- For Survivors
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- Summit 2020
Are you a Victim of the Sexual Revolution?
This page helps complete Step 1:
We honestly Face and Embrace the Impact of the Sexual Revolution on our lives.
If you are not familiar with the “7 Steps to Sexual Peace,” go here.
We have identified twelve categories of people who have been harmed by the Sexual Revolution. This questionnaire explores Heartbroken Career Women. Use this check list to see if you are a Victim of the Sexual Revolution.
Our goal here is not merely to identify Victims. The goal is to help the Victims become Survivors, and the Survivors to become Activists for positive change.
If you are a Heartbroken Career Woman, you may benefit from these resources created or compiled by the Ruth Institute.
Posted on: Friday, June 26, 2020
Award-winning journalist Sue Ellen Browder has addressed members of the United Nations' Commission on the Status of Women and has appeared on hundreds of radio and television shows, including the Today Show, Oprah, EWTN News Nightly, and Fox News. She has published hundreds of articles in many national magazines and newspapers, including Reader's Digest, Woman's Day, the National Catholic Register, and Cosmopolitan. As the author of Subverted: How I Helped the Sexual Revolution Hijack the Women's Movement and Sex and the Catholic Feminist (both published by Ignatius), Sue Ellen has spoken at many pro-life conferences around the country, including the 2020 March for Life Conference and the Pro-Life Summit.
Come to our Summit! ruthinstitute.org/summit-2020
Posted on: Friday, June 26, 2020
Award-winning journalist Sue Ellen Browder has addressed members of the United Nations' Commission on the Status of Women and has appeared on hundreds of radio and television shows, including the Today Show, Oprah, EWTN News Nightly, and Fox News. She has published hundreds of articles in many national magazines and newspapers, including Reader's Digest, Woman's Day, the National Catholic Register, and Cosmopolitan. As the author of Subverted: How I Helped the Sexual Revolution Hijack the Women's Movement and Sex and the Catholic Feminist (both published by Ignatius), Sue Ellen has spoken at many pro-life conferences around the country, including the 2020 March for Life Conference and the Pro-Life Summit.
Come to our Summit! ruthinstitute.org/summit-2020
Posted on: Tuesday, April 14, 2020
This article was first published April 14, 2020, at the NCRegister.
COMMENTARY: The people who have the most to offer in combating the sexual revolution also have the most to lose from doing so.
by Jennifer Roback Morse
Respected commentator Father Raymond de Souza observed a little-known fact about the convoluted case of Australian Cardinal George Pell: “No judge who had a future to worry about sided with Cardinal Pell. Every judge whose future was secure from recriminations for judging fairly sided with the cardinal.”
One such fair judge was the lone dissenter on the lower court, Justice Mark Weinberg. Father de Souza’s observation has implications far beyond one Australian legal case. Let me come right to the point: Retired professionals, we need you back on the playing field!
Let me explain.
Obviously, the top jurists in the Australian legal system do not have “a future to worry about.” These judges on the highest court of the land are the ones who ultimately exonerated Cardinal Pell. Let’s zero in on Weinberg, who, as noted above, was the lone dissenter at that level. His 200-page dissent utterly demolished the majority opinion, which upheld Cardinal Pell’s convictions. Father de Souza pointed out something I did not previously realize: Weinberg is a 71-year-old retired judge who is called in for special cases because of his expertise.
Let’s apply this seemingly offhand observation to the broader situation of living out Catholic teaching in the modern world. The entire developed world is in the grip of an ideology that is every bit as toxic and irrational as communism or fascism. This ideology demands conformity, imposes penalties for dissent, and controls all the major institutions of society. The ideology promises to create heaven on Earth, if only we allow the ruling savior class enough power to reshape law, media, education, entertainment and, of course, the judicial system.
The ideology I’m speaking of is the one spawned by the sexual revolution. We can all have carefree, unlimited sex. No unwanted babies. No broken hearts. No loneliness. We’re told that the sex of the body is not a real constraint on anything, so we can remake our society and our bodies in any way we want. Children don’t really need anything from their natural parents, so we don’t really need any social norms requiring permanence in sexual relationships. If we just continue to reshape the institutions of society, we will eventually arrive at that wonderful world where sexual activity is sterile unless you have quirky lifestyle preferences and happen to want a baby: heaven on Earth.
The only major institution in the world holding out against this ideology is the Catholic Church. And even parts of the Church have “gone wobbly,” in Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s colorful phrase from a different era about a different totalitarian ideology. Cardinal Pell’s “crime” was that he actively resisted the claims of the sexual revolutionaries. The child-abuse charges were trumped up against him. There are clerics around the world who are much guiltier of much worse things who are getting far better treatment within their own countries’ legal systems and the international media than poor Cardinal Pell. Why single out him, of all people? Interesting question, no?
I’ve written before about the commonalities among the cases of Theodore McCarrick, Harvey Weinstein and Jeffrey Epstein. And I’ve written quite a lot (a whole book, in fact) about the dynamics of the sexual revolution and what keeps it chugging along, in spite of its irrationality and crimes. Long story short: Delaying childbearing is the de facto social price of getting an education and entering the professions.
Many people accomplish that delay, not by sexual restraint until marriage, but, rather, through the use of contraception and, in many cases, abortion. This fact tilts the educated and professional classes toward favoring the sexual revolution and the unfettered license it touts. The people most likely to be in positions of influence, power and wealth either think the sexual revolution is just grand, or secretly know that it isn’t but have a guilty conscience about it. In either case, an outsized percentage of people in the professions have a strong incentive to keep the sexual revolution going. People like Cardinal Pell, who dissent from the sexual revolution’s orthodoxy, disturb the consciences of many journalists and jurists.
Members of the professions who do not agree with the sexual revolution know all about the pressure to conform to its tenets. I have heard from Catholic lawyers and doctors, as well as evangelical Protestant therapists and social workers, about the difficulties of trying to do their jobs. The people who have the most to offer in combating the sexual revolution also have the most to lose from doing so.
Yet these are the very people we need to fighting for the integrity of their professions. These are people who know the fields of law or medicine or journalism. They can speak to the specific problems in the libraries and schools. They know how their profession operates. They know the important people and have connections an outsider can’t have.
This brings me back to Cardinal Pell. What if Mark Weinberg hadn’t come out of retirement to take this case? Where would Cardinal Pell be today if Weinberg had decided to check out and do the Australian equivalent of playing golf that day? Only someone who is both qualified and relatively detached from social pressure could render the type of impartial ruling that Weinberg did.
Retired doctors, nurses, teachers, attorneys: This is my plea. Find creative ways to influence your profession for good. Join or form alternative professional organizations or independent practices. No one can fire you anymore. You have nothing to lose now, and you still have a lot to offer. Get to work. We need you!
Posted on: Friday, November 29, 2019
Carrie Gress has a doctorate in philosophy from the Catholic University of America. She is the editor at the online women’s magazine Theology of Home.
Dr. J and Dr. Gress dive in to discuss how women are caught between a rock and a hard place. The world tells us that we are nothing unless we have intellectually demanding and high paying careers. Our hearts tell us we want to create a warm and comfortable home for our families.
Dr. Gress has five children and a doctorate in philosophy. She dives deep into the meaning of the home and the vocation to care for and make the home. The book, which features elegant photographs throughout, is a testimony to the power of Beauty.
Carrie has written for numerous publications, including Aleteia, Catholic Vote, Catholic World Report, National Review, The Catholic Thing, The Federalist, The National Catholic Register, The Stream, and The Washington Examiner. She is a frequent guest on Ave Maria Radio, Catholic Answers, EWTN Radio, and Relevant Radio, and has appeared on Fox, BBC, CBC, EWTN and Shalom World television.
Carrie has lived and worked professionally in Washington, D.C. and Rome, Italy, and her work has been translated into nine languages.
She is the author of Nudging Conversions (Dynamic Catholic 2015), Ultimate Makeover (Dynamic Catholic, 2016), The Marian Option (TAN Books, 2017), and Marian Consecration for Children (TAN Books, 2018). She co-authored City of Saints: A Pilgrim’s Guide to John Paul II’s Krakow with George Weigel. Her latest book, The Anti-Mary Exposed (TAN Books) was released in March 1, 2019. Her latest book, Theology of Home,
was released in Sept. 2019.
The audio-only version of this podcast is available here: Listen
For information about authentic masculinity, these earlier episodes of The Dr. J Show will be helpful:
Posted on: Saturday, September 28, 2019
(September 28, 2019) Dr J is invited to give the keynote address at Pro-Life Action Ministries in St. Paul, Minnesota. It's the oldest, largest direct action pro-life group in the states, and her talk is entitled "The Pro-Life Movement: Combatting the Sexual Revolution on the Front Lines."
PowerPoint slides are also available for this presentation.
Posted on: Wednesday, July 10, 2019
When I reached adulthood in the Sixties with a college degree, I was determined to pursue my career and didn’t really desire to have children. Although I hoped someday to marry, my priorities involved other pursuits, in particular, travel and continued education. A husband might, and children definitely, would interfere with my goals, take up my free time, clutter up my lovely home, and damage the beautiful objects in it.
Today in retirement, I’m sitting alone with my material treasures and my memories while my siblings and many of my friends are busy with their children and grandchildren. I worry about my failing health and wonder who will be here for me when I can no longer take care of myself. What will I do with all my “stuff” if I have to move to assisted living? Who will visit me there? Even making a will is a dilemma. I have no relationships close enough to designate as my executor if my husband dies before I do.
I never anticipated the loneliness in my senior years when I opted out of having a family. So what am I doing to alleviate it? For a number of years I taught adult classes in my church and participated in musical groups there. I’ve joined a few women’s philanthropic groups. Now that my physical activities are limited, I keep in contact with friends by phone and email. I make a point of reaching out to others who are alone as I am. I’ve even written a couple of books to share my memories and my insights into the Christian life.
As my contemporaries pass on, my circle of friendships grows smaller. I accept that this consequence was my self-centered choice. But if some young woman can learn from my experience and take stock of the long-term results of her choice between singleness, marriage, and/or family, sharing this is worth it. Looking back, it seems that God’s plan is really for us to grow up in loving families and then to create new ones for the next generation.
Submitted by A. D.
Posted on: Friday, June 28, 2019
For more information, contact: Rachel Golden email@example.com
On June 20 and 21, Ruth Institute President Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D. spoke at Acton University, the annual gathering of the Acton Institute in Grand Rapids, MI, attended by more than 1,000 from over 90 countries, including Catholics, evangelicals, Orthodox, and other faith communities.
Dr. Morse gave two speeches. One was a retrospective on her 2008 book, Love and Economics: It Takes a Family to Raise A Village.
In this seminal work, Morse explained that economists had been taking the family for granted – largely ignoring an irreplaceable social institution. Neither a series of social contracts among adults (which libertarians favor) nor a series of government programs (which so-called progressives support) can take the place of the family, Morse argued. “I hope that everyone who values the personal over the political and the family over the bureaucratic will take these arguments seriously.”
Morse also spoke on “Gender Ideology and the Future of Freedom,” which is based in part on her recent book, The Sexual State: How Elite Ideologies are Destroying Lives and why the Church was Right all Along.
