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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, February 23, 2021
The World Health Organization, long a supporter of abortion, has also become a rubber stamp for China during the pandemic. Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who was supported in his candidacy by China, directed the WHO to resist a travel ban from China, which could have drastically reduced the spread of the disease.
Of the World Health Organization’s decision to back China, Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse said, “WHO went along with China’s opposition to a travel ban – which would have saved millions of lives, had it been put into effect early on. In December 2019, WHO even denied that human to human transmission was possible, again following party line.”
The World Health Organization has decided it will classify which method of killing a baby is safe and which is unsafe. In doing so, they only base their
determination on the health of the mother, which should be considered, but they fail to consider the safety of the baby. When killing a baby, every
option and every method is fundamentally unsafe for the child. Incredibly, the WHO seems to trumpet the number of abortions, and classifies the different
sets of abortions into "safe" and "unsafe." They said, in a 2012 publication, that 47,000 women die from “unsafe” abortions worldwide annually. Another World Health Organization
that there are 25,000,000 unsafe abortions annually. What the World Health Organization fails to either comprehend or explain is that every single
unsafe abortion leads to the death of the baby. So in reality, there are 25,047,000 deaths from unsafe abortions.
That number, however, isn't the full picture. More recent numbers suggest that the number of women who die from “unsafe” abortions annually has dropped to 22,000. While the decrease of adult deaths is laudable, the deaths of babies in unsafe abortions remains unbelievably high, worldwide. The World Health Organization estimates approximately 73,000,000 “induced” abortions annually. To put that in more relatable terms, that is as though we were killing off the combined populations of Spain, Sweden, and the Netherlands every year. No wonder we’re heading toward demographic winter.
The World Health Organization, in its push for ever more abortions, makes deft use of propaganda. In keeping with the norms of propaganda, as explained by Sue Ellen Browder, the WHO combines truth with misinformation, with devastating effect for the babies involved. The principal concern, reiterated their website, is to encourage the health and human rights of the women. The health and well-being of the babies, however, never seems to make it on to their publications. It is almost as though to justify killing small people, they have to dehumanize them.
To further make this point, the World Health Organization abortion literature promotes “safe” abortions. It defines “unsafe” abortions as “when [abortion] is carried out either by a person lacking the necessary skills or in an environment that does not conform to minimal medical standards, or both.” Again, the information is focused on the health of the adult, and no mention is made of the health, safety, or even life of the baby. The more unconscionable stance taken by the World Health Organization is that their guidelines for “reproductive care” only encompass 1/3rd of the people involved in reproduction.
Even during the pandemic, when the principal concern of the World Health Organization has been to preserve life (at least from the disease), the WHO doubled down on women still needing access to “safe” abortions. “Services related to reproductive health are considered to be part of essential services during the COVID outbreak…This includes contraception, quality health care during and after pregnancy and childbirth, and safe abortion to the full extent of the law” (emphasis added). Little wonder that an organization with conflicting purposes, continues to undervalue human life.
Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, with her characteristic candor, brought needed clarity and truth to the discussion. She said “In reality, abortion is never safe for the unborn child or for society. In America, ‘safe, elective abortion,’ has led to such horrors as late-term abortion, abortions performed on minors without parental consent, abortion as a form of birth control, violating conscience rights and the sale of fetal body parts.”
Despite this gross undervaluing of human life by the World Health Organization, and the obvious contradictions in logic, the Biden Administration, decided to restore $200 million in funding to the WHO. Perhaps it is only natural for a country which is engaged in systematic genocide against an ethnic and religious minority, to support an organization which facilitates and encourages millions of preventable deaths each year.
For its part, the Biden Administration seems to be in lock-step with the radical agenda of Planned Parenthood. Following up on his campaign trail promise to reverse the Hyde Amendment, President Biden has rescinded the Mexico City policy. Dr. Morse commented on the moves by the Biden Administration, “It’s not exactly shocking that restoring funding to the World Health Organization was one of Biden’s first moves as president.”
While this policy may serve the ideals of the Sexual State, it undermines the confidence of people around the country, and world, who look to the government as the primary guarantor of the right to life.
Posted on: Friday, February 19, 2021
COMMENTARY: We must be willing to affirm, without hesitation or compromise the historic truth of the Resurrection.
“These are the times that try men’s souls.” Actually, these times try the souls of women and men, especially people of faith.
This current historical moment presents this challenge: Do we really believe in the truths of the faith? Let me be specific: Do we really believe Jesus rose from the dead? And what difference does it make whether we do?
