Ruth Speaks Out

This blog is maintained by the Ruth Institute. It provides a place for our Circle of Experts to express themselves. This is where the scholars, experts, students and followers of the Ruth Institute engage in constructive dialogue about the issues surrounding the Sexual Revolution. We discuss public policy, social practices, legal doctrines and much more.


The World Health Organization Abortion Problem

The World Health Organization, long a supporter of abortion, has also become a rubber stamp for China during the pandemic. Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who was supported in his candidacy by China, directed the WHO to resist a travel ban from China, which could have drastically reduced the spread of the disease.

Of the World Health Organization’s decision to back China, Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse said, “WHO went along with China’s opposition to a travel ban – which would have saved millions of lives, had it been put into effect early on. In December 2019, WHO even denied that human to human transmission was possible, again following party line.”

The World Health Organization has decided it will classify which method of killing a baby is safe and which is unsafe. In doing so, they only base their determination on the health of the mother, which should be considered, but they fail to consider the safety of the baby. When killing a baby, every option and every method is fundamentally unsafe for the child. Incredibly, the WHO seems to trumpet the number of abortions, and classifies the different sets of abortions into "safe" and "unsafe." They said, in a 2012 publication, that 47,000 women die from “unsafe” abortions worldwide annually. Another World Health Organization report states that there are 25,000,000 unsafe abortions annually. What the World Health Organization fails to either comprehend or explain is that every single unsafe abortion leads to the death of the baby. So in reality, there are 25,047,000 deaths from unsafe abortions.


 

That number, however, isn't the full picture. More recent numbers suggest that the number of women who die from “unsafe” abortions annually has dropped to 22,000. While the decrease of adult deaths is laudable, the deaths of babies in unsafe abortions remains unbelievably high, worldwide. The World Health Organization estimates approximately 73,000,000 “induced” abortions annually. To put that in more relatable terms, that is as though we were killing off the combined populations of Spain, Sweden, and the Netherlands every year. No wonder we’re heading toward demographic winter.

 

The World Health Organization, in its push for ever more abortions, makes deft use of propaganda. In keeping with the norms of propaganda, as explained by Sue Ellen Browder, the WHO combines truth with misinformation, with devastating effect for the babies involved. The principal concern, reiterated their website, is to encourage the health and human rights of the women. The health and well-being of the babies, however, never seems to make it on to their publications. It is almost as though to justify killing small people, they have to dehumanize them.

To further make this point, the World Health Organization abortion literature promotes “safe” abortions. It defines “unsafe” abortions as “when [abortion] is carried out either by a person lacking the necessary skills or in an environment that does not conform to minimal medical standards, or both.” Again, the information is focused on the health of the adult, and no mention is made of the health, safety, or even life of the baby. The more unconscionable stance taken by the World Health Organization is that their guidelines for “reproductive care” only encompass 1/3rd of the people involved in reproduction.

Even during the pandemic, when the principal concern of the World Health Organization has been to preserve life (at least from the disease), the WHO doubled down on women still needing access to “safe” abortions. “Services related to reproductive health are considered to be part of essential services during the COVID outbreak…This includes contraception, quality health care during and after pregnancy and childbirth, and safe abortion to the full extent of the law” (emphasis added). Little wonder that an organization with conflicting purposes, continues to undervalue human life.

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, with her characteristic candor, brought needed clarity and truth to the discussion. She said “In reality, abortion is never safe for the unborn child or for society. In America, ‘safe, elective abortion,’ has led to such horrors as late-term abortion, abortions performed on minors without parental consent, abortion as a form of birth control, violating conscience rights and the sale of fetal body parts.”

 

Despite this gross undervaluing of human life by the World Health Organization, and the obvious contradictions in logic, the Biden Administration, decided to restore $200 million in funding to the WHO. Perhaps it is only natural for a country which is engaged in systematic genocide against an ethnic and religious minority, to support an organization which facilitates and encourages millions of preventable deaths each year.

For its part, the Biden Administration seems to be in lock-step with the radical agenda of Planned Parenthood. Following up on his campaign trail promise to reverse the Hyde Amendment, President Biden has rescinded the Mexico City policy. Dr. Morse commented on the moves by the Biden Administration, “It’s not exactly shocking that restoring funding to the World Health Organization was one of Biden’s first moves as president.”

While this policy may serve the ideals of the Sexual State, it undermines the confidence of people around the country, and world, who look to the government as the primary guarantor of the right to life.