She described the gender ideology as the view that the human body, especially the fact of male and female, is unimportant. We can transcend and “move beyond” male and female with enough social engineering, or more recently, with the help of law and technology. Dr. Morse explained that the gender ideology threatens all the Acton Institute’s core values of a free and virtuous society, including fiscal responsibility, limited government, and religious liberty.
Dr. Morse said, “I was especially gratified by the warm response my message received from many of the foreign participants. They were especially glad when I apologized to them for the US government’s attempts to forcibly spread the sexual revolution around the world.”
Founded in 1990, The Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty promotes “a free and virtuous society characterized by religious liberty and sustained by religious principles.” (acton.org)
Earlier this year, Morse spoke at the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C. on her latest book, The Sexual State: How Elite Ideologies are Destroying Lives. Last year, she spoke at an international conference on the 50th anniversary of the beginnings of the Sexual Revolution, at the University of Francisco de Vitoria in Madrid.
The Ruth Institute is a global non-profit organization equipping Christians to defend the family in the public arena and build a Civilization of Love. Jennifer Roback Morse has a Ph.D. in economics.
For information on Love and Economics: It Takes a Family to Raise a Village, please visit: ruthinstitute.org/store/ruth-books/love-and-economics-it-takes-a-family-to-raise-a-village
For more information on the Ruth Institute, click here.
To schedule an interview with Dr. Morse, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted on: Friday, May 31, 2019
(May 31, 2019) Dr J is one of the speakers at the Spiritual Life Center's Catholic Culture Conference in Wichita, Kansas. This is the first of three talks she's giving at the annual gathering, and it's entitled, "Understanding the Sexual Revolution."
The Q&A session after this talk is also available for listening or download here. Stay tuned for her other talks from the conference, coming right up in our podcast stream.
Listen to the talk | Listen to the Q&A
Posted on: Monday, January 28, 2019
By Tyler O'Neil
This article was first published October 4, 2018, at PJ Media.
In 21st century America, sex is all around us: on television, in movies, in classrooms, in politics, and even in churches. Sex permeates our desires, our expectations for relationships, even our identity. The Sexual Revolution goes far beyond the LGBT movement, and it has fundamentally reshaped American society. But few Americans actually grasp exactly where this revolution came from. An explosive new book reveals that government and wealthy donors, rather than impersonal historical forces or newly liberated women, propelled the Sexual Revolution.
"The State bears the greatest responsibility for the toxic sexual culture in which we live," Jennifer Roback Morse,founder of the Ruth Institute (RI), writes in "The Sexual State: How Elite Ideologues Are Destroying Lives And Why the Church Was Right All Along." She presented five other explanations for the Sexual Revolution, and found each one wanting.
Many have suggested that the Sexual Revolution came about through the inevitable and impersonal "march of history." This view does not work "because it robs us and our forbears of human agency." Even the overhyped birth control pill "is just an inert piece of technology" that people could decide to use or not use, or use in different ways.
Morse also rebuts the feminist narrative, which suggests that "these changes have been one long string of victories for the benefit and advancement of women." Ironically, the very success of women's liberation "undermines the claim that women have been completely powerless and dominated by the patriarchy throughout all of recorded history." Furthermore, the author argues that "the pro-life movement is dominated by women," suggesting that not all women want more of the Sexual Revolution.
Perhaps the most common explanation for the Sexual Revolution is the "liberationist narrative," which posits that everyone is more free thanks to new sexual norms. This view also cannot explain how age-old oppression was immediately dissolved in one generation, Morse argues.
Furthermore, many people "have become less free, in fact actually oppressed, by the very forces that are supposedly liberating us. The breaking of family bonds has increased the size and scope of the State, including the intrusion of the State into the everyday lives of ordinary people." She mentions college sex tribunals, family courts — which even rule on which schools and churches children can attend — and higher taxes to pay for social workers who manage tough divorces and family breakdown.Morse also rejects the "over-population narrative," which suggests that "too many people create ecological disaster and economic backwardness," so the State needs to control population through birth control and abortion. Interestingly, advocates of this narrative "haven't been able to adapt the narrative to the changing circumstances of population decline, which the Over-Population Narrative itself helped bring about."
Finally, the author turns to a "steal capitalist narrative," explaining the Sexual Revolution by pointing to the many people who benefit financially from family breakdown. Abortionists, pharmaceutical companies, the fertility industry, pornographers, divorce professionals, family court judges and lawyers, medical professionals who specialize in sexually transmitted diseases, and social workers all perversely benefit from family breakdown, contraception, and abortion.
Even higher education and employers benefit from women choosing to get married later, to go to school and to work, rather than raising a family. Morse claims that employers benefit from easy divorce as well, as women are less able to rely on their husbands to financially support them. She suggests that these factors cement the Sexual Revolution, but they do not explain it.
The author boils the Sexual Revolution down to three basic "ideologies:" the Contraceptive Ideology separates sex from childbearing; the Divorce Ideology separates sex and childbearing from marriage; and the Gender Ideology eliminates the distinctions between men and women that individuals do not explicitly embrace.
"The Sexual Revolution needs the State for one major reason: the premises of the Sexual Revolution are false," Morse declares. "Sex does make babies. Children do need their parents, and therefore marriage is the proper and just context for both sex and childbearing. Men and women are different." The Sexual Revolution requires "reconstructing society" around a rejection of these basic truths, so it involves a great deal of propaganda.
"If you can make people believe Bruce Jenner, the 1976 male Olympic decathlon winner, is a woman, you can make them believe 2 + 2 = 5. If you can make people afraid to say, 'Bruce Jenner is a man,' you can make them afraid to say anything," Morse quips. "The Sexual Revolution is a totalitarian ideology with a blind commitment to the implementation of its tenets, regardless of the human costs."
The book begins with a list of victims of the Sexual Revolution, a topic for a future article. Those victims include children of divorce, spouses who did not want to get divorced, women who waited too long to have children, young women who wanted to abstain from sex, and more. Suffice it to say, the Sexual Revolution has harmed many people.Morse narrates how the state unleashed the Sexual Revolution, beginning with the Supreme Court contraception case Griswold v. Connecticut (1965). The Contraceptive Ideology predated this decision and played a large role in pushing the Court to change the law on contraception.
The author cites liberal attorney Leo Pfeffer and conservative historian Allan Carlson, who agreed that governments will consider contraception necessary once they have established welfare states — in order to prevent the subsidized poor from having children. Tragically, the U.S. government pushed contraception before Griswold, pushing contraception in post-World War II Japan and other foreign countries considered to be U.S. interests.
In the 1960s and 1970s, USAID started pushing contraception and abortion, thinking these "family planning" efforts would help other countries defeat poverty. These policies were also wrapped up with the ugly eugenics movement in America.
In order to downplay the ugly history of eugenics, contraception activists turned to the work of Alfred Kinsey, an academic who claimed that "up to" 67 to 98 percent of American men ha had premarital sex and that 69 percent of American males had at least one experience with a prostitute. His claims were shot down by other researchers, who exposed his shoddy methods. But the Rockefeller Foundation funded his research and sent his crackpot theories mainstream.
Planned Parenthood and its allies enjoyed connections to elites, and helped push the Court in the direction of legalizing contraception for anyone across the country.
Similarly, elite institutions and big donors pushed no-fault divorce, Morse argues. After Ronald Reagan signed the first no-fault divorce law in 1968, the American Law Institute (ALI), founded with support from the Carnegie Foundation, crafted model legislation to insert the state in between husbands and wives — and favor the spouse who wanted a divorce.
The ALI pushed for decriminalizing private sexual acts between consenting adults, a key plank that struck down states' ability to regulate obscene materials and contraception.
By 1974, all but five states had adopted a form of no-fault divorce.
Morse argues that no-fault divorce positions the power of the state on the side of whichever spouse least wants the marriage to continue. This damages spouses who are committed to the marriage, but it also damages children who do not grow up with both of their parents. It also empowers the government, which now mediates between divorced mothers and fathers.
The author argues that the claim "the kids will be all right" is propaganda. She cites the work of Judith Wallerstein, who found that divorce has a long-term impact on children — damaging their prospects for romantic relationships in adulthood. Similarly, the worries about husbands abusing wives are overblown, as studies have shown that women and children are more likely to be abused in cohabiting relationships than in marriage.Finally, Morse argues that the government and elites pushed the "Gender Ideology" — long before transgender identity went mainstream — in order to encourage women to be "ideal workers:" "a person who never takes time off, is never sick, whose mental and psychological focus is entirely on the job."
"We've built a society around the premise that our educated women must be permitted to time their 1.6 pregnancies right down to the minute when it's most convenient. But convenient for whom? All too often, it means the convenience of the employers, or the interests of the career path, or of those who hold the student debt which the young woman or young couple must pay down," Morse claims.
The author does not lament the fact that women have entered the "managerial class," highly paid professions which do not involve manual labor. She herself is a member of this class. Rather, she suggests that the pressures of work and the benefits of this class enable people to overlook the obvious differences between men and women.
"People who do manual labor aren't deluded for a moment that men and women are interchangeable," Morse quips. For this reason, men are vastly over-represented in the dangerous professions.
Women's involvement in the workforce need not be connected to the Sexual Revolution's Gender Ideology, the author argues. "I claim the right to participate in the labor market as women, not as men in skirts." She suggests that "educated women would be better off if they accepted that their fertility peaks during their twenties and planned their lives around this fact."
Morse lays out a basic life plan: Women should go to college for a liberal education, not a vocational one. They should get married and have kids early, using their higher educations to be involved in educating their kids. "Let your husbands support you. Trust them. Be grateful for them," and when the children are older, go back for an advanced degree and work.
Tragically, activists are pushing on all these issues and more. Morse discusses same-sex marriage in a chapter on the Gender Ideology. She recalls the battle over California's Proposition 8.
"The 'Yes on 8' campaign was arguably the largest grassroots campaign in history," she writes, noting that California's secretary of state website crashed because there were over 5,000 pages of contributors to the campaign. Yet modern "progressives" "took Proposition 8 to court on flimsy pretexts and rich people's money."
After Proposition 8 passed and the people had amended their constitution, California's attorney general refused to defend it. The people's will failed thanks to an effective pocket veto. in the case Hollingsworth v. Perry(2013), the Supreme Court ruled that proponents of ballot initiatives like Proposition 8 could not defend such laws in court, enabling Gov. Jerry Brown (D-Calif.) to resume same-sex marriage in the state. Now-Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) performed the first same-sex marriage after this ruling.As with Proposition 8, wealthy liberals continue to push Sexual Revolution issues, particularly abortion and contraception. George Soros and Warren Buffett continue to fund abortion groups, and they use their money to "shape political institutions so they can use the government to recreate the world in their own image and likeness," Morse alleges.
Importantly, the book notes that contraception carries health risks for women, and some studies have shown that hormonal contraception is as likely to cause cancer as smoking. "Smoking has been all but banned, tobacco companies have been sued, and smokers have been socially shunned," Morse writes. "By contrast, the government actively promotes the use of hormonal contraception while the media plays down the risks."
