- For Survivors
- Resource Center
- Make a Difference
- Book Clubs
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, July 10, 2018
by Doug Mainwaring
This article was first published June 22, 2018, at Life Site News.
'Gay Straight Catholic Alliance' members hold signs suggesting God supports homosexuality.
ROME, Italy, June 22, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – For the first time in history, Vatican officials have seemingly embraced the notion that some people are born gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender via the inclusion of the term “LGBT” in the preparatory document for the Holy See’s upcoming Youth Synod.
Pro-LGBT Catholic organizations have cheered this as an important milestone. Fr. James Martin, SJ, the priest who stands at the forefront of promoting the normalization of homosexuality and transgenderism within the Church, accurately observed that for orthodox Catholics “It will be harder to object now,” to the infiltration of gay ideology.
Rome’s inclusion of the term was met with immediate, forceful pushback.
“This is a big problem. We do not use the political language of the gay rights and associated movement when analyzing the nature of man and the nature of sin,” said Fr. Gerald Murray, speaking on EWTN’s The World Over. “The Catholic Church does not accept that there is a category of human beings created by God meant to commit homosexual activity.”
“We don’t believe that bisexual people exist in the sense of saying ‘God made certain people who he wants to have sex with both men and women,’” Fr. Murray continued. “We do not believe in transgenderism. The Catholic Church does not teach that God made some people women but gave them a male body, and therefore they have to discover that they’re women by overcoming their male bodies. We don’t believe in any of that.”
LGBT “is a political propaganda term,” he added. “Using that in this document signals an agreement that all of those categories exist as natural and God-given categories of people. Big mistake.”
Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops, explained in a press conference that the acronym LGBT had been taken from the pre-synodal document compiled by young people at their meeting with the Pope and Synod organizers on March 19-24. Synod organizers were “very diligent in taking into account the work done by the bishops’ conferences, but especially the results of this meeting with youth, of which they were the protagonists.”
The veracity of his statement has been vociferously challenged.
“Just for the record, the document from the Synod did not use the ‘LBGT’ acronym,” noted Jennifer Roback Morse, PhD., founder and president The Ruth Institute, which strives to help “survivors” of the worldwide sexual revolution.
“So, no Cardinal Baldisseri, no fair blaming the young people,” Morse told LifeSiteNews. “The ‘LGBT’ acronym is in the working document because some adult put it there for reasons of their own. If the Cardinal and others mean to say that they think adopting a ‘gay’ identity is a good and helpful step for a young person to take, let them say so plainly.”
Faith and Reason Institute president Robert Royal agreed that “LGBT” did not appear in the source materials submitted to the Vatican but that it was later added to the working document, the Instrumentum Laboris, by someone working at the Vatican.
“Just as with the Synod on the Family, a lot of us looked at the preparatory documents for that as well and there’s this sort of B- sociology that goes on,” Royal said, “where you start with the terminology and the understanding that’s out there in culture, and of course it’s very difficult when you start on the other guy’s field to score on Catholicism. You know, you’re playing their game. It’s an away game that you’re playing.”
“So I detect the same sort of thing going on here,” continued Royal. “Perhaps people mean well by including this (LGBT). This is something that has to be confronted … But to start using the language of the culture does not bode well for what the consequences will be.”
“If the Vatican document is using the ugly acronym LGBT for ‘people with same-sex attractions,’ unintentionally, that would be unintelligent, foolish and irresponsible,” said Dr. Gerard van den Aardweg in a statement to LifeSiteNews. “Considering the apparent attempts within the Church to sell the falsehoods of the gay ideology, however, it may well be that this is an intentional move. In that case, it is sneaky and immoral.”
Van den Aardweg is a Dutch psychologist and psychoanalyst who has been sounding the alarm about the normalization of homosexuality for much of his distinguished 50-year career.
In both cases, the document silently but efficiently deceives ignorant and naïve young people, actually suggesting (1) that people “just are” homosexual, lesbian, bisexual, or transsexual by nature, as natural variants of sexuality, and (2) that they must be “accepted” as such, in the sense given to this word in secular society.
Whether or not intentionally, the adoption of the gay propaganda term LGBT reinforces the already existing, alarmingly growing acceptance of the gay ideology by the younger Catholic generation. Exceptions excepted, they have not been educated more than superficially in the basic Catholic doctrinal and moral truths, so are very vulnerable to the seductions of nice-sounding ideologies. The heavier the irresponsibility within the Vatican.
Youngsters with same-sex problems are given the green light to give themselves over to the self-degrading gay lifestyle, which is the way to their emotional and moral undoing; and youngsters without these problems are taught to see sexual morality as relative. Your feelings may decide what is right and wrong. Gay normalization inevitably hollows out the sexual morality of the vast heterosexual majority.
Dr. van den Aardweg added:
I want to point to another implication of this naively-foolish or malicious use of the gay LGBT word. 40% of men with homosexual desires are more or less directed to adolescents, have “pederast” tendencies. In the media, they are called “pedophiles” when it is about molestation of juveniles. And the homosexual pedophiles who are attracted to pre-pubertal boys, perhaps 5% of same-sex attracted men, may occasionally contact adolescent boys as well. So, if “the Vatican” is out to normalize LGBT, it also normalizes pederasts and pedophiles, namely, a large portion of same-sex people that is now hided away in the letters G and B. If the Vatican wants to use the gay letters, let it then add two P’s: the P of Pederasts, and the P of Pedophiles. Let it be LGBTPP.
“Have the leaders of the Roman Catholic Church given in to the reductionist zeitgeist of our age, i.e., that human beings are nothing more than the sum of our sexual preferences?” asked Thomas Berryman in a statement to LifeSiteNews.
“The Church has always refrained from using such language, seeing the human person, as (Courage Apostolate founder) Father John Harvey put it, as ‘a creature made in the likeness and image of God, with intelligence and free will, destined for eternal life, and when baptized, a brother or sister of Christ,’” said Berryman. “Using the term LGBT represents another step, intentional or otherwise, in the ongoing, rapidly-accelerating process of normalizing that which is not normal, i.e., homosexuality, bisexuality, and transgenderism.”
