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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: Tuesday, October 30, 2018
Exclusive: Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse slams 'fantasy ideology,' ugly fallout of Sexual Revolution
This article was first published October 23, 2018, at wnd.com.
by Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D.
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. According to the American Cancer Society, 1 in 8 women will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. But I doubt the mainstream media will even mention one easily-avoidable lifestyle choice that has been implicated as a risk factor in numerous studies around the world: abortion.
In my book, “The Sexual State: How Elite Ideologies Are Destroying Lives and Why the Church Was Right All Along ,” I noted: “The link between abortion and breast cancer has been confirmed in numerous studies around the world, including Iran, China, Turkey, Armenia, India, and Bangladesh.” More recently, Drs. Angela Lanfranchi, Joel Brind and colleagues performed a meta-analysis of 20 studies of South Asian women, showing a correlation between breast cancer and abortion. Yet even the possibility of a connection between abortion and breast cancer will not be part of the month-long publicity campaign. Why?
The Sexual Revolution has created the Grand Sex Positive Narrative, to convince people that sexual activity is an entitlement for anyone capable of giving meaningful consent:
It’s as if they’re saying: “Oh, sure, casual sex used to present problems like risks of pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. But we modern, enlightened, technologically advance people have overcome all that. We have antibiotics to treat any stray microbes that manage to make it through the condom barriers we all use 100% of the time. We have pills and IUDs and long-acting reversible hormonal contraceptives to prevent pregnancy. And of course, we have safe, legal abortions to clean up any stray fetuses that manage to get conceived.”
The possible link between abortion and breast cancer presents a problem to the Grand Sex Positive Narrative. If abortion presents significant downsides, risks or problems, viewing casual sex as an entitlement would no longer make sense. Therefore, Sexual Revolutionaries have tried hard to convince people that abortion is no more psychologically traumatic or medically risky than removing an appendix or pulling a tooth.
Notice how strong this claim is. It can be refuted with a single counter-example. I don’t need to show that every woman everywhere regrets her abortion or was seriously harmed by it. All I need to show is that some women are harmed in some way. Once the idea of harmless abortion is dislodged from the public mind, then every woman must consider whether she could be one of the women likely to be harmed. Responsible medicine would require all health care personnel to take these risks seriously and provide full information.
Being overweight or having a family history of breast cancer are risk factors for breast cancer. Women in these situations might want to avoid abortion.
Taking these questions seriously threatens the whole sexual revolutionary ideological structure. “Maybe I should not sleep with a guy who would be a lousy father. Maybe I should not sleep with anyone at all if I am not ready to be a mother. In fact, if abortion might be painful for me, and contraception might fail, I’d better be careful about my sexual choices.”
The Sexual Revolution is a fantasy ideology. We cannot build an entire society around the idea that sex and babies are completely disconnected. Yet many of our most intelligent, highly educated members of society are committed to precisely this goal. They can scarcely even consider evidence that some abortions are harmful to some women: it is just too upsetting, too disruptive to the Official Sex Positive Narrative.
That is why you have not heard anything about the connection between breast cancer and abortion, even during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
I’m not only willing to talk about it. I insist on it. Women’s health is too important to be threatened by political correctness.
Posted on: Wednesday, October 24, 2018
Thank you, Deacon Brian, and thank you everyone for coming.
First, it allows people to listen here today, who may be out of range of the speakers.
Second, it allows people to join us in our wonderful prayer event from anywhere in the world.
To listen to the live stream, please go to the Ruth Institute Facebook page, and click on the appropriate place.
When people think of the Catholic Church, they often picture a crowd of cardinals, processing into St. Peter’s.But this too, is the Catholic Church, thousands of lay people, coming together to praise God, do good, and welcome anyone who wants to join them.
Thank you all for making this wonderful day possible.
Posted on: Monday, October 22, 2018
by Jennifer Roback Morse
This article was first published October 5, 2018, at Catholic Vote.
Sunday, October 7 is Feast of the Holy Rosary. This is the day where, 437 years ago, Christian forces used the Rosary to overcome the Ottomans at the Battle of Lepanto.
In 2018, it’s the day when thousands of American Catholics will unite in prayer for healing in the world and the Church. The battle today is against lust for sex and power, and in favor of justice and healing for the sexually abused.
Father Richard Heilman’s Rosary Coast to Coast takes its inspiration not only from those who fought nearly a half-millennium ago, but also from when the people of Poland stood on their nation’s borders last year to pray for their country and the world.
