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.


Ruth Institute/LifeSiteNews Petition to “Make the Family Great Again” Gains International Support

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D., Founder and President of the Ruth Institute, announced today that the pro-life organization, Human Life International, and an African bishop of the Roman Catholic Church, are among the supporters of the Make the Family Great Again petition posted at Life Petitions.

Father Shenan J. Bouquet, President of Human Life International, said, “As one of the original signers, I’m pleased to support this important project. Thanks to the Commission on Unalienable Rights and the Make the Family Great Again petition, we have an opportunity to put this administration firmly in the pro-life camp – in foreign as well as domestic policy.”

Bishop Emmanuel Badejo, Bishop of Oyo, Nigeria, stated: “I believe the petition is important for Africans because love for life, children and the family define all Africans. Support for children, parenthood and family values give considerable balance to cultures and deeply affect people and life in Africa.”


Dr. Morse said, “We are greatly encouraged by the international response to our petition to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the newly organized Commission on Unalienable Rights to make families the focus of U.S. foreign policy.”

She explained: “Too often in the past, agencies like USAID have lavished huge sums on population control efforts in developing nations, while giving embarrassingly small amounts to projects like clean water and maternal health, which is indicative of Washington’s misplaced priorities. Since the petition is addressed to a Commission Secretary Pompeo and chaired by pro-life Harvard Law Professor and former U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican, Mary Ann Glendon, we can begin to challenge all of that.”

The petition notes that:

  • Marriage and the family are universal institutions for the stability of society and the continuation of the human race.
  • Children need their mother and father.
  • Stable loving families provide the basis for strong societies, including thriving economies, national security, and international peace.

Therefore, it calls on the Commission on Unalienable Rights to work for recognition of:

  • The right of every child to a relationship with his or her natural mother and father, excepting an unavoidable tragedy.
  • The right of every person to know the identity of his or her biological parents.
  • The right to life from conception to natural death.
  • The right of families to educate their own children in their faith tradition and values, without being undermined by the state.
  • Signers representing pro-family groups outside the United States also include: Christine Vollmer (Latin American Alliance for the Family), Anne Kioko (African Organization for Families), Moira Chimombo (Sub-Sahara Family Enrichment, Malawi), Lech Kowalewski (Polish Federation of Pro-Life Movements), Christa Leonhard (Foundation for Family Values, Germany and the Swiss Foundation for the Family), Warwick and Allison Marsh (Dads4Kids, Australia),Andrea Williams (Christian Concern, United Kingdom), and Levan Vasadez (Georgian Demographic Society XXI).

To sign the petition to Make Families Great Again, click here.

The Ruth Institute is a global interfaith non-profit organization equipping Christians to defend the family and build a civilization of love. On April 26-27, the Institute held a Summit for Survivors of Sexual Revolution.

Dr. Morse is the author of “The Sexual State: How Elite Ideologies Are Destroying Lives.” https://thesexualstate.com/

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

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


Imagine This: Putting Children First

By John Zmirak Published on September 19, 2019, at The Stream.

If you’re not following Dr. Jennifer Morse on family issues and sexual morals, you’re missing out. I meet her every year at the wonderful gathering Acton University. It collects defenders of ordered liberty, virtue and economic empowerment from all across the world. This year she gave a terrific talk on her book The Sexual State. It’s an important read, because it highlights how the sexual revolution resembles the French and the Russian Revolutions. Each one saw utopian movements championed by intellectuals grab vast, unaccountable power, then set up a state to impose their ideas by force on anyone who resisted.

That’s right, the Sexual Revolutionaries were every bit as interested in grabbing coercive state power as the Jacobins or the Bolsheviks were. Simone de Beauvoir famously said:


No woman should be authorized to stay home to raise her children. Women should not have that choice, because if there is such a choice, too many women will make that one.

She was a libertine, but no libertarian — in fact she obediently echoed the Stalinist politics of her mentor and master, Jean Paul Sartre. For whom she served as a pimp, recruiting younger women for her former lover.

A Utopian Coup

Morse shows how the New Left used the language of liberation and empowerment to cover its coup over the organs of the state — always with the pretense that it was simply advancing people’s rights. Morse Book

But the rights of the unborn ended up in a medical waste dumpster. Likewise the rights of businesses that wanted to pay a “living wage” to fathers of families. That’s now illegal, and has been since the overly broad Civil Rights Act of 1965. In fact, we have set up a vast and intrusive bureaucracy aimed at forcing equal outcomes between the sexes, the differences between the sexes be damned.

Now, in the wake of a narrow and dishonest Supreme Court decision, we must all pretend that same sex marriage is real. Only explicitly religious employers (for the moment) may cling to the pre-2015 truth. Not even wedding vendors or cake bakers.

