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.


Invite Children of Divorce to Cupich’s Amoris Laetitia Seminars

by Jennifer Roback Morse

This article was first published February 28, 2017 at Crisis Magazine.

I see where Cardinal Cupich is planning a series of seminars on Amoris Laetitia. According to a letter obtained by the Catholic News Agency, the “New Momentum Conferences on Amoris Laetitia,” will “provide formative pastoral programs.” As someone who has listened to many victims of the Sexual Revolution, I am eager to learn about the “pastoral practice” these seminars will promote. I wonder if they will feature adult children of divorce or unmarried parents among their presenters.

I can still recall the first time a young person came up to me in tears after one of my talks. “This is the first time I have ever heard an adult say that divorce is hard on children.” She went on to describe her father’s intention of entering yet another civil marriage, this time, to a woman in her twenties.

My young friend was twenty-one.


Since that incident, I have heard from many people of all ages, whose parents divorced and remarried. I can remember sitting down to a post-conference dinner with one of the other speakers and his wife. She confided in me that she had run out of the room in the middle of my talk. She couldn’t bear to hear my description of children’s hurt from divorce. My talk stirred up pain from her parents’ divorce.

She was in her sixties.

I don’t see any mention of Leila Miller or Jennifer Johnson among the proposed speakers on the traveling Amoris Laetitia Road Show. Both Mrs. Miller and Ms. Johnson have written poignant works on the experiences of children of divorce. You may imagine what the adult children of divorce have to say about second “marriages.”

Or perhaps you can’t. So, let me tell you: they feel their parents’ selfishness and excuse-making made their childhoods miserable, and continue to cause problems even in adulthood. One anonymous author titled her essay, “How my parents’ divorce ruined holidays and family life forever.”

Perhaps some of the presenters at the Amoris Laetitia gabfests will offer practical tips for what a child, of any age, ought to do when their parents decide they can’t stand each other anymore. Will Cardinal Cupich “accompany” the children of divorce when they see no photos of themselves with both parents, in either of their parents’ homes? Will any of the presenters help the children of divorce “discern” where to direct their anger when their stepfather brings home gifts for his children and his wife, but nothing for them?

I wonder if Cardinal Cupich and his friends will discuss the inequalities that divorce creates among children, and between children and adults. Jennifer Johnson argues passionately that natural marriage and only natural marriage, can create and preserve equality among children, while divorce creates deep and lasting inequalities. Here is just one example:

I was the only one who had divided Christmases, divided holidays, and divided birthdays. I’ve seen this referred to as “two Christmases” or “two birthdays” in some divorce literature as a way to sugar-coat the vertical inequality. My dad wasn’t welcome on Christmas morning, and my mom wasn’t welcome on Christmas eve. I don’t think either of them would have come, had they been invited. They were too busy with their new families. When I got a little older and my parents lived further apart, I traveled alone during the holidays to see each of them. None of the adults in my life had to do any of those things. It was a requirement placed on me that made their lives easier.

No, I suppose they don’t have room for children of divorce and their lived experiences. After all, the seminars are already full of experts on women’s ordination, contraception, non-binary gender, and God knows what else.

Speaking of God: I have an idea that Jesus (remember him?) knows exactly what these children of divorce are going through. He told the apostles “in the beginning, it was not so,” when he instituted that whole one man, one woman, for life, thing. The apostles were freaked out. They thought it was too hard.

I bet Jesus saw the pain a little girl might feel when her mother asked her to be the flower girl in her second wedding. Even as a preschooler, she knew this ceremony meant that her parents would never get back together. She knew she was supposed to be happy for her mother on her special day. She faked it, but her heart was breaking.

Jesus foresaw every painful little incident, like this one:

When I was six or seven, I woke up from a bad dream in the middle of the night. I went looking for my mom but couldn’t find her. I wandered from room to room crying, disoriented and scared. But Mom wasn’t there because I was at Dad’s place, an apartment I went to once a month. My dad couldn’t understand why I wanted my mom so much. Nothing in the apartment was familiar, not even dad. He was hurt because of my longing for my mom, my house, and my own bed, so I did what a lot of children of divorce do: I bottled up my emotions to try to make one of my parents feel better.

Jesus saw how attempts at re-partnering would create a lifetime of difficulties:

At my biological grandma’s funeral, my siblings and I were left out of the family pictures. We watched our cousins treated differently just because their parents had remained married. We stopped getting invited to family reunions. Today I’m a stranger to most of my relatives on my dad’s side because growing up I saw him so little and them even less.

