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 Sexual State: how a rolling revolution is destroying lives

 

Divorce Child, by Javad Alizadeh, Iranian artist. CC via Wikimedia

 

The author of a new book talks about the elite ideologies driving today’s sexual culture.

Jennifer Roback Morse | Sep 10 2018 at Mercatornet.com.

 

Did the Sexual Revolution just sweep through society like a mindless force of nature, or did powerful people actively promote it? Why is the sexual revolutionary propaganda so relentless, and increasingly bizarre? Do children have rights to be born into an intact family with parents who stay together for life? Are men and women really different? Does it matter? These and other pressing questions of our day find answers in a new book by Ruth Institute President Dr Jennifer Roback Morse: The Sexual State: How Elite Ideologies Are Destroying Lives and Why the Church Was Right All Along. Here she answers a few questions of our own.

 

 


 

 

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MercatorNet: Like every revolution, the sexual revolution (SR) that erupted in the 1960s has created a lot of victims. In the first chapter of your book, “The Misery of Modern Life”, you identify a number of them. Which types of victim do you think are the least recognized, even among those critical of today’s sexual culture?

Dr Morse: The victims of the divorce culture are almost completely invisible. I include the abandoned spouses, or reluctantly divorced persons, who would have liked to remain married, but were divorced against their will. Few people realize that under U.S. no-fault divorce law, the government always takes sides with the person who wants the marriage the least.

We do not even ask the questions that would allow us to answer the question: “how many divorces have a reluctant partner?” Since the book went to press, I have found evidence that suggests as many as 70% of divorces may have a “reluctant” partner. But the person who found this was not looking for it. He stumbled over it in the course of looking for something else.

The children of divorce are also socially invisible. They are supposedly “resilient,” but in fact they suffer for a lifetime. I also think apart from committed pro-life advocates, very few people recognize the health problems associated with contraception and abortion.

You also identify different ideological strands of the SR, concerning contraception, divorce and gender. What role has each played – first, contraception?

A good and decent society should do everything possible to separate sex from babies. I call this, the Contraceptive Ideology. Unlike many commentators who say things like, “The Pill changed everything,” I consider the ideology far more important than technology.

The ideology tries to convince people that sex without a live baby is an entitlement. All sorts of nasty things follow from that, including the depredations of people like Harvey Weinstein.

Divorce?

The Divorce Ideology is that a good and decent society should do everything possible to separate both sex and babies, from marriage. Behind this lies the idea that children don’t really need their own parents. Kids are so resilient that adults can switch partners and living arrangements without worrying about the welfare of their kids. But we know now that this is completely false. Kids do need their own parents. Deliberately separating kids from their parents without an unavoidable reason is unjust to children. In this section of the book, I discuss the children of unmarried parents, as well as children of anonymous donor conception. All these kids have tenuous, at best, relationships with one of their parents.

And gender?

The Gender Ideology started with “feminism” that stated that a good society should eliminate all distinctions between men and women. All such differences are socially constructed, and evidence of injustice. Therefore, society should reconstruct itself to eliminate all those differences. This is the thought process that led to the US federal government declaring that all colleges should have equality in sports programs. Since men are generally more interested in sports, the federal government went around shuttering men’s wrestling teams to create “equality.”

Now the gender ideology has morphed into transgenderism which says that a person’s bodily sex is less important than their idea of who they are and what they want to be. This has led to males who “identify” as female winning girls’ track and field events.

What unites these two versions of the Gender Ideology is that the sex of the body is unimportant and can be over-written with enough social engineering and medical technology.

You also identify the various “narratives” by which these ideologies have been advanced: “the march of history,” liberation, feminism, overpopulation... What is the relative importance of each of these?

Under the Liberationist Narrative, I list several sub-types, the Consumerist, the Orientation, and the Gender Identity sub-narrative. Important also is the (Stealth) Capitalist Narrative. I think most people can recognize the significance of feminist and various forms of liberationist thought. So here, I want to emphasize the others.

The March of History story is important because it wipes out all moral responsibility for anything: all these changes in society just “happened” like a force of nature. The Over-Population Narrative is significant because the population controllers provided the money for an awful lot of the subsequent stages of the Sexual Revolution. And the (Stealth) Capitalist Narrative is important precisely because it is “stealth.” In the first place people are making money from the Sexual Revolution.

Secondly – and importantly -- employers have benefited from having a whole class of new workers, eager to prove their worth in the market, and having few non-market alternatives. I am speaking of women, of course. The “careerist” branch of feminism basically delivered women into the hands of employers on terms that benefited the employers. Most people don’t notice that, until it is pointed out to them. And the fact that people are making money from the Sexual Revolution must be confronted honestly, if we really mean to create positive chance.

Against these you posit “the Catholic narrative” about sex – which is, in essence?

The Catholic Narrative directly challenges all three of the Ideologies of the Sexual Revolution. Actually, it would be more accurate to say that each of the ideologies challenged some aspect of Catholic teaching. The Catholic Narrative has the virtue that it can account for the failures and unhappiness caused the Sexual Revolution, something virtually none of the other narratives even considers.

We could summarize Catholic teaching from the perspective of children, in this way. Start from the premise that children are entitled to a relationship with both of their parents, in the absence of some unavoidable tragedy. How can we structure society to ensure children receive what is due to them?

