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.


SOCE Efforts Decrease Suicide

This was originally published on ChurchMilitant.com, by William Mahoney, Ph.D.

The Vatican, prelates, and priests are adding confusion on top of confusion by rejecting therapy for those who freely want to work through their same-sex attraction. Some pro-LGBT clerics and nominally Catholic groups are even claiming such therapy increases suicidal ideation and attempts to kill oneself. But Church Militant's William Mahoney spoke with one expert who flips this narrative on its head.

Dissident pro-homosexual groups like New Ways Ministry are celebrating the Vatican's rejection of therapy. Often referred pejoratively as "conversion therapy," more objective scientific literature often calls such therapy "SOCE" — sexual orientation change efforts.


And, of course, just last week, pro-LGBT Jesuit James Martin tweeted, "Did you know that in the US alone ... LGBT youth who had conversion therapy were more than twice as like [sic] to have attempted suicide?"

Fr. Paul Sullins: "SOCE doesn't make persons more suicidal. In fact, it does just the opposite. It reduces suicidality a lot, and in certain measures, it reduces the suicidality by about 15 times: They're about 15 times less likely to make a suicide attempt."

Martin first referenced Netflix'sPray Away, which he describes as "an important new film about the dangers of so-called conversion therapy."

The Jesuit then cited the "twice as likely" statistic based on a study that has been used to enact legal bans on SOCE, but Fr. Sullins explained that study is itself flawed.

Fr. Paul Sullins:

In this study, they just looked at persons who had SOCE and then their lifetime rate of suicidality. And you can apply the same argument there. You can say maybe it isn't the SOCE that made them suicidal. In fact, they went to SOCE because they were more suicidal. And that's exactly what I found. Sixty-five percent of the suicidality expressed by SOCE participants happened before they went to the SOCE.

The attempt of Vatican officials, New Ways Ministry, Martin and the gang to cancel SOCE, along with the political Left, is not only based on flawed research, it's dangerous.

Fr. Paul Sullins:

It's not only that SOCE's not harmful, the truth is it's very helpful. And by banning this type of therapy, making it unavailable to sexual minority persons who are struggling with their identity, they're going to end up bringing about the very result that they claim they want to prevent by banning SOCE.

Vatican officials and men like Martin are rejecting SOCE in the name of "accompaniment."

But by embracing flawed research and false narratives, their efforts are not only increasing the risk of spiritual death by blessing sin, but also the risk of physical death by suicide, possibly accompanying some to their graves.

Church Militant spoke with Fr. Sullins on Saturday at the2021 Survivors' Summitwhere he was a speaker.

 



Fighting for the Family

This article was posted on July 20, 2021, at Church Militant.

While anti-family forces ramp up their efforts, pro-family forces must ramp up theirs. To that end, experts at a pro-family conference this weekend in the Pelican State discussed the ongoing war in the sexual revolution. Church Militant's William Mahoney has a few highlights from the event.

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse: "The purpose of the summit for survivors of the sexual revolution is to try to enlist more people in pro-family activism."

The overarching theme of the 2021 Survivors' Summit in Lake Charles, Louisiana, was established in the opening presentation titled "Understanding the Global Sexual Revolution and Confronting the Sexual State."

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse:


The Ruth Institute has a dream that every child be welcomed into life in a loving home with their own mother and father married to each other, so that every child can have a relationship with his or her own parents unless some unavoidable tragedy takes place to prevent it.

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, who gave the opening talk, is the founder and president of the Ruth Institute, which hosted the event.

The Ruth Institute is a global interfaith coalition equipping Christians to defend the family and build a civilization of love.

Dr. Morse: "It's the same playbook for how they push out junk science to make a point that isn't true. And we have here in the room people with expertise who are in a position to refute that stuff."

Opening talks on Friday were followed by a fourth annual awards dinner that honored Sharon Slater as activist of the year, Katy Faust for her book of the year, Them Before Us, and Baptist pastor Walter Hoye as witness of the year.

Hoye was arrested in 2009 and sentenced to 30 days in prison for standing on the sidewalk near a Planned Parenthood abortuary in California with a sign, "Jesus loves you and your baby. Let us help."

Hoye gave the keynote address: "Black and Pro-Life in America."

Pastor Walter Hoye: "Black Americans are facing irreversibility. ... We came from big families, but that's not true anymore. And it's at the point now where we're getting to the point where we're going to be facing irreversibility."

Medical experts included the president of the American College of Pediatricians, a representative of the Catholic Medical Association and executive director of the American Association of Pro-Life OB/GYNs.

There were also legal experts, therapists and personal survivors of the sexual revolution like Walt Heyer, a man who once lived as a woman.

Walt Heyer: "We are so reluctant to be bold and be truthful about the fact that no one can change their gender, there are no transgenders, nobody transitions. Gender dysphoria is only a symptom of something deeper; it's not a diganosis."

The Ruth Institute will be publishing the presentations and panel discussions in the coming weeks.

In the coming days, Evening News will offer highlights of the Ruth Institute's Survivors' Summit, as well as discussions with featured speakers.


Who’s Really Pro-Choice?

by William Mahoney, Ph.D. • ChurchMilitant.com • July 23, 2021

Click to watch the video. 

