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This blog is maintained by the Ruth Institute. It provides a place for our Circle of Experts to express themselves. This is where the scholars, experts, students and followers of the Ruth Institute engage in constructive dialogue about the issues surrounding the Sexual Revolution. We discuss public policy, social practices, legal doctrines and much more.
Posted on: Tuesday, September 10, 2019
Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D., Founder and President of the Ruth Institute, announced the launch of a petition to Make the Family Great Again. “The president campaigned on the promise to Make America Great Again. But only the family can help him fulfill that promise,” she said.
Secretary of State Michael Pompeo established a Commission on Unalienable Rights to advise his department in its dealings with foreign governments and international organizations. This commission is chaired by pro-life Harvard Law Professor and former Ambassador to the Holy See, Mary Ann Glendon.
The “Make the Family Great Again” petition urges the Commission and the State Department to make these fundamental principles the basis for articulating unalienable rights:
The petition calls on the Commission to work for recognition of:
The petition has been signed by Governor Mike Huckabee, Brent Bozell (Founder and President, Media Research Center), Ted Baehr (Chairman, Christian Film and Television Commission), Fr. Shenan Boquet (President, Human Life International), Janice Shaw Crouse (author, columnist and speaker), Pat Fagan (Director, Marriage and Religion Research Institute), Steve Mosher (President, Population Research Institute), C. Preston Noell (President, American Society for Tradition, Family and Property), and Sharon Slater (President, Family Watch International).
Signers from outside the United States include: Bishop Emmanuel Badejo (Oyo, Nigeria), Moira Chimombo (former Executive Director, Sub-Sahara Family Enrichment, Malawi), Ann Kioko (President, African Organization for Families, Kenya), Lech Kowalewski (board member, Polish Federation of Pro-life Movements), Christa Leonhard (Foundation for Family Values, Germany and the Swiss Foundation for the Family), Warwick and Allison Marsh (Founders, Dads4Kids, Australia), Christine Vollmer (Founder and President, Latin American Alliance for the Family, Venezuela), Andrea Williams (Chief Executive, Christian Concern, United Kingdom), and Levan Vasadez (pro-life activist, Republic of Georgia).
“We are honored to have such distinguished leaders sign our petition,” Morse said. “People around the world are very concerned about US foreign policy. With their support and the leadership of Professor Glendon on the Commission, we have a unique opportunity to help the U.S. State Department champion family rights internationally.”
Sign the Petition to Make the Family Great Again here: https://lifepetitions.com/petition/ask-president-trump-to-make-the-family-great-again
The Ruth Institute is a global interfaith coalition to defend the family and build a civilization of love. On April 26-27, the Institute held a Summit for Survivors of Sexual Revolution.
Dr. Morse is the author of The Sexual State: How Elite Ideologies Are Destroying Lives.
Find more information on The Ruth Institute at http://www.ruthinstitute.org/.
To schedule an interview with Dr. Morse, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted on: Thursday, August 08, 2019
In the wake of the tragic mass murders in El Paso, TX, and Dayton, OH, Ruth Institute President Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D., wonders why the media show so little interest in the impact of family breakdown on these crimes.
Morse notes: “The absence of a father – through divorce, abandonment or failure to form a family – leaves an enormous hole in the lives of teenaged boys and young men. Studies going back 30 years have shown a connection between family breakdown and violence. But the Sexual Revolution marches on oblivious to this common sense truth.”
Dr. Morse continued, “In my 2001 book, Love and Economics: It Takes a Family to Raise A Village, I cited a study from 1988 showing family breakdown as a serious risk factor for criminal and violent behavior. Studies since then confirm this connection. We’ve known from the beginning of the Sexual Revolution that kids need both parents in a loving and stable relationship. The claims that ‘kids are resilient,’ and ‘alternative family forms are harmless,’ are simply unfounded.”
Dr. Morse continued: “It is not just academic research. The late rapper Tupac Shakur, who himself met a violent end, explained it simply but eloquently: ‘I know for a fact that had I had a father, I’d have some discipline. I’d have more confidence. Your mother can’t calm you down the way a man can. You need a man to teach you how to be a man.’”
The Ruth Institute calls on media outlets to tell the whole story about family breakdown and crime. Stop glossing over this connection!
