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.


President of Ruth Institute Says Teacher Fired for Calling a Girl “She” Shows How the Power of Government Supports the Sexual Revolution

For immediate release

For more information: media@ruthinstitute.org

On Friday, October 7, a group of students at the West Point, Virginia, high school staged a peaceful protest in support of a teacher who was fired for referring to a female student who “identifies” as male as “she.”

“Absurd as it is, we shouldn’t be surprised by this,” says Ruth Institute Founder and President Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse. “What’s called transgenderism is a movement that can’t succeed without the raw power of the state behind it.”

Among other “transgender” victories, California now allows “nonbinary” (refusal to be identified by gender) as an option on drivers’ licenses. Some hospitals don’t designate a newborn by sex. Genitalia is no longer enough to distinguish male from female.

 


 

In her book, The Sexual State: How Elite Ideologies Are Destroying Lives, Morse notes that the Gender Ideology (a key component of the Sexual Revolution) “separates individuals from their own bodies, which are regarded as unreasonable constraints on one’s freedom and self-determination.”

Thus, says Morse: “All differences between men and women, including seemingly natural differences, can be reconstructed with enough re-engineering of human biological hardware and social cultural software. The modern Sexual State will, of course, be on hand to ensure that the entire society conforms itself to each individual’s newly chosen identity.”

In this case, through the unanimous action of the West Point school board, the Sexual State could end up destroying the career of a dedicated teacher for refusing to endorse the Gender Ideology.

The Ruth Institute calls for the reinstatement of the teacher in question, who should not be punished for recognizing reality instead of entering the fantasy world of gender choice.

For more information on The Sexual State: https://thesexualstate.com/

For more information on The Ruth Institute: http://www.ruthinstitute.org/

To schedule an interview with Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, email media@ruthinstitute.org

 


Punishing the Guilty Is Justice, Not a Witch Hunt

There is no “witch hunt.” I don’t know anyone who wants to drive from the priesthood any celibate holy man who is true to Church teaching.

by Jennifer Roback Morse

This article was first published at National Catholic Register October 29, 2018.

In the fallout from the revelations of former-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick’s serial sexual predation, some have worried about an “anti-gay witch hunt.”

Recently, a headline in America magazine all but shouted, “Homosexuality is not a risk factor for sexual abuse of children.” Yet, the Pennsylvania grand jury report that came out in August found about 80% of the teenage victims of clerical sexual abuse were male, just as the John Jay Report found more than 10 years ago. This fact cries out for explanation. But many in the media and in the Church seem reluctant to focus on this obvious connection. We must come up with an explanation that is true to the known facts, without harming any innocent person.


Before we tackle this explosive topic, let us clarify some important issues. Let’s think first about individual cases of sexual predation, by one specified person against another specified person.

Every decent person wants the criminal justice system to gather the facts and come to an accurate verdict. Whether this individual perpetrator is “straight” or “gay” is not germane. Percentages and probabilities don’t matter. Only one issue matters in an individual case: guilt or innocence.

Presumably everyone, from every point on the political, ideological or religious compass, agrees on this. Punishing the guilty and protecting the innocent is not anyone’s definition of a “witch hunt.” Behind individual cases, however, lies a whole realm of institutions and structures and rules and incentives. The big-picture institutional question is this: Is an increase in the number of same-sex attracted men in the Catholic priesthood correlated with an increase in the number of incidents of abuse of minor boys? This is the question to which the John Jay Report replied, “No.” (pg. 102.) The answer to this question has potential implications for a whole series of other questions, including but not limited to:

  • Should men with deep-seated homosexual tendencies be admitted to the priesthood? The Church already says “No” to this.
  • Should such men currently in the priesthood be automatically laicized? Not only “No,” but I don’t even know anyone who says “Yes.”
  • Should seminary and parish life be more highly structured to limit temptations for sexual activity? Obviously Yes.
  • How should bishops and religious superiors handle non-criminal violations of celibacy? Many answers are possible, but religious authorities certainly need to take this issue more seriously than they evidently have been.