Abortion and Breast Cancer Link

 

 

 


Mr. President, Your Allies Are Coming for Your Fellow Catholics | Opinion

 

by Mary Eberstadt, Senior Research Fellow, Faith and Reason Institute

This piece originally published at Newsweek on February 15, 2021.

Dear President Biden,

This is my second open letter in Newsweek since your election, trying to reach your ear as a fellow American Catholic.

Following your inauguration, my first letter urged you to stand in solidarity with the pro-life movement by sending a message to the annual March for Life in January. Such a magnanimous gesture, I explained, would have underlined the lofty rhetoric of your inaugural address, especially among those whom you singled out for reassurance: Americans who did not vote for you.

To understate, you declined that invitation to bipartisan statesmanship. Instead, your first initiatives in office included executive orders that will swell the number of abortions not only in the United States, but around the world. That longstanding discrepancy between your Church's teaching, on the one hand, and your pro-abortion policies, on the other, might never give you pause. But one other new development should.


Mr. President, the election has emboldened your liberal and progressive allies to target for ostracism and punishment a new band of "deplorables": your fellow Catholics.

Exhibit A: On January 24, 2021, Twitter locked the account of Catholic World Report, the online magazine of Ignatius Press. IP is the largest Catholic publishing house in the Anglosphere. It issues volumes by popes, cardinals, bishops and other men and women of the cloth, as well as lay authors (this one included). CWR is its news arm. Like other Ignatius Press publications, the site leans in toward history and scholarship. Its essay section recently featured one piece on the Gnostic heresy, another on the future of Western civilization and another comparing translations of St. Augustine's Confessions.

Mr. President, the notion that cerebral CWR could run afoul of any "community standards" is prima facie risible. So how did this Catholic outlet find itself in the censorship crosshairs? Because of a news item reading as follows:

Biden plans to nominate Dr. Rachel Levine, a biological man identifying as a transgender woman who has served as Pennsylvania's health secretary since 2017, to be HHS Assistant Secretary for Health. Levine is also a supporter of the contraceptive mandate.

Without further explanation, Twitter ruled that CWR had violated its rules "against hateful conduct."

Days later, authorities relented and restored the account. But the message they sent was loud and menacing. If a cultural authority as established as Ignatius Press can be punished online for being Catholic, who will be spared?

This brings us to Exhibit B. Within days of your inauguration, an online mob tried to oust a professor from his post at a Catholic university.

That was David Upham, associate professor of politics at the University of Dallas—an institution renowned for its non-dissident Catholicism. Upham's purported thought crime, like that of Catholic World Report, was commenting on the appointment of Dr. Levine, including a remark about "participat[ing] in these falsehoods" about transgenderism.

And so, in a pattern repeated ad nauseam these days, an online rabble led by a transgender alumnus organized a petition and ratcheted up the pressure to oust the professor. This time around, the woke pile-on failed. University of Dallas authorities refused to genuflect; instead, a joint letter from the provost and president affirmed that "The university embraces unreservedly the Church's articulation of the moral law."

Once again, however, the implied message was ominous. If a tenured professor at a flagship American Catholic university could be threatened in this way, who's next?

This brings us to Exhibit C: social media censorship of religious traditionalists—especially your fellow Catholics—has accelerated during your brief time in office.

For instance, yet another Catholic publisher, TAN Books, has found numerous ads for its books suddenly removed from Facebook and Instagram. One was a volume about Mary called The Anti-Mary Exposed. Another was Motherhood Redeemed, a critical look at radical feminism. A third was a book on Karl Marx by a professor at Grove City College. A fourth was a primer about the Stations of the Cross, written for children. Ads from another small business, which sold prints of the Sacred Heart, were deemed unacceptable and removed.

Given that big tech will make examples even of small businesses, Exhibit D should come as no surprise: social media sporadically suppresses Catholic voices—especially influential pro-life ones.

So, for example, the Susan B. Anthony List—run by prominent Catholic Marjorie Dannenfelser, one of the leading pro-life voices in the United States—has been bedeviled online repeatedly. During the election, Facebook refused to allow the group's ads to run in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. Other instances of interference with the SBA List and other pro-life organizations abound—too many to recount here; see this link.

Mr. President, next consider Exhibit E: the stigmatizing of groups dedicated to Church teaching via spurious accusations of "hate."

