated differently at law than a rape. And again, one of the problems with Reich is he really wants to say that there's no-- sex acts have no intrinsic morality, they're just acts. What makes them moral or immoral is the issue of consent, whether the parties are consenting. And the problem with that relative to pedophilia is we don't actually respect the importance of children's consent for a whole heap of stuff in this life. At a trivial level, my kids, when they were small, they had to eat their greens and go to bed at a certain time, whether they consented or not, when they're a little bit older, they had to go to school. Consent is a spider thread thin string upon which to hang sexual morality. And as hashtag me too as revealed, consent is extremely difficult to pass a law. When you have adults versus children or powerful people versus weak people, how do you define consent in those?

Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D.

And how do you prove it in a court of law? I mean, it's a right that is difficult to honor in the court of law. When you think that through and you realize these poor women who have been abused by Harvey Weinstein or Jeffrey Epstein, or these seminarians who were abused by Theodore McCarrick and so on, what would protect them? Well, what protected them was the taboos. The whole system of taboos that makes certain things unthinkable. That's what protects them. It keeps them from ever being in these compromised situations where something just happened that's not right. And how do we get anybody to be able to intervene and do something about it? And the other thing, and you may have seen this too, Carl, since you have pastoral experience, I've talked to any number of people who have experienced childhood sexual abuse. And I have yet to talk to one who said, yeah, it was okay. It was no big deal. So, do you think it's fair to blame guys like Reich for our current pedophilia situation, directly or indirectly? I mean, I'm of two minds about it. What do you think about that?

Dr. Carl Trueman

I think as a historian, you're asking the question, is it ideas or is it material factors that really drive things? I think it's both. Reich provides a sort of rationale for this kind of thing. But I think if we wanted to ask why is pedophilia becomes such a problem, and why is it increasingly apparently moving towards some sort of legitimation? I think we'd have to throw into the mix, internet pornography. I mean, clearly internet pornography is huge. Very few people, was 70% of men use internet pornography. 70% of men have not read Wilhelm Reich, that's the 1% have read Wilhelm Reich. But internet pornography, I think is very significant in shaping how people think about sex.

Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D.

Yeah, I'm sure that's right. I have no doubt about that, that's right. But on the other hand, the thing that you're really calling attention to is that you can have a whole menu of intellectual ideas. But some ideas are more useful for certain people than other ideas. And those are people with a lot of money, or a lot of influence are going to pick up that ball and run with it and institutionalize certain things and stuff like that. And I assume that's part of when historians talk about material factors versus ideas. That's the kind of stuff you guys are talking about.

Dr. Carl Trueman

Yes, very much so. I mean, there's a sense in which technology makes things possible and plausible that would not have been otherwise. I mean, take transgender issue for instance, it would be impossible for transgenderism to be a powerful movement prior to the development of hormone, therapies and surgeries, etc., etc. You could have had the idea, "I'm a woman trapped in a man's body", but it would never have gained any traction because there is no wider framework within which that could have been speciously realized.

Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D.

Right, right. At the material level. So, let's go ahead and start talking about transgenderism a little bit because it you spend quite a bit of time in the book talking about that. And what you contribute to the discussion, I think is an understanding of how the changed idea of the self is really part of what makes that first statement that you started with, intelligible. I'm a man trapped in a woman's body, that becomes intelligible only after these whole successions of thinkers that you're talking about. So, talk to people a bit about that, Carl.

