Press Releases

Ruth Institute's press releases


The Cost of Being Labeled a Hate Group

The Ruth Institute's primary focus is family breakdown, and its impact on children. If this makes us a "hate group," so be it.

The Ruth Institute learned at 2 PM Thursday that Vanco, our on-line donation processing service, was cancelling our service immediately. Their letter stated:

Vanco has elected to discontinue our processing relationship with The Ruth Institute. The organization has been flagged by Card Brands as being affiliated with a product/service that promotes hate, violence, harassment and/or abuse. Merchants that display such attributes are against Vanco and Wells Fargo processing policies.”
We immediately went to the donation page on our website and found it had already been shut down. Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D., Founder and President of the Ruth Institute made these statements in response:
  • The Ruth Institute's primary focus is family breakdown, and its impact on children: understanding it, healing it, ending it. If this makes us a "hate group," so be it.
  • Vanco, Card Brands, and Wells Fargo are private businesses. The Ruth Institute respects their right to conduct their businesses as they see fit. We just wish wedding photographers, bakers, and florists received the same respect.
  • No one from Vanco, Card Brands or Wells Fargo ever contacted the Ruth Institute to inquire about how we “promote hate, violence, harassment and/or abuse.”
  • The Ruth Institute is listed on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s “Hate Map,” which was recently in the news. We have been on this “Hate Map” since 2013. To the best of our knowledge, no one has ever been inspired to riot or shoot anyone by our activities.
  • We have compiled the items which some groups have found objectionable on a page called “Where’s the Hate?” Anyone interested can review that material and judge for themselves whether the Ruth Institute belongs on a list with the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazis.
  • The Vanco company markets itself to religious organizations. Many churches use their services for processing donations. We surmise that Vanco dropped us because we hold views about marriage, family and human sexuality that are considered “Anti-LGBT.” Our beliefs are the common heritage of all Christian groups. Christian organizations that utilize Vanco’s services may wish to reconsider.
  • Donors to the Ruth Institute can rest assured that their private information has not been compromised. Supporters can send checks to our main office, 4845 Lake St.; #217; Lake Charles, LA 70605.

To interview Dr. Morse, please email info@ruthinstitute.org.


The Ruth Institute’s statement on being included on the SPLC “Hate Map”

The Ruth Institute's primary focus is family breakdown and its impact on children: understanding it, healing it, ending it. If this makes us a "hate group," so be it.

Once again, the Southern Poverty Law Center’s “Hate Map” is in the news, this time due to CNN publishing it in the wake of the events in Charlottesville. The Ruth Institute is listed on that map as an “anti-LGBT” group. In fact, The Ruth Institute is a global non-profit organization creating a mass social movement to end family breakdown by energizing the Survivors of the Sexual Revolution.

We were first listed on that map in 2013. At that time, no one from the SPLC contacted us about the possibility of being included on their "hate map." They made no effort to understand our mission, then or now. No one outside the SPLC knows how organizations come to be included on the list. No one knows how to get off the list. The SPLC sets itself up as judge, jury and enforcer of the charge of “hate.”

People who cannot defend their positions using reason and evidence resort to name-calling to change the subject away from their anemic arguments. The "hate group" label is a club such people invented to bludgeon their political opponents.

The Ruth Institute's primary focus is family breakdown, and its impact on children: understanding it, healing it, ending it. If this makes us a "hate group," so be it.

We have assembled a few of the materials that some have found hateful on our page called Where’s the Hate? The Ruth Institute invites the public to review these items and decide for themselves who is “hate-filled.”

The Ruth Institute categorically condemns white supremacy, racism, Nazism, and all violent totalitarian political movements. However, under the circumstances, the Ruth Institute is honored by the "hate group" label, pinned upon us by people who show no capacity for reasoned argument.

To schedule an interview with Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, Founder and President of the Ruth Institute, please email us at info@ruthinstitute.org.

 



The Ruth Institute congratulates Archbishop Alexander Sample of Portland for his clear teaching on marriage and morality

(February 27, 2017, San Marcos, CA) The Ruth Institute sent a letter of commendation and 24 white roses to Archbishop Alexander Sample of Portland, Oregon, congratulating and thanking him for his defense of Catholic teaching on marriage.

In his Pastoral Letter, “A True and Living Icon,” Archbishop Sample stated,

“The indissolubility of marriage is a precious and essential teaching of the Church, revealed by Jesus and cherished in our unbroken Tradition… The marriage bond is indissoluble because the Gospel covenant is indissoluble, for the sacrament signifies Christ’s permanent union with his Church.”