The world of therapy and counseling is under attack when it comes to gender identity and same-sex attraction. But some therapists and health care workers are crying foul and fighting back. Church Militant's William Mahoney recently spoke with one psychologist about her organization's international work.

For leftist groups like Planned Parenthood, free choice is encouraged for aborting children, but vilified for same-sex-attracted individuals who choose counseling to work through their feelings.

Dr. Laura Haynes: "[I'm] defending the right — the legal right — to therapy for people who want to explore options to their unwanted same-sex attraction or unwanted incongruent gender identity."



A speaker on Saturday at the Ruth Institute's 2021 Survivors' Summit, Dr. Haynes has 40 years' experience of clinical practice and is now a full-time political activist.

And while the International Planned Parenthood Federation pushes its contradictory narrative regarding choice, Haynes' group, The International Federation for Therapeutic and Counseling Choice, or IFTCC, is the "home for the once-gay, those coming-out and the de-transitioners, because we're free to choose."

Dr. Haynes: "We train activists to defend the legal right to therapy. So these would be therapists, pastors, journalists, attorneys, former LGBT-identified people."

The IFTCC maintains legislation based on unscientific notions is not only wrong, it's harmful.

Dr. Haynes: "There are underlying causes that need attention that are being denied today. I think this is medical malpractice."

In the name of choice, Planned Parenthood, et al., are eager to deal with unwanted pregnancies by killing the child.

But when an individual wants an alternative to handling unwanted feelings that contradict the abortion chain's narrative, choice is out the window.

For more information on Dr. Haynes' organization and its work, visit IFTCC.org.


No Child Born in Wrong Body

by William Mahoney, Ph.D.

This article was first published at ChurchMilitant on July 21, 2021.

Watch the video. 

The money-making gender industry is destroying lives and families. But one woman who struggled with gender identity as a child is helping people understand the underlying reasons for gender dysphoria. Church Militant's William Mahoney recently spoke with her about her work.

No child is born in the wrong body: That's the principal message of a new book for children by an author who speaks from experience.

Erin Brewer: "My name is Erin Brewer, and I actually wrote a book about my experience being a transgender child. And I did that because I felt it was really important to share with people that children who have these difficult feelings don't have to 'transition.'"


Erin lamented there are children's books like I Am Jazz that push a false narrative about children dealing with gender confusion. I Am Jazz was written by a child going by "Jazz Jennings" and co-authored by LGBT propagandist Jessica Herthel. I Am Jazz is listed as a book for children from 4 to 8 years old.

A blurb in the listing exposes the driving pro-LGBT message of the book: "From the time she was two years old, Jazz knew that she had a girl's brain in a boy's body."

Erin Brewer:

I wanted to make sure that kids know that's not true. So I got help from therapists and teachers to help me resolve those difficult feelings. And initially, when somebody suggested that I write a kids' book, I thought, "It's going to be really difficult." The reason I developed that dysphoria in the first place was the result of a sexual assault, and that's not something that you want to typically write about in a kids' book. But then I thought about I Am Jazz, which tells children they were born in the wrong body, and I thought, "That's really scary. I'm not sure if there's anything more scary [sic] than that."

After prayer and reflection, Erin decided her book countering the transgender industry's narrative needed to be written. And while pro-LGBT Herthel goes around indoctrinating children, parents, teachers and politicians how to use I Am Jazz as a "teaching tool," Erin is fighting hellfire with the fire of truth in love.

Erin Brewer:

After writing the book, I wanted to find a way to get the message out more. And the organization that I cofounded called Partners for Ethical Care raised $1,000 in two days for me. We were able to buy a bunch of books — and I've been driving around the country donating them to libraries, health care providers, churches and therapy offices.

The organization Erin cofounded can be found online at PartnersForEthicalCare.com.That organization, PEC for short, exists to stop the medical transitioning of children and spread the truth that transitioning is not an identity, but an intervention that harms children.

Erin Brewer: "We collect stories. We have information for parents. We reach out to legislators and to doctors and to teachers to try to help them understand how dangerous it is to do this to children."

Church Militant spoke with Erin during the weekend in Lake Charles, Louisiana, when she was spreading PEC's hope-filled message as a guest speaker at the Ruth Institute's 2021 Survivors' Summit.

Erin's book, Always Erin, can be found on the Partners for Ethical Care website, as well as on Amazon.


Ruth Institute Honors Three at Annual Summit

 
By Pamela Seal, originally published on the Facebook page and on the webpage of the Diocese of Lake Charles
 
A Baptist minister jailed for his pro-life witness; a wife and mother of seven defending marriage, family, and life across the globe; and an author who publishes widely on the rights of children were all honored on July 16 for their efforts to promote family values.
 
The fourth annual Ruth Institute’s awards dinner was part of a two-day Summit for Survivors of the Sexual Revolution held July 16-17 at Treasures of Marilyn’s. The theme for this year’s conference was “Reclaiming the Professions for Life and Family.”
 