At last count, there were over over 1,000 sites registered in the United States and 39 countries. Prayer will begin at 4:00 Eastern Standard Time, including at a rally on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
What can you do?
St. Paul noted that each of us has strengths that support and complement the rest of the Church. The Ruth Institute is primarily a scientific and educational institute that aims to uphold Truth on sexual ethics. But Father Heilman’s spiritual gift for organizing inspired us to reach beyond our comfort zone and organize for the spiritual battle — unseen, but more obvious every day.
Our Rosary Around the Lake has Bishop Glen John Provost of the Lake Charles, Louisiana Diocese leading the Apostles’ Creed, and a projected 1,000 local people — from Catholic clergy to non-Catholics!
You can also get involved. Use whatever gifts God has given you to support this international day of prayer. Share your local event on social media. (You can find the site closest to you here.) Encourage your friends and family to participate. If you’re unable to directly participate due to physical disability, pray the Rosary from home, or volunteer to babysit others’ children. Pray your own Rosary with the children!
Taking the Rosary past October 7
Hopefully, this great day of prayer will inspire you to keep working for the Kingdom. As a longtime defender of the Church’s teachings on sexual morality, I encourage all laity to make two important contributions to the Church.
First, we must work for justice for the victims of clergy sexual abuse. Cut out the excuses. “But other churches and public schools have as much abuse as we do.” Perhaps true, but not relevant. The only relevant factor is getting our own house in order. That includes: justice for the victims, punishment for the perpetrators, and protection for innocent clergy.
Second, we must proclaim the Church’s teaching on marriage, family, and human sexuality in our own spheres of influence. If the clergy had lived up to Church teaching, including the Sixth Commandment and their vows of celibacy, none of the abuse would have happened. And too many of the clergy are too morally compromised to offer a full-throated defense of Church teaching. We lay people must deliver that message ourselves.
Look at the current Supreme Court nomination mess. The Kavanaugh / Ford debacle clearly illustrates: many lives have been ruined by both genuine sexual assault and by false accusations. We need to challenge the entire sexual revolution, not just the little corner of it that happens to be bothering us right now.
No one can really do that but Catholics. Only the Ancient Catholic teachings on marriage, family, and human sexuality provide a humane and intellectually coherent alternative to the sexual brokenness we see around us.
I have no doubt at all that the Mother of God and her Divine Son will be delighted to help us proclaim these timeless truths.
See you on October 7!
Posted on: Monday, October 22, 2018
by Jennifer Roback Morse
This article was first posted at Crisis Magazine on September 11, 2018.
Miami police arrested two priests for “lewd and lascivious behavior.” One of them was also charged with “indecent exposure.” The two priests were in a parked car in a public place, performing a “sex act.” As the policeman noted, “there were no tints on the windows.” Let’s talk about these two men, and what this incident means for our (non-stop) public conversation about sex.
First off, let me state for the record: I will never say “all gay men are….” I once wrote an article called “Fifty Shades of Gay.” I’m not about to draw rash conclusions about “gay men” from the behavior of a few.
However, this incident certainly casts doubt on what I will call the Grand Gay Narrative. The Gay Marketing Men and their allies who promote the Sexual Revolution have gone to a lot of trouble to create the following impressions in the public mind:
The incident of two priests having oral sex in public undermines the plausibility of the Grand Gay Narrative. Let us consider these points one by one:
The most logical conclusion is that these two men are not in command of themselves. They are either grossly immature or they have some kind of obsessive-compulsive “issues,” as the euphemism goes. In other words, this is not normal behavior—at all.
One might reply that these two men are not typical of gay men, and that their behavior is not an intrinsic part of being gay. OK. Let’s say these two guys are not necessarily typical. They are atypical, out-of-control whack jobs.
In fact, I will go one step further: I won’t refer to them as “gay” at all. If you notice, I have not yet referred to them as “gay.” I plan not to do so. Perhaps you did not know that distinguished psychologist and expert on gender, Dr. Lisa Diamond, has stated: “There is currently no scientific or popular consensus on the exact constellation of experiences that definitively ‘qualify’ a person as lesbian, gay or bisexual, rather than curious, confused or maladjusted.”
