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.


Why I Stopped Talking About Economics When I Started Talking About Family

by Jennifer Roback Morse

This article was first published on January 8, 2019, at The Stream.

Tucker Carlson is right. But his method is wrong.

Tucker Carlson’s monologue on January 2 set off a firestorm of negative commentary. I want to say for the record: I agree completely with Carlson’s closing statement, “If you want to put America first, you’ve got to put its families first.” I also want to say for the record: I disagree with the wrappings in which Carlson presented his important message.


Talk About the Family, and Only the Family

Here is why he is profoundly correct: A free society needs adults who can take care of themselves, follow the rules, and use their freedom without bothering other people too much. Yet, we all enter the world as helpless babies, incapable of taking care of ourselves, or following rules. But we are quite capable of bothering other people. How do we transform people from helpless infant to self-regulating adults? Inside the family. The love of mothers and fathers teaches children to have regard for others, to care for themselves and to control themselves.

This was the theme of my first book, Love and Economics: It Takes a Family to Raise a Village. Without mothers and fathers caring for their children in a personal and loving way, we can’t have a free market, or a free society. We will have a collection of individuals, all looking out for themselves, doing whatever they can get away with. People like that can cause a lot of problems. They need external controls because they cannot control themselves.

The family is really indispensable to the project of sustaining a free society.

At the same time, I must disagree with the manner in which Tucker Carlson presented his argument. He made his arguments in the context of defending numerous other policy points. I have learned from experience that if you want to talk about the family, you have got to talk about the family and nothing else.

Losing the Larger Point

That is because most of our thought leaders do not want to confront family issues. They prefer to change the subject. If you give them the slightest opening, they will skate away from the family issues. The commentary on Carlson’s monologue demonstrates this point.

Carlson offers an economic explanation for the decline in marriage. He says:

Male wages declined. Manufacturing, a male-dominated industry, all but disappeared over the course of a generation. All that remained in many places were the schools and the hospitals, both traditional employers of women. In many places, women suddenly made more than men.

This paragraph leaves an opening for people to start yammering about economics and feminism and trade and just about anything but family. Mr. Carlson’s larger point about the importance of married mothers and fathers slipped away.

Another crucial bit of slippage is over the question of who is to blame. Carlson stated:

But our leaders don’t care. We are ruled by mercenaries who feel no long-term obligation to the people they rule. They’re day traders. Substitute teachers. They’re just passing through. They have no skin in this game, and it shows. They can’t solve our problems. They don’t even bother to understand our problems.

I happen to believe that there is a lot of truth in his point here. The leadership class, the people actually making the big decisions in this country, are isolated, educationally, socially, and even geographically, from the rest of the country. (I say this as an educated person who gratefully lives in “fly-over country.”) But, naturally, those people resent being told that they are the problem, that they don’t care, and that they are culturally blind.

Missing a Holistic Approach

Naturally, this gives them an opening to glide away from Carlson’s crucial points. Jim Geraghty at National Review, said:

Leaders may want those things for us, but we should have no illusion that they can provide those things for us. Dignity, purpose, self-control, independence, and deep relationships have to come from within, and get cultivated and developed by our own actions. Good parents and relatives, teachers and communities can all help cultivate that, but it all starts with the individual — and if the individual isn’t willing to try to cultivate that, no one else can cultivate it for him.

I applaud individual initiative as much as the next person. But Geraghty assumes the basic unit of society is the individual. This is not true. Mother and father collaborating to care for their own children is the most basic unit of society. Kids in foster care are individuals. Is that really the kind of existence we wish for children?

David French chimes in:

We must not create a victim class of angry citizens. We must not tell them falsehoods about the power of governments or banks or elites over their personal destinies. We must not make them feel helpless when they are not helpless. … This is still a land where you can determine your own success more than can any political party or group of nefarious elites. The fundamental building block of any family is still your love, your discipline, and your fidelity.

This analysis dodges the question of whether poor public policy is contributing to family breakdown. People who have been kicked out of their families by no-fault divorce are in fact, victims. So are welfare recipients whose marriage decisions are distorted by marriage penalties built into social assistance payments. So are children whose minds are poisoned against both self-discipline and fidelity by sex “education” in government-funded schools. (Who gave the State the right to teach children how to put condoms on bananas? Where are the libertarians when you need them?)

Defend the Family and Nothing Else

My doctorate is in economics. I spent the first 15 years of my professional life defending free market economics. When I realized that the market actually depends on the family, I did my best to convince my colleagues. Most of them were completely uninterested.

Since then, I’ve spent twenty years defending the family. I’m convinced: if you want to defend the family, stick to the subject. Shut up about immigration or the free market or trade policy or Donald Trump or anything else. Defend the family and nothing else.


Ruth Institute President, Author of The Sexual State, to Speak at Family Research Council and Appear on The Huckabee Show

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, founder and president of The Ruth Institute, will appear on The Mike Huckabee Show on the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) on January 19 and 20, and speak at the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C. on January 22 at noon ET.

Morse’s latest book, The Sexual State: How Elite Ideologies are Destroying Lives and Why the Church was Right All Along, covers three interlocking ideologies that are destroying families and society:

The Contraceptive Ideology (separating sex from childbearing),

The Divorce Ideology (separating sex and childbearing from marriage), and

The Gender Ideology (eliminating all distinctions between men and women except those that individuals explicitly embrace).

 


 

The Family Research Council (FRC) is America’s foremost thinktank on issues impacting the family. Among other activities, it sponsors the Values Voter Summit, an annual meeting of leaders and activists dedicated to the defense of the family. Past speakers include President Trump and Vice President Pence.