Let’s get a couple of preliminary points out of the way. First, let us set aside the question of true pedophilia, that is, adults having sex with pre-pubescent children. True pedophilia accounts for about 5% of the cases in the John Jay Report. I’m focusing exclusively on priests having sex with sexually mature, but legally under-aged boys. Let us also set aside the important question of sexual harassment of seminarians, as we have no systematic data on the matter.

Let’s also stipulate that an increase in the number of celibate same-sex attracted men would have a negligible impact on abuse. By definition, a celibate priest is unmarried and therefore is to live the virtue of chastity by not having sex of any kind with anybody. A celibate priest, regardless of his preferred partners, has renounced marriage and sexual relations for the sake of the Kingdom of God.

On the other hand, a person who defines celibacy as something other than complete sexual abstinence is playing word games, which is a problem of its own.

Finally, permit me to register my general complaint with the concepts of “sexual orientation” and “gay.” I have argued in print and in speeches that these terms are imprecise and unscientific, and hence problematic. In what follows, I will concede the use of the term “gay” or “homosexual” to mean either a self-imposed label or as a short-hand for a man who engages in sex with other males.

With all that out of the way, let us return to the One Big Question: Are increases in the number of homosexual men in the clergy correlated with increases in the numbers of incidents of abuse of minor boys?

We must somehow face up to the 80% of the cases of clergy sexual abuse that have teenage boys as victims. If same sex-attracted men and opposite sex-attracted men are alike in every other respect, the only logical explanation is that 80% of the Catholic clergy is homosexually inclined. The highest number I’ve ever seen is 50%, and most systematic estimates are closer to 20%-25% of the clergy being gay.

If that is the case, we have to ask ourselves whether homosexually inclined priests behave differently in systematic ways. Such secondary questions include:

  1. Are homosexual priests more likely to violate their vows of celibacy than heterosexual priests?
  2. Are homosexual priests more likely than heterosexual priests to prefer younger sex partners?
  3. Are homosexual priests more likely than heterosexual priests to abuse without being detected or reported? This is how the widely reported “homosexual networks” could have an impact.

A correlation between numbers of homosexual men and incidence of abuse of minor boys doesn’t prove any one of points 1-3. Possibly some combination of all three are at work in tandem. There could be additional factors we haven’t thought of.

These three points are explosive because they call into question the idea that “homosexual activity is a healthy variant of normal human sexual development.”

Many in today’s world have become deeply committed to that belief. We aren’t really discussing sociological data or “witch hunts.” We are discussing our views of human sexuality, its purpose and place in our lives.

No matter what the truth of the causality proves to be, none of the possible explanations supports or is even consistent with, the claim that “gay is okay.” This, I believe, is the real explanation for the reluctance to accept the “Elephant in the Sacristy.” We would have to abandon a belief that has become a cornerstone of the modern sexual revolution.

There is no “witch hunt.” I don’t know anyone who wants to drive from the priesthood any celibate holy man who is true to Church teaching. But there very well may be a need for people to surrender beliefs they cherish. We are each going to have to decide whether our commitment to protecting children takes precedence over sexual ideology.

 

 



Ruth Institute Delighted to Sign Letter Affirming Biological Nature of Sex

For more information, contact: media@ruthinstitute.org.

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, Founder and President of the Ruth Institute, said her organization was delighted to join such colleagues as the American College of Pediatricians, Alliance Defending Freedom, the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and Liberty Counsel in applauding the decision of the Trump Administration to uphold the scientific definition of sex in federal law.

In an extraordinary move, the Obama Administration had urged federal agencies to expand the Title IX definition of sex to include so-called “gender identity” – treating those who identify with the opposite sex as if they were members of the opposite sex.


