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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: Friday, May 31, 2019
Press Conference on Latest Report from Fr. Paul Sullins: “Child Sex Abuse and Homosexual Priests Since 2000”
May 31, 2019 For Immediate Release
For More Information, Contact: Rachel Golden firstname.lastname@example.org
On June 6, The Ruth Institute will hold an exclusive online press conference to release a new report by Fr. Paul Sullins, Ph.D. The new report, Receding Waves: Child Sex Abuse and Homosexual Priests since 2000 , finds that male victimization and homosexual priests rose together through the 1980s. They have also fallen together more recently. The report also shows that the proportion of female victims has risen.
However, overall, Ruth Institute President Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D., warns: “There has been a disturbing rise of the sexual abuse of children by priests after reaching an all-time low just after 2002.”
Morse continued, “The good news is that since 2000, only a small fraction of overall cases of abuse (11%), has been perpetrated by newly ordained priests (those who have been priests less than 10 years), while 52% has been perpetrated by priests ordained 30 years ago or longer.”
Among its recommendations, the report urged, “Catholics must remain vigilant in protecting all minors against clerical sexual abuse.” Further, “The Church or interested lay organizations should increase educational programs on authentic Church teachings on human sexuality.” An Executive Summary of the Report can be found here.
The press conference will take place on June 6, at noon EST. More information, including log-in instructions can be found here.
Fr. Paul Sullins, Ph.D., is a retired Professor of Sociology at the Catholic University of America and is currently a Senior Research Associate at the Ruth Institute.
For more information on Fr. Sullins’ earlier report on clergy sex abuse, please visit: http://www.ruthinstitute.org/
Ruth Institute President, Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, is the author of “The Sexual State: How Elite Ideologies Are Destroying Lives and Why the Church Was Right All Along,” and has spent decades working with survivors of the Sexual Revolution
The Ruth Institute is a global non-profit organization equipping Christians to defend the family in the public arena. On April 26-27, the Institute held a Summit for Survivors of Sexual Revolution in Lake Charles, Louisiana. The Summit included discussions of the long-term impact of childhood sexual abuse.
Find more information on the Ruth Institute here.
Posted on: Tuesday, May 28, 2019
It's one way to have happy kids, a new book points out.
by Mary Cooney and Betsy Kerekes
This article was first published May 7, 2019, at Mercatornet.com.
There is no doubt that parents today face tremendous challenges. Sometimes these challenges are overwhelming and stressful. Parents of young children and teens will appreciate Betsy Kerekes’ wisdom and comic relief in her newly released book, Be a Happier Parent or Laugh Trying. In this interview, she shares with Mary Cooney some advice on how to be a happier parent.
* * * * *
Early in your book you write, “Parenting is hard, but it doesn’t have to be a burden.” What is your advice for dealing with the burdens of parenting? How can we be happier despite the stresses and challenges of parenting?
I find myself taking deep breaths. A lot. It does help, like when all your children are talking to you at once or when, instead of napping, you find your toddler stripped to the skin, diaper on floor, and suspicious looking wet spots on the carpet.
That’s when I shake my head and sigh while looking forward to telling my husband about it when he gets home. Stuff like that happens all the time. Parents need to expect it so it’s not so devastating when it occurs. We learn quickly that the rules of civilized society go out the window once you introduce an infant into your home. I’ve found that the most important thing to learn is letting go. Relax your expectations for a clean home, perfect nutrition for your children at every meal, and all bodily fluids remaining on the inside or at least, going where they are meant to go.
It’s also about perspective. The crazy stories will be remembered fondly, and the child in question will love hearing them when he or she is older. (Mine do, anyway.) There are both difficulties and delights at every age. Focusing on the delights and finding humor in the difficulties is how to make it through virtually unscathed.
Furthermore, look for the silver lining. When your kids splash water all over the floor while bathing, wipe it up with a towel, and voila! You’ve just cleaned your bathroom floor. The day I cleaned the bathroom mirror, it was splattered with water marks from top to bottom two hours later. The girls had cleaned their little brother’s hands and feet in the sink and merriment naturally ensued. My first thought was the clean mirror was nice while it lasted, but then I realized the watermarks were a reminder that my children washed their brother themselves and while doing so, he had a blast. I left the spots and the bathroom with a smile. The water marks served as a reminder that my daughters are helpful and love their brother. That makes me happy.
This would be an article all itself. I devote a chapter each to discipline and dealing with temper tantrums. I’ll share with you a couple of bonus tricks that aren’t in the book because they happened too recently. The first is to become a magician, whose success lies in misdirection. Here’s what happened: My darling nearly-two-year old Joe wanted to eat peanut butter while sitting in my chair. This meant peanut butter smears on my chair, the table, and the wall were a distinct possibility. Joe didn’t want to get in his high chair. I put him in anyway, despite his loud protests. Here’s where the misdirection comes in: I gave him the back-up bib when his favorite bib is in the wash. Suddenly his attention and tears were focused on this odious flap of fabric intent on strangling him if he didn’t immediately yank it off. I removed the offensive shirt-protector and replaced it with his beloved bib. Suddenly, he was no longer crying. Having forgotten the indignity of being forced into his high chair, he was happy to have “won” the Great Bib Debacle of 2019. All was right in his world, and his high chair tray was much easier to clean.