Instead of the scientifically ambiguous and contested term “gay,” let me use a more precise term. The community of public health and medical researchers generally use the term, “men who have sex with men,” or MSM. Is the behavior of 39-year-old Fr. Diego Berrio and 30-year-old Fr. Edwin Giraldo Cortez in any way typical of other men who have sex with men? Looking at the Centers for Disease Control’s reports on rates of sexually transmitted diseases gives us some insight into this question.
Syphilis: the CDC reports that “MSM continued to account for the majority of Primary & Secondary syphilis cases in 2016 (Figures 35 and 36). Of 27,814 reported P&S syphilis cases in 2016, 16,155 (58.1 percent) were among MSM, including 14,553 (52.3 percent) cases among men who had sex with men only and 1,602 (5.8 percent) cases among men who had sex with both men and women (Figure 36).”
HIV: This CDC report states:
Sexually transmitted diseases are the result of a combination of having sex with multiple partners, and not using condoms consistently. Some might argue that lots of people have the urge to have multiple sex partners. In that sense, we could say they are all “born that way.” But we expect people to control that urge. And most people successfully do.
What can we conclude from the much higher rates of STDs among men who have sex with men compared with everyone else? We can, I think, reasonably conclude that MSM are less likely to be in command of themselves than others, more likely to have multiple partners, and less likely to take steps that reduce risk.
These two particular men are certainly not in command of themselves. Do you really want Fr. Diego Berrio or Fr. Edwin Giraldo Cortez running the youth group at your parish, or deciding whether your marriage is null? Is there really a safe or appropriate placement for someone who can’t control himself?
Whatever your answer to those questions might be, I think we can agree on one thing: this incident seriously tarnishes the carefully crafted image created
by the Gay Marketing Men.
Posted on: Thursday, October 18, 2018
New York Times’ executive director, Dean Baquet, exposed a profound contradiction when he said of journalists from major media outlets: “We don’t get religion. We don’t get the role of religion in people’s lives.” His assessment, of course, reflects not only the perceptions of journalists, but many cultural elites for whom religion is often seen as a relic of the past or a source of irrational, bigoted thought. Yet, ironically, more than at any other time, scientific research today provides evidence for the profoundly positive influence of religion in individual lives, families, and communities.
Church attendance and human flourishing
Harvard School of Public Health professor Tyler Vander Weele recently released an analysis summarizing decades of research evaluating the connection between religion and individual wellbeing. He concluded: “Participation in religious services is associated with numerous aspects of human flourishing, including happiness and life satisfaction, mental and physical health, meaning and purpose, character and virtue, and close social relationships.” Frequent church attendance and religious commitment were specifically associated with a 25-35 percent reduction in mortality, a three to six-fold reduction in the likelihood of suicide, and a 30 percent reduction in the incidence of depression.
His report came on the heels of a University of Pennsylvania review of 800 studies confirming a robust relationship between religious commitment and better physical and emotional health including a substantial increase in the longevity, regardless of sex, race, education or health history.
Protecting youth and families
For adolescents, studies repeatedly demonstrate a host of positive outcomes related to church attendance: higher self-esteem, positive outlook, stronger family and adult relationships, moral reasoning and behavior, community participation, better school behavior and outcomes, less risky or dangerous behaviors, lower levels of substance abuse and alcohol use, and less crime and violence. Most recently, Chen and VanderWeele’s sophisticated, longitudinal analysis of 5,000 youth confirmed that having a religious upbringing itself “contributes to a wide range of health and well-being outcomes later in life.” Specifically, youth from religious families were better protected from the “big three dangers of adolescence” – depression, substance abuse, and risky behaviors – while also reporting more happiness, volunteering, having a sense of mission and forgiveness.
A look at the relationship between religious involvement and family wellbeing reveals similarly robust findings. Religious attendance is linked to marital satisfaction, stronger inclinations toward marrying, and a 30-50 percent reduction in the likelihood of divorce. For women, the happiest marriages were those in which both spouses shared a strong commitment to marriage and attended church together. For men, religious activity was associated with stronger relationships and greater investment in their relationships with their children. Fathers who attended church weekly were the most active and emotionally engaged, and their wives reported feeling more appreciated, and more satisfied with the affection, love and understanding they felt from their husbands.
The basis of strong communities
These findings help explain why religious commitment is not only significant to individual and family flourishing, but why it plays such a role in the strength of communities as well. Religious principles including truth, virtue, trust, the common good, dignity of the human person, and sanctity of human life, provide the foundation for democratic governments. Further, religion’s emphasis on hard work, self-reliance, and strong families is foundational to developing the principles and structures needed for thriving capitalist economies.
