Ruth Speaks Out

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


The Fate of Nations Hinges on the Future of Marriage


a speech by Don Feder, Coalitions Director of the Ruth Institute to The Family Symposium 2021 of the Kenya Christian Professionals Forum – May 14, 2021

I’m delighted to have the opportunity to be with you today, to once again address the Kenya Christian Professionals Forum – this time, on the importance of marriage to both individuals and society.

I can’t imagine anything more important. Marriage is central to everything that concerns us as family advocates: Having children, the protection of innocent human life, childrearing, social stability, and curing existential loneliness.

Civilization will rise or fall, based on whether marriage as an institution is renewed or continues on its current course of decline and eventually fades to oblivion.


Marriage is as old as humanity itself.You might say society began when men and women first started committing themselves to each other in marriage.

The first book of the Bible, Genesis, is largely a family history. It’s the story of Abraham, who married Sarah, their son, Isaac and his wife Rebekah, and Jacob, Rachel and Leah, and their descendants.

In the beginning, God did something no government agency or social program has ever succeeded in doing – He created a family through marriage. In the beautifully poetic words of the King James Bible: “Male and female created He them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created.”Also, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” From this we can see that marriage is an essential part of God’s plan for humanity.

Why one man and one woman? Because male and female complement each other, psychologically as well as physically. The Vatican’s Charter of the Rights of the Family notes: “The family is based on marriage, that intimate union of life in complementarity between a man and a woman.”

There’s a more mundane version of this in the movie “Jerry McGuire,” where the title character tells his wife, “You complete me.”

Perhaps we take marriage for granted because it was once such a natural part of life that it required no justification. You didn’t need to explain to people why they should marry any more that you had to explain to them why they should breathe or eat.

But now, given that state of the institution worldwide, we need to offer a rationale for marriage, especially to the young.

So, why marriage? Here are five reasons:

  1. Married couples are healthier, better off financially, happier and less at risk then their single counterparts.
    1. In the United States, married couples have double the net worth of those who never marry.
    2. Married couples have a lower risk of disease – from diabetes and cardiovascular disease to respiratory problems.
    3. Husbands and wives are 10% to 15% less likely to die prematurely.
    4. Remaining single has been called one of the greatest health risks people can voluntarily assume.
    5. Marriage lowers the risk that individuals will become victims of violent crime.
    6. To recap, individuals who are married are wealthier, healthier and safer. But what about the benefits to society?
    7. Simply put: In marriage, there’s someone else looking out for you. And that can make all of the difference in the world.
  2. Children need a mother and a father (male and female role models) in the home. Children who are living with their married, biological parents are happier, better-adjusted, better students and less likely to fall prey to the pathologies that afflict far too many of the young these days -- drugs, alcohol, crime and pre-marital sex.
  3. Society needs children – Marriage leads to children. Despite the myth of overpopulation, worldwide fertility (the number of children the average woman will have in her lifetime) has been cut almost in half in the past 70 years – falling from 4.7 in 1950 to 2.4 today. This is perilously close to replacement level fertility (2.1). Population growth will stop in this century. Population decline will soon follow. While children are born out of wedlock, most women feel that to have more than one or two requires the kind of security that comes from marriage. So, more marriage equals more children.
  4. Men and women need each other – As marriage has declined loneliness has increased markedly – so has mental illness, addiction and suicides. In Genesis, God says: “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make an help meet for him." What was true in the beginning is true today: There is no substitute for the companionship provided by a life partner. Most of us have an innate need to connect intimately to another human being. The Talmud tells us that in the beginning, all souls split into male and female parts. The purpose of marriage is to unite the halves – for each of us to find our soulmate.
  5. Society needs to solve the problem of destructive male instincts – The most dangerous force in any society is unattached males between the ages of 16 and 30. Prisons are filled with them, so are halfway houses, homeless shelters and drug rehabilitation centers. We know this to be instinctively true. Say you were in a bad section of a city at night and you saw a group of tough-looking young men coming toward you. Would you be relieved to learn that they were married? Of course you would. Men and women are different. Men need women to tame the destructive aspect of male nature. (Within marriage, women force men to grow up.) Women need men for protection and security.

If all of this is true, then why is marriage everywhere declining. Pope Francis warned: “Marriage and the family are in crisis. The revolution in manners and morals has often flown the flag of freedom but in fact it has brought spiritual devastation to countless human beings.” The devastation is all about us.

  • In the United States in 1970, 70% of all adults were married. By 2018 -- in the space of less than 50 years -- the figure had fallen to 50%.
  • Among adults 18 to 24 years old – those in their prime child-bearing years – 45% were married in 1960, compared to only 9% by 2016.
  • Among adults (ages 18 to 44) the number who have ever lived with an unmarried partner now exceeds the number who’ve ever been married (59% to 50%)

 

Powerful forces are working against marriage:

 

  1. Commitment-phobia among the young – It’s not just marriage. The generation that’s now in their 20s and 30s seems adverse to any type of commitment. They change jobs every two or three years. They don’t date; they “hook up.” The thought of growing up terrifies them. Their most enduring relationship is with their phone. Marriage takes work, especially in the culture in which we live. Millennials seem to gravitate toward the type of relationships that require the least amount of effort.
  2. Acceptance of cohabitation – Among 18-to-29-year-olds, 78% think cohabitation is all right, even if the partners don’t intend to marry later on. Cohabitation is stiff competition for marriage. Once a couple living together out of wedlock carried moral opprobrium. No longer. Now, it’s whatever-works. Absent is the requirement of exclusivity. There are no ceremonies at the start. Nothing at the end. In most cases, not even a verbal commitment. Now it’s: Do you promise to stay together until boredom sets in or something better comes along?
  3. Absence of fathers in the home – In the United States, 35% of children grow up in homes without fathers. In place of them, there are a succession of the mother’s boyfriends. The childhood home is a school for learning what married life is all about. Without it, children grow up never knowing how husband and wife are supposed to relate to each other. It also makes them less likely to commit to marriage later in life.
  4. A materialistic society that values things over relationships – Generally, the more time and effort we put into acquiring possessions, the less we have for people. There are commercials for new cars, computers and flatscreen TVs. Hare you ever seen an ad for marriage? Until corporations find a way to make a profit from marriage, you won’t. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Singles have more disposable income, which makes them targets for advertisers.
  5. An anti-marriage culture -- Culture has a profound impact on our lives. Movies, music, television and the news media – tell us what to think and, in many cases, how to think. To say the culture is anti-marriage is like saying Planned Parenthood is anti-pregnancy. Regarding marriage, the media’s message is simple: Who needs it? It’s archaic. It will tie you down. Divorce is expensive. Make your own way. When I was growing up, back in the dark ages, there were TV shows like “Father Knows Best” and “The Donna Reed Show.”Father, mother and children was the norm. Today, it’s the exception. By the way, in entertainment-land, singles living together almost always turns out well – unlike real life. Sex outside marriage is the new normal considered so natural that it’s hardly worth commenting on. Increasingly, Hollywood tries to avoid depicting characters smoking, drinking and engaging in other risky behavior. Sex outside marriage does not fall in this category.
  6. A decline of faith – Religion is the strongest force for marriage – Again, Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” The Bible tells us marriage is part of God’s eternal plan. Faith sanctifies the bonds of matrimony. But, like the institution of marriage itself, religion is declining. According to opinion surveys, in 2009, 17% of Americans described themselves as “atheist, agnostic or nothing in particular.” Now the figure is 26%. Where church attendance is the weakest, marriage plays a smaller and smaller role in society. Europe is the continent with the lowest church attendance, the lowest rate of marriage and the lowest birth rate.
  7. The Sexual Revolution – The Sexual Revolution is all about desire (however fleeting), detached from loyalty or commitment. It tells us that sex is an absolute right. Marriage is based on exclusivity – on the expectation that sex will be confined to marriage. The Sexual Revolution tells us this is old-fashioned and unrealistic.
  8. Governments (especially of the left) view families as competition - Families are an independent power base in competition with the State. Often, the demands of family are at odds with the demands of government. The need for social cohesion should incline governments to encourage family formation. Instead, the opposite is often the case. In the United States, the Biden administration strongly supports homosexual rights (including gay marriage), abortion on demand at any stage of pregnacy, public school indoctrination and transgenderism (so-called). All weaken the family.

The epitome of the Sexual Revolution is Cultural Marxism.