Reason logically from this premise and here is what you get:

  • Form a lifelong plan for cooperating with the one person who will co-parent with you. That is the institution formerly known as “marriage.”
  • Only have sex with the person you are married to.
  • Stay married unless someone does something really awful.
  • Don’t attempt a “remarriage.”
  • Be nice to your spouse, so he or she can put up with you.

In other words, you end up with traditional Christian sexual morality. There is more to Catholic theology of marriage, of course. But at this moment in history, protecting the basic human right of every child to a relationship with both parents would be an achievement worth celebrating.

Many would argue that the Catholic narrative has been a notable failure, even amongst Catholics, who apparently contracept like everyone else and whose clerical ranks have harbored sexual abusers. Doesn’t this discredit Catholic teaching, or at least put it in the realm of idealism?

On the contrary: The Catholic narrative is daily being proven correct. The heartbreaking situations we see all around us are the direct result of NOT living according to the Church’s teaching. Thinking with the Church, embracing the Church’s teaching with enthusiasm is really the only possible way out of the problems we face.

We now know why so many clergy refuse to preach or teach on the sexual issues, and why so many dioceses have a lackluster record in this regard. There are way too many men using their position of authority and respect in the Church to pursue their private sexual purposes.

However, this makes it even more important that faithful Catholics take up the challenge of educating themselves, living the Church’s teaching, and sharing it with others. We can’t wait for the clergy to put their houses in order.

By contrast, hasn’t feminism, for example, been a great success, achieving much for women?

Define “success.” People reflexively define “progress” and “success” in terms of women participating in higher education and in the labor force on the same terms as men. But what has been the price of this form of “equality?” One of the first footnotes in my book cites a study of happiness. Women have been growing less happy both absolutely, and relative to men over exactly the period of greatest entry of women into the labor force. And, women’s participation in both higher education and the labor force had been increasing steadily since the beginning of the 20th century, well before “feminism.” I argue that we could have attained increased participation in higher education and the professions, without all the toxic ideologies we have had to endure.

Your basic thesis is that the sexual revolution “needs the state”. Why is that?

The Sexual Revolution is irrational. Each one of the ideologies is false. Sex does make babies. Children do need their parents. Men and women are different. Building an entire society around the opposite of these statements simply cannot be done.

That does not mean the attempt to do the impossible is harmless. Quite the contrary. Attempting to do the impossible requires a whole lot of power, force and propaganda. The “advanced” countries of the world are run by people who believe doing the impossible is a high moral duty. Therefore, they can always justify increased power for themselves. This explains the whole course of the Sexual Revolution.

Who benefits from our predominant sexual culture?

The “elites” as I use the term, include the rich, the powerful, the influential, in any field of endeavor. People like Warren Buffet and George Soros in our time, and John D. Rockefeller III and Katherine McCormick in times past, have financed the spread of the ideologies. Academics produce and promote the research. Entertainment elites of the likes of Harvey Weinstein create the propaganda. Their motives are varied but include the fact that some of them are making money, and some of them desire social permission to do what they want sexually without fear of social sanction.

If, as you argue, the majority of people never wanted the ideology of the Sexual Revolution, let alone its effects on marriage and the family, why haven’t they used the democratic system to get rid of it?

There are a couple of reasons. First, the propaganda for the Sexual Revolution is very effective. Most people do not connect the dots between these ideologies and the problems they and their families are experiencing. Second, the Sexual Revolution is very well financed. Warren Buffett, for instance, has given over $1 billion to support abortion, and abortion political advocacy. There simply are no funders of comparable size for the social conservative side of the issues.

Finally, the ideology of the Sexual Revolution appeals to some of our deepest fantasies about ourselves and wishful thinking about the world. “Everything would be alright, if we just allowed people to do whatever they want.” “I do not really have to restrain myself sexually.” “The problems in my marriage are my husband’s fault.” And so on. Pride is not only one of the Seven Deadly Sins. It is also The Original Sin. Every person is susceptible to appeals to their vanity.

In your closing “Manifesto of the Family” you list a number of things the government should stop doing, or start doing, and some that the rest of us could do. Would you like to talk about the latter?

In my 15-point Manifesto, the first 10 points are all things the government should stop doing, because it never had any business doing them in the first place. The last three points are really all about love. We need social encouragement for long-lasting love, inside the family.

The propaganda campaigns of the last 50 years have created a watered-down, almost unrecognizable redefinition of love. Starting with “Love the one you’re with,” in the sixties, down to things like “Love wins,” and “Love makes the family.” These are marketing slogans, designed to “sell” people on a program of political and social change. These slogans are not much help in hanging in there with our difficult relatives. For instance, people never stop to ask what happens to the family if the love goes away. Does the family disappear? Do the children lose their parents? The slogans can’t handle the questions. We have been chasing our tails, “looking for love in all the wrong places,” as the song says.

Agape love, the highest form of Christian love, requires much more of us. At the same time, that kind of complete self-giving love is the only form of love that can really satisfy us. Committed Christians have the best chance of offering the world what it is really looking for. That is why I believe my Manifesto for the Family can lead us toward a Civilization of Love.

 

 

 



Imagine This: Putting Children First

By John Zmirak Published on September 19, 2019, at The Stream.