It is a historic fact that Jesus of Nazareth died. He was executed by the Romans in the very public, very thorough manner for which they were well-known. There is no doubt about the death of Jesus.
On the third day after his death, people began to claim that they had seen him alive. This was not a matter of one person making a private, unconfirmed assertion. Rather, whole groups of people alleged that they had all seen him at the same time. They contended that they touched him, spoke with him and saw him consume food.
There was absolutely no personal benefit to any of them in making up such a story. As a matter of fact, that initial group of followers faced intense pressure to change their stories.
Tradition says that 11 of the 12 Apostles were martyred, some in spectacularly painful ways. St. Peter and St. Andrew faced the ordeal of crucifixion. St. Bartholomew was skinned alive. Can any reasonable person seriously believe they all just invented the Resurrection story? Don’t you think at least one of them would have changed their story under that kind of duress?
But not one of them ever did. They continued to claim that they saw Jesus alive, in the flesh, on the third day after he’d been dead and buried. These are publicly available, widely documented facts. The most logical conclusion to draw, is that Jesus really did rise from the dead.
Once the Resurrection of Jesus is accepted as a historical fact, doubting the full identity of Jesus is no longer reasonable. He was who he claimed to be: the Son of God. And if it is reasonable to believe that Jesus is God, then it is also reasonable to believe basic truth-claims of Judaism.
Jesus claimed to be the fulfillment of all the promises to the Jewish people. Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, the histories, the prophets, the wisdom literature: All of it is true. The historical truth of the Resurrection proves that the Hebrew Bible is also true.
Christians in modern times have become accustomed to reinterpretations of the faith that remove any sense of the supernatural or immaterial. For instance, sometimes people will claim that God did not create us, but that we humans created God in “our own image and likeness.” I don’t think it is reasonable to dismiss Christianity in this way. Sure, we humans create all sorts of idols all the time. Sure, one could claim that the Greeks and Romans created gods in their own (not very attractive) image and likeness. Their gods are just fallible humans dressed up with super-powers.
But who could invent a god with the particular traits of Jesus? Jesus is not a god who demands human sacrifice. Jesus sacrifices himself for us. Jesus didn’t come to earth to boss us around. He came to invite us into loving personal relationship with the Divine Trinity. Come to think of it, what other religion or philosophy or worldview has ever come up with an idea remotely like the Trinity, that The Ultimate Power in the universe is a communion of loving persons?
Christianity is not just another myth, invented by primitive people to explain natural phenomenon that we can now explain through science. If you think about it, the neither the Christian nor the Hebrew Bible is much interested in that sort of thing. The Jews didn’t invent a god in charge of the sun or a goddess in charge of the moon. They didn’t picture Thor making loud noises or Zeus throwing lightning bolts.
The Hebrew cosmology stands alone among the ancient creation accounts, bypassing all of them in the power and boldness of its claims. Yahweh created the entire cosmos out of nothing as an act of love. Yahweh governs all things. The life, death and resurrection of Jesus affirms the Hebrew cosmology and decisively overturns the ancient myths.
Nor can Jesus be downgraded to some kind of Jungian archetype, a universal, archaic symbol or image. Jesus cannot be reduced to some vague expression or representation of some collective unconscious fantasy or wish. Jesus of Nazareth was a real, living human being. Of this, there can be no reasonable doubt. He was executed and was buried. On the third day, multiple witnesses claimed that they saw Him alive. None of these people could ever be talked out of their position, in spite of aggressive efforts to do so.
I repeat my opening challenge: Do you really believe Jesus rose from the dead? Accepting the faith because it was taught to us as children is not good enough. Reinterpreting our faith through the lens of modern scientific rationalism is not good enough. Reducing the truths of the Christian faith to the status of ancient myths is not good enough.
We cannot compromise on this principle. Jesus is the Son of the living God. No more tap dancing around this central issue, to keep us comfortable within our de-Christianized society. We must be willing to affirm, without hesitation or compromise the historic truth of the Resurrection. This opens the door to taking seriously other non-material supernatural claims of Christianity.
The Judeo-Christian understanding of the world and of the human person is really true, not metaphorically true. Taking this into account will help our efforts to build a good and humane world. In my next article, I will outline what difference this makes for you and your life and your witness in these troubled times.
Posted on: Wednesday, February 17, 2021
This article was originally published at LifeSite News
An acclaimed Catholic author and essayist has called upon Joe Biden to call time on attacks by Big Tech and the mainstream media on ordinary believing Catholics.