Almost a century ago, Georg Lukacs, a Hungarian intellectual and one of the fathers of Cultural Marxism, wrote that traditional culture must be destroyed for the workers’ paradise to emerge. Lukacs observed: “I saw the revolutionary destruction of society as the one and only solution to the cultural contradictions of the epoch…Such aworldwide overturning of values cannot take place without the annihilation of the old values and the creation of new ones by the revolutionaries.” By the “old values,” he meant faith and the family – founded on marriage.

Antonio Gramsci, an Italian contemporary of Lukacs, said much the same thing. According to classic Marxist theory, the Russian Revolution should have been the catalyst for revolution worldwide.

Instead, until the Second World War, Bolshevism stopped at Russia’s borders. Writing in the 1920s, Gramsci concluded that family and church gave workers what Marxists call a “false class consciousness,” which meant that even though they were part of the proletariat, they behaved like bourgeoise. So, the only way for communism to succeed was to eliminate religion and the family.

Thus the decline of marriage is a milestone on the road to revolution -- to radically remaking society.

Without marriage, we will enter a brave new world where individuals live largely by and for themselves and social arrangements are transitory and utilitarian. Procreation will be increasingly rare.

To counter this, we need to return to our roots – especially the Bible, a handbook for family living.

Once upon a time, even the United Nations understood the primacy of marriage and family.

Article 16 of the 1948 United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights acknowledged that the family, based on marriage between man and a woman, is “the natural and fundamental group unit of society” and, as such, is “entitled to protection by society and the state.”

To say the family based on marriage is “the … fundamental group unit of society,” means it’s the foundation. Demolish the foundation, and the entire structure collapses. Marriage is the glue that holds society together.

That’s why marriage matters, and the fight for marriage is the fight for our future -- the fight for civilization itself.




The Left’s War on Procreation


- Don Feder

This was originally published on FrontPageMag.

Last week, the left’s war on procreation was headline news.

In the April 29thBritish edition ofVogue,Nell Frizzell wrote a pean to population control: “Is Having a Child Pure Environmental Terrorism?” – a shameless piece of virtue signaling.

Frizzell confessed that when she was pregnant, she “worried feverishly about the strain on the Earth’s resources that another Western child would add.”

The author went on to agonize about the amount of electricity her child would use in his lifetime, the food he would consume and what it would take to grow it – and how the future consumer would add to air pollution, global warming and depleted resources.


It was painful to read and depressing to contemplate – that someone so indoctrinated in the cult of Carbon Footprints can display their ignorance in the mass media.

Then there was the news that Microsoft founder Bill Gates and his wife Melinda, America’s Woke power couple, are getting a divorce. Unfortunately, the work of The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will continue. With $43.3 billion in assets (larger than the economies of most countries) the Foundation is dedicated to making the world a more barren place.

Its target isn’t Western children but kids in Africa, which, in a way, makes sense. Africa is the only continent with above-replacement fertility. In conjunction with the United Nations Population Fund, the Gates Foundation sponsored a series of international conferences pushing population control, including abortion.

At one in Addis Ababa in 2013, there was, according to UNFPA, “a focus on universal access to reproductive health (code for abortion and government-sponsoredcontraception), especially for young people and other vulnerable groups.”

Bill’s interest in young people was reflected in his friendship with the late Jeffrey Epstein, already convicted of soliciting sex from minors when the two first met in 2011.

Along with the UN and International Planned Parenthood, the Gates Foundation is dedicated to eliminating safeguards for unborn children. Melinda believes that until women “have the power not to have children,” life will not improve in emerging nations.

In an “Open Letter to Melinda Gates,” Nigerian pro-life activist and biomedical researcher Obianuju Ekeocha laments: “We are thirsty and they give us condoms. We are hungry and they offer us contraceptive pills. We are sick and they offer us the most modern techniques of abortion…. We are impoverished and they offer us sexual liberation!”

If the billions that Bill and Melinda and their Good Club friends like Ted Turner and George Soros pump into population control were spent on clean water, better nutrition and maternal health care, the condition of Africans would be immeasurably improved. But then they’d be buying life, when what they want is death.

Strip away the humanitarian bombast and we’re left with a brutal reality: The billionaire lefties of the world want fewer Africans. That Africans are still having large families, with polar ice caps supposedly melting and super-storms brewing, offends their sensibilities. Prince Harry is anxious about African population growth infringing on animal habitats. Cheetahs si; children no?

On another front, it looks like the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is finally going to do something about the most pro-abortion president in our history (who White House mouthpiece Jen Psaki shamelessly refers to as “a devout Catholic”) at their June meeting.

In his first day in office, Biden repealed the Mexico City Policy (blocking U.S. aid to foreign NGOs promoting or performing abortions). Now, the Hyde Amendment (prohibiting federal funding of abortion domestically) is in his sights. Calling Joe a “devout Catholic” is like calling a Jew who eats bacon cheeseburgers on Yom Kippur “observant.”

The Gateses, the Vogue writer and Biden’s handlers are all neo-Malthusians -- disciples of Paul Ehrlich, the much-discredited prophet of over-population.

After visiting Calcutta in the 1960s, and based on his extensive study of insect life, Ehrlich wrote “The Population Bomb” in 1968, which forecast worldwide famine in the 1970s. If you missed it, you aren’t alone. The Bomb blew up in Ehrlich’s face, like an exploding cigar.

As economist Julian Simon demonstrated in “The Ultimate Resource,” population growth leads to more resources, not less. Rising prices spur exploration and the discovery of new processes to use resources more efficiently.

If population growth leaves a nation stuck in poverty, why are China and India (with the world largest populations) booming? Why did the Industrial Revolution first occur in Britain, which experienced unprecedented population growth in the 18thand early 19thcenturies, instead of Greenland?

While environmental activists view more people as more mouths to feed, others see them as more hands to produce and more brains to innovate.

Despite this reality, the Malthusians are having an undeniable impact. Worldwide fertility rates (the number of children the average woman will have in her lifetime) are falling fast. Sometime in this century, we will get into population decline, perhaps even population freefall.

Replacement fertility is approximately 2.1. Globally, fertility has fallen precipitously, from 4.7 in 1950 to 2.4 today. In the European Union, the average fertility rate is 1.55. In the United State, it dropped from 3.55 during the baby boom years to around 1.9.

That’s why the population-controllers are targeting Africa, the last stronghold of robust fertility.

Overpopulation is a myth. Population decline could soon be a reality. Then it will be a question of who’s left to generate the power, grow the crops and take care of the thousand and one tasks essential to keep society functioning.

We’ll need Fizzell’s child, and his descendants, to help keep the lights on.

 


 



The Jewish Roots of Family Values


 - Don Feder

This article was originally published by the Family Research Council.

An article in the February 16, 2010 issue of The Jewish Journal (“Why Are These Korean Christians Keeping Shabbat?”)1 sounds like a Gentile-bites-kosher- hotdog story. Yongsoo Hyun, a Presbyterian minister with a church near Seoul and a Los Angeles-area congregation, leads his followers in studying Jewish family values.

Hyun explains: “Jews successfully conveyed the Torah, the traditions, the history of suffering—and the family values based on the Torah—for 3,000 years with no generation gaps. The Christian people lost the value of how to raise children who are holy. We are recovering that history to spread it all over the world.”


His exaggeration aside (many Christians do know how to raise children in holiness), Hyun seeks a family renaissance by drawing from the wellspring of Western civilization – the Jewish family. Family values are Jewish values. To understand the origins of the traditional family, we must look to the Torah and the traditions of a people who gave the world God-based morality.

In his book, “Toward A Meaningful Life,” the late Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson—leader of the worldwide Hasidic movement known as Chabad Lubavitch—describes the role of home and family in cultivating those habits which make a society function. “Home is where we learn to cope and to be productive, to work and play, to be comfortable with ourselves and others,” Schneerson says. “Most importantly, home is where we learn about happiness and wholesomeness. ... Our home is a secure base that gives us the confidence to explore the terrain of an unpredictable and often dangerous world.”

More than the synagogue, the home is central to Jewish religious practice. In the Jewish home, Shabbat is ushered in on Friday evening with candle lighting, prayers over bread and wine, and hymns, and bade farewell after sundown on Saturday with the Havdalah ceremony.

The home is also the setting for lighting the Hanukah menorah and conducting the Passover Seder, for festive meals on Rosh Hashanah, the break-fast on Yom Kippur, the Brit Milah (circumcision ceremony) and lighting Yahrzeit candles.2

If family values are Jewish values, Jewish values in turn are Biblical values. Most of Genesis (from Chapter 12 to the end) is the story of a Jewish family – Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel and Leah and their children and grandchildren. These tales teach timeless truths. The family is firmly established on Divine wisdom.