Maybe this sort of thing is why Jesus made such a stink about the indissolubility of marriage.

Perhaps some adult children of divorce will just show up at one of the meetings at Boston College, the University of Notre Dame, or Santa Clara University. I wonder if anyone will let them have a turn at the microphone.

Maybe not. That might be just a little too much “accompanying” and “synodality,” even for Cardinal Cupich.


'Go to Confession' Campaign


For immediate release:

Ruth Institute launches ‘Go to Confession’ Campaign

(February 15, 2018, Lake Charles, LA)During this season of Lent, The Ruth Institute has launched an online and billboard campaign in Lake Charles, Louisiana, encouraging people of all faiths to make things right with God.

“The ‘Go to Confession’ campaign is a way to remind people that God is merciful, and we can go to Him with our sins at any time and find forgiveness. What better time than during Lent?” Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, founder and president of the Ruth Institute said.

Some of the images are humorous. “Sin makes you stupid,” featuring St. Thomas Aquinas (who loosely said that), and “Party’s over. Go to confession,” with an image of Mardi Gras debris. And new this year, an image of a stunned priest in the confessional with the caption, “You won’t really shock him: Go to confession!”


But the humor has a serious point. Dr. Morse said, “Families don’t just break down. Marriages don’t just fall apart. Somebody sins. The ultimate solution to family breakdown is repentance.”

Some of the more serious messages are, “Jesus is waiting for you,” and “Your family is depending on you. Go to Confession.”

“We’re all sinners, but we all have the opportunity to clean the slate and start fresh,” Morse said. “There is no downside to confession.”

“Confession is a means to find healing within our lives for the mistakes we’ve made,” Morse added. “Guilty consciences make it harder for us to move forward and to resolve the issues caused by our sins, or the bitterness we’ve held onto from the sins of others.”

Find the Ruth Institute’s ‘Go to Confession’ images on their website here, here, here, here, and here.



Ask Dr. J: Should I go to my brother's same sex wedding?

Dear Dr. J:

My brother just announced he would be getting married to his boyfriend. They have been together for approximately ten years. My parents and brothers raised their glasses to his plans and seem to be congratulating them. As a Roman Catholic with my principles of natural family and natural marriage, how should I react about him getting married and what should I do when he invites me to his wedding?

-Joe

Dear Joe,


Should you go to the wedding? In a word, no, you should not. They may ask you, "Would you go to the wedding of a divorced person who was remarrying?" The correct answer is, "No, I would not. They are entering publicly into an adulterous union. I would not go." If they reply, "But you went to Uncle Harry's second wedding and didn't say a word," the proper answer is, "I was wrong to do that. I should not have gone."

The longer-term question is: how do you maintain good relationships with these people and other family members who are going along with their plans to marry? This is the larger challenge.

Take every opportunity to show them love and compassion. Include your brother and his friend in activities whenever you can do so in good conscience. For instance, you can have them over for dinner, or go out to a show with them. These are not intrinsically "coupled" activities. You should invite them whenever you can. If they say no, that is ok. You have done your part. You can send them each birthday cards or Christmas cards.

If they want to argue with you about why you didn't go to the wedding, I suggest you decline to participate. Ditto if they want to argue about related topics, like the Church’s teaching on sexuality, unless you have reason to think they are sincerely interested in what you have to say. If they just want to argue, your answer is a polite, "No thanks."

Keep praying for them. Your time with the Lord will gradually reveal other specific ways in which you can show love to your brother. Eventually, the Lord may show you an opportunity to explain the Church’s teaching in its fullness. Or maybe the Lord will place someone else in your brother’s life who can share it with him.

Thank you for your question.

Your friend,

Dr. J


New York Court: A Girl's Right to Her Father Doesn't Matter. Protecting 'Marriage Equality' Does

New York is sacrificing a child's best interest in favor of "marriage equality."

By Jennifer Roback Morse

Published on February 9, 2018, at The Stream.

A little girl in New York is in foster care, even though her father is a perfectly fit parent. The court will not even recognize him as her father. How is this possible, you ask?

The little girl’s mother is in a same sex union. The girl is in foster care, because of neglect petitions pending against both the mother and her lover. The five-judge panel agreed that the fact that the child was in foster care was “relevant” and “concerning.” They nevertheless denied the father’s request to prove his fatherhood.

In the court’s logic, this man “merely donated sperm, belatedly asserting parental rights.”

In other words, he is not a father unless we say so.

