Ruth Speaks Out

This blog is maintained by the Ruth Institute. It provides a place for our Circle of Experts to express themselves. This is where the scholars, experts, students and followers of the Ruth Institute engage in constructive dialogue about the issues surrounding the Sexual Revolution. We discuss public policy, social practices, legal doctrines and much more.


School Condom Programs That Increase Teen Pregnancy, STDs Are 'Propaganda for Sexual Revolution,' Scholar Says

By Brandon Showalter

This article was first published June 21, 2016, at the Christian Post.
 
Condoms(Photo: Reuters)

A new study shows that providing free condoms to teenagers worsens the problem it purports to solve. The finding is unsurprising given that the programs are "propaganda for the Sexual Revolution," Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse says.

In an extensive working paper entitled "The Incidental Fertility Effects of School Condom Distribution Programs," University of Notre Dame researchers Kasey Buckle and Daniel Hungerman chart the effectiveness of distributing condoms to young students in order to curb teen pregnancy and reduce rates of sexually transmitted diseases. Their results reveal that both teen pregnancy and STD rates increased with the presence of such condom distribution efforts.


As noted in a June 15 Vox article about the study, the push to make condoms more accessible in school districts was largely in response to the alarming AIDS epidemic in the early 1990s. Such a push appears to have backfired.

The Notre Dame researchers focused on school condom distribution programs, some of which required counseling of some kind and other programs that did not. For those programs that required no counseling, they found a 10% rise in teen births and a notable increase in gonorrhea in women, an additional 2.43 cases per 1,000 women.

Writing at National Review, scholar Dr. Michael New hailed the study as an addition to the "impressive body of research which shows that efforts to encourage contraceptive use either through mandates, subsidies, or distribution are ineffective at best or counterproductive at worst."

Other scholars suggest a much more nefarious agenda is operating here.

Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D.Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D. is the President of the Ruth Institute.

In an interview with the Christian Post, author and Ruth Institute founder Dr. Morse said that she is not surprised at all that school-based sex-ed programs are ineffective or yield unintended consequences, adding that such programs amount to "government-funded propaganda for the Sexual Revolution."

The government's deliberate strategy is to "get the kids hooked on sex before they are old enough to have mature judgment," said Morse. They intentionally "convince them that self-command is impossible, and possibly unhealthy" and young people thereby "become participants in and supporters of the Sexual Revolution."

With condoms readily available, Vox's Sarah Kliff acknowledged in her piece that indeed "[i]t's possible that teens did engage in riskier behavior" but was quick to point out the effectiveness of birth control pills and wrote that the research paper is unable to answer why pregnancy rates rose in places where condoms were given out.

But as it also turns out, even as STDs rates continue to rise teenagers are forgoing contraception. And communities now tend to prefer sex education models that do not promote contraception.

An article in last month's Journal of Adolescent Health analyzed data from the Center for Disease Control's National Survey of Family Growth. The data showed that fewer communities are comfortable with the type of federally funded sex-ed programs, such as the Obama administration's Teen Pregnancy Prevention (TPP) program, that normalize teen sex, demonstrate use of contraception, and make usage of contraceptives attractive.

The CDC data also revealed that despite such efforts even sexually active teens are not using contraception.

According to the CDC's National Youth Risk Behavior Survey, since Obama's TPP program began, sexually active teens, especially 12th graders, are demonstrably less interested in using contraceptives.

Additional findings in the CDC's survey portend good news for what is known as Sexual Risk Avoidance (SRA) education, a model that promotes abstinence. To the surprise of some, approximately 60% of teenagers are waiting for sex, the highest percentage to date.

In a June 20 press release from ASCEND, a DC-based abstinence advocacy group, founder and CEO Valerie Huber said, "The research continues to reveal that the TPP program, while well intentioned, is not effective, and appears to actually increase risk for vulnerable teens."

"Taxpayer dollars would be better spent on SRA programs, which give youth the skills and information to avoid all sexual risk. The new data in the CDC's YRBS report discloses that the SRA approach resonates with an increasing number of teens, and it is uniquely able to help sexually active youth return to a place of health," Huber said.


Don’t Feed the Trolls – It Just Encourages Them

by Jennifer Roback Morse

This article was first posted at The Blaze on June 21, 2016.