In her second open letter to Biden, published in Newsweek, Mary Eberstadt listed several examples of recent censorship and defamation of Catholics or Catholic institutions because they express the doctrines of their faith, and stated:
Mr. President, you are the most visible Catholic political leader in the world. You have a unique opportunity, once again, to demonstrate your stated commitment to being president for all. It's the bully pulpit. Call off the woke online haters stalking your fellow Christians. Call out the ugly, un-American tradition of which they are part. Tell your progressive allies, and everyone else, that prejudice remains prejudice—even when it is aimed against people who did not vote for you.
These Catholic institutions included Catholic World Report (CWR), the news wing of the venerable Ignatius Press, which primarily publishes works of Catholic philosophy and theology, often by popes and saints. CWR was temporarily banned from Twitter for posting a news item in which it factually stated that “Biden plans to nominate Dr. Rachel Levine, a biological man identifying as a transgender woman who has served as Philadelphia’s health secretary since 2017, to be HHS Secretary for Health.”
“Days later, authorities relent and restored the account,” Eberstadt observed.
“But the message they sent was loud and menacing. If a cultural authority as established as Ignatius Press can be punished online for being Catholic, who will be spared?
Certainly not David Upham,
an associated professor of politics at the University of Dallas. Eberhardt recounted how an “online mob” tried to get him fired from the faithful Catholic
institution. According to the Dallas Observer,
Upham referred to Dr. Levine in a Facebook post by his birth name, “referred to [him] as male”, and described how “dissenters” will be forced to lie
about the new Secretary.
“Dissenters will have to say ‘SHE’ and ‘WOMAN’ or ‘HE’ and ‘MAN’ even when they know it’s false,” the professor wrote.“Dissenters will have to pay for and provide hormonal treatments that will materially harm men and women’s capacity to fulfill the command of almighty God to be fruitful and multiply by the mutual clinging of male and female.”
However, the university stood by its faculty members. “This time around, the woke pile-on failed,” Eberstadt recalled.
“University of Dallas authorities refused to genuflect; instead, a joint letter from the provost and president affirmed that ‘The university embraces unreservedly the Church's articulation of the moral law.’"
The next Catholic institution cited was TAN books, which since 1967 has been publishing traditional devotional and theological material. Ads for its books have disappeared from Facebook and Instagram, Eberstadt observed, and smaller, lesser-known Catholic businesses have also suffered from the deplatforming of their ads.
Then there’s the Susan B. Anthony List, which since 1993 has supported pro-life politicians, especially women: Facebook censored its ads during the last election (and previously). Eberstadt noted that this is only one of several pro-life groups that Big Tech and the mainstream media interferes with and condemned the NBC’s “uncritical” acceptance of the notorious Southern Poverty Law Center’s characterization of even faithful Christian organizations as “hate groups.”
“One such is the Ruth Institute, whose mission—in the words of its Catholic founder Jennifer Roback Morse—is opposing ‘sex abuse, pornography, and divorce’,” Eberstadt wrote.
“Mr. President, the Catechism, for its part, also opposes sex abuse, pornography and divorce,” she continued.
“By the standards of the SPLC, every Catholic in America who accepts the Magisterium now qualifies as part of a ‘hate’ group. So does every Catholic monastery, convent, school and archdiocese. So do Catholic soup kitchens, old-age homes, refugee resettlement programs, adoption agencies and other charitable operations run by the Church.”
Finally, Eberstadt cited a flagrantly anti-Catholic essay in the New Republic, which was accompanied by a cartoon depicting U.S. Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett as the pope.
In her first open letter to Biden, Eberstadt asked Biden to reach out to the March for Life in January, as a way of reassuring those who did not vote for him. Biden did not do this, but rather promoted abortion with some of his first executive orders. Nevertheless, Eberstadt hopes that the politician, who was baptized and professes to be a Catholic, will do something to protect his fellow Catholic Americans from further abuse.
“As the first president with a photo of Pope Francis in his office, you should be the last to ignore what that same pontiff has called 'the challenge posed by legislators who, in the name of some badly interpreted principle of tolerance, end up preventing citizens from freely expressing and practicing their own religious convictions in a peaceful and legitimate way’,” she concluded.
Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, author and founder of the Ruth Institute, told LifeSiteNews via email that she was “grateful” for Eberstadt’s intervention.
