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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, April 17, 2018
Ruth Institute Announces the Rev. Dr. Paul Sullins as Senior Research Associate
Leading researcher on same sex parenting to join the Ruth Institute
April 17, 2018, Lake Charles, Louisiana—The Ruth Institute announces that Dr. Paul Sullins will serve as a Senior Research Associate. Recently retired from the sociology department at Catholic University of America, Dr. Sullins is a leader in research on same-sex parenting and its implications for child development.
Announcing the appointment, Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, Founder and President of the Ruth Institute said, “We at the Ruth Institute are greatly concerned that ‘alternative family forms,’ such as divorce and unmarried parenthood, have been harmful to children. Dr. Sullins cares deeply about the impact of same sex parenting on children, examining topics such as ADHD, depression, and emotional problems. He is a good fit for us.”
Dr. Morse continued, “Treating same-sex couples as the legal equivalent of opposite-sex couples means increasing numbers of children will be raised in same-sex couple households. More information will be coming available about their experiences. We believe it is crucial to continue examining this evidence in a systematic way.”
Dr. Sullins explained, “The research in this area is really just beginning. Most of the studies which claim to show “no differences” between parenting by same sex couples and married heterosexual couples have used small, unrepresentative data sets. I have been examining large statistically representative datasets—principally the Centers for Disease Control’s National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), with 1.9 million cases; and the University of North Carolina’s National Longitudinal Survey of Adolescent Health (Add Health), with 20,000 cases. I have repeatedly documented substantially higher rates of problems among children with same-sex parents, and that the best context for child well-being is with his or her own mother and father.”
Formerly Episcopalian, Dr. Sullins is a married Catholic priest. He earned a Ph.D. in sociology at Catholic University in 1997 and taught there from 1998 until his recent retirement from teaching. He and his wife, Patricia, have an inter-racial family of three children, two adopted.
Among his many honors, he is Director of the Summer Institute of Catholic Social Thought and Director of the Leo Initiative at Catholic University. He has written four books and over 100 journal articles, research reports and essays on issues of family, faith, and culture.
Dr. Morse concluded, “We are delighted to assist Dr. Sullins’ efforts to discover the truth about same-sex parenting. Dr. Sullins is a careful researcher who follows the data wherever it leads. Ruth Institute followers can look forward to seeing him at Ruth Institute events and in our publications.”
To interview either Dr. Sullins or Dr. Morse, reply to this email.
Posted on: Saturday, April 14, 2018
by Jennifer Roback Morse
This article was first published at Clash Daily on April 18, 2108.
“Am I Gay?” Today, every family in America faces this question one way or another. Even the best families. Maybe you have a child, or sibling, or close friend who feels attracted to people of the same sex. Maybe a niece or nephew or grandchild wonders about their sexuality.
Maybe they are asking YOU these questions.
The book “Why I Don’t Call Myself Gay” challenges the idea that feelings of same sex attraction necessarily mean a person is “gay.” The author, Daniel Mattson, tells his story of experiencing same sex attraction, acting on it, and ultimately, allowing Jesus to turn his life around.
This is not a “pray away the gay” message. It is something much more powerful. The “pray away the gay” slur is meant to demean people’s efforts to change their patterns of sexual attraction. Mattson’s message is that every person can and must, make choices about their feelings. Even if same sex attraction persists, or reemerges, every person continues to have meaningful choices about important topics:
What meaning do I assign my sexual feelings? Whom do I choose as my friends? From whom do I chose to draw inspiration, advice, and encouragement? And most of all, how do I decide to behave?
I have heard Dan speak. (Full disclosure: Dan and I are friends. He says nice things about me in the “Acknowledgments” section of the book.I say nice things about him on the back cover.) Dan has a wonderful way about him. He loves talking with high school students. He invites them to write their questions on index cards, so no one knows who is asking what question.
Inevitably, a few kids will write “Am I gay?” on their cards.
Dan answers them so gently.
Feelings of attraction to the same sex are just that: feelings. Those feelings are not the same thing as an identity. You are more than the sum total of your feelings. So is every human being who has ever walked the earth.
Did you know, that in some states, Dan’s message could be considered illegal? That’s right. “You Must Stay Gay” laws are being proposed and passed across the country.
Of course, no one comes right out and says: “You Must Stay Gay.”
They say they are outlawing “Sexual Orientation Change Efforts.”They claim offering therapy is an “unlawful business practice.”