I do not know whether this devolution comes from accepting a degraded view of the human condition or a craven desire to win the approval of the world. Personally, I do not see myself as an adjective. I am not gay. I am a child of God who suffers from same-sex attraction. I view it as a cross to bear, an exercise in "redemptive suffering," linking myself to the slightest hint of the suffering our Lord experienced.
The Instrumentum laboris for the upcoming Youth Synod, like the working documents for the two meetings of the Synods on the Family, is an example of the leaders of the Church enabling the mores of the sexual revolution. To say that I am disappointed is a massive understatement. It's hard enough standing up for the Church's teachings against the world. It is even harder standing up for the Church's teachings against some of the Church's most prominent leaders.
“‘LGBT youth’ is a label within a label,” observed Paul Darrow, one of three chaste same-sex-attracted Catholics featured in the movie, Desire of the Everlasting Hills, produced by the Courage Apostolate. “Such labels are like a photographer’s air brush. In the wrong hands, they can retouch away the beautiful essence of the creator's original image.”
“When we embrace labels that describe our sexual interests, we allow our true identity to be distorted,” continued Darrow. “The Catholic Church teaches us that man's identity is found in Christ and not in our worldly desires. Memorializing the ‘LGBT youth’ label in a Vatican document seems dangerously counterproductive. It makes atheists and gay activists giddy with delight, undermines the teachings of the Church and discourages those of us who strive to move beyond our homosexual identity to a more complete one in Christ.”
“Listening respectfully to others does not mean we suspend our own judgment and substitute theirs,” Roback Morse said. “The Catholic Church has always insisted that every single person, regardless of their sexual inclinations or behavior, finds their ultimate identity as a beloved son or daughter of God, redeemed by Jesus Christ.”
“Nothing new happened at the Synod on Youth to change that reality, or the philosophy, metaphysics or theology that lies behind it and interprets it,”
she added. “I have encountered two young men in the past few weeks who are looking for clarity from the Church, not cultural capitulation.”
Posted on: Monday, July 09, 2018
by Curtis Schube
This article was first published June 29, 2018, at Life Site News.
NIFLA v. Becerra is better than anyone could have expected. The Supreme Court's ruling last Tuesday overturned California's onerous speech restriction on pregnancy care centers. Great news, to be sure. It gets better. NIFLA also overturned speech restrictions on therapists who assist people with unwanted same sex attraction.
Pregnancy centers encourage women to choose options other than abortion. The Court found that requiring such centers to post notices advertising abortion violates their First Amendment Free Speech rights. This is a very good result. However, few commentators have mentioned that the NIFLA ruling impacts attempts to ban so-called "conversion therapy."
Laws which ban sexual orientation change efforts ("SOCE" for short) have increasingly entered the national conversation, most recently in California. Before California's recent attempts to ban all forms of SOCE at any age, California already had such a law in place for minors. The law considered it "unprofessional conduct" to "seek to change sexual orientation" for a minor. Any counselor who violated the law faced professional discipline.
California's more recent SOCE laws take an even more extreme position. These laws ban all therapy that aims to change, or even reduce, sexual attraction to the same sex. Therefore, a patient who wants SOCE therapy cannot receive that service without risk to the professional counselor.
In Pickup v. Brown, same sex attracted minors and their parents, as well as counselors who wished to provide their services, claimed that this law violates their First Amendment rights to free speech and free expression. The Ninth Circuit, in 2013, determined that counseling is not speech, but rather professional "conduct." The "First Amendment does not prevent a state from regulating treatment," the Ninth Circuit concluded.
The Third Circuit upheld a similar law in New Jersey using the same logic in the 2014 case, King v. Governors of New Jersey. In relying partly upon Pickup, the Third Circuit concluded that counseling is speech (rather than conduct) but classifies that speech as professional speech. The Third Circuit states that a "professional's services stems largely from her ability to apply…specialized knowledge to a client's individual circumstances… Thus, we conclude that a licensed professional does not enjoy the full protection of the First Amendment."
In the NIFLA case, the Ninth Circuit had justified the requirement for pregnancy centers to advertise for abortion as "professional speech," just like the Ninth and Third Circuits had done for SOCE laws. The Supreme Court opinion overturning the Ninth Circuit's NIFLA opinion, specifically identified Pickup and King as examples of "professional speech" protected by the First Amendment. Writing for the majority, Justice Thomas (pictured above) stated: "Some Courts of Appeals have recognized 'professional speech' as a separate category of speech that is subject to different rules." However, "speech is not unprotected merely because it is uttered by 'professionals.'"
This is a paradigm shift in the existing precedents for SOCE bans.
Thomas seized the opportunity to provide protections to many other professions as well. "Professionals might have a host of good-faith disagreements, both with each other and with the government, on many topics in their respective fields." He identifies doctors and nurses who disagree on the prevailing opinions on assisted suicide or medical marijuana as examples of good faith disagreements. So too are lawyers and marriage counselors who disagree on prenuptial agreements and divorces, and bankers and accountants who disagree on how to commit money to savings or tax reform. One would have to conclude that Justice Thomas' intent is to protect all professionals from being regulated on matters of good faith disagreement.
This is a significant victory for free speech, and not only for pregnancy care centers. The "social justice" movement threatens many professionals in the exercise of their judgement and expertise. This Supreme Court ruling has created broad protections for a significant number of Americans who hold professional licenses. In doing so, the Court also reopened the seemingly settled question as to whether SOCE bans are constitutional. This is a welcome surprise from a case originally thought to be limited only to pregnancy centers.
Posted on: Saturday, July 07, 2018
The author of Why I Don’t Call Myself Gay says evangelizing the LGBT community starts the same way all evangelization starts: with building relationships.
by Leslie Fain
This article was first published July 5, 2018, at The Catholic World Report.
