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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, May 26, 2018
by Maike Hickson
This article was first posted May 18, 2018, at One Peter Five.
Cardinal Gerhard Müller, the former Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, has given an interview to the Italian journalist Costanza Miriano, who works for the Italian television broadcaster RIA. In this new interview, the German cardinal rejects the notion of “homophobia” and explains that it is an instrument of an ideology that is contrary to reality.
Miriano posted the interview on her own private blog, on which she also promotes two books of hers in which she advocates the traditional understanding of marriage – namely, that wives be subject to their husbands and that husbands protect their wives even with their lives. In her own introduction to the new interview, she rejects the notion of “homophobia” – i.e., an aversion against homosexuals.
According to Giuseppe Nardi of Katholisches.info – who himself reports on this new interview – the aim of much of this gender ideology is to remove homosexuality, and more recently transsexuality, from the World Health Organization (WHO) catalog of diseases. (In fact, homosexuality was already removed from the catalog in 1990, demonstrating the effectiveness of such a strategy.)
Miriano’s interview with Cardinal Müller comes in the context of his upcoming participation in the presentation of a book about a man who has homosexual inclinations but who resists them, and now describes the ideologization of this problem.
The author’s name is Daniel C. Mattson, and his book’s title is Why I Don’t Call Myself Gay: How I Reclaimed My Sexual Reality and Found Peace. (The book was first published in English by Ignatius Press, in 2017, with a preface by Cardinal Robert Sarah.) Cardinal Müller will present the Italian edition on 25 May in Rome.
In his interview with Mrs. Miriano, herself a mother of four, Cardinal Müller says the following about the concept of homophobia, in the context of the 17 May International Day Against Homophobia:
Homophobia simply does not exist. It is clearly an invention and an instrument of the totalitarian dominance over the thoughts of others. The homo-movement is lacking scientific arguments, that is why it created an ideology which wants to dominate by creating its own reality. It is the Marxist pattern according to which reality does not create thinking, but thinking creates its own reality. He who does not accept this created reality is to be considered as being sick. It is as if one could influence an illness with the help of the police or with the help of courts. In the Soviet Union, Christians were put into psychiatric clinics. These are the methods of totalitarian regimes, of National Socialism and of Communism. The same happens in North Korea to those who do not accept the reigning way of thinking.
Costanza Miriano points out that she knows of several bishops who are more conservative, but who at the same time support such initiatives against homophobia, and she asks Cardinal Müller why they accept this “game.” Cardinal Müller responds:
Some bishops today do not have the courage anymore to speak the truth, and they allow themselves to be intimidated. They do not understand that homophobia is a deception which serves to threaten people. But we Christians may not have fear in the face of threats. In the first centuries [after Christ], the disciples of Jesus were put into prison, or one had them eaten up by wild beasts. Today one tears them apart with the help of psycho terror, while at the same time making use of the lack of knowledge. However, from a bishop and from a priest, one may expect that he is capable of looking behind these ideologies. We are the ones who try, with the help of God’s Grace, to love all people, also those who feel attracted to the same sex. But it must be clear that to love does not mean to obey the gender propaganda.
With reference to Daniel C. Mattson, the author of the new book, Cardinal Müller says that he tells his own story of his homosexuality in light of these current ideologies and that he rejects being called “gay.” The cardinal insists that “he who feels such an attraction has to live chastely, just as all, all of us who are not live in a valid and true marriage have to do.”
When asked about the fact that currently this gender agenda is being promoted by many governments in the West, the German cardinal responds, saying that “our politicians in Europe have to take care of many people, of those without work, of the problem of the lack of births, of the family, of many serious problems.” Instead, he adds, “they are busy turning our democracies into totalitarian systems. Ideology in itself is violent.” “How can a parliament decide what is true and what not?” asks Müller.
With regard to the current attempts at undermining the teaching on contraception as laid out in Humanae Vitae, the cardinal says that he explains this phenomenon “with the secularization of the Church.” “For some shepherds, the Church is only a means in order to make politics, in order to please people,” he adds. “For them, it is more important to respect the masses, rather than to respect the Word of God.”
The text has been updated, in order to make clearer one statement that actually stems from Giuseppe Nardi himself.
Posted on: Monday, May 21, 2018
by Susan Klemond
This article was first published at The Catholic Spirit May 1, 2018.