If you’re not following Dr. Jennifer Morse on family issues and sexual morals, you’re missing out. I meet her every year at the wonderful gathering Acton University. It collects defenders of ordered liberty, virtue and economic empowerment from all across the world. This year she gave a terrific talk on her book The Sexual State. It’s an important read, because it highlights how the sexual revolution resembles the French and the Russian Revolutions. Each one saw utopian movements championed by intellectuals grab vast, unaccountable power, then set up a state to impose their ideas by force on anyone who resisted.

That’s right, the Sexual Revolutionaries were every bit as interested in grabbing coercive state power as the Jacobins or the Bolsheviks were. Simone de Beauvoir famously said:


No woman should be authorized to stay home to raise her children. Women should not have that choice, because if there is such a choice, too many women will make that one.

She was a libertine, but no libertarian — in fact she obediently echoed the Stalinist politics of her mentor and master, Jean Paul Sartre. For whom she served as a pimp, recruiting younger women for her former lover.

A Utopian Coup

Morse shows how the New Left used the language of liberation and empowerment to cover its coup over the organs of the state — always with the pretense that it was simply advancing people’s rights. Morse Book

But the rights of the unborn ended up in a medical waste dumpster. Likewise the rights of businesses that wanted to pay a “living wage” to fathers of families. That’s now illegal, and has been since the overly broad Civil Rights Act of 1965. In fact, we have set up a vast and intrusive bureaucracy aimed at forcing equal outcomes between the sexes, the differences between the sexes be damned.

Now, in the wake of a narrow and dishonest Supreme Court decision, we must all pretend that same sex marriage is real. Only explicitly religious employers (for the moment) may cling to the pre-2015 truth. Not even wedding vendors or cake bakers.

It wasn’t even a year before the revolutionaries extended their grab for power. Now they’re using the power of government, and all the intimidating force of Woke Capital, to force us to accept an unheard and insane idea of gender —namely that there are 100 “genders,” which bear no relation to physical sex. They are more like moods, and they can change from day to day.

The only important thing? That we dissenters must be forced to recognize them, and punished if we refuse. Let girls in locker rooms, women in rest rooms, and real, physical women competing in sports be damned, as well.

Make Families Great Again

As I said, read Morse’s book. For a flavor of how she cuts across stale debates and highlights the victims of our current, post-Revolutionary regime, check out her latest. In a column at the National Catholic Register, she calls on us to “Make Families Great Again.” Using President Trump’s campaign language with a bit of a twist, she calls on Secretary of State Pompeo to advance real human rights that the sexual revolutionaries have intentionally neglected. That is, the rights of children.

No, not the “right” of sexually exploited girls to abort their babies without reporting their rapists. Planned Parenthood guarantees that. Nor the “right” of small kids to grooming by explicit sex education and drag queen sex offenders at public libraries.

What Are Children? What Do They Want?

Instead, Morse focuses on the things that young people really want. Things that all children crave — instead of what selfish narcissistic adults want to force on them. She writes:

Self-Evident Truth No. 1: Every person comes into the world as a helpless baby.

Self-Evident Truth No. 2: Every person has a mother and a father.

… From these two facts (which I hope everyone will accept), I draw these two conclusions:

Reasonable Conclusion No. 1: Every society needs some plan for helping its members move from helpless infancy to adulthood.

If this job doesn’t get done, there will not be a “society” in any meaningful sense of that term. We don’t need a perfect plan, mind you. But we do need some social structures that address the fundamental issues of infant helplessness and the basic human needs for attachment, connection and identity.

Reasonable Conclusion No. 2: Mothers and fathers cooperating with each other in a lifelong loving union for their mutual benefit and the benefit of their children (including possibly adopted children) provides such a plan for helpless babies. This union is what societies usually call “marriage.”

This line of thought produces its own set of rights, different from those we commonly hear about:

  • The right of every child to a relationship with his or her natural mother and father, except in cases of unavoidable tragedy.
  • The right of every person to know the identity of his or her biological parents.
  • [And] the right to life from conception to natural death. And
  • the right of families to educate their own children in their faith tradition and values, without being undermined by the state.

The president campaigned on the promise to “Make America Great Again.” Without the restoration of the family, he will be unable to fulfill that promise. But, more importantly, the newly formed Commission on Unalienable Rights has the potential to shift attention from the desires of adults, based on their fantasy ideologies, to the needs of children, based on immutable realities.

Grinding Us Down to Atoms

Morse is right, not just philosophically but empirically. Societies that undermine the family always build up an intrusive government. Because someone has got to take care of the weak and the vulnerable. You know, babies, old people, sick people, etc. If families end up shattered, because the legal system and the culture sees and treats every person as an isolated atom? Then the state will have to step in.

 

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Indeed, statists are more than happy to. Like Marx, they dislike the family on principle as an alternative locus of loyalty. And like Hitler, they claim the state has the first claim on every human being, before his parents. Like Margaret Sanger, they think sexual “liberation” will produce a race of super-beings, unlike previous generations beaten down by biological realities.

The welfare state exploded massively in the wake of the sexual revolution. It had to, in order to pick up all the shattered pieces of the old, familial order. And to glue them back together in shapes more pleasing to bureaucrats and social elites.

