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.


How a Christian Child’s Love Won Jane Roe’s Heart

By Ryan MacPherson, a Ruth Institute Circle of Experts member

This article was first published at hausvater.org on January 22, 2009 (36th anniversary of Roe v. Wade).
Book Review: Won by Love, Norma McCorvey (with Gary Thomas), (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1998)

In her own small world she was Norma McCorvey, a battered, then abandoned, wife and drug addict, pregnant but not desiring a child. The wider world would know her as “Jane Roe” of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion nationwide. The story told there was tragic: a woman gang raped, forced into pregnancy, and denied the opportunity to terminate that pregnancy since abortion was outlawed in Texas. This story, however, was a lie—fabricated by attorney Sarah Weddington, who herself had obtained an illegal abortion and now was on a mission to make abortion available legally. When McCorvey became “Roe,” she provided the tool Weddington needed to push the issue in the courts. But after McCorvey signed “Roe’s” affidavit, affirming the fabricated story as her own, Weddington reneged on her promise to help McCorvey deal with her crisis pregnancy. Weddington did not even so much as telephone McCorvey until four months after the child was born.


The “Roe” of Roe v. Wade did not abort her baby, a child saved, ironically, by an attorney’s need for a pregnant plaintiff in order to sue for abortion access. McCorvey had never even been inside an abortion clinic, though later she would work for one. She was both the victim of deceit and the perpetrator of deception. Marijuana helped her to cope. So did alcohol. And coarse humor, too: “I tell women we aren’t killing little babies on Wednesday; they have to come in Thursday through Saturday to do it.” (150) But her verbal defense mechanisms, like her lesbian relationship with an abortion clinic coworker, only took her deeper into the pit of despair and anger, a bitter mixture of relentless grief and suppressed guilt.

Even “Jane Roe” knew that abortion killed babies. While working at A Choice for Women, she tried to refer a sixth-month pregnant woman to an ob-gyn, but her supervisor insisted that the woman have access to the abortion she was seeking. Unable to cope, McCorvey had to take the afternoon off; she binge-drank for the two weeks following. Back at the clinic, she refused to be assigned to the “Parts Room,” where the remains of aborted children were stored in jars for transfer to a disposal facility, after first being counted and collated to ensure that no body parts were left in their mothers’ wombs following the procedure. She did, however, accept an assignment to console women afterwards, who grieved in the recovery room with confessions of having just killed their babies. No, it was not knowledge that McCorvey or her coworkers lacked; abortion clearly killed babies and devastated their mothers.

Love, not knowledge, was the missing piece in the puzzle of their fractured lives. And “God is love.” (1 John 4:16) God had turned the heart of Flip Benham, an alcoholic pro-choice unbeliever, toward Himself, transforming him into a Christian pro-life pastor who joined Operation Rescue. McCorvey called him “Flip Venom” when Operation Rescue moved into the office space next to A Choice for Women. The name-calling didn’t stick, however, since no venom came from Flip’s mouth. He spoke in love, as did his fellow “rescuers,” including Ronda Mackie and, the most loving and lovable of all, her seven-year-old daughter Emily.

Emily played on the sidewalk in front of the two adjacent offices: her mother’s Operation Rescue and McCorvey’s A Choice for Women. It was a brilliant Operation Rescue strategy: cute children playing gleefully outside, testifying by their casual existence the severe reality behind the “services” provided by A Choice for Women. Emily did more than deter women from seeking abortions; she smiled and greeted, she hugged and conversed with Norma McCorvey, a woman who had given birth to three children, aborted none, and yet facilitated the abortions of many at her clinic and millions through her role as “Jane Roe.” Finally, McCorvey admitted that she loved children. “Then why,” asked Emily, so innocently and so gently, “are you letting the little ones die inside?” (91) Had Pastor Flip asked the question, or any other adult, McCorvey would have responded with her standard mouthful of foul obscenity. For a seven-year-old girl, however, she had no defense. “I never answered her,” she later recalled. “I couldn’t.” (91)

In the months that followed, McCorvey became attached to Emily, and to her mother Ronda. A budding friendship bridged the gap between an Operation Rescue worker and an abortion clinic employee. McCorvey found herself, inexplicably, referring late-term clients away from A Choice for Women and toward Operation Rescue, knowing full well that since late-term abortions had the best profit margin she was sabotaging her boss’s business. One day Ronda Mackie took Norma McCorvey out for lunch and mentioned that Emily had nearly been aborted. Ronda’s fiancé and parents-in-law-to-be had urged the termination of an inconvenient pregnancy, back when Ronda herself was still an unbeliever.