It wasn’t even a year before the revolutionaries extended their grab for power. Now they’re using the power of government, and all the intimidating force of Woke Capital, to force us to accept an unheard and insane idea of gender —namely that there are 100 “genders,” which bear no relation to physical sex. They are more like moods, and they can change from day to day.

The only important thing? That we dissenters must be forced to recognize them, and punished if we refuse. Let girls in locker rooms, women in rest rooms, and real, physical women competing in sports be damned, as well.

Make Families Great Again

As I said, read Morse’s book. For a flavor of how she cuts across stale debates and highlights the victims of our current, post-Revolutionary regime, check out her latest. In a column at the National Catholic Register, she calls on us to “Make Families Great Again.” Using President Trump’s campaign language with a bit of a twist, she calls on Secretary of State Pompeo to advance real human rights that the sexual revolutionaries have intentionally neglected. That is, the rights of children.

No, not the “right” of sexually exploited girls to abort their babies without reporting their rapists. Planned Parenthood guarantees that. Nor the “right” of small kids to grooming by explicit sex education and drag queen sex offenders at public libraries.

What Are Children? What Do They Want?

Instead, Morse focuses on the things that young people really want. Things that all children crave — instead of what selfish narcissistic adults want to force on them. She writes:

Self-Evident Truth No. 1: Every person comes into the world as a helpless baby.

Self-Evident Truth No. 2: Every person has a mother and a father.

… From these two facts (which I hope everyone will accept), I draw these two conclusions:

Reasonable Conclusion No. 1: Every society needs some plan for helping its members move from helpless infancy to adulthood.

If this job doesn’t get done, there will not be a “society” in any meaningful sense of that term. We don’t need a perfect plan, mind you. But we do need some social structures that address the fundamental issues of infant helplessness and the basic human needs for attachment, connection and identity.

Reasonable Conclusion No. 2: Mothers and fathers cooperating with each other in a lifelong loving union for their mutual benefit and the benefit of their children (including possibly adopted children) provides such a plan for helpless babies. This union is what societies usually call “marriage.”

This line of thought produces its own set of rights, different from those we commonly hear about:

  • The right of every child to a relationship with his or her natural mother and father, except in cases of unavoidable tragedy.
  • The right of every person to know the identity of his or her biological parents.
  • [And] the right to life from conception to natural death. And
  • the right of families to educate their own children in their faith tradition and values, without being undermined by the state.

The president campaigned on the promise to “Make America Great Again.” Without the restoration of the family, he will be unable to fulfill that promise. But, more importantly, the newly formed Commission on Unalienable Rights has the potential to shift attention from the desires of adults, based on their fantasy ideologies, to the needs of children, based on immutable realities.

Grinding Us Down to Atoms

Morse is right, not just philosophically but empirically. Societies that undermine the family always build up an intrusive government. Because someone has got to take care of the weak and the vulnerable. You know, babies, old people, sick people, etc. If families end up shattered, because the legal system and the culture sees and treats every person as an isolated atom? Then the state will have to step in.

 

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Indeed, statists are more than happy to. Like Marx, they dislike the family on principle as an alternative locus of loyalty. And like Hitler, they claim the state has the first claim on every human being, before his parents. Like Margaret Sanger, they think sexual “liberation” will produce a race of super-beings, unlike previous generations beaten down by biological realities.

The welfare state exploded massively in the wake of the sexual revolution. It had to, in order to pick up all the shattered pieces of the old, familial order. And to glue them back together in shapes more pleasing to bureaucrats and social elites.

Since we seem trapped in the discourse of individual rights, without the freedom to speak of the common good, Morse proves herself both sane and savvy by recasting the evils of the sexual revolution in terms of children’s rights. Let’s hope her approach catches on.

To sign the Ruth Institute’s petition to President Trump asking him to put families first, go here.

 



Global Organization Petitions to ‘Make the Family Great Again’

by Martina Moyski • ChurchMilitant.com • September 20, 2019

DETROIT (ChurchMilitant.com) - Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, founder and president of the Ruth Institute, launched a petition to "Make the Family Great Again."

"The president campaigned on the promise to Make America Great Again. But only the family can help him fulfill that promise," Morse said.

The "Make the Family Great Again" petition urges the newly established Commission on Unalienable Rights, under the umbrella of the secretary of state, to consider certain fundamental principles the basis for articulating unalienable rights:


  • Marriage and the family are universal institutions for the stability of society and the continuation of the human race.
  • Children need their mother and father.
  • Stable loving families provide the basis for strong societies, including thriving economies, national security and international peace.