In other words, the government is telling you and me and every young person how they must interpret their own feelings. “You feel same sex attraction: you are gay.” End of story.
But Dan Mattson begs to differ. We can feel all kinds of things. We still have choices about how to label ourselves, what to think, and how to behave. He is not a therapist, and not making therapeutic claims. He is just one man, who is telling his own story. That is still legal. At least for now.
My identity: I am a child of God.
Noted Catholic Cardinal, Robert Sarah of Guinea, wrote the foreword to Dan’s book. Cardinal Sarah says of persons who experience same sex attraction:
Only when they lived in keeping with Christ’s teaching were they able to find the peace and joy for which they had been searching… They are called to chastity, and we demean them if we think they cannot attain this virtue, which is a virtue for all disciples.”
In fact, the subtitle of Dan’s book is “How I Reclaimed My Sexual Reality and Found Peace.” People need to hear this message of hope for people who experience same sex attraction.
A word to the many non-Catholic Christians on this site: Yes, this book is written by a Catholic man, published by a Catholic publisher, and endorsed by a Catholic Cardinal. There are plenty of culturally-Catholic quirks that may strike you as odd. But the overall message is just as biblically sound and solid as it can be. In this age of so many religious leaders in so many branches of Christianity promoting so much confusion, we small “o” orthodox believers have no choice but to support one another wherever we can.
Please buy this book. Read it. Share it with your pastor, youth minister, and others who work with young people. Help give Dan Mattson’s message of hope and peace the wide audience it deserves.
Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D., is Founder and President of the Ruth Institute, located in Lake Charles Louisiana. Daniel Mattson will be the keynote speaker at their First Annual Awards Dinner June 15, 2018.
Posted on: Saturday, March 17, 2018
“Dr. J” to her tribe, this influencer has a PhD and teaching experience at Yale and George Brown University. An economist by training, she has invaluable insights into the wreckage we see around us caused by the failed Sexual Revolution. The organization she founded, The Ruth Institute, exists to help survivors of this very public shipwreck.
With the Obergefel v Hodges (2015) decision redefining marriage at the federal level, we have reached a legal tipping point. Most Americans support marriage as it’s been defined for millennia, as the lifelong union of one man and one woman with openness to children. Culture is one thing, laws are another.
If you want practical insights into how to talk about this and other challenges such as our collective no-fault divorce attitude (yes, it has infected “good Catholic” circles), and the forgotten players known as children, this is the interview for you.
from Patrick Coffin's website here.
Posted on: Monday, February 26, 2018
Dear Dr. J:
My brother just announced he would be getting married to his boyfriend. They have been together for approximately ten years. My parents and brothers
raised their glasses to his plans and seem to be congratulating them. As a Roman Catholic with my principles of natural family and natural marriage,
how should I react about him getting married and what should I do when he invites me to his wedding?
Should you go to the wedding? In a word, no, you should not. They may ask you, "Would you go to the wedding of a divorced person who was remarrying?" The correct answer is, "No, I would not. They are entering publicly into an adulterous union. I would not go." If they reply, "But you went to Uncle Harry's second wedding and didn't say a word," the proper answer is, "I was wrong to do that. I should not have gone."
The longer-term question is: how do you maintain good relationships with these people and other family members who are going along with their plans to marry? This is the larger challenge.
Take every opportunity to show them love and compassion. Include your brother and his friend in activities whenever you can do so in good conscience. For instance, you can have them over for dinner, or go out to a show with them. These are not intrinsically "coupled" activities. You should invite them whenever you can. If they say no, that is ok. You have done your part. You can send them each birthday cards or Christmas cards.
If they want to argue with you about why you didn't go to the wedding, I suggest you decline to participate. Ditto if they want to argue about related topics, like the Church’s teaching on sexuality, unless you have reason to think they are sincerely interested in what you have to say. If they just want to argue, your answer is a polite, "No thanks."
Keep praying for them. Your time with the Lord will gradually reveal other specific ways in which you can show love to your brother. Eventually, the
Lord may show you an opportunity to explain the Church’s teaching in its fullness. Or maybe the Lord will place someone else in your brother’s
life who can share it with him.
Thank you for your question.
Posted on: Monday, February 12, 2018
New York is sacrificing a child's best interest in favor of "marriage equality."
By Jennifer Roback Morse
Published on February 9, 2018, at The Stream.