The economy and upper-level decision-making in the United States are built on delayed childbearing — a consequence of the sexual revolution and widespread promotion of contraceptives, said Jennifer Roback Morse in her April 26 talk at the University of St. Thomas.
As a result, power is concentrated among highly educated and disproportionately childless elites.
“The decision-makers in our culture — the people who occupy the higher echelons of the professions — are selectively more likely to be people who have postponed childbearing, people who are more likely to be in favor of contraception and abortion because that’s kind of how they got it done,” said Morse, founder and president of the Louisiana nonprofit the Ruth Institute.
The St. Paul event was sponsored by the Siena Symposium for Women, Family and Culture, and attended by about 200 students and other adults. After receiving the Siena Symposium’s 2018 Humanitarian Leadership Award, Morse presented “Recovering from the Sexual Revolution: ‘Humanae Vitae’ in 2018” in honor of the 50th anniversary of Pope Paul VI’s encyclical letter outlining Church teaching on the regulation of birth.
Morse also described other ramifications of what she called a “contraceptive ideology,” such as separating sexual intercourse from creating human life and its effects on women, children and families.
The Ruth Institute focuses on the impact that family breakdown has on children. An author and speaker, Morse was a spokeswoman for California’s 2008 Proposition 8 campaign defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman.
Jason Adkins, executive director of the Minnesota Catholic Conference, introduced Morse and presented her with the award. “She is at the forefront of helping people understand the ecosystem in which children, families and the broader society flourish,” he said.
The Siena Symposium was founded in 2003 as an interdisciplinary faculty group at the University of St. Thomas that seeks to develop the new feminism called for by St. John Paul II.
The contraception ideology creates a new layer of inequality in U.S. society, Morse said. While the overall contraception failure rate is 8 percent, birth control pills are much less effective for poor, young and unmarried women than their wealthier counterparts, according to the Guttmacher Institute, which collaborates with Planned Parenthood on research and policy regarding “sexual and reproductive health and rights.”
Morse traced the social and legal history of contraceptives, noting that contraception ideology is totalitarian because the goal has always been controlling population through widespread promotion.
“Making contraceptive technology legally available has never been good enough for the true ideologues,” she said.
With billions of dollars in backing from top leaders, the sexual revolution’s promotion of unlimited sexual activity as a right through contraception ideology is one way it conflicts with children’s best interests, Morse said.
Julia Lindell, 17, attended the talk to learn more about what her faith teaches and how to defend it. A parishioner of St. Peter in Forest Lake, she said she is learning to recognize contraception ideology, including in her high school sex education classes.
“There’s a lot about how we’re being brainwashed,” said Lindell, who’ll graduate from Forest Lake High School this spring. “We don’t realize how much this is impacting us. We don’t realize it’s changing the way we’re thinking when we view the family and marriage culture.”
Friends recommended the talk to Andrew Ratelle, 30, a parishioner of Holy Family in St. Louis Park. He noted the net economic effect of contraception propaganda.
“All my friends, we’re all millennials and we’re seeing this fallout, and it’s generated a lot of resentment among people of our generation that are of any background, religious or non-religious,” he said. “They’ve suffered the effects of this propaganda and ideology that’s infected our culture.”
The sexual revolution — and contraception ideology — deny the human body, Morse said, adding that the false image of a society built around the idea that sex doesn’t make babies can’t naturally support and reproduce itself.
But, she said, “If you’re going to build a society around the idea that children come from sex, that children have rights, etc., you can do that. Nature will reinforce your view that sex makes babies on a fairly regular basis.”
Posted on: Tuesday, May 15, 2018
Benedictine College event looked at why the teachings of the Church are the answer to many current cultural and societal problems.
“Sex is for fun and now women can have just as much fun without the consequences,” Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco said about the claims of the sexual revolution in a recent talk.
“That was the cry of the day, and yet somehow it didn’t work out that way,” he said.
What went wrong? It’s a question that the archbishop and other presenters attempted to answer at a symposium on Humanae Vitae and the New Evangelization at Benedictine College in Kansas this past weekend. Archbishop Cordileone was one of four featured keynote speakers, along with Janet Smith from Sacred Heart Major Seminary; Brad Wilcox, director of the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia; and Jennifer Roback-Morse, founder of the Ruth Institute.