Daniel Mattson, author of Why I Don’t Call Myself Gay, recently served as the keynote speaker and received the “Public Witness Award” at the Ruth Institute Awards Banquet, June 15, at the Brick House in Lake Charles, La.
Mattson, whose story was featured in the documentary Desire of the Everlasting Hills, told the audience that as a man who is attracted to the same sex and is celibate, he is not supposed to exist. “I’m supposed to be celebrating at a parade, not here,” he said, referring to June being Gay Pride Month. The journey to what he now calls the “happiest time of his life” was difficult and tumultuous, he said.
Mattson, after years of struggling with same-sex attraction, became involved with the Courage apostolate, and witnessed the joy in the lives of many members, men and women. He eventually returned to the Catholic Church because of Courage, and was followed by his entire family, with one of his brothers becoming a Catholic priest.
Following the awards dinner, Mattson sat down with Catholic World Report and answered a few questions.
CWR: One criticism that has been leveled against Courage from some Catholics who have same-sex attraction is that it uses techniques based on Freudian psychology that the Church condemned long ago. As a longtime Courage member, what are your thoughts on that?
Daniel Mattson: Courage is based on the perennial teachings of the Catholic Church on chastity, and our God-given sexual identity, not Freud.
Since the beginning of the Courage apostolate, there was criticism leveled at it from all sorts of people, for a variety of reasons we don’t always understand.
The people who are in Courage have found it to be one of the greatest gifts of the Church to them. What’s driving that criticism is painful and mysterious to those of us who have found freedom and healing from the ministry.
CWR: How do we keep kids from being influenced by our permissive culture?
Mattson: You have to be very careful what you allow in your home, you have to monitor your computer. Computers should always be in a public place, not private. You should never allow cell phones in bed. Let’s be honest—[Satan] goes around the world like a prowling lion, seeking souls, and his easiest access is the cell phone.
Don’t give in to the pressure. You have to discern with each child whether he or she is wise enough to handle [a cell phone]. I’d recommend delaying it as much as possible.
There are good parental controls—parents need to educate themselves on that.
CWR: Is our culture suffering from too much sentimentality right now when it comes to love?
Mattson: We are suffering from sentimentality. Slogans like “love is love” are really meaningless, ultimately. People don’t even seem to know what love means anymore. That creates our opportunity in the Church to present a much more attractive alternative.
CWR: How do we reach Millennials and other young people with the Gospel?
Mattson: We have to use [the] communication tools that young people use. Using social media today is essential to evangelization. We have to be winsome and confident that we have the truth, because we really have what people are looking for—let’s tell them about it!
CWR: As far as the culture goes, do you think things will get better, stay the same, or worsen?
Mattson: I personally think we are on a downward trajectory, which means we have to be more serious about the mission that we are on, and to think back to how Christianity exploded in the first few centuries of the Church. Instead of being pessimistic, let’s be optimistic and bold about what God wants us to do to turn this culture around.
CWR: What is the best way to witness to our gay neighbors?
Mattson: First of all, let’s not view our neighbors as gay, or any letter of the LGBT alphabet. Instead, we need to view them as God sees them: as beloved sons and daughters of God. The key to evangelization is the same as it is with anyone else: building relationships with them and loving them and investing in their lives, because evangelism always follows from relationships. The key is the example of the woman at the well. They started with a drink of water together, and then evangelism came after that.
I wouldn’t bring up homosexuality to them. I’d let them bring it up first, and then focus first of all on the love that God the Father has for them. All evangelism must begin with that fundamental truth.
Posted on: Thursday, June 28, 2018
Protecting Therapists, not just Pregnancy Care Centers
by Curtis Schube
June 27, 2018
Exclusive to the Ruth Institute
NIFLA v. Becerra is better than anyone could have expected. The Supreme Court’s ruling overturned California’s onerous speech restriction on pregnancy care centers. Great news, to be sure. It gets better. NIFLA also overturned speech restrictions on therapists who assist people with unwanted same sex attraction.
Pregnancy centers encourage women to choose options other than abortion.The Court found that requiring such centers to post notices advertising abortion violates their First Amendment Free Speech rights. This is a very good result. However, few commentators have mentioned that the NIFLA ruling impacts attempts to ban so-called “conversion therapy.”
Laws which ban sexual orientation change efforts (“SOCE” for short) have increasingly entered the national conversation, most recently in California. Before California’s recent attempts to ban all forms of SOCE at any age, California already had such a law in place for minors. The law considered it “unprofessional conduct” to “seek to change sexual orientation” for a minor. Any counselor who violated the law faced professional discipline.
California’s more recent SOCE laws take an even more extreme position. These laws ban all therapy that aims to change, or even reduce, sexual attraction to the same sex. Therefore, a patient who wants SOCE therapy cannot receive that service without risk to the professional counselor.
In Pickup v. Brown, same sex attracted minors and their parents, as well as counselors who wished to provide their services, claimed that this law violates their First Amendment rights to free speech and free expression. The Ninth Circuit, in 2013, determined that counseling is not speech, but rather professional “conduct.” The “First Amendment does not prevent a state from regulating treatment,” the Ninth Circuit concluded.
The Third Circuit upheld a similar law in New Jersey using the same logic in the 2014 case, King v. Governors of New Jersey. In relying partly upon Pickup, the Third Circuit concluded that counseling is speech (rather than conduct) but classifies that speech as professional speech. The Third Circuit states that a “professional’s services stems largely from her ability to apply…specialized knowledge to a client’s individual circumstances… Thus, we conclude that a licensed professional does not enjoy the full protection of the First Amendment.”
In the NIFLA case, the Ninth Circuit had justified the requirement for pregnancy centers to advertise for abortion as “professional speech,” just like the Ninth and Third Circuits had done for SOCE laws. The Supreme Court opinion overturning the Ninth Circuit’s NIFLA opinion, specifically identified Pickup and King as examples of “professional speech” protected by the First Amendment. Writing for the majority, Justice Thomas (pictured above) stated: “Some Courts of Appeals have recognized ‘professional speech’ as a separate category of speech that is subject to different rules.” However, “speech is not unprotected merely because it is uttered by ‘professionals.’”