The first recorded Jewish wedding (Isaac and Rebecca) takes place after the symbolic sacrifice of the first Jewish son, referred to as “the binding of Isaac. This emphasizes the sacred nature of marriage in Jewish tradition. The Hebrew word for a Jewish marriage is “kiddushin”—sanctification or holiness. Traditionally, the bride and groom fast the day before their wedding, to emphasize the spiritual nature of their impending union

Feminists charge that Judaism is “patriarchal”—ironic, in that it was the first religion to raise women above the status of breeding stock. And yet, throughout the Torah, Jewish wives and mothers often take the lead.

Sarah is determined that Ishmael will not inherit with her son—that Abraham’s descendants will come from Isaac. Rebecca arranges for Jacob, not Esau (the eldest), to receive Isaac’s blessing. In Exodus, it’s Moses’ mother, Jochebed, and his sister, Miriam, who saves the future lawgiver from Pharaoh’s death decree, not his father, Amram.

When Abraham is troubled by Sarah’s insistence that he cast out his concubine, Hagar, and her son, God reassures him: “Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondswoman; In all that Sarah saith unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall seed be called to thee” (Gen. 21:12).3 (All citations are to “The Holy Scriptures According to the Masoretic Text,” The Jewish Publication Society of America, 1958.)

Why “in all that Sarah saith unto thee” rather than in this specific thing? The rabbis tell us that the voice of Sarah symbolizes the Jewish mother, with her intuitive wisdom regarding children. In family matters, her husband should “listen to the voice of Sarah”—defer to her.

Judaism’s teaching on the family does not begin with Abraham and Sarah, but goes back to the Creation. At the beginning of history, G-d does something no social worker, government agency or international organization has been able to duplicate—He creates a family.

Having made Adam, the Master of the Universe makes a judgment, “And the Lord God said: ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a help mate for him’” (Genesis, 2: 18).

But why was Eve (woman) the answer to Adam’s (man’s) aloneness? Why didn’t G-d create another man, a community, or an intelligent, talking animal as a companion for the first man? Here is the Torah’s first great lesson: Without each other, men and women are incomplete. One lacks the attributes the other possesses.

According to Jewish tradition, in the beginning, all souls split into two parts – male and female. Only by finding our soul-mate (bashert, or “destiny” in Yiddish) can we become whole again. In the words of “Jerry Maguire,” she “completes” him.

On being presented with Eve, Adam recognizes their essential unity by declaring, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh.” The Torah adds, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife, and they shall be one flesh” (Gen. 2:24).

In his essay, “The Purpose and Meaning of Sex in Judaism,” Rabbi Michael Gold explains: “The Torah uses the term yada – ‘to know’ – to indicate a sexual relationship. Sex is thus considered more than a mere biological act; it involves intimate knowledge shared by two human beings.”

In Judaism, the primary purpose of marriage is companionship, rather than procreation. Still, childbearing is essential to the Divine plan.

The first commandment in the Bible has nothing to do with trees or fruit. It is a mandate to procreate. (Husband and wife literally become one flesh in their progeny.) “Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it” (Gen. 1:28).

The Book of Psalms instructs us: “Lo, children are a heritage of the Lord; The fruit of the womb is a reward. As arrows in the hand of a mighty man, so are the children of one’s youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them; They shall not be put to shame, when they speak with their enemies in the gate” (Psalm 127: 3-5).

The Talmud declares: “He who does not engage in propagation of the race is as though he has shed blood.”

The way this commandment is kept by observant Jews may be seen in the Jewish birthrate in the United States, which rises with the level of commitment to Jewish living—from 1.86 children per woman among all Jews to 3.3 for modern

Orthodox, 6.6 for traditional Orthodox and 7.9 for Hasidim—approximately twice the Mormon birthrate.

On January 4, 2010, Mrs. Yitta Schwartz of Monroe, New York died at age 94. A Holocaust survivor and member of the Satmar Hasidim, Mrs. Schwartz and her husband had 16 surviving children and, at last count, 170 grandchildren. At the time of her death, Mrs. Schwartz is believed to have had over 2,500 descendants.

Along with marriage and procreation, Judaism emphasizes the relationship of parents and children and the sexual ethic that lies at the heart of Judeo-Christian morality. “Honor thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee,” (Exodus 20:12) is uniquely placed in the Decalogue.

The first four commandments involve mankind’s obligations to God (know that the Lord is God, keep the Sabbath, etc.). The later commandments involve our responsibilities to our fellow man (don’t steal, don’t kill and so on). The fifth is often called the bridge commandment, in that it refers to our obligations to both God and man. By honoring our parents, we honor God as well. As transmitters of the Law, parents are God’s surrogates.

The sages tell us to “revere” our parents. The Torah contains a prohibition against cursing both God and our parents. The Bible prescribes the same penalty for both. In his essay, “The Family In Judaism: Past, Present and Future, Fears and Hopes,” Rabbi David Rosen notes: “That Talmudic texts also refers to Rabbi Joseph who, when he heard his Mother’s footsteps as she approached, would declare, ‘I rise before the Divine Presence which is approaching.’”

The Talmud also says there are three partners in the creation of a child—the mother, the father and God. Honor is due to parents in recognition of their role in generating life, because of their sacrifices in raising a child to maturity and for the part they play as teachers of the Law.

The Shema, Judaism’s quintessential affirmation of faith, begins: “Hear O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, with all thy might. And these words which I command thee this day shall be upon your heart. And you shall teach them diligently unto thy children...” (Deuteronomy 6:4-7).

Teach them to whom—to your neighbors, your friends, your siblings? Teach them to your children. In Judaism, learning (study) is a religious obligation More than rabbis, parents are given the primary responsibility for imparting Divine wisdom.

In the parent/child relationship, obligations flow in both directions. An old rabbinic adage holds: “A man should spend less than his means on food, up to his means on clothes, but beyond his means in honoring his wife and children, because they are dependent on him.”

Children honor their parents, and their father blesses them in turn. In traditional Jewish homes, as part of the Friday evening meal, the father gives a benediction to his sons (“May God make you like Ephraim and Menasseh,” Joseph’s sons adopted by Jacob) and his daughters (“May God make you like Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel and Leah”). A husband also praises his wife by reciting “A Woman of Valor” (Proverbs 31). According to Jewish tradition, this was Abraham’s eulogy for his beloved wife, Sarah.

The foundation of family life is sexual morality, and here the role of Judaism was revolutionary in the ancient world.

In the pagan world into which Judaism came with its right-and-wrong, to speak of sexual morality was a non sequitur—like talking about “moral aerobics” today. Sex was about power relationships—the strong forcing themselves on the weak – and nothing else. There was no code of conduct, just a carnal law of the jungle.

By contrast, Judaism said the God of Israel is to be served by emulating Him— through righteousness and holiness. “I am the Lord who brought you out of Egypt to be your God; therefore be holy, because I am holy” (Leviticus 11:45). Thus did the Torah introduce the idea of sexual ethics.

A Jewish circumcision, performed eight days after birth, is referred to as the covenant of circumcision. Removal of the foreskin is called a sign of the covenant sealed in the flesh. But who actually sees this “sign”? The answer is that it’s a sign for the individual himself.

In “Being Jewish: the Spiritual and Cultural Practice of Judaism Today,” Ari L. Goldman alludes to this when he writes of the Brit Milah (Jewish ritual circumcision, performed on the eighth day say after birth), “Some see in the act a message of sexual restraint.”

The rabbis said the reason the skin is removed from the male appendage (rather than another part of the anatomy, where the sign would be visible to others) is because it is with this organ that the male is most likely to sin. When a Jewish man sees the mark, he should remember the covenant and keep the law, including the mandate to “be holy.”

In his monograph “Judaism’s Sexual Revolution: Why Judaism Rejected Homosexuality,” author and Jewish lay scholar Dennis Prager explains: “Judaism placed controls on sexual activity. It could no longer dominate religion and social life. It was to be sanctified – which in Hebrew means ‘separated’ – from the world and placed in the home, in the bed of husband and wife. Judaism’s restricting of sexual behavior was one of the essential elements that enabled society to progress (by allowing the family to flourish). Along with ethical monotheism, the revolution begun by the Torah when it declared war on the sexual practices of the world, wrought the most far-reaching change in history.”