This year’s recipient of the Witness of the Year Award is Rev. Walter B. Hoye II, an Oakland, Calif., pastor who is the subject of the Ignatius Press book, “Black and Pro-Life in America.” He shared his story of being jailed for 30 days for his pro-life witness outside an abortion clinic in Oakland in 2009. The reason for his imprisonment: standing on a public sidewalk with a sign saying, “God loves you and your baby. Let us help you.”


 
“Harassment within 100 feet of an abortion clinic includes holding a sign, having a conversation, and passing out literature,” Hoye explained. “Because my viewpoint is pro-life, and I was there to help the men and women going into the clinic and present them with alternatives to killing their baby, I was sentenced to 30 days in jail.”
 
The first person to visit Rev. Hoye in jail was Oakland Bishop Salvatore Cordileone, who is now Archbishop of San Francisco. Through their visit, Hoye said he learned about the difficulty of Cordileone’s work in Oakland at the time.
 
“He asked me what it was like to do what I do,” said Hoye. “It turns that we have so much in common. Even to this day, he and I work together and will continue to do so for the rest of our lives.”
 
Rev. Hoye said the number one issue facing Black America today is irreversibility.
 
“Three years after Roe v. Wade (1973), the total fertility rate for black women fell to 2.3, down from 7.9 in the 1850s. In 2019, the number of children per black woman was only 1.7, well below the necessary replacement value of 2.1. Our numbers are clearly going in the wrong direction. We are getting to the point where Black America will be facing irreversibility by the year 2050.”
 
That is why Hoye, founder and president of the Issues4Life Foundation, has dedicated his life to educating Black leaders about the evil of abortion.
 
“Our theme for the Issues4Life Foundation is simple: without life, nothing matters. You can have a family waiting on you. You can have a job waiting on you. You can have and education waiting on you. You can have a just society waiting on you. But if you can’t get out of the womb, nothing matters,” he said.
 
Receiving the Activist of the Year Award was Sharon Slater, president of the Family Watch International and chair of the UN Family Rights Caucus. She and her husband live in Arizona and have seven children, three of whom are siblings adopted from Mozambique.


 
Slater helped create a website called Stop CSE (www.comprehensivesexualityeducation.org) that includes extensive amount of information state by state. The website was created to warn parents and policy makers of the serous harms of explicit comprehensive sexuality education programs. It is a joint effort of Family Watch International, the UN Family Rights Caucus, the Stop the Kinsey Institute coalition and concerned parents worldwide.
 
“If you click on your state on the map, you will get a state profile with a list of laws related to sex education, parental rights, obscenity laws, anything that could relate to sex education,” said Slater. “It will also show you the federally funded programs that your state received money for or organizations in your state to implement the radical comprehensive sexuality education. It is a one-stop shopping for everything you need to know. It’s also part of our Protect Child Help Coalition way of gathering people to fight this fight in the various states.”
 
The Book of the Year Award was presented to Katy Faust of Seattle, Wash., for her book, “Them Before Us: Why We Need a Global Children’s Rights Movement.” She is the founder and director of the children’s rights organization, Them Before Us. Faust is also a regular contributor at The Federalist.
Raised by her mother who has been in a relationship with another woman since Faust was 10 years old, she said she became involved with children’s rights when the gay marriage rights debate came to Seattle in 2012.

“We never had stories from the kids who have lived through all of these modern families,” Faust said. “Once you hear those stories, in almost every area of marriage and family, we are asking for kids to sacrifice their fundamental rights — to be known and loved by their mom and dad — for the sake of adult desires. It is global. It is not limited to one state or one country.”
Noting that her mother is one of the most important people in her life, Faust stressed that every issue about marriage and family is obsessively focused on adult desires, longing, losses, and always to the detriment of the rights of children.
 
“We need to put them, children, before us, the adults,” she said. “In this world of children’s rights, nobody gets a pass.”
 
Faust, who is married and the mother of four children, the youngest of whom is adopted from China, said her book evolved by accident. “I started anonymously writing a blog opposed to gay marriage because I knew what the other side would do to me if they knew how I felt,” she said. “Them Before Us” provides child-centric answers to questions about marriage, family, parenthood, surrogacy, adoption, reproductive technologies, divorce, same-sex parenting, cohabitation, polygamy and more.
 
The Ruth Institute was founded by Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse in San Diego in 2008. The non-profit organization has since relocated to Lake Charles in 2015. The Institute provides decades of research and educational tools to support individuals and families harmed by divorce, the hook-up culture, and other forms of family breakdown. For more information, visit www.ruthinstitute.org.
PHOTOGRAPHY CREDIT: Morris LeBleu / Diocese of Lake Charles

 

 

 



Ruth Institute’s ‘Survivor’s Summit’ to Explore Rotten Fruit of Sexual Revolution

Summit attendees will examine the global sexual revolution and the future of freedom and family.

by Kathy Schiffer

This article was first posted July 15, 2021 at National Catholic Register.

 

Our society is under attack from within. Those in the helping professions — doctors, educators, counselors — all have faced a challenge from the Cancel Culture. The culture wrought by the sexual revolution demands that we abandon our Christian principles, replace the traditional family and embrace a whole new culture of sexual “freedom” which promotes same-sex “marriage,” transgenderism, premarital and extramarital sex and abortion as societal goods.