Morse argues that the most sustained attacks on the family are not coming from the "culture." Instead, the government itself has created much of the anti-family climate, she says.

A case in point, according to Morse, includes the government refusing to enforce the marriage "contract"; no-fault divorce means the government always takes sides with the partner who wants the marriage the least.

Another includes the government mandating and financing sexual education in public schools which promotes the LGBT ideology, including transgenderism.

She said they are mostly asking President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, who launched the Commission on Unalienable Rights, "to recognize the family's right to exist" and "to stop actively attacking it."

The family advocate's 2018 book, The Sexual State: How Elite Ideologies Are Destroying Lives and Why the Church Was Right All Along, presents a 15-point manifesto for the family.

The first 10 points address things the government should stop doing, including "sex education in public schools," "taxpayer-funded Women's Studies and Gender Studies programs at universities" and "the 'marriage tax' from all welfare programs."

The author argues that the sexual revolution did not just happen but was deliberately created by "elites" (named in the book), harnessing the power of the state, which allowed them to inflict "three false and calamitous ideologies — contraception, divorce and gender" that have led to widespread and profound misery.

Overall, Morse maintains that committed Christians have the best chance of offering the world what it is really looking for.

Pope St. John Paul II, who lost all of his immediate family — mother, older brother, an infant sister and father — by the time he was 20 years old, is sometimes remembered as "Pope of the Family."

The sainted pope penned a "Letter to Families" which he said gave him "a welcome opportunity to knock at the door of your home, eager to greet you with deep affection and to spend time with you."

To make the family holy again, the Pope wrote, "[T]he question of responsible fatherhood and motherhood is an integral part of the 'civilization of love.'"

He argued throughout the letter that, in order to fulfill its missionary mandate, the family has to abandon the view that it is "a victim of the culture"; instead it must see itself as "a protagonist in its transformation."

He reminds people they are not defeated and have freedom in Christ to embrace and live the truth of their humanity, a freedom that is neither understood or experienced in a life of sin.

For the Pope, building "a civilization of love" depends on sacramental living and active commitment of spouses.

Image
Morse's 15-point manifesto

Pompeo initiated the Trump administration's new Commission on Unalienable Rights on July 8.

The commission was created, according to Pompeo, to provide him "with advice on human rights" and to carry out "one of the most profound reexaminations of the unalienable rights in the world since the 1948 Universal Declaration" — and one engendered by reference to the "unalienable rights" that "are endowed by the Creator" cited in the Declaration of Independence.

The Ruth Institute is a global interfaith coalition created to defend the family and build a civilization of love.

Its resource center provides decades of research and educational tools to support individuals and families harmed by divorce, the hook-up culture and other forms of family breakdown.

The Rev. D. Paul Sullins, Ph.D., a senior research associate at the Ruth Institute, did a recent study which found that "the spate of child sex abuse in the 1970s and 1980s was strongly related to a concentrated presence of homosexual men in the Catholic priesthood."

The Ruth Institute's petition, including notable signers from both inside and outside the United States, can be found online.

 


Thousands sign petition asking Trump to defend life, marriage and make family ‘great again’


September 18, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – The Ruth Institute and LifeSiteNews have just launched a petition asking President Trump to “Make the Family Great Again!”

Sexual revolutionaries have been using so-called “human rights” language, domestically and internationally, to promote their radical vision of society. This includes insisting that both abortion and “same-sex “marriage” are “human rights.”

But, in their zeal to convert the world into a secular paradise, they conveniently fail to address troubling questions, such as: How can one “human right” trump the right to life of another person?; and, how can the desire for sexual license and companionship trump the right of a child to have both a mother and a father?


To better answer these questions and to achieve greater clarity as to what actually constitutes human rights, at the behest of President Trump, Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, recently formed a Commission on Unalienable Rights, to advise his department in its dealings with foreign governments and international organizations.

Where our government’s dealings with international institutions are concerned, this is a giant step forward.

For at least the last 35 years, all concerned parties have unquestioningly accepted the meaning which radical secularists attach to human rights.

Finally, the world is now wakening up to the reality that these radical secularists have, in the social-moral-sexual dimension of human rights, got it very wrong…and, continue to get it very wrong.

In particular, by jettisoning Christianity, these radical secularists have produced tragic real-world effects – which have devastated the prospects for the unborn and practically demolished the protections afforded by the state to man-woman marriage.

But, unborn children and the natural family need to be defended.

And, the philosophical foundation protecting genuine rights, which inhere in every human being from the moment of conception till natural death and which seek to vindicate, in law the unique superiority of the natural family as the quintessential building block of society, needs to be put in place and defended.

Radical secularists are very vocal in defending their morally-socially-and-sexually-corrupt philosophy.