In “Kosher Sex,” available online at Judaism 101, author Tracey R. Rich observes: “Sex is permissible only within the context of a marriage. In Judaism, sex is not merely a way of experiencing physical pleasure. It is an act of immense significance, which requires commitment and responsibility. The requirement of marriage before sex ensures that sense of commitment and responsibility.”

Leviticus sets forth a series of prohibited sex acts, including incestuous liaisons, rape, bestiality and homosexuality. Again, Prager says, “The one continuous exception [to the acceptance of same-sex relations in the ancient world] was Jewish civilization—and a thousand years later, Christian civilization. Other than the Jews, ‘none of the archaic civilizations prohibited homosexuality per se,’ Dr. David E. Greenberg notes. It was Judaism alone that about 3,000 years ago declared homosexuality wrong.”

Not just wrong, but an “abomination” (or “detestable,” depending on the translation)—a term of censure the Torah reserves for the most severe transgressions, including the ritual prostitution practiced in pagan temples and child sacrifice. Moreover, the Jewish Bible identifies homosexuality as a Canaanite practice and one reason the land was taken from them. Unlike many of the Torah’s laws, the prohibition on sexual immorality, including homosexuality, applies to all of humanity, through the Noahide Code.4

Prager goes on to say, “Judaism cannot make peace with homosexuality because homosexuality denies many of Judaism’s most fundamental principles. It denies life (not life but death comes from sodomy), it denies God’s expressed desire that men and women cohabit, and it denies the root structure that Judaism wishes for all mankind, the family.”

Some fail to appreciate how profoundly Christianity was influenced by Jewish morality. Judeo-Christian ethics is more than a catch phrase. It denotes the Jewish roots of Christian morality, which became the foundation of Western civilization.

In her Newsweek story (“He Made Us All Jews,” December 18, 2006), Lisa Miller wrote: “The Jewish family values that were prevalent in first-century Judea, the values of Mary and Joseph and the young Jesus, became the values of Christianity, and of the regions of the world in which Christianity has long been a critical force.... . And so the growing Jesus would have come of age in a world that cherished procreation, family ties and the history and theology of Israel, including immersion in the Scriptures (with their emphasis on sexual morality and holiness) and the ancient stories of God’s deliverance of his people.

Thus did the Jewish worldview come to dominate the West.

I suppose one could say that the traditional (or natural) family is a Jewish invention. Except, it was the God of Israel, not Israel itself, who ordained the family. Here, Jews, and later the Christians, served as the Divine transmission belt.

This is one of the ways in which all of the families of the earth have been blessed through the Jews.

 

 

 

Author Notes

Don Feder was a Boston Herald editorial writer and syndicated columnist from June 1983 to June 2002. His writings have appeared in USA TODAY, The Wall Street Journal, The Weekly Standard, National Review, American Enterprise, Readers Digest, Front Page Magazine, Insight and Human Events. The author of two books—“A Jewish Conservative Looks at Pagan America” (1993) and “Who’s Afraid of the Religious Right?” (1996).

Feder is the 1998 recipient of the International Communications Award of the Republic of China on Taiwan and the winner of the first-place prize in the Amy Foundation Writing Awards for 1993. The Amy Foundation recognizes writers who project Biblical truths in the secular media. Feder has addressed the annual conventions or meetings of the Rabbinical Council of America, Concerned Women for America, Toward Tradition, the Christian Coalition, Nation Right to Life Committee, the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), the College Republicans, Empower America, the Council for National Policy, the Heritage Foundation, Family Research Council, the Interfaith Zionist Leadership Summit, the World Affairs Councils of Boston and Portland, Maine, World Congress of Families II in Geneva in 1999, The World Congress of Families III in Mexico City in March 2004 and World Congress of Families IV in Warsaw in May 2007 and World Congress of Families V in Amersterdam in August of 2009.

He has a media/political consulting firm—Don Feder Associates—is a frequent contributor to various publications, and has a website – www.donfeder.com.

Endnotes

  1. Shabbat – The traditional Jewish Sabbath, beginning at sundown on Friday evening, ending at nightfall on Saturday evening. “The Nature of Shabbat,” Judaism 101, http://www.jewfaq.org/shabbat .htm
  2. Memorial candles used to commemorate the departed, lighted on the anniversary of the death of a family member (according to the Hebrew calendar) “Yahrzeit Candle,” Judaica Guide, http://www.judaica- guide.com/yahrzeit_candle/
  3. All biblical citations are to “The Holy Scriptures According to the Masoretic Text,” The Jewish Publication Society of America, 1958.

 

      4. Noahide Code –The seven laws given to Noah and his descendants after the flood. “The Noahide laws are comprised of seven universal laws biblically binding upon all humanity. They include prohibitions against idolatry, blasphemy, forbidden sexual relationships, including adultery and incest, murder, theft, cruelty to animals and the failure to implement orderly processes of justice.” Noahide.org http://www.noahide.org/article. asp?Level=352&Parent=85

 



Testimony for Texas Bill Repealing Unilateral Divorce

Testimony for Texas Bill Repealing Unilateral Divorce

House Bill 3188 filed by Representative Matthew Krause

Jennifer Roback Morse Ph.D.

April 26, 2021

I support the repeal of unilateral no-fault divorce. The public mistakenly believes that “no-fault” divorce means that two sensible people can dissolve their marriage, by mutual agreement, without a finding of fault. In reality, only about a quarter of divorces take place by mutual consent. This fact, not widely studied or appreciated, means that roughly 75% of divorces take place against the will of one of the parties.

This fact has the following consequences:


  • The most basic terms of the marriage contract can be violated without penalty.
  • Since there are no “marital faults,” adultery is not a “marital fault.” Therefore, an adulterous spouse can unilaterally end the marriage and have the legal right to contract another marriage with his or her paramour. The law supports the guilty spouse against the innocent spouse.
  • Marriage has been redefined from being presumptively permanent and sexually exclusive to being neither permanent nor sexually exclusive.
  • One party can drag the other party into court and have the assets of the family subject to division by the State.
  • The division of custody of children comes under the jurisdiction and control of the State.
  • The forced division of financial assets and child custody amounts to a serious penalty imposed by the State on a law-abiding citizen, simply at the request of their spouse.

The losses to children from divorce are staggering and well-documented. One survey of the literature cataloging the harms to children from divorce includes more than 300 footnotes. Another 25-year study shows that far from kids “getting over it,” the harms from divorce “crescendo” during adolescence and young adulthood. A few highlights from these surveys include these losses for children:

  • Diminished academic performance, including poorer grades and lower overall educational attainment.
  • Diminished mental and physical health outcomes, including greater likelihood of drug abuse and suicide.
  • Loss of stability of their relationships with their parents and their living arrangements.
  • Loss of their sense of identity and belonging.
  • Inability to trust.
  • Compromised ability to form stable and satisfying love relationships of their own.

These considerations lead me to support an end to unilateral no-fault divorce. No citizen should have the right to unilaterally inflict costs of this magnitude on their spouse and children without a finding of fault. No government should have a policy of always taking sides with the party who wants the marriage the least.

Through unilateral divorce, the legal system incentivizes disloyalty. This policy is unworthy of a free people and a great nation.

Dr. Morse’s Qualifications:

  • Taught economics at Yale and George Mason Universities for 15 years.
  • Author of six books on marriage, family and human sexuality.
  • Writings translated into Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Polish and Chuukese, the native language of the Micronesian Islands.
  • Named one of the “Catholic Stars of 2013” on a list that included Pope Francis and Pope Benedict XVI.
  • Campaign spokeswoman for California’s Proposition 8 in 2008.
  • Founder and President, The Ruth Institute, an international interfaith coalition to defend the family.

References:

Mark Regnerus, Cheap Sex: The Transformation of Men, Marriage, and Monogamy, (New York: Oxford University Press, 2017), pg. 160-161, Figure 5.2, reports on a survey of 3,900 divorces, asking which party wanted the divorce. Only 27% of men and 24% of women said: “We both wanted it to end.” This is the only survey of which I am aware that even asks the question about mutual consent to divorce.

Patrick F. Fagan and Aaron Churchill, “The Effects of Divorce on Children,” Marriage and Religion Research Institute, Research Summary, January 11, 2012. This comprehensive 48-page survey contains over 300 footnotes.

