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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: Wednesday, March 03, 2021
COMMENTARY: Your mission, should you choose to accept it.This article was originally published in the National Catholic Register.
Many readers of the Register feel demoralized by the current state of the world. The world we once knew is gone. The world where people care about the truth of things, the world where childhood innocence is expected and respected and protected, that world seems a dim and distant memory.
There is no natural reason to be hopeful. However, this does not preclude some supernatural reason for hope. That is why in a previousarticleI reminded my readers of the central truths of our faith. It is reasonable to believe that Jesus of Nazareth rose from the dead, that he is God and that the Bible is true. In this article, I go even further: Trusting more deeply in the fundamentals of the faith is a practical course of action. The most reasonable posture in this historical moment is to set aside the human perspective and embrace the God’s eye perspective.
Not that we are ever going to know the mind of God. Of course, that is way beyond us. But it is quite reasonable for us to remember that God does have his own perspective, and that we would be smart to align ourselves with it.
Let’s cut to the chase: God does not expect you to singlehandedly prevent the fall of Western civilization. He doesn’t expect you to root out the corruption in the Church, or in the U.S. government. I’m pretty sure that is true of everyone reading this, even though I don’t know each of you individually.
God is a reasonable God: It is not reasonable to suppose that he expects you to do something that is not humanly possible.
On the other hand, he did plunk you and me down in this particular moment of history in a unique geographic and social location. Surely, he has a specific vocation in mind for each of us. He will hold each of us accountable to that mission, uniquely tailored to our gifts, talents and circumstances. Our mission, should we choose to accept it, is to embrace that divinely appointed vocation to the best of our ability, and stop worrying about the other problems of the world.
Let me emphasize that:Stop worrying about the other problems of the world.
Our faith teaches us that God created each of us in his image and likeness. Our faith also teaches us that God is infinite and we are finite. Therefore, no one of us can image every aspect of God’s perfections. Even the best of us can only imperfectly image some aspect of God. We have to face that basic fact. God is God. We are not.
God certainly knows that our world is a mess. He has a plan for restoring the cosmos. The Divine Trinity has been working that plan since the Garden of Eden. You have a part in that plan. That is pretty much all you need to know. Execute your part of the plan, and you’ve literally done all that you can do.
After all, how could you or I possibly improve on God’s plan? He knows more than you or I do. He has the good of more people at heart, whereas I’m pretty much thinking of myself, (even though I really should know better.) And he has a longer time horizon than I do. Therefore, doing the mission God has chosen for me is literally the best possible thing I could be doing. If everything crashes around me, so be it. He has matters well in hand. Do you really believe that?
He has equipped each of us to achieve our specific mission. He has already given you the tools you need, placed you in the exact right place, and put the right people in your life. As you put one foot in front of the other, more tools will appear, and more of the right sort of people will find you. You may end up in a place you never expected, or never thought possible, or never would have chosen. That is perfectly alright.
I strongly encourage you to discern your unique calling from God, in this particular moment. God has placed specific people in each of our lives that he intends for us to love, cherish and care for. Maybe your vocation is to reach out through letters or calls to people who are discouraged or wounded. Maybe you are a member of a profession that has become corrupted by the Sexual Revolution or financial impropriety or both.
Your unique vocation may be to somehow use your gifts, talents, personal history and connections to bring reform to your area of expertise. If you are a physician, your responsibility is to address the ways the Sexual Revolution has corrupted medicine, not law, or social work or journalism. If your calling is to teaching fifth graders, you cannot simultaneously battle political correctness at the university level.
God of course, knows this. God expects you to achieve your unique mission, and no other. He expects you to stay focused, and not be distracted by everyone else’s.
And besides, you will feel better if you are doing something constructive. I am pretty sure no one has a vocation to sitting on the sidelines, worrying or complaining, (although you might not guess that from people’s social media posts.) Hiding under the bed because you scared yourself to death isn’t going to help anything or anybody.
Do you really believe that God has a plan for the world and for your life? Then trust that plan. Do you really believe God has a plan for your life? Then
discover and work that plan. Everything else is a waste of time. Heaven knows, we have no time to waste in the defense of the truths of the faith,
and the building of a better world.
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.”
Posted on: Friday, January 29, 2021
Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse
This article originally published at Stream.org
NBC News is doing a full-court press against pro-family organizations, with three smear pieces in the last three weeks of 2020. These stories aim to eliminate pro-family groups from polite society and routine business transactions. Even worse, these NBC News stories are scapegoating and marginalizing Christians. We are to blame, you see, for all the troubles in our troubled world.
