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.

Teen Pregnancy Rate Up: I wonder why...

I note with interest that Reuters interviewed representatives of the Alan Guttmacher Institute, the research wing of Planned Parenthood. "Its all the fault of those Big Bad Social Conservatives."  Oddly enough, Reuters did not interview anyone from the abstinence education movement. I wonder why? Perhaps they dont' know where to find Leslee Unruh at the Abstinence Clearinghouse. I guess they have never heard of David Mahan, hip, urban African-American married father, who gives inspiring, dynamic presentations through his organization, Frontline Youth Communications. Maybe Reuters doesn't know about Luis Galdamez, Hispanic Abstinence Educator in Southern California and beyond.  Perhaps Reuters is unaware that many African Americans and Hispanics are involved in the Abstinence Eduation movement, precisely because they have seen first hand in their own communities, that early sexual activity creates problems that contraception cannot solve. Maybe you can help Reuters. Go and post links to these groups, in the comments section of the Reuters article where it appears in your newspaper. Maybe, the next Reuters story on this subject won't sounds so much like a Planned Parenthood press release. Better yet, remember Leslee and David and Luis when your group plans its next event.

Putting the pastors on the stand....

The last "witness" for the plaintiffs in the Prop 8 trial was a video of a simulcast done at Pastor Jim Garlow's Skyline Church.  As you read this AP story, you will see that the point of showing the tape was to try to discredit Pastor Garlow.  What the story doesn't tell you is that the plaintiffs' attorneys had hoped to get Pastor Garlow himself on the stand.  They subpoenaed (sp?) him.   He told me this, when I saw him at the Ecumenical Prayer Service for Life on Friday evening in Oakland, on the eve of the big Walk for Life in SF.  Pastor Garlow told me that he wanted to testify: he has nothing to hide.  But his attorneys told him, absolutely not.  They did the research and verified this point: never in the history of the United States has a pastor been put on the witness stand and questioned about the content of his preaching.   The attorneys were adamant: don't agree to go on the stand.  They thought it would be a terrible precedent.  Something about the First Amendment. Free Exercise of Religion, Freedom of speech and all that. So the plaintiffs' attorneys entered a video of Garlow's church into evidence instead.

The Curious Case of the Incurious Economists

I just found out that I have been published over at The American Thinker. I'm very excited, as they have very intelligent readers over there.  Here is the beginning of the article.
Normally, economists and libertarians take pride in tracking the changes in incentives as far through society as possible. Yet on the subject of same-sex marriage, these economists seemed uncharacteristically incurious. They seem to think same sex-marriage will affect only the handful of people who 1) currently identify themselves as gay or lesbian, 2) are partnered, and 3) want to get married. My economist friends do not seem to see that redefining marriage will create changes in the social incentive structure for everyone. If I'm right, the behavior of many millions of people could be in play. Permitting people to form same-sex unions will not be the last change to the legal landscape. The entire culture, including the coercive apparatus of the state, will be pressed into service to promote same-sex relationships as wholly unexceptional.
Read the whole thing here.

Speaking of Maggie Gallagher

Her column today is really good. Do we Care about Boys? she wonders.
every sign that boys or men are hurting gets determinedly turned around into a happy news story of female success. The disconnect between the happy headlines and the reality underneath will only be solved by women. The irony of men is that they cannot defend themselves or organize around their own systemic, gendered problems. Putting their own gender in the position of "the weaker sex" unmans them -- and also makes them deeply unattractive to women. It's not going to happen. the only way we are going to identify the new problem that has no name, own it, and do something about it, is if women with power make it a cause of our own. We have sons as well as daughters, nephews as well as nieces. We want husbands and fathers for ourselves or for our children who are confident, successful males and good family men willing and able to work hard to support those families. The problem is not that women are doing well, it's that boys are doing badly. The two genders cannot be pitted against one another without all of us losing.... women are not necessarily happy about male failure. Betsy Stevenson and Justin Wolfers' 2007 study, "The Paradox of Declining Female Happiness," notes that "By many objective measures the lives of women in the United States have improved over the past 35 years, yet we show that measures of subjective well-being indicate that women's happiness has declined both absolutely and relative to men."When men fail, fewer women get married. Since 1970, the proportion of 30- to 44-year-olds who are married dropped from 84 percent to 60 percent. What's next? Ask black women. In 1970, black wives were already more educated than their husbands, and just 62 percent of black people aged 30 to 44 then were married. By 2007 that figure had plunged to 33 percent. Fewer than one out of three black Americans in prime marrying/childbearing years is now married. This is one core reason why out-of-wedlock birthrates are so high.
Cooperation, not competition, between men and women. Respect for men and their contributions. Understanding and correcting the root causes of out-of-wedlock childbearing. These are the issues that got Maggie and I both into the marriage movement in the first place.  And these are among the core values of the Ruth Institute. Read her whole article here.  And read about the Ruth Institute here.

