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.


Media celebrating ‘Gay Pride Month’ ignore victims of the Sexual Revolution

by Jennifer Roback Morse

Life Site News June 4, 2019

June 4, 2019 (Daily Signal) — June has been declared "Pride Month," and we're supposed to celebrate those "coming out" and living a "gay" life.

June 12 will mark the third anniversary of the Pulse gay nightclub mass shooting in Orlando, Florida, that left 49 dead. Some will no doubt connect those two things to claim America hates people who have same-sex attraction and to make new demands for affirmation of homosexuality.

But that's not the only lesson one could draw from these events. The media will not tell you this, but in the aftermath of the Pulse massacre, some survivors began to give their lives to Jesus Christ.

Pulse survivor Angel Colon offered this account of his experience:


[Lone gunman Omar] Mateen didn't shoot me quick. He gave me a few minutes, and at the moment, I started to do a prayer, and I started asking God for forgiveness. I started asking God, 'Please forgive me for everything I did, please. I'm sorry.'

Suddenly, Colon changed his prayer.

God, You promised me that I have a calling. You promised me that I have a purpose. You're getting me out of here alive.

Besides being active in his church, Colon's "calling" includes speaking out for people who have left the LGBT subculture.

Colon, along with another Pulse survivor, Luis Ruiz, contribute to the Changed project, a compilation of stories from people whose lives have been radically transformed by the love of Jesus Christ.

Elizabeth Woning, one of the organizers of the Changed project, spoke at the Ruth Institute's recent Summit for Survivors of the Sexual Revolution on April 26 and 27 in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

She says that the "born gay" narrative is "largely a gay male narrative." Some women become comfortable with loving other women as a result of being molested by men. The "born gay" narrative most emphatically does not apply to these women's experiences.

Woning states flatly "women are the victims of conversion-therapy bans." At the urging of generously financed advocacy organizations such as the Human Rights Campaign, 16 states and the District of Columbia prohibit mental health professionals from therapy that attempts to change their patients' sexual orientation.

While these bans vary somewhat from state to state, many are so broad that they could outlaw the very sort of therapy these women most need — namely, therapy that confronts the abuse that led them to reject their femininity and embrace a lesbian identity.

But you're not likely to hear about Woning in the news media coverage of Gay Pride Month, nor about Colon, in the coverage of the anniversary of the Pulse nightclub massacre.

That's because their stories do not fit the grand narrative:

Everyone who experiences same-sex attraction was "born gay."

"Sexual minorities" cannot change. They can neither live an abstinent lifestyle, nor a heterosexual one.

Embracing an LGBT identity and a sexually active life is the only "healthy" choice for them.

The experiences of people such as Colon and Woning provide a stark counter-narrative to those claims. That's why you won't see them interviewed on major TV shows or featured in puff pieces in major magazines.

In my book "The Sexual State: How Elite Ideologies Are Destroying Lives and How the Church Was Right All Along," I show how today's LGBT activists have their roots in the Sexual Revolution. The easy-divorce and abortion activists of a half-century ago also rebelled against the natural organic connections between marriage, sex, babies, and the gendered nature of the human body.

Each of those ideas has its own grand narrative.

1. Abortion is harmless, no more traumatic than having a tooth pulled.

This narrative cannot acknowledge the women who are traumatized by their abortions. As a matter of fact, we've known since 1990 that between 10% and 30% of women are deeply upset by their abortions.

The sexual revolutionaries have nothing to say to them.

2. No-fault divorce is good for mature, sensible people who just want to call it quits.

What about the 70% of divorces that have a reluctant spouse, who would like to stay married?

At our summit, we heard testimonies from abandoned spouses who are living faithfully to their marriage vows, in spite of a civil divorce, and in some cases, a Catholic annulment.

They do not care to "move on." Some refer to themselves as "standers," meaning they are "standing" for their marriage.

Theirs is a voice of nobility and commitment — and that's something you will seldom hear in the mainstream media.

3. The kids will be fine as long as their parents are happy.

Leila Miller, the author of "Primal Loss: The Now-Adult Children of Divorce Speak," a compilation of stories from adult children of divorce, begs to differ.

Her stories were bolstered by a number of successful adults who told our audience that their parents' divorce put them through the proverbial wringer.

The kids don't just "get over it," even though they may appear to be doing OK.

The sexual revolutionaries give the same dismissive reply to all these people: You don't exist. Your opinion isn't real. You are a victim of "false consciousness." We will not listen to you. We will not let anyone else listen to you.

That's why the Ruth Institute is creating platforms and opportunities for the victims to tell what the Sexual Revolution really did to them.

We will no doubt be hearing plenty of stories about anti-gay violence and the need for more protections for the LGBT community during "Pride Month." But when you hear those calls, remember there's more to the story than the mainstream media are reporting.

Remember Colon and all the contributors to the Changed project. Think about people you know whose abortion experiences or divorce experience do not match the grand narrative.

They deserve a platform, too.

Published with permission from The Daily Signal.


Ruth Inst. Research on Clerical Sex Abuse Cited by Archbishop Vigano In Washington Post

Jennifer Roback Morse to Appear on EWTN This Evening, June 13, 2019

In a June 10 interview with The Washington Post, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, (Apostolic Nuncio to the United States from 2011 to 2016) cited the Ruth Institute study, “Is Catholic clergy sex abuse related to homosexual priests”.