A little girl in New York is in foster care, even though her father is a perfectly fit parent. The court will not even recognize him as her father. How is this possible, you ask?
The little girl’s mother is in a same sex union. The girl is in foster care, because of neglect petitions pending against both the mother and her lover. The five-judge panel agreed that the fact that the child was in foster care was “relevant” and “concerning.” They nevertheless denied the father’s request to prove his fatherhood.
In the court’s logic, this man “merely donated sperm, belatedly asserting parental rights.”
In other words, he is not a father unless we say so.
The news stories about this case focus on its implications for “Marriage Equality.” The Daily Beast story has a sub-headline: “judges rule in favor of marriage equality over biology in case of 3-year-old girl.” A Canadian paper, The National Post describes the case this way:
Without legal advice, Christopher and the women drew up a contract in which he waived any claims to paternity, custody or visitation, and the women waived any claim to child support. But troubles arose, and they disagreed on Christopher’s access to the child … In April 2015, Christopher went to court, seeking an order for a paternity test, and later for custody of the child.
The Post is not too clear on what “troubles arose.” We get a clue, from the court documents (page 18), which The Daily Beast cited only in passing, that the child has been in foster care for a lengthy “period of time” since the 2015 hearing.
Perhaps this explains why he “belatedly asserted parental rights.” Maybe he saw what the child welfare authorities eventually saw. These women were neglecting the seven-month-old child.
Christopher volunteered his sperm as a “humanitarian gesture” to two women who were family friends. He evidently absorbed the Grand Gay Narrative that assures us:
If the Grand Gay Narrative is true, a man might logically conclude that donating his sperm could be a “humanitarian gesture.” He might well believe that agreeing in advance to stand down from active fatherhood was a fine thing to do, costless to himself and his child, and beneficial to these two women.
The problem is that the Grand Gay Narrative is false. Biology does matter. Both parents and children care about their biological connections. Being raised by a same sex couple does present risks to kids, compared with being raised by one’s own biological parents. The people who say otherwise base their opinion on highly suspect, cherry-picked data, from small unrepresentative samples. Frankly, most of it is highly publicized junk science.
Neither of these women has pulled herself together enough to have the little girl returned to her care. I was a foster parent in San Diego. I know that child welfare agencies try to give parents every opportunity to reunify with their children. If the child has been in foster care “for a lengthy period of time,” these two women must be bad news. Christopher was trying to be a nice guy in 2014 when he donated the sperm. He has been trying to be a responsible father since April 2015 when he first petitioned the court.
Isn’t this how we want men to behave toward the children they sire?
The five-judge panel was not interested.
We believe that it must be true that a child born to a same-gender married couple is presumed to be their child … A paternity test for an outsider, who merely donated sperm, belatedly asserting parental rights, would effectively disrupt, if not destroy, this family unit and nullify the child’s established relationship with the wife, her other mother. Testing in these circumstances exposes children born into same-gender marriages to instability for no justifiable reason other than to provide a father-figure for children who already have two parents.” (emphasis added.)
News flash to the judges: a child in foster care is already “exposed to instability.” Is letting her father be involved more disruptive than foster care?
The court’s ruling does not protect the child’s best interests. Their ruling circles the wagons to protect the Grand Gay Narrative.
“Marriage Equality” advocates assured us that removing the gender requirement from marriage was only a matter of making same sex couples the legal equivalent of opposite sex couples. This case shows that “Marriage Equality” creates a whole round of new inequalities. Some fathers are permitted to be involved in their children’s lives. Others are not: the law actively blocks Christopher from his own child. Some children have a legally recognized right to their fathers. Others, like this little girl, do not.
She only has the parents the government allows her to have. And that is way too much power for any government.
Posted on: Monday, January 08, 2018
Posted by Marc & Julie Anderson on in Archdiocese, Leaven News
What part will you play in the future of the family?
It is a question that is on the mind of more than a few Catholic leaders these days, as we see the primary institution of our society fracture under seemingly insurmountable stress.
But the Catholic Church is not the only institution unwilling to throw in the towel on the institution of the family.
The Ruth Institute, founded in 2008 by Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, is a global nonprofit organization aimed at ending family breakdown by energizing survivors of the Sexual Revolution.
And it’s a movement that is coming to the archdiocese next month.
On Jan. 27, the archdiocesan office of marriage and family life will host the institute’s “Healing Family Breakdown” spiritual workshop at the Church of the Ascension in Overland Park.