Abortion, often considered an alternative should contraception fail, also carries tremendous health risks to the mother, which medical associations keep secret for political reasons, the author argues. She also notes that wealthy donors funded abortion activists who convinced the Supreme Court to strike down Texas regulations treating abortion clinics like any other medical facility.
"When the people of Texas, acting through their duly elected state legislators, enacted health and safety legislation for abortion clinics, the elites of society knocked it down," Morse declares.
"The Sexual State" makes a compelling case that state power and wealthy elites pushed the Sexual Revolution, and people should fight back. While Morse does address LGBT issues, her book mostly focuses on the negative impacts the Sexual Revolution has had on family life, harming faithful spouses, children of divorce, and many others.
Morse, a Roman Catholic, presents a very Catholic view of these issues and champions the Catholic Church's approach. Her book was ill-fated to release shortly after the sexual abuse scandal broke, but her points still stand.
The book may be too polemical, but it raises important questions about the hidden harms of the Sexual Revolution and who benefits from this humongous social change.
"The Sexual State" is an important book for libertarians to wrestle with, as it presents a compelling case that big government benefits from the Sexual Revolution, and that marriage and family would help weaken the power of the state.
Posted on: Saturday, October 13, 2018
(October 13, 2018) Dr J is the keynote speaker at the Respect Life Conference in Meriden, Connecticut. She gave two talks; this is the first one, "Understanding the Sexual Revolution," on what the sexual revolution is, its underlying ideologies, and how it moves forward. Stay tuned for her second talk in our regular podcast stream.
Posted on: Wednesday, October 10, 2018
(October 10, 2018) Dr J gives her life in books she's authored as a 10-minute presentation at Business Network International. More information available in our store, but here's the list:
Posted on: Friday, May 25, 2018
(May 25, 2018) Dr J is one of the speakers at the Asociación LAR México conference in Monterrey, Mexico. Now in their 9th year, the theme this time around is "The Challenges of the Family Today." Dr J gave three talks, and this is the first, on "Understanding the Sexual Revolution and the Contraceptive Ideology." Stay tuned for the other two.
Lar, which means "home" in Spanish, is part of the larger IFFD, the International Federation for Family Development.Powerpoint slides from this presentation are also available.
Posted on: Monday, April 30, 2018
by Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse
First published April 11, 2018, at The Stream.
Kevin Williamson has been summarily dismissed from The Atlantic. The editor says it was because Williamson advocated that the law should treat abortion as murder. But this is hardly a full explanation of the full social process around this disturbing incident. Williamson did not express that view in The Atlantic’s pages: His opponents resurrected it from a 4-year-old podcast. If the editors at The Atlantic really wanted a “big tent,” (their supposed reason for engaging Williamson in the first place) they could have found dozens of more moderate pro-life advocates.
No, something else is afoot. Let me explain it. This will take more than 144 characters. Bear with me.
Suppose you are a woman, and a recent college graduate. You aspire to a career in journalism. You are having sex with someone you would not want to marry. Maybe he is married to someone else. Maybe he is hopelessly immature, narcissistic, and/or self-absorbed. But since you are using contraception, you figure its ok.
Then, the unthinkable-statistically-unlikely-but-still-non-zero-probability-event takes place. You get pregnant. You now have four choices:
The choice you make now will shape your belief system for a long time. There are roughly two paths:
I think you’ll agree that the woman or couple that chooses life for their child is less likely to support abortion, either before or after that decision. Likewise, many, many women who abort their children become convinced or were already convinced, that abortion is a necessity. They come to believe that even if it is a killing, it is a justifiable killing, and not murder at all. Their experience either establishes this belief or confirms and reinforces it.
Here is why this is relevant to Kevin Williamson.
Which women, making which choice, are more likely to land a job at a prestigious publication like The Atlantic? Women who have their babies? Or women who abort?
In general, the woman with child-care responsibilities is at a competitive disadvantage compared with the woman who does not. This is especially true during the early career-building phase. (This period of life just happens to be near the peak of a woman’s natural fertility. Which produces another whole set of problems. But I digress.)
I don’t say that a woman who has a baby shortly after college could never have a successful career in journalism. I just say it is unlikely. In fact, I will say something even stronger: In the social universe as it is today, delayed child-bearing is the price of entry into the professions. Contraception, backed up by abortion, is necessary for women to compete. The United States Supreme Court said as much in its decision in Planned Parenthood v. Casey , back in 1992. (I hasten to add: this is not the only possible social environment in which women can participate in higher education and the professions: it is just the one our culture has created using the abortion license as its touchstone. But I digress.)
That is why mainstream journalism is dominated by people who believe passionately in unlimited abortion. Their lives as they know them, depend upon it. Likewise, pro-choice women professors dominate the academy, including the legal academy.
One exception proves the general rule. Some women who have abortions later become pro-life. These women conclude that they have committed a murder and regret it, sometimes immediately, sometimes after the passage of time. The professional literature on post-abortion mental health confirms this. We have known since the 1990’s that at least 10% of post-abortive women, and possibly as many as 30%, experience regret serious enough to cause mental health issues.
But we seldom hear about these women outside of publications dedicated to the pro-life position. Men are reluctant to say much about women’s feelings about abortion. And the women sociologists and statisticians, who are could study such things are, more than likely, women who cannot relate to such regrets.
It takes a rare warrior like Dr. Priscilla Coleman to study mental health complications associated with abortion. Her fellow academics either don’t want to study the subject or dedicate themselves to tearing her down. Journalists who might cover her studies have no interest in publicizing such results.
Note: I am NOT saying that women professionals conspire to hide or distort evidence, or to drive dissenters from their midst. I AM saying that people who have similar incentives are likely to engage in similar behaviors and hold similar beliefs. They don’t need to plot and scheme and conspire. They study and write about topics that interest them, that they find compelling and believable. The public, in turn, concludes “women are pro-choice” if the women they see in public positions are pro-choice.
There are plenty of pro-life women, some with advanced degrees and great accomplishments to their credit. Anyone who has hung around the pro-life movement knows that women dominate it. But: Women who value their children more than their careers are at a disadvantage in the competition for high-status, high-visibility jobs.
This is all we need to know about why people with pro-abortion views dominate the professions.
And that is why The Atlantic fired Kevin Williamson.
Posted on: Friday, April 07, 2017
Despite the predictable flurry of sugary clichés and hedonistic consumerism, Valentine’s Day is as good an opportunity as any to reflect on the nature of human love and consider how we might further it across society.
For those of us interested in the study of economics, or, if you prefer, the study of human action, what drives such action — love or otherwise —is the starting point for everything. For the Christian economist, such questions get a bit more complicated.
Although love is clearly at the center, our understanding of what that looks like is interconnected with and interdependent on the love of God, which persistently yanks our typical economist sensibilities about “prosperity,” “happiness,” and “quality of life” into transcendent territory (never mind those convenient buckets of “self-interest” and “sacrifice”). The marketplace is flooded with worldly spin-offs, as plenty of cockeyed V-Day ditties and run-of-the-mill romantic comedies are quick to demonstrate. At a time when libertine, self-centered approaches appear to be the routine winners in everything from consumerism to self-help to sex, we should be especially careful that our economic thinking doesn’t also fall prey to such distortions.
In her book Love and Economics: It Takes a Family to Raise a Village, Jennifer Roback Morse cautions against such tendencies, pointing us in the right direction and challenging us to reconsider our basic views about human needs and human potential.
Morse begins with a critique of homo economicus (economic man), the understanding of man as Supreme Calculator, capable of number-crunching his way to happiness and fulfillment on the basis of cut-and-dry cost/benefit analysis. Such a view ignores the social and spiritual side of the human person, excusing away our thoughts and affections at the mercy of of a cold, limiting, earthbound order. As Rev. Robert Sirico puts it, “Any man who was only economic man would be a lost soul. And any civilization that produced only homines economici to fill its markets, courts, legislative bodies, and other institutions would soon enough be a lost civilization.”
To demonstrate the inadequacy of the common caricature, Morse points us to human infanthood, a uniquely universal human experience in supreme dependency and irrationality. “We are not born as rational, choosing agents, able to defend ourselves and our property, able to negotiate contracts and exchanges,” she writes. “We are born as dependent babies, utterly incapable of meeting our own needs—or even of knowing what our needs are. As infants, we do not know what is good or safe. We even resist sleep in spite of being so exhausted we cannot hold our heads up. We are completely dependent on others for our very survival.”
As Morse goes on to remind us, the other side of this dependence — a nurturing family environment — is not an automatic given, and our response (or non-response) proves the economic man hypothesis to be dangerously incomplete (while also countering Rousseau’s view of the “state of nature”).
To demonstrate her case, she looks to extreme situations wherein the family has been entirely removed, focusing specifically on child abandonment and the attachment disorder that so often follows:
The classic case of attachment disorder is a child who does not care what anyone thinks of him. The disapproval of others does not deter this child from bad behavior because no other person, even someone who loves him very much, matters to the child. He responds only to physical punishment and to the suspension of privileges. The child does whatever he thinks he can get away with, no matter the cost to others. He does not monitor his own behavior, so authority figures must constantly be wary of him and watch him. He lies if he thinks it is advantageous to life. He steals if he can get away with it. He may go through the motions of offering affection, but people who live with him sense in him a kind of phoniness. He shows no regret at hurting another person, though he may offer perfunctory apologies.
Here we find a peculiar integration of economic man and noble savage, a child “untouched by corrupting adult influences” who seeks only to meet his own temporal human needs, regardless of the social costs. As Morse summarizes, to avoid a society filled with such disorder, we must ground ourselves in something far more powerful and grounded and transcendent than self-centered individualism. “The desperate condition of the abandoned child shows us that we have, all along, been counting on something to hold society together, something more than the mutual interests of autonomous individuals,” she writes. “We have taken that something else for granted, and hence, overlooked it, even though it has been under our noses all along. That missing element is none other than love.”
Thus, before we get too deep into all the important Hayekian questions about knowledge and decision-making, proceeding to dichotomize between a centralized governmental Mother Brain and “better,” “morerational” individualistic mini-brains, we should pause and remember that without love properly defined and vigorously pursued, human holes will surely remain.
Whatever form of magical super-rationalism we humans might be able to concoct, whether through governments or markets or otherwise, without the love of God and the corresponding building blocks of relationship and family and community, our stomachs will continue to growl and the social stew will continue to fester. Without transcendent obedience and a willingness to sacrifice our own convenience and temporal, transactional notions about prosperity, happiness, and human fulfillment, society at large will slowly yield to false caricatures about human needs and the corresponding solutions.
“Love is from God,” writes the Apostle John, “and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.” This is what we should strive for: to be born of God and to know God, from the way we respond to a baby’s first breath to the way we cultivate our families and communities to the way we conduct ourselves in our daily work across the economic order.
This Valentine’s Day, let us remember that love is much more than the sentimentality and self-gratification that consumes our culture. Love is what holds society together, and that means fewer self-centered sonnets to faux self-empowerment, and more covenantal worship and service across society. Whether as spouses or parents, neighbors or strangers, we remain children of the King, created in the image of a God who so loved that he gave.