Fatherhood: A “Humanitarian Gesture”

The news stories about this case focus on its implications for “Marriage Equality.” The Daily Beast story has a sub-headline: “judges rule in favor of marriage equality over biology in case of 3-year-old girl.” A Canadian paper, The National Post describes the case this way:


Without legal advice, Christopher and the women drew up a contract in which he waived any claims to paternity, custody or visitation, and the women waived any claim to child support. But troubles arose, and they disagreed on Christopher’s access to the child … In April 2015, Christopher went to court, seeking an order for a paternity test, and later for custody of the child.

The Post is not too clear on what “troubles arose.” We get a clue, from the court documents (page 18), which The Daily Beast cited only in passing, that the child has been in foster care for a lengthy “period of time” since the 2015 hearing.

Perhaps this explains why he “belatedly asserted parental rights.” Maybe he saw what the child welfare authorities eventually saw. These women were neglecting the seven-month-old child.

Christopher volunteered his sperm as a “humanitarian gesture” to two women who were family friends. He evidently absorbed the Grand Gay Narrative that assures us:

  • Biology is overrated. Any two people who love each other and the child are just as good as any others.
  • Lesbians make the best parents ever.

If the Grand Gay Narrative is true, a man might logically conclude that donating his sperm could be a “humanitarian gesture.” He might well believe that agreeing in advance to stand down from active fatherhood was a fine thing to do, costless to himself and his child, and beneficial to these two women.

Biology Matters

The problem is that the Grand Gay Narrative is false. Biology does matter. Both parents and children care about their biological connections. Being raised by a same sex couple does present risks to kids, compared with being raised by one’s own biological parents. The people who say otherwise base their opinion on highly suspect, cherry-picked data, from small unrepresentative samples. Frankly, most of it is highly publicized junk science.

Neither of these women has pulled herself together enough to have the little girl returned to her care. I was a foster parent in San Diego. I know that child welfare agencies try to give parents every opportunity to reunify with their children. If the child has been in foster care “for a lengthy period of time,” these two women must be bad news. Christopher was trying to be a nice guy in 2014 when he donated the sperm. He has been trying to be a responsible father since April 2015 when he first petitioned the court.

Isn’t this how we want men to behave toward the children they sire?

Protecting the Narrative

The five-judge panel was not interested.

We believe that it must be true that a child born to a same-gender married couple is presumed to be their child … A paternity test for an outsider, who merely donated sperm, belatedly asserting parental rights, would effectively disrupt, if not destroy, this family unit and nullify the child’s established relationship with the wife, her other mother. Testing in these circumstances exposes children born into same-gender marriages to instability for no justifiable reason other than to provide a father-figure for children who already have two parents.” (emphasis added.)

News flash to the judges: a child in foster care is already “exposed to instability.” Is letting her father be involved more disruptive than foster care?

The court’s ruling does not protect the child’s best interests. Their ruling circles the wagons to protect the Grand Gay Narrative.

“Marriage Equality” advocates assured us that removing the gender requirement from marriage was only a matter of making same sex couples the legal equivalent of opposite sex couples. This case shows that “Marriage Equality” creates a whole round of new inequalities. Some fathers are permitted to be involved in their children’s lives. Others are not: the law actively blocks Christopher from his own child. Some children have a legally recognized right to their fathers. Others, like this little girl, do not.

She only has the parents the government allows her to have. And that is way too much power for any government.

 


ON THE SUPERBOWL ADS

by James V. Schall, S. J. (close friend of Dr. Morse)

As I watched the Super Bowl, which turned out to be a very good game, what rapidly grew in my conscience was the sustained egalitarian propaganda in so many of the unavoidable ads we watched. One could not but notice that Turkish Airlines was a major sponsor, though we are by now used to ads from the Emirate airlines in many sports venues.

The rhetoric of the ads and the story line presented obviously had something to do with the NFL’s problem with player protests against America. Some of this may have been manifest, but if so, I missed it. T-Mobile seemed to sponsor the egalitarian line in almost evangelistic fashion.

Three sequences in particular are worth recalling. The first one showed a taxi drive up to a Catholic church. A vigorous, rather tough-looking young cleric in Roman collar got in the cab. This scene was followed by stops at the local mosque, Buddhist center, and at a synagogue where clerics in colorful garb also got into the same cab. The viewer could have gotten the impression that this country is mainly populated by eastern religions.