Income mobility, for example, defined as the proportion of individuals able to move from low to high socioeconomic levels, is consistently higher in more religiously active communities. This is due to several factors positively related to religious commitment and church attendance: an environment of strong family relationships, reduced divorce rates, reduced non-marital child bearing, and the network of social support available to lower income individuals. Religious communities are often “key sources of neighborhood developmental resources,” playing a significant role in “orienting youth toward a positive future,” reinforcing messages “about working hard and staying out of trouble,” and building a “skill set of commitments and routines” that facilitate academic achievement and success.
Religion and freedom – a solemn partnership
Long before scientific research had the sophistication to confirm the significant, positive influence of religion on society, Frenchman Alexis de Tocqueville concluded in 1831, that the key to America’s liberty lay in the profound influence of religious belief and participation. His observations led him to conclude, “Liberty regards religion as its companion…It considers religion as the safeguard of morality, and morality as the best security of law and the surest pledge of the duration of freedom.” Without the influence of religion, he warned, Americans would undermine the conditions of their own freedom.
New York Times’ executive director, Dean Baquet’s acknowledgement of a lack of understanding about the profound role of religion in people’s lives sheds light on the dramatically increased risk for suppression of religious speech and expression in today’s culture. These risks have become a reality for some, including CEOs, newscasters, teachers, doctors, professors, and police officers who have lost jobs or leadership positions for expressing their religious beliefs; adoption agencies that have been forced out of offering services because of their religious beliefs; business owners and professionals losing licenses or being fined for refusing to provide services contrary to their religious beliefs; faith-based clubs on college campuses being forced to disband unless they allow anyone including those who oppose their religious beliefs to become members and officers; parents being unable to exempt their children from public education curricula that is contrary to their religious beliefs; and on. Greater threats to larger groups of religious adherents seeking to live out their beliefs continue to loom.
In a nation with citizens of varying religious beliefs, the right to free religious expression is bounded by the need for governments to protect the health and safety of all. But that appropriate balance is only possible when cultures and governments recognize the inalienable right of individuals to hold and express their religious beliefs publicly and privately, as well as the special, unique contribution of religion to the flourishing of individuals, families, and communities. As Dean Baquet revealed, educating others about the specific positive effects of religious commitment will be central to rebuilding an appreciation for the importance of religious beliefs and communities, and why they deserve special protection. The evidence is there. It just needs to be shared.
Posted on: Monday, October 15, 2018
Just remember: Pray. Learn. Speak Out. Repeat.
This article was first published October 15, 2018, at NCRegister.com.
Faithful Catholics are understandably distressed over the scandalous revelations about our church. Sexual abuse of minors, sexual harassment of seminarians, cover-ups by bishops are all part of the mix, not to mention financial malfeasance for good measure. People may wonder, “What can I do about all this?”
I offer my Three and a Half-Step plan for reforming the Church.
This plan is NOT for people who have specific vocational expertise to offer. If you are a canon lawyer, investigative journalist or retired FBI investigator, I won’t presume to tell you how to do your job. My plan is for ordinary people, without such specialized knowledge.
And yes, you read it right: It is a Three and a Half-Step Plan. Here are the three full steps:
Let me explain each one in turn.
Step 1: Pray.
You better believe we need to pray. The recently revealed sexual and financial corruption is far too deep to address through natural means alone. Yes, of course, we need to use all of our skills and knowledge. But these problems have a supernatural dimension to them. Don’t be stupid: We can’t get this done on our own.
During the worldwide Rosary Coast to Coast Oct. 7, the Ruth Institute’s contribution drew more than 800 people to Lake Charles, Louisiana. In all, the Rosary Coast to Coast comprised more than 1,000 participating locations in the U.S. and an additional 57 around the world. I have no doubt that some of those people were praying for healing for our Church.
Prayer allows us to tell God we are sorry for any ways in which we have enabled or participated in the current mess. There have been many sins of commission related to the scandals within the Church. But for most of us, sins of indifference and omission are more likely the issue. Prayer also reminds us that we are the creatures and God is the Creator. We owe him everything.
When we pray, we can listen to what God wants to tell us. I have found that sometimes when I am trying to figure out what to do or not do, an answer “just comes to me,” during prayer. We can get guidance about what specific actions we should take or not take. Given the huge range of issues that deserve the attention of faithful thoughtful Catholics, receiving direction toward one or another is no small blessing.