This is a paradigm shift in the existing precedents for SOCE bans.
Thomas seized the opportunity to provide protections to many other professions as well. “Professionals might have a host of good-faith disagreements, both with each other and with the government, on many topics in their respective fields.” He identifies doctors and nurses who disagree on the prevailing opinions on assisted suicide or medical marijuana as examples of good faith disagreements. So too are lawyers and marriage counselors who disagree on prenuptial agreements and divorces, and bankers and accountants who disagree on how to commit money to savings or tax reform. One would have to conclude that Justice Thomas’ intent is to protect all professionals from being regulated on matters of good faith disagreement.
This is a significant victory for free speech, and not only for pregnancy care centers. The “social justice” movement threatens many professionals in the exercise of their judgement and expertise. This Supreme Court ruling has created broad protections for a significant number of Americans who hold professional licenses. In doing so, the Court also reopened the seemingly settled question as to whether SOCE bans are constitutional. This is a welcome surprise from a case originally thought to be limited only to pregnancy centers.
Curtis Schube is Legal Counsel for the Pennsylvania Family Policy Institute. He is a 2009 alumnus of the Ruth Institute’s “It Takes a Family to Raise A Village” program.
Posted on: Saturday, June 23, 2018
by Dustin Siggins
First published at The Stream on June 21, 2018.
The Stream asked the president of the Ruth Institute why she brought Paul Sullins into their work.
Dr. Jennifer Morse: replied: “We are concerned that ordinary people are making life-changing decisions without accurate information about the long-term consequences. Millions of people have thrown away perfectly good marriages because the ‘experts’ assured them that ‘kids are resilient.'”
“In the post-Obergefell era,” she continued, “people will be deciding to have children within same-sex relationships. These people are entitled to have more complete information than the advocacy research that convinced the judges that same-sex parenting was harmless.”
She called his work on same-sex parenting “first rate.” It “has the potential to help many ordinary people.”
The Stream also asked her if by working with Dr. Sullins, the Institute is proving the SPLC’s claim that it mostly cares about LGBT issues.
“Not really,” said Morse. “He is working on other topics, including the psychological fall-out for women from procuring abortions. His work fits well with our larger concern of giving voice to victims and survivors of the sexual revolution.”
The Stream noted that a new Gallup poll claims that 4.5 percent of Americans are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender. This is a record high since Gallup began polling on the question in 2012. It is also far higher than the percentage the CDC estimated in 2014. We asked Morse what she attributes the rise to.
“Describing oneself as ‘gay’ or ‘trans’ has become ‘cool.'” More replied. “We have known since at least 1994 that a person’s propensity to self-identify as ‘gay’ is responsive to social and cultural factors. I’m not surprised that young people are experimenting with these labels.”
“I just hope they don’t hurt themselves and make mistakes they cannot undo. If they do, they will join millions of other survivors of the sexual revolution: people who figured out too late that the culture lied to them.”
Posted on: Saturday, June 23, 2018
By Dustin Siggins
This article was published June 21, 2018, at The Stream.
Dr. Paul Sullins is a Catholic priest and a leading pro-family researcher. The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) recently targeted him for attack. His crime? Working with The Ruth Institute on research on the effects of same-sex couples-led households on children. The institute lost its credit card processor in August after the SPLC called it a “hate group.”
The Stream interviewed Sullins and Ruth Institute President Dr. Jennifer Morse before SPLC apologized to a British Muslim group it accused of extremism. SPLC gave the Quilliam Foundation $3.375 million as part of a settlement.
The settlement led to 48 groups the SPLC has “maligned, defamed and otherwise harmed” to release a letter. They urged “government agencies, journalists, corporations, social media providers and web platforms … to dissociate themselves from” SPLC.
The Ruth Institute signed the letter. Morse told PJ Media’s Tyler O’Neil that while “pursuing our mission is more important than attempting to take on the behemoth of the SPLC,” the SPLC’s apology “has caused us to consider our options.”
The interviews are edited for length.
The Stream: You’ve been at Catholic University of America for two decades. Why did you go to the Ruth Institute, and what role(s) will you have at CUA?
Paul Sullins: There is a great need for objective empirical social science research on questions of faith and family. Secular scholars either do not address these questions or address them in a politicized way. This masks or ignores evidence they would rather not be known in favor of their social goals: There are no harms from abortion or from hormonal contraception; gender is a social construction; children do not need a mother and a father; the world has too many people.I became more involved in research countering this agenda while teaching. I looked empirically at the Catholic faith and the natural law. Three years ago, I retired from full-time teaching to devote full-time to research along these lines. I had seed money from the Society of Catholic Social Scientists, initially affiliated with the Family Research Council. After Obergefell, FRC cut back on research in this area to focus more on religious freedom and advocacy. The Ruth Institute stepped up to ensure that this work goes forward.
This kind of research may not make headlines tomorrow. However, it lays the seed for genuine social change. It can help change minds and lives. The Other Side has for decades sponsored full-blown research institutes (Guttmacher, Williams) supporting their agenda. Pro-life, pro-family folk have mostly not supported scientific research from their perspective, then wonder why elite culture ignores them. I am grateful to the Ruth Institute for their vision to engage the culture at a high level of discourse on matters of faith and reason.
On what research projects are you working? What are the implications, source materials, etc. for them?
PS: I have been studying abortion trends and demographic effects to respond to a pro-abortion report issued by the National Academy of Sciences. They deny harm from abortions and argue that state regulations requiring waiting periods prevent women from getting desired abortions. We are showing massive evidence of harm, both psychological and medical. Also, regulations have not made abortions less accessible. The regulations have helped women choose life by thinking twice and/or finding family support. The abortion propensity (percent of unanticipated pregnancies ending in abortion, which The Other Side doesn’t measure) has dropped by almost half since 1981. Unintended pregnancies have not changed.