On December 9, 2020, NBC News published a story that uncritically accepted the Southern Poverty Law Center's designations of certain organizations as "hate groups." These now include Christian organizations being singled out for their fealty to...well, Christianity. One such is the Ruth Institute, whose mission—in the words of its Catholic founder Jennifer Roback Morse—is opposing "sex abuse, pornography, and divorce."

Read the rest of the article.

 

 


SPLC denounced as ‘thoroughly disgraced’ after labeling pro-life, family organizations as ‘hate groups’

This article was posted at Catholic News Agency February 2, 2021.

Critics of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) say the organization has become extreme and “thoroughly disgraced,” after the center released its 2020 “census of hate groups,” which included numerous pro-life and family organizations.

Since 1990, the SPLC has issued an annual list of hate groups, listing organizations such as the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazis. More recently, however, it has also included pro-life and pro-traditional marriage Christian organizations as “anti-LGBTQ hate groups.”

Many of these groups are well-respected, such as the Ruth Institute, Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), Family Research Council, and several smaller Christian churches.


“Influential anti-LGBTQ hate groups,” the latest SPLC report says, “became further entrenched in the Trump White House, and the Trump administration continued its years-long pattern of appointing federal judges with ties to anti-LGBTQ groups. The most high-profile of these appointments was Amy Coney Barrett, who joined the Supreme Court last fall and has ties to Alliance Defending Freedom, which SPLC has designated an anti-LGBTQ hate group.”

Jeremy Tedesco, senior counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom, responded that “ADF is one of the nation’s most respected and successful Supreme Court advocates, and has won 11 cases at the U.S. Supreme Court since 2011.”

“We work to preserve fundamental freedoms of speech, religion, and conscience for all Americans,” Tedesco told CNA. “Once a respected civil rights organization, the Southern Poverty Law Center has destroyed its own credibility because of its blatant partisan agenda and discredited fundraising scheme. It has devolved into a group that attacks and spreads lies about organizations and people who do not agree with its far-left agenda.”

ADF has created a website responding to the SPLC's allegations.

The most recent SPLC report was released February 1. It presents a series of proposals, including a demand that “public figures involved in inciting and giving encouragement to the armed insurrectionists who stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 — destroying property, injuring dozens of officers, and leaving five people dead – should be permanently deplatformed from all social media. In addition, corporations should permanently suspend political donations to Members of Congress and other elected officials that helped incite the violent siege and request that any past political donations to their campaigns be returned.”

In 2019, the SPLC’s reputation as a watchdog of injustice and inequality suffered a major hit when co-founder Morris Dees was forced to resign after serious allegations of racism and misogyny.

However, inclusion on the SPLC’s “hate group list” still has negative consequences. For example, online retail giant Amazon has used the list to disqualify nonprofit organizations from using the “Amazon Smile” program to receive donations.

Last year, NBC reported as scandalous that as 14 organizations designated “hate groups” by the SPLC benefited from the Paycheck Protection Program, designed to provide relief to small businesses affected by the coronavirus lockdowns.

Among the groups listed was the Ruth Institute, a pro-life organization based in Louisiana. Its founder and president, Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, said the group faced bad publicity and unfair bias from the report.

“NBC relies on the Southern Poverty Law Center for the ‘hate group’ designation. This just means the Ruth Institute is a group the SPLC hates. Big deal. They raise a lot of money with their hate-mongering tactics. In 2018, their net assets were a half billion dollars,” Morse said.

Morse said “the Ruth Institute is a global, non-profit organization leading an international, interfaith coalition to defend the family and build a civilization of love. If fighting sex abuse, pornography, and divorce makes us a hate group, so be it.”

Keep reading.


CA demands insurance companies cover breast removals for trans teen girls

The Department of Insurance, led by openly homosexual Ricardo Lara, reclassified normal breasts as ‘abnormal structures of the body caused by congenital defects.’

This article, which quotes Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, was written by Doug Mainwaring and posted January 6, 2021, at Life News.


SACRAMENTO, California, January 6, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — California’s Department of Insurance has signaled it will now require health insurance companies operating in the state to cover double mastectomies for gender dysphoric teenage girls. The government agency asserted the removal of their breasts is no longer considered “cosmetic” surgery but is instead required “reconstructive” surgery of “abnormal structures of the body caused by congenital defects.”

In other words, the healthy breasts of confused teenage girls are deemed “abnormal structures” and “congenital defects” if that girl decides she is a boy. The state of California now equates breasts on gender dysphoric young girls with other medical conditions such as cancer or trauma.