TBN is the world’s largest Christian-based broadcasting network, available to an estimated 98% of households in the US. Former Arkansas governor, Mike Huckabee, was also a two-time Republican presidential nominee.

For information on Dr. Morse’s speech at FRC, which will also be webcast:

https://www.frc.org/events/the-sexual-state-how-elite-ideologies-are-destroying-lives

For information on the Mike Huckabee Show: https://www.tbn.org/huckabee

The Ruth Institute is a global non-profit organization that defends the family at home and in the public square. Dr. Morse was a campaign spokeswoman for California's winning Proposition 8 campaign, defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman. She has authored or co-authored six books and spoken around the globe on marriage, family, and human sexuality. Her work has been translated into Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Polish, and Chuukese, the native language of the Micronesian Islands. Her other recent books include The Sexual Revolution and Its Victims and 101 Tips for Marrying the Right Person, coauthored with Betsy Kerekes

She earned her Ph.D. in economics at the University of Rochester and taught economics at Yale and George Mason Universities. Dr. Morse was named by Our Sunday Visitor as one of the "Catholic Stars of 2013" on a list that included Pope Francis and Pope Benedict XVI.

For more information on The Sexual State https://thesexualstate.com/

For More information on The Ruth Institute http://www.ruthinstitute.org/

To schedule an interview with Dr. Morse media@ruthinstitute.org

 



US Clergy sex abuse on the rise again, and Church leaders are ignoring why, sociologist says

By Kevin Jones

This article was first published at Catholic News Agency on November 2, 2018.
Priests celebrate Mass at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Denver, Jan. 17, 2015. Credit: Catholic Charities/Jeffrey Bruno (CC BY 2.0)
Priests celebrate Mass at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Denver, Jan. 17, 2015. Credit: Catholic Charities/Jeffrey Bruno (CC BY 2.0)

After years in decline, Catholic clergy sex abuse could be on the rise again, warns a professor-priest’s analysis of relevant data.

The professor’s report sees a rising trend in abuse, and argues that the evidence strongly suggests links between sexual abuse of minors and two factors: a disproportionate number of homosexual clergy, and the manifestation of a “homosexual subculture” in seminaries.

“The thing we’ve been told about the sex abuse is that it is somehow very rare and declined to almost nothing today is really not true,” Father D. Paul Sullins, a Catholic priest and retired Catholic University of America sociology professor, told a Nov. 2 press conference.

“I found that clergy sex abuse did drop to almost nothing after 2002, but then it started to creep up,” he continued. “It’s been increasing. And there are signs that the bishops or the dioceses have gotten complacent about that.”



“It’s not at the great heights that it was in the mid-1970s, but it’s rising. And it’s headed in that direction,” he added.

Clergy sex abuse incidence is today about one third as common as in the late 1980s. While sex abuse by clergy is “much lower” than 30 years ago, it has not declined “as much as is commonly thought.” Most of the decline since the 1990s is consistent with “a similar general decline in child sex abuse in America since that time,” Sullins’ report said.

The decline is not necessarily related to measures taken by the U.S. bishops. Sullins told the press conference he saw no link between a decline in abuse and the implementation of the U.S. bishops’ 2002 Charter for the Protection of Children and Young Adults.

“Recent experience calls into question whether the current understanding of the nature of the abuse and how to reduce it is accurate or sufficient,” said Sullins in his report.

Efforts to address clergy abuse must acknowledge both “the recent increase of abuse amid growing complacency” and the “very strong probability” that the surge in abuse in past and present is “a product, at least in part, of the past surge and present concentration of homosexual men in the Catholic priesthood.”

The report was released Nov. 2 by the Louisiana-based Ruth Institute, where Sullins is a senior research associate. It has been reviewed by several scholars, including four social scientists, and is planned to be included in an upcoming book.

His study aimed to address a common question: is the sex abuse related in any way to homosexual men in the priesthood?

“I hear on the one hand denial of that, almost without even thinking about it, and I also hear advocacy of that, almost without even thinking about it,” Sullins said Nov. 2. “The question comes up logically because the vast majority of victims were boys. Usually in sex abuse of minors, two-thirds of victims are girls.”

Sullins’ report is titled “Is Catholic clergy sex abuse related to homosexual priests?” and he does not avoid the sometimes controversial question. The report compares “previously unexamined measures of the share of homosexual Catholic priests” and the incidence and victim gender of minor sex abuse victims by Catholic priests from 1950 to 2001.

Sullins’ sources included a 2002 survey of 1,854 priests by the Los Angeles Times that included questions about respondents’ sexual orientation, age, year of ordination, and whether they thought there was a homosexual subculture in their seminary. He measured abuse using data provided by the authors of the John Jay College of Criminal Justice reports, which themselves used reports of abuse provided by Catholic dioceses.

“Although over 8 in 10 of victims have been boys, the idea that the abuse is related to homosexual men in the priesthood has not been widely accepted by Church leaders,” said Sullins.

“(T)he data show that more homosexual men in the priesthood was correlated with more overall abuse and more boys abused compared to girls,” he added.

The increase or decrease in the percent of male victims correlated “almost perfectly” with the increase or decrease of homosexual men in the priesthood, he said, citing a 0.98 correlation. While the correlation was lower among victims under age 8, it was “lower but still strong,” 0.77. The statistical association between homosexual priests and abuse incidence was “extremely strong,” given that this scale ranges from -1.0, an inverse correlation, to 1.0, an absolute positive correlation.