The Ruth Institute is a global non-profit organization dedicated to finding Christ-like solutions to the problems of family breakdown. Founded by world renowned author, speaker and academic, Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, the Ruth Institute has accumulated decades of research to support individuals and families harmed by divorce, the hook-up culture, and other forms of family breakdown.

Dr. Morse stated, “We are particularly encouraged that Archbishop Sample addressed three possible misuses of Amoris Laetitia. Misuse One: Conscience Legitimizes Actions Contravening Divine Commandments. Misuse Two: Under Certain Conditions Divine Prohibitions Admit of Exceptions. And Misuse Three: Human Frailty Exempts from Divine Command. Time has shown the Archbishop’s foresight in this area, as many people, including people who ought to know better, are making these very mistakes.”

Jennifer Johnson, Director of the Ruth Institute’s Children of Divorce project stated, “We are so grateful for Archbishop Sample’s clear teaching on the indissolubility of marriage. We hear from people who have been harmed by family breakdown, literally every day. Straying from Jesus’s teaching on the permanence of marriage has devastated millions of children and deserted spouses. We want the Archbishop to know these wounded souls deeply appreciate his words.”

Dr. Morse is available for interviews about the Roses from Ruth Initiative, the Archbishop’s statement, the current controversies over Amoris Laetitia, and Catholic teaching on marriage. To interview Dr. Morse or Jennifer Johnson, contact the Ruth Institute at: info@ruthinstitute.org or (760) 295-9278.

To read the Ruth Institute’s full Commendation, go here. To read the Archbishop’s statement, go here.


Catholics Nationwide Reject claims of “Catholics for Choice”

Global Non-Profit Honors Catholic Prelates for Rebutting “Catholics for Choice”
Roses from Ruth, October 2016 Recipients

Responders to the “Catholics for Choice” newspaper ads

  • Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, on behalf of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops
  • Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston
  • Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller of San Antonio
  • Bishop Kevin Farrell of Dallas and
  • Bishop Steven Lopez of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter on behalf of the Texas Catholic Conference
  • Archbishop John Myer of Newark, New Jersey
  • Bishop Michael Olson of Ft. Worth, TX
  • Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas 

This morning, the Ruth Institute sent a letter of commendation and 12 white roses to the above-named American cardinals, archbishops and bishops, thanking them for their defense of Catholic teaching. The badly misnamed “Catholics for Choice” sponsored paid newspaper advertisements, “Abortion in Good Faith,” across the country. These Catholic churchmen set the record straight.

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, President of the Ruth Institute, stated, “’Catholics for Choice’ is seriously out of touch with the views of Catholics across the country. In this election year of so much confusion and rancor, the followers of the Ruth Institute and other pro-life, pro-family groups are encouraged by the unified response of these Catholic churchmen.”

The Ruth Institute is a global non-profit organization dedicated to finding Christ-like solutions to the problems of family breakdown. Founded by world renowned author, speaker and academic Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, the Ruth Institute has accumulated decades of research to support individuals and families harmed by divorce, the hook-up culture and other forms of family breakdown. Ruth Institute, an interfaith organization, dreams of the day when every child will be welcomed into a loving home with a married mother and father.

Dr. Morse stated, “We are encouraged that these bishops stated clearly, each in his own way, that abortion is the taking of an innocent life and can never be justified. We are pleased that they cleared up any possible confusion created by the pro-abortion front group ‘Catholics for Choice.’ We

thank these Catholic churchmen for their full-throated defense of life.” Previous recipients of Roses from Ruth include Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia and Bishop Francis Xavier DiLorenzo of Richmond, Virginia.

As a sign of support for these cardinals, archbishops and bishops, the Ruth Institute offers these roses and our prayers for them and all the people of our great nation.

Dr. Morse is available for interviews about the Roses from Ruth Initiative, these statements from the clergy, and Catholic teaching on life and marriage. To interview Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, please email info@ruthinstitute.org. The full Commendations are available at our blog Ruth Speaks Out.

Quotations from each of these clergymen are listed at the bottom of this release. In addition to the above-named churchmen, the Catholic Conferences of the following states also issued responses to the Catholics for Choice ads.

Extracts from statements of the Cardinals, Archbishops and Bishops:

Cardinal Dolan, Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Pro-Life Activities, stated: “The use of the name 'Catholic' as a platform to promote the taking of innocent human life is offensive not only to Catholics, but to all who expect honesty and forthrightness in public discourse. CFC … is funded by powerful private foundations to promote abortion as a method of population control.”