Archbishop Vigano called the Institute’s report, conducted by Fr. Paul Sullins, Ph.D., “One of the most recent and reliable studies.”

The Archbishop said that in the report’s executive summary, Fr. Sullins noted: “The share of homosexual men in the priesthood rose from twice that of the general population in the 1950s to eight times the general population in the 1980s. This trend was strongly correlated with increasing child sex abuse.”

Such recognition in one of the most prominent liberal newspapers in America, but one influential in the nation’s capital, was most welcome.

An interview with Ruth Institute President Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse Ph.D. will be broadcast on “The World Over” with Raymond Arroyo on the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) this evening at 8 pm ET. The interview will focus on the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops meeting in Baltimore, where clergy sexual abuse is expected to be discussed.

Click here for the Washington Post interview.

 



On the Death of Great Men

by Jennifer Roback Morse

This article was first published April 26, 2019, at Crisis Magazine.


[Chuck Colson with Pope John Paul II] 

The death of a father is an earth-shattering event. When my father died in 1993, I felt disoriented. I had never been in a world that did not include him. I could feel myself move up the generational ladder. No one is above me any longer. No one who matters stands above me. When I tried to describe this to older people, they immediately understood. Old men spoke to me of the deaths of their own fathers, in the hushed tones normally reserved for the sacred.

I thought of this when I learned that Father James V. Schall, S.J., had died. He was a father to me as to many. We have all just taken a step up the generational ladder. He won’t be there anymore. Younger people will look to us now at times when we would have looked to him.


I first met Fr. Schall at an Acton Institute event in the 1990s. I was still teaching economics at George Mason and had two small children at home. I was delighted to find that Fr. Schall taught at Georgetown, more or less in my back yard.

When I went to see him, he received me in the visitors’ lounge at the Jesuit Residence. After our conversation, he walked me out to my car. When I opened the back door of my car, he noticed the condition of the interior. I was ready to be embarrassed about the evidence of small children on the floor. But then he smiled and said, “A family car.” The love on his face was palpable. I can honestly say I had never felt so supported by any other academic colleague.

I was, after all, surrounded by economists, believers in the pursuit of a self-interest that would somehow work out in the end to the benefit of all. Most of my colleagues were at best bewildered by the time I was taking to care for my children. Some were downright hostile.

Little did I realize how much Fr. Schall, the care of my children, and economics would intersect.

A few years later, we were together at a conference on the family. He asked the question, “What is owed to the child?” I felt myself recoil from the question. I saw that same recoil from the other professors. We all wanted the answer to be, “Nothing.” Or at least, we wanted to believe that the child was owed “nothing that would impinge on my choice of sex life and living arrangements.” I was beginning to see that this answer could not be correct. I had a dim awareness that the legitimate entitlements of children impose, in turn, legitimate demands on adults. These demands were the cause of our recoil.

Children are entitled to love and care from their own parents. They are entitled to know the identity of their parents, which is, in a profound way, connected to their own identity. And children desperately need for their parents to love one another. Fr. Schall, of course, already knew all that. That is why he posed the question as he did.

Eventually, I could no longer ignore the implications of what I was coming to know. I left my tenured position at George Mason to follow my husband to Silicon Valley. He got on the dot-com roller coaster. I stayed home with the kids and got a part-time research position at the Hoover Institution. Some of my academic friends thought I had lost my mind. Others lost interest in me. I became an academic nonperson.

Fr. Schall, on the other hand, both understood and approved. For a long time, I felt he was my lifeline to the life of the mind.

I no longer recoil from the obligations children place upon adult society. But would I have figured it out without Fr. Schall’s penetrating questions and loving support? Possibly. But not likely.

We may well react to Fr. Schall’s death by saying, “We shall not see his like again.” In one sense, this is certainly true. He was a giant among the Jesuits, from a time when they were men of vast learning and deep sanctity. His death marks the end of that era.

But in another sense, I refuse to say we shall not see his like again. We ourselves have a responsibility to live up to the legacy he left us. I recall the death of another great man, Chuck Colson, in 2012. Like Fr. Schall, Chuck left an outsized footprint: Prison Fellowship, BreakPoint, the Wilberforce Forum, and Evangelicals and Catholics Together.

He also mentored and inspired numerous young people. Many of us gathered for his funeral at the National Cathedral. I remember shuddering: he’s gone; Who can replace him?

At the reception afterwards, we young protégés of his realized that we had all asked that question. We came to the same answer. No one would replace him exactly. And yet, each of us would have to replace him in our own sphere. We owed it to him to live out our vocations as thoroughly and competently as he had lived his. I sensed this commitment in that room, among us all in our various callings to ministry, academia, media, and politics.

This is the answer, the only answer really, to Fr. Schall’s death. No one is coming. God is not sending us a man on a white horse to save us. God sent us. We are the adults now. The young people are looking up to us. There is no longer anyone above us. It is on us now.

In that deeper sense, each of us will indeed be exactly like Fr. Schall, and Chuck Colson, and our own fathers, in exactly the way that matters most.