Another trick is what I call “Ending a hissy fit with a kissy fit.” My youngest daughter was moping about having to do her math worksheet. I sat beside her to lend a hand. Knowing intrinsically, it seems, of my less than stellar math skills, this gesture didn’t bolster her confidence. Mid-whine, I smothered her with kisses. At first, she tried to block me, but was soon laughing so hard I had to give her breathing breaks. Then, when she thought the onslaught was over, I started the tirade of affection all over again. Finally, we began: “Okay, question one says…” and I was all over her again, just for good measure. Her mood was improved, and my limited abilities somehow sustained us through third grade mathematics.
When all else fails, be a ridiculous goof ball. Another one of my daughters was sighing heavily over her schoolwork. I called from the other room, “I hear a child in distress! Supermom to the rescue!” and “flew” to her, arms out like Superman. Then I repeated my entrance holding my hair back like it was flapping in the wind, and again with the back of my shirt flapping. She said, “Moooo-oom,” in mock-disapproval, wearing a broad smile. I didn’t even need to help her after that. She got to work without further complaint.
You also write, “To be a good parent, we must set the right example by our attitude and demeanor.” What is the attitude we should take? And how do we keep a calm demeanor when our kids are acting up?
Again, deep breaths. And when necessary, send the child out of hearing range for your sanity and everyone else’s. My friend turns on loud music to drown out a whining child, and to steal his thunder. It’s not much fun to throw a fit and be ignored, so do your best to ignore him/her. Don’t torture yourself by getting brought down by a crabby kid.
One reason we need to set the right example and remain calm as much as possible is that we may inadvertently teach our children to lie when we lose our temper. Here’s an example from the book:
Imagine you’re potty training your child. (Did you just shudder? My apologies.) Now imagine you take your child to the potty, but she doesn’t want to go. You try again later and still nothing. You ask her if she needs to go. She insists she doesn’t. Next thing you know, her pants are wet. You, frustrated by the whole experience, kind of lose it. “Look what you did! Now I have to wash you up and find clean clothes and…” Unbeknownst to you, this reaction is teaching your child to lie in order to avoid seeing you angry or be yelled at. You can express disappointment, sure, but remain calm and patient. You want your child to feel safe coming to you with the truth when she ran a purple marker across the back of the white couch or when he threw a ball indoors and knocked over a lamp.
Why are fun and humor so important in raising children?
Recently my sister said to me, “How do parents without a sense of humor survive?” I didn’t know how to answer her. It would be so difficult not knowing how to crack up at calamities. Facebook is helpful for parents in that we can share with one another the chaos that occurs in our homes. The thumbs up or “haha” face, plus the commiseration, are like virtual therapy.
I’ve frequently thought, after witnessing something insane, “There’s something for the blog, at least.” This is why I started parentingisfunny.wordpress.com—not only for my own outlet, but for other parents to read each other’s hilarious stories or unfortunate incidents and get a good laugh. They say if you fake smile enough, you’ll end up smiling for real.
There was a study done that found happy parents have happy kids. That seems logical. Miserable, unhappy parents are likely to make their kids miserable and unhappy. My kids being unhappy would make me even more unhappy; thus, the cycle would continue. This is why there’s an entire chapter on having fun with kids, even your own!
What advice would you give to parents of teenagers?
Hang in there. It’s almost over. I’ve been having success with my teen by leaving her alone more. For instance, she does not appreciate when I ask her if she needs to take a last-minute trip to the bathroom before we leave the house like I do with her little sisters. It’s tough to find that transition from treating your teenagers like kids to something closer to adults.
The chapter on teens somehow wound up being longer than all the rest. I pulled heavily from my memory of my own teen years. This included phrases my parents would often use on me, like, “It wasn’t meant to be,” in the case of disappointments, or “Who’s going to remember this in a week, two weeks, a month, a year?” for instances of embarrassment. There was also, “No matter how bad you think you have it, there’s always some one who has it worse,” for those days when I thought my life was so miserably horrible, no one could have things as bad as me—probably because I wore the same shirt as some other girl, or something.
But, for all the bad rap teens get, since they’re nearing full maturity, they can be quite helpful around the house. Plus, you can play more grown-up games like Hearts and Clue rather than endless rounds of Candyland and Chutes and Ladders.
What was the inspiration for the book?