Judith Wallerstein, Julia Lewis, and Sandra Blakeslee, The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce: The 25 Year Landmark Study, (New York: Hyperion, 2000.)

 


CNN Struggles with PC Trans Terminology


This article was originally published on SalvoMag.

- Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse

CNN parrots the most absurd positions of the transgender movement. We should start calling it the PCNN, Politically Correct News Network. And they can’t even keep their own PC terminology straight.

In a March 30 broadcast on South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem’s executive order on transgender males in women’s sports, the politically correct network editorialized:

“The order also references ‘biological sex,’ a disputed term that refers to the sex as listed on students’ original birth certificates.” In the same broadcast, the network claimed, “It’s not possible to know a person’s identity at birth, and there is no consensus criteria for assigning sex at birth.”


Following substantial backlash, CNN updated the story to “provide additional explanation as to the distinctions between gender and sex.” Their story now states, “It's not possible to know a person's gender identity at birth, and for some people, the sex listed on their original birth certificate is a misleading way of describing the body they have.”

The Gender Theorists have inflicted this new terminology on all of us. The least they can do is to apply it consistently. After all, the term “sex” refers to the body. The Sexual Revolutionaries invented the distinction between “sex” and “gender” to undermine the stability of male roles and female roles. “Gender” is the term they use to describe the complex of social roles, personal preferences, feelings and identity. The Revolutionaries maintain that sex roles are socially constructed and can be reconstructed. This distinction allowed them to pursue their agenda of eliminating everything based on male-female differences, without having to maintain that the body is completely irrelevant. They’re saying: “All we want to do is provide more flexibility in gender roles. We accept that male and female bodies are different.”

But now the mask is slipping. They can’t keep their story straight. There absolutely is a criterion for “assigning sex at birth”: DNA, which is almost always immediately obvious from secondary sex characteristics. Of course, we can’t know a person’s “identity” at birth, if that term includes everything they are ever going to think or feel. But that complex of feelings is not relevant to which sports teams a person should play on. The body is the only relevant consideration for that purpose.

CNN’s attempt at clarification did not help. CNN’s statement that “the sex listed on their original birth certificate is a misleading way of describing the body they have,” is absurd. The sex of the body has not changed. The individual has changed their “gender identity,” not the sex of their bodies.

It’s just more of CNN being CNN. In a story last August on screenings for cervical cancer, instead of “women,” it used the expression “individuals with a cervix.” Increasingly, doctrinaire outlets like CNN, try to avoid saying “men” and “women” which are thought to exclude so-called transsexuals.

CNN’s newscasts should come with a warning label: “No News Ahead. Propaganda Only. Some viewers may find the following broadcast upsetting.”

Bias like this is one reason we at the Ruth Institute recently launched our Transgender Resource Center with research, media and other resources to fight the transgender ideology which permeates our society.

 

 



Kamala Harris, Bill Clinton, and Empowering Women

 

The Stream’s John Zmirak saw a press commentary by pro-family activist Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse. He couldn’t quite believe his eyes, so he decided to interview her about its startling claims. This was originally published at the Stream

 

 

 

John Zmirak: I saw you put out a press release about Kamala Harris joining Bill Clinton last week for a summit on empowering women and girls. You just made that up for April Fools, right? Kind of a tasteless joke for a Catholic pro-life leader to make in my opinion. Can’t you get your mind out of the gutter?

Jennifer Roback Morse: Sorry John. I didn’t make it up. The jokes write themselves these days. I wish I could get my mind out of the gutter. But some of our elected officials keep dragging me back there.


Sleeping Your Way to the Abyss

Okay, I’ll admit that it’s real. You might say that these people have more of an insight on the subject than most, although the wrong point of view. Kamala “dated” the married Willie Brown — old enough to be her grandpa — to sleep her way to the middle. Then she clawed her way to the top using Planned Parenthood’s money and ruthless opposition research aimed at fellow Democrats. Bill Clinton, for his part, has learned all there is to know about putting out “bimbo eruptions.”

John, John, you are taking the wrong approach entirely. This is Equal Opportunity Exploitation. President Clinton exploits women. Vice-President Harris exploits men. What’s the problem? Except for the fact that instead of “use and be used,” we could be promoting of culture of “love and be loved.” But that is just our old-fashioned Catholic upbringing intruding itself into the conversation, isn’t it?

I think young girls could learn a lot from meditating on the Tales of Bill and Kamala. Young women starting out in their careers could ask themselves, “Where did Monica Lewinsky go wrong? Or did she?” Kamala could offer some pointers, for women who want to get a leg up on their careers.

Brilliant, John. This could be an addition to the Comprehensive Sexual Education curriculum that Planned Parenthood promotes and sponsors all over the place. That’s for the kiddies. For the college students, the Women’s Resource Center on every campus could offer special inspiring sessions, “Lessons from the Vice-President,” as part of their career counseling. Maybe slip it in during the Sex Week or other pro-pornography extravaganzas so many schools sponsor these days.

Should you and I just be writing this as an Afterschool Special for tweens? A children’s book to replace all those canceled Dr. Seuss titles?

But who would we get to illustrate it? Oh dear. That is a disturbing image … .

What were these two thinking, in agreeing to this? Do you think this is just an example of the Sexual Revolutionaries’ INFINITE CHUTZPAH? They think they can brazen out absolutely anything, since the media is on their side.

That is a bad joke, John. They don’t see it as chutzpah. They see it as normal. They are utterly clueless.

The Sexual Revolution and its Gulag

Okay, joking aside. What serious lessons can we draw, from the confluence of these two conscienceless power-seekers, about how the Sexual Revolution affects real, normal women and girls? Do these people’s lives, and their political goals, offer anything to human females actually seeking happiness?

Actually, this is what bothers me the most. The millions of ordinary men and women who spend a lifetime of faithful married love are ridiculed. Mike Pence is ridiculed for never being alone with a woman other than his wife. You’d think the fact that there are no bimbo eruptions around Pence would cause people to show him some respect. But in fact, the Sexual Revolutionaries hold up people like Clinton and Harris as role models.

In your book The Sexual State you show how the Sexual Revolution was aptly named. It was driven by the weird, Gnostic ideas of eccentric intellectuals (like the Marquis de Sade, and his disciples Sartre and Beauvoir) who wanted to remake reality and deny the structure God gave it.

Don’t forget those modern intellectual giants: Warren Buffett and George Soros and John D. Rockefeller III.

 

They despise the real world, where sex makes babies and parents are responsible for those babies. These Titans of the Intellect and Industry want to remake the whole process of the reproduction and rearing of new human beings. They used pop culture, the media, and finally Big Government to impose these strange new ideas on the masses. How far along are we in that revolution?

We are pretty far along. When I point out to people that it is not possible to build an entire society around the idea that sex is a sterile recreational activity, they look at me with blank stares. At first. They start to scratch their heads and get the point when I point out that hedonists like Clinton and Harris tend to rise to the top of the career ladder because they have a competitive advantage over people who take the time needed to actually raise their children. The whole economy has restructured itself around the social norm of delayed child-bearing for the professional classes and unmarried child-bearing for the lower classes. It is quite an irrational system actually.

Thou Shalt Not Mother Thy Children

Infamously, Simone de Beauvoir once said that women should not be permitted to stay home with their kids, because too many would choose to. Has our modern crony capitalism managed to impose her diktat, without the need to make it literally illegal?

Pretty much. I would add student debt to the list of policies that have suppressed fertility among the educated classes. Young people start their working lives with a huge cloud of debt hanging over their heads, especially if they have trained in the professions such as law and medicine. They have to work to pay off their debts.

Are you confident that human nature, if nothing else, will rise up and overthrow the Sexual Dictatorship of the Hedoneriat before it’s too late? Or will the Muslims or the dolphins just come and inhabit our depopulated cities?

Actually, the wolves and wild boar are making a comeback in some European cities. Dunno about the dolphins.

Please Support The Stream: Equipping Christians to Think Clearly About the Political, Economic and Moral Issues of Our Day.

Come on, you know what I mean.

I do. And there is no simple answer. The competitive and structural forces keeping the Sexual Revolution in place are formidable at this point. All the major institutions of society have been captured by the Revolution. Pretty much every profession has been corrupted or captured or both by the Revolution. Yet, the demands of the Hedoneriat have become so outrageous that people are pushing back. The pushback against transgenderism is broad and deep. People are objecting to boys in girls bathrooms and kids being steering into self-mutilation. As part of that pushback, people are rethinking their commitments to earlier parts of the Sexual Revolution. Some are even converting to the Christian faith.