Author’s note: I would like to express my gratitude for Fr. Schall’s generous reviews of my The Sexual State and Love and Economics, as well as his inclusion of Love and Economics on his famous reading lists.

(Photo credit: L’Osservatore Romano)


Infiltration, innuendo, and the longing for certainty

We must not cling to certainty beyond what the facts allow. Infiltration, under-researched and over-stated, fails to meet this standard.

by Jennifer Roback Morse

This article was first published May 31, 2019, at The Catholic World Report.

(us.fotolia.com/TTstudio)

In Infiltration: The Plot to Destroy the Church from Within, Dr. Taylor Marshall purports to show that the Catholic Church has been infiltrated by Freemasons and Communists. Already ahead of its release, the hardcover was ranked #1 in several Amazon.com categories. The interest in this book testifies to the hunger for an explanation for the current chaos in the Catholic Church.


Unfortunately, Dr. Marshall’s book comes nowhere near providing the enlightenment it promises.

Have Freemasons placed their agents within high positions in the Church? Marshal cites a 19th-century document showing that the Freemasons wanted to subvert the Church. But showing they wanted to infiltrate the Church does not prove that they actually succeeded. He cites a list of purported Freemasons that circulated around the short pontificate of John Paul I in 1978. The fact that someone circulates a list doesn’t prove the list was accurate. These facts are the beginning of a serious investigation, not the conclusion.

He shows that the town of Sankt Galen has a historical connection with Freemason and Satanic groups. He places a young Theodore McCarrick in the town of Sankt Galen in 1949. Unfortunately, simply placing these people and institutions in the same location does not tell us what they did or indeed whether they did anything at all. Indeed, Marshall himself says, “One cannot help but wonder if Sankt Galen served as an infiltration center for recruiting young men to infiltrate the priesthood. Perhaps the arrival of the fatherless Theodore McCarrick to Sankt Gallen…” (emphasis added).

In other words, Marshall is speculating, not proving. Once again, the beginning, not the end, of a serious investigation.

Likewise, to “prove” the claim that the Communists infiltrated the priesthood, Marshall cites Bella Dodd’s testimony to the House Un-American Activities Committee. She claimed that the Communists had placed more than 1,000 agents in the priesthood, including four men who were cardinals. However, she does not name a single name. Rather than seek corroborating evidence, Marshall takes Dodd’s statements at face value. He tries to work out who the four cardinals might have been. Of the cardinals he considers most likely, he presents no evidence that any of them spent a single day in or near Moscow or a Communist training group, or that any had a single encounter with a confirmed Soviet agent.

Even JFK conspiracy theorists (“Lee Harvey Oswald was a Soviet agent”) can point to Oswald’s time in the Soviet Union.

I am not setting an impossibly high standard: serious research into Soviet covert operations can now be done. For instance, Lt. Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa, formerly of the Romanian Army, and University of Mississippi Law Professor Ronald Rychlak have shown that the Soviets created an elaborate disinformation campaign to smear Pope Pius XII as “Hitler’s Pope,” starting with the play The Deputy. Rychlak wrote an entire book assembling the evidence and documenting his case; Pacepa was the highest-ranking intelligence official ever to defect from the Soviet Bloc. The combination of Rychlak’s research and Pacepa’s testimony leaves no doubt that the Soviets wanted to discredit the Catholic Church. But did the Soviets successfully place agents in the priesthood who are still operating to undermine the Church? Perhaps. Infiltration’s brief chapter adds nothing to the evidence provided by serious scholars such as Rychlak and Paul Kengor, author of numerous books on the Soviet era.

The most startling instance of under-researched but over-stated conclusion occurs in the chapter entitled, “Infiltration in John Paul II’s Pontificate.” Marshall says: “Fr. Marcial Maciel was also able to walk between the raindrops through bribes given to Monsignor Stanislaw Dziwisz, beloved friend and counselor or John Paul II.” The context of this remarkable statement is that Marshall is describing the changes to canon law during John Paul’s reign. Marshall asks rhetorically, “Why did the Code of Canon Law under John Paul II remove the language of ‘adultery,’ ‘bestiality,’ and ‘sodomy’ from clerical punishment?” He provides no research to answer this question.

Instead, Marshall’s statement leaves us to draw conclusions from a chain of inferences. 1) John Paul II personally revised the Code of Canon Law to reduce the penalties for clerical sexual misconduct; 2) he did this for no good reason whatsoever; 3) he did it because Marcial Maciel, who was guilty of sexual misconduct, bribed Dziwisz.

Surely this is a serious charge. It deserves more substantiation than Marshall’s drive-by character assassination. In my opinion, this is an appalling lapse of scholarship and judgement, not to mention charity.

We humans crave certainty. We are comforted by being sure that we are correct. Critics of religion sometimes claim that this desire is the sign of an immature, gullible mind. I do not agree. The desire for knowledge is part of the longing for truth. I believe God placed these desires in every human heart, so we will seek him.

The current crisis of clergy sexual abuse and cover-up creates a cloud of suspicion over just about everyone. We do not know if a beloved priest accused of sexual abuse is the innocent victim of a frame-up or the guilty perpetrator of fraud, along with his other crimes. We do not know if a person making an accusation is telling the truth, exaggerating, or inventing out of whole cloth. Under these circumstances, the impulse to latch on to a global explanation for all our problems is completely understandable. The urge to blame Those Bad Guys Over There is almost irresistible.