First up: on December 9, NBC News published a story cataloguing 14 organizations on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s “Hate List” that received Paycheck Protection Program forgivable loans. (Full disclosure: the Ruth Institute, which I head, is one of the 14.) The Paycheck Protection Program was designed to provide relief to small businesses affected by the government-imposed coronavirus lockdowns.
The NBC article quoted experts who mused aloud about whether the government should forgive Paycheck Protection Program loans to these “hate groups.” These experts were “troubled” by “extremist groups” receiving federal stimulus money.
NBC News’ ultimate target is not Amazon, of course. Nor is it the Paycheck Protection Program. Their ultimate target is
you and me …
To put this in perspective, the 14 groups received a total of $4.3 million. (The Ruth Institute received roughly $37,000 through the Paycheck Protection Program.) Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood affiliates received $80 million in funding, and dozens of strip clubs qualified for between $11.5 million and $27.95 million in COVID disaster relief. No word about those organizations in NBC’s breathless story.
The Ruth Institute responded by launching a petition in association with Life Petitions demanding that NBC retract the story. We also asked that they stop using the Southern Poverty Law Center as a source and issue an apology.
No sooner had that petition gone up, than NBC did another story, this time, focusing on “anti-gay” businesses and non-profits. They admitted that these organizations had not been designated “hate groups” by the SPLC. But, they declared, these groups have a “demonstrated track record of anti-LGBTQ advocacy or espousing an anti-LGBTQ ideology.”
The report zeroed in on two private schools that have made national news due to their “anti-LGBTQ policies — and their high-profile conservative backers.” Immanuel Christian School, a private K-10 in northern Virginia where Vice President Mike Pence’s wife teaches, and Trinity Schools, a group of private Christian schools where Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett was once a trustee, both received funding. These schools require their students and faculty to adhere to traditional Christian sexual morality. These requirements are perfectly legal (for now).
This December 12 story also targets businesses that have had high-profile legal conflicts with the LGBT establishment, among them Catholic Social Services in Philadelphia, Roncalli High School in Indianapolis and Arlene’s Flowers. The two Catholic organizations are in court defending their rights to act in accordance with their Catholic beliefs. Arlene’s Flowers is a small business that has been legally harassed since 2013. In the minds of the LGBT cheerleaders at NBC, these organizations should be beyond the pale of Paycheck Protection. Just being hauled into court by the Human Rights Campaign and the ACLU, just fighting back, is enough for these organizations to be excluded from relief every other small business is entitled to.
The most insidious aspect of this article is the scapegoating in the section headed “Warped Priorities.” NBC quotes “experts” who blame Christians for the financial struggles of small businesses. According to one such expert, “It is hard to find a clearer example of the Trump administration’s warped priorities than allowing countless mom-and-pop shops to go under without proper relief while bailing out wealthy and well-connected anti-LGBTQ enterprises on Americans’ dime.” (As if Arlene’s Flowers were not a “mom-and-pop” business.)
The president of the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce also commented to NBC News. “I think it’s ridiculous,” he said, “that the Small Business Administration led by the Trump administration would put the needs of avowed anti-LGBT organizations before hardworking small-business owners. These folks are worried about keeping the lights on.” (As if all of those gay bars went under because a couple of Christian academies got small business loans.)
In NBC’s mind, evidently, the Chinese Communist Party’s malfeasance had nothing to do with the struggles of small businesses. Evidently, there was nothing “warped” about the “priorities” of the state governors that created the financial hardship in the first place. Evidently, the media-induced panic was blameless.
This is scapegoating, plain and simple. “If it weren’t for those Bad People over there, all of us Good People would be fine.” The specific short-term end game for these two articles is to make “hate groups” have to repay the Paycheck Protection Program loans. These loans were advertised as forgivable and will undoubtedly be forgiven for everyone else, including the abortion clinics and strip clubs.
The third entry in NBC News’ trifecta of Sexual Revolutionary propaganda criticized the Amazon Smile program. This program allows consumers to contribute a small portion of their Amazon purchases to the charity of their choice. NBC News takes for granted that all Decent People will be instantly and thoroughly shocked to find that anti-LGBT groups are participating in this program. After all, Amazon’s participation agreement states that non-profits that promote “intolerance, hate, terrorism, violence, money laundering or other illegal activities” are ineligible. All Decent People know that it is intolerant to say that homosexual practices are unhealthy. All Decent People realize that advocating that parents be able to opt out their children out of sex education is terrorism against LGBT people.