The Ruth Institute is a global non-profit organization equipping Christians to defend the family and build a civilization of love. On April 26-27, the Institute held a Summit for Survivors of Sexual Revolution, which included presentations on the long-term impact of family breakdown on children throughout their lives.
Dr. Morse is the author of, “The Sexual State: How Elite Ideologies Are Destroying Lives.” https://thesexualstate.com/
For More information on The Ruth Institute http://www.ruthinstitute.org/
To schedule an interview with Dr. Morse, email email@example.com.
Posted on: Monday, July 22, 2019
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.'"
"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."
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?"
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.
Posted on: Monday, July 22, 2019
By Jennifer Roback Morse Published on July 18, 2019, at The Stream.
The American Psychological Association recently announced that it will set up a task force. (Oh goodie!) This one will promote awareness and inclusivity about “consensual non-monogamy.” That is, multiple concurrent sexual partners, also sometimes known as polyamory. What your grandma used to call “cheating.”
Here is how the task force describes its mission. This description comes directly from the task force website, and is not a 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. You know, who might result from these “consensual non-monogamous” unions. Indeed, the underlying, but unspoken presumption is that there will be no children. Ever.
At the Ruth Institute’s recent Summit for Survivors of the Sexual Revolution, we heard the testimony of a man whose wife left him for another man. He recounted how his daughter had formerly crawled in bed with her parents when she got scared at night. When her mom acquired a new boyfriend? The little girl no longer felt quite right about it. There was something different about crawling into bed with her mommy and her new sex partner who is not her daddy. Go figure!
I challenge the APA to consider the outcome of human sex, which (since we are mammals) is human children. Just because all three adults agree to a sexual arrangement, does that make it safe and comfortable for kids? You may swear up and down that biological ties are animalistic primal superstitions. Taboo we should all cast aside in the name of “progress” and “freedom.” But will the little girl feel the same way?
And can any honest person believe that the risk of abuse from a mother’s new love interest is the same as the risk from the child’s biological father? The members of the APA aren’t scared of statistics, are they? Well all the statistics show where the highest risk of abuse for children comes from. A mother’s boyfriend who is unrelated to the child. How much higher a risk? According to one study, twenty times higher.
I once had a young law student approach me after a talk. He told me how awful it was for him to find his mother in bed with a parade of strange men. Whether the relationship is “consensual” was not particularly important to this young man. Let’s say Dad knows about it and approves. Will that lessen the emotional trauma? Is anyone asking whether the children consent?
Maybe “stigma” is the only problem. We can re-engineer opinion so that goes away. People will no longer feel jealous of their sex partner’s other sex partners. Parents will no longer feel any preference for their own children. They will treat their own and their partners’ children interchangeably. Children will no longer care about the identity of their parents. And pigs shall fly.
We already know this is not true. While some stepfamilies get along fine, many have a tough time managing these very issues. Often these families think they are the only ones having problems. “If we were just cool enough and together enough like those people on TV, we could manage this. It must be our fault.”
Sexual revolutionaries like those in the APA seem to believe they can remake human nature. This is a fool’s errand. Even “old, outdated” studies show that we have known from the beginning. Divorce and remarriage and multi-partner fertility and cohabitation and non-marital childbearing are problematic. Why in the world would we think that “consensual non-monogamy” would be any less so? 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 is that as long as sex is consensual, no one should pass negative judgement. 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 his sexual will? Including other partners? Is the APA planning to collude with him in describing this as “consensual?”
The Ruth Institute, the organization I founded, has a creed.
Every child has a right to a relationship with a natural mother and father except for an unavoidable tragedy.
Traditional Judeo-Christian sexual ethics protected these rights of children to stable relationships with their own parents. Those of us who still
hold Christian sexual ethics believe that adults should sacrifice for the sake of children, not the other way around. The APA can’t seem to
figure this out. Please people, let’s show some common sense and compassion for children.
Posted on: Wednesday, July 17, 2019
Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D., founder and president of the Ruth Institute, expressed grave concern over the American Psychological Association’s announcement that it will set up a task force that promotes awareness and inclusivity about consensual non-monogamy.” In plain English, “non-monogamy” means multiple concurrent sexual partners, sometimes known as polyamory.