The writing of this book stems from having co-authored (with Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse of the Ruth Institute) 101 Tips for Marrying the Right Person and 101 Tips for a Happier Marriage. A book on parenting seemed like the logical next step. I had a lot of ideas and “tricks” I had learned from reading, observing, remembering, and against all odds, figuring out on my own that I thought worthy of sharing. There’s good advice in the book, but also laughter because we can all use more laughter in our lives.
With the plethora of parenting books available on the market, what sets your book apart from others?
Many parenting books focus on babies and all say the same thing: Sleep when the baby sleeps. Fold laundry when the baby folds laundry. My book focuses on a range of ages, as do others, but they generally don’t include tips on helping your children keep their faith or on how to wrangle a toddler in church. There are other humorous parenting books, but a quick view of “funny parenting books” on Amazon comes up with a slew of titles containing cuss words. No swearing was involved in the writing of my book.
Why is this book important today?
Making parenting easier and more fun for parents, who will then be happier, ought to help strengthen their relationship with one another, too. Happy parents stay together, which is pretty much the number one crucial factor for raising happy, healthy kids. Stay married, folks. (See also 101 Tips for a Happier Marriage.)
Betsy Kerekes is the author of Be a Happier Parent or Laugh Trying and coauthor with Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse of 101 Tips for Marrying the Right Person and 101 Tips for a Happier Marriage. She serves as editor and director of publications at the Ruth Institute, where she also writes weekly newsletters and manages the blog. She homeschools her children and writes about her experiences in motherhood at parentingisfunny.wordpress.com. She can also be found on twitter @BetsyK1.
Posted on: Friday, May 17, 2019
by Doug Mainwaring
This article was first posted April 30, 2019, at Life Site News.
LAKE CHARLES, Louisiana, April 30, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – A sociologist said that when it comes to children’s welfare, homosexual “marriage” accomplishes the exact opposite of conjugal marriage, placing children at four times the risk of emotional distress.
Fr. Paul Sullins, a Catholic priest and former sociology professor at the Catholic University of America, made his comments in a presentation on “the impact of same-sex parenting on children” at a “Survivors Summit,” hosted by the Ruth Institute, where Sullins now serves as senior researcher.
“There is a war on marriage today,” began Sullins, quoting Pope Francis. “It’s not a physical war of weapons, but a war of ideas. An ideological colonization that is trying to destroy the family by efforts to redefine the very institution of marriage.”
“This attack on the family is based on a demonic gender ideology that denies the order of creation, expressed in the complementarity of men and women,” he added.
Sullins spoke of the Catholic notion of marriage, which is in harmony with nature.
Marriage is between one man and one woman, who “engage in a natural, conjugal sexual relationship, ordered by a covenant designed to insure their own mutual good and the procreation and education of their offspring.”
“They give themselves to one another wholly, exclusively, and permanently,” he said.
On the other side of this demonic ideological war is this new idea of marriage as a “committed relationship.”
Evan Wolfson, one of the early central figures in the homosexual “marriage” movement, published what was considered to be a groundbreaking book in 2003, Why Marriage Matters, in which he defined marriage not as the Catholic Church does, or as nature has revealed it, but as “a relationship of emotional and financial interdependence between two people legitimized by a public commitment.”
Sullins noted that this is the exact language used in the 2008 California ruling legalizing homosexual “marriage” in that state, and later in the U.S. Supreme Court’s Obergefell decision legalizing homosexual “marriage” nationwide.
There are major differences between these two definitions, especially from the perspective of children.
“Conjugal marriage asks the desires of adults to take second place to the needs of children,” said Sullins, while “committed relationship (CR) marriage asks the needs of children to take second place to the desires of adults.”
“The possibility of children is built into a conjugal relationship,” said Sullins, “but in a CR relationship, children are external. They are an add-on if you want them.”
“Same-sex couples never conceive children and only a fraction of them have children in the home, said Sullins. He further noted that only about one quarter
of lesbian couples and no more than 13% of gay male couples ever have children present in their households.
“The absence of sexual difference in same-sex couples creates an environment that is not conducive to the full human development of children,” said Sullins.
“In God’s plan, each child should have the care of the very two persons of whose conjugal love that child is the expression,” noted Sullins, who quoted Pope Francis in Amoris Laetitia: “Both the child’s mother and father are necessary for his or her integral and harmonious development.”
Using the best research available, Sullins used a graph to depict the vast difference in the presence of child emotional difficulties for kids raised by man+woman parents versus those raised by gay or lesbian parents. The differences in outcomes are striking.
Stepping down from natural design
Sullins explained that as society moves away from households with both biological mother and father present and “We move to separated, recombined, unstable or single heterosexual parents,” all of of these are “less consistent with the natural or Godly design.”
“Same-sex parents are the least natural of all the family forms on offer,” he added. It is a move from the most natural to the most unnatural.
A child’s well-being is reduced the farther away a child is removed from his own married biological parents. It drops to the lowest point with same-sex couple households — lower than any of the other possible family forms.