But however understandable, we should resist the urge to embrace more assurance than the facts allow. I issue this challenge to anyone who has Infiltration in their possession. Read Chapter 9, “Communist Infiltration of the Priesthood,” with this question in mind. “If someone I care about were being investigated for a serious crime, would I be satisfied by the amount and type of evidence presented in this chapter?” If the answer is “no,” set this book aside and give serious thought to whether you want to commit to its thesis.

Even if the Freemasons and Communists did infiltrate the Church (which is by no means certain), that does not change our basic responsibility. What the Church needs now is saints, lots and lots of saints, saints who are teachers and priests and doctors and nurses and attorneys and mothers and fathers and yes, book authors and editors.

All of us must do our part to be as truthful and loving as we can be. Reach out to victims. Inform ourselves to the best of our ability. And resist the urge to run after superficial explanations and artificial certainty.

Infiltration: The Plot to Destroy the Church from Within
by Dr. Taylor Reed Marshall
Sophia Institute Press, 2019
Hardcover, 224 pages


The libertine road to serfdom

by Rev. Ben Johnson

This article was first published February 8, 2019, at Acton.org.

The Sexual State: How Elite Ideologies Are Destroying Lives and Why The Church Was Right All Along

Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D.
TAN Books, 2018. 406 pages.

Reviewed by Rev. Ben Johnson

Keen-eyed analysts have probed every ideological trend threatening liberty – from socialism and fascism to the Alt-Right – with one glaring exception: the revolt against personal responsibility. Jennifer Roback Morse, the founder of the Ruth Institute, capably fills this void in The Sexual State. Building on her previous book Love and Economics, Morse summarizes the sexual revolution in just a few propositions: It separates children from sexual activity and marriage, and eradicates all differences between men and women. This apparent personal freedom expands government by creating new avenues for regulation, increasing the need for means-tested welfare programs, and breaking down the “little society of the family.”

No public program can care for children as fully, selflessly, or naturally as two parents in a lifelong, committed union. From a social standpoint, Morse writes, the genius of marriage as a social institution is that its “extremely minimal legal structure” creates “a largely self-regulating, voluntary system of long-term cooperation between parents.”

Thus, we should not be surprised to learn that totalitarians of all stripes have sought to control the family. Inside the family, people develop loyalties to real people, not the Dear Leader. They develop habits that may not further the interests of the totalitarian State, with its all-embracing designs on every person. Inside the family, people may commit to ideas other than the state-sanctioned ideology.

The new ideology co-opted Marxism’s dialectic of inevitability, now known as standing on “the right side of history.” However, this ideology finds advocates across the political spectrum.


Certain factions of the liberty movement embrace the Liberationist Narrative – something she calls “the Walmart theory of sex” – which celebrates changes to family life for giving us greater choice and agency. “Under a no-fault legal regime, we are freer on the front end” of a divorce or paternity settlement, Morse writes. “But we are less free on the back end, as the State steps in to manage the consequences.” Divorce courts dictate the time and money parents spend on their children, the language spoken in the home, even such mundane decisions as a child’s prom dress. This degree of intrusion into an intact family would be “unthinkable.”

Family breakdown, whether through divorce or illegitimacy, strongly harms children and beckons the government to fill the void left by absent parents. “Increases in the likelihood of poverty, physical illness, mental illness, poor school performance, and crime have all been associated with being separated from a parent,” Morse writes. This elevated risk persists even in nations as committed to egalitarianism and progressive social values as Sweden. Such pathologies usher children into the welfare system where, once inside, a matrix of laws holds them in place. Medicaid, SNAP, TANF, and WIC eligibility guidelines disfavor marriage. The cost of family breakdown to the U.S. government alone totals an estimated $100 to $112 billion, Morse notes, adding that studies show the same phenomenon increases welfare spending in New Zealand, the UK, and Canada. “The ordinary tax-paying citizen faces a greater tax burden than otherwise would be the case as a direct result of what, by the Liberationist Narrative, is an increase in sexual freedom,” Morse writes.

Similarly, gender ideology “creates a separation between children and their parents and inserts the State between them,” as the “State sets itself up as the public enforcer of their new identities.” In Minnesota, a school district facilitated a minor’s gender transition without parental notification. Laws now police the permissible use of pronouns.

“Civil libertarians, fiscal conservatives, and open-minded liberals should all be troubled by the actual results as opposed to the supposed benefits of this ‘freedom,’” Morse writes.

References to “class warfare” and “class analysis” may lead some reviewers to caricature the book as a rejection of a free society. Nothing could be further from the truth. Morse, who highlights her “affiliations with all three of the major schools of free market economics,” ascribes changed cultural mores to excusing the libidinous excesses of “the managerial elite”: the nexus of academics, lobbyists, government bureaucrats, thought leaders, and mass media sharing the same narrative. Yet she defines the term by noting:

The managerial class goes beyond the purely class designation in this respect: it’s built upon the idea that society is something that needs to be managed. … Seldom have the privileged classes taken it upon themselves to “nudge” their neighbors and fellow citizens about their eating habits, sex lives, spending habits, personal safety, and even their thoughts. …

Legal historian Joseph Dellapenna observes that the rise of the managerial class was not unique to the United States in the twentieth century. “The managerial class rose to dominance in the U.S. with the New Deal in the 1930s, and has continued to dominate ever since. … Evidence of the transition to social domination by a managerial class can be traced back to the nineteenth century, particularly in England. Nor was this transition limited to western or capitalist nations. In a real sense, the rise of Communism and Socialism was nothing more or (less) than a rise of the managerial class.”