But, they have nothing to be proud about.

35 years of their ideology has produced more than 1 billion abortions worldwide and the dramatic decline of marriage and fertility.

In short, the radical secularists’ philosophy has been an utter disaster for mankind. And, it’s now time for us to stop letting them destroy society, one person and one family at a time.

The world needs better ideas about Life and Family than those proposed by radical secularists and sexual revolutionaries.

That is why the Ruth Institute and LifeSiteNews have created a petition to encourage the Trump Administration to “Make the Family Great Again.”

This petition is directed to President Trump.

So far, the petition is doing very well, with almost 4,000 signatures!

We are asking the President to direct the Commission to consider the rights of children and families in their deliberations. This line of thought produces a different set of rights than those we are used to hearing about:

  • the right of every child to a relationship with his or her natural mother and father, except for an unavoidable tragedy.
  • the right of every person to know the identity of his or her biological parents.
  • the right to life from conception to natural death.
  • the right of families to educate their own children in their faith tradition and values, without being undermined by the state.

Pro-family leaders from around the world and across the religious spectrum have enthusiastically signed this petition.

To ADD YOUR NAME to this important petition, please CLICK HERE.

And, to learn more about the Ruth Institute, please CLICK HERE.

WATCH Dr. Morse, from the Ruth Institute, succinctly lay out the need for this petition, and the importance of the new Commission's work. Please CLICK HERE.


Ruth Institute Launches “Make the Family Great Again” Petition

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D., Founder and President of the Ruth Institute, announced the launch of a petition to Make the Family Great Again. “The president campaigned on the promise to Make America Great Again. But only the family can help him fulfill that promise,” she said.

Secretary of State Michael Pompeo established a Commission on Unalienable Rights to advise his department in its dealings with foreign governments and international organizations. This commission is chaired by pro-life Harvard Law Professor and former Ambassador to the Holy See, Mary Ann Glendon.

The “Make the Family Great Again” petition urges the Commission and the State Department to make these fundamental principles the basis for articulating unalienable rights:

 


 

  • Marriage and the family are universal institutions for the stability of society and the continuation of the human race.
  • Children need their mother and father.
  • Stable loving families provide the basis for strong societies, including thriving economies, national security and international peace.

The petition calls on the Commission to work for recognition of:

  • The right of every child to a relationship with his or her natural mother and father, excepting an unavoidable tragedy
  • The right of every person to know the identity of his or her biological parents
  • The right to life from conception to natural death
  • The right of families to educate their own children in their faith tradition and values, without being undermined by the state

Initial signers include: Governor Mike Huckabee, Brent Bozell (Founder and President, Media Research Center), Ted Baehr (Chairman, Christian Film and Television Commission), Fr. Shenan Boquet (President, Human Life International), Janice Shaw Crouse (author, columnist and speaker), Pat Fagan (Director, Marriage and Religion Research Institute at Catholic University of America), Steve Mosher (President, Population Research Institute), C. Preston Noell (President, American Society for Tradition, Family and Property), and Sharon Slater (President, Family Watch International).

Signers from outside the United States include: Bishop Emmanuel Badejo (Oyo, Nigeria), Moira Chimombo (former Executive Director, Sub-Sahara Family Enrichment, Malawi), Ann Kioko (President, African Organization for Families, Kenya), Lech Kowalewski (board member, Polish Federation of Pro-life Movements), Christa Leonhard (Foundation for Family Values, Germany and the Swiss Foundation for the Family), Warwick and Allison Marsh (Founders, Dads4Kids, Australia), Christine Vollmer (Founder and President, Latin American Alliance for the Family, Venezuela), Andrea Williams (Chief Executive, Christian Concern, United Kingdom), and Levan Vasadez (Georgian Demographic SocietyXXI, Republic of Georgia).

“We are honored to have such distinguished leaders sign our petition,” Morse said. “People around the world are very concerned about US foreign policy. With their support and the leadership of Professor Glendon on the Commission, we have a unique opportunity to help the U.S. State Department champion family rights internationally.”

Sign the Petition to Make the Family Great Again here: https://lifepetitions.com/petition/ask-president-trump-to-make-the-family-great-again

The Ruth Institute is a global interfaith coalition to defend the family and build a civilization of love. On April 26-27, the Institute held a Summit for Survivors of Sexual Revolution.

Dr. Morse is the author of The Sexual State: How Elite Ideologies Are Destroying Lives.