The symposium covered a wide range of topics related to marriage and family life and looked at why the teachings of the Church in Humanae Vitae are the answer to many of the current cultural and societal problems surrounding sex, marriage and family.
In his talk, Archbishop Cordileone noted the dissonance in a society that on the one hand accepts divorce, contraception and all kinds of sexual deviance as normal and on the other hand is baffled when thousands of women complain of sexual harassment as part of the #MeToo movement.
“This is another major head-scratcher for me. The whole point of these last 50 years was supposed to be liberation,” Archbishop Cordileone said. But “no one dares to suggest that the problem is the very narrative [from the sexual revolution] itself.”
Brad Wilcox, professor of sociology at the University of Virginia and director of the National Marriage Project, also noted this cultural inconsistency in his talk about marriage inequality in America.
Wilcox noted that while the upper and middles classes say they are increasingly tolerant of family structure diversity and deviance from the two-married-parent household norm, they are usually more traditional in practice, while the poor are left to suffer the consequences of a culture that no longer values marriage and family.
“We’re seeing what Charles Murray has called a fault line now dividing Americans on marriage,” he said, noting that studies show that Americans who are college-educated and relatively more affluent tend to get and stay married.
“By contrast, poor and working-class Americans are less likely to sustain high-quality marriages and their kids are more likely to be exposed to some kind of instability,” he said, whether that’s single parenthood, cohabitation, divorce and even abuse.
“For me, all of this really matters because it has a direct impact on our kids,” he said, noting that children who experience unstable families on average have lower graduation and employment rates, are more likely to end up in trouble with the law, and are more likely to become pregnant as teenagers.
This significant class divide over marriage did not exist 50 years ago, but economic and policy shifts as well as a shift away from the secular and civic institutions that used to be a key part of American civil life have played a significant role in creating this divide, Wilcox said.
The interest and participation levels in these institutions that “used to supply money, moral direction and social support to marriage are quite fragile today, particularly for Americans who don’t have that college degree,” he added.
In her talk, “What the Contraceptive Ideology Has Done to America,” Morse said that the sexual revolution had three main objectives: to separate sex from babies, to separate both sex and babies from marriage, and to wipe out all differences between men and women.
While Wilcox noted that the poor and working class are suffering the most from a decline in marriage and family, Morse added that children are the ones who lose the most in a society that embraces contraception and divorce.
“We’re talking about a whole society built around the premise that adults can have whatever sexual activity they want and never have a baby, unless they want the baby. That is irrational to believe that that is possible. That is a fantasy,” Morse said.
“If you’re having sex with somebody who’s [not your spouse] and would be ... completely inappropriate for you to co-parent with, what are your options if your contraception fails, which it will about 13% of the time?”
The options for these couples are a shotgun wedding, single parenthood, adoption or abortion, Morse noted, and in many cases, the child suffers from the parents’ actions.
Because of the devastating impacts that the sexual revolution has had on marriage and family, it is all the more important for the Church to continue preaching the truths of Humanae Vitae and the beauty of marriage and family life lived out according to God’s design, Archbishop Cordileone said.
In the encyclical itself, Pope Paul VI admits that this teaching will not be easily accepted by all: “It is to be anticipated that perhaps not everyone will easily accept this particular teaching. There is too much clamorous outcry against the voice of the Church, and this is intensified by modern means of communication. But it comes as no surprise to the Church that she, no less than her divine Founder, is destined to be a ‘sign of contradiction.’ She does not, because of this, evade the duty imposed on her of proclaiming humbly but firmly the entire moral law, both natural and evangelical.”
However, those who make the best disciples and evangelizers of the truths of Humanae Vitae are those who have lived by the “secular code of conduct” and have found it lacking and even harmful, the archbishop noted.
“One of the most common responses of young people who are granted the grace of this understanding is ‘Why didn’t anyone tell me sooner? It would have saved me untold suffering,’” he said.
“Such people make the most ardent disciples and provide a much needed witness for many cradle Catholics.”
Humanae Vitae is not easy to live out, Archbishop Cordileone said, but it will lead couples to the most happiness and therefore must be taught in a way that is winsome and effective, without shying away from the suffering involved.
“The worst thing we can do ... is to soften or downplay the hard parts of our faith, those teachings where we encounter the most resistance or hostility in our culture. How could we do such a thing if we are convinced that this is true and for the true good of all people?” he said.