The event is open to all, Catholic and non-Catholic, and, according to Morse, is meant to accomplish three goals: (1) heal families; (2) help participants prevent family breakdown; and (3) help participants become agents of healing within society at large.
When families attend the workshop, Morse added, something important and life-changing happens to them.
“You realize you and your family are not the only ones,” she said. “For a lot of people, that is huge.”
That realization is an important first step in healing, she said, and is often made manifest to her in a tangible way in the seating arrangement of workshop participants.
“The Holy Spirit has a way of seating people at the table who belong together,” Morse said.
For example, at a past workshop, she witnessed a teenage girl’s perspective change as a result of a conversation she had with a man at her table.
The girl was the daughter of divorced parents. She blamed her father for the situation and did not want anything to do with him.
However, also seated at her table was a divorced man experiencing loneliness as his children would not talk to him. A conversation between the two, Morse said, led the young lady to consider the hurt and loneliness her father might be experiencing, a perspective the teenager had not considered previously.
And that’s just one type of healing and paradigm shift The Ruth Institute is trying to bring about in the world.
On the nonprofit’s website — www.ruthinstitute.org — Morse identifies a dozen different types of survivors of the Sexual Revolution, ranging from children of divorce and of unmarried parents, to a pornography addict or a post-abortive man or woman.
If you recognize yourself, a family member or a friend in one of the 12 survivor descriptions, Morse discourages you from trying to go it alone. Participate in the workshop and begin the healing process, instead.
“We need [survivors’] participation,” she said. “We need you to be witnesses to say the church was right all along [about its teachings on family and sexuality].”
Morse calls survivors “the secret weapon” to restoring the family to its greatness and its rightful place in society.
“All these wounded souls need to speak up,” she said.
“Many people leave the faith over sexual issues,” Morse explained. “I know. I stormed off in a huff.”
But just as people leave the faith over sexual issues, Morse said, countless people later realize the beauty of church teaching and return to the faith.
“I was completely wrong, of course,” she said of her departure from the faith.
Later, by studying the church’s teachings and by watching her adopted and biological children grow, Morse said she realized how much children need their father and mother as well as how much they want their parents.
“That’s how I got interested in the family and how the family fits into society,” said Morse.
As she has watched the family structure in modern society continue to deteriorate, however, Morse is not without hope.
“A lot of what society is trying to do is undoable,” she said. “We believe it is possible to make the family great again.”
Posted on: Monday, November 06, 2017
Sexual revolutionaries consistently change the subject away from medical risks and back to their favorite topic: the hatefulness of anyone who brings them up.
This article was first published on October 24, 2017, at The Stream.
The breathless headlines from the main stream media announced that the nefarious Donald Trump spoke to those nefarious Values Voters. “Trump Just Spoke At An Event Where Guests Were Warned Of ‘The Hazards Of Homosexuality,” BuzzFeed informed its readers. “‘Hazards of Homosexuality’ Flier Distributed at Values Voter Summit” screamed the NBC News headline.
Dig down a bit, what you find is a big nothing burger. The “anti-gay” flyer advertised a book that warned of the medical risks associated with homosexual activity. Oddly enough, the main stream media had no comment on the accuracy of the contents of the book.
BuzzFeed quoted Gregory T. Angelo, president of the Log Cabin Republicans, an LGBT group, “I’d expect nothing less from the wingnuts at MassResistance.” NBC News quoted Sarah Kate Ellis, president of GLAAD, which they described as a “media watchdog group”: “This morning, addressing a gathering of some of the most extreme anti-LGBTQ activists in the country, Trump once again legitimized hate speech.”
BuzzFeed couldn’t even get the title of the book right, calling it, The Hazards of Homosexuality, when the correct title is The Health Hazards of Homosexuality. Neither BuzzFeed nor NBC News quoted a single person denying a single point in the book, or the advertising flyer. Their stories were about the people who wrote or promoted the book. MassResistance authored it. Dr. Michelle Cretella of the American College of Pediatricians endorsed it. The Family Research Council organized the Values Voters Summit. The Southern Poverty Law Center has designated all three organizations as “hate groups.”
Full disclosure: I too, am a certified hater, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. For the sake of argument, let’s take as a given that I am the meanest, most hate-filled person on the planet, and that my hatred is directed at sexual minorities.