Morse said, “The goal of mental health professionals used to be to help individuals overcome harmful tendencies. 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. Their only considerations seem to be making adults feel good about themselves and fighting ‘stigmatization.’’’
Dr. Morse added, “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.”
The Ruth Institute affirms that: “Every child has a right to a relationship with their natural mother and father except for in an unavoidable tragedy.” Traditional Judeo-Christian sexual ethics protected the rights of children to stable relationships with their own parents.
Morse 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?
When little Susie is scared at night and wants to get in bed with Mommy, will it really be ok for her to get in bed with Mommy’s partner who isn’t her Daddy? Please people, let’s show some common sense and compassion for children.”
Since the 1970s, the APA helped to normalize aberrant sexual behavior between adults. 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 public to accept multiple sexual partners. If they succeed, children and society will pay a steep price.
Dr. Morse’s latest book is “The Sexual State: How Elite Ideologies are Destroying Lives (and how the Church was Right All Along).”
For more information on the Ruth Institute http://www.ruthinstitute.org/
To schedule an interview with Dr. Morse firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted on: Monday, June 24, 2019
by Jennifer Roback Morse
Life Site News June 4, 2019
June 4, 2019 (Daily Signal) — June has been declared "Pride Month," and we're supposed to celebrate those "coming out" and living a "gay" life.
June 12 will mark the third anniversary of the Pulse gay nightclub mass shooting in Orlando, Florida, that left 49 dead. Some will no doubt connect those two things to claim America hates people who have same-sex attraction and to make new demands for affirmation of homosexuality.
But that's not the only lesson one could draw from these events. The media will not tell you this, but in the aftermath of the Pulse massacre, some survivors began to give their lives to Jesus Christ.
Pulse survivor Angel Colon offered this account of his experience:
[Lone gunman Omar] Mateen didn't shoot me quick. He gave me a few minutes, and at the moment, I started to do a prayer, and I started asking God for forgiveness. I started asking God, 'Please forgive me for everything I did, please. I'm sorry.'
Suddenly, Colon changed his prayer.
God, You promised me that I have a calling. You promised me that I have a purpose. You're getting me out of here alive.
Besides being active in his church, Colon's "calling" includes speaking out for people who have left the LGBT subculture.
She says that the "born gay" narrative is "largely a gay male narrative." Some women become comfortable with loving other women as a result of being molested by men. The "born gay" narrative most emphatically does not apply to these women's experiences.
Woning states flatly "women are the victims of conversion-therapy bans." At the urging of generously financed advocacy organizations such as the Human Rights Campaign, 16 states and the District of Columbia prohibit mental health professionals from therapy that attempts to change their patients' sexual orientation.
While these bans vary somewhat from state to state, many are so broad that they could outlaw the very sort of therapy these women most need — namely, therapy that confronts the abuse that led them to reject their femininity and embrace a lesbian identity.
But you're not likely to hear about Woning in the news media coverage of Gay Pride Month, nor about Colon, in the coverage of the anniversary of the Pulse nightclub massacre.
That's because their stories do not fit the grand narrative:
Everyone who experiences same-sex attraction was "born gay."
"Sexual minorities" cannot change. They can neither live an abstinent lifestyle, nor a heterosexual one.
Embracing an LGBT identity and a sexually active life is the only "healthy" choice for them.
The experiences of people such as Colon and Woning provide a stark counter-narrative to those claims. That's why you won't see them interviewed on major TV shows or featured in puff pieces in major magazines.
In my book "The Sexual State: How Elite Ideologies Are Destroying Lives and How the Church Was Right All Along," I show how today's LGBT activists have their roots in the Sexual Revolution. The easy-divorce and abortion activists of a half-century ago also rebelled against the natural organic connections between marriage, sex, babies, and the gendered nature of the human body.
Each of those ideas has its own grand narrative.
1. Abortion is harmless, no more traumatic than having a tooth pulled.
This narrative cannot acknowledge the women who are traumatized by their abortions. As a matter of fact, we've known since 1990 that between 10% and 30% of women are deeply upset by their abortions.
The sexual revolutionaries have nothing to say to them.