Now the abortion question was too personalized to remain a question; the answer was clear, even to McCorvey, and made clearer still by the love of the Operation Rescue picketers, who never returned McCorvey’s invectives. “I love you,” echoed the voice of little Emily, a survivor of the abortion culture. “I forgive you,” said Pastor Flip, himself a penitent sinner.

Americans mark January 22 as the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, but for “Jane Roe” the real turning point came on August 8, 1995. On that day she “renounce[d] the devil and all his works, and the sinful desires of the flesh” (187). She repented of her drug abuse, her lesbian self-defilement, her hatred toward pro-lifers, and her role in the deaths of the 35 million children aborted in America during the preceding 22 years. When Pastor Flip immersed her in the waters of Holy Baptism, she arose a new person. She had been won by love.

Her story amazes the reader, in places seeming too good to be true. But on closer inspection, it’s too good to be false. Love, not hatred, changes hearts, even the hardest of hearts. The conversion narratives of Ronda Mackie and Flip Benham are encouraging enough; the redemption of “Jane Roe” into “Norma McCorvey, Christian” (177) reveals the Gospel at its brightest. But the message does not stop there; the Gospel keeps shining, as forgiveness in Christ also transforms Connie Gonzales, her former coworker and some-time lesbian partner. Remarkably, “Mary Doe” of Doe v. Bolton—the companion case to Roe v. Wade—also repented. “Doe” (Sarah Cano) joined McCorvey in March 1997 as the two women publicly identified themselves as “new creatures in Christ and children of God” while dedicating the National Memorial for Unborn Children in Chattanooga, Tennessee (236).

Forgiveness does not come easily; Christ suffered greatly and died to make it possible. “It was so hard for me to conceive that the Lord had forgiven me,” acknowledges McCorvey, “especially after so many children had been killed. But He has forgiven me and restored me. And, gradually, I have learned to trust His Word more than my own feelings.” (228) Though painful emotions still return, bringing with them doubts concerning God’s love, McCorvey finds comfort especially in these passages: “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17); “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)

Norma McCorvey’s story concludes with words of hope. “If God can forgive Norma McCorvey—Jane Roe—and her role in abortion, surely he can forgive you as well.” (229) Her conversion reveals not only the limitless love of Christ, but also the effectiveness of Christ’s servants who “speak the truth in love.” (Ephesians 4:15)

For Ronda Mackie, loving Norma McCorvey meant trusting her to watch over her daughter Emily who began regularly visiting the reception room of A Choice for Women. Emily brought gifts of her own artwork, labeled “Jesus loves you, Miss Norma.” A child’s love communicated a message that anti-abortion ranting and raving, with slogans like “Abortion Stops a Beating Heart,” could not. “This is what happens when Christians are willing to face their enemies and adopt the most powerful strategy ever devised—the strategy displayed by Christ’s death on the cross, the strategy of laying down your life so that others, including the unborn, might live. This is what it is like to be won by love.” (240)

McCorvey’s autobiography calls to repentance both the abortion perpetrator and the abortion protester: the one for taking innocent life and the other for too often fighting a culture of death with a culture of hate. Either way, the world needs more people like Emily, a child spared from abortion and a spokesperson of truth in love. And to become like Emily, one first needs Christ, who did not spare Himself, but lived and died for the truth in love. Christ practiced “lifestyle witnessing” to the extreme. The gift of His Spirit empowers others to do the same.

If more people would read Won by Love, then they could understand more clearly the gracious will of God amidst one of our nation’s greatest tragedies. Let’s just hope they don’t keep it to themselves. Christ’s love, communicated in actions and not just in words, transformed America’s most infamous abortion advocate into a Christian defender of purity and life. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if no one could ever hear the phrase “Roe v. Wade” without remembering “Jane Roe’s” repentance and Christ’s forgiveness?