On same-sex parenting, I have updated the findings on emotional harm. I will look at adoptions using a large longitudinal economic survey (the Survey of Income and Program Participation). I am also pursuing studies that separate boys and girls, and male-male and female-female parents. I will look at where in the different mix there is greater and less harm. Do girls do better with two moms or two dads? Do they do better or worse than boys? These are big questions that go to the heart of gender ideology.
I also recently wrote, for a pro-gay book of therapy, a chapter portion titled “Ten Tips for Helping Your Straight Child Come Out Hetero.” It is a problem highlighted in research a lot. Maybe 3-4 percent of children with man-woman parents struggle with same-sex attractions and how to deal with that. In same-sex parent families, over 95 percent of children will have opposite-sex attractions, unlike their parents. So there is possibly more struggle.
Adult children of same-sex parents report this conflict repeatedly. No one has written anything to help these parents. I essentially take the literature on helping opposite-sex parents deal with their emerging same-sex-attracted children and turn it on its head.
The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) targeted you on March 15. They said research shows children raised in same-sex relationship-led households have equal development to those raised in opposite-sex-led homes. Your conclusions were criticized as “pseudoscience.” How do you rebut such claims? Why is your research more credible than what others have published?
Please address their claim that you’ve been published by inferior outlets with lower standards and little credibility.
PS: On my findings, I refer you to Mercatornet for background on the same-sex parenting research and my main study. They pull from my article(s) the reasons why the studies showing no differences are not credible (mostly, small sample sizes).
On the journals, this is a false smear. The SPLC recycles criticisms from a 2015 Atlantic article. A Mercatornet article responding to that article addressed your question. The Mercatornet piece summarizes a longer defense published in the American College of Pediatricians’ Obergefell brief. I wrote the brief, and you can look that up on Scotusblog.
For some background, the two scholars cited negatively in Atlantic, i.e., with the “pseudoscience” quote and the dissing of the journal, are both pro-gay activists (Drs. Cohen and Rosenfeld). Their work was cited and rebutted by my study. They had a personal and scholarly interest in undermining it. Atlantic (Emma Green) sought them out, did not inform me she was citing them, and gave me no chance to respond. SPLC (and Atlantic) cite them as random, representative scholars. They’re not.
To be fair to Dr. Cohen, who detracted the journals on his blog, walked back his comments to a much softer criticism after I sent him more information about the journals. But Atlantic (and SPLC) just quoted his initial, harsher detraction.
SPLC’s HateWatch unfairly denigrates a few foreign journals where my studies have been published. It doesn’t mention that top journals have published me. The American Journal of Sociology, Contemporary Sociology, Social Forces, Southern Medical Journal, Religion, Sociology of Religion, and the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, for some examples.
I recently published studies on abortion and same-sex parenting in Sage Open Medicine and Demography. They both meet the National Institute of Health’s rigorous standards to be archived in National Library of Medicine. Less than one journal in a hundred qualifies.
My latest book was published by Oxford University Press. It was reviewed in the New York Times Review of Books.
Traditional views on sexuality are criticized as outdated and unpopular. In the eyes of the media, traditional views on gender identity are outdated. What evidence, strategies, and tactics should be used to swing people and the culture back towards those viewpoints?
PS: It is spiritual warfare. Our two weapons are faith and reason. The strategies I suggest are: first, help people find Christ. When people experience or encounter the love of God in Christ, we become willing and able to change. It doesn’t do much good if people adopt a traditional view of marriage/gender but don’t know that God loves them deeply and personally. The devil could fit in that category.
When people become alive in Christ, all kinds of illusions fall away. Ruth Institute does this by helping people heal and recover from the sexual revolution. When someone’s life has fallen apart from ignoring how God made man, woman, and marriage, you don’t have to do much convincing.
Second, for those who need reasons, give them reasons. There are many people open to evidence and argument. We should not shy away from engaging them in love and respect. The Church invented science to help us open our minds more to God. Truth honestly defended and clearly presented has great power.
TS: Please respond to the accusation that you and others who have traditional views on sexuality are hateful/bigoted.
PS: That accusation is emphatically backward. The SPLC has targeted many fine Christian organizations and individuals for nothing more than believing that God made humans male and female, and designed reproduction, family, and marriage to function accordingly. Those are not hateful beliefs, but the targeting can be hateful.
Unlike the Christians groups that it targets, the SPLC itself has incited actual violence, such as the gunman who in 2012 shot a security guard at the Family Research Council after finding the group on SPLC’s “hate map.”
I am relieved and happy to be labeled a hater. And if I am a hater, then surely the Catholic Church and a significant number of Protestant churches also are. SPLC acknowledges that I am a Catholic priest. Will SPLC put up page denouncing Pope Francis, who has compared “gender theory” (denying complementary sex differences) to nuclear annihilation and who teaches in his letter on marriage: “there are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God’s plan for marriage and family?”
To SPLC, Pope Francis must be a real hatemonger.
* Disclosure: The Ruth Institute was briefly a client of this reporter in 2017.
Posted on: Saturday, June 09, 2018
“I believed I could find happiness there, and I couldn’t.”
This article was first published at NCRegister.com on June 7, 2018.
Left to Right: Joseph Sciambra, Hudson Byblow, Daniel Mattson
Daniel Mattson is author of Why I Don’t Call Myself Gay: How I Reclaimed My Sexual Reality and Found Peace and was featured in the documentary Desire of the Everlasting Hills (https://everlastinghills.org/movie/). He is a professional musician from Michigan, raised in a Catholic home (his brother is Fr. Steve Mattson, in fact, a priest of the Diocese of Lansing) and is a featured speaker for COURAGE, the Catholic Church’s ministry to persons with same-sex attraction.
“I tried practicing the world’s view of sexuality. For a time, I considered myself “gay” and lived out that life. I rejected the Church’s teaching as archaic, outdated and unreasonable …
… I had no attraction to women, and I was addicted to pornography. I was angry and decided to turn my back on God. I found a man with whom I thought I wanted to share my life. I put a stake in the ground and said, ‘I am a “gay” man.’ However, God brought a woman into my life to whom I was attracted. I thought she was the most beautiful woman in the world. It made me angry all the more. I wasn’t supposed to be attracted to women anymore: I was “gay”!