Posted on: Tuesday, February 21, 2017
Young people are clueless about how quickly their fertility ebbs away
The News Story: Want to Empower Women Worldwide? Give Them Access to Contraceptives
“Like most women I know, I have used contraceptives for many years,” Melinda Gates wrote for National Geographic last week. She and her husband’s decisions about if and when to get pregnant were “made based on what was right for me and what was right for our family.”
But not all women are so “lucky,” Gates continues to say. “There are still over 225 million women around the world who don’t have access to the modern contraceptives they need to make these decisions for themselves.” To remedy this problem, Gates co-chaired a global summit in 2012 that brought together leaders from around the world to commit to a goal of getting 120 million more women access to modern contraceptives by the year 2020. So far, that initiative is failing—at the halfway point in 2016, only 24 million additional women had received the life-changing miracle drugs that Gates so praises.
One thing that Gates leaves out of the discussion of the wonders of modern family planning is what happens when biology doesn’t cooperate with family plans. And in a recent study of yet another dying Western nation with exactly the type of access that Gates wants, researchers found that the contraceptive mentality can so infiltrate our mindsets that we ignore reality. Perhaps we should pause before we eagerly hand out the pills around the globe.
(Sources: Melinda Gates, “Opinion: Want to Empower Women Worldwide? Give Them Access to Contraceptives,” National Geographic, February 3, 2017.)
The New Research: Sterile Fantasies
Affiliated with Denmark’s Copenhagen University, Metropolitan University, and Zealand University, the authors of a new study probe young Danes’ understanding of reproductive biology in large part because of their concern about the number of young people in Western countries, including their own, who are delaying parenthood—often until well into their 30s.
Inevitably, fertility delayed often translates into fertility denied. The authors of the new study understandably highlight delayed parenthood as a reason for the “decline in total fertility rate (TFR) [that] has been seen in OECD [Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development] countries, where the average TFR dropped from 2.7 to 1.7” between 1970 and 2009. With a Total Fertility Rate now at 1.69, Denmark appears quite typical of affluent Western nations with fertility well below the Zero Population Growth level of 2.1 lifetime births per woman.
Beyond the social and economic issues inherent in the sub-replacement fertility it fosters, postponed parenthood brings a number of other troubling problems. The authors of the new study point out that “higher maternal age is . . . associated with an increase in pregnancy-related complications and adverse outcome in the offspring such as prematurity and foetal death” and that higher paternal age predicts an increased risk of “pregnancy outcomes such as miscarriage.” Twenty-first-century medicine does give couples who have delayed parenthood the option of medically assisted reproduction (MAR), but the Danish researchers stress that “the biological decline in fertility by advanced parental age cannot fully be compensated for by MAR, and consequently society as a whole is affected.” What is more, the researchers worry about “the psychological strain of undergoing fertility treatment,” giving as a reason for particular concern a Finish study finding an alarmingly high rate of psychiatric hospitalization among women whose MAR treatment had not resulted in childbirth.
Given the negative consequences of delayed parenthood for fertility and pregnancy, the authors of the new study regard it as desirable to determine whether “general lack of fertility knowledge, including the age-related decline in fertility, may also be a central and contributing factor.” To determine the level of fertility knowledge among young Danes, the researchers surveyed 517 male and female students enrolled at the Metropolitan University College in Copenhagen. The data collected from these students intensified rather than allayed concerns about whether young Danes delaying parenthood really understand the consequences.
Overall, the researchers find that the young Danes they surveyed “generally lacked knowledge on fertility issues,” with “no substantial differences between the two genders.” This lack of knowledge about fertility surfaces on a number of matters. For instance, most of the young Danes surveyed did not realize how soon and how markedly a woman’s fertility declines. The Danish researchers report that “half of both genders thought a slight age-related decline in female fertility has its onset beyond the age of 30 years (correct answer: 25–29 years).” Even more fundamental misunderstanding appears among the “more than 35% [of students surveyed who] believed that a marked decrease [in female fertility] does not occur until 40 years of age (correct answer: 35–39 years).” Astonishingly, more than 10% of the Danish students surveyed believed that a marked decline in fertility does not occur until age 45!
Ignorance about natural fertility among the Danish students was matched by their ignorance about possibilities of Medically Assisted Reproduction (MAR): the researchers report that the success rate of MAR was “grossly overestimated” by both male and female students: “the majority [of the students surveyed in this study] . . . overestimated the probability of achieving a child from IVF treatment,” with 55% of males and 69% of students pegging the probability too high, many of them quite markedly too high. (The actual success rate for MAR runs less than 30%.)
The Danish researchers see this unfortunate situation manifest in “other studies [that] have time and again found similar limited knowledge [about fertility] among university students” in Europe and the United States. The researchers find this widespread ignorance of fundamental fertility issues to be “of particular concern, as a sizable percentage of [young people] intend to have their last child at the age of 35 years or older, whe[n] a marked decline in female fertility is a reality.”
With good reasons, the Danish scholars fear that “both men and women are making the decision to postpone parenthood without being aware of possible consequences.” The authors of this new study call for measures “to increase knowledge and awareness of reproductive health” among young people. Unfortunately, among young people for whom parenthood has become a secondary or even tertiary priority—whether in Copenhagen, Cairo, Cape Town, or Calgary—desire for such knowledge may yield to stronger desire for illusions.
(Source: Bryce Christensen and Nicole M. King, forthcoming in “New Research,” The Natural Family 31.1 . Study: Nina Olsén Sørensen et al., “Fertility Awareness and Attitudes towards Parenthood among Danish University College Students,” Reproductive Health 13 : 146, Web.)
Nicole M. King is the Managing Editor of The Family in America. Republished from The Family in America, a MercatorNet partner site, with permission.
Posted on: Friday, January 13, 2017
(November 21, 2016) Dr J was invited to speak at the Altar Society in Lake Charles on the work and history of the Ruth Institute.Listen
Posted on: Tuesday, January 10, 2017
(January 10, 2017) Dr J traveled to Phoenix to participate in the Courage Conference, a Roman Catholic organization dedicated to helping persons with same-sex attraction live chaste lives and seek holiness. Her topic was "Understanding the Sexual Revolution."
She also fielded a brief Q&A session after the her talk; that's available to listen to as well.
Posted on: Tuesday, August 16, 2016
First published August 11, 2016 at heymiller.com and will be in the
NATIONAL REVIEW August 29, 2016.
“It’s a discouraging time to be a social conservative,” says Jennifer Roback Morse. “We’ve been marginalized everywhere: the media, the academy, the legal system, and now even in politics.”
Many of her brethren know exactly what Morse means. Everywhere they look, it seems, they’re on the defensive. The Supreme Court just overturned abortion restrictions in the states and has mandated gay marriage everywhere. The Republican presidential nominee, usually a conduit for their ideas, rarely addresses their concerns. Their numbers may be shrinking, too: The percentage of Americans who describe themselves as social conservatives has fallen from 42 percent in 2009 to just 31 percent last year. This is the lowest rate the Gallup Poll has ever recorded.
Yet Morse concedes nothing. “The cause of truth is never lost,” she says. “Hope is not a plan or a strategy. It’s a supernatural virtue.”
She might benefit from a bit of divine intervention. As the founder and leader of the Ruth Institute, a small nonprofit organization, Morse has taken up a difficult vocation: “We’re trying to create a social movement that supports people harmed by divorce, the hook-up culture, and other aspects of the sexual revolution,” she says.
People call her “Dr. J” — a reference to her Ph.D. in economics, a background that allows her to bring an uncommon perspective to debates over everything from women in the work force to transgender bathroom access. She writes a weekly column, gives radio interviews, and travels the world; I caught up with her in June, when she had just returned from a ten-day trip to Australia and was getting ready for a couple of speeches in Grand Rapids, Mich.
Morse refuses to speak in code. She mixes her moral sensibility and economics training to produce a bracing candor that listeners tend to find either plucky or abrasive. Here’s how she talks about single motherhood, for example: “There’s no such thing as a single parent. They’ve become dependent on other people in commercial transactions, such as their employers and child-care providers. A single mother may look like she’s doing so much ‘on her own,’ but she has merely commercialized the things the father would have done.”
This style of rhetoric has the power both to attract and to repel potential converts to the cause of social conservatism — and behind these words lies not only an unequivocal voice but also a fascinating story of personal conversion from anything-goes libertarianism to strait-laced conservatism.
Born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, the 62-year-old Morse attended Oberlin College in the early 1970s and then transferred to Ohio State University, shedding the Catholicism of her youth and discovering the free-market thinking that would form the initial basis of her professional life. “I was attracted to the way it explained the world,” she says. By the time she was a graduate student at the University of Rochester, she had become attached to libertarianism in its most freewheeling forms. “I was deeply committed to all of it, even legalized prostitution,” she says.
She also had an abortion. “I regretted it right away,” she says. “I was in a marriage that I knew was a mistake and I was scared that I wouldn’t be a good mother.” She divorced her husband, earned her Ph.D., and threw herself into the politics of the Libertarian party, even joining its platform committee and cheering the presidential candidacy of Ed Clark in 1980. The abortion continued to haunt her, however. “I had night terrors and anniversary anxiety,” she says. “I went to counseling but none of the counselors said that maybe the abortion had something to do with my troubles.”
As a young woman with a doctorate in economics and a devotion to free-market philosophy, Morse was a rare commodity. “I was often the only girl in the room,” she says. The legendary public-choice economist James Buchanan tried to recruit her to Virginia Tech, where he was then teaching. She turned his offer down in favor of a post at Yale. By 1985, however, Buchanan had moved on to George Mason University in northern Virginia, where he was assembling an impressive faculty of latter-day Adam Smiths (and where he would win the Nobel Prize in 1986). He remembered the impressive young lady from several years before and once again offered her a job. This time, she accepted.
Morse’s academic career looked bright. “She was a sharp colleague and an excellent scholar,” says Walter Williams, a longtime member of GMU’s economics department. She was happily remarried, too. “I had it all planned out,” she says. “I was going to get tenure and have a baby, and we were going to make sure the baby came at the end of one school year so that I could deliver and be ready for the start of the next school year. I thought I was in complete control and that I could choose everything.”
She got tenure but failed to get pregnant, let alone on the precise timetable she had imagined. A year went by and then another. The abortion still disturbed her and she began to wonder if she had missed her one chance at motherhood. “I was panicked,” she says.
Looking for solace, Morse started to attend early-morning Mass at a Catholic church. Then she went to confession, which she had not done in years. “The priest understood right away how the abortion was weighing on me,” she says. “I started to calm down.” She finally made a full return to the faith of her youth. “I realized that I didn’t have to get all of the things that I wanted.” One day, as she walked down the baby-food aisle of a grocery store — “an experience,” she points out, “that can be emotionally hard for childless women” — it occurred to her that she could be a mother without having a baby. She and her husband could adopt.
“Then something unlikely happened,” she says. In 1991, as the couple entered the advanced stages of adoption, she became pregnant. In April, they brought home a boy from Romania. In October, Morse gave birth to a daughter.