Such results were “as close as you can get to a perfect correlation as I have ever seen,” Sullins said Nov. 2, adding that researchers usually consider correlation association above 0.3 or 0.4 to be a strong effect.

He took care to say it is the disproportionate presence of homosexual men in the priesthood, not the simple presence of any homosexual men, that appears to be the major factor.

“What I say in the paper is that when homosexual men were represented in the priesthood at about the same rate as they were in the population, there was no measurable problem of child sex abuse,” Sullins said. “It was only when you had a preponderance of homosexual men.”

The percentage of homosexual men in the general population is estimated at two percent. In the 1950s, homosexual men in the priesthood were about twice their percentage in the general population, making up four percent. in the 1980s they were eight times the percentage in the general population, 16 percent, according to Sullins.

“When you get up to 16 percent of priests that are homosexual, and you’ve got eight times the proportion of homosexuals as you do in the general population, it’s as if the priesthood becomes a particularly welcoming and enabling and encouraging population for homosexual activity and behavior,” he said Nov. 2.

Sullins was clear he wanted to avoid recommending any particular action based on his research.

“I would certainly not recommend that we remove all homosexuals from the priesthood,” he said. “The reason for that is: the abuse is not necessarily related to someone’s sexual orientation.” He cited his knowledge of men with same-sex attraction who are “strong, faithful persons,” adding “I would hate to have some sort of litmus test for that.”

If the Catholic Church in the U.S. were like most institutions, where two-thirds of abuse victims were female, people would reject the suggestion to eliminate all heterosexual men from the priesthood. That suggestion would be an “ideological reaction,” he said.

He suggested the priesthood should reflect the general population, as a sign priests are selected for “holiness and commitment to Christ and the things that we would hope would make for a good priest.”

“When you start to get a larger proportion of homosexuals It looks like you are actually selecting for same-sex orientation,” he said.

Seminary candidates have reported about the problems this disproportion creates, he continued. According to Sullins, Donald Cozzens' 2000 book “The Changing Face of the Priesthood” discusses accounts of homosexual students being so prevalent at some seminaries that heterosexual men felt destabilized and disoriented and left.

“That’s not a positive outcome. I do not think we would want to have that proportion of a homosexual culture in the priesthood,” said Sullins.

There appear to be verifiable trends in increases and decreases in the ordinations of homosexual priests.

“From 1965 to 1995 an average of at least one in five priests ordained annually were homosexual, a concentration which drove the overall proportion of homosexual men in the priesthood up to 16 percent, or one in six priests, by the late 1990s,” said Sullins’ report.

“This trend was strongly correlated with increasing child sex abuse,” he said.

Drawing on his findings, Sullins predicted that if the proportion of homosexual priests remained at the 1950s level “at least 12,000 fewer children, mostly boys, would have suffered abuse,” he said. As a percentage, this means abuse would have been about 85 percent lower.

The presence of homosexual subcultures in seminaries, as reported by priests considering their own seminary life, accounts for about half the incidence of abuse, but apparently not among heterosexual men.

“Homosexual subcultures encouraged greater abuse, but not by heterosexual men, just by homosexual men,” Sullins said Nov. 2. He suggested these subcultures encourage those who may have been attracted to male victims to act out more than would have been the case otherwise.

Sullins, a former Episcopal priest, has been married for 30 years and has three children. He was ordained to the Catholic priesthood in 2002 by then-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick of Washington.

“I was surprised and shocked, like most of us earlier this year, to hear about Cardinal McCarrick,” Sullins said. “I was particularly impressed by that because I was ordained by Cardinal McCarrick in 2002, and probably knew him better than most people would have.”

His report follows the June revelations that former Archbishop McCarrick was credibly accused of sex assault on a minor, revelations which prompted men to come forward saying he had sexually abused them as seminarians—and prompted Pope Francis to accept the archbishop’s almost unprecedented resignation from the cardinalate. McCarrick was deeply influential and had been a leading personality in the U.S. bishops’ response to the 2002 scandals.

In August, a Pennsylvania grand jury released its report on Catholic clergy sex abuse in six dioceses. It tallied over 1,000 credible accusations against hundreds of priests over decades, though many of these accusations had been reported in 2004.

“What was new in 2018 was not primarily the revelation of abuse by priests, but of a possible pattern of resistance, minimization, enablement and secrecy—a ‘cover-up’—on the part of bishops,” said Sullins, who used some of the grand jury report data for his study.

As part of the U.S. bishops’ response to the first sex abuse scandal in 2002, the John Jay College of Criminal Justice issued two bishop-commissioned reports: a 2004 report on the nature and scope of clergy sex abuse and a 2011 report on the causes and context of sex abuse.

Sullins criticized the 2011 report’s claim that sex abuse perpetrators are mainly “situational or opportunistic” and the sex of the victim is less relevant to them. In his view, multiple offenders “abused a higher proportion of male victims than did single offenders, and the proportion increased with higher numbers of victims.” If multiple offenders were better at acquiring victims, “they appear to have used their skills to obtain access to more boys, not fewer.”

Abuse of girls dropped off at the same rate in the 1980s and 1990s, and the data suggest that as girls became more prevalent in priestly life, such as in the introduction of altar girls, abusers of boys “responded to the presence of fewer younger boys primarily by turning to older boys, not to female victims.”

For clergy offenders who were “classic or fixated pedophiles,” targeting only victims under age eight, they still strongly preferred male victims, “conditional on higher proportions of homosexual men in the priesthood.”