The reason same-sex parents don’t have better outcomes for their children is simply that none of them can ever be in the “both bio parents” category. About three fourths are in the “one bio parent” category and a fourth in the “no bio parents” category.
So for children, homosexual “marriage” accomplishes the exact opposite of conjugal marriage. Conjugal marriage assures for a child, as much as possible, the secure care of both his or her biological parents. Homosexual “marriage” assures that a child will never have the care of both biological parents.
The “Survivors Summit,” held April 26–27, is the brainchild of Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D., founder and president of the Ruth Institute.
“Divorce and the LGBT subculture have changed the face of America in ways that cry out for thoughtful examination,” said Morse. The Summit’s aim is to help and inspire the many victims of the Sexual Revolution to become survivors and ultimately advocates for positive change.
Dr. Paul Sullins is a leader in the field of research on same-sex parenting and its implications for child development. He has written four books and over 100 journal articles, research reports, and essays on issues of family, faith, and culture. Formerly Episcopalian, Dr. Sullins is a married Catholic priest. He earned a Ph.D. at Catholic University in 1997 and taught there from 1998 until his retirement. He and his wife, Patricia, have an inter-racial family of three children, two adopted.
Posted on: Friday, May 17, 2019
by Fr. Paul Sullins
This article first appeared on May 12, 2019, at The Public Discourse.
Social scientists who conduct research on the politically charged question of the wellbeing of children in the care of same-sex parents have emphatically asserted unqualified and universal support for the finding of “no differences.” In his meticulously researched new book, Professor Walter Schumm turns this scenario on its head. Through a detailed review of virtually all extant research, Schumm demonstrates decisively that contrary evidence not only exists, it is abundant and methodologically strong.
In our day, the alleged personal liberation of the sexual revolution is becoming progressively socialized in institutions and norms. As a result, we have moved beyond the cultural condition in which scientific research into the related social behaviors (hormonal contraceptive use, premarital sex, abortion, homosexual relations, gender transformation) is deployed for political ends, into a state in which the process of deciding scientific truth has itself become irretrievably politicized. In this new situation, the end does not merely justify the means, it becomes the means. What advances the desired political agenda becomes the new criterion of truth.
Thus, social scientists who present evidence that the behaviors of sexual liberation are not harmful—in same-sex parenting research, this is couched as “no differences” from heterosexual parents in child well-being—do not merely claim that their conclusions are strong while contrary findings are weak. Instead, they claim that their conclusions are the only permissible ones, while contrary findings are necessarily unscientific. In their minds, contrary evidence either does not exist, or it must reflect pseudo-scientific bias.
In his meticulously researched new book, Same-Sex Parenting Research: A Critical Assessment, Walter Schumm, Professor of Family Studies at Kansas State University, turns this scenario on its head. In research on the politically charged question of the well-being of children in the care of same-sex parents, social scientists and their associations have emphatically asserted unqualified and universal support for the finding of “no differences.” Research that does not find this conclusion, they assert, simply cannot be credible or methodologically sound. Some deny the contrary research even exists. “It has not been unusual,” Schumm writes, “for at least some scholars in this area to make statements such as, ‘Not a single study has ever found any results that indicated children of same-sex parents to be any different from children of heterosexual parents in any way.’” These “absolute claims were made in an attempt to impress courts with the utter harmlessness (no ‘difference’ = no harm) of gay and lesbian parenting in order to promote the legalization of same-sex marriage.”
And yet, as Schumm proceeds to show, by the traditional canons of scientific reason and inference, such claims are manifestly false.
Science vs. Dogma
The bulk of the book consists of chapters examining the specific areas in which “no difference” is claimed. These include family stability, sexual abuse and other negative behaviors among parent couples, and child outcomes relating to sexual orientation, gender identity, gender roles, and mental health. Through a detailed review of virtually all extant research in each area, Schumm demonstrates decisively that contrary evidence not only exists, it is abundant and methodologically strong.
Almost none of the studies claiming to find “no differences” actually does so.
Moreover, he shows, almost none of the studies claiming to find “no differences” actually does so. Most violate or ignore basic requirements of scientific evidence, such as using a random sample, not letting participants know the political implications of the study, and accounting for mothers’ desire to make their children look good (“social desirability bias,” in sociology-speak). Many of the politically correct studies that report “no differences” actually do find differences. These are often buried deep in their data tables or technical analysis, but they do not escape Schumm’s gimlet-eyed scrutiny.
Schumm’s strategy for exposing the weaknesses of the “no differences” research is old-fashioned scholarship: he has simply read more studies, and digested their contents better, than most of the authors whose work he examines. The typical “no differences” review in this field includes about eighty studies. In this book, Schumm includes over 330 studies. The bibliography alone is over thirty pages. Not content to accept results reported by the authors, he reanalyzes the data distributions from the tables of reported statistics found in most studies, to verify—or undermine—the claimed findings of a study. The results are compelling.