The Great Debate Goes to Colorado

My friend and colleague Maggie Gallagher will be debating same sex marriage at the University of Colorado. She will be debating Jonathan Rauch. The debate will take place on Jan. 25 at 7 p.m. at the Cristol Chemistry building on the campus of the University of Colorado at Boulder, hosted by the Catholic Campus Ministry at the University of Colorado. I did an event a couple of years ago at this very same center, and I had a blast. They are really outstanding people at the Thomas Aquinas Center, including Father Kevin:
Fr. Kevin Augustyn, the director of campus ministry at the St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Center, explained the motives for organizing the debate. He said the Catholic Church has a “long history” of public debate on important ideas and issues. “Given the growing national interest in the same-sex marriage debate, the Catholic Center has decided to provide a forum to openly discuss the merits of both sides of this issue, on the campus of Colorado’s flagship university,” he continued. “In the tradition of the Catholic Center’s patron saint, St. Thomas Aquinas, who intelligently and fervently engaged the ideas and controversies of his day and age with grace, we hope to provide a stimulating intellectual discussion on the same-sex marriage debate,” Fr. Augustyn said.
I hope all my friends in Colorado will take advantage of this great opportunity to hear a well-reasoned and civil debate on this important topic.

If sexual orientation is the same as race...

If sexual orientation is the same as race, why don't we ever hear about African Americans renouncing blackness and embracing whiteness? Or some other race?  (see previous post.) Just wondering.

The Miller Jenkins case

The judge in the Miller Jenkins custody case has given Lisa Miller 30 days to appear in court.
A judge gave a Virginia woman at the center of a long-running lesbian custody dispute 30 days to appear in court with her 7-year-old daughter or face possible arrest. Judge William Cohen of Vermont Family Court made the ruling in response to a request by Janet Jenkins to hold her former partner, Lisa Miller, in contempt after Ms. Miller failed to turn over the child, Isabella, to Ms. Jenkins on Jan. 1. The couple broke up in 2003, and Ms. Miller, the girl’s biological mother, moved to Virginia, renounced homosexuality and became an evangelical Christian. Her lawyer said she did not know her client’s whereabouts.

children raised by same sex couples

Judith Stacy and Timothy Biblarz have a publication coming out in February, claiming that children raised by same sex couples do as well as those raised by opposite sex couples. No, I have not seen the study yet. I'll let you know what I think, once the study has been published and I've had a chance to look at it.

West Coast Walk for Life!

Note the "Berekeley Students for Life" sign!
 We are very excited about participating in the West Coast Walk for Life in San Francisco on Saturday.  I will be driving up from San Diego with a vanload of college students from Southern California. I hope the weather cooperates for our long drive tomorrow!
This photo came from the National Catholic Register. It is from last year's West Coast Walk for Life. The guy in the collar in the center of the photo is San Francisco Archbishop George Niederauer. He is right where he belongs: leading his flock in a public demonstration of support for the great moral issue of our time, the right to life from conception until natural death.
BTW, please note the sign in the background: Berkeley Students for Life.  My daughter, a fresh-person at Cal, is VP of BSL this year!

Whatever Happened to Gay Pride?

From accounts on both sides, I conclude: the Prop 8 trial has been a seven day orgy of self-pity.  An odd strategy....

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