“I am grateful that Mary Eberstadt catalogued in one place all the problems a Biden Administration is likely to pose for faithful Catholics,” Morse said.
The foundress of the Ruth Institute observed that Eberstadt wrote the letter in “a way that takes Biden's self-identification as Catholic at face value.” Morse is not inclined to do that.
“I seriously doubt that he cares about the harm his administration will impose on the Little Sisters of the Poor and David Daleiden,” she said.
“Biden is a self-described Catholic who is in active dissent from the Magisterium on every major contentious issue,” she continued.
Morse said that there is a “bigger problem” than the censorship and deplatforming of Catholics by non-believers: the activities of dissenting Catholics.
“The bigger problem that Eberstadt did not mention is that the government of the United States of America is now in the hands of dissenting Catholics,” she stated.
“This unprecedented situation will heighten the tensions within the Catholic Church, and cause damage far beyond that which a purely secular administration could cause.”
Carl Olson, the editor of Catholic World Report, told LifeSiteNews that he “certainly” agreed with Eberstadt but also that he believes “they will have no effect at all on President Biden.”
“He’s been in the public eye since the early 1970s, and his public record reveals, again and again, a man who is willing to say nearly anything (some of it plagiarized or blatantly false) to climb the political ladder,” the CWR editor said via email.
“It’s ironic, I suppose, that Eberstadt calls on Biden to use 'the bully pulpit' of the Presidency to push back against the anti-Christian haters and bigots, as Biden himself has often used his various positions of power to bully and attack others,” he continued.
Olson thinks that appealing to Biden as a fellow Catholic is “a pointless exercise, except to expose just how contrary Biden’s actions and stances so often are to clear Catholic teaching about sexuality, marriage, life, and related matters.”
“Biden’s many anti-life initiatives during his first weeks in office tell us what we need to know about his approach and priorities,” he added.
“And they are rarely, if ever, pro-Catholic. I don’t expect him to do much, if anything, to push back against the online hectoring, bullying,
Posted on: Monday, February 15, 2021
by Mary Eberstadt, Senior Research Fellow, Faith and Reason Institute
This piece originally published at Newsweek on February 15, 2021.
Dear President Biden,
This is my second open letter in Newsweek since your election, trying to reach your ear as a fellow American Catholic.
Following your inauguration, my first letter urged you to stand in solidarity with the pro-life movement by sending a message to the annual March for Life in January. Such a magnanimous gesture, I explained, would have underlined the lofty rhetoric of your inaugural address, especially among those whom you singled out for reassurance: Americans who did not vote for you.
To understate, you declined that invitation to bipartisan statesmanship. Instead, your first initiatives in office included executive orders that will swell the number of abortions not only in the United States, but around the world. That longstanding discrepancy between your Church's teaching, on the one hand, and your pro-abortion policies, on the other, might never give you pause. But one other new development should.
Mr. President, the election has emboldened your liberal and progressive allies to target for ostracism and punishment a new band of "deplorables": your fellow Catholics.
Exhibit A: On January 24, 2021, Twitter locked the account of Catholic World Report, the online magazine of Ignatius Press. IP is the largest Catholic publishing house in the Anglosphere. It issues volumes by popes, cardinals, bishops and other men and women of the cloth, as well as lay authors (this one included). CWR is its news arm. Like other Ignatius Press publications, the site leans in toward history and scholarship. Its essay section recently featured one piece on the Gnostic heresy, another on the future of Western civilization and another comparing translations of St. Augustine's Confessions.
Mr. President, the notion that cerebral CWR could run afoul of any "community standards" is prima facie risible. So how did this Catholic outlet find itself in the censorship crosshairs? Because of a news item reading as follows:
Biden plans to nominate Dr. Rachel Levine, a biological man identifying as a transgender woman who has served as Pennsylvania's health secretary since 2017, to be HHS Assistant Secretary for Health. Levine is also a supporter of the contraceptive mandate.
Without further explanation, Twitter ruled that CWR had violated its rules "against hateful conduct."
Days later, authorities relented and restored the account. But the message they sent was loud and menacing. If a cultural authority as established as Ignatius Press can be punished online for being Catholic, who will be spared?
This brings us to Exhibit B. Within days of your inauguration, an online mob tried to oust a professor from his post at a Catholic university.
That was David Upham, associate professor of politics at the University of Dallas—an institution renowned for its non-dissident Catholicism. Upham's purported thought crime, like that of Catholic World Report, was commenting on the appointment of Dr. Levine, including a remark about "participat[ing] in these falsehoods" about transgenderism.