Dr. Ryan C. MacPherson is the founding president of The Hausvater Project. He lives with his wife Marie and their children in Mankato, Minnesota, where he teaches American history, history of science, and bioethics at Bethany Lutheran College. For more information, visit www.ryancmacpherson.com.


Elite Women Wage Social Warfare on Everywoman

by Jennifer Roback Morse

This article was first posted at The Blaze on July 5, 2016.

So a radical feminist and two childless women walk into a courtroom. How do you expect them to rule on abortion or contraception? Their lives as they know them, depend on both.

In Whole Woman’s Health vs. Hellerstedt, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a Texas law regulating abortion clinics as if they were any ordinary medical facility. You have no doubt heard that this was somehow a victory for women, in the ongoing and everlasting War Against Women.

Actually, I believe there is no War Against Women, but a long-standing War Among Women. And this time, like most of the time, Elite Women prevail over “Everywoman.” Pro-choice activists hold placards and chant outside of the US Supreme Court ahead of a ruling on abortion clinic restrictions on June 27, 2016 in Washington, DC. (MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Pro-choice activists hold placards and chant outside of the US Supreme Court ahead of a ruling on abortion clinic restrictions on June 27, 2016 in Washington, DC. (MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Consider the three women currently serving on the U.S. Supreme Court. Whose interests do these women actually represent?


The most senior female member of the court is Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a lifelong radical feminist. Let’s look for a moment at her personal life. Justice Ginsburg had the lifelong support of her husband in her career aspirations. Thanks to no-fault divorce, women today cannot count on a lifetime of mutual support with their husbands.

Justice Ginsburg came of age in the short historical window of time when women could still get married, have kids, go to law school, and have a career after child-bearing. Her two children were born when she was 22 and 32, in 1955 and 1965 respectively.

Thanks to radical feminism, highly educated women have a much more difficult time doing these things. They can go to law school and have a career all right. But getting married and having children sometime before menopause, not so much. Justice Ginsburg has been safely insulated from the negative fallout of the Sexual Revolution which she and her radical feminist colleagues did so much to champion.

The other two women on the Supreme Court, Justices Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor, are childless.

It is highly unlikely that the two of them understand the aspirations of women who want their babies and stable marriages. For most women, family is everything and “career” is a way to put food on the table. Elite women know nothing of Everywoman, the people who have endured the Sexual Revolution, and who do not have high status jobs as compensation.

I am acutely aware of all this because I am a bit of an outlier among my educational class. That is a fancy way of saying I am a freak. I left a tenured university position back in 1996 to give more attention to my children who needed me, and my husband who wanted me and who I, in turn, wanted. No one gives up tenure. Believe me. My friends quietly thought I had lost my mind, except for one dear friend who told me I was a counter-cultural radical.

I had been in line to become the head of my department. Obviously, that didn’t happen. I never sat on any prestigious commissions. I haven’t received a plum political appointment like my childless or male peers have. Mind you, I’m not complaining. I do not regret my choices for a moment. I have encountered plenty of other women with advanced degrees who have made similar choices with no regrets.

No, my point is different. Delayed childbearing is the price of entering the professional classes. Tenacious focus is the price of remaining in the upper echelons of those classes. Placing a high personal value on life, marriage, family and the next generation puts a woman at a disadvantage in the competition for high-end jobs.

Put another way, childless women have an advantage over mothers in the competition for power and influence. For many elite women, the Sexual Revolution has made possible their lives as they know them. They literally cannot imagine what their lives would be like without contraception, or without abortion as an easy back-up.

The Sexual Revolution has been an imposition by the elites upon the masses. From the beginning, it is the people of modest means who have suffered from no-fault divorce, and hook-ups and instability and relationship churning and non-marital childbearing.

The Everyman and Everywoman regularly vote for lawmakers who promote pro-life legislation. But elites in the judiciary consistently overturn it. And that is what happens when a radical feminist and two childless women walk into a courtroom.