As an observer of the human species, I believe I have discovered a new type. I call them “paid internet protesters,” or “PIPs” in internet-speak, who are all armchair culture warriors. 

Dr. Rachel Lu, a senior contributor at The Federalist, wrote an article called, “The LGBT Movement Will Self-Destruct.” My response was titled, “The LGBT Movement Will Not Self-Destruct.”

Dr. Lu and I agree on one basic point: The ideology driving so much of today’s demands for radical social change is incoherent. We disagree on exactly what to conclude from this fact.

Plenty of fodder here for a pretty interesting discussion, don’t you think?


But, no. After a day or two, the site was swarming with people making rude, off-topic comments from accounts that disguised their identity with pseudonyms.

Most importantly, they didn’t discuss anything. They called names and changed the subject. The subject is no longer the coherence or incoherence of the sexual revolution. The subject now is bigotry, my religion, my personal history and my appearance. Seriously.

Likewise, Lu’s original article has received more than 8,500 comments, few of which have anything to do with her point.

These people are commonly called “trolls.” I have an idea why they appear so regularly. And, I have an idea what to do about them.

The sexual revolution is built on an intellectual house of cards. It cannot withstand close scrutiny. Therefore, sexual revolutionaries cannot afford to discuss ideas, reasons and evidence. Instead they spend their time making noise that appears to be pointless.

But the noise has a very definite point. The Revolutionaries want to change the subject away from them and their illogic. Incidentally, thinking people want to leave the room, just to get away from the god-awful racket.

I suspect some of these perpetual commenters are paid by advocacy organizations. I believe this because:

  • Too many of them just happen to appear at the same time and place
  • They all say approximately the same thing
  • They post far more than most normal people with real jobs would have time for

That is why I suggest we call them paid internet protestors, or PIPs.

They are the online intellectual equivalent of the paid street protestors who show up at Trump rallies and other places. Not physically destructive, obviously, but intellectually, they are every bit as destructive. They want you and your ideas to go away. They want you to be afraid.

Can I prove all of this in a court of law? No. Am I convinced enough to act as if it is true? Absolutely. I think it would be highly imprudent to do otherwise.

So, how should we respond when PIPs appear in an otherwise good conversation? Here are my suggestions:

  1. Do not engage with them directly! This is the food they crave. Starve the PIPs by giving them as little attention as possible. Yes, it is very much like ignoring a spoiled child demanding attention. (Honestly, I had no idea that my years dealing with emotionally disturbed children would be so useful in politics.)
  2. Repeat the important ideas of the article. Praise its original point. Quote some additional facts that support it. Say other nice things about the author. Give a thumbs up to every positive comment you can find. In the case of my conversation with Lu, you might say something like, “Dr. Lu and Dr. Morse agree that the LGBT ideology is irrational. They disagree about what to conclude from that. What I think is….” Above all: Do not leave the conversation! That is exactly what the PIPs are hoping: to get thoughtful people to silence themselves.
  3. Ask a friend or two to come over to the site and do the same thing.

In short, give tons of energy and attention to the points you agree with, not the knuckleheads who are purposely changing the subject.

Don’t feed the PIPs! It just encourages them!


Young Women Are Gambling On a Losing Game

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.

Inline image 1

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.


All Roots Matter: A Call for Action on Father’s Day

Submitted to the Ruth Institute by Ellen Giangiordano

I applaud the History Channel for airing Alex Haley’s “Roots” reimagined over Memorial Day weekend. As co-producer LeVar Burton noted, “Roots” generates a dialogue that is needed now more than ever.

Today, the loss of ancestry is still keenly felt by slave descendants. In February of 2016, when I took a seat at a conference offered by the Black Law Students Association at the University of Pennsylvania, the attendees near me were not talking about Ferguson type police brutality, the topic of the day. They were talking about roots and how successful each had been at reconnecting her own. In this room of legal professionals, Alex Haley’s words rang particularly true: “In all of us there is a hunger, marrow-deep, to know our heritage - to know who we are and where we have come from. Without this enriching knowledge, there is a hollow yearning. No matter what our attainments in life, there is still a vacuum, an emptiness, and the most disquieting loneliness.”