Sex abuse by Catholic clergy is “substantially less” than in similar institutions or communities, but it is notable that underage victims of sex assault by Catholic priests in U.S. Catholic parishes and schools have been “overwhelmingly male,” said Sullins. Comparable reports in Germany indicate that up to 90 percent of abuse victims of Catholic clergy have been male, compared to about half of victims in Protestant or non-religious settings in that country.

Some Catholic commentators have blamed clericalism for the abuse. Pope Francis’ August 20 letter on sex abuse, which did not mention homosexuality, said communities where sexual abuse and “the abuse of power and conscience” have taken place are characterized by efforts to reduce the Catholic faithful to “small elites” or otherwise replace, silence or ignore them.

“To say ‘no’ to abuse is to say an emphatic ‘no’ to all forms of clericalism,” the Pope said.

In a May 21, 2018 audience with Italian bishops, the Pope said it is better not to let seminary candidates enter if they have “even the slightest doubt” about the fitness of individuals with homosexual “deep-seated tendencies” or who practice “homosexual acts,” but want to enter the seminary.

These acts or deep-seated tendencies can lead to scandals and can compromise the life of the seminary, as well as the man himself and his future priesthood, he said, according to Vatican Insider.

A 2016 document from the Vatican’s Congregation for Clergy, “The Gift of the Priestly Vocation,” cites a 2005 Vatican document which says: “the Church, while profoundly respecting the persons in question, cannot admit to the seminary or to holy orders those who practice homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies or support the so-called ‘gay culture’.”

The bishops’ 2002 child protection charter drew criticism from Sullins. Its failure to acknowledge that bishops can commit abuse or cover up abuse “seemed to confirm the suggestion of a cover-up: indeed, to the extent bishops may have covered up priestly misbehavior, the charter itself may have covered up episcopal misbehavior.”

He faulted the 2011 John Jay report on the causes and context of clergy sex abuse, which said that a reported increase in homosexual men in seminaries in the 1980s did not correspond to the number of boys abused. Sullins noted that the authors acknowledged they did not collect or examine direct data on priests’ sexual identity and any changes in it over the years. They relied on “subjective clinical estimates and second-hand narrative reports of apparent homosexual activity in seminaries,” Sullins said.

The Ruth Institute, which published Sullins’ report, was founded in 2008 by Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, an economics-trained author and writer on marriage, family and human sexuality. She served as spokesperson for Proposition 8, the California ballot measure which defined marriage as a union of one man and one woman. The institute was backed by the National Organization for Marriage Education Fund until 2013.

Groups including the Human Rights Campaign, GLAAD, and the Southern Poverty Law Center have criticized the Ruth Institute’s stance against same-sex marriage and other LGBT causes.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, which originally monitored foes of the civil rights movement, in the 1980s began tracking neo-Nazi groups and Ku Klux Klan affiliates. In recent years it has listed mainstream groups like the Ruth Institute, the Family Research Council and Alliance Defending Freedom as “hate groups” for their “anti-LGBT” stance.

In an Aug. 23, 2017 response to the listing, the Ruth Institute said it “categorically condemns white supremacy, racism, Nazism, and all violent totalitarian political movements.”

“People who cannot defend their positions using reason and evidence resort to name-calling to change the subject away from their anemic arguments,” the institute said. “The ‘hate group’ label is a club such people invented to bludgeon their political opponents.”


The Sexual State: A Report from the Battlefield

iStockphoto

By John Horvat, II Published on October 8, 2018, at The Stream.

The Sexual Revolution of the sixties is portrayed as a rebellion against the Establishment. It was a spontaneous love fest that allowed youth to do their own thing in an atmosphere of serendipitous freedom. Women were liberated from past oppression. It set in motion other movements that advanced ever greater sexual freedom.

At least, that’s the official story.


Few people tell the other side of the story. This woefully skewed portrayal overlooks the millions of damaged lives. The revolutionary upheaval of the sixties radically changed America for the worse. Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse’s The Sexual State: How Elite Ideologies Are Destroying Lives and Why the Church Was Right All Along is a book that challenges these myths and sets the record straight.

The book reflects the author’s academic background. It’s convincingly documented and logically presented. But it reads more like a battlefield report from the frontlines of the Sexual Revolution. She manages to insert the very real human element into the debate by passionately reminding readers of those whose lives are even now being destroyed by the myths introduced in the sixties. Dr. Morse wants to destroy these myths once and for all.

The Sexual Revolution: A Real Battle

One key myth is the Sexual Revolution as a spontaneous movement of liberation. It was and still is a war with all its characteristics. There is nothing haphazard about it. It has two sides engaged in a deliberate battle for the hearts and souls of Americans. There are massive casualties in this unbloody Culture War that has polarized America for the last decades. And it is not over.

Dr. Morse identifies three offensives on this battlefield which she calls the Contraceptive Ideology, Divorce Ideology and Gender Ideology. Each has its philosophy, generals and foot soldiers.

Each offensive is part of a single process in a broader plan of destruction. Each needs the other to survive and progress. Contraception separates sex from childbearing. Divorce separates sex and childbearing from marriage. Gender Ideology eliminates distinctions between men and women. Dr. Morse traces the history of these offensives, attacks their weaknesses and reveals their tactics and catchphrases.

Not A Revolt

The Sexual Revolution never was a revolt against the Establishment. It was and is a revolt by the liberal Establishment against Christian morals. Indeed, such a massive, meticulous and carefully planned revolution could not progress without bad elites from decadent institutions to carry it forward. This Establishment forms a liberal culture that creates the myths, spreads the fashions and molds the opinions that eventually pressure all to conform to their ideological mindset. It pushes the more moderate elements of society toward its goal of total, unrestrained sexual license.