Since we seem trapped in the discourse of individual rights, without the freedom to speak of the common good, Morse proves herself both sane and savvy by recasting the evils of the sexual revolution in terms of children’s rights. Let’s hope her approach catches on.

To sign the Ruth Institute’s petition to President Trump asking him to put families first, go here.

 



How the Sexual Revolution Has Corrupted the Professions (and What You Can Do About It!)

by Jennifer Roback Morse July 29, 2019 at ncregister.com.

COMMENTARY: The American Library Association’s promotion of ‘Drag Queen Story Hours’ is just one example.

Performance artist Athena Kills greets young adults and children as he and fellow cross-dressing performance artist Scalene Onixxx arrive for 'Drag Queen Story Hour' at Cellar Door Books in Riverside, California, June 22.
Performance artist Athena Kills greets young adults and children as he and fellow cross-dressing performance artist Scalene Onixxx arrive for 'Drag Queen Story Hour' at Cellar Door Books in Riverside, California, June 22. (FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)
 
People sometimes ask me, “Dr. Morse, how in the world do these crazy ideologies and policies keep coming at us? Why are we seeing demands for gender neutral bathrooms in public places, drag queen story hours in our libraries, and a “non-binary” option on birth certificates and driver’s licenses?”

To which I reply, these things didn’t spring up overnight out of nowhere. Many members of the college-educated professional classes are deeply committed to these ideas. Many professional societies have become corrupted by Sexual Revolutionary ideology and captured by committed ideologues. These people have been plowing this ground for a long time.


The American Library Association is a case in point. This is the association for professional librarians, including school librarians and public librarians. The ALA is deeply committed not only to the Drag Queen Story Hour concept, but to a general advocacy of the Sexual Revolution.

Joy Pullman describes the American Library Association’s recent convention. The program included workshops with these titles: “Creating Queer-Inclusive Elementary School Library Programming,” “Developing an Online Face for a Lesbian Pulp Fiction Collection” and, of course, “Telling Stories, Expanding Boundaries: Drag Queen Storytimes in Libraries.”

The ALA annual conference’s workshop selections also included “A Child’s Room to Choose: Encouraging Gender Identity and Expression in School and Public Libraries” and “Are You Going to Tell My Parents?: The Minor’s Right to Privacy in the Library.”

Politically charged talks and workshops like these formed at least one-third of the conference offerings, according to the ALA’s own description and a review of the conference catalog.

Pullman obtained much of her information from a member of the association: “The attendee who gave me her conference catalog and mobile app access has told me of internal conflict between her public library employment and Christian faith due to the saturation of this kind of bias in the interconnected library and book publishing worlds.” The ALA actually trains its members on how to promote the Sexual Revolutionary ideology against the wishes of taxpayers and parents. “Prepare. Prepare. Prepare,” when planning events such as DQST (Drag Queen Story Time) advised deputy director for ALA Communications and Marketing, Macey Morales, at another workshop, titled “Controversial Speaker Planned for Your Library Event? Things to Consider.”

The movement to “queer the library” is not a grassroots movement. Rather, it is a well-funded campaign orchestrated by elites to recreate the world according to the fantasy ideology of the Sexual Revolution.

American Psychological Association

Meanwhile, the Society for the Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity, a division of the American Psychological Association (APA), recently announced that it will set up a task force that promotes awareness and inclusivity about “consensual non-monogamy.” “Non-monogamy” means multiple concurrent sexual partners. In plain English, it’s what your grandma used to call “cheating.”

The task force website’s description of it mission is beyond parody:

“The Task Force on Consensual Non-Monogamy promotes awareness and inclusivity about consensual non-monogamy and diverse expressions of intimate relationships. These include but are not limited to: people who practice polyamory, open relationships, swinging, relationship anarchy and other types of ethical, non-monogamous relationships.

“Finding love and/or sexual intimacy is a central part of most people’s life experience. However, the ability to engage in desired intimacy without social and medical stigmatization is not a liberty for all. This task force seeks to address the needs of people who practice consensual non-monogamy, including their intersecting marginalized identities.”

Please notice: the task force’s mission has absolutely nothing to say about the well-being of any children who might result from these “consensual non-monogamous” unions. Indeed, the underlying, but unspoken presumption is that there will be no children. Ever.

Mental health professionals used to believe that children deserved love and support from their parents. Now the APA is completely ignoring the impact of adult sexual behavior on children.

The APA’s position seems to be that as long as sex is consensual, no one should pass negative judgment. In the #MeToo era, we have learned just how thin a reed “consent” can be. This idea has been a recipe for abuse across many sectors of society. Do we really believe that the more financially or socially powerful person in a relationship will not pressure his partner into accepting other partners? Is the APA planning to collude with him in describing this as “consensual?”

Both the American Library Association and the American Psychological Association have been corrupted by the ideology of the Sexual Revolution. Catholic, Evangelical and Mormon members of these professions often feel marginalized and beleaguered in their vocations. These people invested many years and a lot of money to enter these occupations. Now, they fear for their jobs.

So, what can they do about it? Some professionals are organizing to combat these trends. Small but plucky groups are having an impact. Some, like the American College of Pediatricians, are making a public splash. Others, I have no doubt, are working quietly behind the scenes.