2. No-fault divorce is good for mature, sensible people who just want to call it quits.
What about the 70% of divorces that have a reluctant spouse, who would like to stay married?
At our summit, we heard testimonies from abandoned spouses who are living faithfully to their marriage vows, in spite of a civil divorce, and in some cases, a Catholic annulment.
They do not care to "move on." Some refer to themselves as "standers," meaning they are "standing" for their marriage.
Theirs is a voice of nobility and commitment — and that's something you will seldom hear in the mainstream media.
3. The kids will be fine as long as their parents are happy.
Leila Miller, the author of "Primal Loss: The Now-Adult Children of Divorce Speak," a compilation of stories from adult children of divorce, begs to differ.
The kids don't just "get over it," even though they may appear to be doing OK.
The sexual revolutionaries give the same dismissive reply to all these people: You don't exist. Your opinion isn't real. You are a victim of "false consciousness." We will not listen to you. We will not let anyone else listen to you.
That's why the Ruth Institute is creating platforms and opportunities for the victims to tell what the Sexual Revolution really did to them.
We will no doubt be hearing plenty of stories about anti-gay violence and the need for more protections for the LGBT community during "Pride Month." But when you hear those calls, remember there's more to the story than the mainstream media are reporting.
Remember Colon and all the contributors to the Changed project. Think about people you know whose abortion experiences or divorce experience do not match the grand narrative.
They deserve a platform, too.
Published with permission from The Daily Signal.
Posted on: Tuesday, May 28, 2019
It's one way to have happy kids, a new book points out.
by Mary Cooney and Betsy Kerekes
This article was first published May 7, 2019, at Mercatornet.com.
There is no doubt that parents today face tremendous challenges. Sometimes these challenges are overwhelming and stressful. Parents of young children and teens will appreciate Betsy Kerekes’ wisdom and comic relief in her newly released book, Be a Happier Parent or Laugh Trying. In this interview, she shares with Mary Cooney some advice on how to be a happier parent.
* * * * *
Early in your book you write, “Parenting is hard, but it doesn’t have to be a burden.” What is your advice for dealing with the burdens of parenting? How can we be happier despite the stresses and challenges of parenting?
I find myself taking deep breaths. A lot. It does help, like when all your children are talking to you at once or when, instead of napping, you find your toddler stripped to the skin, diaper on floor, and suspicious looking wet spots on the carpet.
That’s when I shake my head and sigh while looking forward to telling my husband about it when he gets home. Stuff like that happens all the time. Parents need to expect it so it’s not so devastating when it occurs. We learn quickly that the rules of civilized society go out the window once you introduce an infant into your home. I’ve found that the most important thing to learn is letting go. Relax your expectations for a clean home, perfect nutrition for your children at every meal, and all bodily fluids remaining on the inside or at least, going where they are meant to go.
It’s also about perspective. The crazy stories will be remembered fondly, and the child in question will love hearing them when he or she is older. (Mine do, anyway.) There are both difficulties and delights at every age. Focusing on the delights and finding humor in the difficulties is how to make it through virtually unscathed.
Furthermore, look for the silver lining. When your kids splash water all over the floor while bathing, wipe it up with a towel, and voila! You’ve just cleaned your bathroom floor. The day I cleaned the bathroom mirror, it was splattered with water marks from top to bottom two hours later. The girls had cleaned their little brother’s hands and feet in the sink and merriment naturally ensued. My first thought was the clean mirror was nice while it lasted, but then I realized the watermarks were a reminder that my children washed their brother themselves and while doing so, he had a blast. I left the spots and the bathroom with a smile. The water marks served as a reminder that my daughters are helpful and love their brother. That makes me happy.
This would be an article all itself. I devote a chapter each to discipline and dealing with temper tantrums. I’ll share with you a couple of bonus tricks that aren’t in the book because they happened too recently. The first is to become a magician, whose success lies in misdirection. Here’s what happened: My darling nearly-two-year old Joe wanted to eat peanut butter while sitting in my chair. This meant peanut butter smears on my chair, the table, and the wall were a distinct possibility. Joe didn’t want to get in his high chair. I put him in anyway, despite his loud protests. Here’s where the misdirection comes in: I gave him the back-up bib when his favorite bib is in the wash. Suddenly his attention and tears were focused on this odious flap of fabric intent on strangling him if he didn’t immediately yank it off. I removed the offensive shirt-protector and replaced it with his beloved bib. Suddenly, he was no longer crying. Having forgotten the indignity of being forced into his high chair, he was happy to have “won” the Great Bib Debacle of 2019. All was right in his world, and his high chair tray was much easier to clean.