“Ponder that last sentence for a while,” Morse writes.

Somehow, an a historical breed of Christian – especially Roman Catholic – intellectual believes he will capture, sanctify, and redirect the vast apparatus of the State toward theologically approved ends. Assuming an entrenched bureaucracy will simply acknowledge defeat and implement an opposing viewpoint seems naïve, albeit less so than the notion that the State’s coercive power will forever remain in holy hands. Revolutionaries yearn to control the levers of power more than those who believe in natural law, if only because the State need not compel actions that occur naturally.

Morse roots her hope for the future in nature and culture. An entire chapter defends the notion that differences between men and women are real, biologically based, and ineradicable. Each section ends by presenting the relevant Catholic teaching, which she describes as “the common heritage of all Christians.” And she remembers the victims of the sexual revolution in each chapter, showing the very real toll that comes from shunning self-restraint and refusing to deny instant and perpetual gratification. True liberty rests on the foundation of personal responsibility or sinks into the quicksand of the paternal state.

Morse concludes with a 15-point “Manifesto for the Family,” two-thirds of which consists of asking the government to “stop doing things it never had any business doing in the first place.” Virtually unique in political literature, her last three proposals can be adopted only by individuals. Building a “civilization of love” literally begins in each human heart. That private sanctuary, the link between the individual conscience and the fiery flame of divine love, kept the spark of civilization alive after the barbarian sack of Rome, times of plague and pestilence, and through the dark night of atheistic Communism. That flame can outshine the strange fires of fallen passions and realign society according to its light again.


Social Conservatives Need to Get to Work, Not Give Up

Let's mobilize the Victims and Survivors of the Sexual Revolution into a force for social change.


 

By Jennifer Roback Morse Published on April 22, 2019, at The Stream.

Peter Wolfgang’s cry from the heart got to me, I have to admit. His recent Stream piece “George Weigel, John Paul II, and What We Need Now” moved me.

The Conservative-Christian-Catholic hopefulness, even triumphalism, expressed by George Weigel and the late Michael Novak and Richard John Neuhaus, in the 1990’s has evaporated. Couched as a critique of these famous “neo-cons,” Wolfgang’s real point was “Man, we’ve got a mess on our hands. None of our Smart Guys has a clue what to do.”

I sympathize. I’ve been thinking about it too. I do have a plan. It goes like this.


The Victims and Survivors of the Sexual Revolution

Social conservatives of all religious backgrounds agree: The Sexual Revolution has been a disaster. Millions of people have been harmed. The solution? Organize the Victims and Survivors of the Sexual Revolution into a force for social change.

Let’s do a tally of just a few groups:

  • Children whose lives are forever disrupted by the divorce of their parents. I estimate about 45 million people of all ages by now, have survived the divorce of their parents.
  • Spouses who wanted to stay married, but whose marriages were destroyed by the State. By one (admittedly rough) estimate, about 70% of divorces have a reluctant party, meaning, a person would like to remain married.
  • People who regret their participation in the hook-up culture: We have no idea how many such people there are. No one even thinks to ask the question.
  • Ditto for people who regret their participation in the LGBT sub-culture. No one even asks how many such people there are, because they are not supposed to exist.

Now, you may feel overwhelmed by this list. I look at it and see a potential constituency.

The Truths No One Else Will Tell

Look at how the post-abortive woman has become a game-changer for the pro-life movement. In the rhetoric of the Sexual Revolution, these women don’t exist. Abortion is no more traumatic or dangerous than pulling a tooth. Yet, we have known since 1990 that 10 percent to 30 percent of women experience regrets over their abortions.* The claim that abortion is a harmless procedure that solves women’s problems is not so convincing when looking out over a sea of “I regret my abortion” signs.

What if you could get 10 percent of those 45 million adult children of divorce all marching in the same direction? Heck, what if you got 1 percent? A social movement with 450,000 committed activists would be a force to be reckoned with. Add in the abandoned spouses, and the women whose contraception failed them or hurt them, add in the people whose cohabitation experience soured, that is a lot of upset people.

So, here’s the plan. Go all in. Talk about all the social issues, not just the gay parts. We need to tell the truths no one else will tell. Guilt-free, problem-free, attachment-free sexual activity is an illusion, not an entitlement. Men and women are different. The sex differences expressed in the human body are significant and not to be tampered with.

Most of all, children need their parents. Children have a right to know their genetic identity and cultural heritage. They have a right to the love and support of their parents, unless some unavoidable tragedy prevents it. These needs of children place legitimate demands on adult society. The sexual culture created by traditional Christian sexual ethics protected those rights. The Sexual Revolutionary culture denies that kids have these rights.