The Texas bishops, led by Cardinal DiNardo and including Archbishop Garcia-Siller, Bishop Farrell and Bishop Lopes, stated: “Every person, from the moment of conception to natural death, has inherent dignity and a right to life consistent with that dignity. Catholics, by definition, are in accord with the essential teachings of the Church and embrace the faith that has been handed down to us through Jesus Christ and the apostles. Someone cannot call themselves a Catholic, yet reject the sanctity of life by active support of abortion.”

Archbishop Garcia-Siller (San Antonio) independently stated: “For more than 2,000 years, the Church has steadfastly proclaimed that respect for all human life at every stage is foundational to the Catholic faith. Abortion from the earliest tradition of the Church has been considered immoral.”

Archbishop Myers (Newark, NJ) said: “To make sure everyone understands how misguided the Catholics for Choice effort is, read these few words from Pope Francis: “Abortion is without a doubt one of the greatest moral evils within modernity.”

Bishop Farrell (Dallas) said: “Regarding the full-page ad on Page 15A of Monday's edition of The Dallas Morning News, I want your readers to know that Catholics for Choice is not a true Catholic organization. Nor does it adhere to Catholic teaching. Instead, Catholics for Choice is a lobby group based in Washington, D.C., funded by the pro-abortion lobby.”

Bishop Olson (Ft. Worth) told his diocese: “These ads are intended to divide and to confuse Catholics about the authentic moral teaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the responsibility of the Pope and Catholic bishops in unity with him to teach what is true and essential to this Gospel.”

Bishop Strickland (Tyler, TX) tweeted: “Let’s be clear that “Catholics for Choice” is absurd.”

Bishop Lopes said: “The insinuation that Catholic faith can lead a person to sanction something which is always and everywhere a moral evil is fraudulent, deceitful, and simply wrong.” (Bishop Lopes is the Bishop of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter which is a structure, similar to a diocese, that was created by the Vatican in 2012 for former Anglican communities and clergy seeking to become Catholic.)

 


The Ruth Institute congratulates and thanks Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo of Richmond, Virginia for upholding Catholic teaching on marriage

The Ruth Institute recently sent a letter of commendation and 24 white roses to Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo of Richmond, Virginia congratulating and thanking him for his defense of Catholic teaching. Tim Kaine, Democratic candidate for Vice President, has said that the church will change its teaching on marriage. Bishop DiLorenzo, Kaine’s local bishop, disagrees. The Bishop’s office posted the following:

“Despite recent statements from the campaign trail, the Catholic Church’s 2000-year- old teaching to the truth about what constitutes marriage remains unchanged and resolute.”

The statement continues by pointing out a foundational belief shared by the Ruth Institute: “Redefining marriage furthers no one’s rights, least of all those of children, who should not purposely be deprived of the right to be nurtured and loved by a mother and a father.”

The Ruth Institute is a global non-profit organization dedicated to finding Christ-like solutions to the problems of family breakdown. Founded by world renowned author, speaker and academic, Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, the Ruth Institute has accumulated decades of research to support individuals and families harmed by divorce, the hook-up culture and other forms of family breakdown.

Dr. Morse stated, “We are particularly encouraged that Bishop DiLorenzo defended the rights of children to be nurtured and loved by their mothers and fathers.”

Dr. Morse continued, “The Ruth Institute dreams of the day when every child will be welcomed into a loving home with a married mother and father. We believe every child has the right to a relationship with both natural parents, unless some unavoidable tragedy prevents it. We believe every adult without exception has the right to know his or her cultural heritage and genetic identity. Bishop DiLorenzo has restated the ancient teachings of Christianity and of Jesus Christ Himself. These teachings protect the interests of children, as well as the interests of men and women in lifelong married love.”

As a sign of support for Bishop DiLorenzo, the Ruth Institute sent 24 white roses to the Bishop’s office, and offers prayers for him and for everyone in the Diocese of Richmond.

Dr. Morse is available for interviews about the Roses from Ruth Initiative, the Bishop’s statement, and Catholic teaching on marriage. To interview Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, contact the Ruth Institute at:

info@ruthinstitute.org

(760) 295-9278


Statement of the Ruth Institute on the Department of Justice Guidelines to Ensure the Civil Rights of Transgender Students

Prepared by Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, Founder and President, The Ruth Institute
July 2016

The Ruth Institute objects to these far-reaching Guidelines of questionable legality. Among our chief concerns:
  • These Guidelines, if implemented, will not actually help real children, struggling with unique and complex issues, such as Intersex students and students who experience Gender Dysphoria. (See the complete analysis below.)
  • The Guidelines permit students to present themselves as “transgender,” without the knowledge of their parents and without any adult input at all.
  • The Guidelines create a class of students called “Transgender” which is a politically defined and not a medically defined class. The government has no competency to do such a thing.
  • These Guidelines, if implemented, will certainly harm the millions of ordinary children who are not struggling with gender identity issues at this time.
  • These far-reaching Guidelines from the Federal government encroach on the legitimate prerogatives of states, localities and families.
  • These Guidelines were issued through a “Dear Colleague” letter, which may or may not be legally binding. Indeed, the 23 states that are suing the Department of Justice argue that such a letter is not binding on local schools.1
  • School boards are well within their moral and legal rights to decline to participate in the federal government’s war against nature.