 

 

 

 


Sexual Revolutionaries Target Cal State Professor for Defending Families

COMMENTARY: A tenured professor of English is threatened with dismissal because he challenged one of the sexual revolution’s core assumptions.

by JENNIFER ROBACK MORSE

This article was first posted November 11, 2015, at NCRegister.com.
 

Robert Oscar Lopez, a tenured English professor at California State University-Northridge, is on the verge of being suspended without pay, ostensibly due to a conference he organized a year ago. In fact, I believe this is not the real reason why this man of Puerto Rican and Philippine heritage, who knows six modern languages as well as Latin and Greek, is being hounded out of his job.

YouTube

Professor Robert Lopez of the University of California at Northridge

Lopez’s parents divorced when he was a toddler. His mother formed an intimate relationship with another woman. His father disappeared from his life for a long time. Lopez believes that these events were traumatic for him, and he has been outspoken in saying so. His countercultural views are an embarrassment to the Sexual Revolutionary Establishment at his university and beyond. They believe he must be silenced. Getting him fired is one step toward that end.


I was one of the presenters at the conference in question, “Bonds That Matter.” And, unbeknownst to me, I was one of the sources of controversy in Lopez’s interaction with the Cal State administration.

Lopez invited me to present at the conference on the topic of divorce. I was eager to be part of the event, as my organization, the Ruth Institute, agrees with his general perspective: that it is unjust to deprive a child of a relationship with his or her parents without good reason. Millions of children have their relationship with a parent damaged by parental divorce.

I agreed to waive my usual fee, as a way of supporting this initial effort of Lopez’s new organization, the International Children’s Rights Institute. As part of our agreement, the Ruth Institute was permitted to have a display table. We did not sell anything, nor did we offer participants the opportunity to sign up for our newsletter, activities we normally do when I speak at events. I did not mention anything regarding homosexuality, gay marriage or gay parenting during my talk, which you can listen to for yourself.

Imagine my surprise when I received a call from Lopez, many months later, asking me about some Ruth Institute brochures.

“Did you pass out this brochure called ‘77 Non-Religious Reasons to Support Man/Woman Marriage?’” he said.

“No. They were probably lying on our book table. Why do you ask?”

He asked because a student had filed a complaint against him. These brochures were submitted as evidence that his conference had created a hostile environment. Mind you, the student who lodged this complaint received an A in the course in question and did not file her complaint until after she had graduated.

I confirmed that I did, however, pass out and discuss another pamphlet, “Are You a Survivor of the Sexual Revolution?” — which you can look at for yourself. We have revised the artwork since the conference and made modest changes to the content. In fact, the version the students saw did not include the last sentences about children of same sex-parents, under “Gay Lifestyle Refugee.”

I believe the sexual revolutionaries despise Robert Lopez because he challenges one of their core assumptions. The sexual revolution is based on the idea that all adults able to give meaningful consent are entitled to unlimited sexual activity with a minimum of inconvenience. What they never mention is this: Children just have to accept whatever adults choose to give them.

Lopez believes that children have rights to a relationship with both of their parents, in the absence of some unavoidable tragedy. Children have a right to know their identity, so that all adults without exception can know their cultural heritage and genetic identity. These entitlements of children impose legitimate obligations and limitations on adult behavior, including, potentially, public policy and personal sexual behavior.

All of us who presented at that conference agree with this basic point. We disagreed among ourselves about the exact nature and contours of those obligations and limitations. But this common ground created a fruitful avenue for serious discussion.

The very concept of children’s rights that impose limitations on adult sexual behavior threatens the fragile intellectual structure of the sexual revolution. The true revolutionary is counting on no one noticing that sex makes babies and that children need their parents.

The true revolutionary needs to change the subject away from this topic,and on to any other topic. For example:

  • Did Lopez “retaliate” against a student who received an A in his class?
  • Did the Ruth Institute pamphlet “77 Non-Religious Reasons to Support Man/Woman Marriage” create a “hostile learning environment,” while it was laying passively on the table?
  • Did the Ruth Institute pamphlet that I distributed — “Are You a Survivor of the Sexual Revolution?” — traumatize students with the suggestion that some people who have lived a gay lifestyle might now wish to live some other way?

