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.


The Real Reason The Atlantic Fired Kevin Williamson

by Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse

First published April 11, 2018, at The Stream.

Kevin Williamson has been summarily dismissed from The Atlantic. The editor says it was because Williamson advocated that the law should treat abortion as murder. But this is hardly a full explanation of the full social process around this disturbing incident. Williamson did not express that view in The Atlantic’s pages: His opponents resurrected it from a 4-year-old podcast. If the editors at The Atlantic really wanted a “big tent,” (their supposed reason for engaging Williamson in the first place) they could have found dozens of more moderate pro-life advocates.

No, something else is afoot. Let me explain it. This will take more than 144 characters. Bear with me.

The Two Paths

Suppose you are a woman, and a recent college graduate. You aspire to a career in journalism. You are having sex with someone you would not want to marry. Maybe he is married to someone else. Maybe he is hopelessly immature, narcissistic, and/or self-absorbed. But since you are using contraception, you figure its ok.

Then, the unthinkable-statistically-unlikely-but-still-non-zero-probability-event takes place. You get pregnant. You now have four choices:


  • Get married, have the baby, and raise the child together.
  • Have the baby. You both relinquish parental rights and place the child for adoption.
  • Have the baby. You raise the child alone.
  • Abort the child.

The choice you make now will shape your belief system for a long time. There are roughly two paths:

  • The pro-life path: Your decision and subsequent experience convinces you that the child in the womb is a unique and irreplaceable human being. Therefore, you become less inclined to believe that abortion is morally justified.
  • The pro-abortion path: Your decision and subsequent experience convinces you that abortion is a moral necessity.

I think you’ll agree that the woman or couple that chooses life for their child is less likely to support abortion, either before or after that decision. Likewise, many, many women who abort their children become convinced or were already convinced, that abortion is a necessity. They come to believe that even if it is a killing, it is a justifiable killing, and not murder at all. Their experience either establishes this belief or confirms and reinforces it.

Here is why this is relevant to Kevin Williamson.

The Women Who Make Up Mainstream Journalism

Which women, making which choice, are more likely to land a job at a prestigious publication like The Atlantic? Women who have their babies? Or women who abort?

In general, the woman with child-care responsibilities is at a competitive disadvantage compared with the woman who does not. This is especially true during the early career-building phase. (This period of life just happens to be near the peak of a woman’s natural fertility. Which produces another whole set of problems. But I digress.)

I don’t say that a woman who has a baby shortly after college could never have a successful career in journalism. I just say it is unlikely. In fact, I will say something even stronger: In the social universe as it is today, delayed child-bearing is the price of entry into the professions. Contraception, backed up by abortion, is necessary for women to compete. The United States Supreme Court said as much in its decision in Planned Parenthood v. Casey , back in 1992. (I hasten to add: this is not the only possible social environment in which women can participate in higher education and the professions: it is just the one our culture has created using the abortion license as its touchstone. But I digress.)

That is why mainstream journalism is dominated by people who believe passionately in unlimited abortion. Their lives as they know them, depend upon it. Likewise, pro-choice women professors dominate the academy, including the legal academy.

What About Women Who Regret Their Abortions?

One exception proves the general rule. Some women who have abortions later become pro-life. These women conclude that they have committed a murder and regret it, sometimes immediately, sometimes after the passage of time. The professional literature on post-abortion mental health confirms this. We have known since the 1990’s that at least 10% of post-abortive women, and possibly as many as 30%, experience regret serious enough to cause mental health issues.

But we seldom hear about these women outside of publications dedicated to the pro-life position. Men are reluctant to say much about women’s feelings about abortion. And the women sociologists and statisticians, who are could study such things are, more than likely, women who cannot relate to such regrets.

It takes a rare warrior like Dr. Priscilla Coleman to study mental health complications associated with abortion. Her fellow academics either don’t want to study the subject or dedicate themselves to tearing her down. Journalists who might cover her studies have no interest in publicizing such results.

Note: I am NOT saying that women professionals conspire to hide or distort evidence, or to drive dissenters from their midst. I AM saying that people who have similar incentives are likely to engage in similar behaviors and hold similar beliefs. They don’t need to plot and scheme and conspire. They study and write about topics that interest them, that they find compelling and believable. The public, in turn, concludes “women are pro-choice” if the women they see in public positions are pro-choice.

The Relevance to Kevin Williamson

There are plenty of pro-life women, some with advanced degrees and great accomplishments to their credit. Anyone who has hung around the pro-life movement knows that women dominate it. But: Women who value their children more than their careers are at a disadvantage in the competition for high-status, high-visibility jobs.

This is all we need to know about why people with pro-abortion views dominate the professions.

And that is why The Atlantic fired Kevin Williamson.


Leading researcher on same sex parenting to join the Ruth Institute

Ruth Institute Announces the Rev. Dr. Paul Sullins as Senior Research Associate

Leading researcher on same sex parenting to join the Ruth Institute

April 17, 2018, Lake Charles, Louisiana—The Ruth Institute announces that Dr. Paul Sullins will serve as a Senior Research Associate. Recently retired from the sociology department at Catholic University of America, Dr. Sullins is a leader in research on same-sex parenting and its implications for child development.

Announcing the appointment, Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, Founder and President of the Ruth Institute said, “We at the Ruth Institute are greatly concerned that ‘alternative family forms,’ such as divorce and unmarried parenthood, have been harmful to children. Dr. Sullins cares deeply about the impact of same sex parenting on children, examining topics such as ADHD, depression, and emotional problems. He is a good fit for us.”