“We leaders in the Church do a grave disservice to our people by giving them excuses for taking the easy way out, such as misleading them with the false idea of what conscience means or failing to assist them in forming their consciences correctly. Much to people’s surprise, it is actually the hard way out that is the most effective evangelizing strategy,” he added.
“Rather than offering excuses for fleeing the cross, what we need are creative new ideas to help people understand the wisdom and beauty of God’s design.”
The point of the symposium is to bring people together who can do just that, said Matthew Muller, assistant professor of theology and an organizer of the event through Benedictine College’s Gregorian Institute.
“The symposium is a think tank for the New Evangelization, so what is important now, I think, is that leaders at the diocesan, parish and ministry levels, as well as the scholars and graduate students who attended, continue to reflect on the ideas they heard and develop ways to implement those ideas in their professional or scholarly work,” Muller told CNA.
“The reception of Humanae Vitae is an ongoing process in the Church, and events like the symposium help to encourage a deeper appreciation and
integration of the Church’s teachings concerning the goodness of the human person, sexuality, marriage and family.”
Posted on: Monday, May 07, 2018
by Stephen M. Krason
This article was first published May 2, 2018, at Crisis Magazine.
Recently, Utah found it necessary to put a law into effect that allows “free-range parenting.” That is, parents are free to make the judgment that their children are, say, free to walk to the local park by themselves or to bike a couple of blocks away from home without child protective services showing up at their door or, worse, the police coming to arrest them for child neglect. That a law had to be passed to uphold parental authority about such things shows how outrageous the ruling perspectives on child abuse and neglect have become in recent decades, where the state is prepared to second-guess parents left and right and to routinely treat all kinds of innocent parental actions as child maltreatment.
It’s no surprise that in recent years, according to Department of HHS statistics, that upwards of 80 percent of reports of child abuse and neglect are unfounded. It’s interesting that while self-styled child advocates, their academic allies, and the sprawling child protective system (CPS) are so ready to find child maltreatment inside almost every family’s front door, they are silent about the harms to children from being brought up by same-sex (male homosexual or, more typically, lesbian) couples. Almost intuitively, the average person would think this to be a recipe for serious, perhaps life-altering, problems for such children. The research now coming out suggests that the average person’s instincts are indeed correct—even though the mainstream academic social science and related professional organizations, which long ago became apologists if not mouthpieces for the homosexualist movement, ignore or try to discredit or even suppress it.
Many are aware of University of Texas sociologist Dr. Mark Regnerus’s studies several years ago which indicated—he was careful to avoid sweeping conclusions—that, among other things, children reared in homes headed by same-sex parents were “more likely” to: have poor educational attainment, cohabit when they became adults, be sexually molested, have sexually transmitted diseases, smoke tobacco and marijuana, be on public assistance as adults, be in mental health counseling or therapy and suffer from depression, and get into trouble with the law. Regnerus’s careful research, not unexpectedly, was met by denunciation from mainstream social scientists, who claimed his research was flawed without even seriously examining his data. The peer-reviewed professional journal that published the results of his studies was attacked, and the charge made that its review procedure was flawed. He was even subjected to a “scientific misconduct” investigation by his university, which ultimately exonerated him.
The attack on Regnerus occurred simply because of the overwhelming pro-homosexualist bias of mainstream social science and the efforts of homosexualist organizations against him.
The research of Fr. D. Paul Sullins, Ph.D., an emeritus professor of sociology at The Catholic University of America who has been connected with the Marriage and Religion Research Institute at CUA and now the Ruth Institute, has confirmed and expanded on Regnerus’s earlier findings. I have known Fr. Sullins for many years, as he has been a fellow board member of the Society of Catholic Social Scientists and is also the organization’s chaplain. He was one of the Episcopal clergy who converted to Catholicism and under the special provision put in place by Pope John Paul II was ordained to the priesthood. Like Regnerus, he’s a careful and ethical researcher who aims for what social science scholarship is supposed to be about: discerning the truth.