Here is a link to a summary of the case. Here are the letters filed on behalf of Lopez by attorney Charles LiMandri of the Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund and by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. Looking at these documents, any sensible person must conclude that the answer to all these questions is “No.” Yet these are the questions the sexual revolutionaries, including the students with their frivolous complaints and the University Equity and Diversity Establishment, would prefer to discuss.

Never mind whether children are traumatized by the divorce of their parents. Never mind whether children feel wounded by the state-sanctioned loss of one parent through third-party reproduction. Never mind whether surrogate mothers are fully informed about the health risks they face. Never mind whether some adoption practices improperly commercialize and commodify children and harm their mothers.

The university should drop all charges against Robert Oscar Lopez. Please sign our petition to the chancellor of the California State University System, asking him to drop all charges.

 

Latter Day Saints Leadership speaks out on the Obergefell ruling

posted by Jennifer Roback Morse 

In a statement released on June 29, the Council of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter‐day Saints restates and reaffirms the doctrinal foundation of Church teachings on morality, marriage, and the family. The statement reads in part: 

Consistent with our fundamental beliefs, Church officers will not employ their ecclesiastical authority to perform marriages between two people of the same sex, and the Church does not permit its meetinghouses or other properties to be used for ceremonies, receptions, or other activities associated with same‐sex marriages. Nevertheless, all visitors are welcome to our chapels and premises so long as they respect our standards of conduct while there. 

 

 

The Ruth Institute expresses appreciation to the leadership of the Latter Day Saints for their clear teaching. If you wish to share your appreciation to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, you may write to them at: 

Dear President Monson

President Thomas Monson

Office of the First Presidency

47 East South Temple Street, 

Salt Lake City, Utah 84150 

(Pictured: Breana Jones and Jose Gonzales on their wedding day, at a Latter Day Saint temple. Breanna was a participant in the Ruth Institute's "It Takes a Family to Raise a Village" conference in 2013.) 


Bishop Robert McElroy of San Diego speaks out on Obergefell

Posted by Jennifer Roback Morse 

Bishop Robert McElroy, recently appointed Bishop of San Diego by Pope Francis, issued a statement on the Supreme Court's marriage ruling. The statement reads in part: 

The Catholic Church, along with other faith traditions, teaches that the nature of marriage and the family cannot be redefined by society, as God is the author of marriage and its corresponding gift of co-creating human life. The legal recognition of marriage is not only about personal commitment but also about the social commitment that husband and wife make to the well-being of their children. It is for this reason that it is important for government to give a unique status to marriage between one man and one woman both in law and in public policy. The Catholic community of San Diego and Imperial counties will continue to honor and embody the uniqueness of marriage between one man and one woman as a gift from God- -in our teaching, our sacramental life and our witness to the world.

The Ruth Institute expresses its appreciation to the Bishop of San Diego for his clarity and leadership. 

If you wish to thank Bishop McElroy, you may write to him at: 

The Most Reverend Bishop Robert McElroy, 

Bishop of San Diego 

 P.O. Box 85728

San Diego, CA 92186-5728

 


Dick Durbin, Hillary Clinton, and Harry Reid on their support for traditional marriage

 You need to watch this. It's less than three minutes. Be sure to share it with your friends. Isn't Clinton's description of marriage remarkable? 


Viral Images for Equality

by Jennifer Johnson, Associate Director

June of 2013 was the last time the Supreme Court made a ruling on marriage. Remember how those "equals" signs went viral on social media at that time? Why was that? I think one reason is that people really care about the ideal of equality. They believe that we should treat others fairly. I agree that equality is a good ideal. It is not a perfect ideal, but it is a good one. We might wish the general public would talk about the marriage issue using other concepts, but they don't. Right or wrong, they care about equality and that's how they think about marriage. So, since we know they care about equality, shouldn't we talk about equality too? We can. And we can do it without sacrificing our principles.

A while back I discovered that we can incorporate equality into the marriage issue by saying this:

"Family structure equality for children."

After all, "Family structure equality for children," is just another way of saying what we've already been saying, such as:
  • One man, one woman, for life
  • Every child needs a mom and a dad
  • Children do best with a mom and a dad
I'm sure you see the similarities.