But the message all along was that we all can and must get along together, no matter what our doctrinal differences. Live and let live. We can all enjoy the same games, no problem. The message had, to me at least, a bite to it. That is, these religions better get along together in this land. No conflict can exist between the culture and any religion. We do not tolerate anyone who cannot go along with the reigning civic orthodoxy.

Another sequence showed acts of charity and kindness, gays and poor, and minorities being helped by others. We just needed to get along. Everyone needed to help everyone. We can change, we are again and again told.A new day is dawning. The media now take an active role in changing views to conform to the reigning orthodoxy.

The final series was perhaps the most disturbing. In a nursery, we suddenly see one infant after another lined up next to each other. One is white, one is black, one Latino, one Chinese, and others of some other hue. The point was, evidently, all these little tykes are pretty much alike. How could anyone think otherwise?

Yet, these babies were all but recently born. They were shown without their parents, almost as if the parents were irrelevant. The children were not seen as members of a family. What was not mentioned or indicated was that any one or all of these infants could have been legally aborted with no questions asked had their photos been taken in utero a couple of months earlier.

So my brief conclusion from this year’s Super-bowl ad-watching saga is that we are being subjected to a heavy dose of propaganda about equality. The swirl of the myriads of identical dancers at half-time left the same impression. Besides a universalized egalitarianism, no other distinctions about the human good are permitted. Fundamental differences of belief, custom, genes, virtue, and prospect are evil and must be eliminated, evidently by what? My guess is the state, or perhaps the NFL.

 

James V. Schall, S.J. taught political philosophy at Georgetown University for many years until recently retiring. He is the author of numerous books and countless essays on philosophy, theology, education, morality, and other topics. His most recent book is Reasonable Pleasures: The Strange Coherences of Catholicism (Ignatius Press). Visit his site, "Another Sort of Learning", for more about his writings and work.


Make Your Marriage an Even Happier One

Keeping your marriage healthy is paramount for your mental, physical, even financial health.

By Betsy Kerekes

This article was first published January 15, 2018, at Christian Post.

 

This time of year, people tend to look at their waistline, their exercise goals, or that unfinished project in the garage. How about a New Year's resolution that's more lasting and more important? Keeping your marriage healthy is paramount for your mental, physical, even financial health. It has a powerful impact on your children and influences your friends and other family members as well. That's a big responsibility! Here are 10 tips for making your marriage stronger and happier than ever.

1. Remember that love is a decision, not a feeling.

It's impossible to keep warm fuzzy feelings for your spouse constantly, especially when you have children taking up much of your time and energy. In the year ahead, there are sure to be challenging times, but remember to love your spouse, even when you don't feel like it. Your children are important, but your relationship with your spouse comes first. Period. Keep making the decision to love him or her even, and especially, when it's hard.

2. Put your spouse first.

Even though we all learned to share in kindergarten, we are still selfish beings. We want what we want when we want it. Technology and society as a whole aren't great at helping and encouraging us to break this habit, but the happily functioning marriage should be anything but selfish. Always ask yourself, what would your spouse like? Whether it's what to eat for dinner, what movie to watch, or what dessert you share at a restaurant, let your spouse choose. Having a happy spouse makes you a happy spouse. Let his or her happiness bring you happiness.


3. Keep dating each other.

Just because you're married, and especially if you have kids, doesn't mean your dating life is over. You still need to spend quality time together, or out with friends, but especially alone together. Getting out of the house for a date isn't always possible with sitters or finances, but you can have dates in, too. Rather than spend your evenings in separate rooms on separate phones, unplug - everything except your TV. Snuggle on the couch with popcorn or a glass of wine and a good movie. Better still, pull out a deck of cards or a board game. Every couple should have one indoor and one outdoor activity that they enjoy doing together. Schedule it on the calendar if necessary.

4. Have couch time.

This should happen daily. If it's difficult to talk about your day at the dinner table because you're too busy haranguing Penelope to eat her peas, or keeping Bobby from dunking his face in his soup, get your quality time on the couch when the children aren't around. Sit next to each other. Snuggle. Have at least some part of you touching. Physical touch soothes you. And as an added bonus, if you're touching even in some small way when you're upset with each other, the physical contact will ease tension and help you work out your troubles in a calmer, quicker manner.

5. When it's time to speak your mind, do so in a gentle way.

Don't keep a laundry list and dump all your grievances at once. No one likes being attacked. This is all the more reason to speak up when something is getting you down. And whenever possible, do so in a self-effacing way to lessen the blow. For instance: "We should probably both work on keeping the kitchen a little tidier." Even if you know full well it's the other person who's a slob, this phrase comes off much nicer than: "You need to clean up your mess! I'm tired of picking up after you!" That approach only leads to more yelling, childish name calling, and pointless comparisons of who does what and how often. It never ends well. Instead, be nice.