This revolt can also be documented and traced by the currents, media and figures that have long pushed this agenda forward.

Such an effort would never progress but for a cooperative State. Throughout history, revolutions are always carried out with State sponsorship. Even the States that the revolutionaries want to destroy often participate in their own destruction. The Sexual Revolution needs the vast resources and platform of the Sexual State because “the premises of the Sexual Revolution are false,” Dr. Morse claims. All the machinery of government must be brought to bear to override human nature. To assume the State is neutral in this great battle is the height of naiveté.

Avoiding the Temptations Not to Fight

To avoid the battle, many try to frame the debate in a way that discourages resistance. It is, for example, very easy to simplify everything by turning it into a class struggle between rich people who stand to profit from the revolution and poor people who are its unfortunate victims. There is this “who profits” side to the present war (the George Soros connections), but Dr. Morse carefully avoids turning it into the center of the debate.

There is also the temptation to take a fatalistic approach of throwing in the towel in the face of such overwhelming opposition. It is easy to blame everything on social forces that determine history and thus throw off any personal responsibility to oppose them.

We should also not flee from the problem. There is no “Benedict Option” in this war in which all are in some way combatants. Dr. Morse is an activist not content to watch the enemy advance unopposed. The final chapters of the book contain powerful, practical suggestions for those who want to fight.

Defining the Enemy

Wars have sides that need to be defined. There can be no illusions. Morse claims America is facing “a world at war with our bodies, with all creation, and with God.” It is a “war on the human race.”

The stakes are indeed high. This war has its human agents, but it is a battle of good and evil, truth and error. The Sexual Revolution is only one important part of the overall war against what little remains of Christian civilization.

Those who defend Christian morality are entirely disproportional to the fight. A lone individual would be rightfully discouraged from such a challenge. However, Dr. Morse reassures the reader that “the Church was right all along.” The Church has the answers, which are laid out very clearly in the chapters refuting each ideology.

Of course, not only has the Church been right all along but it has been fighting the world, the flesh and the devil all along. The Church has weathered other storms throughout her long history and always wins in the end.

The present Culture War is no different. This particular war is violent and brutal. However, it will be defeated. The Sexual Revolution is one of the most important components in this war. Dr. Morse’s battlefield report provides a much-needed perspective to clear the fog of war for those in the trenches.


Man Competing in Miss Universe Contest Another Advance for The Sexual Revolution

The center of attention at this year’s Miss Universe Pageant wasn’t the winner – a young lady from the Philippines, who was barely noticed by the media -- but Angela Ponce from Spain, a “transgender” man who believes that competing as a woman is a victory for human rights.

Ponce was hailed as the first “transgender” contestant in the pageant’s 67-year history. He said he was there to proudly represent “my nation, all women, and human rights.”

“How can a man who ‘identifies’ as a woman represent ‘all women,’” asked Ruth Institute President, Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse? “What’s called transgenderism is fostered by the culture and advanced by the state, to the detriment of individuals, families, and society.”


Morse continued: “Ponce is a man – a man who’s been surgically altered to resemble a woman, a man who considers himself a woman, but a man nonetheless. No amount of cultural indoctrination will change that fact. While we can readily sympathize with those suffering from gender dysphoria, their condition doesn’t alter reality.”

The government is increasingly being used to punish individuals and institutions that refuse to affirm the transgender dogma. Recently, a teacher at the West Point, Virginia, high school was fired for referring to a “trans” female student as “she.”

“What if the Miss Universe Pageant hadn’t allowed Ponce to compete? Would it have been charged with discrimination and tried before some international human rights tribunal?” Morse asked.

“Once upon a time, Establishment Feminists regarded beauty pageants as demeaning to women. Now that men can dress up as women, and in the stereotypical, sexualized version of women at that, Establishment Feminists are cheering them on. This suggests that their objective at that time was and is, to get inside people’s heads and reprogram their thinking. After all, if you can make people say, ‘Bruce Jenner is a woman,’ you can make them say anything. That power over people was really the point all along.”

As Dr. Morse explains in her book, The Sexual State: How Elite Ideologies Are Destroying Lives, transgenderism is the latest advance of the Sexual Revolution, which “separates individuals from their bodies. Our bodies are regarded as unreasonable constraints on one’s freedom and self-determination…The modern Sexual State will, of course, be on hand to ensure that the entire society conforms itself to individual’s newly chosen identity.”

For more information on The Sexual State https://thesexualstate.com/

For More information on The Ruth Institutehttp://www.ruthinstitute.org/

To schedule an interview with Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse media@ruthinstitute.org


President of Ruth Institute Says Teacher Fired for Calling a Girl “She” Shows How the Power of Government Supports the Sexual Revolution

For immediate release

For more information: media@ruthinstitute.org

On Friday, October 7, a group of students at the West Point, Virginia, high school staged a peaceful protest in support of a teacher who was fired for referring to a female student who “identifies” as male as “she.”

“Absurd as it is, we shouldn’t be surprised by this,” says Ruth Institute Founder and President Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse. “What’s called transgenderism is a movement that can’t succeed without the raw power of the state behind it.”

Among other “transgender” victories, California now allows “nonbinary” (refusal to be identified by gender) as an option on drivers’ licenses. Some hospitals don’t designate a newborn by sex. Genitalia is no longer enough to distinguish male from female.