History will show that the sexual revolution harmed people.

This plan also allows us to sidestep the whole “wrong side of history” business. We can say, “history will show that your revolution harmed people.” We don’t have to be defensive about our religious beliefs either. “History will show that only the people of faith had the sense to realize that something was wrong and had the courage to speak out against it.”

The millions of people who have been harmed by our sexual culture, propped up by the Sexual State, can be a formidable power. But we have to help them connect the dots between the problems they face and the toxic cultural soup we are all swimming in.

The Church should have done this long ago. The Church should have taken a stand against no-fault divorce, sexual propaganda in the schools, and all the rest of the poison. As Catholics, Peter, you and I have our suspicions about why so few of our clergy opened their mouths: They have sexual “issues” of their own. Some of them were/are secret or not-so-secret participants in the sexual revolution themselves.

The Conservative Chattering Class is mostly clueless on social issues. They’d rather talk about the Free Market or the American Founding or anything but Divisive Social Issues. Some of our Catholic intellectuals, the contemporary equivalent of Weigel-Novak-Neuhaus, have good ideas and sound instincts. But eventually, somebody has to get out of the office and talk to ordinary people. Professional Smart Guys tend not to do this.

Engaging Ordinary People With God’s Truth

Don’t get me wrong: We need college professors and policy wonks and think tank guys and media commentators. But at the end of the day, somebody has to step away from the desk, roll up their sleeves and engage the wide swath of the public that doesn’t read First Things.

That leaves people like us, Peter. You have the organizing skills, the people skills, the political instincts. You just need a bigger team, a bigger microphone, and a better plan.

Oh, we do need one more thing: a spine. We need to be willing to have people call us names and be mean. But you and I are already used to that, right Peter?

So, what are we waiting for? Let’s get this done. The Survivors of the Sexual Revolution deserve a voice. And when they find it, the political and social landscape will never be the same.


Participants Praise Ruth Institute’s Survivors of Sexual Revolution Summit

The Ruth Institute’s first annual Summit for Survivors of the Sexual Revolution (April 26-27, in Lake Charles, Louisiana) was highly praised by participants. All agreed that the caliber of speakers and content (which covered Survivors of Divorce and Survivors of the LGBT subculture) were exceptional.

Here are a few of the comments from speakers and participants:

“The Summit revealed to me many different survival stories which involved deep pain. However, their stories all ended in hope because they turned to God. It also gives me hope to see everyone that attended was united to God’s plan for marriage and family.” Al Chlupacek -- Chemical Engineer, Indianapolis


“Thank you all. It was incredible, and a real shot in the arm. Now we all have work to do. But I feel like at least we know our fellow soldiers in this battle! It’s a rough world out there, and sadly, many of our ‘enemies’ are fellow Christians… It’s a battle from within and without. But I’m so pleased at the depth of intelligence and holiness on display this weekend! God bless you all! And thank you, Dr. Morse! You are a true solider for Christ!” Leila Miller – Catholic author, Phoenix

“This was a very meaningful conference. I enjoyed the scholarship, the personal testimonies, and all the informal conversations and relationship-building in between. I look forward to ongoing conversations with many of the wonderful people I met this weekend. The experience was powerful and inspiring.” Matt F. Johnson – humanitarian and disaster relief, Washington, D.C.

“Thank you Mr. And Dr. Morse plus your team for putting together such a conference. I learned a lot. Thanks also to you all that took time to do papers and share with us your stories. It gives me hope as an African to see the good side of America. You people are amazing. Hopefully we do this in Africa, too? God bless you all.” Ann Kioko, CitizenGO Campaigns Manager for Africa, Nairobi

“I just want to tell you all how very honored I am to have had the pleasure to work with all of you this weekend in this critical endeavor! Mr. & Dr. Morse, you are both tireless in your efforts and I have great respect for you both. Thank you - and the Ruth Institute's extremely capable staff and volunteers -- for showing us all such genuine kindness and hospitality. This weekend will go down in my memory as one of great blessings and fellowship. To be gathered with so many others who recognize the beauty, goodness and critical importance of marriage and the traditional family was a such a true honor and pleasure.” Christy Fitzgerald – Registered Nurse, Case Manager, Hickory, N.C.

“This Summit was a bright moment for recovering from a toxic family culture and beginning to build something better. I want to add my thanks to everyone as well, for sharing your stories and journeys and scholarship and standing for marriage, life and children. Patti and I were both deeply touched by the accounts of struggle and overcoming and finding new life and sanctity in the pain of marriage and parental loss. For me, one of the most fruitful times was also breakfast at the hotel, when I was blessed to, and saw others too, encourage one another and build friendships and mutual support and plot ministry strategies in a fellowship free-for-all. There are not many other places something like that could happen.” Fr. D Paul Sullins, Senior Research Associate of the Ruth Institute

“I hope everyone realizes just how innovative this was. For all the many ‘pro-family’ groups out there, almost none of them seriously confronts the divorce system, connected issues, and the government machinery behind it. I also noticed other ways in which the various speakers were ‘pushing the envelope,’ and I for one think that we have nothing to lose, and much to gain, from continuing and even increasing the push.” Stephen K. Baskerville, Purcellville, Virginia

To get the inside scoop on the extraordinary Survivors Summit, be sure to check out the various presentations at the Ruth Institute’s website, and on its Facebook page. Be forewarned that the truth about these problems is not easy to handle. However, the truth shall set you free.” C. Preston Noell, American Society for Tradition, Family and Property, Washington, D.C.