So, in my experience, it is a mistake to put people into boxes as “gay” or “straight,” and not be open to the possibility that these attractions may change on their own. I am not attracted to many women, but there are some. A person can have many attractions in his life, but only some he should act upon.
Throughout the history of the world people have recognized that it is not uncommon for people to have attractions to both sexes, but only in the past 150 years have those attractions meant that you’re a certain sort of person.”
“… What led me to the Catholic Church was her constant teaching about the nature of the human person as well as my own dissatisfaction with the world’s view. This, in turn, led me to explore the correct use of words, which led me to the truth. Words are important in reflecting reality.
… I also came to understand our need for disinterested friendship and disinterested love, the love that Christ has for us and that we should have for one another. The word “disinterested” may have a negative connotation, but it means that we love others with no conditions and no demands.
… The chaste man is the man who sees reality, and lives in accordance with reality. All virtues do that, but chastity in particular helps us to see ourselves as we really are. I am a man, made for union with a woman. The reality of our bodies reveals that sex is ordered to procreation, and also the unity of man and woman in marriage.
Sexuality typically leads to children, so it needs to be tied to a marriage that is life-long. To use sex outside of marriage is to go away from the path of human fulfillment that God ordained for our lives.”
Hudson Byblow (http://www.hudsonbyblow.com/) is a Canadian Catholic speaker who has publicly shared his struggle with same-sex attraction. He developed an addiction to pornography in his youth, and while in college, “gay” rights groups pressed students such as Hudson to “come out,” to identify themselves as homosexual and to openly live the lifestyle. At the time, Hudson accepted various statements that “gay” activists were making, such as that people are born homosexual and that 10% of the population was homosexual (i.e. don’t fight it, just accept it and the lifestyle). He had previously held back from “coming out” out of fear of hurting his family. But by 2007, he thought it was his only road to happiness.
The week he decided to “come out,” however, he went to Mass and heard a homily by a “wise, humble” priest who challenged many of the statements put forth by “gay” activists. He decided not to “come out,” and instead explore Father’s viewpoint. He read voraciously and went to the priest for confession. Hudson said, “He assured me that God loves me, which I really needed to hear, as I felt myself to be dirty and unlovable. He made me see the love of Christ as accessible to me.”
“Until that point, I had isolated myself from men, and turned to pornography as a release from my frustration. The problem is, the more I exploited others, the more I hated myself. But I found out through COURAGE that despite my past, Jesus Christ still had room for me. I realized I was not alone. There were other people like me who wanted to live right with God. They wanted to live a life with God at the center, above their sexuality.”
[Part of his recovery from the promiscuous lifestyle was] “putting the face of Christ on every person … I found it impossible to exploit people when I saw Christ in their eyes.”
[The fellowship he experienced in COURAGE gave him] “a little taste of heaven on Earth. We’re brothers fighting for the same cause: to keep Christ at the center of our lives and our embraced identities.”
“We are not merely sexual beings. Sexuality is a gift from God, our loving Creator. I am a beloved child of God first, and I love God above my sexuality. Therefore, I cannot embrace an identity centered on my sexuality, regardless of the sexual attractions I experience.”
[Today, he enjoys a peace like] “none I have ever had before [as compared to the] “hopelessness” [that he felt as he prepared to “come out.”]
[Hudson hopes that all people] “will be open to responding to this invitation with an open heart, mind and spirit. Being fully honest with ourselves is the key to experiencing the greatest degree of joy, which is something we can only achieve if we choose to reject that which is not true, and instead embrace a greater degree of truth once we become aware of it.”
“The real struggle is getting the truth of the love of Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church out to the world, especially on this sensitive topic.”
Joseph Sciambra (www.josephsciambra.com), too, was addicted to pornography in his youth. Sexually confused at age 18, he made his way to The Castro, a “gay mecca,” to immerse himself in the “gay” lifestyle for 11 years. He lived it to the extreme, even acting in “gay” porn movies. But rather than the happiness, acceptance and fulfillment he sought, he found a life of misery.
“Porn is an addiction, and it is progressive. It is comparable to being addicted to drugs. When you begin taking drugs, you don’t start with heroin, but alcohol or marijuana. You become desensitized to what you are doing, and then move onto harder drugs. When you start with porn, you don’t start with S&M, bestiality or homosexuality. You look at soft-core porn. In my generation, it was Playboy magazine.
Today, children can be introduced to sexually suggestive imagery by watching music videos featuring Britney Spears or Lady Gaga. They get hooked young, and begin to see pornography as beautiful. It re-wires the way they think about sexuality. It changes the way they become aroused. They develop a dependence on it.”
… In my 11 years in the “gay” lifestyle, and with my ministry to that community now, I have never met a happy “gay” couple. Their relationships are transitory, fleeting and physically-based. And, even for people who are supposed to be involved in monogamous relationships, it is understood that these relationships will ‘open up.’ This happens despite the fact that you may be emotionally connected and living together.”
“… I was literally shocked out of the life. I was involved with porn the day I was converted. I got sick, was in the hospital and resigned with dying. But I realized that death would lead me to hell. I didn’t want to go to hell. I wanted out of the lifestyle.
… [Regarding a deliverance he had from homosexuality, with the help of a priest] It was a year or two after I left the lifestyle, and it was still a traumatic time. I was wounded, and I was having a hard time coming back to the Catholic Church. A priest could sense I was struggling. He asked to pray over me privately. Afterwards, I felt I was freed from multiple demonic influences.
… [How the “straight” population can help those in the “gay” lifestyle] Pray, fast and make sacrifices for the conversion of people in the homosexual community. Be the light of truth to them. Be charitable. Love them. Let them know you want what is best for them. Many Christians are afraid to express such thoughts to family members or friends in the lifestyle. They think they’ll alienate them. But if done in the right way, it can be very helpful.