Now that we have that out of the way, can we please discuss two serious questions: Is homosexual activity riskier than heterosexual activity? And if it is, does it matter?
As a certified hater, I’m friends with most of the other certified haters. I happen to have a copy of The Health Hazards of Homosexuality on my shelf. I’ve read it cover to cover. I have not checked out all 1,800 footnotes. But I am familiar with many of the references cited. Let’s look at a few topics, that can be easily checked with the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control.
Syphilis: the CDC reports that “MSM continued to account for the majority of Primary & Secondary syphilis cases in 2016 (Figures 35 and 36). Of 27,814 reported P&S syphilis cases in 2016, 16,155 (58.1%) were among MSM, including 14,553 (52.3%) cases among men who had sex with men only and 1,602 (5.8%) cases among men who had sex with both men and women (Figure 36).”
HIV: “At the end of 2014, among a total of 722,244 males (aged 13 years and older at year end 2014), 70% of HIV infections were attributed to male-to-male sexual contact.” Bear in mind: Men who have sex with men (MSM) account for about 2% of the population.
Anal Cancer: Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men are 17 times more likely to get anal cancer than heterosexual men. Men who are HIV-positive are even more likely than those who do not have HIV to get anal cancer.
The “wingnuts at MassResistance” quoted figures like these in The Health Hazards of Homosexuality. Do these facts matter? If you are an ordinary person, trying to figure out what to do and what to think, yes, I should think these facts matter greatly to you.
Why marginalize people who publicize facts like these? Because these facts interrupt the Grand Narrative:
Sexual activity is an entitlement for anyone able to give meaningful consent. There is no down-side risk associated with any kind of sex for anyone, if they use a condom every time. And if something bad happens to you, you must not have used the condom correctly or consistently.
In other words, the problems you experience are your fault. The Grand Narrative must never be called into question.
This is the same garbage Sexual Revolutionaries have been feeding straight women for years. Never mind the unwanted pregnancies or the STI’s or the broken hearts. Use a condom for “safer sex.” It’ll all be good. And anyone who connects the rather obvious dots between sexual activity and these outcomes, just hates you.
The Grand Narrative won’t work any better for gay men, than it has for us. Yes, of course, I am aware the gay men don’t experience unwanted pregnancies. They have other issues. Former gay porn star Joseph Sciambra reports on his experience with rectal incontinence. Not something most women have to deal with.
My point is this. Sexual Revolutionaries airbrush all the negative consequences out of the picture. They consistently change the subject away from these consequences and back to their favorite topic: the hatefulness of anyone who brings them up.
If you experience same sex attraction, you have choices beyond the Grand Narrative. Even if you have experienced same sex attraction all your life, so consistently that you think you must have been “born that way,” you still have choices about what to do, what to think, and how to describe yourself. The medical risks are not the result of stigma or “hate.” Anal sex is intrinsically risky, so much so, that the Surgeon General once declared it “simply too risky to practice.” Having large numbers of sexual partners increases the risks of STI’s. Anyone who tells you otherwise is not being truthful with you.
If you care about the health and well-being of sexual minorities, you should want them to have full information about the risks associated with various
practices. That is what the headlines screaming about “hate” get wrong. And that is what the “wingnuts at MassResistance” get right.
Posted on: Saturday, November 04, 2017
by Claire Chretien
This article was first posted October 16, 2017, at Life Site News.
WASHINGTON, D.C., October 16, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Liberal media and LGBT activists are outraged that President Trump spoke at a conference where an exhibitor warned people of the scientifically-documented health risks of sodomy.
On Friday, Trump became the first sitting U.S. President to speak at Values Voter Summit (VVS), an annual gathering of pro-life, pro-family activists hosted by the Family Research Council (FRC). The largely evangelical conference featured a number of Congressmen, pastors, and pro-life advocates.
Mass Resistance, one of the groups tabling in the conference’s exhibit hall, was selling and advertising its book titled The Health Hazards of Homosexuality: What the Medical and Psychological Research Reveals.
Mass Resistance was also selling copies of a book by Dr. Robert Oscar Lopez, a man who was raised by lesbians.
Buzzfeed and NBC News both wrote articles critical of Trump speaking at an event where vendors in the hall advertised for and peddled fact-based books about the risks associated with homosexual behavior.
Dan Gainor, Vice President of Business and Culture at the Media Research Center, said the left-leaning reports were biased.