“Don’t sit on the sidelines. Now that you understand the devastation caused by the Sexual Revolution, help us to fight for the family and cultural sanity.” Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D., Founder and President of the Ruth Institute

The entire Summit will be available on podcast and on the Ruth Institute YouTube channel. Some videos of the Summit are currently posted on our Facebook page.


What Did Frederic Martel Hope to Accomplish With ‘Closet of the Vatican’?

by Jennifer Roback Morse

This article was published March 18, 2019, at National Catholic Register.

(Daniel Ibanez/CNA)

The reception of Frederic Martel’s widely anticipated book In the Closet of the Vatican has been surprising. The tantalizing hints dropped before the “bombshell,” “salacious” book’s release exclaimed, “80% of Vatican priests gay.” After an initial international media flurry, the book has dropped out of sight. Two questions arise in my mind. First, what, if anything, can we infer from this deeply flawed book? Second, what did Martel believe he was accomplishing?

The author, Frederic Martel, is a self-described “French gay atheist.” His overarching theme is that the Church’s stance on homosexuality is hypocritical and harmful. Many priests are living “double lives,” professing Church teaching by day and seeking homosexual sex by night.


The solution, in Martel’s mind, is to change Church teaching so that these clergy can live openly homosexually active lives. In this, he, no doubt, has many supporters, both inside and outside the Church.

But all sides of the Catholic debate over moral issues have panned Martel’s book. They make essentially the same critique: Martel trades in stereotypes, gossip and innuendo. He is grossly unfair to prelates he (evidently) does not like.

To answer the first question, I infer beyond any shadow of a doubt that Cardinals Raymond Burke and Müller and Pope Benedict are not homosexual. Not that I ever thought they were. But Martel makes a great deal of suggestive noise on this topic, without a shred of proof. Jesuit Father James Martin objects, saying flatly, “Pope Benedict, Cardinals Burke and Mueller are treated unfairly.”

If Martel had the slightest shred of actual evidence, he would have provided it. Instead, he goes on about their choice of clerical vestments.

Therefore, we can reasonably conclude: These men are not “gay” in any morally relevant sense. Tripping Martel’s “gaydar” doesn’t prove a darn thing.

Second, we can infer from In the Closet of the Vatican that Archbishop Carlo Viganò’s charge that Pope Francis knew about then-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick’s misdeeds is substantially correct. Martel states that “the pope’s entourage indicated to me that Francis ‘was initially informed by Viganò that McCarrick had had homosexual relations with adult seminarians, which was not enough in his eyes to condemn him.’ In 2018, when he learned for certain that he had also, apart from his homosexual relations, sexually abused minors, ‘he immediately punished the cardinal.’”

In other words, Martel’s implied defense of Pope Francis and his unnamed “entourage” is that homosexual activity with seminarians is not problematic in any way worthy of serious correction.

Thirdly, we can conclude that two synods on the family were deliberately steered toward changing the ancient teachings of the Church on marriage, divorce and the Eucharist, with the added goal of changing the teaching on homosexual practice.

In the chapter entitled “The Synod,” Martel’s highly-placed sources, including Cardinals Lorenzo Baldisseri and Walter Kasper, confirm this. Whether they intended to reveal as much as they did, I cannot say. I feel certain, though, that Martel does not realize that his chapter confirms the worst suspicions of defenders of traditional teaching. Pope Francis deputized a “war machine,” a “gang” of “fast workers.”

I followed the synods closely and even participated in a conference designed to encourage and equip the minds of prelates who would be participating in its deliberations. I remember when Ignatius Press published Remaining in the Truth of Christ, a collection of essays by prominent cardinals defending the traditional teaching. Ignatius mailed it to the synod participants. None of them received it. The book “disappeared.” We were all suspicious, but nothing could be proven at the time.

But Martel reports that Cardinal Baldisseri “had the pamphlet seized!” Martel does not seem to realize the significance of what he has said.

This brings me to my second question: What exactly did Martel believe he was accomplishing?

I think he thought that demonstrating hypocrisy and double lives would be a “slam-dunk” argument in favor of changing Church teaching. By painting “conservatives” as closeted and not-very-nice homosexuals, he seems to have thought he would discredit them personally, and by extension, discredit their views.

But proving someone does not live up to his professed beliefs doesn’t actually prove much. The hypocrite is unattractive; that is for sure. But we cannot automatically conclude that he should change his beliefs. Perhaps his professed beliefs are correct and his behavior is wrong. Piling up examples of hypocrisy, even if they were all true, (which, in this book, they certainly are not) does not tell us whether the hypocrite should change his beliefs or his behavior.

To answer that question, we have to look elsewhere.

What is Martel’s underlying belief system about human sexuality and its place in our lives? He does not explicitly say. But his “Rules of the Closet” give us clues. In a chapter on Roman clergy who use male prostitutes, Martel tells us:

“In prostitution in Rome between priests and Arab escorts, two sexual poverties come together: the profound sexual frustration of Catholic priests is echoed in the constraints of Islam, which make heterosexual acts outside of marriage difficult for a young Muslim.”