The Supreme Court is getting ready to rule again on marriage.Their ruling comes out this week. I won't be surprised to see those "equals" signs going viral again and I hope you are not either. As a way to show your friends and family that you care about equality too, please consider using the image below as your profile photo on Facebook, Twitter, etc., for the next few days.

Our use of equality is more fair than what the opposing side promotes, don't you agree? We specifically include the kids, and they don't.


Religious Liberty Is Not Enough

by Jennifer Roback Morse

This article was first posted at Crisismagazine.com on April 29, 2015.

Protest at Supreme Court (Reuters:Joshua Roberts)

I want to thank those who took the time to respond to my recent article, “Why Religious Liberty Arguments Aren’t Working.” Our focus at the Ruth Institute is crafting sound arguments and clarifying the proper context for their use. Religious liberty arguments are a case in point. While there is merit in religious liberty arguments, we propose a broader strategy that will help all who are engaged in this greatest struggle of our time.


What I’m Not SayingI am NOT saying that lawyers like Matt Bowman and his colleagues at the Alliance Defending Freedom should stop taking religious liberty cases.

I am NOT saying that advocates should stop sticking up for Christians who have been harmed.

I am NOT denigrating the people who have lost their jobs, their businesses or their educational opportunities for the sake of their religious beliefs.

Never in a million years.

In fact, I support them all.

Nor am I saying that we don’t need religious liberty.

So what am I saying?

A Hypothetical DialogueA Christian baker refuses to bake and deliver a wedding cake for a same-sex couple’s wedding reception, citing deeply held religious beliefs. At one time, this might have been an acceptable legal argument providing protection from prosecution under anti-discrimination laws. This appears to be no longer the case.

But I’m not so interested in what will or won’t fly in a court of law. I trust the attorneys like Charles LiMandri, Jay Sekelow, Brad Dacus, Dean Broyles and all the wonderful men and women at the Alliance Defending Freedom to know their business. They know what arguments can and should be made in a court of law, under different sets of facts.

I’m getting at something else.

Suppose someone other than a lawyer questions the Christian baker: a news reporter or their next door neighbor or their lesbian co-worker.

“Why won’t you bake and deliver this cake?”

“Because my religion forbids gay marriage.”

“Why does your religion forbid gay marriage?”

“Because enacting gay marriage will force Christians to do things they don’t believe in.”

Do you see the problem? From the point of view of the non-religious person, this is not an answer at all. We cannot cite religious liberty as a free-standing argument at this point. If we do not provide our unchurched or poorly catechized neighbors with an answer that makes sense to them, they will supply their own answer:

“You won’t bake the cake because you hate gay people.”

Replying “no I don’t hate anyone” without offering a reason other than “my religion forbids it” just induces them to take an even further and more destructive step:

“In that case, your religion deserves to be suppressed.”

Now Matt Bowman may be correct that Americans have an instinctive sense of fair play that causes them to recoil from government coercion. I fear we are in danger of eroding that wholesome instinct if we do not offer reasons for our beliefs. The attractiveness of the florists, bakers and photographers, and the outrageousness of their maltreatment, may no longer be sufficient.

We need to give our countrymen reasons to do more than merely put up with us. We need to give them reasons to actively agree with us, endorse our views and work to put them into practice.

So What Do We Say?There are a number of possible arguments we can offer at this point.

We can say that redefining marriage is bad public policy. Our organization, the Ruth Institute, puts most of its energies into developing these kinds of arguments. We can present these public policy arguments in many different contexts. Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco is not simply saying, “I’m the Archbishop. I can run my schools any way I want.” No, Archbishop Cordileone is giving reasons why the Catholic view of marriage and family is good and beautiful and deserves to be presented in all its fullness.

Even this past weekend’s March for Marriage, which had religious liberty as its central theme, did not treat religious liberty as a free-standing issue. Most of the speakers gave reasons why genderless marriage is bad policy, quite apart from people’s First Amendment rights to oppose it. Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, said that redefining marriage is an untried social experiment being performed on small children. This is a reason anyone should be able to understand, regardless of their religion. The Archbishop might have added: Jesus does not want us experimenting on small children.