 


 


`

THE VIEW FROM SINAI – A JEWISH PERSPECTIVE ON ABORTION

 

 

 

THE VIEW FROM SINAI – A JEWISH PERSPECTIVE ON ABORTION

A speech by Don Feder to the Kenya Christian Professionals Forum’s Virtual Life Symposium, at the Catholic University of East Africa in Nairobi, March 23, 2021

 Ladies and gentlemen, I am honored to once again address an event sponsored by the Kenya Christian Professionals Forum which does such vital work to protect life and the family in East Africa. We have a lot in common, you and I. We fight a common enemy to advance a common cause.

The battle for civilization has shifted from Europe and America, where the odds are against us, to nations like Kenya, where we still have a fighting chance. Here’s a simple formula for saving civilization in developing nations: Look at what we’ve done in the West. Don’t do it.

When I was a child (a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away), my favorite TV shows were “The Amazing Adventures of Superman” and “The Lone Ranger.” Did you have them in Kenya? Both were about the original superheroes. Superman was the Man of Steel, a strange visitor from another planet; bullets bounced off him. The Lone Ranger could shoot a gun out of a man’s hand.

Even now, decades later, I can still remember the beginning of each episode of The Lone Ranger: “Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear! From out of the past come the thundering hoofbeats of the great horse Silver! The Lone Ranger rides again.”

Well, apologies to the masked man and his faithful Indian companion, but those days of yesteryear often weren’t that thrilling. In antiquity, they were frequently barbaric, bloody and brutal.


Think back 3,000 years – to a world of city states and empires, slavery and savage spectacles.

It was a time when human sacrifice, infanticide and the carnage of the arena were commonplace.

Peoples as diverse as the Carthaginians, Etruscans, Canaanites, Aztecs and Hawaiians sacrificed adults or infants to appease their gods, to ward off natural disaster, and to assure good harvests or victory in battle. In Carthage between 800 BC and 146 BC., it’s estimated that 20,000 babies were ritually sacrificed.

Infanticide was also common. Infants who were sickly or deformed were often left to die from exposure or to be eaten by wild animals. Even the Greek philosopher Aristotle approved of the practice.

The Romans preferred bloodshed in the arena, in gladiatorial contests or the execution of criminals or prisoners of war. To celebrate his conquest of Dacia (modern day Romania), the Emperor Trajan had 123 days of games, in which more than 9,000 gladiators fought.

In Rome, a father had absolute authority over his household, including the right to disinherit, sell or even kill any of his children.

All of that started to change 3,000 years ago with the giving of the Law at Sinai, including what are commonly known as the Five Books of Moses. According to Jewish tradition, half-a-million souls were there to hear the voice of God, amidst the fire and smoke.

Sinai was the beginning – the beginning of Western Civilization. All of us, Christians and Jews, trace our roots there.

From Sinai came the Promised Land – more than 1,000 years chronicled in the Bible. From Sinai came the kings and prophets. Judaism and Christianity started there. (Without Passover, there would have been no Easter.)

The Jews eventually went into exile and their morality was spread into Europe and eventually worldwide by Christians through what came to be known as Judeo-Christian ethics.

The United States Declaration of Independence proclaims that certain truths are “self-evident” (meaning obviously true, requiring no proof) – “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” All of these truths were revealed at Sinai.

But the aforementioned rights aren’t “self-evident.” They weren’t self-evident in the United States, for the first 85 years of our national existence, when we had the institution of slavery in certain parts of our country.

In the ancient world, power flowed from the ruler down to a favored few. The poor and powerless were inconsequential – objects to be used and disposed of by others. If you told them that the peasant grubbing in his field had inalienable rights, they would have stared at you in dumb disbelief.

Not until Sinai did the concept of human rights appear. The Torah/Bible tells us that God created man “in His image,” and that as He is holy, we are to be holy, including treating others as individuals having God-given rights, not as objects to satisfy our desires -- to be used and disposed of.

The Mishna (which is part of what we call the Oral Law) says: “Therefore, Adam was created singly, to teach us that whoever destroys a single life in Israel is considered by Scripture to have destroyed the whole world, and whoever saves a single life… is considered … to have saved the whole world.”

Two of God’s chief attributes are justice and mercy. If we are to emulate Him, we must ask ourselves: Is abortion just? Is abortion merciful? Or is it a denial of God and a reversion to human sacrifice – this time to an idol called “choice”?

To give you an idea of Sinai’s profound influence on America, on the doors leading to the Supreme Court’s chamber, there’s a carving representing twin tablets with the Roman numerals 1 through 10. Sometimes, guides tell visitors that they represent the first 10 Amendments to the Constitution. Nonsense. In reality, they are there to remind us of a much older code of law on which our own is based.

Governments change. Fashions change. Political philosophies come and go. The vision of Sinai is unchangeable. It is for all peoples, at all times, in all places. The nations and the societies that adhere to it prosper. Those that do not fall by the wayside or fade to oblivion.

Today, the vision of Sinai is challenged by another vision. In place of light, there is growing darkness. During the Second World War, Winston Churchill warned that a Nazi victory would herald “a new Dark Age made more sinister and perhaps more protracted by the lights of perverted science.”

My friends, does that not perfectly describe what’s happening today, when killing children in utero is called a human right?

When abortion was legalized in the United States, through the subterfuge of Roe v. Wade, the great Talmudist Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik predicted, “If you kill a fetus, a time will come when even infants will be killed.” Many of us saw it coming.

In the West, we’ve gone from abortion to infanticide to euthanasia and doctor-assisted suicide. The party of the President of the United States, which has the audacity to call itself Democratic, embraces abortion for any reason, or none at all-- abortion up to the moment of birth, and even beyond it to include a newborn lying on an operating table.

Instead of affirming our common humanity, because we all were made in the image of God, increasingly, we play God with the lives of others.

Instead of a acknowledging the sovereignty of the God of the Bible and doing homage to him, we worship the gods of personal autonomy, of freedom divorced from values, of secularism and of choice. But be warned, does not the Bible say: “If you turn your back on me, on that day, I will hide my face from you.”

And what has it brought us?

Last year, there were 42.6 million abortions worldwide, which – according to the World Health Organization – is more than all of the deaths from cancer, malaria, AIDS and COVID-19 combined. This works out to 125,000 abortions a day. Annually, it’s more than twice the number of military casualties in World War II, the bloodiest conflict in human history –not spread over 6 years, but every year.

There’s a price to pay for this carnage. There’s always is a price to pay. This time, it’s in the coin of declining fertility, which some of us have come to call Demographic Winter.

Since the 1960s, worldwide, the fertility rate (the number of children the average woman will have in her lifetime) has been cut in half. In the United States, we now have the lowest fertility rate on record, 1.82, compared to about 3 during the postwar Baby Boom. But this is nothing compared to Europe, where the total fertility rate is 1.5 – way below replacement. Overall, Africa seems to be the only continent where people are still having children, and even here family size is declining.

Sometime in this century, perhaps before the year 2050, the world’s population will stop growing and begin declining. Once that starts, the rate of decline will accelerate.

The children who weren’t born today won’t have children or grandchildren of their own. Very soon, we will begin running out of people. Where will we find the farmers to grow our food, the workers to run our factories, the doctors and nurses to heal us, the teachers to educate our children, the police to keep us safe, the soldiers to guard our borders – in other words, all of the people needed to keep society functioning.

You can have a functioning society without domestic energy production, natural resources or arable land. You can’t without people.

And still we’re aborting 42 million people a year worldwide. Instead of abortion and contraception, we should be encouraging procreation and facilitating large families. Think of what the money we spend on abortion would buy if invested in clean water, disease control, better nutrition, and maternal health in developing nations.

There’s a saying that was popular with my generation: “What goes around comes around.” In “The Brothers Karamazov,” the Russian novelist Fyodor Destoyevsky wrote: “Without God all things are permitted.”

What things? Things like ethnic cleansing, like slave labor, like planned famines, like Auschwitz. The death camps of World War II weren’t built with bricks and mortar and barbed wire alone. They were built with ideas.

Deuteronomy 30:19 admonishes: “This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you may live, you and your children.”

This applies not only to individuals, but to nations and civilizations as well. Where are the Babylonians, the Persians and the Phoenicians – the ancient Greeks, and Romans and the Egyptians who built the pyramids? In the words of Mark Twain, they have “faded to dream stuff and passed away.”