For example, in response to an influential, politically correct review of the literature that concluded there were no differences for same-sex-parented children in gender-role behavior (the tendency for boys to do masculine things, or for girls to do feminine things), Schumm notes that the author cited only thirteen papers; he then proceeds to cite nine more on the topic, including three by the author of the review, that contradict the review’s conclusion. On the question of child sexual orientation (whether same-sex-parented children are more likely to develop homosexual attractions or adopt a homosexual identity than children in the general population), Schumm cites thirteen papers that contradict the review’s claim that there are no differences on this front, including two by the author of the review, which were not among the twelve papers the review did cite. He writes:
This type of situation should serve as a warning to the public, to the courts, to scholars, and to students everywhere that just because a famous author publishes a literature review in a major, comprehensive handbook does not imply that it should be automatically accepted as accurate or comprehensive.
Point by point, as Schumm patiently critiques the several hundred studies reviewed in the book, the conviction gradually becomes inescapable that the entire research thesis of “no differences,” trumpeted as an unassailable consensus by some of our society’s most respected arbiters of scientific credibility, is nothing more than a tissue of fabrications and contradictions under color of science. Schumm’s conclusion does not mince words: “The research presented in this book has shredded any pretense that the dogma of ‘no differences’ is factually correct.” He concludes that the “no differences” thesis is not a scientific theory at all, but a dogma. “If dozens of scholarly results won’t convince you otherwise,” he asks, “will anything?”
A Non-Partisan Critique
Consistent with the book’s subtitle (“A Critical Assessment”), Schumm does not compile his devastating critiques of the particular claims that support homosexual marriage into any sort of general case against that idea. For him, the problem with the “no differences” claim is not that it led to gay marriage but that it jettisoned the standards of science. “I am not necessarily saying that courts have made bad decisions,” he writes, “but that they were certainly fed ‘bad’ science, no matter how correct their decisions might have been in the end.”
Indeed, Schumm’s skeptical critique of the research is decidedly non-partisan. He does not hesitate to point out the flaws and limitations in studies, such as those by Mark Regnerus and me, that have reported substantial negative differences for children with same-sex parents. One of his most prominent critical exchanges, outside of this book, has been with Paul Cameron of the Family Research Institute, regarding the latter’s research that is critical of same-sex parents. A reasonable assessment would be that his conclusion in favor of such contrary research, despite his lack of sympathy with its legal and social implications, would lend credibility to his conclusion as one of rare integrity.
For Schumm, it is all part of being an honest scientist. “[A]n honest scientist,” he tell us, “has to be willing to see at least some of his or her most cherished scientific (even religious) theories or beliefs (or other assumptions) be falsified through careful research.” The book concludes with a fervent appeal for more such honesty:
My fondest hope [for the book’s effect] is not that same-sex marriage be declared illegal or same-sex adoption be banned . . . but that perhaps a few persons here and there will have been challenged to think more carefully about scientific research in areas of political controversy and be a little less eager to jump to conclusions that may not in fact be warranted after a careful, detailed, systematic review of the research literature.
In this hope, Schumm has not, I think, fully considered the implications of his findings. If the newly legal social arrangements regarding homosexual relations are not warranted by the research, why would an honest scientist support their continuance?
Political and Scientific Implications
Given the book’s publication by a British traditional marriage advocacy group, I suspect that Schumm may be less troubled than he suggests (perhaps to forestall accusations of bias) by the prospect of repealing gay marriage or adoption laws. Schumm’s progressive critics appear to think so, too. In appendices, he relates the extensive attempts to discredit him, including shunning at professional conferences, difficulty publishing in mainstream journals, and calls for him to be fired because of his views. “Some very Christian scholars,” he reports in the prologue, “have gone out of their way to avoid any association with this book because of the stigma or discrimination they fear.” These cautionary accounts contrast sharply with Schumm’s hope for more fair-minded consideration of the evidence, and ironically confirm his conclusion about the dogmatic nature of the belief in “no differences.”
More importantly, Schumm’s reluctance to follow the political implications of the science in his own research threatens not only the policies involved but also the science. If, as I argue, political expediency is becoming the new criterion of scientific truth for issues of sexual liberation, Schumm’s brilliant analyses are not likely to be accepted by those he critiques, precisely because his appeal to evidence is so strong and fair-minded. This is particularly true when the political ideology being critiqued is that of sexual liberation. While both supporters and deniers of natural law can be blind to contrary evidence or distort science for political ends, those who advocate a sexual ethic unconstrained by the limitations of the body are particularly unlikely to be deterred by a commitment to truth constrained by the limitations of the senses. Those who reject religious or philosophical dissent from the dogma of gay marriage as irrational bigotry are not likely to accept scientific dissent as reasonable and fair-minded.
To concede same-sex marriage in the face of contrary scientific evidence is to concede science itself.