With the Romanian adoption, they thought they were not only aiding a child but also doing their part to help a struggling nation realign itself after the fall of Communism. What they didn’t anticipate was a two-year-old with disabilities. “From birth, he had almost never left his crib,” says Morse. “He had serious developmental needs. What he needed most was a mommy. To put him in day care would have been cruel. He didn’t need a mother substitute. I was already that.” They named him Nick. “He convinced me that children require parents. This is the great insight of my life!” she says, laughing. “Somebody’s got to say it.”
So she tried to balance the demands of work and home, teaching courses on microeconomics and researching the economic history of the Civil War while also looking after her kids. “I could have stayed at GMU forever,” she says. Yet her husband wanted to leave. “He didn’t like Washington, D.C. The old me would have said, ‘I’m not going — not unless I get an academic position somewhere.’ But that was no way to live.” So she quit her job.
The family moved to California, first to Silicon Valley and later to San Diego. Without a job, Morse spent more time with her kids, and especially with her son, who required extra attention. They also opened their home to eight foster children. “As this was going on, I was losing my libertarianism — or rather, it was losing me,” says Morse. “Without strong families, you can’t have free markets or limited government. Instead, you get ‘The Life of Julia.’” This is a reference to a slide-show advertisement from President Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign that treated a fictitious woman’s cradle-to-grave dependence on government as a triumph of progressivism.
The intellectual dissonance became personal when one of the leading lights of libertarian economics — Morse’s mentor, James Buchanan — publicly disapproved of her decisions. The showdown came in 1997, at the 50th-anniversary meeting of the Mont Pelerin Society, a prestigious organization of classical liberals founded by F. A. Hayek. Morse had been asked to deliver remarks at a confab in Switzerland. She didn’t want to take time away from her family, so she wrote a paper. William Campbell of Louisiana State University presented it.
There is no transcript or recording of the session — at least none that I could track down — but several witnesses described what happened. During a discussion period, Buchanan spoke. “I don’t remember exactly what he said, but it had something to do with throwing away a career to do a minor thing like raise a family,” says Edwin J. Feulner, the longtime head of the Heritage Foundation who was at the time also the society’s president. “A few years before he had told me that Jennifer was one of his star protégés.” Father Robert A. Sirico of the Acton Institute also was there. “Jim didn’t speak for long, but he made clear that he was disappointed in her.” (Buchanan died in 2013.)
Back in the United States, Morse heard about the incident from friends and colleagues. Today, she doesn’t want to say much about Buchanan’s comments — they still sting — but she offers this much: “He was very good to me until he wasn’t.”
During those years, Morse was slowly writing a book. Love & Economics came out in 2001. “My understanding of the human person and society had been deeply influenced by free-market economics and libertarian political theory, which have shaped my entire adult working life,” she wrote. “As I came to realize how much I had overlooked, I concluded that my profession was overlooking much as well.” It had forgotten about the vulnerability of children and the need for families: “Without loving families, no society can long govern itself.”
These words set the stage for the second part of her career. In 2008, as her kids approached adulthood, Morse found herself with more time for travel and activism. She started the Ruth Institute, envisioning it as a way to help her talk to young women. “I wanted to warn them about the careerist trap,” she says. “It’s okay to get married, stay married, and do something later. You don’t have to get on the career bandwagon.”
She spoke on campuses around the country but soon, like so many social conservatives, found herself embroiled in the gay-marriage debate. At first, she tasted success as part of the team that pushed for Proposition 8, the ballot proposal in California to ban gay marriage, which voters approved. Then judges struck it down in what became a series of rapid legal defeats, culminating in the Supreme Court’s Obergefell ruling last year.
“We learned that making a correct argument doesn’t matter to the Supreme Court,” says Morse, who departed California and moved to Louisiana last year. “It’s not listening to reason and evidence. So we need a new strategy, one that focuses on the entire sexual revolution, not just the gay parts. That’s my mission now — to tell the truth about how the sexual revolution oppresses us.”
Divorce is a favorite topic. “Nobody talks about it, but this is an issue of justice for the child,” she says. She ticks off statistics about the children of divorced parents: They’re more likely to fall behind in school, abuse drugs and alcohol, and think about suicide. “This is the number-one lie of the sexual revolution: Kids are resilient. No, they’re not.”
And though she ended her first marriage, Morse won’t shy away from criticizing others who make the same choice. “We didn’t have kids and I got an annulment,” she says. “I’m not a hypocrite. I’m penitent. Divorce has harmed lots of people and those people have harmed lots of people. We have to say this. Modern society tries to make guilt go away by saying nothing is ever wrong — that there’s no right or wrong at all — and that’s not true.”
The most important thing social conservatives can do right now, she says, is persevere. “It’s as if we’ve lost a war and now we live in an occupied country. What did people in Communist Poland do? They resisted.” She brings up the example of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, the dissident writer in the old Soviet Union. “He may have thought he was in a minority of one, but then he started writing and people read him,” she says. “I believe that millions of people agree with us, even Democrats who are sick of a culture that’s saturated in pornography and the sexualization of children — as well as people who have survived the sexual revolution and are willing to tell the whole story. Is it really so hard to say that children are entitled to parents? This is the birthright of every child, not an impossible dream.” She pauses, then concludes: “When nothing is politically possible, you don’t need to trim sails. You can just tell the truth.”
Posted on: Wednesday, August 03, 2016
by Jennifer Roback Morse
This article was first published July 23, 2016, at The Blaze.
Earlier this week, the Ruth Institute sent a letter of commendation and 24 white roses to Charles Chaput, the Archbishop of Philadelphia.
Our letter thanked him for “his clear teaching on marriage, family and human sexuality in the Pastoral Guidelines for Implementing Amoris Laetitia in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.”
With all the excitement of the political conventions, why would we spend our time sending flowers to an archbishop? We want to shine the spotlight on the positive things people are doing to build up society.
The archbishop’s guidelines restate the Ancient Teachings of Christianity regarding marriage, family and human sexuality. These teachings are obscured today. No less a theological heavy weight than the mayor of Philadelphia castigated the archbishop, saying the Guidelines were un-Christian!
To be fair to Mayor Jim Kenny, we have to admit that the publication of Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation, Amoris Laetitia, has caused worldwide confusion over Catholic teaching on marriage. Yelling at the pope has become a new cottage industry among tradition-minded Catholic writers. Pulling his words into a sexually indulgent direction has become a cottage industry among progressives of all faiths. And trying to parse out what he really meant has been a full employment guarantee for everyone.
Rather than getting involved in all that, we want to call attention to people who are implementing the unbroken teaching of the Church in a vibrant manner. Focus on what we know to be true and good. Archbishop Chaput’s Guidelines provide a clear and practical statement of ancient Catholic teaching, in the spirit of genuine mercy, incorporating language from Amoris Laetitia.
I believe that these teachings are correct, good and humane. I founded the Ruth Institute for the purpose of promoting those teachings to the widest audience possible. I don’t believe these things because I am a Catholic. On the contrary. It is precisely because I came to believe in these teachings that I returned to the practice of the Catholic faith after a 12-year lapse.
Let me discuss just one issue that has caused a lot of hand-wringing in the past 2 years. Jesus told us very clearly that remarriage after divorce is not possible. If attempted, it amounts to adultery. Why? According to Jesus, Moses only permitted a man to issue a bill of divorce because of “the hardness of your hearts.” (This is the Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 19, in case you were wondering.)
At that point, he could have said, “So, I’m going to eliminate this appalling male privilege and allow women to divorce their husbands, exactly like Moses allowed men to divorce their wives.” However, he did no such thing. He didn’t extend the male privilege. He eliminated it entirely. “From the beginning it was not so,” referring back to God’s original plan for creation. “I tell you, anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.” One of the “hard sayings” of Jesus, no doubt. But pretty darn clear.
(And please: don’t trouble me with that so-called loophole, ok? The real innovation in modern no-fault divorce law is that it allows an adulterer to get a divorce against the wishes of the innocent party. No sane person can argue that Jesus provided that “loophole” to allow the guilty party to validly remarry.)
The Church teaches that civilly divorced and remarried Catholics cannot receive communion because she is trying to implement this teaching of Jesus. A civilly divorced and remarried person is living with, and presumably having sex with someone, while still validly married to someone else. If the first marriage is still valid, the second attempted marriage is not valid, and is in fact, adulterous. What is so hard to understand about that?
You know who really understands this concept, who intuitively “gets it?” Children of divorce. Kids look into their parents’ bedroom and see someone who doesn’t belong there. “Who is this guy in bed with my mom: my dad is supposed to be there.” Or, “who is this woman in bed with my dad? My mom is supposed to be there.”
At the Ruth Institute, we know there are situations in which married couples must separate for the safety of the family. But we also know that those cases are by far not the majority of cases. No-fault divorce says a person can get divorced for any reason or no reason, and the government will take sides with the party who wants the marriage the least. The government will permit that person to remarry, against the wishes of their spouse and children.
This is an obvious injustice that no one in our society will talk about. The children of divorce are socially invisible. In fact, I bet some of them felt like crying when they read my paragraph above quoting with approval, what might have gone through their little minds. Many of them have never heard an adult affirm their feelings that something dreadfully wrong and unjust took place in their families.
Jesus knew. Jesus was trying to keep us from hurting ourselves and each other. And the Catholic Church has been trying to implement Jesus’ teaching. You may say the Church has been imperfect in her attempts and I won’t argue with you. But I will say that no one else is even seriously trying.
Political campaigns come and go. Political parties come and go. In fact, nations themselves come and go. But the teachings of Jesus are forever. What we do about marriage and children and love reveals what and whom we truly love.
That is why we congratulate Archbishop Charles Chaput for his guidelines. We wish the Archdiocese all the very best. Make Marriage Great Again.
Posted on: Monday, July 11, 2016
by Jennifer Roback Morse
This article was first posted at The Blaze on July 5, 2016.
So a radical feminist and two childless women walk into a courtroom. How do you expect them to rule on abortion or contraception? Their lives as they know them, depend on both.
In Whole Woman’s Health vs. Hellerstedt, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a Texas law regulating abortion clinics as if they were any ordinary medical facility. You have no doubt heard that this was somehow a victory for women, in the ongoing and everlasting War Against Women.
Actually, I believe there is no War Against Women, but a long-standing War Among Women. And this time, like most of the time, Elite Women prevail over “Everywoman.”
Consider the three women currently serving on the U.S. Supreme Court. Whose interests do these women actually represent?
The most senior female member of the court is Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a lifelong radical feminist. Let’s look for a moment at her personal life. Justice Ginsburg had the lifelong support of her husband in her career aspirations. Thanks to no-fault divorce, women today cannot count on a lifetime of mutual support with their husbands.
Justice Ginsburg came of age in the short historical window of time when women could still get married, have kids, go to law school, and have a career after child-bearing. Her two children were born when she was 22 and 32, in 1955 and 1965 respectively.
Thanks to radical feminism, highly educated women have a much more difficult time doing these things. They can go to law school and have a career all right. But getting married and having children sometime before menopause, not so much. Justice Ginsburg has been safely insulated from the negative fallout of the Sexual Revolution which she and her radical feminist colleagues did so much to champion.