The letter released today supports the Trump Administration’s decision “to uphold the original scientific meaning and legal intent of the term ‘sex’ in federal law.”

Signers of the December 6th letter to the Departments of Justice, Education and Health and Human Services, noted:

  • Human sex is a binary, biologically determined, and immutable trait from conception forward.
  • Sex differences are real and consequential.
  • “Gender identity” is not a material trait found anywhere in the body, brain or DNA.
  • Upholding the scientific definition of sex in law protects everyone’s rights to privacy and equal treatment, especially that of girls and women.
  • As the biological men and women that they are, transgendered-identified individuals possess the same human dignity and right to equal protection of the law as all Americans.

Besides the organizations mentioned above, the letter was also endorsed by the Christian Medical and Dental Association, the National Task Force for Therapy Equality and the Freedom Defense Fund.

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse is the author of the recently published book, The Sexual State: How Elite Ideologies Are Destroying Lives, which includes a discussion of transgenderism in the chapter "The Gender Revolution."

For more information on The Sexual State: thesexualstate.com.
For more information on The Ruth Institute: ruthinstitute.org.


“With the Help of the State”

by Rev. James V. Schall, S.J.

This article was first published November 2, 2018, at Crisis Magazine.

“It’s time to face up to the harms the Sexual Revolution has caused. Whether you’re male or female, straight or gay, young or old, religious or irreligious: what kind of a world do you want to help create? A world in which every child has a legally recognized right to a relationship with both parents? Or a world in which some children have these legally recognized rights and others do not? Or more radically still, a world in which no children at all have legally recognized rights to their own parents?” ∼ Jennifer Roback Morse, The Sexual State, 2018


“We could talk about the Obama administration passing a federal law forbidding any state from voting to defund Planned Parenthood and similar organizations. This is a perfect example of the Sexual State at work, implementing the fantasy ideology of the sexual revolution. They cannot implement that ideology without the help of the State’s power to coerce and propagandize.” ∼ Jennifer Roback Morse, The Sexual State, 2018

Genesis tells us that man was created “male and female.” The Sixth Commandment forbids adultery. Not all men and women beget children but all children have two parents, one a father and the other a mother. Both the family and the state are “natural” institutions logically flowing out of man’s nature. Christ told the disciples to let the little children come unto him. Human Life International estimates that, in the last 40 years, the world has witnessed 1.72 billion abortions of human children. “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” What happens when these fundamental principles or standards are rejected? As a direct consequence, we have witnessed a logical declination from the original good into a parody of it that is anything but good.

Jennifer Roback Morse’s new book, The Sexual State, is a lively and forceful examination of where we came from, where we are now, and where we ought to be on matters of human life. The book presents a complete argument, based on empirical evidence, about how divorce, contraception, abortion, the gay lifestyle, and gender neutrality fit together in a descending sequence of laws and practices that, enforced by the state, have set an elite class against the normal good of normal human beings.

Morse’s Ruth Institute maintains one of the most thorough and insightful web sites in political and cultural affairs about all issues that concern family life. Her two previous books, Smart Sex and Love & Economics, have already demonstrated Morse’s mastery of the economic, moral, and spiritual sides of womanhood, of the needs of children, and of what the state can and cannot do. Morse writes with verve, often with justifiable anger, with a wealth of personal experience about all sides of family life. She is herself married with two children (one is adopted), has a doctorate in economics, is a debater, and a speaker on college campuses and at legislative hearings. The book is replete with examples of what she has in mind. The reader soon realizers that she knows what she is talking about, the good as well as the awful.

II.

The book details the step-by-step overturning of the classical Judeo-Christian view of man, woman, child, and family. Though she does not cite them, her study is reminiscent of Chesterton’s two books, Eugenics and Other Evils and What’s Wrong with the World, wherein elite intellectuals used coercive state power to impose a completely distorted view of man, woman, and child on unsuspecting citizens. The title of her book, The Sexual State, emphasizes the role that government force played in imposing a distorted view of human sexuality onto all phases of human life.