Today, those with religious or conscientious reservations about gay marriage must assert them or risk losing their freedom to make any religious assertion at all. In the same way, those with scientific or evidential reservations must assert them in order to preserve the ability to practice honest science at all. To concede same-sex marriage in the face of contrary scientific evidence is to concede science itself.
For those who are unwilling to make that concession, and are convinced on grounds of science, faith, or principle that the defense of natural marriage is worth making, this book offers an immensely valuable array of evidence and arguments.
The Rev. D. Paul Sullins, Ph.D., is Research Professor of Sociology at the Catholic University of America and Senior Research Associate of the Ruth Institute. Formerly Episcopalian, Fr. Sullins is a married Catholic priest with an inter-racial family of three children, two adopted.
Posted on: Monday, May 13, 2019
Let's mobilize the Victims and Survivors of the Sexual Revolution into a force for social change.
By Jennifer Roback Morse Published on April 22, 2019, at The Stream.
The Conservative-Christian-Catholic hopefulness, even triumphalism, expressed by George Weigel and the late Michael Novak and Richard John Neuhaus, in the 1990’s has evaporated. Couched as a critique of these famous “neo-cons,” Wolfgang’s real point was “Man, we’ve got a mess on our hands. None of our Smart Guys has a clue what to do.”
I sympathize. I’ve been thinking about it too. I do have a plan. It goes like this.
Social conservatives of all religious backgrounds agree: The Sexual Revolution has been a disaster. Millions of people have been harmed. The solution? Organize the Victims and Survivors of the Sexual Revolution into a force for social change.
Let’s do a tally of just a few groups:
Now, you may feel overwhelmed by this list. I look at it and see a potential constituency.
Look at how the post-abortive woman has become a game-changer for the pro-life movement. In the rhetoric of the Sexual Revolution, these women don’t exist. Abortion is no more traumatic or dangerous than pulling a tooth. Yet, we have known since 1990 that 10 percent to 30 percent of women experience regrets over their abortions.* The claim that abortion is a harmless procedure that solves women’s problems is not so convincing when looking out over a sea of “I regret my abortion” signs.
What if you could get 10 percent of those 45 million adult children of divorce all marching in the same direction? Heck, what if you got 1 percent? A social movement with 450,000 committed activists would be a force to be reckoned with. Add in the abandoned spouses, and the women whose contraception failed them or hurt them, add in the people whose cohabitation experience soured, that is a lot of upset people.
So, here’s the plan. Go all in. Talk about all the social issues, not just the gay parts. We need to tell the truths no one else will tell. Guilt-free, problem-free, attachment-free sexual activity is an illusion, not an entitlement. Men and women are different. The sex differences expressed in the human body are significant and not to be tampered with.
Most of all, children need their parents. Children have a right to know their genetic identity and cultural heritage. They have a right to the love and support of their parents, unless some unavoidable tragedy prevents it. These needs of children place legitimate demands on adult society. The sexual culture created by traditional Christian sexual ethics protected those rights. The Sexual Revolutionary culture denies that kids have these rights.
This plan also allows us to sidestep the whole “wrong side of history” business. We can say, “history will show that your revolution harmed people.” We don’t have to be defensive about our religious beliefs either. “History will show that only the people of faith had the sense to realize that something was wrong and had the courage to speak out against it.”
The millions of people who have been harmed by our sexual culture, propped up by the Sexual State, can be a formidable power. But we have to help them connect the dots between the problems they face and the toxic cultural soup we are all swimming in.
The Church should have done this long ago. The Church should have taken a stand against no-fault divorce, sexual propaganda in the schools, and all the rest of the poison. As Catholics, Peter, you and I have our suspicions about why so few of our clergy opened their mouths: They have sexual “issues” of their own. Some of them were/are secret or not-so-secret participants in the sexual revolution themselves.
The Conservative Chattering Class is mostly clueless on social issues. They’d rather talk about the Free Market or the American Founding or anything but Divisive Social Issues. Some of our Catholic intellectuals, the contemporary equivalent of Weigel-Novak-Neuhaus, have good ideas and sound instincts. But eventually, somebody has to get out of the office and talk to ordinary people. Professional Smart Guys tend not to do this.
Don’t get me wrong: We need college professors and policy wonks and think tank guys and media commentators. But at the end of the day, somebody has to step away from the desk, roll up their sleeves and engage the wide swath of the public that doesn’t read First Things.
That leaves people like us, Peter. You have the organizing skills, the people skills, the political instincts. You just need a bigger team, a bigger microphone, and a better plan.
Oh, we do need one more thing: a spine. We need to be willing to have people call us names and be mean. But you and I are already used to that, right Peter?
So, what are we waiting for? Let’s get this done. The Survivors of the Sexual Revolution deserve a voice. And when they find it, the political and social landscape will never be the same.