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

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

 

 



Ruth Institute Hosts Local “Rosary Around the Lake”

September 19, 2019

For Immediate Release. For more information contact media@ruthinstitute.org 

For the second year in a row, The Ruth Institute is hosting Rosary Around the Lake in Lake Charles. This event, to take place October 13, is in conjunction with Fr. Richard Heilman of the Diocese of Madison, Wisconsin’s “Rosary Coast to Coast.” October 13 is the anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun at Fatima, which tens of thousands of people witnessed.

“Last year’s national Rosary Coast to Coast totaled over 1,200 sites in the US and in over 50 countries. Here in Lake Charles, more than 800 of the faithful took part,” said Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, Founder and President of The Ruth Institute. The Ruth Institute, a global interfaith coalition to defend the family and build a civilization of love, has its headquarters here in Lake Charles.


“This year we expect an even larger crowd,” added Dr. Morse. “We are honored Bishop Glen John Provost will lead the recitation of the Apostles Creed, and Mayor Nic Hunter will lead the recitation of the first Our Father.”

Dr. Morse also noted the support of many local businesses and professional offices that have posted fliers for the event in their stores. The Center for Chiropractic and Rehabilitation, Mr. Bill’s Seafood, Hobgood’s Pharmacy, and Great Harvest Bread Company, among others, have supported Rosary Around the Lake. “The support of the local community has been so encouraging,” Morse added.

Rosary Around the Lake will be held at the northwest end of the Lake Charles Civic Center. Groups of 11 will spread around the lake front, wearing ten blue “Hail Mary” shirts and one gold “Our Father” shirt. People will begin assembling at 2 PM. The recitation of the Rosary will begin at 3 PM, to coordinate with the national effort.

Participants are encouraged to buy shirts here and to register for the event here, where more information can be found. Deadline for purchasing t-shirts is September 25.

“If we have a large enough group creating a ‘living rosary’ on the lakefront,” Morse said, “we may even be visible from Highway 10!”

She added, “With all the problems in the world today, we can all use more prayer in our lives. We are praying for our country, our church, and our families. I invite everyone, Catholic or not, to join us Sunday, October 13.”

Find more information on The Ruth Institute here.

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



Ruth Inst. president applauds strict sentencing for convicted s*x offender, Fr. Michael Guidry

Today, September 19, Judge Alonzo Harris reconsidered the sentence of confessed sex offender, Fr. Michael Guidry of Lafayette, LA.

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, Founder and President of the Ruth Institute, was present in the courtroom when the sentence was announced. She stated, “Justice was done today. I am sincerely grateful that Judge Alonzo did not reduce the sentence, as Fr. Guidry requested.”

In April, Guidry pleaded guilty in Opelousas, Louisiana, to sexually assaulting a 15-year-old boy. He was sentenced to seven years in prison, out of the ten-year maximum sentence. Guidry requested, and was granted, a hearing to reconsider his sentence. The hearing took place on September 19 at the St. Landry Parish Courthouse in Opelousas.


 

Morse is an outspoken critic of clergy sexual abuse and cover up. She is also a passionate advocate for the victims of the sexual revolution, including victims of clergy sexual abuse.

Morse said she applauds today’s ruling and believes the sentence should not have been reconsidered in the first place. “The family and other victims had achieved some degree of closure and relief from the April 30th sentencing of Fr. Guidry. Going back into court undoes the sense of finality, and revictimizes those who have already been through so much,” Morse said.

She explained further: “When I say ‘victims’ -- plural -- I include Oliver Peyton, the immediate victim, who woke up to find Fr. Guidry performing a sex act on him. I also include Oliver’s family and the members of the community who were shocked and disheartened by the revelation that the abuser, a priest in his 70s, had betrayed their trust.

“Lastly, I’m talking about the victims of child sex abuse everywhere who have been watching this case. Every new case, such as Fr. Guidry’s, can be a traumatic and ‘triggering’ event, especially for those who suffer PTSD symptoms. Every slap-on-the-wrist sentence revictimizes the victims. No new facts have emerged. Fr Guidry is still as guilty as he was in April when Judge Harris originally sentenced him. I drove from Lake Charles, LA, where I live, to support Oliver Peyton and his family. I am relieved that justice was done.”

Morse concluded with a promise, “I am not of Acadian heritage. But I am privileged to live among the Cajun people. I have heard it said that ‘The Bayou Teche will run dry before the Cajun people lose their Catholic faith.’ Civil and ecclesial authorities should be aware: we are not leaving the Church. Nor will we avert our eyes from clergy sex abuse. The scandal first broke here in Lafayette in the 1980s with the case of then-Father Gilbert Gauthe. We mean to see this crisis in the Church through to the end. Let it end here.”

The Ruth Institute works to empower victims and survivors of the sexual revolution – including victims of divorce, abuse and the LGBT culture. In April, the Institute held the first-ever Summit for Survivors of the Sexual Revolution in Lake Charles, Louisiana, where the Ruth Institute has its international headquarters.