The move by the commissioner’s office was triggered by an inquiry from San Diego’s TransFamily Support Services regarding past denials of coverage for “male chest surgery for patients under 18 years old who are transitioning from female to male.”

 


 

“For far too long, individuals diagnosed with gender dysphoria have had to battle a host of challenges to get access to gender-affirming care in order to be their true selves,” said Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara in a statement, responding to the transgender activist organization.

Lara blamed “[s]ocial stigma, misconceptions about gender dysphoria and its treatment, and outdated medical criteria,” which he insisted without exception are “barriers to necessary medical care that can lead to tragic results for individuals with gender dysphoria, especially for our transgender youth.”

Lara himself is openly homosexual.

At Lara’s urging, the Insurance Department’s General Counsel issued an Opinion Letter stating that “denying coverage for mastectomy and reconstruction of a male chest based solely on age is impermissible under state laws requiring coverage of reconstructive surgery.”

Brandon Showalter, a journalist who in recent years has emerged as an expert on the tragic medical mutilation of healthy young bodies enabled by the cult of transgenderism, called the procedure “breast amputation surgery.”

The change in language is an “unethical, predatory, and despicable attempt to even more viciously abuse children via gender ideology,” Maria Keffler, co-founder of the recently-formed Partners for Ethical Care, told Showalter on Monday.

“By circumventing parental consent in order to medicalize children without any minimum age restriction, the California Department of Insurance, whose very letterhead claims to ‘Protect, Prevent, and Preserve’, does exactly the opposite,” said Keffler.

“The active promotion of transgenderism has resulted in massive uncontrolled and unconsented experimentation upon children and adolescents,” Dr. Michelle Cretella, MD, FCP, president of the American College of Pediatricians told LifeSiteNews previously. “This is child abuse.”

“Transgenderism is a psychological disorder, not a biological one,” said Cretella.

“The commissioner is requiring insurance companies to pay surgeons to remove the healthy breasts of emotionally distraught girls and women and implying it is ‘necessary treatment’ — yet we already have multiple studies demonstrating that mutilation does not treat gender dysphoria,” Cretella told PJ Media’s Tyler O’Neil.

...

 

“This is the Sexual State at work,” declared Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, author and founder of the Ruth Institute.

“The insurance companies, no doubt, would prefer not to pay for expensive, unnecessary surgery. And now the Insurance Commission, which is a relatively obscure agency of the state, is acting at the behest of activists, putting pressure on insurance companies.”

Roback Morse told LifeSiteNews that she wondered if the California Insurance Commission will apply the same amount of pressure to health insurance providers to cover surgery costs when these same patients choose to revert to their biological sex in the future.

Read the full article here.

 

 


Make 2021 the Year of Truth

COMMENTARY: The United States is deciding right now what and who it is going to be for the next 500 years.

by Jennifer Roback Morse

This article was first posted

The year 2020 was tough. Many of us had been joking about how great it would be when 2020 ended and we could start fresh again. But in our hearts, we know that 2021 is not likely to be any better. In fact, given the events of yesterday, it may be worse. We are afraid to face this: We feel as if we are staring into the abyss. We can’t figure out what to do. So, we do nothing, and scare ourselves even more.

Therefore, let us face our fear.

The world we once knew is gone.

That world is not coming back.


We in the United States have enjoyed a period of peace and unprecedented prosperity. We never imagined that in our own lifetimes our nation could be radically transformed. But here we are on the precipice of dramatic change.

Every 500 years or so, the world shakes itself apart. Five hundred years after the Great Schism in 1054, the unity of Christendom was shattered further, this time by reformers and revolutionaries. Those events within the Church shaped the world for the next 500 years, for better or for worse. Similar shake-ups happened through inventions and discoveries like those from the turn of the 15th century through the 16th century, when the New World was discovered.

Today, the world is shaking itself apart once again. The country that inaugurated the “March of Democracy” and self-government has degenerated into a technocratic oligarchy with powers beyond Machiavelli’s wildest dreams. What was once an age of reason and science has morphed into an age of “political science”: Scientific truth is whatever the people in power say it is. What was touted as an age of religious tolerance has become the age of more Christian martyrs than all the preceding centuries combined.

Yes, our world is shaking itself apart. But, eventually, the upheaval will come to an end, and our world will reorganize and stabilize. We are deciding right now what and who we are going to be for the next 500 years.