The book is divided into three parts: the Contraceptive Ideology, the Divorce Ideology, and the Gender Ideology. Alongside these ideologies, Morse presents the alternative Catholic view on each of these three topics. As such, the Church’s position has proved to be the only one that can protect individuals and families from the radical reconstruction of sex and family that has been imposed upon us, although Morse is aware that many Catholics in practice are in agreement with the activities of the Sexual State.

Morse argues, correctly, that we should begin our analysis with the needs of children, not with the autonomous adult who has been the focus of modern analysis. A child does not come into the world with an immediate ability to fend for itself. A marriage of one man to one woman is the best context in which a child should come into the world and be cared for as it develops. Each child needs his own father and mother. The child’s well-being depends on the integrity of this parental relationship. The first question to be asked of legislation and of marriage itself is not what adults need but what the child needs. The ongoing physical existence of mankind depends on the begetting of future generations.

The first step in undermining family life was the undermining of the marriage union. Morse pays a good deal of attention to how divorce affects the welfare of children. Modern no-fault divorce laws have failed to take into consideration the effect of the divorce on the children of the couple. Wealthy men favored no-fault divorce since they could easily afford the cost of separation. For women, divorce has usually meant poverty even though they initiate divorce more often than men. But for the children it has meant an undermining of their world, and of their confidence in who they are. The notion that children of divorced parents will not suffer is simply false.

The second step in undermining the family is contraception. Divorce separated husband and wife. Contraception separates sex and children. Safe sex meant, or was intended to mean, that we could indulge in sexual acts without worrying about pregnancy. It turned out, in practice, that contraceptives did not prevent births but in many cases caused an increase, especially in births to the unmarried. The separation of sex and children made it possible to think that children did not need their specific parents, i.e., a father and a mother. The campaign to make same-sex “marriage” equivalent to that between a husband and wife ignored the child’s need for his own parents.

Gender ideology is the third source of separation. Here, our souls are separated from our bodies: We are not bound by what sex we had at birth or by its relation to the other sex; we could, it is claimed, have a female spirit in a male body. It is our right, not nature’s or God’s, to decide what we are; if I, though male, want to be female, it is up to the state and everyone else to enable me to be what I make myself to be; the body that we possess at conception and birth has no relation to what we are; and we need to be liberated from the idea that what we are points us in the direction of what we ought to be.

III.

The main burden of this book is to show how these separations worked their way into the public order and from there into the lives of every person. Morse maintains that an interested class, in conjunction with the state’s offices and the courts’ coercive powers, imposed these deviant ideas on human beings. The cost in terms of both money and human wellbeing has been enormous. Knowing how these ideas have victimized people, Morse offers a manifesto of proposals on how we might return to normalcy. Basically, it is to undo the damage by getting the government out of the family.

I am not sure that class analysis is the best framework in which to propose a return to a more healthy family relation. Aristotle’s virtue ethics and the corresponding political institutions in the state seem to be a better context. What Morse calls class is really what Aristotle called oligarchy. In any case, the state support of these aberrant ideas about the family has resulted in a thorough undermining of what is the best way to deal with our children and the parents who beget them.

The book carefully outlines the history and development of these ideas that subvert healthy family life. This book, along with Leon Kass’s Leading a Worthy Life and Robert Reilly’s Making Gay Okay, form a basic trilogy to explain the causes and origins of the deviation from the good that we see everywhere in modern life, both public and private. One cannot go away from the Morse book without a deep concern that the Church itself is no longer fully reliable in defending the needs of families in the modern world. Even so, the book is enormously helpful in how the issues we must face are carefully laid out. There will be no change for the better until we see why change is both necessary and possible. The Sexual State offers an unsurpassed analysis of how we arrived where we are and how we can begin to reverse course.

(Photo credit: Shutterstock)

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