All this raises the question “why, when we readily admit that the amputation of ancestry was wrong during the slave trade, would we seek to amputate the ancestry of others today?” I am not talking about adoption here. In adoption, children are not produced for the commercial market by we the people. They come into the world through the sex act of two private citizens and then society reacts defensively to the abandonment of the child. Rather, I am talking about third party reproduction, which is the intentional manufacture of citizens using donor sperm and/or donor egg knowing that the child’s ancestry will be amputated in whole or in part.

While we no longer allow fully formed babies to be sold at market, we license the merchants who reduce human beings to their component parts, forcibly harvest those parts, maintain them as live stock, advertise them for sale, and ultimately sell them, knowing all the while that the ultimate purchaser will assemble the parts to make the baby he/she/they could not legally buy outright. With guns and drugs we would call this conspiracy, but here we it donor-conception.

Standing in the shoes of the “donor-conceived,” shouldn’t we be trying to prevent this unnatural reality just as we try to keep kids out of our adoption agencies by funding educational and birth control programs? Don’t all roots matter? Of course they do. To deny that every citizen’s roots are worthy of protection is to admit that some citizens are products because they came with a price tag and thus are owed nothing.

In the shadow of Father’s Day 2016, this is a call to stand for something that makes historical, natural and common sense: “Roots Equality.” Find your federal and state legislators at whoismyrepresentative.com and openstates.org, and forward this article to them. Ask that they draft legislation to abolish donor-conception and to establish agencies to re-connect those roots already severed. For the truth is, all roots matter.



Another non-surprise: giving kids condoms doesn't help.

Suuprize, Suuprize, Suuprize!

A recent study (behind a paywall) looked at schools that gave out condoms vs schools that did not. Lo and behold. Giving out condoms, without any counseling, was associated with an increase in teen pregnancy. Vox, that bastion of social conservatism reports. (And no, I don't think that is literally what kind of condoms they gave out. However, I do think that is what the kids see.)

 

 


 


Suuprize, Suuprize, Suuprize! Sex Ed doesn't help teens.

For those who may not remember, Gomer Pyle, USMC was a sitcom featuring Jim Nabors as a dumb but loveable Marine private. One of his most famous lines was "Suuprize, Suuprize, Suuprize."  He would utter these words when he was about to do something to irritate the Sargent or say something obvious. 


 

I've decided to use this phrase when I encounter a study that tells us something obvious that we should have known all along. 

Today's edition comes from my friend Valerie Huber of the Ascend organization, which among other things, "represents and equips the Sexual Risk Avoidance field." 

She put together a press release showing that the Obama Administration's favorite Sex Ed program is not working: 

  • Sexually active students in 2009 (at the conclusion of the Bush Administration) were more likely to use a condom than in 2015. 
  • The use of long-acting reversible contraception (LARC), largely underwritten by the Affordable Care Act, is increasing. But LARC offers no help in reducing the acquisition of STDs. However, fewer teens use a condom when they use birth control pills, or LARCs.
  • Young adults (ages 15-24) only account for about 25% of the sexually active population, they account for nearly 2/3 of all reported cases of chlamydia and gonorrhea.
  • Fewer communities are comfortable with the brand of sex education funded through the Obama administration’s Teen Pregnancy Prevention (TPP) program.

No Suuprizes here! 

Sex ed is government-funded propaganda for the Sexual Revolution. Get the kids hooked on sex before they are old enough to have mature judgment. Convince them that self-command is impossible, and possibly unhealthy. The kids become participants in and supporters of the Sexual Revolution.

Parents of school-aged kids: get them out of sex-ed programs. Grandparents, get yourselves organized to get these programs out of the schools in your community.


 

 

 


Ruth Institute Statement on Orlando Terrorist Attack

The Ruth Institute issued this statement regarding the terrorist attack in Orlando.

"The Ruth Institute categorically condemns the terrorist attack on The Pulse nightclub in Orlando. No one, no matter their nationality, religion, sex or sexual orientation, deserves to die at the hands of terrorists. The danger of Islamic terrorism threatens all of us. We pray for the repose of the souls of those murdered, for comfort for their loved ones, and for wisdom and fortitude for those charged with protecting the common good." 

---Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D., Founder and President, The Ruth Institute.


Turning back the tide of sexual promiscuity through religion

By Jenet Jacob Erickson, a Ruth Inst. Circle of Experts member

Published: May 1, 2016 at the Deseret News

Feminism swept into American culture during the 1960s in the name of women’s equality. While much has been said about feminist efforts to alter gender roles and workplace dynamics, scant attention has been paid to the dramatic changes wrought in response to inequalities in sexual relationships. Feminism sought an end to the double standard that winked at promiscuity in men while condemning it in women. But in response, society made a tragic misstep.

Rather than seek an equal standard by demanding sexual fidelity from men, the feminist movement encouraged women to “imitate the promiscuous tendencies of men.” Sexual relations outside of marriage became a mark of women’s independence. Natural feelings of commitment and relational interdependence, often associated with female sexuality, were condemned as outdated norms that subordinated women and made them dependent on men. No more. As Steven Rhoads aptly summarizes, women were told to negotiate sexual relations for personal desire and pleasure, rather than for love and familial bonding.

 


 

Their arguments worked. In Jean Elshtain’s pithy expression, “the new woman” became “the old man” Though premarital sexual relations began to be more common after World War II, it was still socially frowned upon. And sexual relations between people who did not plan to marry was unacceptable. But from 1943 to 1999, with widely available contraception and abortion, attitudes toward premarital relations changed dramatically, particularly among young women, whose approval increased from 12 percent to 73 percent (young men’s increased from 40 percent to 79 percent). This trend has continued, with millennials holding the most sexually permissive attitudes of any generation.

Such dramatic change has little to do with equality. Rather, it represents a fundamental shift in how our society sees sexuality itself. Human intimacy had long been respected as the power to bond men and women and create new human life. That power demanded boundaries to protect those who could be victimized by it and to channel it into the formation of families that are the building blocks of communities and nations. But in the wake of the 1960s, sexuality was socially transformed from a respected power that demanded boundaries and responsibility to a personal right that demanded free expression.

And there begins the irony of so called “sexual liberation.” Perhaps nothing has brought more devastation to modern family life than the dramatic changes in social norms around sexual behavior. In 1960, the out-of-wedlock childbearing rate was 5 percent — in 2014, it was 41 percent. In the same period, the rate of cohabitation increased more than 17 times, with 50 percent of women today between ages 25-39 currently cohabitating or having cohabitated sometime in the past. This has had significant implications for marriage. Premarital sexual relations with someone other than one’s spouse have consistently been linked to divorce.

And it is children and their mothers who have borne the brunt of the negative outcomes associated with these changes. Children of single mothers “have negative life outcomes at two to three times the rate of children in married, two-parent families.” Children whose parents divorce don’t fare much better, even when their parents remarry. Children living with cohabitating biological parents are at a similar risk for negative outcomes, in part because cohabitation is associated with high breakup rates (50 percent within five years), lower household incomes and higher levels of child abuse and domestic violence. Mothers in cohabitating, step- and never-married family structures are also at much greater risk for poverty and unhealthy and unsafe relationships. Among college women, one in four undergraduates last year reported being physically forced, or threatened with force, into unwanted sexual contact.

Feminist Sally Cline concludes that what the sexual revolution achieved was “not a great deal of liberation for women but a great deal of legitimacy for male promiscuity. …” That legitimizing of promiscuity has left many victims, including men.

Turning back such a tide might seem impossible. But there is one influence that consistently stands out as making a difference: religion. Weekly church-goers are much less likely to have premarital sexual relations and, for those who do, to restrict those relations to their future spouse. Adults who attended church weekly during adolescence, as well as those who consider religion to be “very important,” are eight times more likely to be abstinent compared to those who do not.

This influence should not be taken lightly. To a culture that says there is no way to proscribe sexual behaviors, religion provides an alternative, channeling the sacred power to procreate into the formation of families, and protecting those who would be victimized by its misuse.

Jenet Erickson is an affiliated scholar of the Wheatley Institution and a former assistant professor at Brigham Young University.

 


Arguments about religious liberty failed to defend traditional marriage

By Marilyn Rodrigues May 27, 2016 at Catholicweekly.com.au.