 


 

In her book, The Sexual State: How Elite Ideologies Are Destroying Lives, Morse notes that the Gender Ideology (a key component of the Sexual Revolution) “separates individuals from their own bodies, which are regarded as unreasonable constraints on one’s freedom and self-determination.”

Thus, says Morse: “All differences between men and women, including seemingly natural differences, can be reconstructed with enough re-engineering of human biological hardware and social cultural software. The modern Sexual State will, of course, be on hand to ensure that the entire society conforms itself to each individual’s newly chosen identity.”

In this case, through the unanimous action of the West Point school board, the Sexual State could end up destroying the career of a dedicated teacher for refusing to endorse the Gender Ideology.

The Ruth Institute calls for the reinstatement of the teacher in question, who should not be punished for recognizing reality instead of entering the fantasy world of gender choice.

For more information on The Sexual State: https://thesexualstate.com/

For more information on The Ruth Institute: http://www.ruthinstitute.org/

To schedule an interview with Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, email media@ruthinstitute.org

 


Punishing the Guilty Is Justice, Not a Witch Hunt

There is no “witch hunt.” I don’t know anyone who wants to drive from the priesthood any celibate holy man who is true to Church teaching.

by Jennifer Roback Morse

This article was first published at National Catholic Register October 29, 2018.

In the fallout from the revelations of former-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick’s serial sexual predation, some have worried about an “anti-gay witch hunt.”

Recently, a headline in America magazine all but shouted, “Homosexuality is not a risk factor for sexual abuse of children.” Yet, the Pennsylvania grand jury report that came out in August found about 80% of the teenage victims of clerical sexual abuse were male, just as the John Jay Report found more than 10 years ago. This fact cries out for explanation. But many in the media and in the Church seem reluctant to focus on this obvious connection. We must come up with an explanation that is true to the known facts, without harming any innocent person.


Before we tackle this explosive topic, let us clarify some important issues. Let’s think first about individual cases of sexual predation, by one specified person against another specified person.

Every decent person wants the criminal justice system to gather the facts and come to an accurate verdict. Whether this individual perpetrator is “straight” or “gay” is not germane. Percentages and probabilities don’t matter. Only one issue matters in an individual case: guilt or innocence.

Presumably everyone, from every point on the political, ideological or religious compass, agrees on this. Punishing the guilty and protecting the innocent is not anyone’s definition of a “witch hunt.” Behind individual cases, however, lies a whole realm of institutions and structures and rules and incentives. The big-picture institutional question is this: Is an increase in the number of same-sex attracted men in the Catholic priesthood correlated with an increase in the number of incidents of abuse of minor boys? This is the question to which the John Jay Report replied, “No.” (pg. 102.) The answer to this question has potential implications for a whole series of other questions, including but not limited to:

  • Should men with deep-seated homosexual tendencies be admitted to the priesthood? The Church already says “No” to this.
  • Should such men currently in the priesthood be automatically laicized? Not only “No,” but I don’t even know anyone who says “Yes.”
  • Should seminary and parish life be more highly structured to limit temptations for sexual activity? Obviously Yes.
  • How should bishops and religious superiors handle non-criminal violations of celibacy? Many answers are possible, but religious authorities certainly need to take this issue more seriously than they evidently have been.

Let’s get a couple of preliminary points out of the way. First, let us set aside the question of true pedophilia, that is, adults having sex with pre-pubescent children. True pedophilia accounts for about 5% of the cases in the John Jay Report. I’m focusing exclusively on priests having sex with sexually mature, but legally under-aged boys. Let us also set aside the important question of sexual harassment of seminarians, as we have no systematic data on the matter.

Let’s also stipulate that an increase in the number of celibate same-sex attracted men would have a negligible impact on abuse. By definition, a celibate priest is unmarried and therefore is to live the virtue of chastity by not having sex of any kind with anybody. A celibate priest, regardless of his preferred partners, has renounced marriage and sexual relations for the sake of the Kingdom of God.

On the other hand, a person who defines celibacy as something other than complete sexual abstinence is playing word games, which is a problem of its own.

Finally, permit me to register my general complaint with the concepts of “sexual orientation” and “gay.” I have argued in print and in speeches that these terms are imprecise and unscientific, and hence problematic. In what follows, I will concede the use of the term “gay” or “homosexual” to mean either a self-imposed label or as a short-hand for a man who engages in sex with other males.

With all that out of the way, let us return to the One Big Question: Are increases in the number of homosexual men in the clergy correlated with increases in the numbers of incidents of abuse of minor boys?

We must somehow face up to the 80% of the cases of clergy sexual abuse that have teenage boys as victims. If same sex-attracted men and opposite sex-attracted men are alike in every other respect, the only logical explanation is that 80% of the Catholic clergy is homosexually inclined. The highest number I’ve ever seen is 50%, and most systematic estimates are closer to 20%-25% of the clergy being gay.

If that is the case, we have to ask ourselves whether homosexually inclined priests behave differently in systematic ways. Such secondary questions include:

  1. Are homosexual priests more likely to violate their vows of celibacy than heterosexual priests?
  2. Are homosexual priests more likely than heterosexual priests to prefer younger sex partners?
  3. Are homosexual priests more likely than heterosexual priests to abuse without being detected or reported? This is how the widely reported “homosexual networks” could have an impact.

A correlation between numbers of homosexual men and incidence of abuse of minor boys doesn’t prove any one of points 1-3. Possibly some combination of all three are at work in tandem. There could be additional factors we haven’t thought of.