In my opinion, the One Big Issue, the issue behind all the other issues, is the issue of truth. The people who have claimed for years that there is no such thing as “truth” have revealed themselves as either self-deluded fools at best or flat-out liars at worst. Their claims were meant to disarm you and me from fighting for the truth. “That will lead to an inquisition,” they said. Guess what? They are running inquisitions left and right, literally.

We can safely predict that moral relativism as an intellectually respectable philosophy is dead and gone — and good riddance. Oh, sure, some people will continue to talk that way. But fewer and fewer people will take that talk at face value. No one can any longer hide behind the idea that “my truth” is a sovereign that demands unquestioning respect from others. For us as believers, this means that we can’t hide behind our First Amendment “rights” to our beliefs no matter how irrational they may seem to others. We must be prepared to publicly defend our beliefs and our conduct with reasoned arguments.

This may sound as if we are abandoning our First Amendment religious-liberty protections. Newsflash: We have already lost nearly all of our basic religious liberties. Our very capable attorneys are fighting for their lives for scraps from the table of the Secular Ruling Class.

On the plus side: The Secular Ruling Class must also justify and explain itself. When they claim that truth leads to tyranny, more of us will recognize this as a con job. What they are really saying is, “This is what we want. We can’t defend it. We’re hoping to scare you into not defending your beliefs. We are going to try to chase you off the field by undermining your confidence in the very idea of truth itself.” When they talk about “their truth,” we will recognize that what they mean is: “Now that we have power, we’re going to do what we want.”

And “what they want” is none too attractive. In the recent past, we have seen shocking revelations of wrongdoing by the rich and powerful. We have become aware of the sexual abuse of children in public schools, the Boy Scouts, sports and, most scandalous of all, in churches, especially our own Roman Catholic Church. We have become aware of the weaker being sexually harassed by the stronger: employees by their employers; aspiring actors by producers; seminarians by their religious superiors. We’ve become aware of the collusion of public officials and businesses with enemies of the United States.

These revelations have been demoralizing. But now that we are getting used to the idea, we can see that the revelations are actually a double blessing. First, we are better off knowing than not knowing. These things have undoubtedly been going on in secret for a long time. Second, these activities are now widely decried as indefensible and wrong. No moral relativism here!

We should be grateful, not fearful, when the new year brings further revelations of wrongdoing. I like to picture the Holy Mother of God lifting up rocks. Dark, slimy, creepy-crawly things are scurrying around, looking for cover.

Once we know the problems, we have an obligation to deal with them to the best of our ability. For those with specialized professional skills and connections, that means jumping into the judicial or medical or political or ecclesial or media fray. Fight for the truth, and stop cooperating with untruth in your area of expertise.

Many of us will take smaller and less public steps. Maybe you’ll be the church secretary or election observer who blows the whistle. Maybe you’ll be the friend who gives a fired whistleblower another job and a place to live. Maybe you’ll keep rallying your friends and family to keep attention on the problems you know about. Choose an arena in which you can accomplish something, small though it may seem. But do something.

Up until now, the enemy has conquered by winning lots of little skirmishes, taking lots of small fields. Most of the time, he was unopposed.

No more. Make up your mind to get together with fellow believers and educate yourselves. Speak the truth. Take a stand.

How we conduct ourselves as believers today will have far-reaching consequences. Let 2021 be the Year of Truth.

 


NBC Again Smears Ruth Inst. as a “Hate Group”

“NBC’s second broadside against the Ruth Institute is both predictable and pathetic,” said Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D., the Institute’s founder and president.

Following its December 9 story, on December 12, NBC did another “exposé” of supposed hate groups that received funding under the Paycheck Protection Program, using information provided by the thoroughly partisan Southern Poverty Law Center.

“SPLC has become the attack dog of the Sexual Revolution,” said Morse. “Its victims include the American Family Association, Family Research Council, the American College of Pediatricians, and Liberty Counsel, as well as the Ruth Institute.

“SPLC’s formula is the essence of simplicity. If you oppose same-sex marriage, you’re a hate group. If you affirm that there’s no science behind what’s called transgenderism, you’re hateful.”


Morse added, “Like so many Sexual Revolutionary groups, NBC and SPLC have given in to the totalitarian impulse. Their tactics are meant to foreclose debate. If they pin the ‘hateful’ label on an organization, no one has to consider its arguments. Because neither entity can answer our arguments, they try to label us hateful and ignore us. It’s a sign of intellectual impotence.