You choose life and you get life, including living descendants. You choose death and you get death. That’s fair, isn’t it?

For more than half-a-century, we in the West have chosen death – death by abortion, death by euthanasia, and death by rapidly falling fertility (due to a refusal to marry and have children).

The choice before us is stark – blessings or curses, life or death, law or chaos, Sinai or savagery and – eventually -- oblivion.


 



Pepè Le Pew or Hugh Hefner? Who’s The Real Villain?

 

- Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse and Matt Maddox

This piece was originally published on The Stream.

A cartoon skunk is now the face of the rape culture. Pepè Le Pew, the lovestruck, clueless, ostensibly French, romancing skunk has found himself in the crosshairs of New York Times columnist, Charles Blow. In a recent column, he said that the besotted skunk normalized the sordid culture of rape. In an otherwise thoughtful piece on how children experience racism, Mr. Blow’s toss-away condemnation of a cartoon skunk garnered him the most attention. In response to the outcry, he doubled-down. Unfortunately, blaming a cartoon character for the rape culture minimizes both the suffering of rape victims and the deepest roots of the problem.

A better cultural icon to cancel would be someone like Hugh Hefner, and the deep root of the rape culture problem: the Sexual Revolution itself.


Pepè Le Pew Normalized Rape Culture?

Mr. Blow defended himself on Twitter, expounding on the romantic rodent’s sexual misconduct. “1. He grabs/kisses a girl/stranger, repeatedly, w/o consent and against her will. 2. She struggles mightily to get away from him, but he won’t release her. 3. He locks a door to prevent her from escaping.”

Perhaps Charles Blow should re-watch those old Pepè Le Pew episodes (if they’re not canceled yet). He might see that Pepè is presented as someone the other characters avoid. He’d also see that even Pepè Le Pew doesn’t like when the tables are turned. The obvious comedy of the situation might be too nuanced for a grown up to get. But kids understand intuitively that the seductive skunk is not a role model, but a laughable character, whose antics should not be replicated.

Let’s Start With Hugh Hefner

If we are going to retroactively cancel cultural icons because of their encouragement of rape culture, let’s start with Hugh Hefner. Reflecting on his work in an interview in 2010 he said, “The notion that Playboy turns women into sex objects is ridiculous. Women are sex objects.”

Printing a magazine that taught millions of boys that women are merely objects for sex does far more harm than a clueless skunk amorously chasing a cat. Hugh Hefner did incalculable harm to those millions of boys accidentally exposed to porn at a young age through his magazines.

Pornography and Sexual Violence

Pornography, though doesn’t merely degrade women in the eyes of the consumer. Pornography also tends to be an escalating behavior.Fight The New Drug (an anti-pornography website) puts it this way, “Because of porn’s addictive nature, porn consumers usually need an ever-increasing dosage over time in order to feel the same level of enjoyment. They often have to seek out more extreme and hard-core forms of porn.” For too many consumers, this more extreme and hard-core porn includes violence.

Dr. John Foubert, a leading expert on sexual violence, examined the link between pornography and sexual violence in a recent article. He found: “That 95% of the time when someone is violent with another person in porn, usually a man toward a woman, the recipient is shown as either liking that violence or having no objection…Pornography teaches boys to hit girls and shows girls that they should like it.”

 

In addition, Mr. Blow’s colleague at The New York Times, Nicholas Kristof, wrote a blockbuster report on how Pornhub profits from sexual violence. Kristof’s article featured the terrible story of a woman, now 23, who was adopted from China. Her adoptive parents forced her to appear in violent pornographic videos uploaded to Pornhub, from the time she was 9 years old.

The same report from The New York Times quotes the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s statistics on how the exploitative content of minors has exploded. In the space of four years (2015 to 2019) there was a shocking 964% increase, going from 6.5 million reported exploitative images, to 69.2 million reported such images and videos. In the face of this type of data, it’s hard to blame the rape culture on a cartoon skunk kissing a painted cat.


 

The Pervasive Ideology of the Sexual Revolution

But underlying all of the rape culture, is the pervasive ideology of the Sexual Revolution. The core tenant of the Sexual Revolution is that everyone deserves to have sex all the time with no consequences anywhere: sex is an entitlement. This ideology permeates society. Even Nicholas Kristof in his fine expose, couldn’t help but opine that “It should be possible to be sex positive and Pornhub negative.”

We’re not so sure. Writing in the National Catholic Register, one of us challenged the Sexual Revolutionary view. Evidently Kristof and Blow both accept the idea that lack of consent is the only possible basis for judging a sexual encounter as immoral. We think this places more weight on “consent” than it can bear.

The #MeToo movement bears this out. So do the cases of Harvey Weinstein, Jeffrey Epstein, or former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick. While these three men operated in different sectors of society, they all operated according to the tenets of the Sexual Revolution. Weinstein promised his victims stardom through his wealth and influence. Epstein offered his victims the possibility of modeling careers. McCarrick gave advancement in the Catholic Clergy to his victims.

The power of these men enabled them to silence their victims and create a system of compromised individuals who helped enable the victimizers. Their heinous acts are really little different from the back-alley rapist, the sadomasochistic pornography producer, or the child sex abuser. All these predators embrace the idea that they are entitled to sex. Other people are objects for them to use in what is no more than a physical act.

 

Canceling a Skunk is a Cheap Shot

Focusing on a cartoon character, when the porn industry makes billions, is a cheap shot. The porn industry might actually fight back. Canceling a skunk when a cad like Hefner gets a pass, is unconscionable. The Ruth Institute stands by the ancient Catholic teaching that no one is entitled to sex. The only way to combat the rape culture is to diagnose it accurately, recognize where it comes from, and speak for the victims.

 



Five Reasons Why Christians Are Public Enemy No. 1

This article was originally published in the National Catholic Register.

Fellow Christians, do you ever feel like we are in the crosshairs of all sorts of ideological groups? I sure do. I’ve had to think about this a lot! And I think I’ve figured out a pattern that explains why we are always in hot water with the “Latest and Greatest and Ultimate Ideological Fad.”

I first discovered this pattern in my study of the Sexual Revolution.“Christian

Step 1:Somebody sells the public on a utopian ideal, a heaven on Earth, something that sounds appealing but is utterly impossible. Even good ideas and noble goals can be corrupted by being turned into utopian ideologies. For instance, the utopian dream of the communists is the workers’ paradise of perfect economic and social equality. Now, we can eliminate some inequality, but we will never have perfect equality in every dimension. That’s completely impossible.


Some environmentalists want to eliminate all pollution, all carbon footprints. Not possible. Reduce pollution? Sure, we can do that. But eliminate it? not possible.

Some in the public health establishment want to eliminate all cases of COVID. Reduce the number of cases? Sure. Eliminate them all? Not possible.

And of course, the Sexual Revolution is all about creating a sexual heaven on Earth, where every adult can have all the sex they want and nothing bad ever happens.

Step 2: These same people selling the fantasy also sell themselves as the potential savior class who can make this dream a reality, if only

Step 3: We grant them enough power. Doing the impossible requires a lot of power. So, the self-described “savior class” requires unlimited power to bring about the fantasy dreamscape. But even with lots of power, they can’t really do the impossible. So, they must fill the society with

Step 4:Unlimited propaganda, which keeps people convinced that the dream is possible and desirable. And finally, and very importantly, the propaganda must turn people’s attention to the

Step 5:Scapegoat Class. The dreamscape will never materialize, so, the savior class needs someone to blame. Every totalitarian ideology you can think of, has had a scapegoat class. The communists blamed the kulaks and rich peasants and crypto capitalists. The Nazis blamed the Jews. The Sexual Revolutionaries scapegoat Christian hold-outs who refuse to go along with the program.

Any fantasy ideology is utterly at odds with the Christian religion. Let’s review the five elements to see why.

1. A fantasy ideology first promises heaven on Earth. But Jesus never promised us heaven on earth. As a matter of fact, he promised us persecution and trouble. He told us to “take up your cross and come follow me.” He told us to abandon our families, our possessions and our reputations, anything that interferes with the cross. Jesus does not promise heaven on earth. He promises heaven in heaven.

2. The fantasy ideology presents the need for a savior class, which can bring about this heaven on earth. Jesus doesn’t allow us to go looking for a savior class. He is the one and only savior. The Christian religion specifically forbids us from assigning the title of “savior” to anyone but Jesus.

