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This blog is maintained by the Ruth Institute. It provides a place for our Circle of Experts to express themselves. This is where the scholars, experts, students and followers of the Ruth Institute engage in constructive dialogue about the issues surrounding the Sexual Revolution. We discuss public policy, social practices, legal doctrines and much more.
Posted on: Tuesday, December 08, 2009I recently discovered this disorder: Gay Infatuation Syndrome. Telltale symptoms of GIS are: anything that makes gays look good is newsworthy. Anything that makes gays look bad must be suppressed. Last week, I showed a case where GIS sufferers have an uncontrollable urge to promote anything that makes gays look good, even if there isn't anything there. Now, Mike Adams has discovered a case where the MSM is diverting attention from the fact that a self-identified gay man committed a truly heinous crime against a child, as it happens, his adopted black five year old son. Read it all here.
Posted on: Monday, December 07, 2009We feel this song would be a good theme song for the Ruth Institute. What do you think? Here are the lyrics: WHEREVER YOU GO Song of Ruth Wherever you go, I shall go. Wherever you live, so shall I live. Your people will be my people, And your God will be my God too. Wherever you die, I shall die. And there shall I be buried beside you. We will be together forever; And our love will be the gift of our lives. (Repeat 2 ) We will be together forever; And our love will be the gift of our lives. H/T: Jamee Stanley.
Posted on: Monday, December 07, 2009I've already made it clear that I love this letter by the US Catholic Bishops. As I begin to write about this, a couple of notes. First, all page numbers refer to the internet version linked here. Second, don't let anyone tell you this document is about same sex unions. The internet version is 60 printed pages. Of these, less than 3 full pages deal directly with same sex unions. That is, less than 5% of the document deals with same sex unions. That is about the correct proportion. Third, the bishops are hopelessly romantic: they actually believe all human persons are meant for communion with others, and that lifelong love is possible. Some people probably believe the bishops are unrealistic in their aspirations for lifelong married love as the proper context for both sexual activity and child-bearing. But is the alternative offered by the modern world either realistic or appealing? The secular view of sex offers us this vision. Do what you want. As long as you use a condom and don’t deceive or force anyone into sex, you can pretty much do whatever you want. No one is in any position to offer you rules, guidance or even educated suggestions. Figure it out for yourself. Perhaps you already know from experience what this amounts to in practice: Broken hearts, insecurity, jealousy, sexually transmitted diseases, jadedness, withholding of the self. Then there are the "social pathologies." These sanitized terms don't convey the real woundedness that people experience. So let's list them: divorce, multi-partner fertility, out of wedlock childbearing, abandoned children, overstressed mothers, irresponsible fathers, single mothers by choice, fathers pushed out of the family, cohabiting women who can never get their boyfriends to commit to marriage, serial polygamy, fertility delayed so long that it is impaired. Great. The Bishops are inviting you to come up out of all that. Won’t you at least consider the alternative of life and love offered by Christianity?
Posted on: Monday, December 07, 2009is the name of the Catholic Bishops' Pastoral Letter on Marriage. I will be writing about this in upcoming days. This document is really great and is not getting the attention it deserves. It is being upstage by the Manhattan Declaration, which is also good and worthwhile. Oddly enough, the Pastoral letter of the Catholic Bishops is actually more ecumenical than the Manhattan Declaration because the Declaration is specifically and emphatically Christian. Now, of course, the Bishops' letter is too, not only Christian, but Catholic Christian. But I think that a Jewish person would have an easier time embracing the Bishops' letter than the Manhattan Declaration. Maybe not. Jewish readers, what say you?
Posted on: Wednesday, November 25, 2009I wonder how many of the anti-Prop 8 acts of intimidation and vandalism were reported as hate crimes? Tom Messner, of the Heritage Foundation, details some of the specific acts that were reported during the fall of 2008 in California. The FBI reports for the city of San Jose, for instance, that there were 19 racially motivated hate crime incidents, 7 motivated by religion, and 15 motivated by sexual orientation. So, were the Prop 8 supporters who had their cars keyed and their houses egged counted in any of these categories? Politically-motivated intimidation is just as destructive to the body politic, arguably even more so, than intimidation based on the listed categories. After all, our ability to hold elections or have civil political discourse is threatened by politically motivated crimes.