NBC News’ ultimate target is not Amazon, of course. Nor is it the Paycheck Protection Program. Their ultimate target is you and me and anyone else who stands in the way of The Grand March of the Sexual Revolution. We are the problem. If it weren’t for us, everyone could have all the sex they want and nothing bad would ever happen.
In other words, NBC News is scapegoating and dehumanizing us for our political views. I wonder if the Titans of Tolerance will ever notice.
No matter. 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, divorce and the LGBT agenda makes us a hate group, so be it.
Posted on: Tuesday, January 12, 2021
by The Ruth Institute StaffA few years ago, The Ruth Institute analyzed the case of Lisa Miller, who fled the country with her biological daughter, to protect the daughter from the alleged abuse of Lisa’s former partner. Lisa, a former lesbian, was damaged and harmed by the Sexual State. Lisa's former partner used the power of the family courts to force Lisa to share custody with her, by redefining the "presumption of paternity" to the gender-neutral "presumption of parentage." Now Lisa Miller is back in the news – hoping to receive a presidential pardon.
The case is strange and disconcerting for anyone who is familiar with it. Lisa Miller (interviewed for her story in 2008 by Lifesite News) – had a difficult life: by the time she was seven she was paying the mortgage, making sure food was on the table, and dealing with her parents’ divorce. Due to that and her mother’s mental illness, she got addicted to speed, and when she was married, her husband introduced her to alcohol. After a failed suicide attempt while recovering from alcoholism in the hospital, she was transferred to a psych ward.
While in the psych ward her therapists decided, without consulting her husband, that the reason she had so many struggles was because she was a lesbian. Clearly, they told her, the struggles she was facing came from difficulties “coming out.” Later, after divorcing her husband, she followed their advice.
The therapists encouraged her to be a lesbian (rather than working out her relationship with her husband), and told her that even if her first relationship with a woman didn’t work out (it didn’t), that doesn’t mean that the second one wouldn’t (it didn’t either).
The incredible thing was that she had all of this childhood trauma (what 7 year-old should be balancing checkbooks and taking speed?) that the therapists hardly delved into and didn’t really discuss with her. Talking a patient into a sexual identity based on the therapists’ hunch, and disconnected from the facts of the patient’s case, seems like it might be malpractice.
This also brings up another question about the immutability of sexual preference. After both of her failed relationships with different women, and the abusive, though longer-term relationship with Janet Jenkins, she decided that actively living a lesbian lifestyle wasn’t for her (not to mention her doubts about her sexual preference during that span of time). Can sexual preference be immutable if people’s sexual preference changes? If sexual preference is immutable for some people but not others, how is the law to deal with a category like that?
Lisa’s life became more difficult as she moved in with, and later became joined in a civil union with, Janet Jenkins. Lisa said, “Janet and I did not have a typical relationship.We were together – however, there was rarely any intimacy.Maybe once or twice a year and this was consistent throughout the relationship.I personally did not feel that way.This upset Janet a great deal and a lot of the abuse centered around that, as well, with name-calling and things like that… I actually, ended up leaving her in 1999 because the relationship had turned violent”
While many of us may be confused as to why Lisa might stay in a relationship that became more and more abusive, Lisa explained it in terms of a comfort
zone. “For me, being with her, and this is going to sound weird, but it was like a comfort zone because I was used to being abused growing up…
with women, what I was trying to do was trying to recreate a mother/daughter bond that I never had.”
After Lisa and Janet got back together, they moved to Vermont and obtained a civil union in 2000. In 2001 Lisa decided to have a daughter via artificial sperm donation. Janet generally maintained that she wasn’t interested in the child, and was not helpful during the pregnancy. The birth certificate lists only Lisa Miller as the parent.
According to Lisa, even though Jenkins was granted some parental rights after the dissolution proceedings began (though they lasted more than 5 years). Jenkins’ involvement with the child was minimal, even skipping the court ordered dates for visitation.
As far as the sordid allegations of the proceedings go, what Lisa Miller alleges Jenkins did isn’t pretty. She recounts that her daughter said that Jenkins would bathe naked with her (as a 5 year-old girl!), and that her daughter would come back from the few visits she did have and mime committing suicide. After that, Lisa cut off visits, and eventually fled the country to protect her daughter from an allegedly abusive and erratic ex-partner.