Below, we offer our reasons for believing these Guidelines do not serve the interests of the children of the United States.

Intersex Students

Intersex is a medically diagnosable condition. According to the Intersex Society of North America, the term “intersex” “is a general term used for a variety of conditions in which a person is born with a reproductive or sexual anatomy that doesn’t seem to fit the typical definitions of female or male.” The Intersex Society of North America does not advocate that intersex individuals be treated as a third gender or as having no gender. 2

“There are at least two problems with trying to raise kids in a “third gender.” First, how would we decide who would count in the “third gender”? How would we decide where to cut off the category of male and begin the category of intersex, or, on the other side of the spectrum, where to cut off the category of intersex to begin the category of female? …Second, and much more importantly, we are trying to make the world a safe place for intersex kids, and we don’t think labeling them with a gender category that in essence doesn’t exist would help them. …

“What we do advocate is providing parents of intersex newborns—and within a couple of years, intersex children themselves—honest and accurate information about intersex, psychological counseling by professionals who are not intersex-phobic, medical help for any real medical problems, and especially referrals to other people dealing with the same issues.”

Intersex children do not need bathrooms that are open to everyone of any gender. Nor do they need school administrators concealing information from their parents, in the name of respecting their “civil rights.” The role of the schools should be confined to respecting the treatment plan the child’s parents and doctors have developed for that particular child.

School boards should be aware that single-occupancy restrooms available for all students are in fact, permitted by the Department of Justice Guidelines:

“At the same time, the guidance makes clear that schools can provide additional privacy options to any student for any reason. The guidance does not require any student to use shared bathrooms or changing spaces, when, for example, there are other appropriate options available; and schools can also take steps to increase privacy within shared facilities.”3

Open access restrooms and changing facilities are not necessary for the benefit of Intersex students.

Students with Gender Dysphoria

Gender dysphoria (GD) describes the mental condition in which an individual experiences discordance between one’s gender identity (the awareness of being male of female) and one’s biological sex.4 While Gender Dysphoria is a recognized medical condition, its diagnosis is an imprecise science. Its proper treatment remains controversial, even among professionals. A variety of acceptable treatment modalities exist.5 People are sometimes misdiagnosed.6 People who transition to another gender sometimes have serious regrets.7

It should go without saying that schools are not competent to practice either medicine or psychology.

Open access restrooms and changing facilities are not necessary for the benefit of students with Gender Dysphoria. Any children who suffer from Gender Dysphoria can be accommodated in single stall bathrooms and changing facilities. All children can be taught to be kind to one another.

Transgender Students

The Guidelines8 define “Transgender” as follows:

Transgender describes those individuals whose gender identity is different from the sex they were assigned at birth.

The Guidelines define Gender Identity this way:

Gender identity refers to an individual’s internal sense of gender. A person’s gender identity may be different from or the same as the person’s sex assigned at birth.

The Guidelines further state:

Under Title IX, there is no medical diagnosis or treatment requirement that students must meet as a prerequisite to being treated consistent with their gender identity.

Thus, for purposes of law, transgenderism is not a medically diagnosed condition: it is a personally diagnosed condition. Elsewhere, the Guidelines make it clear that the student, without telling their parents, may present themselves as transgender to their peers, teachers and school staff. Students can call themselves male or female as they wish, without medical evaluation or parental oversight or even knowledge. They can change their self-identification for any reason or no reason. The “Guidelines” offer no guidance whatsoever on this point.

Young people are not fully developed in their sense of identity, including their sense of gender identity. Children who are so confused about who they are that they identify as something other than their bodily gender need adult supervision, and greater bodily privacy, not less of each. They would benefit from the supervision and privacy afforded by use of a single stall or staff bathroom.

Mandating genderless bathrooms, to be accessed by any student is not helpful, even to the “transgender” student as defined by these guidelines. Open access restrooms and changing facilities are not necessary for the benefit of self-defined “transgender” students.