I call on members of the professions to discern what they can do to reclaim the integrity of their vocation. Retired members: You may have an important role to play. After all, they can’t fire you!

All of us can help our friends and colleagues by supporting them when they go into combat, by encouraging them, and maybe even by helping their organizations financially.

The Sexual Revolution appeals to the human desire to have unlimited, child-free, guilt-free sex. Since this desire is intrinsically disordered and cannot ever be fully satisfied, the Sexual Revolution cannot sustain itself. Experience and evidence will inevitably arise to show people that this path is a mistake. Therefore, the Sexual Revolution requires continual artificial support.

We need to stop providing such support.

 



Conservative Christians Denounce APA's Promotion of Polyamory, Swinging

By Michael W. Chapman

This article was first published July 17, 2019, at cnsnews.com.

The American Psychological Association's (APA) decision to establish a "Consenual Non-monogamy Task Force" to promote "polyamory, open relationships" and "swinging" as normal sexual behavior was condemned by the Catholic League and the Ruth Institute, respectively, as a form of "mental breakdown" and another step in a long march "to normalize aberrant sexual behavior between adults."

"The APA is not a scientific body—it is an activist organization in service to sexual libertinism," said Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League. "The latest APA endorsement of polygamy and swinging (and my favorite, the all-inclusive 'relationship anarchy') was announced this month as part of the APA's 'Non-Monogamy Task Force' program; it says it is promoting 'inclusivity.'"


Gay polyamory. (Getty Images.)

"It has not yet endorsed bestiality (which is no doubt a tribute to the animal rights folks), but who knows what lies beyond the bend?" said Donohue. "That may be next. Isn't that what 'inclusivity' is all about?"

Ruth Institute President Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse said, "In plain English, 'non-monogamy' means multiple concurrent sexual partners, sometimes known as polyamory.... The APA’s position is that as long as sex is consensual, no judgement should be attached. In the #MeToo era, we have learned just how thin a reed 'consent' can be. This idea that individuals are entitled to whatever sex life they want, regardless of the consequences, is a basic belief of the Sexual Revolution."

"In the past half-century, this has been a recipe for disaster, as statistics on divorce, out-of-wedlock births and fatherless families show," said Morse.

Earlier this month, the American Psychological Association disclosed that it had launched the "Division 44 Consenual Non-monogamy Task Force." The purpose of the task force is to promote awareness and inclusivity about consensual non-monogamy and diverse expressions of intimate relationships," said the APA. "These include but are not limited to: people who practice polyamory, open relationships, swinging, relationship anarchy and other types of ethical non-monogamous relationships."

Polyamory. (YouTube)

The APA clarifies that its goal is to make sleeping round with multiple partners in a variety of situations, i.e., swinging, acceptable. "Finding love and/or sexual intimacy is a central part of most people’s life experience," stated the APA. "However, the ability to engage in desired intimacy without social and medical stigmatization is not a liberty for all. This task force seeks to address the needs of people who practice consensual non-monogamy, including their intersecting marginalized identities.”

Back in 1973, the APA followed the lead of the American Psychiatric Assocation to declare that homosexuality was no longer a form of mental illness, although there was no new scientific evidence to back up that change. In 2009, the APA rejected the idea that homosexuals could alter their behavior through gay conversion therapy.

"Let's face it, the APA leadership is actively pushing the radical gay agenda, the goal of which is to eradicate the cultural basis of Western civilization, namely the Judeo-Christian ethos," said Donohue. "Their ideology is so entrenched that they are unable to see the psychological and social damage that is done to everyone, especially women and children, when a sexual ethic based on restraint is destroyed. And have they not learned of the body count attributed to lethal sex practices?"

"Since the 1970s, the APA helped to normalize aberrant sexual behavior between adults," said Dr. Morse, Ph.D. "No one has stopped to ask about the long-term price children have paid, and that society continues to pay. Now it’s taking that one step further, by trying to get the pubic to accept multiple sexual partners. If they succeed, children and society will pay a steep price."

Dr. Morse futher asked, “What happens when little Johnny comes home and finds Mommy in bed with a strange man? If she explains to him that the relationship is ‘consensual,’ and Daddy knows about it, will that lessen the emotional trauma? What about the rights of children? Will their consent be sought too?"

Polyamory. (YouTube)

Dr. Morse’s latest book is The Sexual State: How Elite Ideologies are Destroying Lives (and how the Church was Right All Along).

Bill Donohue's latest book is Common Sense Catholicism: How to Resolve Our Cultural Crisis.


The State as Corrupting

By Paula Adamick

This article was first published



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.


Head of Ruth Institute Appalled by Gene-Manipulation Announcement

November 29, 2018

For Immediate Release

For More Information, contact: media@ruthinstitute.org

The announcement by a Chinese researcher that he has successfully used a “gene-editing” tool to modify two embryos drew a sharp rebuke from Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, Founder and President of the Ruth Institute.

“This is appalling,” Morse said. “Supposedly, the gene editing will make these twin girls resistant to the AIDS virus. Whether or not that’s true, it opens the door to all sorts of manipulation. Will gene-editing eventually be used to create a class of genetically-enhanced super humans?”

What about the long-range consequences? “Obviously, the changes are made without the consent of the subjects. The altered genes will be passed on to any offspring,” Morse noted.