Dr. Morse said of this heartbreaking case, “Lisa Miller was one of the early victims of the Sexual State. Her case convinced me that redefining marriage would redefine parenthood in ways that few people were taking seriously. Lisa Miller entered into a civil union with another woman and had a child through an anonymous sperm donor. Lisa no doubt believed that she was the mother of the child. The government redefined parenthood, right out from under her. She had no idea that by entering into a civil union, she had given parental rights to the other woman, something that does not happen in stepparent situations.
“When those visits became abusive, Lisa tried to prevent them. The bias of the court in favor of the non-parent was so strong and the power of the family court so arbitrary, that Lisa could not protect her child. She fled the country with her daughter. She had the assistance of two brave Mennonite pastors and a Christian businessman.
“I support a presidential pardon for Lisa Miller, and for Philip Zodhiates, Timothy Miller and Kevin Miller.”
Support Lisa Miller by signing the petition at LifeSite News today!
Posted on: Thursday, January 07, 2021
The Department of Insurance, led by openly homosexual Ricardo Lara, reclassified normal breasts as ‘abnormal structures of the body caused by congenital defects.’
This article, which quotes Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, was written by Doug Mainwaring and posted January 6, 2021, at Life News.
SACRAMENTO, California, January 6, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — California’s Department of Insurance has signaled it will now require health insurance companies operating in the state to cover double mastectomies for gender dysphoric teenage girls. The government agency asserted the removal of their breasts is no longer considered “cosmetic” surgery but is instead required “reconstructive” surgery of “abnormal structures of the body caused by congenital defects.”
In other words, the healthy breasts of confused teenage girls are deemed “abnormal structures” and “congenital defects” if that girl decides she is a boy. The state of California now equates breasts on gender dysphoric young girls with other medical conditions such as cancer or trauma.
The move by the commissioner’s office was triggered by an inquiry from San Diego’s TransFamily Support Services regarding past denials of coverage for “male chest surgery for patients under 18 years old who are transitioning from female to male.”
“For far too long, individuals diagnosed with gender dysphoria have had to battle a host of challenges to get access to gender-affirming care in order to be their true selves,” said Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara in a statement, responding to the transgender activist organization.
Lara blamed “[s]ocial stigma, misconceptions about gender dysphoria and its treatment, and outdated medical criteria,” which he insisted without exception are “barriers to necessary medical care that can lead to tragic results for individuals with gender dysphoria, especially for our transgender youth.”Lara himself is openly homosexual.
At Lara’s urging, the Insurance Department’s General Counsel issued an Opinion Letter stating that “denying coverage for mastectomy and reconstruction of a male chest based solely on age is impermissible under state laws requiring coverage of reconstructive surgery.”
Brandon Showalter, a journalist who in recent years has emerged as an expert on the tragic medical mutilation of healthy young bodies enabled by the cult of transgenderism, called the procedure “breast amputation surgery.”
The change in language is an “unethical, predatory, and despicable attempt to even more viciously abuse children via gender ideology,” Maria Keffler, co-founder of the recently-formed Partners for Ethical Care, told Showalter on Monday.
“By circumventing parental consent in order to medicalize children without any minimum age restriction, the California Department of Insurance, whose very letterhead claims to ‘Protect, Prevent, and Preserve’, does exactly the opposite,” said Keffler.
“The active promotion of transgenderism has resulted in massive uncontrolled and unconsented experimentation upon children and adolescents,” Dr. Michelle Cretella, MD, FCP, president of the American College of Pediatricians told LifeSiteNews previously. “This is child abuse.”
“Transgenderism is a psychological disorder, not a biological one,” said Cretella.
“The commissioner is requiring insurance companies to pay surgeons to remove the healthy breasts of emotionally distraught girls and women and implying it is ‘necessary treatment’ — yet we already have multiple studies demonstrating that mutilation does not treat gender dysphoria,” Cretella told PJ Media’s Tyler O’Neil.
“The insurance companies, no doubt, would prefer not to pay for expensive, unnecessary surgery. And now the Insurance Commission, which is a relatively obscure agency of the state, is acting at the behest of activists, putting pressure on insurance companies.”
Roback Morse told LifeSiteNews that she wondered if the California Insurance Commission will apply the same amount of pressure to health insurance providers to cover surgery costs when these same patients choose to revert to their biological sex in the future.
Read the full article here.