Dr. Carl Trueman

Yes. Well, if you think about the statements, I'm a woman trapped in a man's body, for that to have gained the popular traction in society that it has done so rapidly, really tells us that an awful lot of what we might call the philosophical assumptions that lie behind it were already intuitive in our culture. One of those assumptions would be; feelings trump the body. One of those assumptions is the real me is not my body, my body is something the eye inhabits. And it's interesting to hear this language about, you know, people will draw a distinction between the body and themselves. So, a third factor would be the idea that the gender is something that is constructed, it's not intrinsic to our physical bodies. As with a lot of this stuff that has a certain truth to it, we know that being a man, being a woman today is different to what it was before the advent of industrial machinery. Physical strength is of less significance in the workplace now than it was 300 years ago. We know that men and women in North and South Korea relate to each other differently than they do in the United States or the United Kingdom. We're aware that male and female roles look different around the world. But I like Scott [36:23] Yenor’s comment that gender differences always run along the grooves of sexual difference. That sexual difference, our physical and hormonal makeup provides a sort of a framework within which manhood and womanhood can look differently. Esau is a man who hunts, Jacob is the man who sits in the tent reading poetry, and even in the Bible, we see that knowledge. But that idea that gender, that being a woman is actually something that's kind of invented rather than intrinsic, that has to have become plausible to the popular imagination for transgenderism to become an intuitive truth.

Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D.

So, let me ask you this the distinction between gender and sex. This is again, something that is a recent concept. Is this a distinction that Christians ought to use? Or is there some better language to get at the subject matter that should be gotten out? I mean, there is a distinction. But should these be the words or there's some better words we could use? Talk it.

Dr. Carl Trueman

I think it's hard not to use those words now because they are the pervasive words of discussing this--

Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D.

And just define them carefully for everybody. So, everybody knows what we're talking about.

Dr. Carl Trueman

Sex typically refers to biological difference. Men and women have different hormones, different physiology. There are some people we call intersex who are born with hormonal or physiological distinctives that make it's somewhat difficult at times, for doctors to know, is this a boy or is it a girl? But by and large, boys are born boys, girls or girls, we have certain physiology, complimentary physiology, different physiology. That's what we mean when we talk about sex. When we talk about gender, we're typically talking about the roles that people play in society. And right up until sort of the day before yesterday, it seems there was a very close connection in any given society, between the sex of a person and the gender, the role they played. Really from the mid-20th century onwards, starting with the great French philosopher Simone de Beauvoir, in her book, The Second Sex, she begins part two of that work by saying, No one is not born a woman, one becomes a woman. And it's the idea that being a woman is actually a performance. It's a set of behaviors that are learned that society just happens to have somewhat arbitrarily almost mapped onto human beings who have a certain physiology. And that's where that gap between sex and gender starts to open up. Now Christians, we do need to be careful because-- we need to be careful as Christians that we don't make our particular society's view of what it means to be a man or means to be a woman the absolute biblical norm for everybody. John Wayne works in certain parts of America, he doesn't work in South Korea, he doesn't work in in Britain. And it's not because South Koreans or British men are somehow feminists or not biblical. It's because gender is real that there are ways we perform. The difference, I think, is as Christians, we need to remember that these may differ but they're not arbitrarily connected to the sex differences again, Scott [39:48] Yenor's language of gender runs along the grooves set by sexual difference.

Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D.

And in my conversations with a lot of parents of young people who have decided that they were born in the wrong body, these parents are struggling. I mean, they're in agony, Carl, I can't tell you how painful this is for a lot of them. But one of the things that we have come up with together, I don't know if I invented this or I saw somebody else invent it, but I use it all the time now. So, whoever invented it, it's great. That’s to say, number one, no one's born in the wrong body. And I've counseled people to say this, and I think people can, they can grasp that you and your body are okay. And number two, there are lots of ways to be a boy, there are lots of ways to be a girl, just because you like things that are not gender conforming or something like that, don't worry about it. There's nothing wrong with your body, there's nothing wrong with you, that's okay, that you're doing something that's not gender stereotypical. And what I find is that helps people relax, it helps the parents relax, it helps the children relax. And on the point that you made about some Christians being kind of insistent on certain gender roles, you know, that you've got to have some flexibility about that. You've just got to have some flexibility about it, because that's just not going to work for everybody.

Dr. Carl Trueman

Yeah, well, as I say, the Bible itself points that. My personal diary, I'm just reading the book of Genesis, and I'm struck out Esau as a hunter, dad liked him because he was a hunter. Jacob was a man of the tent, I imagine him sitting, composing poetry in the tent. But the narrative doesn't condemn either of them for those things. It doesn't say one's a man and the other one's a bit deviant. They're both sort of set forth as, hey, some men are bookish, some men love hunting. It's the way it is.

Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D.

And it's okay. And also, as part of the Christian tradition that we have the idea that each person is created by God uniquely, every single person is absolutely utterly unique, created in the image and likeness of God to image some aspect of God. And God wants you to live the life and the mission that he has for you. You don't need to be looking to the left and the right all the time to figure out if you're conforming or your head or you're below or whatever, you don't need to be worried about that. But to accept that your body and your mind, you're okay, it really is okay. Christianity actually has an elevated view of the body. We're not denigrating the body or saying there's something evil about the body or we're certainly not saying you have to manipulate the body in order to become who you really are. There's a profound respect for the human body there. So that brings me to another wonderful word that you use, which you use the word gnostic, you used the word nominalism. And I have often thought that what we're dealing with here is kind of-- the sexual revolution is kind of a gnostic death cult. Tell people what nominalism is, and why it's relevant to our current situation.

Dr. Carl Trueman

Yeah. nominalism is a word that has a variety of uses. And often when you refer to somebody as a nominal Christian or their Christianity is very nominalist, we tend to be not very committed. That's not how I'm using the word here. Here, I'm really referring to a broad philosophical tradition that places great Stark in the importance of words as being constitutive of reality. And again, we might say, transgenderism, I don't want to pick on the transgender movement all the time. But trans ideology provides us a great example of this. That the person who says I'm a woman trapped in a man's body is essentially saying, "by saying that I am a woman, I am making it so". The empirical reality of my body is actually not the ultimate reality is my statement. And of course, this plays over then into the demand that you use appropriate pronouns about me, I may have the body of a male but if I say I'm a woman, you better call me she and you better you she and her". And there's a sense in which what one has there is the material essence of the person, that which would traditionally have been regarded as making the person they are, is seen as almost irrelevant. If not irrelevant, what really matters are the words used, the names used. Now, words are powerful, we use an epithet, a racial epithet, a racial slur. We heard somebody, we are aware that words can create realities, they can put people down, they can build people up. So, words do have a power to them. But what they don't have is the ultimate creative power of making you into something you aren't simply by demanding that somebody uses certain words to refer to you.

Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D.

And you know, this is one place where you can really see the LGBT coalition breaking down, that the Ls and the T's are open warfare with each other. And this is something that we are very much aware of here with the Ruth Institute, because we're in communication with a lot of those women. Talk to people a little bit for who maybe are not familiar with it, about the conflict between the lesbians and the transgenders and what that's about. And it's based on this philosophical point that you just made.

Dr. Carl Trueman

Yeah. Well, the Lesbians and Gays essentially accept what we call the gender binary. They accept that biological sex is significant that there’s a difference between men and women. I could probably illustrate the problem by using an anecdote that I use in the book that I drew from a feminist, a pro trans feminist text, actually, where Testament is given by a lesbian woman who's been in a stable, monogamous lesbian relationship with her partner for 10 years. And the partner suddenly comes out as a trans male. In other words, she's a woman, but is now identifying as a man. And this means the partner is plunged into crisis because her friends and are telling her that she's straight, because she's living with a man, somebody identifies as a man. But she still feels that she's a lesbian. She's not attracted to men, but she's attracted to her partner. And she's left with this sort of, on the one hand kind of comic, on the other hand, deeply tragic, because there are human beings involved here. Dilemma. Does she deny her own identity as a lesbian in order to affirm the identity of her partner? Or does she deny the identity of her partner in order to affirm her own identity as a lesbian? It's a tragic scenario, we have a similar situation recently, where Andrew Sullivan, the gay journalist who said, it's not transphobic that I as a gay man, I'm not attracted to women who are claiming to be men. And then you get to the heart of the real difficulty, lesbians and gays, except that there are fundamental differences between men and women biological differences, and they're attracted to one group and not the other. The Trans movement and the queer movement denies that. Raises the question of well, how did they all get together to be part of the safe lobby group? And the answer is victimhood and marginalization, and opposition to what they call hetero-normativity, making heterosexuals the norm. Now, they've kind of won the culture war on that front, I suspect, we'll see, as you've already alluded to, we will see cracks, and then chasms emerging within this alliance as the various groups fall out with each other.

Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D.

Well, it's a marriage of convenience up until now. And the convenience has kind of gone away. Well, more than kind of gone away. What I'm seeing among the lesbians and many strands of feminists who are involved in this debate, is they deeply, deeply resent men saying they're women. And simply by saying, I'm a woman, they now have access to women's spaces. And the sex segregated spaces, which in some cases that feminists and lesbians have fought very hard to achieve and to maintain, in some cases, they were there all along. So, for instance, one of the grossest ones is women's prisons. There are cases of men who are in prison for sex crimes, claiming now that they are women, and demanding to be housed in women's prisons. Well, the lesbians and the feminists are the ones who are pounding the table saying, heck, no, we're not going along with this. This is a man. And they will not fall for the nominalist trick. They're not believed, they're not intimidated. This is a man who says he's a woman. And they don't care whether he's deluded or whether he's opportunistic, or whether he's-- they don't care. He is a man; his reasons don't matter and therefore he does not belong in women's spaces. So, it's very interesting to me that a kind of reversion to the more-- what's the opposite of nominalism?

Dr. Carl Trueman

Essentialism or realism. Yes, realism.

Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D.

Yes. They're reverting to that. It's almost like that norm has a gravitational pull to it.

Dr. Carl Trueman

You can only fight nature for so long, and then you get mugged by reality. It doesn't mean you can't do a lot of damage when you fight nature, you really can. But ultimately, nature has the last laugh, nature has the last word.

Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D.

Yes. And it also it takes a lot of power to fight nature. It takes a lot of power to try to do something that's impossible, and it requires a lot of propaganda. And this is something we emphasize that the Ruth Institute also the whole sexual revolution has resulted in vast accumulations of power for people who already had power actually, a lot of cases, right? In order to proceed with this agenda that it cannot be, it cannot be. Do you have any thoughts about the recent appointment of Dr. Levine as Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services, Dr. Levine, who was born Dr. Richard Levine, who now has changed his name to Dr. Rachel Levine, do you have any thoughts about this appointment and what it means?

Dr. Carl Trueman

On a purely professional competence level? I would say Dr. Levine didn't do a very good job in Pennsylvania, in the COVID crisis. So, I'm surprised that Dr. Levine has been appointed at federal level. That's right.

Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D.

You live in you. Oh, yeah. You live in Pennsylvania?

Dr. Carl Trueman

Yes, yes. Yeah. I've had firsthand experience of Pennsylvania health policy over the last 12 months. I can't read President Biden's mind. Anything I say is pure speculation. But one has to ask the question, “is this based on professional competence? Or is it sending a signal to the LGBTQ lobby?" and given within hours of being sworn in as president, President Biden signed an executive order on transgender issues and public schooling. One has to think that the fact that Dr. Levine as transgender may well have been a significant factor in the choice.

Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D.

Yeah, no kidding.

Dr. Carl Trueman

I'm trying not to judge lest I be judged. But it's hard not to be pointed in that direction.

Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D.

And it points to the fact that far from being a marginalized group, the transgender lobby, and the LGBT lobby, generally, but now that the LGBT lobby is a powerful lobby, it is a political force to be reckoned with, they've got lots of money. And now that there's this rift between the T's and everybody else, the tees have kind of taken over a lot of the high leverage points. I have my own theory about the situation, Carl, my theory is that having Dr. Levine in that very prominent position, means he is now a litmus test, and everyone must call him her, everyone must state an obvious untruth. And when you say something that you know to be untrue, you are morally weakened somehow, right? You're now morally compromised. And when you're morally compromised, it's easier to break you down on other areas. And honestly, I think that's the whole point of the appointment.