Step 2: Learn.
I’m sure most people reading this column in the Register know roughly what is going on in the Church right now. But you may feel overwhelmed by the scope of the problems. We really need to know what we are talking about, or we will discredit ourselves and our cause.
Faithful Catholics need to be informed about the current situation. For instance, the Ruth Institute prepared this backgrounder that addresses the disproportionate number of male victims. This is a manageable amount of information to absorb.
We also need to proclaim the Church’s teachings about marriage, family and human sexuality. Be prepared to explain what the Church teaches about divorce and premarital sex and contraception. Learn about the evidence that shows the Church has been right all along: if we lived these teachings, we would have better lives.
And we would not have sex scandals involving priests preying on young men. So yes, we need to be prepared to explain what the Church teaches about homosexual activity and homosexual identity.
Step 3: Speak Out.
People inside and outside the Church need to know that faithful Catholics want transparency. We want the truth to come out. We are not interested in protecting the Church’s reputation at the expense of innocent victims.
Another advantage of speaking out is that we will embolden the clergy or Church employees who have information about abuse and cover-up but who have been afraid to speak up. We will comfort the victims, some of whom have been seeking justice for years.
Speaking out could include: signing a petition, sharing information on social media, writing to people in authority, including bishops, priest, or governors or congresspeople. Speaking out could also include talking with your friends and neighbors. Whatever you do, keep in mind these two points that we absolutely must convey:
Step 3½: Repeat!
I count it as a “half-step” because you don’t really have anything extra to remember.
I’m dead serious about this. The “Repeat” step is very important. Let’s say you’ve done one round of Pray, Learn, Speak Out. I absolutely promise you: You will not get it all correct and complete on the first pass! You might stumble on your words. Someone might ask you a question you can’t answer. Maybe you make a mistake. Maybe someone gets mad at you. Maybe you get mad.
Your next move is the crucial move: You MUST NOT QUIT!!!!
Go back to Step 1 and Pray. “Lord, what did that person really want to know? What were they thinking? What was I thinking?” Or, if everything went well, you could say, “Thank you, Jesus! That was fun! What do you want me to do next!?”
I’ve been preaching Church teaching since roughly 2001. Trust me on this. You are going to make mistakes. The only way to improve is to keep reflecting on your encounters with people. You might as well do your reflecting in front of the Blessed Sacrament or with a Rosary in your hand.
Repeat the “Learn” step. Go ask someone for advice. Look up the answers on the internet. We’ve got a bunch of stuff (and I do mean a BIG bunch of stuff) at the Ruth Institute website.
And then, by all means, Speak Out again. You will improve. And you will make a difference.
Just remember: Pray. Learn. Speak Out. Repeat.
Together we can reform our beloved Church.
Posted on: Tuesday, October 09, 2018
By Tyler O'Neil
This article was posted October 6, 2018, at PJMedia.com.
On Sunday, Roman Catholics across the country will unite to fight "the evil one" with a "Rosary Coast to Coast." Jennifer Roback Morse, founder of the Catholic pro-family Ruth Institute, told PJ Media that this "Rosary crusade" will bring hope amid the fallout of the priest sexual abuse scandal and to the hidden victims of the sexual revolution.
"The evil one is slinking around our town causing trouble," Morse told PJ Media. She insisted that, just like the victims of the clerical abuse scandal, victims of the sexual revolution are "invisible," hidden.
"Part of the project of the sexual revolution is to shut everybody up and to keep the victims isolated from each other," Morse, who recently published the book "The Sexual State: How Elite Ideologues Are Destroying Lives And Why the Church Was Right All Along," argued. "If all the children of divorce lined up end to end, we'd be in a different world."
"I think there are millions of invisible victims," she explained. Her book lays out many kinds of victims: spouses who didn't want divorce, children who never know their parents, and women who delayed childbirth too late.
Morse insisted that the problems with the sexual revolution are scientifically verifiable, but she also said they have a spiritual dimension. She led the Ruth Institute to join the "Rosary Coast to Coast" in order to spread awareness of the problems and to encourage Catholics to pray the Rosary to fight the spiritual battle. She wrote more about this decision in an article for the National Catholic Register.
October 7, the date of the event, is also the feast of the Holy Rosary, a feast that dates back to the Battle of Lepanto, a key victory against Ottoman Turkish forces on October 7, 1571. European Christians were vastly outnumbered, but Pope Pius V led the soldiers and the city of Rome in praying the Rosary, and the Christians won a huge victory.