Posted on: Tuesday, May 07, 2019
The Ruth Institute’s first annual Summit for Survivors of the Sexual Revolution (April 26-27, in Lake Charles, Louisiana) was highly praised by participants. All agreed that the caliber of speakers and content (which covered Survivors of Divorce and Survivors of the LGBT subculture) were exceptional.
Here are a few of the comments from speakers and participants:
“The Summit revealed to me many different survival stories which involved deep pain. However, their stories all ended in hope because they turned to God. It also gives me hope to see everyone that attended was united to God’s plan for marriage and family.” Al Chlupacek -- Chemical Engineer, Indianapolis
“Thank you all. It was incredible, and a real shot in the arm. Now we all have work to do. But I feel like at least we know our fellow soldiers in this battle! It’s a rough world out there, and sadly, many of our ‘enemies’ are fellow Christians… It’s a battle from within and without. But I’m so pleased at the depth of intelligence and holiness on display this weekend! God bless you all! And thank you, Dr. Morse! You are a true solider for Christ!” Leila Miller – Catholic author, Phoenix
“This was a very meaningful conference. I enjoyed the scholarship, the personal testimonies, and all the informal conversations and relationship-building in between. I look forward to ongoing conversations with many of the wonderful people I met this weekend. The experience was powerful and inspiring.” Matt F. Johnson – humanitarian and disaster relief, Washington, D.C.
“Thank you Mr. And Dr. Morse plus your team for putting together such a conference. I learned a lot. Thanks also to you all that took time to do papers and share with us your stories. It gives me hope as an African to see the good side of America. You people are amazing. Hopefully we do this in Africa, too? God bless you all.” Ann Kioko, CitizenGO Campaigns Manager for Africa, Nairobi
“I just want to tell you all how very honored I am to have had the pleasure to work with all of you this weekend in this critical endeavor! Mr. & Dr. Morse, you are both tireless in your efforts and I have great respect for you both. Thank you - and the Ruth Institute's extremely capable staff and volunteers -- for showing us all such genuine kindness and hospitality. This weekend will go down in my memory as one of great blessings and fellowship. To be gathered with so many others who recognize the beauty, goodness and critical importance of marriage and the traditional family was a such a true honor and pleasure.” Christy Fitzgerald – Registered Nurse, Case Manager, Hickory, N.C.
“This Summit was a bright moment for recovering from a toxic family culture and beginning to build something better. I want to add my thanks to everyone as well, for sharing your stories and journeys and scholarship and standing for marriage, life and children. Patti and I were both deeply touched by the accounts of struggle and overcoming and finding new life and sanctity in the pain of marriage and parental loss. For me, one of the most fruitful times was also breakfast at the hotel, when I was blessed to, and saw others too, encourage one another and build friendships and mutual support and plot ministry strategies in a fellowship free-for-all. There are not many other places something like that could happen.” Fr. D Paul Sullins, Senior Research Associate of the Ruth Institute
“I hope everyone realizes just how innovative this was. For all the many ‘pro-family’ groups out there, almost none of them seriously confronts the divorce system, connected issues, and the government machinery behind it. I also noticed other ways in which the various speakers were ‘pushing the envelope,’ and I for one think that we have nothing to lose, and much to gain, from continuing and even increasing the push.” Stephen K. Baskerville, Purcellville, Virginia
“To get the inside scoop on the extraordinary Survivors Summit, be sure to check out the various presentations at the Ruth Institute’s website, and on its Facebook page. Be forewarned that the truth about these problems is not easy to handle. However, the truth shall set you free.” C. Preston Noell, American Society for Tradition, Family and Property, Washington, D.C.
“Don’t sit on the sidelines. Now that you understand the devastation caused by the Sexual Revolution, help us to fight for the family and cultural sanity.” Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D., Founder and President of the Ruth Institute
Posted on: Monday, May 06, 2019
by Jennifer Roback Morse
This article was first published February 28, 2019, at One Peter Five.
While the Vatican’s decision to laicize Theodore McCarrick was a valuable step, it is not, and cannot be, the end of the affair. Mr. McCarrick was the elephant in the room at the recently concluded Vatican summit. We still don’t know who promoted McCarrick’s rise and whose careers benefited from McCarrick’s protection. At least one person has the power to bring this affair to a more satisfactory conclusion: Mr. McCarrick himself.
Ever since Archbishop Viganò made his explosive charges about McCarrick, all eyes have been on Pope Francis. “The Holy Father should respond to these charges.” “Pope Francis could release the documents that would answer these questions once and for all.” And it is quite true that Pope Francis could take steps that would resolve at least some of the questions.
It is also true that the greatly anticipated book by gay French atheist Martel, In the Closet of the Vatican, essentially confirms the most damaging of Archbishop Viganò’s claims: Pope Francis knew about McCarrick’s homosexual activity. According to Martel’s sources, “Francis was initially informed by Viganò that McCarrick had had sexual relations with over-age seminarians, which was not enough, in his mind, to condemn him.”