The Ruth Institute will challenge the prevailing narrative with its fourth annual Summit for Survivors of the Sexual Revolution July 16-17. This year’s event will bring together experts to discuss the global sexual revolution, citing the casualties and the medical costs. The participants will lay out solutions to reclaim the professions and strengthen the traditional family.

The Register spoke with Jennifer Roback Morse, founder of the Ruth Institute, about the theme for this year's summit, with its focus on those in the fields of medicine, education and therapy.


“What the professions all have in common,” Morse explained, “is that they are under tremendous pressure from the left to conform to a false narrative. And the central problem is common to all of the professions, not just the ones we're talking about. In social work, for example, the same pattern is evident: [Sexual revolution ideologues] weasel their way into the profession, manufacturing fake evidence and reshaping the narrative.”

 

One example of such blatant distortion, Morse reported, was a resolution passed by the American Medical Association members at their annual meeting in June. The AMA advocated for the removal of sex from birth certificates. “Designating sex on birth certificates as male or female,” claimed AMA Board Chair-Elect Sandra Adamson Fryhofer, M.D., “perpetuates the view that sex designation is permanent and fails to recognize the medical spectrum of gender identity. This type of categorization system also risks stifling an individual's self-expression and self-identification and contributes to marginalization and minoritization.”

Morse reported that last year, at the Ruth Institute's 2020 Summit, they learned that Planned Parenthood had been distributing cross-sex hormones to teenagers. Until that time, pro-life sidewalk counselors had been trained to help an abortion-minded woman to choose life, but they were not prepared to counsel teens who arrived at the clinic planning to initiate a sex change.

Morse worked with Dr. Michelle Cretella, the executive director of the American College of Pediatricians (ACPeds), developing a way to encourage teens with gender dysphoria to seek help, instead of seeking life-altering surgery. Together they came up with a pamphlet for sidewalk counselors to use. That pamphlet, titled “Your Pain Is Real,” will be introduced Friday and Saturday.

Attendees of the summit will explore four related themes: the global sexual revolution; counting the casualties; medical costs; and the demographic winter and the future of freedom and family.

 

Speakers Expose the Fallacies Behind the Transgender Movement

The topic of transgenderism is one which several of the summit’s speakers have faced personally.

Walt Heyer experienced gender confusion as the result of an abusive childhood. He took hormones and underwent surgery to adopt the appearance of a female, then lived for eight years appearing to be a woman until stopping in 1991. Heyer, whose story is told in Ryan Anderson's 2018 book When Harry Became Sally, talked with the Register about his presentation at the Survivors' Summit.

“The issues are significant,” Heyer said, “in that the idea of changing genders is false. No one today has the medical expertise to biologically change what is innate and fixed from conception; that is, when the sperm hits the egg, gender/sex is immutable and as such, cannot be changed by using hormones or performing radical surgical procedures. The infallible truth is that a person can only change persona (public presentation), not gender or sex (biologically innate and fixed). My role [in the summit] is to bring a perspective of truth that is so often neglected, earned through my experience of living as a woman for eight years.”

As a young child, Erin Brewer experienced intense self-hatred and loathing for her female body. She cut her hair short, wore her brother's hand-me-downs and was verbally and physically aggressive toward her classmates. A caring school counselor led her parents and teachers to help resolve her gender confusion by reinforcing her female identity, exposing her to strong and talented women and putting her in girls' groups such as Brownies.

Read the full article here.

 

 

 


Ruth Institute Suvivor's Summit: Exploring the Rotten Fruit of the Sexual Revolution

Ruth Institute’s ‘Survivor’s Summit’ to Explore Rotten Fruit of Sexual Revolution

 


Kathy Schiffer - This article was originally published on the National Catholic Register

Our society is under attack from within. Those in the helping professions — doctors, educators, counselors — all have faced a challenge from the Cancel Culture. The culture wrought by the sexual revolution demands that we abandon our Christian principles, replace the traditional family and embrace a whole new culture of sexual “freedom” which promotes same-sex “marriage,” transgenderism, premarital and extramarital sex and abortion as societal goods.

The Ruth Institute will challenge the prevailing narrative with its fourth annual Summit for Survivors of the Sexual Revolution July 16-17. This year’s event will bring together experts to discuss the global sexual revolution, citing the casualties and the medical costs. The participants will lay out solutions to reclaim the professions and strengthen the traditional family.


The Register spoke with Jennifer Roback Morse, founder of the Ruth Institute, about the theme for this year's summit, with its focus on those in the fields of medicine, education and therapy.

“What the professions all have in common,” Morse explained, “is that they are under tremendous pressure from the left to conform to a false narrative. And the central problem is common to all of the professions, not just the ones we're talking about. In social work, for example, the same pattern is evident: [Sexual revolution ideologues] weasel their way into the profession, manufacturing fake evidence and reshaping the narrative.”

One example of such blatant distortion, Morse reported, was a resolution passed by the American Medical Association members at their annual meeting in June. The AMA advocated for the removal of sex from birth certificates. “Designating sex on birth certificates as male or female,” claimed AMA Board Chair-Elect Sandra Adamson Fryhofer, M.D., “perpetuates the view that sex designation is permanent and fails to recognize the medical spectrum of gender identity. This type of categorization system also risks stifling an individual's self-expression and self-identification and contributes to marginalization and minoritization.”