Another trick is what I call “Ending a hissy fit with a kissy fit.” My youngest daughter was moping about having to do her math worksheet. I sat beside her to lend a hand. Knowing intrinsically, it seems, of my less than stellar math skills, this gesture didn’t bolster her confidence. Mid-whine, I smothered her with kisses. At first, she tried to block me, but was soon laughing so hard I had to give her breathing breaks. Then, when she thought the onslaught was over, I started the tirade of affection all over again. Finally, we began: “Okay, question one says…” and I was all over her again, just for good measure. Her mood was improved, and my limited abilities somehow sustained us through third grade mathematics.
When all else fails, be a ridiculous goof ball. Another one of my daughters was sighing heavily over her schoolwork. I called from the other room, “I hear a child in distress! Supermom to the rescue!” and “flew” to her, arms out like Superman. Then I repeated my entrance holding my hair back like it was flapping in the wind, and again with the back of my shirt flapping. She said, “Moooo-oom,” in mock-disapproval, wearing a broad smile. I didn’t even need to help her after that. She got to work without further complaint.
You also write, “To be a good parent, we must set the right example by our attitude and demeanor.” What is the attitude we should take? And how do we keep a calm demeanor when our kids are acting up?
Again, deep breaths. And when necessary, send the child out of hearing range for your sanity and everyone else’s. My friend turns on loud music to drown out a whining child, and to steal his thunder. It’s not much fun to throw a fit and be ignored, so do your best to ignore him/her. Don’t torture yourself by getting brought down by a crabby kid.
One reason we need to set the right example and remain calm as much as possible is that we may inadvertently teach our children to lie when we lose our temper. Here’s an example from the book:
Imagine you’re potty training your child. (Did you just shudder? My apologies.) Now imagine you take your child to the potty, but she doesn’t want to go. You try again later and still nothing. You ask her if she needs to go. She insists she doesn’t. Next thing you know, her pants are wet. You, frustrated by the whole experience, kind of lose it. “Look what you did! Now I have to wash you up and find clean clothes and…” Unbeknownst to you, this reaction is teaching your child to lie in order to avoid seeing you angry or be yelled at. You can express disappointment, sure, but remain calm and patient. You want your child to feel safe coming to you with the truth when she ran a purple marker across the back of the white couch or when he threw a ball indoors and knocked over a lamp.
Why are fun and humor so important in raising children?
Recently my sister said to me, “How do parents without a sense of humor survive?” I didn’t know how to answer her. It would be so difficult not knowing how to crack up at calamities. Facebook is helpful for parents in that we can share with one another the chaos that occurs in our homes. The thumbs up or “haha” face, plus the commiseration, are like virtual therapy.
I’ve frequently thought, after witnessing something insane, “There’s something for the blog, at least.” This is why I started parentingisfunny.wordpress.com—not only for my own outlet, but for other parents to read each other’s hilarious stories or unfortunate incidents and get a good laugh. They say if you fake smile enough, you’ll end up smiling for real.
There was a study done that found happy parents have happy kids. That seems logical. Miserable, unhappy parents are likely to make their kids miserable and unhappy. My kids being unhappy would make me even more unhappy; thus, the cycle would continue. This is why there’s an entire chapter on having fun with kids, even your own!
What advice would you give to parents of teenagers?
Hang in there. It’s almost over. I’ve been having success with my teen by leaving her alone more. For instance, she does not appreciate when I ask her if she needs to take a last-minute trip to the bathroom before we leave the house like I do with her little sisters. It’s tough to find that transition from treating your teenagers like kids to something closer to adults.
The chapter on teens somehow wound up being longer than all the rest. I pulled heavily from my memory of my own teen years. This included phrases my parents would often use on me, like, “It wasn’t meant to be,” in the case of disappointments, or “Who’s going to remember this in a week, two weeks, a month, a year?” for instances of embarrassment. There was also, “No matter how bad you think you have it, there’s always some one who has it worse,” for those days when I thought my life was so miserably horrible, no one could have things as bad as me—probably because I wore the same shirt as some other girl, or something.