Blind Faith Does Not Equal StupidityOften, our neighbors hear our religious liberty arguments as blind faith. “God said it. I believe it. That settles it.” Believe it or not, I actually have some respect for the “blind faith” view. But standing alone, it doesn’t work. It is not even a properly Biblical position. 1 Peter 3:15 tells us, “Be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you.” (King James Version)

What are some reasons we could offer for the hope that is in us, the hope that allows us to face serious hardships rather than renounce our beliefs?

We trust God as our loving father, and that he wants what is best for us. For a child to relax into the care of a loving parent is actually reasonable and developmentally appropriate. And let’s face it. Compared to God, we are all just a bunch of little first-graders running around causing trouble and showing off.

However, our unchurched neighbors are not going to know what we are talking about, unless we give them something to work with.

I for instance, could say that I trust Church teaching because I learned from experience that the Church was right about abortion being harmful to women. I learned from experience that the Church was correct about hook-ups and sex outside of marriage. I was willing to give the Church the benefit of the doubt about Assisted Reproductive Technology, even though I had no experience with it. Eventually, I came to believe that the Church was correct about contraception, a view which I had resisted for a long time.

You no doubt, have reasons of your own to trust God, the Bible and Church teaching. Share those reasons. People need to hear them.

In the back of my mind, is always Pope Benedict’s Regensburg address. God is not arbitrary. His will is reasonable. God wills what is good: things do not become good just because God wills them. Disobeying the moral law hurts us in the natural order, here and now, not just in the supernatural realm of life after death. This is a basic point of Catholic natural law thinking.

To be effective in this arena, though, requires a different kind of preparation than we may be used to. We have to purge ourselves of anger and blame. We have to repent of our own sexual sins. We have to deal with our guilty consciences, which often block us from seeing and telling the truth. (See me, above, re: contraception!) We cannot flinch when someone brings up divorce, Third Party Reproduction, or anything else that harms the connections between children and parents.

I heard a particularly effective instance of this delivered by John-Henry Westin at the Cleveland Right to Life convention. He gave a personal confession, along with a heartfelt plea that others, especially but not exclusively, same sex attracted people, not do as he did.

As long as we are charitable and not casting unnecessary blame, we can talk about just about anything.

What Does Victory Look Like?Besides, what kind of victory are we seeking here anyhow?

“I will allow you to have your idiosyncratic, inexplicable and probably indefensible religious beliefs, if you will allow me to have mine.” I am not satisfied with that stalemate. We need an authentic victory before the bar of history.

Victory is people realizing that children need their own mother and father.

Hopefully people will realize it before too many children are harmed.

Let’s ensure that future generations can proclaim: “People of faith were the only ones who had the foresight to see what we needed and the fortitude to stand up and fight for us.”

Religious liberty is important. But it is not enough.

(Photo credit: Reuters / Joshua Roberts)

 


Press Release: Redefining Marriage Creates Civil Rights Violations for Children

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Redefining Marriage Creates Civil Rights Violations for Children

Ruth Institute Submits Amicus Brief to the U.S. Supreme Court

SAN DIEGO, California — April 20, 2015 — The Ruth Institute, a non-profit organization dedicated to healing the American family from the structural injustices of the sexual revolution, in collaboration with Sharee Langenstein, Attorney at Law in the state of Illinois, submitted an Amicus brief to the United States Supreme Court on the upcoming marriage cases.

“Separating children from their parents without a compelling or unavoidable reason creates a structural injustice to the children,” said Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, Founder and President of the Ruth Institute. “The court must ultimately answer the question: why is ‘marriage equality’ for adults more socially compelling than the rights of children?”

Dr. Morse identifies the sexual revolution as the driving force behind other structural injustices to children which include divorce, single-parenting by choice, cohabitation without a commitment and 3rd party reproduction. Genderless marriage is just the latest structural injustice to children.

“The civil rights of children are just as important as the rights of adults,” said Dr. Morse. "In addition to having a right to a relationship with both natural parents, children have the right to their identity, including their genetic and cultural heritage. It is unjust to deprive a child of their origins or their past. It’s a human rights atrocity. Adults get to do what they want and kids have to suck it up."