Fr. Sullins has convincingly shown that it is the research of the mainstream social scientists who have sought to deny the harm of same-sex parenting that is flawed. Not only have the sample of people they studied been too small to truly examine the question, but they have studied only what he calls “conveniently available or selected groups of participants, usually parents recruited from homophile sources.” The result was a “strong bias toward positive findings.” At the same time, their writing has refused to address the contrary findings. These have been either “dismissed in footnotes on specious grounds or, more commonly, simply ignored.” Among the studies that they have ignored which showed “substantially higher rates of problems or functional deficiencies among children with same-sex parents,” Sullins tells us, have been those relying on “large statistically representative” samples from the Centers for Disease Control and the University of North Carolina’s National Longitudinal Survey of Adolescent Health.
Sullins’s own research has shown the following. In comparison to children with opposite-sex parents, children in the care of same-sex couples, were: almost twice as likely to have a developmental disability; almost twice as likely to have had medical treatment for an emotional problem and three times as likely to have had medicine prescribed for a psychological condition in the past year before the study; ten times more likely to have been sexually touched by a parent or other adult and four times more likely to have been forced to have sex against their will; less likely, when reaching adolescence, to have romantic relationships or to see themselves in a future relationship involving pregnancy or marriage (which suggests that their situation influences them away from relationships with the opposite sex); twice as likely, when becoming adults, to suffer from depression and four times as likely to consider suicide; more likely to use tobacco and marijuana and to have been arrested and then pled guilty of a crime; and three times more likely to be unemployed, receiving public assistance, or if later married to have had adulterous relationships. By the time women who had grown up in same-sex headed households reached age thirty, they were only half as likely to be married or in a relationship lasting three or more years and only a third as likely to have ever been pregnant.
In his writing, Sullins also speaks about much earlier studies—before even Regnerus’s—which showed the harms of same-sex parenting and were also ignored by mainstream social science. He mentions Paul Cameron’s studies, which—confirmed by Sullins later—showed that children with same-sex parents were more likely to be sexually molested. Their households were also more likely to witness domestic violence and, unsurprisingly, the children were more likely to become homosexual themselves. If the harm-deniers could dismiss Cameron because he heads the Family Research Institute, which is concerned about issues that threaten the family as traditionally understood, they would be more hard-pressed to reject Sotirios Sarantakos. Sarantakos is a noted Australian sociologist and authority on research design and methods. Studying elementary school children, he found that those from same-sex led households suffered considerable educational and social deficiencies.
Like Regnerus, Sullins is careful to avoid sweeping or unsubstantiated conclusions. He says that as in other situations where there is not an intact family with two married opposite-sex parents—as when there is a divorce or cohabitation—“most children still turn out all right.” Nevertheless, the “primary harm” to children from same-sex parenting, as suggested by the research findings noted, is “developmental”—with consequences not apparent until at least early adulthood. He concludes that while we don’t yet know enough, it’s certain that “the idea of ‘no differences’ is clearly false.” Sullins’s cautious conclusions didn’t stop the mainstream social science organizations from making false claims that he had used faulty research methods and—as with Regnerus—the journals that he published his findings in had slipshod review procedures. In fact, Sullins published them in international medical journals, where he knew the standards for review are more rigorous than in mainline U.S. social science journals—but also where genuine objectivity, as opposed to ideology, still rules. An article in Mercator.Net about Sullins’s work explains the air-tightness of his research methods and also notes that the mainline social science journals have been strikingly silent about the review procedures used for the harm-denial articles they routinely run.
Even if further research makes the harm of same-sex parenting indisputable—which, to this social scientist, is virtually so already—don’t
expect mainstream social science to accept it. Ideology has long-since replaced true scholarship there—they are blind followers masquerading
as independent thinkers at the cutting edge. Also, don’t expect the CPS to start thinking that the damage caused to children by same-sex parenting—and
certainly not the whole notion of same-sex parenting itself—qualifies as child maltreatment. The CPS’s leaders and operatives are formed
by and most accept without much question the perspectives of mainstream social science—including its ideologically grounded biases. Most
are trained in the social work field and where its mainstream was seen a few years ago when a cadre of homosexual alumni from my university pressured
it to delete homosexuality from a list of behaviors to be studied in a course on deviant behavior by contacting the secular social work accrediting
agency, which they knew would agree with them. Besides, the CPS is too busy persecuting parents for innocent, commonsensical, traditional parenting
practices—routinely treating such things as simple spanking as child abuse and free-range parenting as neglect—to be concerned about
the problems Regnerus, Sullins, and the others have identified.