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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: Thursday, December 10, 2009Stanford University Emeritus Professor Rene Girard explains that Christianity is structurally similar to ancient myths, and at the same time, Christianity destroys the mythological system. I can't do the man justice. Listen to it here.
Posted on: Wednesday, December 09, 2009
The Bishops' Letter opens with a quotation from the Nuptial Blessing:
"Father, by your plan man and woman are united, and married life has been established as the one blessing that was not forfeited by original sin or washed away by the flood." (Nuptial Blessing)
They follow this quotation with this statement:
Original sin introduced evil and disorder into the world. As a consequence of the break with God, this first sin ruptured the original communion between man and woman. Nonetheless, the original blessing of marriage was never revoked. (2)This opening salvo couldn't be more different from the modern sexual revolution. Marriage is a blessing. The world created by God is good, until evil enters the world, through original sin. The differences between men and women are not evidence of some cosmic injustice that we, the all-knowing, all-wise moderns, are destined and indeed required to repair. Nor are the differences between men and women some kind of cosmic oversight or mistake on God's part. The differences between men and women are designed by God to allow us to be in communion with each other, that is, with someone like ourselves and yet structurally distinct. The rupture between men and women is not the way things are supposed to be, but rather a consequence of original sin. Read it all here.
Posted on: Tuesday, December 08, 2009I recently discovered this disorder: Gay Infatuation Syndrome. Telltale symptoms of GIS are: anything that makes gays look good is newsworthy. Anything that makes gays look bad must be suppressed. Last week, I showed a case where GIS sufferers have an uncontrollable urge to promote anything that makes gays look good, even if there isn't anything there. Now, Mike Adams has discovered a case where the MSM is diverting attention from the fact that a self-identified gay man committed a truly heinous crime against a child, as it happens, his adopted black five year old son. Read it all here.
Posted on: Monday, December 07, 2009We feel this song would be a good theme song for the Ruth Institute. What do you think? Here are the lyrics: WHEREVER YOU GO Song of Ruth Wherever you go, I shall go. Wherever you live, so shall I live. Your people will be my people, And your God will be my God too. Wherever you die, I shall die. And there shall I be buried beside you. We will be together forever; And our love will be the gift of our lives. (Repeat 2 ) We will be together forever; And our love will be the gift of our lives. H/T: Jamee Stanley.
Posted on: Monday, December 07, 2009I've already made it clear that I love this letter by the US Catholic Bishops. As I begin to write about this, a couple of notes. First, all page numbers refer to the internet version linked here. Second, don't let anyone tell you this document is about same sex unions. The internet version is 60 printed pages. Of these, less than 3 full pages deal directly with same sex unions. That is, less than 5% of the document deals with same sex unions. That is about the correct proportion. Third, the bishops are hopelessly romantic: they actually believe all human persons are meant for communion with others, and that lifelong love is possible. Some people probably believe the bishops are unrealistic in their aspirations for lifelong married love as the proper context for both sexual activity and child-bearing. But is the alternative offered by the modern world either realistic or appealing? The secular view of sex offers us this vision. Do what you want. As long as you use a condom and don’t deceive or force anyone into sex, you can pretty much do whatever you want. No one is in any position to offer you rules, guidance or even educated suggestions. Figure it out for yourself. Perhaps you already know from experience what this amounts to in practice: Broken hearts, insecurity, jealousy, sexually transmitted diseases, jadedness, withholding of the self. Then there are the "social pathologies." These sanitized terms don't convey the real woundedness that people experience. So let's list them: divorce, multi-partner fertility, out of wedlock childbearing, abandoned children, overstressed mothers, irresponsible fathers, single mothers by choice, fathers pushed out of the family, cohabiting women who can never get their boyfriends to commit to marriage, serial polygamy, fertility delayed so long that it is impaired. Great. The Bishops are inviting you to come up out of all that. Won’t you at least consider the alternative of life and love offered by Christianity?
Posted on: Monday, December 07, 2009is the name of the Catholic Bishops' Pastoral Letter on Marriage. I will be writing about this in upcoming days. This document is really great and is not getting the attention it deserves. It is being upstage by the Manhattan Declaration, which is also good and worthwhile. Oddly enough, the Pastoral letter of the Catholic Bishops is actually more ecumenical than the Manhattan Declaration because the Declaration is specifically and emphatically Christian. Now, of course, the Bishops' letter is too, not only Christian, but Catholic Christian. But I think that a Jewish person would have an easier time embracing the Bishops' letter than the Manhattan Declaration. Maybe not. Jewish readers, what say you?
Posted on: Wednesday, November 25, 2009I wonder how many of the anti-Prop 8 acts of intimidation and vandalism were reported as hate crimes? Tom Messner, of the Heritage Foundation, details some of the specific acts that were reported during the fall of 2008 in California. The FBI reports for the city of San Jose, for instance, that there were 19 racially motivated hate crime incidents, 7 motivated by religion, and 15 motivated by sexual orientation. So, were the Prop 8 supporters who had their cars keyed and their houses egged counted in any of these categories? Politically-motivated intimidation is just as destructive to the body politic, arguably even more so, than intimidation based on the listed categories. After all, our ability to hold elections or have civil political discourse is threatened by politically motivated crimes.
Posted on: Wednesday, November 25, 2009Yesterday's headline from AP: "More anti-gay, religious-motivated crimes reported." However, when you go to the FBI website, practically the first thing out of their mouths is this disclaimer:
Overall, the 2008 numbers are up slightly—7,783 incidents and 9,691 victims (including individuals, businesses, and institutions) were reported to us by our law enforcement partners across the country. But a note here: our Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program doesn’t report trends in hate crime stats—yearly increases or decreases often occur because the number of agencies who report to us varies from year to year.That doesn't stop the AP from going on about increases in hate crimes of various categories.
These same figures show a nearly 11 percent increase in hate crime offenses based on sexual orientation, and a nearly 9 percent increase in hate crime offenses based on religion. The largest category, racially motivated hate crimes, fell less than 1 percent.Naturally, the story line here is the need for the new hate crimes legislation for sexual orientation. The only advocacy group quoted was the Human Rights Campaign. No one from any of the traditional civil rights groups. Although they mention that racially motivated hate crimes were the largest category, they fail to mention that these crimes account for over half of all incidents, while crimes motivated by sexual orientation account for only 17%.
Posted on: Wednesday, November 25, 2009This new report on divorce in Canada has many sensible points. For instance: Contrary to the "half of all marriages end in divorce" mantra, 67% of first marriages in Canada last 30 years. In the U.S., 15% of all children will see their custodial parent divorce more than once before age 18; and nearly 50% of children in divorced families see their parent divorce again. I will be talking about this report on my weekly radio show, Issues Etc, a Lutheran Public Radio show.