According to Dr. Morse, these court cases are adding an entire new category of victims – marginalized children. “The law is now becoming the very vehicle that separates a child from his or her parents.” Attorney Sharee Langenstein agrees. “Allowing same-sex couples to marry not only changes the definition of marriage, it also changes the definition of parentage. The law should recognize the natural connection between mothers, fathers and their children.”

Langenstein continued, “Studies show that children raised in households with same-sex parents suffer because of it. Many adults raised in such homes have chosen to speak out on the issue, but rather than listening compassionately to their stories, the media and gay rights advocates have endeavored to vilify and marginalize these courageous individuals.”

Morse and Langenstein assert that Courts supporting genderless marriage have failed to explain why a state has any interest at all in the private feelings and commitments of adults without concern for the welfare of the children such relationships produce.

Langenstein concluded, “The Supreme Court can and should return these important issues to the states and civil society for the comprehensive discussion they deserve.”

About Attorney Sharee Langenstein

Sharee Langenstein was admitted to the Bar of the Supreme Court of the United States in January of 2015 and has handled over a hundred appellate cases in Illinois. She serves as an Allied Attorney with Alliance Defending Freedom and as the Eagle Forum National Issues Chairman for Religious Liberty. She was an elected delegate to the 2012 Republican National Convention, and served on the Republican National Platform Committee where she fought to keep the sanctity of life and family in the Republican platform. She is a national speaker and expert on the freedoms protected by the First and Second Amendments. Sharee received her B.A. in writing from Missouri State University in 1995 and her Juris Doctorate from Southern Illinois University School of Law in 1998. She is a wife and mother of six daughters who lives and practices in Southern Illinois. Sharee is forever grateful that adoption "runs" in her family.

About Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse

Dr. Morse is the Founder and President of the Ruth Institute, a non-profit organization committed to inspiring survivors of the Sexual Revolution. She is the author of “Love and Economics: It Takes a Family to Raise a Village,” “101 Tips for a Happier Marriage,” and “Smart Sex: Finding Life-long Love in a Hook-up World,” as well as numerous pamphlets and tracts, including “The Government’s Duty to Marriage” and “The Socialist Attack on the Family.” Dr. Morse earned her Ph.D. in Economics at the University of Rochester in 1980. She taught economics at Yale University and George Mason University. She has served as a Research Fellow for the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty and has held fellowships at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, Cornell Law School, and the University of Chicago’s economics department. Her work has been published in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Reason, Policy Review, National Review Online, the Journal of Political Economy, the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, the University of Chicago Law Review and she has been a guest on Fox News, CNN and EWTN. A noted international speaker, she has been featured at the World Meeting of Families in Valencia, Spain in 2006 (sponsored by the Pontifical Council on the Family) and the Love Singapore Momentum Conference in 2014. Dr. Morse was named one of the “Catholic Stars of 2013” by Our Sunday Visitor – a list that includes Pope Francis and Pope Benedict XVI. Dr. Morse and her husband are parents of an adopted child, a birth child, eight foster children and now a goddaughter.

About The Ruth Institute

The Ruth Institute is a non-profit organization dedicated to healing the American family from the structural injustices of the sexual revolution. The Ruth Institute takes a comprehensive view of the repercussions of the sexual revolution and the diminishing rights of children. The Ruth Institute is academic and scientific rather than theological, drawing heavily from economics, law, social science, psychology, physiology and other disciplines. Visit www.ruthinstitute.org.

Here is a PDF of the release: http://ruth-institute.hotpressplatform.com/4-20-15-Ruth-Institute-SCOTUS.pdf 


The Ruth Institute files a Friend of the Court brief

by Jennifer Roback Morse

The Ruth Institute and I, filed a Friend of the Court brief to the US Supreme Court for the upcoming marriage cases, called Obergefell v Hodges. 

We are not hopeful of a good outcome in this decision. Nonetheless, we filed a brief for these reasons: 

  1. To give the dissenters some ammunition. 
  2. To go on the record, and speak to history. 
  3. We didn't want anyone to say, "We had no idea these things might happen." 
  4. To let children of future generations know that someone was thinking of them. 

Read the whole brief here.

 

 

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