But, for all the bad rap teens get, since they’re nearing full maturity, they can be quite helpful around the house. Plus, you can play more grown-up games like Hearts and Clue rather than endless rounds of Candyland and Chutes and Ladders.
What was the inspiration for the book?
The writing of this book stems from having co-authored (with Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse of the Ruth Institute) 101 Tips for Marrying the Right Person and 101 Tips for a Happier Marriage. A book on parenting seemed like the logical next step. I had a lot of ideas and “tricks” I had learned from reading, observing, remembering, and against all odds, figuring out on my own that I thought worthy of sharing. There’s good advice in the book, but also laughter because we can all use more laughter in our lives.
With the plethora of parenting books available on the market, what sets your book apart from others?
Many parenting books focus on babies and all say the same thing: Sleep when the baby sleeps. Fold laundry when the baby folds laundry. My book focuses on a range of ages, as do others, but they generally don’t include tips on helping your children keep their faith or on how to wrangle a toddler in church. There are other humorous parenting books, but a quick view of “funny parenting books” on Amazon comes up with a slew of titles containing cuss words. No swearing was involved in the writing of my book.
Why is this book important today?
Making parenting easier and more fun for parents, who will then be happier, ought to help strengthen their relationship with one another, too. Happy parents stay together, which is pretty much the number one crucial factor for raising happy, healthy kids. Stay married, folks. (See also 101 Tips for a Happier Marriage.)
Betsy Kerekes is the author of Be a Happier Parent or Laugh Trying and coauthor with Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse of 101 Tips for Marrying the Right Person and 101 Tips for a Happier Marriage. She serves as editor and director of publications at the Ruth Institute, where she also writes weekly newsletters and manages the blog. She homeschools her children and writes about her experiences in motherhood at parentingisfunny.wordpress.com. She can also be found on twitter @BetsyK1.
Posted on: Tuesday, May 07, 2019
The Ruth Institute’s first annual Summit for Survivors of the Sexual Revolution (April 26-27, in Lake Charles, Louisiana) was highly praised by participants. All agreed that the caliber of speakers and content (which covered Survivors of Divorce and Survivors of the LGBT subculture) were exceptional.
Here are a few of the comments from speakers and participants:
“The Summit revealed to me many different survival stories which involved deep pain. However, their stories all ended in hope because they turned to God. It also gives me hope to see everyone that attended was united to God’s plan for marriage and family.” Al Chlupacek -- Chemical Engineer, Indianapolis
“Thank you all. It was incredible, and a real shot in the arm. Now we all have work to do. But I feel like at least we know our fellow soldiers in this battle! It’s a rough world out there, and sadly, many of our ‘enemies’ are fellow Christians… It’s a battle from within and without. But I’m so pleased at the depth of intelligence and holiness on display this weekend! God bless you all! And thank you, Dr. Morse! You are a true solider for Christ!” Leila Miller – Catholic author, Phoenix
“This was a very meaningful conference. I enjoyed the scholarship, the personal testimonies, and all the informal conversations and relationship-building in between. I look forward to ongoing conversations with many of the wonderful people I met this weekend. The experience was powerful and inspiring.” Matt F. Johnson – humanitarian and disaster relief, Washington, D.C.
“Thank you Mr. And Dr. Morse plus your team for putting together such a conference. I learned a lot. Thanks also to you all that took time to do papers and share with us your stories. It gives me hope as an African to see the good side of America. You people are amazing. Hopefully we do this in Africa, too? God bless you all.” Ann Kioko, CitizenGO Campaigns Manager for Africa, Nairobi
“I just want to tell you all how very honored I am to have had the pleasure to work with all of you this weekend in this critical endeavor! Mr. & Dr. Morse, you are both tireless in your efforts and I have great respect for you both. Thank you - and the Ruth Institute's extremely capable staff and volunteers -- for showing us all such genuine kindness and hospitality. This weekend will go down in my memory as one of great blessings and fellowship. To be gathered with so many others who recognize the beauty, goodness and critical importance of marriage and the traditional family was a such a true honor and pleasure.” Christy Fitzgerald – Registered Nurse, Case Manager, Hickory, N.C.
