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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, January 12, 2021
by The Ruth Institute StaffA few years ago, The Ruth Institute analyzed the case of Lisa Miller, who fled the country with her biological daughter, to protect the daughter from the alleged abuse of Lisa’s former partner. Lisa, a former lesbian, was damaged and harmed by the Sexual State. Lisa's former partner used the power of the family courts to force Lisa to share custody with her, by redefining the "presumption of paternity" to the gender-neutral "presumption of parentage." Now Lisa Miller is back in the news – hoping to receive a presidential pardon.
The case is strange and disconcerting for anyone who is familiar with it. Lisa Miller (interviewed for her story in 2008 by Lifesite News) – had a difficult life: by the time she was seven she was paying the mortgage, making sure food was on the table, and dealing with her parents’ divorce. Due to that and her mother’s mental illness, she got addicted to speed, and when she was married, her husband introduced her to alcohol. After a failed suicide attempt while recovering from alcoholism in the hospital, she was transferred to a psych ward.
While in the psych ward her therapists decided, without consulting her husband, that the reason she had so many struggles was because she was a lesbian. Clearly, they told her, the struggles she was facing came from difficulties “coming out.” Later, after divorcing her husband, she followed their advice.
The therapists encouraged her to be a lesbian (rather than working out her relationship with her husband), and told her that even if her first relationship with a woman didn’t work out (it didn’t), that doesn’t mean that the second one wouldn’t (it didn’t either).
The incredible thing was that she had all of this childhood trauma (what 7 year-old should be balancing checkbooks and taking speed?) that the therapists hardly delved into and didn’t really discuss with her. Talking a patient into a sexual identity based on the therapists’ hunch, and disconnected from the facts of the patient’s case, seems like it might be malpractice.
This also brings up another question about the immutability of sexual preference. After both of her failed relationships with different women, and the abusive, though longer-term relationship with Janet Jenkins, she decided that actively living a lesbian lifestyle wasn’t for her (not to mention her doubts about her sexual preference during that span of time). Can sexual preference be immutable if people’s sexual preference changes? If sexual preference is immutable for some people but not others, how is the law to deal with a category like that?
Lisa’s life became more difficult as she moved in with, and later became joined in a civil union with, Janet Jenkins. Lisa said, “Janet and I did not have a typical relationship.We were together – however, there was rarely any intimacy.Maybe once or twice a year and this was consistent throughout the relationship.I personally did not feel that way.This upset Janet a great deal and a lot of the abuse centered around that, as well, with name-calling and things like that… I actually, ended up leaving her in 1999 because the relationship had turned violent”
While many of us may be confused as to why Lisa might stay in a relationship that became more and more abusive, Lisa explained it in terms of a comfort
zone. “For me, being with her, and this is going to sound weird, but it was like a comfort zone because I was used to being abused growing up…
with women, what I was trying to do was trying to recreate a mother/daughter bond that I never had.”
After Lisa and Janet got back together, they moved to Vermont and obtained a civil union in 2000. In 2001 Lisa decided to have a daughter via artificial sperm donation. Janet generally maintained that she wasn’t interested in the child, and was not helpful during the pregnancy. The birth certificate lists only Lisa Miller as the parent.
According to Lisa, even though Jenkins was granted some parental rights after the dissolution proceedings began (though they lasted more than 5 years). Jenkins’ involvement with the child was minimal, even skipping the court ordered dates for visitation.
As far as the sordid allegations of the proceedings go, what Lisa Miller alleges Jenkins did isn’t pretty. She recounts that her daughter said that Jenkins would bathe naked with her (as a 5 year-old girl!), and that her daughter would come back from the few visits she did have and mime committing suicide. After that, Lisa cut off visits, and eventually fled the country to protect her daughter from an allegedly abusive and erratic ex-partner.
Dr. Morse said of this heartbreaking case, “Lisa Miller was one of the early victims of the Sexual State. Her case convinced me that redefining marriage would redefine parenthood in ways that few people were taking seriously. Lisa Miller entered into a civil union with another woman and had a child through an anonymous sperm donor. Lisa no doubt believed that she was the mother of the child. The government redefined parenthood, right out from under her. She had no idea that by entering into a civil union, she had given parental rights to the other woman, something that does not happen in stepparent situations.