Posted on: Wednesday, November 25, 2009Yesterday's headline from AP: "More anti-gay, religious-motivated crimes reported." However, when you go to the FBI website, practically the first thing out of their mouths is this disclaimer:
Overall, the 2008 numbers are up slightly—7,783 incidents and 9,691 victims (including individuals, businesses, and institutions) were reported to us by our law enforcement partners across the country. But a note here: our Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program doesn’t report trends in hate crime stats—yearly increases or decreases often occur because the number of agencies who report to us varies from year to year.That doesn't stop the AP from going on about increases in hate crimes of various categories.
These same figures show a nearly 11 percent increase in hate crime offenses based on sexual orientation, and a nearly 9 percent increase in hate crime offenses based on religion. The largest category, racially motivated hate crimes, fell less than 1 percent.Naturally, the story line here is the need for the new hate crimes legislation for sexual orientation. The only advocacy group quoted was the Human Rights Campaign. No one from any of the traditional civil rights groups. Although they mention that racially motivated hate crimes were the largest category, they fail to mention that these crimes account for over half of all incidents, while crimes motivated by sexual orientation account for only 17%.
Posted on: Wednesday, November 25, 2009This new report on divorce in Canada has many sensible points. For instance: Contrary to the "half of all marriages end in divorce" mantra, 67% of first marriages in Canada last 30 years. In the U.S., 15% of all children will see their custodial parent divorce more than once before age 18; and nearly 50% of children in divorced families see their parent divorce again. I will be talking about this report on my weekly radio show, Issues Etc, a Lutheran Public Radio show.
Posted on: Tuesday, November 24, 2009My article debunking the Times (London) is up on Mercator Net.
Posted on: Saturday, November 21, 2009protest excessive spending? UC Students are protesting tuition hikes. The University could hold the line on tuition, if they would just lower expenses. Why don't the students remind them of the connection between expenditures and tuition? Now would be a good time to cut out all the Grievance Departments, that were established to appease various left-wing academic and politcal constituencies. We could get rid of Gender and Women's Studies, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Studies, and all the different Ethnic Studies. Maybe the Vice Chancellor for Equity and Inclusion could find something else to do. UC Berkeley has a Gender Equity Resource Center: I wonder how much the taxpayers are paying for today's Transgender Day of Remembrance? Of course, if cutting the Grievance Groups is too radical, maybe the UC system could ask the tenured professors to each teach one more course per year. Just a thought...
Posted on: Thursday, November 19, 2009Lesbians parents better at raising children - Times Online. This headline is lame because it suggests that there is some startling new research showing "lesbian parents better." (Bottom line of this post: yet another reason the public holds the Main Stream Media in contempt.) However, when you actually read the story, you don't get any evidence:
Speaking at the launch at the think tank Demos of a report on the influence of character on life, Scott said: “Lesbians make better parents than a man and a woman.” His arguments are supported by experts who have found, over years of research, that children brought up by female couples are more aspirational and more confident in championing social justice. They show no more tendencies towards homosexuality than the offspring of heterosexual parents.No new research. And since when is being "aspirational" and "confident in championing social justice" the high-water mark of good parenting? But I digress. So, I looked to see if the "experts" are named, or any of the "years of research" are actually mentioned. No. Nothing specific. Nothing newsworthy. So, who is "Scott," the guy being quoted? He is Stephen Scott, director of research at the National Academy for Parenting Practitioners. Who the heck are they? What is a Parenting Practioner? And why do they need a National Academy? Well, the were established by an agency of the British government:
The National Academy for Parenting Practitioners was set up in 2007 by the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) to provide the parenting workforce with objective evidence based support in order to improve the services offered to parents in England.And they have a vision:
Our vision is that all parents who need it should be able to access quality support from trained practitioners capable of helping them to raise their children to be happy, healthy, safe, ready to learn and to make a positive contribution and achieve economic wellbeing.Sounds more like a corporation designed to professionalize child care, rather than a charity designed to help flesh and blood families and real people. Children need "trained practioners?" I was thinking they need their moms and dads who love them. Silly me. And what was the occasion for his outburst of enthusiasm for father-absent households? As near as I can tell, it was a meeting of group called Demos, which was highlighting its new publication called Building Character. The point of this publication was to analyze the impact of different parenting styles on the children's character development. Evidently, the report concluded that the children of single parent households don't do as well. According to the Independent:
In a blow to the huge numbers of parents who are divorced or remarried, the study also found that children with married parents were twice as likely to develop good skills as those living with stepfamilies or single parents.
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