“Conservatives need to understand that openly left-wing outlets like Buzzfeed will never cover conservatives fairly,” he told LifeSiteNews. “Editor Ben Smith says ‘there are not two sides’ on the issue, so why worry about what they say?”
The book in question used reputable sources for its information, including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.
“This book brings together information from widely dispersed and hard-to-find sources, summarizing recent medical and psychological research in laymen’s terms,” The Health Hazards of Homosexuality’s Amazon page says. “Sources include the Centers for Disease Control, medical professional groups, published medical research, media reports, plus LGBT medical and advocacy groups – all documented in 1,800 endnotes with up-to-date links.”
The book’s website says it covers “the politicized medical and mental health establishments,” the mental health issues of “depression, anxiety, suicidality, substance use, partner abuse, and BDSM (bondage/sexual sadomasochism),” the “sexual practices of homosexual men and lesbians” and “how HIV/AIDS is re-emerging as an epidemic among homosexual men.”
And it's not just conservative-based outlets that are writing about the sky-rocketing rates of sexually transmitted diseases among active homosexuals.
Just last month, the Washington Blade, which describes itself as “America’s LGBT News Source,” ran an article on the country’s “all-time high” STD rate.
Sexually transmitted “diseases are on the rise in a number of groups, including women, infants, and gay and bisexual men,” the Washington Blade reported. “Between 2015 and 2016, syphilis rates rose nearly 18 percent. Most cases occurred among men, especially gays and bisexuals. Half of the men in those two groups also had HIV, according to the report.”
The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) labels FRC and Mass Resistance “hate groups.” This claim was repeated in media coverage of the flier promoting the book.
The SPLC’s placement of FRC on its “hate map” inspired the first incident of armed domestic terrorism in Washington, D.C. in 2012. A man shot FRC’s security guard and planned to massacre FRC staff. He said he found FRC because the SPLC labeled it “anti-gay.”
Sarah Kate Ellis, President of GLAAD, said the flier was “unequivocally false and baseless.”
But the evidence says otherwise.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in 2014, "gay and bisexual men accounted for an estimated 70% (26,200) of new HIV infections in the United States.” This is despite the fact that “gay and bisexual men made up an estimated 2% of the U.S. population” that year.
“The comments in the BuzzFeed article are very revealing: none of them deny the facts, as reported by the Centers for Disease Control,” Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, Founder and President of the Ruth Institute, told LifeSiteNews.
“Who is the real hater here?” Morse asked. “The person who points out highly skewed patterns of risk, or the person who understates or diverts attention [away from] from those risks?”
“No one has claimed that the book isn’t accurate or false,” Brian Camenker of Mass Resistance told LifeSiteNews. “They just don’t like that the information is being made available.”
The secular website WebMD reports that homosexual practice has "downsides.”
“There are a number of health risks with anal sex, and anal intercourse is the riskiest form of sexual activity for several reasons,” it states.
“Studies have suggested that anal exposure to HIV poses 30 times more risk for the receptive partner than vaginal exposure,” WebMD says.
“The anus is full of bacteria,” meaning even if neither partner has an STD, there’s still a chance of infections, it adds.
Posted on: Thursday, August 24, 2017
by Jennifer Roback Morse
This article was first published at The Stream on August 23, 2017.
I categorically condemn the Alt-Right, white supremacy, racism, Nazism and all violent totalitarian political movements. But I am a bit confused. I thought I was supposed to be a member of the Alt-Right, or a racist, or a Nazi, since I voted for Donald Trump. I guess I am even supposed to be in sympathy with the Alt-Right marchers in Charlottesville.
People like me who have had the “hate” label pinned on them face a dilemma: we can defend ourselves and say, “I don’t hate anyone. I just don’t agree with you.” In my experience, this strategy goes nowhere. The more we attempt to defend ourselves, the more we appear, well, defensive. Hence, not believable.
Our other choice is to say, “The heck with it. I know I’m not a hater, bigot or racist. I officially no longer care what anyone thinks of me.” This second course has a certain nobility to it. But it presents dangers of its own. People can easily become jaded and cynical about the whole concept of “hate” and “bigotry.”
In the interests of full disclosure, I should reveal that this has been my preferred strategy. You see, the organization I lead, the Ruth Institute, is listed on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s “Hate Map.” I don’t know how one gets on the SPLC’s “Hate Map.” And I certainly do not know how one gets off it.