6. Don't let Robin rule the roost.

If your devotion to your children has gotten to the point where it feels more like they're in charge, tension is bound to occur in your home. It might be with a spouse who disagrees with your discipline methods, or within yourself because you're whipped by your own two-year-old. When it comes to discipline, it's imperative that both parents are on the same page. When there are cracks in the foundation of the castle, Little Prince or Princess will find them and take full advantage, turning you into court jesters. Your marriage will be happier if an agreed upon discipline is firmly in place.

7. Always be open with communication.

Whether it's discussing synchronizing your parenting styles or realizing when you last had an intimate moment alone together, you need to be open and honest. "Communication is key" is a cliché, but they're also words to live by. If you have something to say to your spouse, out with it. If it's unfortunately negative but needs to be said, don't keep it bottled up where it will only fester and grow to the point of explosion. If it's something positive, all the more reason to share it! It takes ten positive statements to push aside the sting of a negative statement. Don't be stingy on the praise. Only be negative when absolutely necessary.

8. Go to sleep at the same time.

This provides you with another opportunity for communication: verbal or physical. You decide. Be open. Enjoy each other's company. If you're normally too tired to do more than collapse into bed and fall directly to sleep, get yourselves in bed sooner. This is more needed couple time.

9. Maintain an attitude of gratitude.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you are not Wonder Woman or Superman. You cannot do it all on your own. Sometimes you'll need help from your spouse. Allow your spouse to help you. Ask for help, but don't demand it. Ask kindly without whining or complaining. And accept graciously. When help comes unsolicited, be grateful and don't shy away from showing your gratitude. The words "thank you" and "I love you" go a long way. Kisses can go even longer.

10. Focus on the positive things in your life.

Maybe you're not as thin as you'd like to be and the garage or laundry room are still a mess, but how adorable was it when the baby blew raspberries at you? You may have been in your pajamas all day, but your spouse brought home dinner! Can't remember the last time you showered? Try instead to remember your wedding day in every blissful detail. Don't get down on the negative. Nobody ever promised life was easy. You do the best you can. If you're Debbie Downer, you won't be fun for your spouse to be around. Everything else will get taken care of in due time. Take that to heart by enjoying all the good and filtering out the bad.

Betsy Kerekes, editor at the Ruth Institute, is co-author with Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse of 101 Tips for a Happier Marriage (Ave Maria Press 2013) and 101 Tips for Marrying the Right Person (Ave Maria Press 2016). She blogs at Parentingisfunny.wordpress.com.


40 Percent of US Pregnancies Out of Wedlock, 'Shotgun' Marriages Have Plummeted: Report

By Brandon Showalter

This article was first posted on Christian Post on December 19, 2017.

A new Senate report is highlighting the effects of unwed childbearing and family breakdown as approximately 40 percent of births in the United States now occur outside of wedlock. And what are known as "shotgun" marriages are largely a thing of the past.

The sharp rise in nonmarital births is a result of a complex mixture of moral, behavioral, and social changes given how the Sexual Revolution overhauled the American landscape, noted Robert VerBruggen, deputy managing editor of National Review, writing on the blog of the Institute for Family Studies Monday. Two out of every five pregnancies in the United States now occur outside of wedlock.


"Married couples' fertility rate plummeted by about a third in the 1960s and early 1970s, almost certainly thanks to the introduction of the Pill at the beginning of that period," he wrote.

"Married people have always been sexually active, and the Pill allowed them to continue doing what they were doing with a drastically reduced risk of pregnancy if that was what they wanted."

But such a shift in mindset about sex has reorganized adult priorities while having grievous consequences on children, another scholar pointed out.

"People today generally believe that unlimited sex is an entitlement and that children have only the rights adults choose to give them. This is called 'reproductive justice,' because it neutralizes the impact of children on education and career, and supports 'equality' between men and women," said Jennifer Roback Morse, president of the Ruth Institute, in an interview Tuesday with The Christian Post.

"But if you believe that kids need and are entitled to a relationship with both their own parents, the moral calculus changes considerably."

Sex outside of marriage puts the prospective children at risk of experiencing at least one form of injustice, Morse went on to say. They are either killed via abortion; put at risk of a weak or nonexistent relationship with one parent, often the father; or are placed for adoption, separating the child from their biological parents, at least for the duration of their childhood, she explained.