Confining sex to marriage is “poverty” for young Muslim men, and, we would suppose, non-Muslim men, as well. Keeping sex inside marriage is an unreasonable, even unbearable, burden to place on young men: Martel evidently thinks that people cannot live without sex.

His belief has this one virtue: It is easy to live up to a standard that says there are no standards. There will be no conflict between that belief and any possible set of behavior. When sex is an entitlement, there are no hypocrites.

This is exactly the belief that has caused so much trouble in the past 50-plus years. We now know (or should know) that “consent” is not an adequate standard for judging the worthiness of sexual behavior. We now know (or should know) that people who think they are entitled to sex cause a lot of problems for other people.

The more powerful they are, the more problems their power allows them to cause. We now know that sex within marriage protects the legitimate interests of children to a relationship with both of their parents. And we know beyond any shadow of a doubt that children need their parents.

In other words, the evidence of the past 50-plus years tells us that the Church’s teaching is correct. We can eliminate hypocrisy, but not in the way Martel supposes. We, the members of the Body of Christ, need to change our behavior to conform to the Church’s teaching.



Stop Exploiting Desmond: A Challenge to the ‘LGBTQ’ Community

Put an end to the exploitation of an 11-year-old boy.

Desmond attends an event June 1 in New York City.
Desmond attends an event June 1 in New York City. (Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Teen Vogue)
 
DEC. 28, 2018 at NCRegister.com.
 
by Jennifer Roback Morse

Imagine this scenario: A married mother and father encourage their 11-year-old daughter to dress in sexually provocative clothing. They take her to a strip club and allow her to dance onstage. The patrons throw money at her. No one touches the girl in any way, given the environment. What are we to think of these parents?

Now imagine this scenario: A priest invites an altar boy to spend evenings with him. The priest encourages the boy to dress in women’s clothing. The priest tells the boy how nice he looks and how wonderful it is that he is expressing his true self. The boy and the priest spend time together watching videos of men in drag. He arranges for the 11-year-old boy to perform at a nightclub that caters primarily to a homosexual clientele. The patrons throw money at the boy. No one, including the priest, touches the boy, at the club or elsewhere. What are we to think of the priest?

These completely hypothetical scenarios are based on the real-life events of an 11-year-old boy named Desmond. He wears women’s clothing. His parents say he chooses the clothing and he enjoys wearing it. His choices are not just ordinary women’s clothing, but provocative women’s clothing.


In fact, his choice of clothing is stereotypical drag-queen clothing. His parents have arranged for him to have his own website, “Desmond Is Amazing,” to showcase his talents as a drag performer.

I don’t know if anyone has inappropriately touched him. But his parents did arrange for him to perform at a gay nightclub, where the patrons threw money at him.

If a mother and father did this to a little girl, we would think there was something seriously wrong with them. If a priest did this to a little boy, the whole country would be in an uproar.

We would instantly recognize either of these situations as exploitation and endangerment of an innocent child. We would recognize the nightclub performance as sexual grooming. Any adult who supported this would be regarded as a scoundrel. Some people might call on Child Protective Services to take the child into custody or demand the local authorities confiscate the nightclub’s liquor license.

I bring this up not to remove Desmond from his parents or to shut down the New York nightclub that hosted Desmond’s performance.

Instead, I want to issue a challenge to people who identify themselves as part of the “LGBTQ community”: Please stand up and publicly object to this.

I’ve seen a few individuals who describe themselves as “gay” or “liberal” objecting to this on social media. I am urging more of you to speak up.

The “Gay Establishment” could put a stop to this egregious exploitation of a child. They could speak publicly about boundaries and the innocence of childhood. In addition, it could probably solve this immediate problem without public incident. Someone from the Human Rights Campaign or other advocacy organization could quietly call up Desmond’s parents: “Look, we’ve spent millions of dollars convincing Middle America that transgenderism is harmless, heteronormativity is unnecessary, and that we aren’t interested in sexualizing children. You are creeping people out. Knock off the gay-bar scene with your 11-year-old.” I bet Desmond’s parents could be persuaded.

If those who consider themselves “sexual minorities” or “gender-nonconforming” were to speak up, the Gay Establishment just might listen.

Do these organizations really speak for everyone who identifies as “LGBT” on every issue? How about on this particular issue — of whether an 11-year-old should be performing in a nightclub of this type?

I raise this question from my own experience as a nonconforming, nonfeminist woman. Establishment feminism does not speak for me. Oh, sure, they try to create the impression that they speak for all women all the time. But they don’t speak for me or most of my friends. They have never spoken for me, and I have been a woman my entire life. That is what makes me wonder whether the Gay Establishment really speaks for all the people who identify themselves under its umbrella.

If they really want to contribute to the well-being of this preteen, they should speak out against his sexualization. Urge them to speak up on social media against this sexualization of a child. Urge them to write to the Human Rights Campaign, or any other advocacy group they may support. You can write to these organizations, as well. They will be more likely to listen to you than to me.

Then maybe we can put a stop to the exploitation of this child.

Support the Ruth Institute