Dr. Morse continued, “Treating same-sex couples as the legal equivalent of opposite-sex couples means increasing numbers of children will be raised in same-sex couple households. More information will be coming available about their experiences. We believe it is crucial to continue examining this evidence in a systematic way.”

Dr. Sullins explained, “The research in this area is really just beginning. Most of the studies which claim to show “no differences” between parenting by same sex couples and married heterosexual couples have used small, unrepresentative data sets. I have been examining large statistically representative datasets—principally the Centers for Disease Control’s National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), with 1.9 million cases; and the University of North Carolina’s National Longitudinal Survey of Adolescent Health (Add Health), with 20,000 cases. I have repeatedly documented substantially higher rates of problems among children with same-sex parents, and that the best context for child well-being is with his or her own mother and father.”

Formerly Episcopalian, Dr. Sullins is a married Catholic priest. He earned a Ph.D. in sociology at Catholic University in 1997 and taught there from 1998 until his recent retirement from teaching. He and his wife, Patricia, have an inter-racial family of three children, two adopted.

Among his many honors, he is Director of the Summer Institute of Catholic Social Thought and Director of the Leo Initiative at Catholic University. He has written four books and over 100 journal articles, research reports and essays on issues of family, faith, and culture.

Dr. Morse concluded, “We are delighted to assist Dr. Sullins’ efforts to discover the truth about same-sex parenting. Dr. Sullins is a careful researcher who follows the data wherever it leads. Ruth Institute followers can look forward to seeing him at Ruth Institute events and in our publications.”

To interview either Dr. Sullins or Dr. Morse, reply to this email.

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Same Sex Attraction: A feeling, not an identity

by Jennifer Roback Morse

This article was first published at Clash Daily on April 18, 2108.

“Am I Gay?” Today, every family in America faces this question one way or another. Even the best families. Maybe you have a child, or sibling, or close friend who feels attracted to people of the same sex. Maybe a niece or nephew or grandchild wonders about their sexuality.

Maybe they are asking YOU these questions.

The book “Why I Don’t Call Myself Gay” challenges the idea that feelings of same sex attraction necessarily mean a person is “gay.” The author, Daniel Mattson, tells his story of experiencing same sex attraction, acting on it, and ultimately, allowing Jesus to turn his life around.

This is not a “pray away the gay” message. It is something much more powerful. The “pray away the gay” slur is meant to demean people’s efforts to change their patterns of sexual attraction. Mattson’s message is that every person can and must, make choices about their feelings. Even if same sex attraction persists, or reemerges, every person continues to have meaningful choices about important topics:

What meaning do I assign my sexual feelings? Whom do I choose as my friends? From whom do I chose to draw inspiration, advice, and encouragement? And most of all, how do I decide to behave?

I have heard Dan speak. (Full disclosure: Dan and I are friends. He says nice things about me in the “Acknowledgments” section of the book.I say nice things about him on the back cover.) Dan has a wonderful way about him. He loves talking with high school students. He invites them to write their questions on index cards, so no one knows who is asking what question.

Inevitably, a few kids will write “Am I gay?” on their cards.

Dan answers them so gently.

Feelings of attraction to the same sex are just that: feelings. Those feelings are not the same thing as an identity. You are more than the sum total of your feelings. So is every human being who has ever walked the earth.


 

Did you know, that in some states, Dan’s message could be considered illegal? That’s right. “You Must Stay Gay” laws are being proposed and passed across the country.

Of course, no one comes right out and says: “You Must Stay Gay.”

They say they are outlawing “Sexual Orientation Change Efforts.”They claim offering therapy is an “unlawful business practice.”

In other words, the government is telling you and me and every young person how they must interpret their own feelings. “You feel same sex attraction: you are gay.” End of story.

But Dan Mattson begs to differ. We can feel all kinds of things. We still have choices about how to label ourselves, what to think, and how to behave. He is not a therapist, and not making therapeutic claims. He is just one man, who is telling his own story. That is still legal. At least for now.

My identity: I am a child of God.

Noted Catholic Cardinal, Robert Sarah of Guinea, wrote the foreword to Dan’s book. Cardinal Sarah says of persons who experience same sex attraction:

Only when they lived in keeping with Christ’s teaching were they able to find the peace and joy for which they had been searching… They are called to chastity, and we demean them if we think they cannot attain this virtue, which is a virtue for all disciples.”

In fact, the subtitle of Dan’s book is “How I Reclaimed My Sexual Reality and Found Peace.” People need to hear this message of hope for people who experience same sex attraction.

A word to the many non-Catholic Christians on this site: Yes, this book is written by a Catholic man, published by a Catholic publisher, and endorsed by a Catholic Cardinal. There are plenty of culturally-Catholic quirks that may strike you as odd. But the overall message is just as biblically sound and solid as it can be. In this age of so many religious leaders in so many branches of Christianity promoting so much confusion, we small “o” orthodox believers have no choice but to support one another wherever we can.

Please buy this book. Read it. Share it with your pastor, youth minister, and others who work with young people. Help give Dan Mattson’s message of hope and peace the wide audience it deserves.

Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D., is Founder and President of the Ruth Institute, located in Lake Charles Louisiana. Daniel Mattson will be the keynote speaker at their First Annual Awards Dinner June 15, 2018.

 



Dr J on "The Choices We Face"

Dr. J was interviewed by EWTN's The Choices We Face, and we have the video!

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