… [Is he happy today?] Being in the “gay” lifestyle was a search for happiness. It was restless, frantic and unfulfilling. I believed I could find happiness there, and I couldn’t. Now that I have come back to Christ and his Church and embraced chastity, I’ve never been happier.”
Posted on: Saturday, May 26, 2018
by Maike Hickson
This article was first posted May 18, 2018, at One Peter Five.
Cardinal Gerhard Müller, the former Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, has given an interview to the Italian journalist Costanza Miriano, who works for the Italian television broadcaster RIA. In this new interview, the German cardinal rejects the notion of “homophobia” and explains that it is an instrument of an ideology that is contrary to reality.
Miriano posted the interview on her own private blog, on which she also promotes two books of hers in which she advocates the traditional understanding of marriage – namely, that wives be subject to their husbands and that husbands protect their wives even with their lives. In her own introduction to the new interview, she rejects the notion of “homophobia” – i.e., an aversion against homosexuals.
According to Giuseppe Nardi of Katholisches.info – who himself reports on this new interview – the aim of much of this gender ideology is to remove homosexuality, and more recently transsexuality, from the World Health Organization (WHO) catalog of diseases. (In fact, homosexuality was already removed from the catalog in 1990, demonstrating the effectiveness of such a strategy.)
Miriano’s interview with Cardinal Müller comes in the context of his upcoming participation in the presentation of a book about a man who has homosexual inclinations but who resists them, and now describes the ideologization of this problem.
The author’s name is Daniel C. Mattson, and his book’s title is Why I Don’t Call Myself Gay: How I Reclaimed My Sexual Reality and Found Peace. (The book was first published in English by Ignatius Press, in 2017, with a preface by Cardinal Robert Sarah.) Cardinal Müller will present the Italian edition on 25 May in Rome.
In his interview with Mrs. Miriano, herself a mother of four, Cardinal Müller says the following about the concept of homophobia, in the context of the 17 May International Day Against Homophobia:
Homophobia simply does not exist. It is clearly an invention and an instrument of the totalitarian dominance over the thoughts of others. The homo-movement is lacking scientific arguments, that is why it created an ideology which wants to dominate by creating its own reality. It is the Marxist pattern according to which reality does not create thinking, but thinking creates its own reality. He who does not accept this created reality is to be considered as being sick. It is as if one could influence an illness with the help of the police or with the help of courts. In the Soviet Union, Christians were put into psychiatric clinics. These are the methods of totalitarian regimes, of National Socialism and of Communism. The same happens in North Korea to those who do not accept the reigning way of thinking.
Costanza Miriano points out that she knows of several bishops who are more conservative, but who at the same time support such initiatives against homophobia, and she asks Cardinal Müller why they accept this “game.” Cardinal Müller responds:
Some bishops today do not have the courage anymore to speak the truth, and they allow themselves to be intimidated. They do not understand that homophobia is a deception which serves to threaten people. But we Christians may not have fear in the face of threats. In the first centuries [after Christ], the disciples of Jesus were put into prison, or one had them eaten up by wild beasts. Today one tears them apart with the help of psycho terror, while at the same time making use of the lack of knowledge. However, from a bishop and from a priest, one may expect that he is capable of looking behind these ideologies. We are the ones who try, with the help of God’s Grace, to love all people, also those who feel attracted to the same sex. But it must be clear that to love does not mean to obey the gender propaganda.
With reference to Daniel C. Mattson, the author of the new book, Cardinal Müller says that he tells his own story of his homosexuality in light of these current ideologies and that he rejects being called “gay.” The cardinal insists that “he who feels such an attraction has to live chastely, just as all, all of us who are not live in a valid and true marriage have to do.”
When asked about the fact that currently this gender agenda is being promoted by many governments in the West, the German cardinal responds, saying that “our politicians in Europe have to take care of many people, of those without work, of the problem of the lack of births, of the family, of many serious problems.” Instead, he adds, “they are busy turning our democracies into totalitarian systems. Ideology in itself is violent.” “How can a parliament decide what is true and what not?” asks Müller.
With regard to the current attempts at undermining the teaching on contraception as laid out in Humanae Vitae, the cardinal says that he explains this phenomenon “with the secularization of the Church.” “For some shepherds, the Church is only a means in order to make politics, in order to please people,” he adds. “For them, it is more important to respect the masses, rather than to respect the Word of God.”
The text has been updated, in order to make clearer one statement that actually stems from Giuseppe Nardi himself.
Posted on: Monday, May 07, 2018
by Stephen M. Krason
This article was first published May 2, 2018, at Crisis Magazine.
Recently, Utah found it necessary to put a law into effect that allows “free-range parenting.” That is, parents are free to make the judgment that their children are, say, free to walk to the local park by themselves or to bike a couple of blocks away from home without child protective services showing up at their door or, worse, the police coming to arrest them for child neglect. That a law had to be passed to uphold parental authority about such things shows how outrageous the ruling perspectives on child abuse and neglect have become in recent decades, where the state is prepared to second-guess parents left and right and to routinely treat all kinds of innocent parental actions as child maltreatment.
It’s no surprise that in recent years, according to Department of HHS statistics, that upwards of 80 percent of reports of child abuse and neglect are unfounded. It’s interesting that while self-styled child advocates, their academic allies, and the sprawling child protective system (CPS) are so ready to find child maltreatment inside almost every family’s front door, they are silent about the harms to children from being brought up by same-sex (male homosexual or, more typically, lesbian) couples. Almost intuitively, the average person would think this to be a recipe for serious, perhaps life-altering, problems for such children. The research now coming out suggests that the average person’s instincts are indeed correct—even though the mainstream academic social science and related professional organizations, which long ago became apologists if not mouthpieces for the homosexualist movement, ignore or try to discredit or even suppress it.