The other two women on the Supreme Court, Justices Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor, are childless.
It is highly unlikely that the two of them understand the aspirations of women who want their babies and stable marriages. For most women, family is everything and “career” is a way to put food on the table. Elite women know nothing of Everywoman, the people who have endured the Sexual Revolution, and who do not have high status jobs as compensation.
I am acutely aware of all this because I am a bit of an outlier among my educational class. That is a fancy way of saying I am a freak. I left a tenured university position back in 1996 to give more attention to my children who needed me, and my husband who wanted me and who I, in turn, wanted. No one gives up tenure. Believe me. My friends quietly thought I had lost my mind, except for one dear friend who told me I was a counter-cultural radical.
I had been in line to become the head of my department. Obviously, that didn’t happen. I never sat on any prestigious commissions. I haven’t received a plum political appointment like my childless or male peers have. Mind you, I’m not complaining. I do not regret my choices for a moment. I have encountered plenty of other women with advanced degrees who have made similar choices with no regrets.
No, my point is different. Delayed childbearing is the price of entering the professional classes. Tenacious focus is the price of remaining in the upper echelons of those classes. Placing a high personal value on life, marriage, family and the next generation puts a woman at a disadvantage in the competition for high-end jobs.
Put another way, childless women have an advantage over mothers in the competition for power and influence. For many elite women, the Sexual Revolution has made possible their lives as they know them. They literally cannot imagine what their lives would be like without contraception, or without abortion as an easy back-up.
The Sexual Revolution has been an imposition by the elites upon the masses. From the beginning, it is the people of modest means who have suffered from no-fault divorce, and hook-ups and instability and relationship churning and non-marital childbearing.
The Everyman and Everywoman regularly vote for lawmakers who promote pro-life legislation. But elites in the judiciary consistently overturn it. And that is what happens when a radical feminist and two childless women walk into a courtroom.
Posted on: Tuesday, June 21, 2016
by Jennifer Roback Morse
This article was first posted at The Blaze on June 1, 2016.
The image from the Huffington Post staff meeting created an immediate backlash for editor Liz Heron’s rhetorical question: “Notice anything about this Huffington Post editors’ meeting?”
Unlike many of the internet commentators, I am not interested in the ethnic diversity or ideological hypocrisy of the Huffington Post. All these editors appear to be twenty-somethings, thirty-somethings at most, with the possible exception of Heron herself. To me, this photo illustrates the most poignant sociological fact of our time: Delayed child-bearing is the price of entry into the professional classes.
Look at these eager young faces. These young ladies have high hopes for their lives.
An editors’ meeting at Huffington Post. Editor Liz Heron tweeted: “Notice anything about this Huffington Post editors’ meeting?” (Twitter)
They believe that by landing this great job, they are set. Once they are established in their careers, then and only then, can they think seriously about marriage and motherhood. They do not realize that they are giving themselves over to careers during their peak fertility years, with the expectation that somehow, someday, they can “have it all.”
They are being sold a cynical lie.
Here is the bargain we professional women have been making: “We want to participate in higher education and the professions. As the price of doing so, we agree to chemically neuter ourselves during our peak child-bearing years with various types of birth control. Then, when we are finally financially and socially ready for motherhood, we agree to subject ourselves to invasive, degrading and possibly dangerous fertility treatments.”
I am no longer willing to accept this bargain. These arrangements are not pro-woman. They are simply anti-fertility. Any woman who wants to be a mother, including giving birth to her own children, taking care of her own children, and loving their father, needs a better way. Until now, we have been adapting our bodies to the university and the market. I say, we should respect our bodies enough to demand that the university and the market adapt to us and our bodies.
We cannot expect much help from establishment publications like Huff Po, establishment institutions like the Ivy League and Seven Sisters schools, and certainly not from the government.
Huffington Post is a consistent cheerleader for the sexual revolution. They have a whole page devoted to divorce. They have a regular Friday feature called “Blended Family Friday,” in which “we spotlight a stepfamily to learn how they’ve worked to bring their two families together. Our hope is that by telling their stories, we’ll bring you closer to blended family bliss in your own life!” And they are enlisting twenty-somethings to sell their propaganda.
I wonder how many of the young ladies seated at that Huff Po editors meeting have ever heard of abortion regret or considered the topic worthy of their attention? I wonder how many of them believe that hooking up is harmless, as long as you use a condom. I wonder how many of them have ever heard that hormonal contraception – especially implants and vaginal rings – increase the risk of strokes and heart attacks.
I wonder if any of them wish for a guy who would dote on them, and act like he really truly cares. I wonder if they have ever chided themselves for being too clingy when a relationship ended, without realizing that bonding to your sex partner is perfectly normal.
I wonder how many of them realize how unlikely childbirth after 40 really is? A recent study of IVF in Australia looked at the chance of a live birth for initiated cycles. Don’t look at the bogus “pregnancy rate:” IVF pregnancies are 4-5 times more likely to end in stillbirth. And don’t be taken in by the “pregnancy per embryo transfer.” Plenty of women initiate cycles but do not successfully make it to the embryo transfer stage.
The average Australian woman aged 41-42 years old had a 5.8 percent chance of having a live birth per initiated cycle. And women over 45 have a 1.1 per cent chance of having a live birth per initiated cycle — which is almost a 99 percent chance of failure every time.
Yes, Huffington Post is an opinion-making and opinion-leading organization. And yes, it is not right for a bunch of white, privileged childless twenty-something
women to be having such an outsized influence on public opinion. But for now, let’s give a thought to these young ladies themselves. They are being
sold a bill of goods. It is up to us, as adults, to warn them.
Posted on: Wednesday, June 15, 2016
(June 15, 2016) Dr J is once again Drew Mariani's guest on his show on the Relevant Radio network. They're discussing the effects of the sexual revolution on women.Listen
Posted on: Friday, June 10, 2016
(June 9, 2016) Dr J fields questions after addressing law students participating in the Alliance Defending Freedom's Blackstone Legal Fellowship. If you missed her talks on the family as the foundation of society and the agenda of the modern sexual revolution, check out our podcast stream.
Posted on: Monday, May 30, 2016
An Australian study came out
with success rates for women over 40, using their own fresh (that is, not frozen from years before) eggs. The figures are shocking:
The latest, Australian-only numbers given to Four Corners by the industry show the chance of a live delivery for initiated cycles by all age groups for the year 2013.
The numbers for women older than 40, who are trying to collect and fertilise their own eggs, are extremely low.
The average Australian woman aged 41-42 years old has a 5.8 per cent chance of having a live birth per initiated cycle.
If you're 43-44 years old, you have a 2.7 per cent chance of having a live birth per initiated cycle.
And if you are over 45, you have a 1.1 per cent chance of having a live birth per initiated cycle — which is almost a 99 per cent chance of failure every time.If you are a twenty-something planning to "have it all," using IVF after 40 if necessary, I beg you to think again. You are being sold a bill of goods.
Posted on: Monday, May 30, 2016
Pro-Family Political Leaders and legislators: here is some low-hanging legislative fruit. Propose that your state standardize the reporting for all IVF clinics in your state. The measure you want is Live Birth per Cycle Initiated. This proposal allow you to educate the public, including women who are being misled by the industry. This proposal also allows you to take the moral high ground as a consumer protection advocate, in opposition to the fertility industry, which really does take advantage of very vulnerable people.
You don't want the number of pregnancies because not all pregnancies make it all the way to the birth of a live child. This is especially true with IVF because the rates of miscarriages and still birth are higher than for naturally conceived children.
You also don't want the number of "embryo transfers" as your baseline number. Not all women make it to the point of doing a successful embryo transfer into the woman's uterus. The woman may have difficulty at the stage of egg retrieval or fertilization for instance. Yet she has been through a cycle. Her body and soul have taken some abuse. It is not fair for the clinics to exclude these women from their "success rates."
This story quote a couple of IVF experts from Australia, but the point is the same everywhere. Women contemplating assisted reproduction have a right to know the actual probability of success, for the amount of money and physical trauma she will experience per cycle.
Fertility clinic websites have a number of different ways of reporting success rates. For instance, clinics may report success rates in terms of pregnancy, or they may report it in terms of live birth rate per embryo transfer.
IVF pioneer Alan Trounson said pregnancy rates were not helpful to the consumer, because some pregnancies were lost.
"What you need to know is the probability of having a baby, because you didn't come in to get pregnant, you came in to have a baby," he said.
On top of that, Professor Norman said clinics defined "pregnancy" differently in their website claims.
If you count a pregnancy at an earlier stage, or a later stage, the statistics change — and that also meant consumers could not make proper comparisons between websites.
"There's [a] big inconsistency," Professor Norman said.
"You'll find some clinics define pregnancy on the basis of an ultrasound.
"Others are included from 12 weeks onwards, so it's a bit of a mess all over the place."
Some clinics also present success rates in terms of live birth rate per embryo transfer.
But this does not reflect all those women who could not make it to the embryo transfer stage. If your eggs could not be retrieved, or fertilised, you are not included in this statistic.
Also, see Dr. Norman's "5 things to ask your fertility doctor."
Posted on: Saturday, April 02, 2016
The headline over at LifeSiteNews says this is a story out of the gay lifestyle. And so it it. But it is first and foremost an inspiring story of forgiveness and repentance. Any Survivor of the Sexual Revolution, any person seeking peace, can benefit from this article.
I embarked upon an incredible journey of forgiveness, having many people from my past, and especially men, that I needed to forgive. The therapy and prayer sessions I now regularly engaged in never focused solely on my being sexually attracted to men, but I was encouraged to look every aspect of my present and past in the eye. This included the painful process of accepting that I had been consistently sexually abused by a number of men as a child over a three-year period.
Much of my spiritual journey became concerned with recognizing where, during my infancy and childhood, my little soul had chosen to build walls within myself against significant others in my life, especially against my parents, siblings and other prominent people from my past.
He faced the wrong that was done to him (child sexual abuse) and at the same time took responsibility for the ways he had built walls around himself. Eventually, he became able to forgive those who had wronged him.
Survivors of all sorts: please study this!
Posted on: Saturday, January 23, 2016
By Alyson Smith
Jennifer Roback Morse, PhD, founder and president of the Ruth Institute, brings a unique voice to discussions of love, marriage, sexuality, and the family.
Tell us about the Ruth Institute. What led you to found it?
I had been a hard-charging career woman in my 20s and early 30s. My husband and I put off having children until my career was settled, largely at my insistence, but then we had difficulty conceiving. We adopted our son, and shortly after I became pregnant with our daughter. Within the space of six months, my world was completely turned upside down. My plans of never missing a day of work were scratched by having a toddler and a new baby at the same time. I realized that the “life-script” I had bought into was unrealistic.
So I founded the Ruth Institute with the intention to talk to young people about those kinds of issues. I wanted to help young people, especially women, dodge some of the bullets that had been so painful for me.
How has the vision of the Ruth Institute changed over time, particularly in recent years?