Morse reported that last year, at the Ruth Institute's 2020 Summit, they learned that Planned Parenthood had been distributing cross-sex hormones to teenagers. Until that time, pro-life sidewalk counselors had been trained to help an abortion-minded woman to choose life, but they were not prepared to counsel teens who arrived at the clinic planning to initiate a sex change.

Morse worked with Dr. Michelle Cretella, the executive director of the American College of Pediatricians (ACPeds), developing a way to encourage teens with gender dysphoria to seek help, instead of seeking life-altering surgery. Together they came up with a pamphlet for sidewalk counselors to use. That pamphlet, titled “Your Pain Is Real,” will be introduced Friday and Saturday.

Attendees of the summit will explore four related themes: the global sexual revolution; counting the casualties; medical costs; and the demographic winter and the future of freedom and family.

Speakers Expose the Fallacies Behind the Transgender Movement

The topic of transgenderism is one which several of the summit’s speakers have faced personally.

Walt Heyer experienced gender confusion as the result of an abusive childhood. He took hormones and underwent surgery to adopt the appearance of a female, then lived for eight years appearing to be a woman until stopping in 1991. Heyer, whose story is told in Ryan Anderson's 2018 book When Harry Became Sally, talked with the Register about his presentation at the Survivors' Summit.

“The issues are significant,” Heyer said, “in that the idea of changing genders is false. No one today has the medical expertise to biologically change what is innate and fixed from conception; that is, when the sperm hits the egg, gender/sex is immutable and as such, cannot be changed by using hormones or performing radical surgical procedures. The infallible truth is that a person can only changepersona (public presentation), not gender or sex (biologically innate and fixed). My role [in the summit] is to bring a perspective of truth that is so often neglected, earned through my experience of living as a woman for eight years.”

As a young child, Erin Brewer experienced intense self-hatred and loathing for her female body. She cut her hair short, wore her brother's hand-me-downs and was verbally and physically aggressive toward her classmates. A caring school counselor led her parents and teachers to help resolve her gender confusion by reinforcing her female identity, exposing her to strong and talented women and putting her in girls' groups such as Brownies.

Today, Brewer is a well-regarded therapist who specializes in helping gender-dysphoric teens. She is co-founder of the Compassion Coalition, an international group for those fighting to ban invasive, harmful, unproven medical interventions for gender-confused children, as well as co-founder of Partners for Ethical Care, a group to raise awareness and support efforts to stop the unethical treatment of children by schools, hospitals and mental healthcare providers under the duplicitous banner of gender-identity affirmation.

Brewer will join Heyer on a panel titled, “Putting the Pieces Together: Equipping the Pro-Life Movement to Confront Trans-minded Clients.” Brewer told the Register, “My goal is to help educate people that transitioning is not an identity, but it's an experimental medical intervention that is both dangerous and harmful. All the research has shown that the best treatment is watchful waiting, supporting kids who are genuinely distressed. Often these children have underlying mental health issues; many are autistic.”

Brewer warned that society is doing these troubled children a serious disservice with skewed messages about what is normal and healthy development. “The goal of activists,” Brewer warned, “is to subvert the whole concept of biology.” As an example she cited a transgender activist who, in December 2020, called for all children to be placed on puberty blockers until they are old enough to decide for themselves what gender they would prefer.

The Demographic Winter

Don Feder, the Ruth Institute’s communications director and coalitions coordinator, warned about the worldwide decline in fertility. Even secular sources, he told the Register, are beginning to realize the real problems that a reduced birth rate will have in the years ahead.

“On May 24, the New York Times had a story,” Feder said, “with the ominous headline, ‘Long Slide Looms for World Population, With Sweeping Ramifications.’”

Feder had never expected to read such a headline in the New York Times. “I guess, though,” he said, “you can only close your eyes to reality for so long. It's become so obvious — not just that fertility rates are declining, but that we're soon going to go into population decline.”

Feder was disappointed that still, most people among the “population control” crowd still have blinders on that prevent them from seeing the future. He noted that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle had recently received an environmental award from the United Kingdom-based population control group Population Matters, after announcing their intent to have no more than two children. The group called the couple “role models” for taking such a strong stand against overpopulation.

But despite the impervious population control advocates, Feder warned of dire consequences for civilization.

“I saw that China will lose half its population by 2100,” Feder said. First Chinese officials permitted only one child, and now, seeing the looming population crisis, they have permitted two. But still, Feder noted, the outlook of the Chinese toward children has been deeply affected.

“In the past, the most important thing in Chinese culture was family, tradition,” Feder said. “For Confucius, the family is everything. But now although the government is permitting more children, today most Chinese, especially in cities, are saying, ‘We don’t want two or three children; we don’t want children at all.’”

The worst-case scenario for the declining birth rate in China could actually signal the end of a civilization, said Feder.

“You need people to maintain a society,” he said. “You can do without natural resources; but you can't do without people.”

He pointed to China's neighbor to the east, Japan, where they have an expression called “lonely death.” An industry has grown up in that Asian nation to remove the remains of old people who died at home by themselves, with no family to care for them. The fertility rate in Japan has fallen to 1.3 children per woman, Feder said, while in industrial nations, the replacement level (the level needed to maintain a population at the current level) is 2.1.