Dr. Carl Trueman

Yeah. And it's reminiscent of course of Solzhenitsyn saying —that my friend Rod Dreher has picked up as the title of his new book, Live Not by Lies. And so, we made to live by lies, that's a catastrophic situation to find yourself in.

Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D.

That's right. And so, by putting this particular person in a very prominent position like that, they're forcing the issue. Yeah. And they're basically daring people to say that-- to tell the truth. They're raising the stakes and telling the truth. So, I'm just gonna say, Dr. Levine can change his name to Rachel, that does not make him a woman. He could change his name to Daffy, and that would not make him a duck.

Dr. Carl Trueman

You've been reading Germaine Greer; I can tell that.

Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D.

Oh, is that so? Did she say that?

Dr. Carl Trueman

Well, she said-- she used an expletive. But she said, if I have extensions, liver spots and wear a brown coat, it doesn't make me a beagle. She said it in a slightly cruder way. But I'd say one of the footnotes in my book, actually got one of my research assistants dug that up for me and said, Dr. Trueman, you need to use this. And I said, Yes, that's a really good statement.

Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D.

You know what? Speaking of Germaine Greer though, there was a quote from her in your book that I posted on one of these groups that I'm in, and it was her quote, Germaine Greer's quote about the mother and the position of the mother and the live for the transgender person. Do you remember that quote?

Dr. Carl Trueman

Yeah, it's essentially Greer is saying that transgenderism is all about erasing the mother, getting rid of the mother, killing the mother, if you like, in the narrative of identity. And I think she's correct. When you think about what transgenderism is it's about creating an identity for yourself that detaches you from, I would say from both parents. Not just the mother, but it detaches you from both parents. It’s an erasure of the past

Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D.

Yes. And in that sense, it brings us full circle to the definition of the self, because your grandpa would have just defined himself in terms of who he was related to. And who his parents were. And modern man wants to cut loose from all of our connections to the past, all of our history. Because all of those things are then confining. Yeah. And identifies too closely. We can't remake ourselves in any further than that, Dr. Trueman, this has been really, really pleasant, tell the people again, the name of your book and where they can get it and anything else you want to tell people about how they can be in touch with you and your work.

Dr. Carl Trueman

The name of the book is The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self: Cultural Amnesia, Expressive Individualism, and the Road to Sexual Revolution. It's published by crossway. You can still get it from Amazon, I've not been cancelled, you can still get it from Amazon or from crossway themselves. I do most of my writing these days at first things online, firstthings.com and occasionally at public discourse. And I would recommend that the listeners check out those websites, it's not so much for my writing, but you will find very good articles there on the culture. Keep you up to date, the good intelligent way on cultural developments. I teach at Grove City College, and you can find my website, my email via the Grove City College website.

Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D.

Well, Dr. Carl Trueman, thank you so much for being my guest today on the Dr. J show.

Dr. Carl Trueman

Thanks for having me. It's been a pleasure.

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Divorce Does Hurt Kids: The Research Doesn't Begin to Tell the Whole Story

Dr. Daniel Meola is an adult child of divorce who earned his Ph.D. in Theology of Marriage and Family from the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family in Washington, D.C. He has been leading retreats and support groups for adult children of divorce or separation since 2015 in the Archdiocese of Washington, and in 2018 he founded Life-Giving Wounds to spread the retreat, support groups, and other ministry to adult children of divorce or separation around the country.

Bethany Meola is a stay-at-home mom with a master of theological studies degree from the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family in Washington, D.C. She and Dan met there and married in 2011. Bethany served the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops for seven years in the Secretariat of Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth. Among other tasks, she managed the website For Your Marriage and researched and wrote on various topics related to marriage and family. In 2017, Dan and Bethany welcomed their daughter Zelie-Louise through the gift of adoption, and Bethany became a stay-at-home mom. And in 2019, Grace joined their family, also through adoption. Bethany assists with many of the behind-the-scenes operations of Life-Giving Wounds.


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