Although most in the scientific community are cautious about the announcement of Chinese genetic scientist He Jiankui, Harvard Medical School Dean George Q. Daley says full-speed ahead, as long as the research is done by “responsible” clinics. Dr. Morse asks: “How can you ‘responsibly’ alter the genetic makeup of humans?”

Morse has fought other forms of manipulation on unborn children, including surrogacy, where eggs are fertilized outside the mother’s body and then implanted in the surrogate. That unwanted embryos are then destroyed makes the procedure even more objectionable.

“Gene editing is another step on this perilous course,” Morse noted. “Once a particular gene, or genes, are modified, the child is then placed in the mother’s body, with unknown long-term effects on future generations. The Managerial Technocratic Class is assigning itself the right to play God.”

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse introduced the concept of The Managerial Class in her recent book: The Sexual State: How Elite Ideologies Are Destroying Lives and How the Church was Right All Along.She holds them largely responsible for the devastation of the Sexual Revolution. “Not the ‘March of History’ or some impersonal forces: but the well-educated, well-connected technologically sophisticated Elites created and imposed the Sexual Revolution. They are going even further, with their plans to make the manipulation of human embryos sound humane. Enough is enough,” Dr. Morse declared.

For More information, contact: media@ruthinstitute.org


'The Sexual State': How Government and Big Donors Gave Us the Sexual Revolution

By Tyler O'Neil

This article was first published October 4, 2018, at PJMedia.com.

Cover of "The Sexual State" by Jennifer Roback Morse

In 21st century America, sex is all around us: on television, in movies, in classrooms, in politics, and even in churches. Sex permeates our desires, our expectations for relationships, even our identity. The Sexual Revolution goes far beyond the LGBT movement, and it has fundamentally reshaped American society. But few Americans actually grasp exactly where this revolution came from. An explosive new book reveals that government and wealthy donors, rather than impersonal historical forces or newly liberated women, propelled the Sexual Revolution.


"The State bears the greatest responsibility for the toxic sexual culture in which we live," Jennifer Roback Morse, founder of the Ruth Institute (RI), writes in "The Sexual State: How Elite Ideologues Are Destroying Lives And Why the Church Was Right All Along." She presented five other explanations for the Sexual Revolution, and found each one wanting.

Many have suggested that the Sexual Revolution came about through the inevitable and impersonal "march of history." This view does not work "because it robs us and our forbears of human agency." Even the over-hyped birth control pill "is just an inert piece of technology" that people could decide to use or not use, or use in different ways.

Morse also rebuts the feminist narrative, which suggests that "these changes have been one long string of victories for the benefit and advancement of women." Ironically, the very success of women's liberation "undermines the claim that women have been completely powerless and dominated by the patriarchy throughout all of recorded history." Furthermore, the author argues that "the pro-life movement is dominated by women," suggesting that not all women want more of the Sexual Revolution.

Perhaps the most common explanation for the Sexual Revolution is the "liberationist narrative," which posits that everyone is more free thanks to new sexual norms. This view also cannot explain how age-old oppression was immediately dissolved in one generation, Morse argues.

Furthermore, many people "have become less free, in fact actually oppressed, by the very forces that are supposedly liberating us. The breaking of family bonds has increased the size and scope of the State, including the intrusion of the State into the everyday lives of ordinary people." She mentions college sex tribunals, family courts — which even rule on which schools and churches children can attend — and higher taxes to pay for social workers who manage tough divorces and family breakdown.

Morse also rejects the "over-population narrative," which suggests that "too many people create ecological disaster and economic backwardness," so the State needs to control population through birth control and abortion. Interestingly, advocates of this narrative "haven't been able to adapt the narrative to the changing circumstances of population decline, which the Over-Population Narrative itself helped bring about."

Finally, the author turns to a "steal capitalist narrative," explaining the Sexual Revolution by pointing to the many people who benefit financially from family breakdown. Abortionists, pharmaceutical companies, the fertility industry, pornographers, divorce professionals, family court judges and lawyers, medical professionals who specialize in sexually transmitted diseases, and social workers all perversely benefit from family breakdown, contraception, and abortion.

Even higher education and employers benefit from women choosing to get married later, to go to school and to work, rather than raising a family. Morse claims that employers benefit from easy divorce as well, as women are less able to rely on their husbands to financially support them. She suggests that these factors cement the Sexual Revolution, but they do not explain it.

The author boils the Sexual Revolution down to three basic "ideologies:" the Contraceptive Ideology separates sex from childbearing; the Divorce Ideology separates sex and childbearing from marriage; and the Gender Ideology eliminates the distinctions between men and women that individuals do not explicitly embrace.

"The Sexual Revolution needs the State for one major reason: the premises of the Sexual Revolution are false," Morse declares. "Sex does make babies. Children do need their parents, and therefore marriage is the proper and just context for both sex and childbearing. Men and women are different." The Sexual Revolution requires "reconstructing society" around a rejection of these basic truths, so it involves a great deal of propaganda.

"If you can make people believe Bruce Jenner, the 1976 male Olympic decathlon winner, is a woman, you can make them believe 2 + 2 = 5. If you can make people afraid to say, 'Bruce Jenner is a man,' you can make them afraid to say anything," Morse quips. "The Sexual Revolution is a totalitarian ideology with a blind commitment to the implementation of its tenets, regardless of the human costs."