Here in the United States, the fertility level has been below replacement level for five or six years now. According to Feder, “Every year, we’re told the birth rate is the lowest it's ever been. In my generation, the average woman had 4.1 children; now, it’s below 2.”

For information on how to attend the Ruth Institute’s Fourth Annual Summit For Survivors of the Sexual Revolution July16-17, either in-person at Treasures of Marilyn’s in Lake Charles, Louisiana, or via live-streaming, go to ruthinstitute.org/summit-2021 .

 




Opinion: Religious foster care plays a vital role for our most vulnerable children


The Supreme Court’s decision allowing a faith-based foster care agency to continue operations is the right move.

By Contributors, including the Ruth Institute's Fr. Paul Sullins

Published Deseret.com.

The Supreme Court just decided Fulton v. Philadelphia, a landmark case involving the rights of religious foster care agencies to operate while still observing their religious beliefs. Several prominent social science narratives have sprung up around this case: One is that a allowing religious foster agencies to continue the work they have done for more than 200 years will limit the supply of foster parents, and another is that religious agencies operating on traditional sexual beliefs will harm LGBTQ children. As Muslim, Catholic, Protestant and Latter-day Saint scholars, we want to set the record straight on both of these narratives.


The claim that allowing religious agencies to stay open while staying true to their religious beliefs will reduce the number of foster parents is conjecture at best and a drastic exaggeration at worst. Indeed, none of the justices appear to have bought this argument, as the majority opinion states, “if anything, including (Catholic Social Services) in the program seems likely to increase, not reduce, the number of available foster parents.”

While national-level data exists on children in foster care (albeit with varying quality across states), there is no such dataset on foster parents. Here’s what we do know about foster parents and foster care agencies: Foster care is extremely difficult, but faith helps navigate its challenges. While 30%-50% of foster parents quit after the first year, 82% of foster parents in one study cite faith or church support as something that helps successful fostering.

Families recruited via religious organizations foster for 2.6 years longer than other foster parents. Finally, 36% of families recruited by one Christian organization said that they would not have become foster or adoption parents if it hadn’t been for the efforts of that foster agency.

Faith-based agencies pioneered foster care in the U.S. The first orphanage in the new world was started by Catholic nuns decades before our country’s founding, and the Catholic church in Philadelphia had been finding homes for foster children decades before the city ever got involved.

Even taking into account that some evidence suggests same-sex couples are about six times more likely to foster than mixed-sex couples, same-sex couples are still a small fraction of all foster parents. The latest estimates from the Census Bureau indicate that there are approximately 568,110 same-sex married couples in the United States compared to 57.8 million mixed-sex couples. The argument that the mere presence of a Catholic foster agency will dissuade same-sex parents from fostering, even when those same Catholic agencies provide referral resources to prospective same-sex parents, requires a highly speculative conjecture.

The claim that LGBTQ children are harmed by faith-based agencies is particularly pernicious. These claims are largely based on speculation and prejudiced stereotypes about the treatment of sexual minorities by traditional-minded Christians, Muslims, Jews and people of other faiths. The idea that opposition to same-sex Nikah, or Muslim marriage, for example (which most Muslims worldwide probably hold), will lead to mistreatment of LGBTQ children stems from a prejudiced misunderstanding of the religious ethic that drives religious foster parenting.

Scientifically, there is no research that suggests sexual minority foster youths have worse outcomes when raised in traditional religious homes. (And the faith-based agency in this case served all children regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity.) More generally, the literature on the effects of religiosity on LGBTQ health is more complex than many think, with many studies showing positive effects.

This week’s Supreme Court decision says organizations and individuals with traditional religious outlooks on human sexuality still have a place in the foster care system and protects one of the largest swaths of potential foster care parents. The parade of horribles put forward by some people under the guise of social science skews what is really at stake in this case. In a matter as complex as foster care, all should be careful to look at the facts, and the Constitution, when deciding whether faith-based agencies that have helped children in need for centuries should be allowed to continue that work. Fortunately, the Supreme Court did just that.

Read the complete article here.


SPLC Uses Anniversary of Islamic Terror Attack to Demonize Conservative Christians

This was originally written by Tyler O'Neil and published by PJ Media

Five years ago on Saturday, a radical Islamic terrorist opened fire in Orlando’s Pulse nightclub, killing 49 people and wounding 53 others. He pledged allegiance to the Islamic State (ISIS) during the attack, and ISIS later claimed responsibility. Yet, because Pulse is a gay bar, leftists have memory-holed the terrorist’s intentions and blamed “anti-LGBT hate” for the heinous attack. On Saturday, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) used the anniversary of the shooting to demonize conservative Christians and efforts to restrain the excesses of the transgender movement.

In a fundraising email, the SPLC noted the horrific attack, saying, “Today, we remember those we lost. We grieve for their families and friends. And, we honor them by keeping up the fight against anti-LGBTQ hate.”