I suppose I am an “anti-LGBT” hater, because I believe children need their own parents. So here is my question: If believing children need their own parents lands the Ruth Institute a spot on the “hate map,” what words adequately describe white supremacists or neo-Nazis?
I am clear on one point: Sexual revolutionaries gain a strategic advantage by labeling people like me. Guilt by association is irrational, but powerful. The fear of being labeled a racist provides a potent disincentive for people to voice the view that children need their own parents. Silencing people relieves the Identity Politicians and Sexual Revolutionaries from the effort of having to defend their ideas.
This is convenient for said Identity Politicians and Sexual Revolutionaries, because their ideas are indefensible. Children actually do need their own parents. Sexual orientation is not the equivalent of race. Two mothers do not equal two fathers do not equal a mother and a father, and certainly not one’s own mother and father.
One typical Revolutionary response at this point is, “Why are you singling out gay people? What about divorce?” Please be aware that the Ruth Institute spends a LOT of time talking about divorce and other forms of family breakdown. Don’t change the subject. Society’s injustice to children through divorce is proof-positive that depriving children of a parent through genderless marriage will also be unjust.
But what does any of this have to do with being a Nazi? Or a racist? Or advocating violence? Nothing.
Our “opinion-makers” in the media, academia and assorted left-wing think tanks are playing a dangerous game. They have told us that the views of many ordinary decent Americans are the equivalent of racism. Some of those same ordinary decent Americans are fed up. They know they are not racists, haters or bigots. But we no longer have an adequate public vocabulary to describe actual haters, bigots and racists.
As I said, I categorically condemn the Alt-Right, white supremacy, racism, Nazism and all violent totalitarian political movements. You may search the Ruth Institute’s website all day long, and never find a racist word. Instead, what you will find are reasons and evidence to support sentiments that align with the vast majority of Americans, black and white, male and female. Children need their own parents. Men and women are different. Sex makes babies and therefore society has every right to expect people to control their sexual impulses.
The advocates of the Sexual Revolution cannot defend their ideas. That is why people with my views end up on their “Hate Map.”
On Wednesday, August 23, the Ruth Institute released a statement on being included on SPLC’s “Hate Map.” You can read that statement here. The Ruth Institute has also created a special page called “Where’s the Hate?” which lists items that some have deemed “hateful.” They invite the public to review these items and determine for themselves who is actually “hateful.”
Posted on: Wednesday, July 12, 2017
by Jennifer Roback Morse
This article was first published April 17, 2017, at Crisis Magazine.
My son and I saw the new Beauty and the Beast. It was lovely, magical, following the 1991 cartoon, almost scene for scene, song for song. This is the story everyone wants to hear: darkness and evil and selfishness transformed by love into light and good and self-surrender. Life and love conquer death and fear.
This just happens to be the Christian story. That is why we never tire of hearing it. We were meant for love, for communion with others, for radical self-giving.
We want the Beast to be transformed. We want Belle to see beyond his looks and love him. We love Belle’s father and mother when each of them sacrifices themselves for their daughter. (Spoiler alert: we find out what happened to Belle’s mother.) We do not need to be talked into loving these moments. We love them instinctively, from the deepest part of our hearts.
We love the authentic portrayal of masculinity and femininity. The villain, Gaston, is a caricature of manhood. He is a preening, self-indulgent bully. He uses his strength and power to lord it over everyone around him and get what he wants. We are meant to despise the trio of girls who fawn over Gaston. And we do, because they are caricatures of authentic womanhood. They are absorbed with their looks and in snagging a high-status man.
We love Belle, not because she is an embodiment of some new feminist protagonist, but for the same reasons we have always loved our heroines. She is kind, faithful, and capable of radically self-giving love. Yes, she speaks her mind. Yes, she is competent. Yes, she likes to read. But who ever thought these traits were incompatible with genuine femininity? Shakespeare? Tolstoy? Laura Ingalls Wilder? Only feminist ideologues in their fantasy worlds ever thought otherwise.
We love the Beast because he is transformed from being a punk like Gaston into a truly manly man. His willingness to sacrifice his life for the sake of Belle’s happiness transforms him. This just happens to be what St. Paul enjoins of husbands in Ephesians 5: “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the Church, and gave himself up for her.”