 



How the Commission on Unalienable Rights Can Make the Family Great Again

COMMENTARY: The commission has the potential to shift attention from the desires of adults, based on their fantasy ideologies, to the needs of children, based on immutable realities.

by Jennifer Roback Morse on September 17, 2019, at NCRegister.com.

Serious Catholics should applaud the action of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in forming a Commission on Unalienable Rights to advise his department in its dealings with foreign governments and international organizations. This may sound like inside-the-Beltway insider baseball, but I am convinced that this commission has the potential to create a focal point for an alternative understanding of human rights. And boy, do we need to get our “rights talk” right!


Some people say everyone has a “right” to abortion or “sexual expression.” Others say everyone has the right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” But these two groups — those who espouse abortion and sexual rights on the one hand and the rest of us on the other — are clearly not talking about the same thing when they use the term “rights.”

Advocates of the sexual revolution use an expansive understanding of “human rights” to promote their values. Describing “marriage equality” as a “human right” allows them to sidestep the many troubling consequences of redefining marriage. Labeling abortion as a “human right” puts defenders of the unborn on the defensive.

This language of “human rights” (which is in reality neither) is common in the United Nations and other international organizations. The U.S., along with other Western countries, have promoted these “human rights” through the U.N. and international organizations. Numerous international leaders, including Pope Francis, however, have decried such talk as “ideological colonization” or “cultural imperialism.”

By contrast, the advocates of “unalienable rights” or “inalienable rights” of the kind found in the Declaration of Independence ground their understanding of rights in undeniable and universal truths about the human condition. This is a basic starting point of natural-law thinking. The Catholic Church has long held that the natural law is knowable to human reason. For instance, Pope Leo XIII stated in Libertas Praestantissimum (The Nature of Human Liberty) in 1888 that “natural law … is written and engraved in the mind of every man; and this is nothing but our reason, commanding us to do right and forbidding sin” (8).

The newly formed Commission on Unalienable Rights has the potential to shift the conversation about rights. The commission is chaired by pro-life Harvard Law professor and former ambassador to the Holy See Mary Ann Glendon. Glendon wrote the highly regarded Rights Talk: The Impoverishment of Political Discourse in 1993. Glendon has been thinking deeply about the proper understanding of “rights” for a long time.

Serving alongside Glendon on the commission will be law professors and philosophy professors from distinguished institutions such as Stanford and Notre Dame, as well as a rabbi, an American Muslim scholar and several African Americans. (The complete list of the commissioners can be found here.)

I realize that some people scoff at the very idea of “intellectually serious” and “Trump administration” in the same sentence. Get over it. Trump’s secretary of state has assembled a group of intellectually serious people considering serious questions.

Predictably the commission drew fire before they even opened their mouths. For instance, JustSecurity.org opined, “Civil and human-rights advocates raised immediate alarm when news of the commission was first reported, fearing that its focus on ‘natural law’ was code for anti-LGBTQI, anti-choice and anti-women’s rights agenda(s).” Notice the rhetoric: “anti-this” and “anti-that.” No mention of what the commission might be positively “for.”

Let me take a stab at using natural law to defend some human rights that I, at least, am positively “for.” I will list two self-evident truths and draw two reasonable conclusions:

Self-Evident Truth No. 1: Every person comes into the world as a helpless baby.

Self-Evident Truth No. 2: Every person has a mother and a father.

One need not be Catholic to recognize these two significant facts about the human condition. From these two facts (which I hope everyone will accept), I draw these two conclusions:

Reasonable Conclusion No. 1: Every society needs some plan for helping its members move from helpless infancy to adulthood.

If this job doesn’t get done, there will not be a “society” in any meaningful sense of that term. We don’t need a perfect plan, mind you. But we do need some social structures that address the fundamental issues of infant helplessness and the basic human needs for attachment, connection and identity.

Reasonable Conclusion No. 2: Mothers and fathers cooperating with each other in a lifelong loving union for their mutual benefit and the benefit of their children (including possibly adopted children) provides such a plan for helpless babies. This union is what societies usually call “marriage.”

I will go further and say: Marriage is the best plan. It is not foolproof in every case. Unexpected things happen. People sometimes fail or are mean or stupid. All true.

But I will stand by this statement: Marriage is superior to its competitors. We have tried just about every imaginable alternative to marriage. We now have enough evidence — and not just by faith-based groups — to conclude that marriage serves the legitimate interests and needs of children better than the alternative structural systems.

