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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.
Posted on: Saturday, January 20, 2018
by Doug Mainwaring
This article was first published at Life Site News on December 22, 2017.
LAKE CHARLES, La., December 22, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – The Ruth Institute is once again encountering difficulty in securing the services of an online donation processor because of its orthodox Christian views regarding marriage, family, and human sexuality.
The Ruth Institute is a global non-profit organization that seeks to create “a mass social movement to end family breakdown by energizing the Survivors of the Sexual Revolution,” paying special attention to the needs and rights of children.
In late August, the Ruth institute was notified that its online donation processor, Vanco, had discontinued providing services to the pro-family, pro-children’s rights organization for allegedly promoting “hate, violence, harassment or abuse.”
At the time, Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, the Institute’s founder and president, said, “[Our] 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.”
“The Ruth Institute is listed on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s ‘Hate Map,’ which was recently in the news,” continued Morse. “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.”
Now, a different donation processor may be using similar tactics against the pro-family group.
Benevity is a company that facilitates employer matching donations. Someone wanted to ask his employer to match his donation to the Ruth Institute, so he asked the organization to sign up with Benevity.
“We make it easier for nonprofit organizations to establish their eligibility for our client’s corporate giving programs, reducing the burden on charities while enabling companies to adhere to their own program guidelines,” claims Benevity on its website. “We’ll determine if an organization is a registered charity in good standing, assess whether the charity meets eligibility guidelines, ensure they are not on relevant watch lists and that they comply with non-discrimination, anti-bribery and secular fund uses.”
According to a posting on its website, The Ruth Institute filled out an application and waited for a response. They were surprised that rather than being immediately accepted for the program, Benevity expressed concern about supposedly problematic statements on the Ruth Institute website.
Benevity suggested that the Ruth Institute is discriminatory because it didn't appear the pro-family advoacy group would be open to running programs for homosexuals or abortion and contraception advocates.
In particular, Benevity pointed to the fact that the Ruth Institute said on its application that it does not discriminate, yet “Upon checking your website and related blog posts, we thought it would be pertinent to reach out to you to check [w]hat you meant … would it mean for example, that your organization would be fine with hiring or running programs for homosexual people, people who did not agree that abortion is wrong, or those who advocate the use of contraception etc.”
“Is this correct?” continued the letter. “It would seem from reading your website and associated links that your organization does not support such views and presumably wouldn't hire or run programs supporting those who do.”
Dr. Morse responded in part, “We would certainly not provide programs that affirmed procuring an abortion, using artificial contraceptives, engaging in non-marital sexual activity or engaging in homosexual sexual activity.”
Benevity’s Charity Relations Specialist, Richard Paxton, responded: “Some of our clients will prohibit their employees from donating to and/or receiving matches for organizations which limit the people they help on the basis of their sexuality, beliefs around sex before marriage, contraception etc.”
Morse explained to Brevity’s Paxton, “I am unaware of any statute or case law that prohibits ‘discrimination’ based on ‘beliefs around sex before marriage, contraception, etc.’”
“Holding certain beliefs is not an immutable characteristic,” Dr. Morse continued. “Holding certain beliefs does not make one a member of a protected class, as far as I am aware. On what basis then do you include ‘beliefs around sex before marriage, contraception and especially the open-ended category, ‘etc.’ in your anti-discrimination question?”
Paxton countered, “We did find some content on your website and subsequent posts which suggest clearly that certain groups are excluded from attending some of your programs on the basis of their religion.”
The example he gave was a statement at the end of a post on the Ruth Institute's website:
Paxton explained that this would contradict the Ruth Institute’s self certification that it is not discriminatory.
In the end, the Ruth Institute revised its application, forced to answer “yes, we do discriminate.”
“We could have withdrawn our application altogether. I chose instead, to fill it out, under duress, as it were,” Dr. Morse elaborated. “I wish to state in no uncertain terms: I do not agree with the definition of ‘discrimination’ presented to me in this correspondence. In my mind, we do not ‘discriminate’ against anyone. Please notice that my request for clarification about whether holding views on ‘contraception,’ ‘abortion’ or especially ‘etc.’ constitutes discrimination did not receive any response whatsoever.”
It is unclear if any church-based ministry would meet Benevity’s standards for non-discrimination.
Posted on: Monday, January 08, 2018
Posted by Marc & Julie Anderson on in Archdiocese, Leaven News
What part will you play in the future of the family?
It is a question that is on the mind of more than a few Catholic leaders these days, as we see the primary institution of our society fracture under seemingly insurmountable stress.
But the Catholic Church is not the only institution unwilling to throw in the towel on the institution of the family.
The Ruth Institute, founded in 2008 by Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, is a global nonprofit organization aimed at ending family breakdown by energizing survivors of the Sexual Revolution.
And it’s a movement that is coming to the archdiocese next month.
On Jan. 27, the archdiocesan office of marriage and family life will host the institute’s “Healing Family Breakdown” spiritual workshop at the Church of the Ascension in Overland Park.
The event is open to all, Catholic and non-Catholic, and, according to Morse, is meant to accomplish three goals: (1) heal families; (2) help participants prevent family breakdown; and (3) help participants become agents of healing within society at large.
When families attend the workshop, Morse added, something important and life-changing happens to them.
“You realize you and your family are not the only ones,” she said. “For a lot of people, that is huge.”
That realization is an important first step in healing, she said, and is often made manifest to her in a tangible way in the seating arrangement of workshop participants.
“The Holy Spirit has a way of seating people at the table who belong together,” Morse said.
For example, at a past workshop, she witnessed a teenage girl’s perspective change as a result of a conversation she had with a man at her table.
The girl was the daughter of divorced parents. She blamed her father for the situation and did not want anything to do with him.
However, also seated at her table was a divorced man experiencing loneliness as his children would not talk to him. A conversation between the two, Morse said, led the young lady to consider the hurt and loneliness her father might be experiencing, a perspective the teenager had not considered previously.
And that’s just one type of healing and paradigm shift The Ruth Institute is trying to bring about in the world.
On the nonprofit’s website — www.ruthinstitute.org — Morse identifies a dozen different types of survivors of the Sexual Revolution, ranging from children of divorce and of unmarried parents, to a pornography addict or a post-abortive man or woman.
If you recognize yourself, a family member or a friend in one of the 12 survivor descriptions, Morse discourages you from trying to go it alone. Participate in the workshop and begin the healing process, instead.
“We need [survivors’] participation,” she said. “We need you to be witnesses to say the church was right all along [about its teachings on family and sexuality].”
Morse calls survivors “the secret weapon” to restoring the family to its greatness and its rightful place in society.
“All these wounded souls need to speak up,” she said.
“Many people leave the faith over sexual issues,” Morse explained. “I know. I stormed off in a huff.”
But just as people leave the faith over sexual issues, Morse said, countless people later realize the beauty of church teaching and return to the faith.
“I was completely wrong, of course,” she said of her departure from the faith.
Later, by studying the church’s teachings and by watching her adopted and biological children grow, Morse said she realized how much children need their father and mother as well as how much they want their parents.
“That’s how I got interested in the family and how the family fits into society,” said Morse.
As she has watched the family structure in modern society continue to deteriorate, however, Morse is not without hope.
“A lot of what society is trying to do is undoable,” she said. “We believe it is possible to make the family great again.”