Many are aware of University of Texas sociologist Dr. Mark Regnerus’s studies several years ago which indicated—he was careful to avoid sweeping conclusions—that, among other things, children reared in homes headed by same-sex parents were “more likely” to: have poor educational attainment, cohabit when they became adults, be sexually molested, have sexually transmitted diseases, smoke tobacco and marijuana, be on public assistance as adults, be in mental health counseling or therapy and suffer from depression, and get into trouble with the law. Regnerus’s careful research, not unexpectedly, was met by denunciation from mainstream social scientists, who claimed his research was flawed without even seriously examining his data. The peer-reviewed professional journal that published the results of his studies was attacked, and the charge made that its review procedure was flawed. He was even subjected to a “scientific misconduct” investigation by his university, which ultimately exonerated him.
The attack on Regnerus occurred simply because of the overwhelming pro-homosexualist bias of mainstream social science and the efforts of homosexualist organizations against him.
The research of Fr. D. Paul Sullins, Ph.D., an emeritus professor of sociology at The Catholic University of America who has been connected with the Marriage and Religion Research Institute at CUA and now the Ruth Institute, has confirmed and expanded on Regnerus’s earlier findings. I have known Fr. Sullins for many years, as he has been a fellow board member of the Society of Catholic Social Scientists and is also the organization’s chaplain. He was one of the Episcopal clergy who converted to Catholicism and under the special provision put in place by Pope John Paul II was ordained to the priesthood. Like Regnerus, he’s a careful and ethical researcher who aims for what social science scholarship is supposed to be about: discerning the truth.
Fr. Sullins has convincingly shown that it is the research of the mainstream social scientists who have sought to deny the harm of same-sex parenting that is flawed. Not only have the sample of people they studied been too small to truly examine the question, but they have studied only what he calls “conveniently available or selected groups of participants, usually parents recruited from homophile sources.” The result was a “strong bias toward positive findings.” At the same time, their writing has refused to address the contrary findings. These have been either “dismissed in footnotes on specious grounds or, more commonly, simply ignored.” Among the studies that they have ignored which showed “substantially higher rates of problems or functional deficiencies among children with same-sex parents,” Sullins tells us, have been those relying on “large statistically representative” samples from the Centers for Disease Control and the University of North Carolina’s National Longitudinal Survey of Adolescent Health.
Sullins’s own research has shown the following. In comparison to children with opposite-sex parents, children in the care of same-sex couples, were: almost twice as likely to have a developmental disability; almost twice as likely to have had medical treatment for an emotional problem and three times as likely to have had medicine prescribed for a psychological condition in the past year before the study; ten times more likely to have been sexually touched by a parent or other adult and four times more likely to have been forced to have sex against their will; less likely, when reaching adolescence, to have romantic relationships or to see themselves in a future relationship involving pregnancy or marriage (which suggests that their situation influences them away from relationships with the opposite sex); twice as likely, when becoming adults, to suffer from depression and four times as likely to consider suicide; more likely to use tobacco and marijuana and to have been arrested and then pled guilty of a crime; and three times more likely to be unemployed, receiving public assistance, or if later married to have had adulterous relationships. By the time women who had grown up in same-sex headed households reached age thirty, they were only half as likely to be married or in a relationship lasting three or more years and only a third as likely to have ever been pregnant.
In his writing, Sullins also speaks about much earlier studies—before even Regnerus’s—which showed the harms of same-sex parenting and were also ignored by mainstream social science. He mentions Paul Cameron’s studies, which—confirmed by Sullins later—showed that children with same-sex parents were more likely to be sexually molested. Their households were also more likely to witness domestic violence and, unsurprisingly, the children were more likely to become homosexual themselves. If the harm-deniers could dismiss Cameron because he heads the Family Research Institute, which is concerned about issues that threaten the family as traditionally understood, they would be more hard-pressed to reject Sotirios Sarantakos. Sarantakos is a noted Australian sociologist and authority on research design and methods. Studying elementary school children, he found that those from same-sex led households suffered considerable educational and social deficiencies.
Like Regnerus, Sullins is careful to avoid sweeping or unsubstantiated conclusions. He says that as in other situations where there is not an intact family with two married opposite-sex parents—as when there is a divorce or cohabitation—“most children still turn out all right.” Nevertheless, the “primary harm” to children from same-sex parenting, as suggested by the research findings noted, is “developmental”—with consequences not apparent until at least early adulthood. He concludes that while we don’t yet know enough, it’s certain that “the idea of ‘no differences’ is clearly false.” Sullins’s cautious conclusions didn’t stop the mainstream social science organizations from making false claims that he had used faulty research methods and—as with Regnerus—the journals that he published his findings in had slipshod review procedures. In fact, Sullins published them in international medical journals, where he knew the standards for review are more rigorous than in mainline U.S. social science journals—but also where genuine objectivity, as opposed to ideology, still rules. An article in Mercator.Net about Sullins’s work explains the air-tightness of his research methods and also notes that the mainline social science journals have been strikingly silent about the review procedures used for the harm-denial articles they routinely run.
Even if further research makes the harm of same-sex parenting indisputable—which, to this social scientist, is virtually so already—don’t
expect mainstream social science to accept it. Ideology has long-since replaced true scholarship there—they are blind followers masquerading
as independent thinkers at the cutting edge. Also, don’t expect the CPS to start thinking that the damage caused to children by same-sex parenting—and
certainly not the whole notion of same-sex parenting itself—qualifies as child maltreatment. The CPS’s leaders and operatives are formed
by and most accept without much question the perspectives of mainstream social science—including its ideologically grounded biases. Most
are trained in the social work field and where its mainstream was seen a few years ago when a cadre of homosexual alumni from my university pressured
it to delete homosexuality from a list of behaviors to be studied in a course on deviant behavior by contacting the secular social work accrediting
agency, which they knew would agree with them. Besides, the CPS is too busy persecuting parents for innocent, commonsensical, traditional parenting
practices—routinely treating such things as simple spanking as child abuse and free-range parenting as neglect—to be concerned about
the problems Regnerus, Sullins, and the others have identified.
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.