The Senate report, "Love, Marriage, and the Baby Carriage: The Rise in Unwed Childbearing," was released this month and prepared by the vice chairman's staff of the Joint Economic Committee at the request of Senator Mike Lee (Republican of Utah). The findings examine the trends and aim to understand how the United States arrived at its current social state.

The report also reveals that "shotgun" marriages — where the woman's father supposedly enforced the social norm of marriage by threatening to shoot the guy who impregnated his daughter — have tanked.

"We ridicule this norm, because we forget that it had the benefit of protecting the interests of children in having relationships with both parents," Morse commented.

"The most just solution for the child, is for the parents to marry each other, and work together for a lifetime for the good of the child, and their whole family. We accept injustice to children as the price we are willing to pay for adult sexual freedom and 'gender equality.'"

The report data shows that in the early 1960s, 43 percent of unwed pregnancies precipitated a hasty, "shotgun" marriage. Today, only 9 percent of unwed pregnancies result in such quick marital arrangements. Young couples no longer see the necessity of getting married because a child is coming.

Unmarried people as a group had previously limited their sexual activity, concerned about both unwanted pregnancy and social stigma, the report found. But they, too, began having sex earlier and more frequently as they gained access to hormonal contraception and as changing attitudes made premarital sexual relations more acceptable.

"Further societal changes made unmarried childbearing, not just sex, more acceptable, such that half of births from nonmarital pregnancies today are intended," VerBruggen observed.

The authors of the report do not think that abortion is a significant contributor to these trends, he explained. The abortion rate increased during the 1970s but dropped in the following decades and remains by all measures lower today than when Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973.

"It's a frustratingly complex picture; and half a century after the Sexual Revolution, with no reversal in sight, these may primarily be academic questions anyway. But if we're not happy where we are in this regard — and we shouldn't be, given the harms children have suffered from family breakdown — it can't hurt to know how we got here," VerBruggen said.

 



Business tells pro-family group to say they ‘discriminate’ if they want donations processed

by Doug Mainwaring

This article was first published at Life Site News on December 22, 2017.

LAKE CHARLES, La., December 22, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – The Ruth Institute is once again encountering difficulty in securing the services of an online donation processor because of its orthodox Christian views regarding marriage, family, and human sexuality.

The Ruth Institute is a global non-profit organization that seeks to create “a mass social movement to end family breakdown by energizing the Survivors of the Sexual Revolution,” paying special attention to the needs and rights of children.


In late August, the Ruth institute was notified that its online donation processor, Vanco, had discontinued providing services to the pro-family, pro-children’s rights organization for allegedly promoting “hate, violence, harassment or abuse.”

At the time, Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, the Institute’s founder and president, said, “[Our] primary focus is family breakdown and its impact on children: understanding it, healing it, ending it. If this makes us a ‘hate group,’ so be it.”

“The Ruth Institute is listed on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s ‘Hate Map,’ which was recently in the news,” continued Morse. “We have been on this ‘Hate Map’ since 2013. To the best of our knowledge, no one has ever been inspired to riot or shoot anyone by our activities.”

Now, a different donation processor may be using similar tactics against the pro-family group.

Registering with Benevity

Benevity is a company that facilitates employer matching donations. Someone wanted to ask his employer to match his donation to the Ruth Institute, so he asked the organization to sign up with Benevity.

“We make it easier for nonprofit organizations to establish their eligibility for our client’s corporate giving programs, reducing the burden on charities while enabling companies to adhere to their own program guidelines,” claims Benevity on its website. “We’ll determine if an organization is a registered charity in good standing, assess whether the charity meets eligibility guidelines, ensure they are not on relevant watch lists and that they comply with non-discrimination, anti-bribery and secular fund uses.”

Disagreement on what constitutes ‘discrimination’

According to a posting on its website, The Ruth Institute filled out an application and waited for a response. They were surprised that rather than being immediately accepted for the program, Benevity expressed concern about supposedly problematic statements on the Ruth Institute website.

Benevity suggested that the Ruth Institute is discriminatory because it didn't appear the pro-family advoacy group would be open to running programs for homosexuals or abortion and contraception advocates.

In particular, Benevity pointed to the fact that the Ruth Institute said on its application that it does not discriminate, yet “Upon checking your website and related blog posts, we thought it would be pertinent to reach out to you to check [w]hat you meant … would it mean for example, that your organization would be fine with hiring or running programs for homosexual people, people who did not agree that abortion is wrong, or those who advocate the use of contraception etc.”