Father Richard Heilman, a priest in Madison, Wisc., organized "Rosary Coast to Coast" to fight a spiritual war. "Casualties often go unseen, but very few are left unwounded. The Enemies encamped against us seek to rob us of our Dignity–the essential Dignity of the Human Person, being made in the Image and Likeness of God," he wrote.
He pointed to the "secular Left" as the ideological enemy, and pointed to Poland as his inspiration. In 2017, the people of Poland prayed the Rosary in a circle around the borders of their country. More than 1,000 sites have been registered for the event on Sunday, across the United States and in 39 countries. Prayers will begin at 4 p.m. Eastern in the U.S., including a large rally on the Mall in Washington, D.C.
Morse and the Ruth Institute have launched a local event in Lake Charles, La. "We told people, 'Buy ten blue t-shirts and get one gold one free.' We're going to line up like a giant Rosary around the lake," she told PJ Media. "We sold 500 t-shirts in a town of 100,000."
The Ruth Institute founder noted that southern Louisiana is still Cajun country. "Catholicism is a big part of Cajun identity, it's like their food and their music," she explained. But Catholics must unite to fight the spiritual battle over the family.
The Ruth Institute works to keep families together, explain why children need their parents, and bring healing to the wounds caused by the sexual revolution. "We got involved in 'Rosary Coast to Coast' because we're on the frontlines of dealing with family breakdown, which is just about the most painful, brutal thing going on in our culture," Morse told PJ Media.
"The sexual revolution's problem is that we are at war with our bodies," the Catholic leader argued, echoing the claims of her book. "We're a gendered species — male and female — and sex makes babies. We resent all that. That complex of ideas is the underlying problem of the sexual revolution. That's what's causing family breakdown."
She also referenced the deep darkness of abortion. "For a woman to think it's a good thing to kill her own baby, that's not natural. There's a kind of darkness at work that is making us less than human."
Morse did not identify liberals themselves as the direct enemy. "I tend not to go around saying, 'This is a bad person.' I think a lot of the people who are 'on the other side' have a lot of issues and brokenness themselves," she explained.
"The enemy is the evil one. I believe that the devil is real. The idea that is the enemy is the idea that sex is a game and your body's a toy," Morse told PJ Media. That idea has taken over a broad swath of American culture — and cultures across the world.
"We're not going to solve this without divine assistance, and anybody who doesn't see that is kidding themselves," she said.
While Lake Charles has a strong Catholic population — about 50 percent — Southern Baptists make up a sizable minority, about 30 percent. "People here tend to be either Catholic or Baptist," Morse said. "Mary's a tough thing for them. I'm trying to assure them we're not worshiping statues, we're not worshiping Mary."
"We're asking for her help. Jesus loves his momma and so do we," the Catholic leader said. "He's a nice Jewish boy who loves his momma." The Ruth Institute has advertised the local event, "Rosary Around the Lake," with billboards explaining why Catholics ask Mary for help.
Morse also suggested that, in the wake of the priest abuse scandal, Catholics should emphasize that the face of Roman Catholicism is not just priests, cardinals, and the pope. "When people think of the Catholic Church, they picture a line of clergy processing into St. Peter's Square. I'd like people to picture hundreds of lay people saying the Rosary. This is the Catholic Church, also."
She recalled the historic Cajuns, settling in Louisiana after being expelled from Canada, gathering together and "saying the Rosary with their calloused hands."
The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a far-Left smear organization, has branded the Ruth Institute a "hate group," citing a passage from the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The credit card processing company Vanco Payments dropped the Ruth Institute over this designation.
"People here are slightly bemused when I tell them I founded a 'hate group,'" Morse told PJ Media. "It's a badge of honor, practically." Her work to preserve the family and help the victims of the sexual revolution is the furthest thing from "hate," but such smears seem to come with the territory. This climate of intolerance is merely one more thing to pray about.
Posted on: Tuesday, October 09, 2018
By Tyler O'Neil
This article was first published October 4, 2018, at PJMedia.com.
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 over-hyped 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 et 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: Tuesday, October 02, 2018
by Jennifer Roback Morse
This article was first published October 1, 2018, at National Catholic Register.
Division. Accusations. Cover-ups. Family breakdown. Family secrets. Chaos in our families, in our country, in our world and in our Church. What is an authentically Catholic response to all of this? Prayer, of course. But how to pray and what kind of prayer?