This line of thought produces its own set of rights, different from those we commonly hear about:

  • the right of every child to a relationship with his or her natural mother and father, except in cases of unavoidable tragedy,
  • the right of every person to know the identity of his or her biological parents,
  • the right to life from conception to natural death; and
  • the right of families to educate their own children in their faith tradition and values, without being undermined by the state.

The president campaigned on the promise to “Make America Great Again.” Without the restoration of the family, he will be unable to fulfill that promise. But, more importantly, the newly formed Commission on Unalienable Rights has the potential to shift attention from the desires of adults, based on their fantasy ideologies, to the needs of children, based on immutable realities.

Let’s Make the Family Great Again, both at home and abroad.

 


Vatican Offers a Useful Tool for ‘Gender Theory’ Education

COMMENTARY: ‘Male and Female He Created Them’ has great potential for Catholic education. Faithful Catholics should pick up this ball and run with it.

by Jennifer Roback Morse on June 27, 2019, at NCRegister.com.

Catholic commentators from across the spectrum have criticized the Vatican’s new document on gender theory. Some on the so-called left say Pope Francis didn’t approve the document; others on the so-called right say it is too little too late in stopping the spread of gender ideology from influencing the Church. As I read the Congregation for Catholic Education’s document, I can see why both “sides” might react as they do. So I was surprised when the headmaster of an independent Catholic school told me, “This document is a Godsend to us.” This gentleman is not only a dear friend, but a man of deep loyalty to traditional Catholic sexual ethics. I decided to reread the document from his perspective. Does this document help Catholic educators fulfill their mission?

To be clear, what are the critics criticizing? Those who favor the “LGBT” agenda, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, are angry that the Vatican supports the fact that God created only two sexes. Such critics even consider the title of the document, “Male and Female He Created Them” to be inflammatory.


On the other hand, many of those who are loyal to the magisterium and the traditional teachings of the Church are alarmed by the subtitle: “Toward a Path of Dialogue on the Question of Gender Theory in Education.” These critics observe that “dialogue” with sexual radicals does not do well at preserving tradition. All too often, “dialogue” translates into the radicals talking until they wear us down. Or worse, they don’t even pretend to dialogue; they take the opportunity provided by “dialogue” to attack. In Gabriele Kuby’s critique of the new Vatican document, she recounts her personal experience with this sort of “dialogue.”

I fully understand. This amateur video posted to my Facebook page from a speaking engagement at the University of California-Santa Barbara captures one of my experiences with “dialogue” with protesters. Certainly, with activists, “compromise” or negotiation is out of the question. Experience has shown that what one side considers compromise, the other side considers a steppingstone. Permit me to say: I’m not a fan of “dialogue” for its own sake.

But the Congregation for Catholic Education is not writing for people like me and others in the commentariat. The primary audience of the Congregation for Catholic Education is Catholic educators. In the daily life of the principal of a Catholic school, he or she must deal with a wide range of people. The constituency of a Catholic school includes the faculty and staff, the parents of children in the school, prospective parents and, of course, the children themselves. And that is just for independent schools. Diocesan or parish or religious-order schools bring another layer of constituents to the headmaster’s or principal’s office: the bishop, the pastor, the abbot. On top of all that, the principal has accrediting agencies, other government entities, donors, the press and the general public. Among these people will be some who are well catechized and enthusiastic for the faith. Others, not so much.

In fact, in today’s climate, some Catholic school administrators must wonder whether the sophisticated lesbian pair in their office asking for their child’s admission to the school is setting a trap that will lead to a lawsuit.

“Dialogue” happens in the principal’s office every day, whether she likes it or not. Permit me to say: I would not be temperamentally suited to this job. Permit me also to say: I am grateful to those who shoulder this job.

The Congregation for Catholic Education’s new document provides clarity for the administration of the Catholic school. They can build that clear teaching into policies and procedures, student and faculty handbooks and similar documents. “No, there will be no open-access bathrooms or locker rooms.” “No, we cannot have a drag show on campus.” “Yes, we are going to participate in sporting leagues that require all participants to compete only against other students of their birth sex.” “Our new family-life curriculum is going to be based on theology of the body.”

As an added public-relations bonus, “Male and Female He Created Them” is a product of Pope Francis’ Vatican, which many consider “gay-friendly”; not Pope Benedict’s Vatican, which has been labeled homophobic.

My friend the headmaster pointed out that “Male and Female He Created Them” provides a backstop against the pressure he faces on all these questions. He can beef up the school’s governing charters with the authority of Rome. Things like the school’s written handbooks can provide protection in legal actions such as discrimination suits, harassment from accrediting agencies and the like. This is a good time to mention something else I noticed in the congregation’s work. Another office in Vatican City, the Pontifical Council for the Family, produced a widely (and justly) criticized sexual-education curriculum, “The Meeting Point: Project for Affective and Sexual Education,” in 2018. Dr. Richard Fitzgibbons described it as “the most dangerous threat to Catholic youth that I have seen over the past 40 years.” Coming from a man who has counseled thousands of victims and survivors of the sexual revolution, that is quite a criticism.