I founded the Ruth Institute in 2008 when California’s Proposition 8 campaign to amend the state constitution to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman was in full swing, and I became a campaign spokeswoman. By that time, I had written two books on the social significance of the family and was (and still am) convinced that redefining marriage would be harmful to society and to millions of people, including many gay people and the children they would obtain legal rights to.
Not long after that campaign, I was approached by Brian Brown and Maggie Gallagher of the National Organization for Marriage. They asked to bring the Ruth Institute under NOM’s umbrella. From 2010 through 2013, the Ruth Institute was part of NOM.
In June 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court decisions on the Defense of Marriage Act and the challenges to Prop 8 persuaded me that the proponents of genderless marriage held a commanding position in legal and political arenas.1 I became convinced that the Ruth Institute needed to change tactics.
How did you then change your strategy?
We put a lot of thought into our next moves. I had always considered myself more an academic and educator than a political person. At the same time, I have also thought of myself as a public policy commentator and analyst. I decided to think this strategy problem through without regard for my personal skill set or comfort zone.
I asked myself: What could we do that would be constructive yet completely separate from the legal, political, and public policy terrain where our movement was taking such a beating? We concluded that we had to make our approach more personal, because we were losing by making abstract logical arguments that ordinary people couldn’t relate to.
We simplified our approach to focus on answering a few simple questions: Who is getting hurt by redefining marriage? Who has suffered from the decline and deconstruction of marriage? Can we draw analogies between past “alternative family forms” and the current drive to remove the gender requirement from marriage?
From that, we came up with a twofold approach: First, we needed to start talking about the whole sexual revolution, not just the current crisis. Second, we needed to talk about the people who have been harmed in the most personal and specific ways possible. From that came the idea to focus our attention on “healing the family.”
What is the Ruth Institute currently doing to help heal the family?
Everything we do is focused on the following three-part structure:
1.The family is the basis of society.
2.The family is broken.
3.The Ruth Institute is here to heal the family.
We have redesigned our website with this structure in mind to appeal to and support the victims and survivors of the sexual revolution.
Who are some of the victims of the sexual revolution?
The most obvious victims are the children of divorce and the reluctantly-divorced, who would have liked to stay married but were divorced against their will. I also talk about the heartbroken career woman, who has a career and education but who is unintentionally unmarried, childless, or both. We developed a brochure called “Are you a Survivor of the Sexual Revolution?" It lists 12 different categories of survivors. Whenever I share that with a group, everyone recognizes themselves or someone they know in pretty much every category.
In your opinion, has the sexual revolution resulted in increased loneliness?
No question about it. The sexual revolution provided more easy options for exiting first from the family, and ultimately from family relationships.
Just look at the widespread use of third-party reproduction: People want to have babies without even attempting a relationship with their child’s other parent. Anonymous gamete donation is a complete retreat from human relationships.
How is contraception connected to the sexual revolution?
A key idea of the sexual revolution is that a good society should separate sex from babies, and both from marriage. This superficially seductive but
ultimately flawed idea has been permeating society since 1965.
The widespread promotion of contraception and the contraceptive ideology allows many other features of the sexual revolution to appear plausible, such as the “hook-up” culture and cohabitation.
Comment on Blessed Pope Paul VI's courage in promulgating Humanae Vitae, despite the wide array of opposing opinions, including some within the Catholic Church.
Blessed Pope Paul VI was a prophet; that is certain. Many people expected him to overturn the doctrine. I wonder if people have similar hopes that Pope Francis will overturn the doctrine on divorce and same-sex unions. Ultimately, the Holy Spirit miraculously protects the Church from error, followed by the wailing and gnashing of teeth by those who think the Church will finally “get with the times.”
How have Blessed Pope Paul VI's warnings in 1968 become manifest today?
In paragraph 17 of Humanae Vitae, Paul VI makes his predictions, all of which have come to pass. Who can deny that we have an “increase in marital infidelity?” Who can deny that there has been a “general lowering of moral standards?” Who can deny that we have obliterated the incentives for “young people to avoid temptation?” Who can deny that men have “lost their reverence for women?”His analysis of the misuse of governmental power deserves special attention. He states:
"Finally, careful consideration should be given to the danger of this power passing into the hands of those public authorities who care little for the precepts of the moral law. Who will blame a government which in its attempt to resolve the problems affecting an entire country resorts to the same measures as are regarded as lawful by married people in the solution of a particular family difficulty? Who will prevent public authorities from favoring those contraceptive methods which they consider more effective? Should they regard this as necessary, they may even impose their use on everyone.2"
We can see this prediction evident in China’s one-child mandate on families, a practice both counter to moral law and repressive of the inherent human right to have children.3 In any case, the Catholic Church has been the most consistent opponent—and in some cases, the only opponent—of governmental population control.
In your work, do you find that Humanae Vitae is more accepted today than in previous decades?
When I talk with conservative evangelical audiences, I find them open to learning more about the Catholic approach to contraception. That is very encouraging to me. And, of course, a generation of young Catholics has been influenced by Pope Saint John Paul II and his theology of the body. These Humanae Vitae-following Catholics are embracing the traditional teaching with joy and having large families.
What can we do to reverse the contraceptive mentality and heal the culture?
I think the most significant step we can take is to provide opportunities for the victims to speak out and tell the truth about what happened to them. Our culture systematically suppresses victims’ stories, as the pro-life community knows very well.
For example, we know that abortion hurts women. In today’s culture, it takes genuine courage for a woman to raise her hand and say,“Look here: Abortion hurt me. It didn’t solve the problems it promised to solve. Listen to me.” Yet the Silent No More Awareness Campaign (SilentNoMoreAwareness.org) has been hugely successful in touching people’s hearts first, and then their minds.
I think we need to do something similar for every other victim group:victims of divorce, heartbroken career women, refugees from the gay lifestyle, cohabiters with regrets, and others. If you stop to think about it, you will see that each of these victim groups is socially invisible. They are not permitted to tell their stories, sometimes not even within their own families.
Children of divorce are not generally allowed to say something like this: “No, Mom, I really wasn’t happy for you on your wedding day, when you married a new man who wasn’t my father. That was the day I knew that you and Dad were never going to get back together.” The legal parents of donor-conceived persons don’t typically enjoy hearing their children say, “Yes, I’m glad I’m alive. But I want to know the other half of my heritage and my identity.”
At the Ruth Institute, we aim to create safe, supportive spaces for people to tell those kinds of stories.
Allyson Smith is a technical communications professional who has been involved in Catholic and pro-family activism for a number of years. Allyson previously worked as a freelance journalist for Catholic newspapers.
1 John Schwartz, “Between the Lines of the Defense of Marriage Act Opinion,” June 26, 2013, NYTimes.com
2 Pope Paul VI, Humanae Vitae, Encyclical letter on human life, July 25, 1968, Vatican.va
3 Ma Jian, “China’s Brutal One Child Policy, “ May 22, 2013, NYTimes.com
Building healthy families
The Ruth Institute offers assistance to those hurt by the Sexual Revolution who are ignored in today’s culture, giving voice to all those impacted and providing a path to a different public narrative that reflects the values of moral law. More information about their programs and contact information can be found at RuthInstitute.org.
Before founding the Ruth Institute in 2008, Dr. Morse's academic career included teaching posts at Yale University and George Mason University and
research stints at the University of Chicago, Cornell Law School, and Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. Following an infertility crisis,
and after adopting one child and giving birth to
another within six months, Dr. Morse left her academic career for full-time motherhood. This experience convinced her that children need relationships with their mothers and fathers and that marriage provides the most reliable way of assuring that children receive this. Dr. Morse came to believe that our toxic sexual culture lies at the root of our crumbling marriage culture. She is passionately dedicated to inspiring the victims of the sexual revolution to become survivors and ultimately advocates for positive change.
Posted on: Tuesday, November 17, 2015
(November 17, 2015) Dr J is interviewed by Steve and Becky Green on The Catholic Conversation out of Phoenix, Arizona. They're discussing the fallout of the sexual revolution with regard to freedom and the family broadly and children specifically.
Posted on: Monday, October 26, 2015
by Jennifer Roback Morse
This article was first posted October 22, 2015, at crisismagazine.com.
Let’s face it: The 2015 Synod on the Family is a mess. I was one who gave Pope Francis the benefit of the doubt. I now have my doubts about him. And I have no doubt at all that some of the men surrounding him are either heretics or lunatics or both.
The real question for us as lay people is this: what exactly can we do about it? We do not have full information about what is going on over there. Giving advice to cardinals and bishops is not likely to work. Screaming at them even less so.
As faithful lay people, we believe all that the Church has taught about marriage, family, and human sexuality. We do not want to see the Church water down that teaching, or surrender to the Sexual Revolution. It would be tragic indeed, if she did so now, right at the moment when the wisdom and beauty of her ancient teaching is becoming daily more evident from experience.
So what are we, as faithful lay people, to do about this? What has the best chance of cutting through the noise and having an impact?
To answer this question, let’s back up a minute. The Sexual Revolution has harmed millions of people. Just to take one of the issues most immediately before the Synod: divorce and unmarried parenthood.
We now know that kids are not “resilient.” They do not “get over it.” We know this from decades of careful research. We know if from experience. In fact, according to Judith Wallerstein, author of a 25-year study on the long-term legacy of divorce, the impact of divorce on children does not diminish with time. It “crescendos” in young adulthood, as they try to form relationships and marriages and families of their own.
Kids need their own parents. I learned from my experience as an adoptive mom, a foster mom, and a birth mom, all kids want the same thing. They want their parents to be there for them, and be appropriate parents. No matter how old the kids are, no matter what their parents have done, all kids of all ages, long for their parents to get it together and be good parents.
The Sexual Revolution has taught us that adults are entitled to have the sex lives they want, with a minimum of inconvenience. What we never hear anyone come out and say is: “And kids have to accept whatever the adults chose to give them.” You don’t usually hear people blurt out that last part, because we would be too ashamed of ourselves.
The Sexual Revolution promised fun and freedom. It delivered hurt and heartbreak. With the possible exception of a handful of predatory Alpha Males, everyone in society has been harmed: men, women and children, rich and poor alike.
I will let you in on a secret: the reason kids keep getting separated from their parents is because the victims, the kids, are not allowed to speak for themselves. As children, their parents expected them to accept whatever was going on around them, without complaining. And children, eager to please their parents, fearful of losing the parents’ love, kept quiet. Even as adults, the children of divorce and the children of unmarried parents, are expected to keep quiet, and go along with the program.
Silencing the victims has been crucial to the success of the Sexual Revolution. If you doubt me, consider these facts:
The solution is for all the victims of the Sexual Revolution to speak up, and tell the truth about how they were harmed. Telling that truth is the first step away from being a victim, to becoming a survivor. Anyone of us can take that step.
What does this have to do with the chaos over at the Synod? Most of the bishops know perfectly well that the Church’s teachings are good and humane. But they too, have been reluctant to speak out, and to preach this good news. Why? Because they are afraid of us, the laity!
True enough, many faithful people have been trying to support them all along. But look at it this way: if the souls wounded by the Sexual Revolution were visible, we wouldn’t be having this fight at all. All decent people would abandon the Sexual Revolutionary ideology in a heartbeat.