“The Ruth Institute has fought many of the worst effects of the Sexual Revolution. More than any other organization, we have exposed clerical sex abuse. We also provide support for the victims of divorce, pornography, and other forms of sexual exploitation.

“Far from helping victims, NBC has been credibly accused by its former reporter, Ronan Farrow, of shutting down an investigation of charges of sex abuse against former studio head Harvey Weinstein.

“So, while the Ruth Institute was working to support victims of sex abuse, according to Farrow, NBC was protecting a sex offender.”

Morse noted ironically, “We’ve got to be one of the few ‘hate groups’ whose leadership and staff include Catholics, a Jew and an Orthodox priest, as well as Evangelicals, Pentecostals and Mormons. We have also collaborated with African pro-life groups, trying to help them protect their right to have as many children as they want. Odd behavior for a group that is allegedly the Second Coming of the Ku Klux Klan.”

Late last week, in association with Life Petitions, the Ruth Institute launched a petition demanding NBC issue a retraction of its December 9 story, stop using the Southern Poverty Law Center as a source, and “cease harassing and defaming organizations that are working to defend the family, the bedrock of American civilization.” The petition gathered more than 6,600 signatures in just a few days despite the busy holiday season.

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

The Ruth Institute is a global, non-profit organization leading an international, interfaith coalition to defend the family and build a civilization of love.

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


Ruth Inst. and Life Petitions Demand NBC Stop Smearing Pro-Family Groups

Life Petitions and the Ruth Institute have launched an online petition demanding NBC retract its December 9 story, insinuating the Institute is a hate group.

Ruth Institute President Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D., explained: “Using the Southern Poverty Law Center as its source, NBC reported that 14 ‘hate groups’ received a total of $4.3 million in COVID relief administered by the Small Business Administration.

“The Institute was one of the smallest recipients, receiving $30,000 through the Paycheck Protection Program, which allowed us to keep the lights on and pay staff salaries.”

The petition notes: “By the SPLC’s standards, hate groups would also include women’s athletic associations which oppose allowing ‘transgendered’ men to compete in women’s sports. Likewise, parents who object to men in cocktail dresses and tiaras interacting with children at Drag Queen Story Hour are equally hateful.”

The petition discloses that the sum received by the Ruth Institute was a trifling compared to the millions given to Planned Parenthood affiliates and strip clubs.

“Apparently, the SPLC finds nothing hateful about the killing of unborn children and nothing degrading to women about pole dancing. With its story on ‘hate groups’ getting COVID relief, NBC has firmly established itself as a tool of the Sexual Revolution.”

Morse said NBC’s credibility problems go far beyond its December 9 story. “During the past campaign, coverage by the networks, including NBC, was 67% positive for Biden but 95% negative for Trump.”

The petition charges: “On the sexual front, NBC’s biases stand out as particularly odious. Ronan Farrow, formerly an NBC News investigative reporter, credibly claims they ordered him to stop investigating the Harvey Weinstein story. NBC denies this, but their denial is flimsy.”


Besides the retraction of its story, the petition demands that NBC stop using SPLC as a source, and “cease harassing and defaming organizations that are working to defend the family, the bedrock of American civilization.”

The Ruth Institute is a global, non-profit organization leading an international, interfaith coalition to defend the family and build a civilization of love.

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

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



PornHub's Problem isn't Consent

This article was originally published December 17, 2020 in the National Catholic Register.

by Jennifer Roback Morse

I commend New York Times writer Nicholas Kristof, Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., and Visa and Mastercard for exposing and fighting the plague of the sexual exploitation of children on the internet. Kristof’s pathbreaking story shows just how widespread kiddie porn really is, and how easily the innocent can be entrapped in its snares. Hawley has introduced legislation making it easier for victims to sue. And Visa and Mastercard have withdrawn their services from the Pornhub site. This issue transcends liberal and conservative, left and right. However, something more needs to be said.

In his Dec. 4 story, Kristof focused on the pornography distribution site Pornhub. He noted that a search on the site for “girls under 18” and “14yo” both yielded more than 100,000 videos. They include the rape of children, as well as strangulation and other vile acts. The mega-site attracts more than 3.5-billion visits a month, making it the 10th most-visited website in the world.


Largely in response to this story, Visa and Mastercard announced that they would no longer allow their cards to be used to pay for services on Pornhub. In addition, Hawley filed the Survivors of Human Trafficking Fight Back Act, creating a private cause of action for victims of rape and sex trafficking. The act would allow victims to sue websites that knowingly depict forced sex acts, criminalize the knowing distribution of videos of coerced sex acts, including criminalize “revenge porn,” which is the non-consensual distribution of sexually explicit images by an ex-lover to cause embarrassment or distress to the victim.