“When those visits became abusive, Lisa tried to prevent them. The bias of the court in favor of the non-parent was so strong and the power of the family court so arbitrary, that Lisa could not protect her child. She fled the country with her daughter. She had the assistance of two brave Mennonite pastors and a Christian businessman.
“I support a presidential pardon for Lisa Miller, and for Philip Zodhiates, Timothy Miller and Kevin Miller.”
Support Lisa Miller by signing the petition at LifeSite News today!
Posted on: Thursday, January 07, 2021
The Department of Insurance, led by openly homosexual Ricardo Lara, reclassified normal breasts as ‘abnormal structures of the body caused by congenital defects.’
This article, which quotes Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, was written by Doug Mainwaring and posted January 6, 2021, at Life News.
SACRAMENTO, California, January 6, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — California’s Department of Insurance has signaled it will now require health insurance companies operating in the state to cover double mastectomies for gender dysphoric teenage girls. The government agency asserted the removal of their breasts is no longer considered “cosmetic” surgery but is instead required “reconstructive” surgery of “abnormal structures of the body caused by congenital defects.”
In other words, the healthy breasts of confused teenage girls are deemed “abnormal structures” and “congenital defects” if that girl decides she is a boy. The state of California now equates breasts on gender dysphoric young girls with other medical conditions such as cancer or trauma.
The move by the commissioner’s office was triggered by an inquiry from San Diego’s TransFamily Support Services regarding past denials of coverage for “male chest surgery for patients under 18 years old who are transitioning from female to male.”
“For far too long, individuals diagnosed with gender dysphoria have had to battle a host of challenges to get access to gender-affirming care in order to be their true selves,” said Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara in a statement, responding to the transgender activist organization.
Lara blamed “[s]ocial stigma, misconceptions about gender dysphoria and its treatment, and outdated medical criteria,” which he insisted without exception are “barriers to necessary medical care that can lead to tragic results for individuals with gender dysphoria, especially for our transgender youth.”Lara himself is openly homosexual.
At Lara’s urging, the Insurance Department’s General Counsel issued an Opinion Letter stating that “denying coverage for mastectomy and reconstruction of a male chest based solely on age is impermissible under state laws requiring coverage of reconstructive surgery.”
Brandon Showalter, a journalist who in recent years has emerged as an expert on the tragic medical mutilation of healthy young bodies enabled by the cult of transgenderism, called the procedure “breast amputation surgery.”
The change in language is an “unethical, predatory, and despicable attempt to even more viciously abuse children via gender ideology,” Maria Keffler, co-founder of the recently-formed Partners for Ethical Care, told Showalter on Monday.
“By circumventing parental consent in order to medicalize children without any minimum age restriction, the California Department of Insurance, whose very letterhead claims to ‘Protect, Prevent, and Preserve’, does exactly the opposite,” said Keffler.
“The active promotion of transgenderism has resulted in massive uncontrolled and unconsented experimentation upon children and adolescents,” Dr. Michelle Cretella, MD, FCP, president of the American College of Pediatricians told LifeSiteNews previously. “This is child abuse.”
“Transgenderism is a psychological disorder, not a biological one,” said Cretella.
“The commissioner is requiring insurance companies to pay surgeons to remove the healthy breasts of emotionally distraught girls and women and implying it is ‘necessary treatment’ — yet we already have multiple studies demonstrating that mutilation does not treat gender dysphoria,” Cretella told PJ Media’s Tyler O’Neil.
“The insurance companies, no doubt, would prefer not to pay for expensive, unnecessary surgery. And now the Insurance Commission, which is a relatively obscure agency of the state, is acting at the behest of activists, putting pressure on insurance companies.”
Roback Morse told LifeSiteNews that she wondered if the California Insurance Commission will apply the same amount of pressure to health insurance providers to cover surgery costs when these same patients choose to revert to their biological sex in the future.
Read the full article here.
Posted on: Thursday, January 07, 2021
COMMENTARY: The United States is deciding right now what and who it is going to be for the next 500 years.
by Jennifer Roback MorseThis article was first posted
The year 2020 was tough. Many of us had been joking about how great it would be when 2020 ended and we could start fresh again. But in our hearts, we know that 2021 is not likely to be any better. In fact, given the events of yesterday, it may be worse. We are afraid to face this: We feel as if we are staring into the abyss. We can’t figure out what to do. So, we do nothing, and scare ourselves even more.
Therefore, let us face our fear.
The world we once knew is gone.
That world is not coming back.