“In a sickening display of bigotry, several anti-LGBTQ hate groups and some members of the radical right praised the gunman after the Pulse attack five years ago. This year’s unprecedented legislative attacks on transgender people revealed that, unfortunately, anti-LGBTQ hate is still alive in state legislatures across the country,” the SPLC argued.

The activist group bemoaned the fact that “an explosion of hateful, anti-trans legislation has threatened to make an increasing number of public spaces unsafe for transgender people. On the first day of Pride Month, Florida became the eighth state to target trans athletes with a sports ban.”

“Nationally, at least 17 bills targeting LGBTQ people have been passed already this year, out of over 125 that were proposed in state legislatures. The majority of these bills seek to prevent trans children from accessing lifesaving gender affirming care, ban trans people from using public restrooms or stop them from participating in sports,” the SPLC added.

The email concluded with a rallying cry, urging supporters to speak “up against misgendering, harmful disinformation and discriminatory legislation. That’s how we will continue to grow a national movement against anti-LGBTQ hate.”

So, was the Pulse Nightclub shooting an act of “anti-LGBTQ hate”? The shooter did kill members of the LGBT community, but evidence suggests that his victims’ sexual identities had nothing to do with the shooting.

As it turns out, the gay bar wasn’t the terrorist’s intended target — Disney World was, and he didn’t even search online for “gay nightclubs,” but merely for “nightclubs.” He pledged allegiance to ISIS during the attack, and ISIS claimed responsibility for it afterward. The SPLC did not once mention ISIS, radical Islam, or even the Islamic world’s horrendous recent history of violence against LGBT people.

Instead, the SPLC repeated a claim it has made many times in the past: that “several anti-LGBTQ hate groups” had “praised the gunman.”

Is this true?

First, the SPLC’s “anti-LGBTQ hate group” category is rather elastic, by design. The SPLC, which grew to prominence by suing the Ku Klux Klan and related racist hate groups into bankruptcy, has weaponized that history to defame its political opponents by accusing them of being “hate groups” like the KKK. As I explain in my book Making Hate Pay, SPLC co-founder Morris Dees discovered that “reporting on” “hate” is a fabulous fundraising tool. The SPLC exaggerates the threat of mostly defunct “hate groups” in order to bilk donors.

“Anti-LGBTQ hate groups” include mainstream Christian law firms like Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), which has won nine cases at the Supreme Court since 2011. The SPLC’s category includes the Ruth Institute, a Roman Catholic nonprofit dedicated to helping the victims of the Sexual Revolution. Upon accusing the Ruth Institute of being a “hate group,” the SPLC seized on RI’s statement that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered,” which is a direct quote from the Catechism of the Roman Catholic Church. Yet the SPLC has not marked the Catholic Church a “hate group…”

The SPLC’s list of “anti-LGBTQ hate groups” also includes the Family Research Council (FRC), a conservative Christian nonprofit in Washington, D.C. In 2012, a deranged man opened fire at FRC, aiming to kill everyone in the building and place a Chick-fil-A chicken sandwich by each person’s head. His attack was foiled, but he got the idea to target FRC from the SPLC’s list of “anti-LGBTQ hate groups.”

Yet no one at ADF, FRC, or RI praised the radical Islamic terrorist who carried out the horrific Pulse shooting.

Shortly after the attack, however, Donnie Romero, then pastor of the Stedfast Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas, praised the terrorist.

“These 50 sodomites are all perverts and pedophiles, they’re the scum of the Earth and the Earth is a better place now and I’ll take it a step further,” Romero said in a sermon published online by the Dallas Morning News. “I’ll pray to God like I did this morning, and I will again tonight, that God will finish the job that that man started.”

The SPLC responded by including Stedfast Baptist Church on its list of “anti-LGBT hate groups.” In this one instance, the “hate group” accusation may be true.

No Christian should spout this kind of horrific vitriol. To claim that a mass shooting leaves the world a “better place” is, quite simply, beyond the pale.

But notice the SPLC’s sleight of hand in all of this. The SPLC had not previously accused Stedfast Baptist Church of being a “hate group.” It leveled that accusation after Romero’s disgusting “sermon.” None of the mainstream conservative Christian organizations the SPLC demonizes as “anti-LGBTQ hate groups” praised the shooter.

By claiming that “anti-LGBTQ hate groups… praised the shooter,” the SPLC suggeststhat many of the organizations it demonizes as “hate groups” celebrated the violence. Therefore, donors should pony up cash to support the SPLC’s vital efforts to stop this “hate.”

In reality, most of the conservative Christians the SPLC demonizes condemned the Pulse Nightclub terror attack. Conservative Christians do not celebrate radical Islamic terrorism.

Furthermore, there is absolutely no connection between the Pulse Nightclub Islamic terror attack and the new bills across the country that aim to prevent biological males from competing against females, to safeguard children from experimental “transgender” treatments, or to protect women’s privacy in intimate settings. “Anti-LGBTQ hate” does not drive this legislation, commonsense does.

This is far from the first time the SPLC has attempted to weaponize the Pulse attack to demonize conservative Christians, and it likely won’t be the last. Americans must see through this deception. We should remember the Pulse nightclub shooting and lament the victims of this horrific radical Islamic terror attack. But we cannot allow nefarious actors on the Left to get away with blaming their political opponents for it.