“This Summit was a bright moment for recovering from a toxic family culture and beginning to build something better. I want to add my thanks to everyone as well, for sharing your stories and journeys and scholarship and standing for marriage, life and children. Patti and I were both deeply touched by the accounts of struggle and overcoming and finding new life and sanctity in the pain of marriage and parental loss. For me, one of the most fruitful times was also breakfast at the hotel, when I was blessed to, and saw others too, encourage one another and build friendships and mutual support and plot ministry strategies in a fellowship free-for-all. There are not many other places something like that could happen.” Fr. D Paul Sullins, Senior Research Associate of the Ruth Institute
“I hope everyone realizes just how innovative this was. For all the many ‘pro-family’ groups out there, almost none of them seriously confronts the divorce system, connected issues, and the government machinery behind it. I also noticed other ways in which the various speakers were ‘pushing the envelope,’ and I for one think that we have nothing to lose, and much to gain, from continuing and even increasing the push.” Stephen K. Baskerville, Purcellville, Virginia
“To get the inside scoop on the extraordinary Survivors Summit, be sure to check out the various presentations at the Ruth Institute’s website, and on its Facebook page. Be forewarned that the truth about these problems is not easy to handle. However, the truth shall set you free.” C. Preston Noell, American Society for Tradition, Family and Property, Washington, D.C.
“Don’t sit on the sidelines. Now that you understand the devastation caused by the Sexual Revolution, help us to fight for the family and cultural sanity.” Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D., Founder and President of the Ruth Institute
Posted on: Tuesday, April 30, 2019
The Ruth Institute’s Summit for Survivors of the Sexual Revolution (April 27) was a success by any measure. The Summit, which took place in Lake Charles, Louisiana, included Survivors of Divorce and Survivors of the LGBT Culture.
The Summit was preceded by an Awards Banquet the evening of April 26. Those honored were Dr. Robert Gagnon, recipient of the Scholarship Award, and Jeff Morgan, who received the Activism Award. Both spoke the next day.
Moira Greyland Peat, who received the Public Witness Award, was the banquet’s keynote speaker. Author of The Dark Side of Avalon, Moira survived years of sexual abuse by her mother, famed science fiction writer Marion Zimmer Bradley. Many commented that while her testimony was emotionally exhausting, it also provided a necessary antidote to the cliched version of the gay lifestyle pushed by the media.
The Saturday Summit included keynote addresses by Dr. Stephen Baskerville (Professor of Government at Patrick Henry College on How No-Fault Divorce Empowers the State), Mrs. Leila Miller (author and Catholic blogger on The Lifelong Impact of Divorce On Children),
Dr. Robert Gagnon (Professor of New Testament at Houston Baptist University, on What the Church really teaches about homosexual activity)
and Fr. Paul Sullins (Ruth Institute Senior Research Associate, on The Impact of Same-Sex Parenting on children and the impact of the homosexual subculture on clergy s*x abuse).
There were also testimony panels on Abandoned Spouses and Adult Children ofDivorce – and Adult Children and Spouses of gays, lesbians and transgenders, and refugees from the gay lifestyle).
A participant remarked: “These are tragedies the mainstream media, the divorce industry, and the gay-friendly culture do their best to ignore.” Another added: “I’ve been reading about the abandonment, betrayal and trauma of divorce for years. But hearing these speakers made the devastation real in ways that news stories and academic reports can’t.”
Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, Ruth Institute Founder and President, challenged participants to use the knowledge they acquired to help shape the debate over the Sexual Revolution.
“Don’t sit on the sidelines. Now that you understand the devastation caused by the Sexual Revolution, help us to fight for the family and cultural sanity,” Morse declared.
The entire Summit will be available on podcast and YouTube soon.
To schedule an interview with Dr. Morse, contact email@example.com
The Ruth Institute is a global non-profit organization equipping Christians to defend the family in the public arena and build a Civilization of Love. Click here for more Information on the Ruth Institute.
Posted on: Monday, January 28, 2019
By Tyler O'Neil
This article was first published October 4, 2018, at PJ Media.
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 overhyped 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 get 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.