We in the United States have enjoyed a period of peace and unprecedented prosperity. We never imagined that in our own lifetimes our nation could be radically transformed. But here we are on the precipice of dramatic change.
Every 500 years or so, the world shakes itself apart. Five hundred years after the Great Schism in 1054, the unity of Christendom was shattered further, this time by reformers and revolutionaries. Those events within the Church shaped the world for the next 500 years, for better or for worse. Similar shake-ups happened through inventions and discoveries like those from the turn of the 15th century through the 16th century, when the New World was discovered.
Today, the world is shaking itself apart once again. The country that inaugurated the “March of Democracy” and self-government has degenerated into a technocratic oligarchy with powers beyond Machiavelli’s wildest dreams. What was once an age of reason and science has morphed into an age of “political science”: Scientific truth is whatever the people in power say it is. What was touted as an age of religious tolerance has become the age of more Christian martyrs than all the preceding centuries combined.
Yes, our world is shaking itself apart. But, eventually, the upheaval will come to an end, and our world will reorganize and stabilize. We are deciding right now what and who we are going to be for the next 500 years.
In my opinion, the One Big Issue, the issue behind all the other issues, is the issue of truth. The people who have claimed for years that there is no such thing as “truth” have revealed themselves as either self-deluded fools at best or flat-out liars at worst. Their claims were meant to disarm you and me from fighting for the truth. “That will lead to an inquisition,” they said. Guess what? They are running inquisitions left and right, literally.
We can safely predict that moral relativism as an intellectually respectable philosophy is dead and gone — and good riddance. Oh, sure, some people will continue to talk that way. But fewer and fewer people will take that talk at face value. No one can any longer hide behind the idea that “my truth” is a sovereign that demands unquestioning respect from others. For us as believers, this means that we can’t hide behind our First Amendment “rights” to our beliefs no matter how irrational they may seem to others. We must be prepared to publicly defend our beliefs and our conduct with reasoned arguments.
This may sound as if we are abandoning our First Amendment religious-liberty protections. Newsflash: We have already lost nearly all of our basic religious liberties. Our very capable attorneys are fighting for their lives for scraps from the table of the Secular Ruling Class.
On the plus side: The Secular Ruling Class must also justify and explain itself. When they claim that truth leads to tyranny, more of us will recognize this as a con job. What they are really saying is, “This is what we want. We can’t defend it. We’re hoping to scare you into not defending your beliefs. We are going to try to chase you off the field by undermining your confidence in the very idea of truth itself.” When they talk about “their truth,” we will recognize that what they mean is: “Now that we have power, we’re going to do what we want.”
And “what they want” is none too attractive. In the recent past, we have seen shocking revelations of wrongdoing by the rich and powerful. We have become aware of the sexual abuse of children in public schools, the Boy Scouts, sports and, most scandalous of all, in churches, especially our own Roman Catholic Church. We have become aware of the weaker being sexually harassed by the stronger: employees by their employers; aspiring actors by producers; seminarians by their religious superiors. We’ve become aware of the collusion of public officials and businesses with enemies of the United States.
These revelations have been demoralizing. But now that we are getting used to the idea, we can see that the revelations are actually a double blessing. First, we are better off knowing than not knowing. These things have undoubtedly been going on in secret for a long time. Second, these activities are now widely decried as indefensible and wrong. No moral relativism here!
We should be grateful, not fearful, when the new year brings further revelations of wrongdoing. I like to picture the Holy Mother of God lifting up rocks. Dark, slimy, creepy-crawly things are scurrying around, looking for cover.
Once we know the problems, we have an obligation to deal with them to the best of our ability. For those with specialized professional skills and connections, that means jumping into the judicial or medical or political or ecclesial or media fray. Fight for the truth, and stop cooperating with untruth in your area of expertise.
Many of us will take smaller and less public steps. Maybe you’ll be the church secretary or election observer who blows the whistle. Maybe you’ll be the friend who gives a fired whistleblower another job and a place to live. Maybe you’ll keep rallying your friends and family to keep attention on the problems you know about. Choose an arena in which you can accomplish something, small though it may seem. But do something.
Up until now, the enemy has conquered by winning lots of little skirmishes, taking lots of small fields. Most of the time, he was unopposed.
No more. Make up your mind to get together with fellow believers and educate yourselves. Speak the truth. Take a stand.
How we conduct ourselves as believers today will have far-reaching consequences. Let 2021 be the Year of Truth.