The book begins with a list of victims of the Sexual Revolution, a topic for a future article. Those victims include children of divorce, spouses who did not want to get divorced, women who waited too long to have children, young women who wanted to abstain from sex, and more. Suffice it to say, the Sexual Revolution has harmed many people.

Morse narrates how the state unleashed the Sexual Revolution, beginning with the Supreme Court contraception case Griswold v. Connecticut (1965). The Contraceptive Ideology predated this decision and played a large role in pushing the Court to change the law on contraception.

The author cites liberal attorney Leo Pfeffer and conservative historian Allan Carlson, who agreed that governments will consider contraception necessary once they have established welfare states — in order to prevent the subsidized poor from having children. Tragically, the U.S. government pushed contraception before Griswold, pushing contraception in post-World War II Japan and other foreign countries considered to be U.S. interests.

In the 1960s and 1970s, USAID started pushing contraception and abortion, thinking these "family planning" efforts would help other countries defeat poverty. These policies were also wrapped up with the ugly eugenics movement in America.

In order to downplay the ugly history of eugenics, contraception activists turned to the work of Alfred Kinsey, an academic who claimed that "up to" 67 to 98 percent of American men ha had premarital sex and that 69 percent of American males had at least one experience with a prostitute. His claims were shot down by other researchers, who exposed his shoddy methods. But the Rockefeller Foundation funded his research and sent his crackpot theories mainstream.

Planned Parenthood and its allies enjoyed connections to elites, and helped push the Court in the direction of legalizing contraception for anyone across the country.

Similarly, elite institutions and big donors pushed no-fault divorce, Morse argues. After Ronald Reagan signed the first no-fault divorce law in 1968, the American Law Institute (ALI), founded with support from the Carnegie Foundation, crafted model legislation to insert the state in between husbands and wives — and favor the spouse who wanted a divorce.

The ALI pushed for decriminalizing private sexual acts between consenting adults, a key plank that struck down states' ability to regulate obscene materials and contraception.

By 1974, all but five states had adopted a form of no-fault divorce.

Morse argues that no-fault divorce positions the power of the state on the side of whichever spouse least wants the marriage to continue. This damages spouses who are committed to the marriage, but it also damages children who do not grow up with both of their parents. It also empowers the government, which now mediates between divorced mothers and fathers.

The author argues that the claim "the kids will be all right" is propaganda. She cites the work of Judith Wallerstein, who found that divorce has a long-term impact on children — damaging their prospects for romantic relationships in adulthood. Similarly, the worries about husbands abusing wives are overblown, as studies have shown that women and children are more likely to be abused in cohabiting relationships than in marriage.

Finally, Morse argues that the government and elites pushed the "Gender Ideology" — long before transgender identity went mainstream — in order to encourage women to be "ideal workers:" "a person who never takes time off, is never sick, whose mental and psychological focus is entirely on the job."

"We've built a society around the premise that our educated women must be permitted to time their 1.6 pregnancies right down to the minute when it's most convenient. But convenient for whom? All too often, it means the convenience of the employers, or the interests of the career path, or of those who hold the student debt which the young woman or young couple must pay down," Morse claims.

The author does not lament the fact that women have entered the "managerial class," highly paid professions which do not involve manual labor. She herself is a member of this class. Rather, she suggests that the pressures of work and the benefits of this class enable people to overlook the obvious differences between men and women.

"People who do manual labor aren't deluded for a moment that men and women are interchangeable," Morse quips. For this reason, men are vastly over-represented in the dangerous professions.

Women's involvement in the workforce need not be connected to the Sexual Revolution's Gender Ideology, the author argues. "I claim the right to participate in the labor market as women, not as men in skirts." She suggests that "educated women would be better off if they accepted that their fertility peaks during their twenties and planned their lives around this fact."

Morse lays out a basic life plan: Women should go to college for a liberal education, not a vocational one. They should et married and have kids early, using their higher educations to be involved in educating their kids. "Let your husbands support you. Trust them. Be grateful for them," and when the children are older, go back for an advanced degree and work.

Tragically, activists are pushing on all these issues and more. Morse discusses same-sex marriage in a chapter on the Gender Ideology. She recalls the battle over California's Proposition 8.

"The 'Yes on 8' campaign was arguably the largest grassroots campaign in history," she writes, noting that California's secretary of state website crashed because there were over 5,000 pages of contributors to the campaign. Yet modern "progressives" "took Proposition 8 to court on flimsy pretexts and rich people's money."

After Proposition 8 passed and the people had amended their constitution, California's attorney general refused to defend it. The people's will failed thanks to an effective pocket veto. in the case Hollingsworth v. Perry (2013), the Supreme Court ruled that proponents of ballot initiatives like Proposition 8 could not defend such laws in court, enabling Gov. Jerry Brown (D-Calif.) to resume same-sex marriage in the state. Now-Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) performed the first same-sex marriage after this ruling.

As with Proposition 8, wealthy liberals continue to push Sexual Revolution issues, particularly abortion and contraception. George Soros and Warren Buffett continue to fund abortion groups, and they use their money to "shape political institutions so they can use the government to recreate the world in their own image and likeness," Morse alleges.