All these are good steps. I very much appreciate Kristof and The New York Times for this reporting. However, there is still one thing that troubles me.

Kristof stated, “The issue is not pornography but rape. Let’s agree that promoting assaults on children or on anyone without consent is unconscionable. The problem with Bill Cosby or Harvey Weinstein or Jeffrey Epstein was not the sex but the lack of consent — and so it is with Pornhub. ... It should be possible to be sex positive and Pornhub negative.”

Perhaps it “should be possible.” But I’m not convinced. I think this is one of those exquisite distinctions that is possible in theory, but not possible in fact. The reason? The underlying principle of pornography is that sex is a recreational activity with no intrinsic moral or social significance. The only possible problem with porn or with any sex really, is a lack of consent. Assenting to this view of human sexuality is, I suppose, what it means to be “sex positive.

But this view places more weight on the concept of “consent” than it can reasonably bear. We’ve seen throughout the #MeToo movement, that power imbalances can blur the lines between consensual and nonconsensual sex. As Catholics, we have seen many of our bishops ignore the sexual harassment of seminarians, under the theory that they were adults. And I think we have all seen enough to conclude that being “sex positive” does not actually empower the potentially weaker party. Potential victims, such as seminarians in relation to their superiors, employees in relation to their bosses, and children in relation to anybody, are not in a position to give meaningful consent. Our current crop of ideas about sexuality actually disarms potential victims, placing too much responsibility on their shoulders and ignoring their vulnerability relative to the offenders.

Kristof quotes some of the victims. Their responses are telling.

"I had expected the survivors to want to shut down Pornhub and send its executives to prison. Some did, but others were more nuanced. Lydia, now 20, was trafficked as a child and had many rape videos posted on the site. “My stomach hurts all the time” from the tension, she told me, but she doesn’t want to come across as hostile to porn itself.

“I don’t want people to hear ‘No porn!’” Lydia told me. “It’s more like, ‘Stop hurting kids.’”

In my opinion, Lydia doesn’t need to be “nuanced.” She has every reason to be angry. She should not have to worry about whether she comes across as “hostile to porn.” She has every right to be just as darned hostile as she wants.

Here is Kristof again:

"I asked Leo, 18, who had videos of himself posted on Pornhub when he was 14, what he suggested.

“That’s tough,” he said. “My solution would be to leave porn to professional production companies,” because they require proof of age and consent."

I don’t think this line can hold. “Consent” isn’t strong enough. An arbitrary age isn’t strong enough. The underlying problem is that too many of us believe sex is a recreational activity to which all consenting adults are entitled. In fact, some go so far as to believe that a person cannot have a healthy or meaningful life without plentiful sexual activity.

These ideas about human sexuality have put down very deep roots in individual minds and in public institutions. As a culture, we have no objective moral reference point by which to judge any particular intimate encounter, apart from “consent." And let’s face it, we can easily deceive ourselves when we are deciding whether to excuse ourselves or restrain ourselves. In an intimate encounter, almost by definition, there is no one else around to judge us. The power of “sex positive” ideas will bulldoze through the thin line of “consent.”

I propose an alternative view of human sexuality. No one is “entitled” to sexual activity. Sex is something sacred, that potentially holds the literal power of life and death. The lifegiving potential of sex, the life-threatening power of sexual exploitation, we should accept these as facts, not as outmoded prejudices that we are well rid of.

I don’t think poor Leo should be put in a position to have to say this is “tough.” What happened to him was wrong. What led up to what happened to him was also wrong, including the thought processes and ideas.

I hope people from across the political spectrum can work together to eliminate the sexual exploitation of children. It’s an issue of justice for the victims of child sex abuse. This plague is eating away at the soul of our society. I appreciate Nicholas Kristof’s important work on this subject. I do hope he will be willing to rethink some of his ideas. He is right on the brink of a breakthrough. And I also hope everyone reading this, will pray for him.

 



NBC News and SPLC Spread Fake Hate

stop fake hate, fake hate damages lives and livelihoods, fake hate, traditional christianity is not fake hateIn response to a December 9 NBC News story alleging the Ruth Institute is a “hate group,” the Institute’s President, Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse Ph.D., called the charge “an outrage.”