While it is awful that so many people have been harmed by the Sexual Revolution, we are undaunted. We are turning that very horror into an advantage: millions of us can testify about the false promises of the Sexual Revolution.
The elites in media, academia, law, and government cannot silence all of us. If everyone who has been harmed by the Sexual Revolution spoke out about it, we would change the world.
And eventually, even the most reluctant of the Catholic bishops might get the hint that the Church has been right all along, and find the courage to say so.
Posted on: Monday, October 19, 2015
I am gratified to see that so many people have been interested in joining the Ruth Refuge. We get new sign ups just about every day. I am interested to know something about you, and why you have chosen to join us. I know why we started this, so I know why I'm here! We passionately believe that too many people have been harmed by the Sexual Revolution and that too few people have felt free to talk about it. We believe it is an issue of justice for the wounded to have acknowledgement and support. And we believe that ending the silence of the victims is the best hope for positive change in our society.
So, let me refer you to our 12 Survivors concept. Are you a Survivor of the Sexual Revolution?Take a look at this list. Which ones apply to you? As for me, I fit into several categories: Heartbroken Career Woman, Post-Abortive Woman, Refugee from the Hook-up Culture, and Cohabitor with Regrets.
I'm not proud of this. But I know from experience that facing the truth is the first step toward healing.
What about you? Why are you here? Which of these categories apply to you? We are here to listen, and to support each other.
Posted on: Sunday, October 04, 2015
Are any of you single mothers, raised by a single mother, or have friends or family members who are single mothers?
Are any of you Donor Conceived?
Many Danish women have given up on finding the right man and are opting to raise children on their own through donor conception.
What do you think of that? Good idea or bad idea?
Can you relate to their difficulties in finding the right man?
Do you think they should be patient and just keep looking, or not fight the biological clock?
This article appeared in Mercatornet.com on September 18, 2015.
I just read an article in The Guardian about how more Danish women are opting to become single mothers via sperm donation, and now I feel a little sad. Because while I think the author wanted to make it sound like an upbeat, promising and independent-women trend, too many lines give away the fact that it is actually not a good time, so to speak.
But first some background: since 2007 in Denmark, from when single women have been offered free fertility treatment, there has been a huge increase in single mothers by choice (known as “solomor”). Now, one in 10 babies conceived with donor sperm is born to a single mother, which says a lot in a country which has the highest number of births by assisted fertility treatment in the world. And it seems that the trend is so present that the stigma is supposedly starting to shift.
Now usually I’d have to voice my opinion in my own words, but this article just gives away all the sad stuff. Here are some excerpts and my thoughts:
It’s a last resort decision
“The majority say that becoming a solomor was Plan B,” says Lone Schmidt, associate professor at the University of Copenhagen Department of Public Health: “Two thirds had been in a relationship and wanted to become pregnant but their partners weren’t ready… In other words, women are waiting it out, and when it becomes clear that there isn’t going to be a man in the picture, they’re taking action themselves.”
No one dreams of being a solo parent. As one interviewee in the article admitted, after her partner at the time didn’t want children, she thought about adoption (too long and expensive), having a baby with a friend (too complicated) and one-night stands (that would be stealing sperm) before deciding on donor conception. And why is it a last resort? I think it’s because we all intrinsically know that the most ideal, and least complex, situation for a child to come into the world is in the natural way - with a mother and father who love each other.
Who needs men anyway?
“Everyone I talked to was really supportive, apart from my dad who found the idea weird at first – as though it was negating the role of ‘fatherhood’.”
“My dad was funny about me using a donor at first – he’s from an older generation and I think it made him feel a bit redundant, as a man.”
I find it interesting that more than one interviewee’s father had a problem with the whole solomor situation. Because to be honest, anything that makes a whole gender redundant seems unnatural, doesn’t it? However, the dads in question make a very valid point. Yes, there are irreversible situations where a father is no longer present, but overall a world without present fathers would not be a good one. There are so many studies that show the importance of a father in their child’s life, and I hope anything else is never in style.
On the flip-side, the solomor trend commodifies men. In a subtle but sure way, it reduces them to their sperm.
The child’s needs come last
“I’d still love to meet someone and give my little girl a dad. For me, a father is so much more than a blob of sperm. A father is someone who makes the lunch boxes, says, ‘Good morning,’ and kisses good night. He’s the one who is always there for the child during its upbringing. I just haven’t met him yet.”
“Of course, the children of solomor may face other issues – like not knowing the identity of their donors. But Golombok’s research suggests that this needn’t be a problem if they’re told about how they were conceived early enough.”
Right, because learning about your conception nice and early will void all need of a father and replace the paternal role. And having a new dad will make you stop wondering about your biological father. Unfortunately, I don’t think so.
Yes, the solomor concept does present a better situation financially than a single mother who is not so by choice, and I think the women feel that they’re doing the right thing. But still, I find it somewhat selfish. A defenseless child’s needs should come first, whereas this sounds like it’s all about what’s convenient for the mothers in question.
Difficulties of assisted fertility
One thing that wasn’t mentioned is the difficulty and trials of fertility treatment. The article makes it sound so easy breezy to get pregnant this way, but from what I know, it’s invasive and can often take multiple attempts. And I’d assume there’d be quite a lot of stress and anxiety throughout the process.
We can see the consequences of other unhealthy trends
“My child won’t have a father,” says Christensen, “but lots of people grow up without a dad - my parents divorced when I was five. You never know how life will turn out.”
“I’d always dreamed of having three or four kids but the man I was in a relationship with in my 30s wasn’t ready. I met other men who mostly seemed to be interested in their careers – or their PlayStations – so I began to lose faith. I wasn’t anti men: I adore men! I just couldn’t find one who wanted kids. I saw lots of friends choose to become pregnant with boyfriends they knew wouldn’t last – purely because the desire to have a child took over. I also saw ‘traditional’ families breaking up all around me, so I thought, ‘Maybe I should just make this happen on my own.’”
These quotes, clear as day, show how other unhealthy trends have led to this. The first is divorce: it’s so common that people don’t realise the importance of two present parents; and everyone seems to assume it’ll happen anyway. What a sad way to be living! And the other trend: “man boys,” or men that don’t seem to ever grow up. Because as we now see, women are getting sick of waiting and are taking matters into their own hands, with potentially negative consequences.
Posted on: Tuesday, September 08, 2015
(September 8, 2015) Dr J is once again Todd Wilkin's guest on Issues, Etc. They're concluding their 6-part series on the sexual revolution: this one touches on the stigma of abstinence, the effects of the hook-up culture, and the West's war on fertility, among other things.
Posted on: Tuesday, July 28, 2015
(July 28, 2015) Dr J is once again Todd Wilkin's guest on Issues, Etc. They're continuing their 6-part
series on the sexual revolution: part 3 examines the claim that "women can have it all" and its influence over modern sexual education. Check out our
podcast stream if you're joining us in the middle of the series, and of course stay tuned as the rest of it comes up.
Posted on: Thursday, June 25, 2015
I'm Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, the Founder and President of the Ruth Institute. I was blessed to have married parents who stayed married. They were not particularly happily married, so I did not appreciate the gift they had given my siblings and myself.
I was a full participant in the Sexual Revolution: I was married and divorced by the time I was 24. I fit into the Cohabiting with Regrets, Refugee from the Hook-up Culture, Heartbroken Career Woman and Post-Abortive Woman. Is there more? Maybe, but that is all I can think of right now.
I am so glad you are here. I am really hopeful that we can help one another to grow past all the toxic issues created by the Sexual Revolution.
Posted on: Friday, July 04, 2014
This article was also published at Christianpost.com here.
You have no doubt heard that the men of the US Supreme Court are making war on the interests of American women. You may, however, have some doubt as to which interests of which women. I maintain that there has been a War Among Women for the past 50 years or so. And most of the time, the Elite Women prevail over Everywoman. But not this time.
Let me tell you about a friend of mine named Katie. She is a brilliant attorney, who works part-time for a non-profit public interest legal organization. Katie has nine children, whom she homeschools. She lives out in the country in coastal California. By any reasonable reckoning, Katie, is “having it all:” big family, country living in one of the most beautiful places on earth, and meaningful, intellectually challenging work.
However, it is safe to say that Katie is highly unlikely to ever be appointed to the Supreme Court. She has other concerns. She does not have the single-minded focus on her legal career that would allow her to be a serious contender.
I too, have had a wonderful advantaged life: meaningful work, good family life. But I never chaired an economics department. I never sat on any prestigious commissions. I wasn’t given any political appointment as my childless or male peers have done.
Which brings me back to the subject at hand: whose interests do the women on the Supreme Court actually represent?
Ruth Bader Ginsburg came of age in the short window of time when women could still get married, have kids, go to law school, and have a career after child-bearing. Her two children were born when she was 22 and 32. Thanks to radical feminism, highly educated women have a much more difficult time doing these things. They can go to law school and have a career alright. But getting married and having children sometime before menopause, not so much.
Justice Ginsburg had the lifelong support of her husband in her career aspirations. Thanks to no-fault divorce, women today cannot count on a lifetime of mutual support with their husbands. Justice Ginsburg has been safely insulated from the negative fallout of the Sexual Revolution which she and her radical feminist colleagues did so much to champion.
The other two women on the Supreme Court, Justices Kagan and Sotomayor, are childless. It is highly unlikely that the two of them understand and respect the lives and aspirations of women like my friend Katie and me. And for less educated women, family is everything and “career” is a job to put food on the table. Elite women know nothing of Everywoman, the people who have endured the Sexual Revolution, and who do not have high status jobs as compensation.
Do you think for one moment my friend Katie feels “oppressed” by the Hobby Lobby decision, or that she wishes the Women of the Court had prevailed? Did I mention that she works for a pro-life pro-bono public interest law firm?
As a rule, the Elite Woman prevails over Everywoman, who wants her children and family more than she wants status, money or career. The Sexual Revolution has been an imposition by the Elites upon the masses, from the beginning. From the beginning, it is the people of modest means who have suffered from no-fault divorce, and hook-ups and instability and relationship churning and non-marital childbearing. A recent study from Johns Hopkins University demographers shows that 87% of women without a high school diploma had at least one child outside of marriage, compared with only 32% of women with college degrees. (Table 1A).
Women like Katie and I are willing to let ourselves see the harm that the Sexual Revolution had done to the poor. Our lives do not depend on defending the Sexual Revolution. By contrast, for many Elite Women, the Sexual Revolution has made possible their lives as they know them. They literally cannot imagine what their lives would be like without contraception, with abortion as a back-up plan.
As I say, Katie and I will never occupy the seats of power that are available to childless women. We have many achievements to our credit, but Elite Women will run the show. We have good lives: I do not regret for one moment, the choices I have made. But there is no getting around it: childless women have an advantage over mothers in the competition for power and influence.
All I can say is: thank God for the men on the Supreme Court. At least someone is sticking up for Everywoman against the Elite Women.
Jennifer Roback Morse is Founder and President of the Ruth Institute, which inspires the Survivors of the Sexual Revolution to recover from their negative experiences and share their stories with the young. Join us here.
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