Father Richard Heilman, a priest of the Diocese of Madison, Wisconsin, has organized a super-charged Catholic event: “Rosary Coast to Coast.” This event has it all: a sense of history, a universal reach and, of course, the most distinctively traditional Catholic devotion, the Rosary.
Oct. 7, the day of “Rosary Coast to Coast,” is the feast of the Holy Rosary. This feast dates back to the high-stakes Mediterranean Battle of Lepanto, which took place Oct. 7, 1571. European Christian forces were vastly outnumbered by the Ottoman forces. Pope Pius V called on everyone to say the Rosary. The sailors and soldiers prayed. So did the entire city of Rome. Miraculously, the Christian forces won the battle, and the city was saved.
Last year, the people of Poland encircled their entire country with prayer At last count, more than 1,000 sites are registered in the United States and in 39 countries. In the U.S., prayers will begin at 4pm Eastern, including at a big rally on the Mall in Washington, D.C.
Around the time I first heard about “Rosary Coast to Coast,” I had noticed several families here in my local Diocese of Lake Charles, Louisiana, having marriage problems. These were good, devout families, not those whom I would have expected to be having problems. (Because of my work defending the family, people confide in me.) I thought to myself, “The Evil One is slinking around causing trouble, even in our dear little devout diocese.”
I decided to get the Ruth Institute involved as the local organizers for “Rosary Coast to Coast” here in our home base of Lake Charles. We made this decision for two reasons. First, even though we are principally an interfaith scientific and educational organization, we are very much aware of the spiritual, even demonic, nature of the attacks on the family. What could be more unnatural than a mother thinking it is good to kill her own child in the womb? What could be more heartbreaking than a family torn apart by divorce, with the children coping with the day-in and day-out struggle of living in two separate households? What could be more irrational than an attack on the human body itself, resenting the differences between male and female, and even denying the reality of sex differences? What could be more genuinely evil than young people being abused by their pastors and then finding that authorities protect the perpetrators, not the victims?
These tragic crimes are so deeply entrenched in our society, there is no natural reason to be hopeful. We are not going to solve these problems on our own, no matter how much scientific evidence we produce. We need Divine assistance.
Sister Lucia, one of the visionaries of Fatima, reported the words of the Mother of God. “The final battle between the Lord and the kingdom of Satan will be about marriage and the family.” Sister Lucia added, “Don’t be afraid, because whoever works for the sanctity of marriage and the family will always be fought against and opposed in every way, because this is the decisive issue.” Then she concluded: “Nevertheless, Our Lady has already crushed his head.”
The other reason we got involved is that we knew the people in the community of Lake Charles would love it. South Louisiana is the “Catholic Buckle” on the Bible Belt. The Catholic ethos is very much alive here. Catholicism is part of the Cajun identity.
And they do love it. We announced the “Rosary Around the Lake,” a plan to meet on the shores of Lake Charles and go as far around the lake as possible. We encouraged people to organize “decades” and sold T-shirts to go along with that idea. Get 10 blue shirts for every one gold shirt (the colors of the local university). We sold more than 500 shirts before the deadline. We will probably get many times that number of people to come out for their Blessed Mother if the weather is good.
And we have good reason to expect good weather. We have a fantastic “Good Weather Committee.” The school children are all praying for good weather.
We are also doing our best to include our non-Catholic neighbors. I know for a fact of a few of our dear Baptist friends will be present. When people ask me, I tell them to pray in whatever way they can in good conscience. (I am also teasing them a little bit, as you can see with these billboards now on display around Lake Charles.)
In Lake Charles, this is an initiative of the laity. But our clergy have been very supportive. Lake Charles’ Bishop Glen Provost will attend and will lead the Apostles’ Creed. The clergy around the diocese have promoted the event and have encouraged people to attend.
When the dust settles after Oct. 7, we will all go back to our ordinary occupations. But we will not be so ordinary. We will have a renewed commitment to stand up for the truth in our own lives, in our country and in our Church. I have no doubt at all that Mary will be delighted. I am sure her Divine Son will speak to each of us in the privacy of our hearts and show us what we can do to help.
One more thing: I received a communication from a pro-family activist in Romania. He had reached out to me about some of our materials. They will be having a referendum on the definition of marriage. Guess when the vote will take place? Oct. 7.
I have no doubt at all that the Mother of God and her Divine Son will have something to say about that vote!