 

Dr Jennifer Roback Morse believes surrogacy will become more prevalent if same-sex marriage is introduced along with a renewed push for legalisation of commercial surrogacy. Photo: Patrick J Lee

Dr Jennifer Roback Morse believes surrogacy will become more prevalent if same-sex marriage is introduced along with a renewed push for legalisation of commercial surrogacy. Photo: Patrick J Lee

The inherent right of children to be raised by their biological mother and father should be the focus of efforts to promote and defend the traditional understanding of marriage, a leading US marriage and family advocate has urged Australians.

“Arguments about religious liberty and freedom of speech didn’t work in the US when we were debating this issue, they were a bit abstract, and sadly, the public’s respect for religion has been lost,” Dr Jennifer Roback Morse told The Catholic Weekly.

Dr Morse is a widely read author on the importance of traditional marriage and family as well as the founder and president of the Ruth Institute which provides support for sufferers of post-divorce family breakdown, the hook-up culture and other outcomes of the sexual revolution such as anonymous donor conception.


“I think the way [that approach] came off is that people felt that we were just worried about ourselves and how we were going to be inconvenienced. It sounded like we were whining about ourselves – and that’s not very attractive.”

Dr Morse visited Australia this month to advise and assist those promoting natural marriage in the lead-up to the anticipated national plebiscite on same-sex marriage after the election.

She also had the advantage of being able to set out where American pro-family groups had made tactical mistakes and the hard lessons learnt from the loss of the fight for the definition of marriage.

“Someday the kids [of this generation] are going to want answers from us about what we were thinking,” she told The Catholic Weekly.

She warned that redefining marriage by permitting same-sex couples to obtain marriage licences under the law will usher in an era where the right of children to be raised by their biological mother and father, where possible, will be undermined as never before.

She says that contraception and no-fault divorce had already paved the way, helping to separate sex from marriage and procreation, and marriage from procreation, and fostered an adult-centric notion of family.

The creation of genderless marriage will lead to the normalisation through surrogacy of children being born and raised without relationship to their biological parents, their parents’ culture, traditions, and ancestral heritage.

“If you redefine marriage, you redefine parenthood,” she said.

“Instead of parenthood being a natural reality that the state records; parenthood is going to be something that comes about through contracts among interested adults that the state then adjudicates and enforces.

“There have already been cases in the UK where four adults [two same-sex couples] were in court contesting parental rights and custody of a child. These types of situations are unresolvable in a way that is just to everyone. It is important to ban them in the first instance.”

Dr Morse is the author or co-author of four books including Love and Economics: It Takes a Family to Raise a Village, and Smart Sex: Finding Life-Long Love in a Hook Up World.

She and her husband are parents to a birth child, an adopted child, and godchild. They also fostered eight children.

“I know from my own experience how much a child needs his or her own mother and father,” she said.

“It is an injustice to children to separate them from one of their parents without a very good reason.”

In adoption, she argues, people stand in for parents lost through an unavoidable tragedy, which is completely different from deliberately denying a child a relationship with one or both parents through surrogacy.

She believes that the use of surrogacy will become more prevalent if same-sex marriage is introduced, along with a renewed push for legal commercial surrogacy in Australia.

Dr Morse also believes that the gay marriage lobby’s own agenda will be hijacked by others if marriage is redefined.

“All kinds of things will change because if we change the law to redefine the institution of marriage, for the sake of the few people who identify as gay or lesbian, we change it for everyone,” she said.

“If you change family law to say marriage is between any two persons, then it can be any two persons for any reason. Two women or two men would be able to get married without proving that they are gay. The incentives will change for people.

“I think there will be some women who will say all things considered I think it’s easier to put up with another woman than a man. I’ll have my kids and she’ll have her kids, and we’ll get married although we’re not sexual partners. The gay lobby can’t stop that from happening. If you redefine the institution; you’re going to change it for everyone.”

This is similar to what happened with easy divorce, she pointed out, which has caused an untold level of suffering among the children of divorce.

“What [divorce’s advocates said at the time] was that no-fault divorce is just going to make it easier and cheaper for the small percentage of couples who are going to get divorced anyway, never realising that they were making divorce easier and thinkable for people. A lot of people began calculating and acting in ways that would have been unimaginable before.”