“The Ruth Institute is a global, non-profit organization leading an international, interfaith coalition to defend the family and build a civilization of love,” Morse said. “If fighting sex abuse, pornography, and divorce makes us a hate group, so be it.

“The Ruth Institute has done two thorough statistical analyses of clergy sex abuse in the Catholic Church, pulling no punches, sparing no sacred cows. Meanwhile, NBC News has a terrible record on sexual abuse. Ronan Farrow credibly claims that they ordered him to stop investigating the Harvey Weinstein story.”

The NBC story that provoked Morse’s comments concerned the Paycheck Protections Program, designed to provide relief to small businesses affected by the coronavirus lockdowns. NBC reported that 14 organizations – designated hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center – got a total of $4.3 million in disaster relief administered by the Small Business Administration.


“NBC relies on the Southern Poverty Law Center for the ‘hate group’ designation. This just means the Ruth Institute is a group the SPLC hates. Big deal. They raise a lot of money with their hate-mongering tactics. In 2018, their net assets were a half billion dollars,” Morse said.

Like NBC, the SPLC has its own credibility problems on sexual issues. According to PJ Media’s Tyler O’Neil, author of the book, Making Hate Pay, SPLC: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center, SPLC Founder Morris Dees has been accused of harassment and creating a difficult environment for female employees.

The NBC story also quoted “experts” who are “troubled” by these “extremist groups” receiving federal stimulus money.


Morse noted: “The NBC article is a thinly veiled call for more government oversight of these loans. The reporters sought experts who would muse aloud about whether the government should forgive Paycheck Protection Program loans to these groups subjectively designated as ‘hate groups.’ The Ruth Institute received roughly $30,000 through the Paycheck Protection Program. That’s a fraction of the funding received by Planned Parenthood affiliates.”

Additionally, according to Reuters, dozens of strip clubs qualified for between $11.5 million and $27.95 million in COVID disaster relief. “We fight the idea that women are merchandise. They promote it,” Morse said.

She concluded: “The Ruth Institute has done as much as anyone to keep the issue of clergy sexual abuse in the Catholic Church in the public eye. In addition to our statistical analyses, we have given a platform to victims of clergy sexual abuse. Both the SPLC and NBC are morally compromised on sexual issues. Those creeps have a lot of nerve going after us.”

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

The Ruth Institute is a global, non-profit organization leading an international, interfaith coalition to defend the family and build a civilization of love.

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

 

 



Internet Child Porn Issue Transcends Left and Right--Ruth Inst.

“We commend New York Times writer Nicholas Kristof and U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) for exposing and fighting the plague of the sexual exploitation of children on the internet,” said Ruth Institute President Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D.

In a December 4 story, Kristof focused on the pornography distribution site Pornhub. Morse commented: “The writer noted that a search on the site for ‘girls under 18’ and ‘14yo’ each yielded more than 100,000 videos.”

She charged: “The Pornhub videos include the rape of children, as well as revenge pornography, strangulation, and other vile acts. The mega-site, which attracts more than 3.5 billion visits a month, making it the 10th most-visited website in the world, does nothing to police its content. It has no incentive to do so. Like other sex-traffickers, it monetizes the suffering of children.”

Along with Senators Joni Ernst (R-IA), Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Thom Tillis (R-NC), Hawley has filed the Survivors of Human Trafficking Fight Back Act, creating a private cause of action for victims of rape and sex trafficking – as well as those whose intimate images are distributed without their consent -- to sue websites that profit from their suffering and degradation.


The act would allow victims to sue websites that knowingly depict forced sex acts, criminalize the knowing distribution of videos of coerced sex acts, criminalize revenge porn, and require sites like Pornhub to create notice and takedown procedures.

“This is an issue that transcends liberal and conservative, left and right,” Morse said. “It’s about justice for the victims of child sex abuse and fighting a plague that’s eating away at the soul of our society.”

The Ruth Institute is a global non-profit organization, leading an international interfaith coalition to defend the family and build a civilization of love.

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

See also:

Ruth Inst: “Cuties” Proves Need for Presidential Debate on Family Issues

Virtue Signaling Without Virtue: porn industry brags about its voluntary shutdown over coronavirus

Melea Stephens “The Pornography Effect: The Problems Reach Further Than You Could Imagine”

Dr. Don Hilton “Can We Actually Lose Our Empathy? What Pornography Does to The Mind”

Melea Stephens "Everything you need to know about porn, dangers and side effects

Chris McKenna "Protecting Young Eyes"

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

 

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