These three points are explosive because they call into question the idea that “homosexual activity is a healthy variant of normal human sexual development.”

Many in today’s world have become deeply committed to that belief. We aren’t really discussing sociological data or “witch hunts.” We are discussing our views of human sexuality, its purpose and place in our lives.

No matter what the truth of the causality proves to be, none of the possible explanations supports or is even consistent with, the claim that “gay is okay.” This, I believe, is the real explanation for the reluctance to accept the “Elephant in the Sacristy.” We would have to abandon a belief that has become a cornerstone of the modern sexual revolution.

There is no “witch hunt.” I don’t know anyone who wants to drive from the priesthood any celibate holy man who is true to Church teaching. But there very well may be a need for people to surrender beliefs they cherish. We are each going to have to decide whether our commitment to protecting children takes precedence over sexual ideology.

 

 



Ruth Institute Delighted to Sign Letter Affirming Biological Nature of Sex

For more information, contact: media@ruthinstitute.org.

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, Founder and President of the Ruth Institute, said her organization was delighted to join such colleagues as the American College of Pediatricians, Alliance Defending Freedom, the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and Liberty Counsel in applauding the decision of the Trump Administration to uphold the scientific definition of sex in federal law.

In an extraordinary move, the Obama Administration had urged federal agencies to expand the Title IX definition of sex to include so-called “gender identity” – treating those who identify with the opposite sex as if they were members of the opposite sex.


The letter released today supports the Trump Administration’s decision “to uphold the original scientific meaning and legal intent of the term ‘sex’ in federal law.”

Signers of the December 6th letter to the Departments of Justice, Education and Health and Human Services, noted:

  • Human sex is a binary, biologically determined, and immutable trait from conception forward.
  • Sex differences are real and consequential.
  • “Gender identity” is not a material trait found anywhere in the body, brain or DNA.
  • Upholding the scientific definition of sex in law protects everyone’s rights to privacy and equal treatment, especially that of girls and women.
  • As the biological men and women that they are, transgendered-identified individuals possess the same human dignity and right to equal protection of the law as all Americans.

Besides the organizations mentioned above, the letter was also endorsed by the Christian Medical and Dental Association, the National Task Force for Therapy Equality and the Freedom Defense Fund.

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse is the author of the recently published book, The Sexual State: How Elite Ideologies Are Destroying Lives, which includes a discussion of transgenderism in the chapter "The Gender Revolution."

For more information on The Sexual State: thesexualstate.com.
For more information on The Ruth Institute: ruthinstitute.org.


“With the Help of the State”

by Rev. James V. Schall, S.J.

This article was first published November 2, 2018, at Crisis Magazine.

“It’s time to face up to the harms the Sexual Revolution has caused. Whether you’re male or female, straight or gay, young or old, religious or irreligious: what kind of a world do you want to help create? A world in which every child has a legally recognized right to a relationship with both parents? Or a world in which some children have these legally recognized rights and others do not? Or more radically still, a world in which no children at all have legally recognized rights to their own parents?” ∼ Jennifer Roback Morse, The Sexual State, 2018


“We could talk about the Obama administration passing a federal law forbidding any state from voting to defund Planned Parenthood and similar organizations. This is a perfect example of the Sexual State at work, implementing the fantasy ideology of the sexual revolution. They cannot implement that ideology without the help of the State’s power to coerce and propagandize.” ∼ Jennifer Roback Morse, The Sexual State, 2018

Genesis tells us that man was created “male and female.” The Sixth Commandment forbids adultery. Not all men and women beget children but all children have two parents, one a father and the other a mother. Both the family and the state are “natural” institutions logically flowing out of man’s nature. Christ told the disciples to let the little children come unto him. Human Life International estimates that, in the last 40 years, the world has witnessed 1.72 billion abortions of human children. “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” What happens when these fundamental principles or standards are rejected? As a direct consequence, we have witnessed a logical declination from the original good into a parody of it that is anything but good.

Jennifer Roback Morse’s new book, The Sexual State, is a lively and forceful examination of where we came from, where we are now, and where we ought to be on matters of human life. The book presents a complete argument, based on empirical evidence, about how divorce, contraception, abortion, the gay lifestyle, and gender neutrality fit together in a descending sequence of laws and practices that, enforced by the state, have set an elite class against the normal good of normal human beings.

Morse’s Ruth Institute maintains one of the most thorough and insightful web sites in political and cultural affairs about all issues that concern family life. Her two previous books, Smart Sex and Love & Economics, have already demonstrated Morse’s mastery of the economic, moral, and spiritual sides of womanhood, of the needs of children, and of what the state can and cannot do. Morse writes with verve, often with justifiable anger, with a wealth of personal experience about all sides of family life. She is herself married with two children (one is adopted), has a doctorate in economics, is a debater, and a speaker on college campuses and at legislative hearings. The book is replete with examples of what she has in mind. The reader soon realizers that she knows what she is talking about, the good as well as the awful.

II.

The book details the step-by-step overturning of the classical Judeo-Christian view of man, woman, child, and family. Though she does not cite them, her study is reminiscent of Chesterton’s two books, Eugenics and Other Evils and What’s Wrong with the World, wherein elite intellectuals used coercive state power to impose a completely distorted view of man, woman, and child on unsuspecting citizens. The title of her book, The Sexual State, emphasizes the role that government force played in imposing a distorted view of human sexuality onto all phases of human life.