“Is this correct?” continued the letter. “It would seem from reading your website and associated links that your organization does not support such views and presumably wouldn't hire or run programs supporting those who do.”

Dr. Morse responded in part, “We would certainly not provide programs that affirmed procuring an abortion, using artificial contraceptives, engaging in non-marital sexual activity or engaging in homosexual sexual activity.”

Benevity’s Charity Relations Specialist, Richard Paxton, responded: “Some of our clients will prohibit their employees from donating to and/or receiving matches for organizations which limit the people they help on the basis of their sexuality, beliefs around sex before marriage, contraception etc.”

Morse explained to Brevity’s Paxton, “I am unaware of any statute or case law that prohibits ‘discrimination’ based on ‘beliefs around sex before marriage, contraception, etc.’”

“Holding certain beliefs is not an immutable characteristic,” Dr. Morse continued. “Holding certain beliefs does not make one a member of a protected class, as far as I am aware. On what basis then do you include ‘beliefs around sex before marriage, contraception and especially the open-ended category, ‘etc.’ in your anti-discrimination question?”

Paxton countered, “We did find some content on your website and subsequent posts which suggest clearly that certain groups are excluded from attending some of your programs on the basis of their religion.”

The example he gave was a statement at the end of a post on the Ruth Institute's website:

Image

Paxton explained that this would contradict the Ruth Institute’s self certification that it is not discriminatory.

In the end, the Ruth Institute revised its application, forced to answer “yes, we do discriminate.”

“We could have withdrawn our application altogether. I chose instead, to fill it out, under duress, as it were,” Dr. Morse elaborated. “I wish to state in no uncertain terms: I do not agree with the definition of ‘discrimination’ presented to me in this correspondence. In my mind, we do not ‘discriminate’ against anyone. Please notice that my request for clarification about whether holding views on ‘contraception,’ ‘abortion’ or especially ‘etc.’ constitutes discrimination did not receive any response whatsoever.”

It is unclear if any church-based ministry would meet Benevity’s standards for non-discrimination.


Workshop to offer ways to heal family breakdown

Posted by Marc & Julie Anderson on in Archdiocese, Leaven News

Jennifer Roback Morse will lead the archdiocesan family life office’s “Healing Family Breakdown” spiritual workshop Jan. 27 at the Church of the Ascension in Overland Park.

What part will you play in the future of the family?

It is a question that is on the mind of more than a few Catholic leaders these days, as we see the primary institution of our society fracture under seemingly insurmountable stress.

But the Catholic Church is not the only institution unwilling to throw in the towel on the institution of the family.


The Ruth Institute, founded in 2008 by Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, is a global nonprofit organization aimed at ending family breakdown by energizing survivors of the Sexual Revolution.

And it’s a movement that is coming to the archdiocese next month.

On Jan. 27, the archdiocesan office of marriage and family life will host the institute’s “Healing Family Breakdown” spiritual workshop at the Church of the Ascension in Overland Park.

The event is open to all, Catholic and non-Catholic, and, according to Morse, is meant to accomplish three goals: (1) heal families; (2) help participants prevent family breakdown; and (3) help participants become agents of healing within society at large.

When families attend the workshop, Morse added, something important and life-changing happens to them.

“You realize you and your family are not the only ones,” she said. “For a lot of people, that is huge.”

That realization is an important first step in healing, she said, and is often made manifest to her in a tangible way in the seating arrangement of workshop participants.

“The Holy Spirit has a way of seating people at the table who belong together,” Morse said.

For example, at a past workshop, she witnessed a teenage girl’s perspective change as a result of a conversation she had with a man at her table.

The girl was the daughter of divorced parents. She blamed her father for the situation and did not want anything to do with him.

However, also seated at her table was a divorced man experiencing loneliness as his children would not talk to him. A conversation between the two, Morse said, led the young lady to consider the hurt and loneliness her father might be experiencing, a perspective the teenager had not considered previously.

And that’s just one type of healing and paradigm shift The Ruth Institute is trying to bring about in the world.

On the nonprofit’s website — www.ruthinstitute.org — Morse identifies a dozen different types of survivors of the Sexual Revolution, ranging from children of divorce and of unmarried parents, to a pornography addict or a post-abortive man or woman.

If you recognize yourself, a family member or a friend in one of the 12 survivor descriptions, Morse discourages you from trying to go it alone. Participate in the workshop and begin the healing process, instead.