And so, in a pattern repeated ad nauseam these days, an online rabble led by a transgender alumnus organized a petition and ratcheted up the pressure to oust the professor. This time around, the woke pile-on failed. University of Dallas authorities refused to genuflect; instead, a joint letter from the provost and president affirmed that "The university embraces unreservedly the Church's articulation of the moral law."
Once again, however, the implied message was ominous. If a tenured professor at a flagship American Catholic university could be threatened in this way, who's next?
This brings us to Exhibit C: social media censorship of religious traditionalists—especially your fellow Catholics—has accelerated during your brief time in office.
For instance, yet another Catholic publisher, TAN Books, has found numerous ads for its books suddenly removed from Facebook and Instagram. One was a volume about Mary called The Anti-Mary Exposed. Another was Motherhood Redeemed, a critical look at radical feminism. A third was a book on Karl Marx by a professor at Grove City College. A fourth was a primer about the Stations of the Cross, written for children. Ads from another small business, which sold prints of the Sacred Heart, were deemed unacceptable and removed.
Given that big tech will make examples even of small businesses, Exhibit D should come as no surprise: social media sporadically suppresses Catholic voices—especially influential pro-life ones.
So, for example, the Susan B. Anthony List—run by prominent Catholic Marjorie Dannenfelser, one of the leading pro-life voices in the United States—has been bedeviled online repeatedly. During the election, Facebook refused to allow the group's ads to run in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. Other instances of interference with the SBA List and other pro-life organizations abound—too many to recount here; see this link.
Mr. President, next consider Exhibit E: the stigmatizing of groups dedicated to Church teaching via spurious accusations of "hate."
On December 9, 2020, NBC News published a story that uncritically accepted the Southern Poverty Law Center's designations of certain organizations as "hate groups." These now include Christian organizations being singled out for their fealty to...well, Christianity. One such is the Ruth Institute, whose mission—in the words of its Catholic founder Jennifer Roback Morse—is opposing "sex abuse, pornography, and divorce."Read the rest of the article.
Posted on: Thursday, February 11, 2021
Many sperm donors donate because they want to help other people fulfill their dream of having a family. A brief glance at sperm donor websites reveals heart-warming pictures of couples, just waiting for their dreams to be fulfilled. Single women, infertile couples, lesbian couples, and pregnant mothers all feature prominently. If men were more prone to guilt, you would wonder how more men didn’t feel compelled to donate their sperm to help these people achieve their reproductive goals.
The marketing even appeals to the prospective parents: just 3 easy steps to find a sperm donor (select using our search, place your order, and we’ll confirm). There is usually a picture of a handsome, younger man with options for type of hair color, ethnicity, eye color, and so on are pictured. And, to further ease the prospective parents’ minds, the authority of doctors and other medical professionals is attested to, throughout the site with pictures, testimonials, and explanations of the safety.
Both the left and right, it seems, are swayed by the arguments inherent in the whole business: the unequal access to procreation is remedied by sperm donors, and private enterprise is busy solving a societal problem with minimal governmental interference. Could this be a burgeoning moment of societal unity? Perhaps a closer investigation into the rest of the story of sperm donors will show the untold damages this arrangement causes.
As so often happens, the people who are impacted the most and have the smallest voice, are the children conceived by the donors. Their stories, unfortunately, are too frequently glossed over, or actively hidden. These children, when they are finally told, often suffer intense grief and anguish. Many of their stories relate feelings of being betrayed, commoditized, unwanted, or cut off, and sometimes they feel shame and guilt they certainly don't deserve.
Allison K. is one of these children. Her mother told her that her father wasn’t her biological father, on the day that Allison was moving into her first dorm as a college freshman. Initially, she explained, she didn’t care much. “A nice man wanted to help family have children, and my parents wanted to be able to have their own family.” Her feelings, however, changed the more she learned about the whole industry and what sperm donors can refuse to do.
She learned about pay anonymity, sperm donors refusing contact, no limits being placed on the number of births from donated sperm, and offspring not getting any access to medical records. Most poignantly, she said that she suspects that her biological father doesn’t want anything to do with her, which causes her (and her brother) pain and trauma that causes them to cry about it, even though they are now grown adults. Her closing statement is a powerful condemnation of sperm donors. She said, “My father might have sold his sperm, but my identity is not for sale. It belongs to me. I am not a commodity. I am his daughter."