Survival Mode: Flash Floods, Trauma and Childhood Sexual Abuse


This article was originally published in the National Catholic Register

A few weeks ago, we had a flash food in Lake Charles. Going through (yet another) natural disaster brought to mind many parallels with childhood sexual abuse.

Natural disasters and childhood sexual abuse are both life-threatening events. People respond to trauma in understandable ways, regardless of the specific circumstances of that trauma. And people with no direct experience of trauma tend to misunderstand the traumatized. I think I’m learning some things that may be of help to the Church in our quest to deal with the tragic legacy of sexual abuse.

May 17 started as a normal rainy day. Adults went to work and kids went to school as usual. Sometime around 11:30am, the situation didn’t look so normal. We watched the water overflowing the drainage ditches. We watched our yard turn into a lake. We started to think the water might come into our house. “Honey, there’s water coming in the front door!” Within 20 minutes, the entire house was filled with at least three inches of water, more in some places.

 

(Just to recap our Apocalypse Pre-Game Warm-up Show we’ve had in Lake Charles: Hurricane Laura on Aug. 27, 2020, Hurricane Delta on Oct. 8, the Southern winter cold freeze in February 2021, and now a flood on May 17.)


 


 

Going through a natural disaster is a life-threatening experience. A flood can kill you. So can 150 mph hurricane winds. So can a fast-moving California wildfire.

I have learned a bit about trauma in the course of my study of childhood sexual abuse. People’s minds go into “survival mode.” Our attention becomes narrowly focused on the most immediate issues of life and death.

During the aftermath of Hurricane Laura, I noticed myself zooming in on very basic survival needs. Do we have water to drink? Can I get to the bathroom? Oh, wait. We can’t flush the toilet. Is the food in the refrigerator fit to eat? How are we going to prepare it, without electrical power?

Not to mention that everyone is hot, sticky, crabby and scared.

I had also learned, in the abstract, that people need to talk about their experiences in order to process them. My dear friend Sue Ellen Browder wrote and spoke about this here, starting about the 22-minute mark. She relates how her husband’s older brother had abused him. He only revealed this to her after 38 years of marriage and their conversion to Catholicism. She recounts how her husband finally confided in a sympathetic priest.

Father Bruce said to me: “Sue, here’s what I want you to do: I want you to ask Walter to tell you what happened when he was 7 years old. He may not want to talk about it. If he doesn’t volunteer to talk about it every two or three days, I want you to ask him about it. Just listen. Get all the details. But don’t get all emotional. Remember Joe Friday on Dragnet? I want you to be like that: ‘Just the facts, Ma’am.’”

Eventually, Walter experienced a profound healing from this simple process.

During the aftermath of Laura, I experienced this aspect of trauma. I felt myself and my family members trying to process the situation by talking about it. I felt the urge to recount my hurricane story again and again. Every time I spoke about it, I felt a little bit better. I even recorded a video of myself during the early days of Laura-recovery, so I wouldn’t forget it.

People who haven’t been through a comparable trauma, don’t really understand what you’re going through. They may try. But honestly, they don’t get it. “You only had three inches of water in your house.” But when you’re watching the water rise, and it’s still raining, you don’t know that it is going to be “only” three inches. During that waiting period, people perceive their lives to be at risk, because they are.

Likewise, well-meaning people will sometimes say to childhood sex abuse survivors: “Why didn’t you tell anyone?” “Do we really have to keep talking about this?” “Can’t you just forgive and forget and move on with your life?” Well, no, actually, they can’t exactly move on, until they truly deal with it.

Where I live, chatting about natural disasters has become a standard topic of conversation. People ask, “How did your house do?” And then they listen respectfully to the answer, pretty much as long as the other person wants to talk. People don’t get uncomfortable and try to end the conversation, the way they might when someone can’t stop talking about their latest surgery.

I had very similar conversations with the produce manager at the supermarket, with my friends after church, and with nurses in New Orleans who survived Hurricane Katrina 15 years ago. Everyone instinctively gives their fellow survivors a whole lot of space, and time, and attention. I guess we intuit that these conversations are necessary and constructive, not self-absorbed and destructive.

All of which brings me back to childhood sexual abuse. My colleague Father Paul Sullins did a thorough study of clergy sex abuse, including the first-ever statistical analysis of the Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report. On page 13, he reveals that the average length of time between the time of the abuse and the person’s first revelation of it to anyone was 28.7 years.

When I first read this number back in 2018, it was a mere abstraction. Today, it breaks my heart. I think of those children, going through a life-threatening, psyche-threatening event, and keeping it to themselves for decades.

What my neighbors and I have gone through is minor compared to what these children went through. I can talk about my natural disaster trauma. The typical victim of childhood sexual trauma has no one to talk to.

What would their lives have been like if they could have talked about it sooner? How much less drug addiction and depression and loss of faith might there have been? Even if no laws or Church policies changed, I can’t help but think these kids would have benefited from a socially acceptable context in which to tell their stories. It is powerful medicine to have someone say, “Tell me what happened to you,” and then listen.

Traumatized people really do need to talk. I needed it. Everyone in my town needs it. Maybe, someone near you needs it, too.

 

 



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