Students who experience no dysphoria or discomfort with their biological sex

The vast majority of children will never experience any sense of discordance between their biological sex and their perceived gender. The Guidelines, if implemented, will create an environment that could derail the normal developmental process in which the child’s gender identity aligns securely with their biological sex. The Guidelines correspond to an extreme version of “gender theory,” namely the theory that human beings exist independently of their bodies, and that a person’s sex is “assigned” at birth and is not a biological reality.

A school environment of carefully policed and constantly changing pronouns, and of genderless bathrooms will create confusion for children who would not otherwise be confused. The social infrastructure that will be needed to support the implementation of gender theory could potentially include forbidding teachers to use the terms “boy” or “girl,” including the censoring of health classes to remove gender references even from reproduction. Instead of saying “women have ovaries and produce eggs, men have testes and produce sperm,” teachers may be required to say “persons with ovaries produce eggs, persons with testes produce sperm.” Sharing space with any student of the opposite sex who claims to identify as “transgender” places the other children at risk for voyeurism and assault.9

Ordinary children will certainly not benefit from genderless bathrooms.

The Transgender Political Movement

If Intersex children and gender dysphoric children do not benefit from genderless bathrooms, if the “transgender” category of children invented by these guidelines are not helped by genderless bathrooms, and if ordinary children are not helped, who actually is helped by these far-reaching Guidelines? The transgender activist political movement benefits.

The transgender movement is controversial, even among the wider gay rights movement. Lesbian feminist professor Sheila Jeffreys describes male-bodied transgenders as invading women-only spaces and exercising a form of male privilege.10 The Federal government should not be imposing any ideological agenda, much less taking sides in an internal quarrel within the larger gay rights movement.

The public schools have no business enlisting small children in an ideological crusade of any kind. Creating a day to day living environment that implements the most controversial plank of the transgender political regime does exactly that: enlists the children in an ideological crusade. Certainly, the federal government should not be conscripting every public school in America in an ideological movement, and drafting every public school child in America as its foot soldiers.

School boards are well within their moral and legal rights to decline to participate in the federal government’s war against nature.


1. “10 More States Sue Obama Administration over Transgender Bathroom Directive,” Politico, July 8, 2016. http://www.politico.com/story/2016/07/obama-transgenderbathrooms-states-sue-225303

2. The Intersex Society of North America, http://www.isna.org/ See in particular, the FAQ page on third gender: http://www.isna.org/faq/third-gender

3. From the Department of Justice News Release, U.S. Departments of Justice and Education Release Joint Guidance to Help Schools Ensure the Civil Rights of Transgender Students, Issued May 13, 2016. https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/us-departments-justice-and-education-release-joint-guidance-help-schools-ensure-civil-rights Accessed July 19, 2016.

4. American Psychiatric Association. (2013) Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.) p. 451.

5. See for instance the firing of highly respected Kenneth Zucker, and the widespread show of support for him. This incident illustrates that the treatment of GD remains controversial, even among professionals. Singal, J. "How the Fight Over Transgender Kids Got a Leading Sex Researcher Fired." (Feb. 7, 2016) New York Magazine. Available at http://nymag.com/scienceofus/2016/02/fight-over-trans-kids-got-a-researcher-fired Accessed July 19, 2016. Bancroft, J, et al. "Open Letter to the Board of Trustees of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health." (Jan. 11, 2016) iPetition Available at http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/boardoftrustees-CAMH Accessed July 19, 2016.

6. Jennifer Roback Morse, “Euthanizing the Unhappy: the Urgent Need for Love,” showing the “botched” sex change operation that led to a Belgian woman’s request for euthanasia was not botched at all. Rather, she wanted to be a man because her mother always wanted a son. This particular woman should not have been approved for sex change surgery. The Public Discourse, November 7, 2013. http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2013/11/11113/ Accessed July 19, 2016.

7. See generally, the work of Walt Heyer, including the website, Sex Change Regret: A site for people who regret changing genders. http://www.sexchangeregret.com/ Accessed July 19, 2016.

8. The Dear Colleague letter, outlining these guidelines, may be found here: http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/letters/colleague-201605-title-ix-transgender.pdf

9. The voyeurism case may be found at the New York Times, “Transgender Woman Charged with Voyeurism at Target in Idaho,” July 14, 2016 http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/15/us/target-transgender-idaho-voyeurism.html?_r=2 . The concerns about assault are carefully spelled out by a rape survivor at The Federalist, “A Rape Survivor Speaks Out about Transgender Bathrooms,” Kaeley Triller, November 23, 2015. http://thefederalist.com/2015/11/23/a-rape-survivor-speaks-out-about-transgender-bathrooms/

10. Sheila Jeffreys, Gender Hurts: A Feminist Analysis of the Politics of Transgenderism, (London: Routledge, 2014).