Not every donor conceived child is rejected by the sperm donor. A New York man, who also bought into the humanitarian angle, donated his sperm to a local lesbian couple, waived any parental claims (custody, visitation) and in return was absolved of the need to pay child support. Unfortunately, the child was so ill-cared for that she was placed in foster care. The man, feeling the pull of paternity, wanted to care for the child and worked with the couple to be granted access. They refused, the courts backed them up, and even refused his request to take a paternity test. The child deals with being raised without a father and now without her home because she’s in foster care.
Increasingly there are more resources for donor-conceived persons, like DonorChildren.com or Them Before Us, to help people in these situations. They provide safe spaces for people to share their stories and create a network to help discover more about their genetic makeup and identities. The sheer number of stories and hunger for more information about their cultural heritage and genetic identity, means something has gone wrong with our society.
These stories, these people, these human experiences are all why the Ruth Institute believes that each child has a right to know his or her cultural heritage and genetic identity. What’s more, these children have additional rights which, when followed by their natural mother and father, will lead to the best outcomes for the child. Whatever the motivations of the sperm donors may be, the rest of the story shows a need for a return to the traditional Judeo-Christian sexual ethic, which protects and looks out for the interests of the children, and not as commoditized objects.
Posted on: Tuesday, February 02, 2021
This article was posted at Catholic News Agency February 2, 2021.
Critics of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) say the organization has become extreme and “thoroughly disgraced,” after the center released its 2020 “census of hate groups,” which included numerous pro-life and family organizations.
Since 1990, the SPLC has issued an annual list of hate groups, listing organizations such as the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazis. More recently, however, it has also included pro-life and pro-traditional marriage Christian organizations as “anti-LGBTQ hate groups.”
Many of these groups are well-respected, such as the Ruth Institute, Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), Family Research Council, and several smaller Christian churches.
“Influential anti-LGBTQ hate groups,” the latest SPLC report says, “became further entrenched in the Trump White House, and the Trump administration continued its years-long pattern of appointing federal judges with ties to anti-LGBTQ groups. The most high-profile of these appointments was Amy Coney Barrett, who joined the Supreme Court last fall and has ties to Alliance Defending Freedom, which SPLC has designated an anti-LGBTQ hate group.”
Jeremy Tedesco, senior counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom, responded that “ADF is one of the nation’s most respected and successful Supreme Court advocates, and has won 11 cases at the U.S. Supreme Court since 2011.”
“We work to preserve fundamental freedoms of speech, religion, and conscience for all Americans,” Tedesco told CNA. “Once a respected civil rights organization, the Southern Poverty Law Center has destroyed its own credibility because of its blatant partisan agenda and discredited fundraising scheme. It has devolved into a group that attacks and spreads lies about organizations and people who do not agree with its far-left agenda.”
ADF has created a website responding to the SPLC's allegations.
The most recent SPLC report was released February 1. It presents a series of proposals, including a demand that “public figures involved in inciting and giving encouragement to the armed insurrectionists who stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 — destroying property, injuring dozens of officers, and leaving five people dead – should be permanently deplatformed from all social media. In addition, corporations should permanently suspend political donations to Members of Congress and other elected officials that helped incite the violent siege and request that any past political donations to their campaigns be returned.”
In 2019, the SPLC’s reputation as a watchdog of injustice and inequality suffered a major hit when co-founder Morris Dees was forced to resign after serious allegations of racism and misogyny.
However, inclusion on the SPLC’s “hate group list” still has negative consequences. For example, online retail giant Amazon has used the list to disqualify nonprofit organizations from using the “Amazon Smile” program to receive donations.
Last year, NBC reported as scandalous that as 14 organizations designated “hate groups” by the SPLC benefited from the Paycheck Protection Program, designed to provide relief to small businesses affected by the coronavirus lockdowns.
Among the groups listed was the Ruth Institute, a pro-life organization based in Louisiana. Its founder and president, Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, said the group faced bad publicity and unfair bias from the report.
“NBC relies on the Southern Poverty Law Center for the ‘hate group’ designation. This just means the Ruth Institute is a group the SPLC hates. Big deal. They raise a lot of money with their hate-mongering tactics. In 2018, their net assets were a half billion dollars,” Morse said.
Morse said “the Ruth Institute is a global, non-profit organization leading an international, interfaith coalition to defend the family and build a civilization of love. If fighting sex abuse, pornography, and divorce makes us a hate group, so be it.”