Importantly, the book notes that contraception carries health risks for women, and some studies have shown that hormonal contraception is as likely to cause cancer as smoking. "Smoking has been all but banned, tobacco companies have been sued, and smokers have been socially shunned," Morse writes. "By contrast, the government actively promotes the use of hormonal contraception while the media plays down the risks."

Abortion, often considered an alternative should contraception fail, also carries tremendous health risks to the mother, which medical associations keep secret for political reasons, the author argues. She also notes that wealthy donors funded abortion activists who convinced the Supreme Court to strike down Texas regulations treating abortion clinics like any other medical facility.

"When the people of Texas, acting through their duly elected state legislators, enacted health and safety legislation for abortion clinics, the elites of society knocked it down," Morse declares.

"The Sexual State" makes a compelling case that state power and wealthy elites pushed the Sexual Revolution, and people should fight back. While Morse does address LGBT issues, her book mostly focuses on the negative impacts the Sexual Revolution has had on family life, harming faithful spouses, children of divorce, and many others.

Morse, a Roman Catholic, presents a very Catholic view of these issues and champions the Catholic Church's approach. Her book was ill-fated to release shortly after the sexual abuse scandal broke, but her points still stand.

The book may be too polemical, but it raises important questions about the hidden harms of the Sexual Revolution and who benefits from this humongous social change.

"The Sexual State" is an important book for libertarians to wrestle with, as it presents a compelling case that big government benefits from the Sexual Revolution, and that marriage and family would help weaken the power of the state.


Control of The Sexual State is on the Line in War over Kavanaugh, Says Ruth Institute Head

For more information, contact: Elizabeth Johnson at media@ruthinstitute.org.

On the eve of tomorrow’s Judiciary Committee hearing, Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D., observed: “Those who say this increasingly contentious nomination isn’t about abortion are dead wrong. Of course, it’s about abortion.”

The head of the Ruth Institute and author of The Sexual State: How Elite Ideologies are Destroying Lives, explained, “The abortion regime, which seeks a complete disconnect between sex and babies, can’t stand on its own. It needs to be constantly propped up by the Sexual State, in this case, the courts.”


Morse elaborated: “The abortion lobby claims it wants women to be able to ‘control their fertility.’ This claim is disingenuous. What the Abortion Lobby really wants is a world where sex and babies are completely disconnected, and sex without babies is an entitlement.”

“This is not the real world,” Morse continued. “That’s why the State, specifically, the judiciary, is needed. Ordinary people, acting through their legislatures, have enacted numerous common-sense pro-life measures. But the Abortion Lobby cannot abide these regulations, no matter how modest they may be.”

“Abortion supporters are terrified of Roe being ‘repealed piecemeal,’ as they say. That’s why they’re fighting the Kavanaugh nomination so fiercely. They need justices who will support their agenda.”

Morse concluded, “We hope the public will see through the media circus these hearings have become. Most normal people don’t want to live with a government committed to the fantasy that everyone is entitled to unlimited sex without a live baby ever resulting.”

The Sexual State, Morse’s latest book, was released in August by TAN Books. Dr. Morse, who has a passion for helping young people avoid the perils of the Sexual Revolution, is a popular campus speaker.

For more information about The Ruth Institute, visit http://www.ruthinstitute.org/.

For more information about The Sexual State, visit https://thesexualstate.com/.

 



RUTH INSTITUTE PRESIDENT AND AUTHOR OF “THE SEXUAL STATE” SAYS RECORD RATES OF STDS ARE ANOTHER TRAGIC CONSEQUENCE OF THE SEXUAL REVOLUTION

Commenting on the recently released report by the Centers for Disease Control, Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, President of the Ruth Institute and author of The Sexual State, said, “Record rates of sexually transmitted disease are another tragic consequence of the Sexual Revolution.”

The CDC reports that in 2017, there were 2.294 million cases of syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia. This is the 4th consecutive year these numbers have gone up. In 2013, there were 1.75 million cases of these three sexually transmitted diseases. In 2014, the number had grown to 1.8 million. In 2015, the figure was 1.94 million, and in 2016, 2.094 million cases were diagnosed.

Dr. Morse comments: “Each of these figures was the highest ever reported in that particular year. Given the state of society, we can expect them to continue to rise, with no end in sight.

“The answer of the ‘experts’ is more funding for health care and more sex education – as if we haven’t yet reached the saturation point.”


As The Sexual State: How Elite Ideologies Are Destroying Lives and Why the Church Was Right All Along points out, the culprits include a hook-up culture, and the idea that “everyone is entitled to the sex life they want,” including sex outside marriage, casual sex, sex at an early age, multiple partners, etc.

Morse notes: “There was a time when we understood that the only ‘safe sex’ is abstinence before marriage and faithfulness in marriage. As long as we treat sex unseriously, as long as we try to divorce this most intimate act from morality, sexually transmitted diseases will be a growing disaster.”

The Sexual State was published in late August by TAN books. For more information visit https://thesexualstate.com/.

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse has a passion for helping young people avoid the perils of the sexual revolution. She is a popular campus speaker.

For More Information, contact: Beth Johnson at elizabeth.johnson@trvconsultinglc.com.

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