“We need [survivors’] participation,” she said. “We need you to be witnesses to say the church was right all along [about its teachings on family and sexuality].”

Morse calls survivors “the secret weapon” to restoring the family to its greatness and its rightful place in society.

“All these wounded souls need to speak up,” she said.

“Many people leave the faith over sexual issues,” Morse explained. “I know. I stormed off in a huff.”

But just as people leave the faith over sexual issues, Morse said, countless people later realize the beauty of church teaching and return to the faith.

“I was completely wrong, of course,” she said of her departure from the faith.

Later, by studying the church’s teachings and by watching her adopted and biological children grow, Morse said she realized how much children need their father and mother as well as how much they want their parents.

“That’s how I got interested in the family and how the family fits into society,” said Morse.

As she has watched the family structure in modern society continue to deteriorate, however, Morse is not without hope.

“A lot of what society is trying to do is undoable,” she said. “We believe it is possible to make the family great again.”



Here’s What’s Fishy about Al Franken’s Resignation and Selective Outrage.

By Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse

This article was first published at Clash Daily on Dec. 13, 2017.

Former comedian Al Franken is resigning his seat as a Minnesota senator. Multiple women accused him of sexual harassment. The most notorious incident was the photo of him groping a female journalist, while she slept.

In his resignation speech, he made this astonishing claim:
“I am proud that, during my time in the Senate, I have used my power to be a champion for women – and that I have earned a reputation as someone who respects the women I work alongside every day.”


 


 

No doubt, Franken is referring to his 100% pro-abortion voting record, as tabulated by both NARAL Pro-Choice America, and the independent site, Vote Smart.

I see no surprise here at all. Voting for abortion on demand, paid for if necessary by taxpayers, is only “pro-woman” in a most peculiar sense. It is “pro-women-deserve-to-have-as-much-sex-as-men-do-and-on-the-same-terms.” This is “equality,” you see.

Just one problem. Men don’t have babies, trans-activists to the contrary notwithstanding. For women to have sex on the same terms as men, they must get rid of the baby.

In a sane world, a man of any amount of wealth, power, and influence would understand that children need their own parents. People should only have sex with someone with whom they are willing to co-parent. Which means, be committed to for a lifetime. Which means, or used to mean, getting married. Preferably before the child is even conceived. This connection between sex, babies, and marriage used to be understood by all social classes.

Any sane person should realize that sex has different consequences for men than for women. But in our world, recognizing and making provision for these differences between men and women is discrimination against women. The ideologues of the Sexual Revolution insist that men and women are identical.

This is the real significance of Franken’s 100% pro-abortion voting record. It is not about “liberation” or “equality” for women. It never was. It is now, and always has been, about providing rich and powerful men sexual access to women’s bodies without having to face the natural consequences.

Men like Franken, Harvey Weinstein and Matt Lauer have plenty of money, power, and influence. Their privilege should not permit them to do whatever the hell they feel like, and face no consequences. But in our Sexual Revolutionary world, they generally do get to do whatever they want.

As long as they can keep all these pesky women from complaining about being used.

Why do women among the Elite classes put up with it? Delayed childbearing is the price of entry into the professions and elite jobs. Women who are highly placed in politics, law, and media cannot imagine how they would have the jobs they have, without abortion as a back-up for contraceptive failure. That is why so many women among Elites are completely committed to the Sexual Revolution. The fact that some women want their babies, doesn’t dawn on them. Neither does the possibility that some women want their babies’ father to be committed to them. Nor does the possibility that they themselves might be better off in a different, more respectful, more reality-based, sexual regime.

When Franken’s senate colleagues, male and female alike, claimed they agonized over asking him to step aside, you may safely assume they were calculating the political costs and benefits. The real impact on real women: not so much. And calling into question the underlying premises of the Sexual Revolution: absolutely out of the question.

Elites, male and female, in both parties, in business, law, media and academia, like the Sexual Revolution, just the way it is. Their current concern for victims of sexual assault and harassment is strictly for show, and will quickly fade. The men like an ideological system that presents them will a steady flow of willing sex partners. Elite men and women alike like a legal system that permits them to wipe out pregnancies, and hence excuse them from the “inconveniences” of parenthood.

Don’t be fooled by Senator Franken’s faux apologies and his colleagues’ faux outrage. He, and they, are only sorry he got caught.

Image: CC by 2.0; https://www.flickr.com/photos/56881272@N02/6761048993

 

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