We forget that there is one other person in a position to know the full truth of Viganò’s charges: Mr. McCarrick himself. McCarrick could confirm or deny some or all of the suspicions. McCarrick could answer the tough and important questions. How did he rise through the ranks? Who protected and promoted him? Whom did he protect and promote?
I’m not saying I expect a full confession from McCarrick, or that he could “heal” the Church or anyone else. He could, of course, repent. But at this late date, who in his right mind would take him seriously? If Mr. McCarrick started, all of sudden, professing contrition and sorrow, we’d all wonder what he was angling for. God can know the truth of McCarrick’s heart and heal anyone of anything. The rest of us would need more than words.
On the other hand, he might inadvertently do something constructive, as a side-effect. Assume for the sake of argument that McCarrick really did use his fundraising abilities and his power in the Church to promote the careers of men of homosexual sympathies. Assume that Pope Francis was aware of this. Assume further that some of McCarrick’s power arose from the power of secrets. He had dirt on a lot of people. The people who had dirt on him didn’t want to reveal it, because he might reveal the dirt he had on them.
This system of mutual secret-keeping is a bit like the old Mutual Assured Destruction strategic balancing act from the Cold War. Once one side fires a missile, the other side has an incentive to retaliate. The mutual fear of total annihilation kept both sides from pushing that big red button. As crazy as that system sounds, it did keep peace, albeit an uneasy peace, for quite a few years.
Apply that same logic to McCarrick and his friends. The Mutual Assured Secret-Keeping game is now over. McCarrick’s old friends and allies kicked him to the curb. All those people whose rise to power he engineered, all those people who owed him their careers, all those people whose secrets he kept, they all betrayed him. They offered him up as a scapegoat to make the public outcry over clergy sex abuse go away. Why should he keep their secrets now? He might as well retaliate.
He could get revenge. He could make a lot of money, selling exclusive rights to his tell-all memoirs to some enterprising journalist or publisher. As an added benefit, the public would finally get a fuller picture of what actually happened. He has nothing to lose now by spilling his guts. (If he does have something to lose, that suggests another whole layer of deception about even more deeply hidden costs and benefits. But that is purely speculation at this point.)
He does have an interest in exaggerating things that make his enemies look bad, or downplaying things that make himself look bad. But the names he would reveal would be substantially correct. He would have an incentive to skewer those who let him twist in the wind in his hour of need. That might include the senior cardinals whose promotion he promoted, or even Pope Francis himself. He might, in the end, corroborate Viganò’s charges.
On the other hand, who would believe Mr. McCarrick if he tried to frame someone completely outside the orbit of homosexually inclined or heterodoxy-inclined senior prelates? “I, Theodore McCarrick, secretly aided the rise of Cardinal Burke. Bishop Athanasius Schneider and I used to secretly hang around together. Cardinal Sarah and I are old pals.”
That type of frame-up job just wouldn’t fly. If he had sexual dirt on any of his orthodox former colleagues, such as the dubia cardinals, he would have revealed that information a long time ago.
The best possible end to the McCarrick Affair is that Mr. McCarrick tell all he knows. He might do it for all the wrong reasons: revenge, greed, spite. He might not do it for the good of the Church or his immortal soul. No matter. People often do the right thing for the wrong reasons. The entire Body of Christ would benefit, whether McCarrick intends it or not.
Please, someone: Offer Mr. McCarrick a book deal.
Posted on: Sunday, May 05, 2019
By Thomas Drake
This article was published May 2, 2019, at Tradition, Family, Property
The Ruth Institute organized a much-needed Conference and Awards Dinner April 26 and 27 in Lake Charles, La. The gathering featured an amazing ensemble of scholars, activists, and public witnesses and brought forth the truth that God’s plan for the family is the foundation of every enduring society.
The whirlwind of “The Sixties” brought the destruction of not only institutions and social customs, but the ruin of millions of lives. The stories of survivors of the Sexual Revolution—children of divorce, abandoned spouses, children of same-sex parents, refugees from the homosexual lifestyle—all illustrate the bitter fruits of “free love.”
The conference featured the riveting testimony of Moira Greyland, author of The Last Closet: The Dark Side of Avalon and daughter of the world-renowned sexual revolutionaries Marion Zimmer Bradley (of The Mists of Avalon) and Walter Breen. Personal stories of broken vows, family ties, and social roles gave a face to the dry statistics of social breakdown. These were the results of the moral breakdown of our Church and society.
The child trauma, the clergy sex abuse, and the growing government power are costing us all. This was amply demonstrated by several speakers including Fr. Paul Sullins, Ph.D., a retired professor of Sociology at the Catholic University of America, and Dr. Stephen Baskerville.
Dr. Jennifer Morse and her staff of the Ruth Institute rendered a great service by organizing this event. With brilliant scholarship and personal testimonies, it proved that the Church was always right about marriage, family, and sexual morality.