3. The savior class can save us if only we give them enough power to achieve the impossible task they have set for us. As Christians, we are not allowed to take this deal. We are supposed to render unto God what is God’s and unto Caesar only what is Caesar’s. It should go without saying that we are not allowed to render unto the political or technocratic elites unlimited power. We owe the experts in any field a respectful hearing. We don’t owe them unquestioned obedience. In fact, they owe us respectful answers to our questions and concerns. At the end of the day, the experts in public health or in so-called sexual health or climate science or the global economy are ordinary citizens just like the rest of us.

To make Christians even more troublesome to power elites, we have this crazy idea that people with power do not get to do whatever they want. The guy at the top of the totem pole does not get to do whatever he can get away with. The history of Christianity is littered (literally) with the bodies of people who confronted people in power on this point. This, more than anything else, has gotten Christians into trouble with ruling classes down through the ages.

4. Fantasy ideologies need unlimited propaganda. Let’s be clear: Propaganda is a form of deception. When an ideology gives itself permission to deceive in order to achieve the dream, the faithful Christian needs to object. Christianity holds that there is such a thing as truth, that truth can be discovered both through reason and revelation and that everyone has a responsibility to live in the truth.

5. Finally, the fantasy ideology requires someone to blame when things don’t go according to plan. But the Christian religion specifically forbids us to scapegoat people. Because we believe in original sin, we have no expectation that we could cure the human race of all evil if we could just get rid of Those Bad People Over There. When the subject is sin, we are all in it together. As Solzhenitsyn famously said, “The line between good and evil runs within every human heart.” There are degrees of personal wrongdoing of course. There are better and worse societies, of course. But no matter how much improvement we might make, we will never achieve perfection. Promising that we will, somehow, someday do so, is setting us up for failure and disappointment.

People of faith are the ones standing in the way of whatever the fantasy ideology of the moment happens to be. When a new ideology breaks out, we are the ones scratching our heads, saying, “That doesn’t sound right.” We are the ones who are willing to say: “If someone promises heaven on Earth, don’t take the bait. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably neither good nor true.”

And that is why Christians are public enemy No. 1.

 


Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Submission to the United Nations

Ruth Institute Submission to the United Nations Independent Expert on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI)

A Response to the Call for Input to a Thematic Report:

“Gender, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity”

Submitted by Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse

Founder and President, The Ruth Institute

March 9, 2021

We offer the following items for the consideration of the Independent Expert:

  • 1. SOGI-based policies promote violence and discrimination – Attempts to impose a radical gender agenda are promoted as a way to protect individuals against violence and discrimination, but invariably lead to violence and discrimination against those whose only crime is to dissent from the ideology of the Sexual Revolution. It is easier to sell a cause as defensive, rather than offensive – as this most certainly is. Forcing women and girls to share showers and bathrooms with so-called trans-males is an assault on their privacy (modesty), hence a type of violence.Gender “non-discrimination” laws discriminate against adherents to the natural order. Catholic hospitals and physicians would be forced to provide hormone-blocking drugs and surgery (including the removal of healthy organs) in violation of their conscience.
  • 2. Gender identity laws would eliminate all sex-based protections for women and girls, which required decades to achieve – Gender identity would destroy women’s sports by forcing females to compete with males who say they’re women, with their superior strength, agility, speed and endurance. A man who says he is a woman who is also a rapist could be incarcerated in a woman’s prison and gain access to shelters for battered women, thus endangering the safety of women.
  • 3. Enshrining SOGI-based rights into law creates an open-ended redefinition of the meaning of unlawful discrimination – For instance, discrimination could potentially include failure to provide surgery, puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones.
  • 4. SOGI-based laws have the potential to criminalize speech – What constitutes “violence and discrimination” when gender identity holds sway? Defining criticism as a crime will ultimately suppress speech. Criticism of government policy is a natural human right. We reject the idea that criticizing gender theory is a form of violence and discrimination. The theory that an individual can choose his or her sex ought to be highly contested. The theory that efforts to protect women’s spaces is the equivalent of inciting hatred is itself a type of bigotry. SOGI-based laws could also ban or redefine the use of gender-specific words.
  • 5. “Gender identity” is anti-science – The expression “gender identity” has only come in vogue in the past few years. It implies that the sex of the body is “assigned at birth” and is an artificial construct based solely on physical characteristics. The further implication is that individuals can chose their “gender identity” from a shopping list created by activists. (112 different “gender identities” are reported on Tumblr.) In reality, individuals are born male or female, with only a handful of medical exceptions. Someone born a male will remain a male until the day he dies, regardless of what he does to his body with hormones and surgery. DNA can’t be changed.
  • 6. SOGI-based policies undermine the family, which is entitled to protection, according to the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights – The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (adopted in 1948) acknowledges a number of inalienable rights. Article 15 describes the family as, “the natural and fundamental group unit of society,” which thus is “entitled to protection by society and the state.” So-called SOGI rights are a direct assault on the family. Their adherents push for gender indoctrination in the schools and media. Some want hormone treatments and surgery on minors administered/performed without parental knowledge or consent.
  • 7. SOGI is an assault on religion – Christianity, Judaism and Islam all hold that God created us male and female and endowed us with a nature based on our sex. Gender ideologues believe these ideas are antiquated and bigoted. In other words, if a person is born a male (with a penis and testicles) he can, nevertheless, choose to be a “woman” and by proclaiming that choice – with or without chemical or surgical alteration -- become every bit as much a “woman” as one who was born a woman. Along with science, religion is the primary force which denies transgenderism, which makes it a principal target of gender activists. We reject the idea that believers should be forced to deny the tenets of their faith. Christians and Jews should not be required to re-write Genesis (“Male and female, He created them,” in the words of the King James Bible).
  • 8. A gender regime would force people to lie about the reality of biological sex – Prohibiting certain types of speech is bad enough. Compelling speech is even worse. Compelling false speech and forcing people to lie, corrupts people’s consciences and sense of right and wrong.

Ruth Institute Press Releases on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity:

“Equality Act” Will Force Us to Lie Says Ruth Institute

Planned Parenthood Despicable for Medicating “Transgender” Youth--Ruth Inst. (ruthinstitute.org)

In Pushing the Trans Agenda, Biden will Make Obama Look Like Phyllis Schlafly (ruthinstitute.org)

Removal of Healthy Breasts from Adolescents is Unconscionable, Says Ruth Inst. (ruthinstitute.org)

New House Rules Erase Women, Says Ruth Institute

Ruth Inst. Outraged by Australian Drag Queens’ Suit Prohibiting Criticism (ruthinstitute.org)

Actress’s Name Change Doesn’t Alter Reality, Ruth Inst. Says (ruthinstitute.org)

Brits Ban Puberty Blockers: Ruth Inst. Cheers (ruthinstitute.org)

Ruth Inst. Applauds Court Ruling on Reparative Therapy Bans (ruthinstitute.org)

Barrett Didn’t Have to Apologize. Homosexuality is not Innate, Says Ruth Institute

American Journal of Psychiatry Corrects Pro-Transgender Surgery Study (ruthinstitute.org)

“Individuals with a Cervix” is the Latest Effort to Erase Women, Ruth Inst. Charges (ruthinstitute.org)

Ruth Inst. Rejects UN “Gender-Neutral Language” Manipulation (ruthinstitute.org)

Ruth Inst: Blatant Judge Bias in “Trans” Athletes Case (ruthinstitute.org)

Ruth Institute Petition Calls for Moratorium on “Sex-Change” Operations

Ruth Institute Questions Why Radicals Think Pro-Family Equals Anti-LGBTQ

Ruth Institute Petition Asks South Dakota Governor to Protect Children from Those Who Call Puberty a Disease

Opposition to Mutilation Isn’t Hate Speech (ruthinstitute.org)

Ruth Inst. Pres. Says Case of 7-year-old Boy is About More Than “Gender-Transitioning” (ruthinstitute.org)

Ruth Institute Senior Research Associate Writes on Study Which Refutes Born-That-Way Theory of Homosexuality

Ruth Institute President Says Teaching LGBT History is Indoctrination, Not Education

Ruth Institute President Decries “Gender-Fluid” Dating Show

“Once-Gay” Survivor of Pulse Nightclub Shootings to Speak at Historic Summit (ruthinstitute.org)

President of Ruth Institute Says Teacher Fired for Calling a Girl “She” Shows How the Power of Government Supports the Sexual Revolution

Ruth Institute Delighted to Sign Letter Affirming Biological Nature of Sex

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