“The Meeting Point” is completely absent from the references in “Male and Female He Created Them.” Instead, we find numerous references to Pope St. John Paul’s corpus, including Familiaris Consortio, Veritatis Splendor, his “Letter to Women” and his great work from his days as a philosophy professor, Love and Responsibility.

I do not pretend to know what is going on in the various quarters of the Vatican. (Being a Vaticanista is another job I am really not temperamentally suited for!) But it appears to me that “Male and Female He Created Them” is a different kettle of fish from many things that have come out of Rome recently. We were beginning to wonder whether the great teaching pontificate of John Paul II had ever even happened. Bringing his work front and center is a great gift to all the Church, especially to Catholic educators. Critics of “Male and Female He Created Them” might argue that the calls for “dialogue” leave an opening for less-than-entirely-faithful interpretations. People who want their Catholic schools to be nothing but private prep schools with crucifixes might find a way to drive a truck through the seemingly clear statements that there are only two sexes. And, indeed, so-called Catholic progressives just might.

I do know one thing: If those faithful to the magisterium ignore this document, or worse, shun it, very likely the “dialoguers” will interpret it the way they want. Unless the faithful contend for the proper interpretation of this document, the less-than-faithful cohort will win by default.

My advice to faithful Catholic administrators and parents is this: Pick up this ball and run with it. It’s your move.

 


Ruth Institute Launches “Make the Family Great Again” Petition

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D., Founder and President of the Ruth Institute, announced the launch of a petition to Make the Family Great Again. “The president campaigned on the promise to Make America Great Again. But only the family can help him fulfill that promise,” she said.

Secretary of State Michael Pompeo established a Commission on Unalienable Rights to advise his department in its dealings with foreign governments and international organizations. This commission is chaired by pro-life Harvard Law Professor and former Ambassador to the Holy See, Mary Ann Glendon.

The “Make the Family Great Again” petition urges the Commission and the State Department to make these fundamental principles the basis for articulating unalienable rights:


  • Marriage and the family are universal institutions for the stability of society and the continuation of the human race.
  • Children need their mother and father.
  • Stable loving families provide the basis for strong societies, including thriving economies, national security and international peace.

The petition calls on the Commission to work for recognition of:

  • the right of every child to a relationship with his or her natural mother and father, excepting an unavoidable tragedy,
  • the right of every person to know the identity of his or her biological parents,
  • the right to life from conception to natural death, and
  • the right of families to educate their own children in their faith tradition and values, without being undermined by the state.

The petition has been signed by Governor Mike Huckabee, Brent Bozell (Founder and President, Media Research Center), Ted Baehr (Chairman, Christian Film and Television Commission), Fr. Shenan Boquet (President, Human Life International), Janice Shaw Crouse (author, columnist and speaker), Pat Fagan (Director, Marriage and Religion Research Institute), Steve Mosher (President, Population Research Institute), C. Preston Noell (President, American Society for Tradition, Family and Property), and Sharon Slater (President, Family Watch International).

Signers from outside the United States include: Bishop Emmanuel Badejo (Oyo, Nigeria), Moira Chimombo (former Executive Director, Sub-Sahara Family Enrichment, Malawi), Ann Kioko (President, African Organization for Families, Kenya), Lech Kowalewski (board member, Polish Federation of Pro-life Movements), Christa Leonhard (Foundation for Family Values, Germany and the Swiss Foundation for the Family), Warwick and Allison Marsh (Founders, Dads4Kids, Australia), Christine Vollmer (Founder and President, Latin American Alliance for the Family, Venezuela), Andrea Williams (Chief Executive, Christian Concern, United Kingdom), and Levan Vasadez (pro-life activist, Republic of Georgia).

“We are honored to have such distinguished leaders sign our petition,” Morse said. “People around the world are very concerned about US foreign policy. With their support and the leadership of Professor Glendon on the Commission, we have a unique opportunity to help the U.S. State Department champion family rights internationally.”

Sign the Petition to Make the Family Great Again here: https://lifepetitions.com/petition/ask-president-trump-to-make-the-family-great-again

The Ruth Institute is a global interfaith coalition to defend the family and build a civilization of love. On April 26-27, the Institute held a Summit for Survivors of Sexual Revolution.

Dr. Morse is the author of The Sexual State: How Elite Ideologies Are Destroying Lives.

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

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

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