Dr Morse has real hope that proponents of natural marriage will succeed if we are to have a plebiscite on the issue here.

However, she concedes that given the momentum that the sexual revolution has garnered over the last 50 years, and the fact that most large English-speaking countries have permitted same-sex marriage, we may end up with it in Australia.

In that case, she believes that most people will look back on the decision with regret.

“It wasn’t so long ago that eugenics was seen as the most progressive, enlightened way to go for society. That idea horrifies us now,” she said.

“I think that down the road if these policies come into effect that these so-called progressives want, we are going to look back and be ashamed.

“We’ll say, ‘What were we thinking, that children could get along without a mother; that they could get along without a father; that children could get along with no rights in that respect at all’.

“We already have the situation where two gay men can get a donor egg from a friend and a surrogate mother from some other country, in order to get a baby. That child is likely to never be meaningfully connected to either of those women.

“The Catholic Church can be proud of the fact that we were the only ones who were against eugenics consistently from the beginning.

“In the same way we are the only ones, from the beginning, who have consistently been against the deconstruction of the family in whatever form that may take.”

In promoting natural marriage and family life to young people Dr Morse agrees that there can be no turning back the clock to a time before there was a divorce and contraceptive culture.
She says that one way to inspire young people to help rebuild a marriage and family culture is to look to the past to find inspiration and hope for going forward.

“When Jesus appeared to St Thomas, he said to him, ‘You believe because you’ve seen, blessed are they who gave not seen and yet believe.’

“That’s what we have to say to young people who have not really experienced what a culture centred on marriage and family is like; you need to believe that it is possible.

It’s important to feed the imagination if you don’t have the lived experience of a culture geared toward supporting marriage and family. I have a friend in the US who is a professor of Renaissance poetry.

“He tells his students that this is how men and women treated each other, and isn’t it charming? This is possible for us today; this is our species, it’s not completely alien to us.”

In families that are reasonably intact and functional, she says, it is important for people to talk to their older children about sexual mistakes they have made, apologise for any affect these have had on the family, and listen to their children without judging.

“That makes us much more credible to our children when we then discuss these issues with them.”

While in Australia, Dr Morse had some other advice for those defending natural marriage in the public sphere and ordinary Catholics wanting help in how to defend marriage in conversations with their friends, family, and work colleagues:

We need to mind our language

It’s more precise to speak of redefining marriage than marriage equality, same-sex marriage, or gay marriage, Dr Morse says. This is because language not only reflects but guides the way that people think.

“If you talk as though there’s such a thing as gay marriage you’re conceding a crucial point,” Dr Morse said.

“Our position is that there’s no such thing as gay marriage. Whatever two men or two women in a same-sex relationship are doing together it’s not marriage. So it’s important to say that and not implicitly affirm it by using the term gay marriage.”

“If you say instead: Changing the terms ‘man and woman’ in the family law with the term ‘any two persons’, it makes people stop and think about what is really being asked for here.”

Transgender rights is next in line

Promotion of transgender culture and a push for transgender rights is “the next step” for the LGBTQ lobby, she says.

“We can ask people who want to know why we don’t support gay marriage, ‘Do you think gay marriage is the last thing you’re going to be asked to accept?’

“Look at the US and most people will see right away that that transgenderism is part of the next step. In the US they’ve almost stopped talking about gay marriage. That battle’s been won and so they’re onto transgenderism which is the next thing.

“People have the idea that if we just give the gay lobby what it wants, it will leave us alone and go away. But they will not go away. The deconstruction of gender is very important to them. They want a completely genderless society.”

It confuses the issue to say children are better off in heterosexual households

This is one argument sometimes used in the context of the marriage debate. But whether or not measurable outcomes are better for children raised in heterosexual households misses the point, Dr Morse says.

“It’s a poor argument. You could just as well say that maybe we should remove all children from poor people and give them to wealthier people so they will get a better education and job prospects.

“Rather, we need to think about what is owed the child; a relationship with both of their parents, and the fact that they don’t get it is what is driving a lot of bad outcomes.

“They may have no role model of the opposite gender, or of their same gender. They may have feelings of loss associated with the biological parent who’s not present.

“That’s why the donor conception issue is so important.”

 

 


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