We do not need to be taught to love this story. It is written on our hearts by our Creator. In spite of the ravages of sin, in spite of all the ways we Moderns have distorted ourselves, we still respond to the story of self-giving love triumphing over selfishness. Ideologically-concocted fantasies don’t satisfy.
The Gay Moments
This brings me to the Beauty and the Beast “gay moment” that got so much press prior to the film’s opening. The film has several gay innuendos. A viewer in the theater could blink and miss them. That is why I believe Christians can see it, and even take their kids. The gay double entendres will sail right over their heads.
Buying the DVD is a different story. If kids watch the film repeatedly as people tend to do in their own homes, they will eventually figure out the gay stuff.
Interestingly enough, the presumably-gay LeFou doesn’t actually fit the Official Gay Storyline. He is unsure of his masculinity. By attaching himself to the hyper-masculine Gaston, he tries to reinforce his own sense of maleness.
But contra the Official Gay Storyline, his attraction to Gaston does nothing positive for him. In fact, it weakens him. He lies for Gaston. He acquiesces in attempted murder. He participates in mob violence. All along, LeFou knows he is doing wrong. He stifles his conscience to please Gaston. When Gaston finally throws him under the bus (actually, under the piano), LeFou has second thoughts. He mentally ditches Gaston, and he can finally fight for what he knows to be right.
In other words, he becomes a man. He doesn’t need Gaston. At the end of the film, he is dancing with women, along with every other man in the castle.
Is it really a “gay moment” in the last scene when he momentarily gets partnered with a man? Or is it reversion to heterosexuality when LeFou dances happily with women in the bulk of the scene? More importantly, what is the Moment with a Man even doing in the movie? It adds nothing to the plot.
I think director Bill Condon felt he needed to pay obeisance to the Big Gay Activist Machine. The hints about the “exclusively gay moment,” to “the UK’s best-selling gay magazine” are part of the dance everyone now needs to perform to please the really powerful people.
But was it enough? Of course not. Nothing is ever enough for the True Believer.
Why isn’t it enough?
The sexual revolutionaries are peddling propaganda. They must. They are trying to manipulate people into believing things that are not true.
Love and sex are not the same. We cannot live without love, but we can live without sex. Men and women are different. Selfishness does not make us happy. These things are all true. The sexual revolutionaries are trying to create a society based on their opposites.
This project of theirs cannot succeed. But the impossibility of the goal does not dissuade them from their attempts. Their fantasy of what the world should be continues to propel them. Every new failure just ratchets up their commitment to keep trying.
Hence the need for more and deeper propaganda. The sexual revolutionaries must do as the Soviets did: enlist artists to create propaganda for the creation of their fantasy. Every work of art must point to the Glorious New World.
The Disney people painted a mustache on their Mona Lisa of a film, in order to placate the Activists, who, in the end, were not satisfied. Some have said that the “gay LeFou” character is a tribute to Howard Ashman, who wrote the original lyrics but died of AIDs before the cartoon was released in 1991. I find that suggestion offensive. I doubt that an artist of his stature would be “honored” by the Disney studios inserting the equivalent of a juvenile fart joke into his work. (Speaking of fart jokes, this not-nearly-gay-enough criticism of the film is gross. Is this how they really talk when they think no one is listening?) Soviet art is bad art. Pasting homosexual themes onto this story is bad art.
I watched the original cartoon endlessly, when it came out in 1991 and I had two preschoolers. How will the “gay moments” in this new version hold up after repeated viewing? All the rest of this live-action remake could be watched endlessly, without losing its charm. But the gratuitous gay scenes will be boring the second time you see them.
As for the Christians who called for a boycott of the film without even seeing it, well, I think that was ill-conceived. It is possible that Director Bill Condon, who is openly gay himself, was attempting to bait Christians. But taking the bait is not always wise. It could be more akin to a child repeatedly dropping his spoon from the high chair: he doesn’t really want the spoon. He just wants to see you pick it up over and over.
I think is more likely that Condon’s real audience for his comments was the Gay Commentariat. He felt he needed to pay homage to them, and win their approval. We conservative Christians are barely on his radar screen. We cannot hurt him the way gays in Hollywood potentially could.
The differences between the new Beauty and the Beast and the original cartoon from 1991 shows how far our culture has fallen into the grip of sexual revolutionary propaganda. We barely recognize it.
The telling of the Christian story resonates because it is calling out to our hearts with things everyone knows to be true. We Christians have Truth and Beauty on our side. We need to use them, without apology.