The book is divided into three parts: the Contraceptive Ideology, the Divorce Ideology, and the Gender Ideology. Alongside these ideologies, Morse presents the alternative Catholic view on each of these three topics. As such, the Church’s position has proved to be the only one that can protect individuals and families from the radical reconstruction of sex and family that has been imposed upon us, although Morse is aware that many Catholics in practice are in agreement with the activities of the Sexual State.

Morse argues, correctly, that we should begin our analysis with the needs of children, not with the autonomous adult who has been the focus of modern analysis. A child does not come into the world with an immediate ability to fend for itself. A marriage of one man to one woman is the best context in which a child should come into the world and be cared for as it develops. Each child needs his own father and mother. The child’s well-being depends on the integrity of this parental relationship. The first question to be asked of legislation and of marriage itself is not what adults need but what the child needs. The ongoing physical existence of mankind depends on the begetting of future generations.

The first step in undermining family life was the undermining of the marriage union. Morse pays a good deal of attention to how divorce affects the welfare of children. Modern no-fault divorce laws have failed to take into consideration the effect of the divorce on the children of the couple. Wealthy men favored no-fault divorce since they could easily afford the cost of separation. For women, divorce has usually meant poverty even though they initiate divorce more often than men. But for the children it has meant an undermining of their world, and of their confidence in who they are. The notion that children of divorced parents will not suffer is simply false.

The second step in undermining the family is contraception. Divorce separated husband and wife. Contraception separates sex and children. Safe sex meant, or was intended to mean, that we could indulge in sexual acts without worrying about pregnancy. It turned out, in practice, that contraceptives did not prevent births but in many cases caused an increase, especially in births to the unmarried. The separation of sex and children made it possible to think that children did not need their specific parents, i.e., a father and a mother. The campaign to make same-sex “marriage” equivalent to that between a husband and wife ignored the child’s need for his own parents.

Gender ideology is the third source of separation. Here, our souls are separated from our bodies: We are not bound by what sex we had at birth or by its relation to the other sex; we could, it is claimed, have a female spirit in a male body. It is our right, not nature’s or God’s, to decide what we are; if I, though male, want to be female, it is up to the state and everyone else to enable me to be what I make myself to be; the body that we possess at conception and birth has no relation to what we are; and we need to be liberated from the idea that what we are points us in the direction of what we ought to be.

III.

The main burden of this book is to show how these separations worked their way into the public order and from there into the lives of every person. Morse maintains that an interested class, in conjunction with the state’s offices and the courts’ coercive powers, imposed these deviant ideas on human beings. The cost in terms of both money and human wellbeing has been enormous. Knowing how these ideas have victimized people, Morse offers a manifesto of proposals on how we might return to normalcy. Basically, it is to undo the damage by getting the government out of the family.

I am not sure that class analysis is the best framework in which to propose a return to a more healthy family relation. Aristotle’s virtue ethics and the corresponding political institutions in the state seem to be a better context. What Morse calls class is really what Aristotle called oligarchy. In any case, the state support of these aberrant ideas about the family has resulted in a thorough undermining of what is the best way to deal with our children and the parents who beget them.

The book carefully outlines the history and development of these ideas that subvert healthy family life. This book, along with Leon Kass’s Leading a Worthy Life and Robert Reilly’s Making Gay Okay, form a basic trilogy to explain the causes and origins of the deviation from the good that we see everywhere in modern life, both public and private. One cannot go away from the Morse book without a deep concern that the Church itself is no longer fully reliable in defending the needs of families in the modern world. Even so, the book is enormously helpful in how the issues we must face are carefully laid out. There will be no change for the better until we see why change is both necessary and possible. The Sexual State offers an unsurpassed analysis of how we arrived where we are and how we can begin to reverse course.

(Photo credit: Shutterstock)


Head of Ruth Institute Appalled by Gene-Manipulation Announcement

November 29, 2018

For Immediate Release

For More Information, contact: media@ruthinstitute.org

The announcement by a Chinese researcher that he has successfully used a “gene-editing” tool to modify two embryos drew a sharp rebuke from Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, Founder and President of the Ruth Institute.

“This is appalling,” Morse said. “Supposedly, the gene editing will make these twin girls resistant to the AIDS virus. Whether or not that’s true, it opens the door to all sorts of manipulation. Will gene-editing eventually be used to create a class of genetically-enhanced super humans?”

What about the long-range consequences? “Obviously, the changes are made without the consent of the subjects. The altered genes will be passed on to any offspring,” Morse noted.


Although most in the scientific community are cautious about the announcement of Chinese genetic scientist He Jiankui, Harvard Medical School Dean George Q. Daley says full-speed ahead, as long as the research is done by “responsible” clinics. Dr. Morse asks: “How can you ‘responsibly’ alter the genetic makeup of humans?”

Morse has fought other forms of manipulation on unborn children, including surrogacy, where eggs are fertilized outside the mother’s body and then implanted in the surrogate. That unwanted embryos are then destroyed makes the procedure even more objectionable.

“Gene editing is another step on this perilous course,” Morse noted. “Once a particular gene, or genes, are modified, the child is then placed in the mother’s body, with unknown long-term effects on future generations. The Managerial Technocratic Class is assigning itself the right to play God.”

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse introduced the concept of The Managerial Class in her recent book: The Sexual State: How Elite Ideologies Are Destroying Lives and How the Church was Right All Along.She holds them largely responsible for the devastation of the Sexual Revolution. “Not the ‘March of History’ or some impersonal forces: but the well-educated, well-connected technologically sophisticated Elites created and imposed the Sexual Revolution. They are going even further, with their plans to make the manipulation of human embryos sound humane. Enough is enough,” Dr. Morse declared.

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