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.


Jewish Roots of Thanksgiving

Thankgiving, Thanksgiving is the essence of Judaism

This piece was originally published at Front Page Mag

When we form a mental image of the Pilgrims at this time of the year, it’s usually sitting at a table laden with food (even though they starved their first year on New England’s rocky coast) or walking to church in the snow, a Bible in one hand and a blunderbuss in the other.


A picture of the Pilgrim fathers lighting menorahs and spinning dreidels does not come readily to mind.

And yet, Thanksgiving has Jewish origins. Its roots are Biblical. Philosophically, it expresses the essence of Judaism.

The first Thanksgiving took place not at Plymouth in the 17th century but in the land of Israel more than 3,000 years ago.

In Deuteronomy (26:1-4) Moses tells the Children of Israel: “When you have entered the land the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance and have taken possession of the land and settled in it, take some of the first fruits of all that you produce from the soil of the land” to “the place the Lord your God will choose” and give them to the priest who will place them on the altar. This is called an offering of thanksgiving.

Who were the Pilgrims thanking? Not King James (they were fleeing his persecution) or the captain of the ship that brought them to Cape Cod, but the God who led them to that “good and spacious land.”

The Pilgrims strongly identified with their predecessors.

Like the Israelites, they believed they had wandered in the wilderness (Anglican England), traversed a wasteland (the stormy Atlantic in Autumn), accepted God’s sovereignty (acknowledged in the Mayflower Compact), and settled a savage land to build something not for themselves alone.

Like Judaism, the Puritans’ faith was founded on the idea of covenant. Thus, John Winthrop, the Colony’s first Governor, admonished that if they kept faith with Him, “we shall find the God of Israel is among us, but if we deal falsely with our God… we be consumed out of the good land whither we are going.” As for the Israelites who turned their backs on God, The Torah speaks of the land “vomiting” them out.

There is a direct line running from Sinai and the Torah to the Mayflower Compact (the beginnings of republican government in America), to the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution.

Today, each of us should give thanks in our own way – not to Macy’s for parades, or the turkey industry for juicy birds or to cranberry farmers, but to the Power who sustained us for 400 years.

Expressing gratitude is a Jewish thing to do.

Many of our holidays consist of thanking God for saving us – Purim (from Haman), Passover (from the Pharaoh and slavery in Egypt), and Hanukkah (from the Syrian Greek occupation). Rosh Hashanah thanks God for Creation and His loving kindness.

Sin starts with ingratitude. When the first man committed the first sin (eating the forbidden fruit) he blamed his Creator indirectly. (“The woman that You gave to be with me – she gave me from the tree and I ate.”)

The rebellion in our streets is another expression of ingratitude. The criminal anarchists who are causing so much chaos were born in the freest, richest nation on earth.

The lives they live were built on the sacrifices of millions who came before them – settlers and pioneers, those who fought our wars, built our economy and shaped the institutions that have served us well for most of our national existence.

Instead of thanking them, the ideologues indict them as racists, oppressors and exploiters. They would destroy what it took centuries to achieve. (“No borders! No walls! No USA at all!”)

But it’s not just the mob, indoctrinated in a murderous, godless creed. In the last election, millions of Americans voted for a party and a candidate that condones their crimes – that calls arson and assault peaceful protest.

In America today, we cultivate an attitude of ingratitude – in our schools, colleges, popular culture and political institutions.

Whatever you have, it’s not enough, they tell us. You deserve more. You deserve a “living wage,” not because you’ve earned it, but just because, well, you deserve it. You deserve everything from a college education to universal health care – at someone else’s expense.

The left should be barred from celebrating Thanksgiving. Their bible is a manifesto. Their God is revolution. Their turkey has been declared the president-elect.

- Don Feder



The First Thanksgiving, the Pilgrim Family was Everything

Thanksgiving 2020 commemorates the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrims arriving at Cape Cod and their creation of the Mayflower Compact. Much has been said about the Pilgrims and their journey, from their rejection of communism, to the gratitude they gave God for sparing them from the King, the elements, and unfriendly neighbors. Little, though, has been said about how important the Pilgrim family was.


The first example of how important the Pilgrim family was, was the sacrifice these Separatists made as they traveled from Scrooby, England in 1608-1609, to escape the intolerance of the king, grew to 300 strong in Leiden Holland. Later they sacrificed for their families again, by removing themselves and their children from Holland to protect them from the loose morals of neighbors.


Pieterskerk, Pieterskerk church, burial place of pilgrim pastor John Robinson 

Pieterskerk, Leiden the Netherlands. Burial place of Pilgrim pastor, John Robinson

William Bradford, Mayflower passenger and second governor of the colony, said of their departure, “But that which was more lamentable, and of all sorrows most heavy to be borne, was that many of their children, by these occasions and the great licentiousness of youth in that country, and the manifold temptations of the place, were drawn away by evil examples into extravagant and dangerous courses, getting the reins off their necks and departing from their parents.” Even in the 17th century, parents were concerned about how their children were being raised and acted to protect them from negative influences.

The small number that boarded the Mayflower in 1620 sacrificed again for the Pilgrim family. The 102 passengers, the “saints” and “strangers”, sailed for 66 days on an old merchant (cargo) ship, eating biscuits in the dark so they wouldn’t see the weevils, made this sacrifice for their families. The group that landed more than 250 miles north of their destination in Virginia and then fell on their knees to thank the Lord for their safe arrival; the 41 men, including 2 indentured servants, who gathered on board the Mayflower in November of 1620 and joined together in agreement to be answerable to God and to their fellow men, to govern themselves by consent in a civil body; did it all for family.

The second example of putting their immediate families first came when they decided to change from their original commune-style living, imposed on them by the company that financed their voyage. William Bradford, and the rest, soon saw that by sacrificing their families for the company, the colony was failing. In 1623 they changed the arrangement so that every man could have his own plot of land and care for his family first.

Bradford wrote, “At length, after much debate of things, [Governor Carver]...gave way that they should set corn every man for his own particular, and in that regard trust to themselves; in all other things to go in the general way as before. And so assigned to every family a parcel of land, according to the proportion of their number.”

Tom Bethel of the Hoover Institute wrote about the change, “The colonists immediately became responsible for their own actions (and those of their immediate families), not for the actions of the whole community Knowing that the fruits of his labor would benefit his own family and dependents, the head of each household was given an incentive to work harder. He could know that his additional efforts would help specific people who depended on him.” The men of the colony saw that their immediate families could benefit, were more motivated and productive after 1623.

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse has put this familial relationship eloquently in her Thanksgiving message, “The family is bigger than government. God created the family in the Garden of Eden. He created the first social institution: the Married couple. The family can stand on its own and is a potential threat to any totalitarian plan. Every little household created by a man and a woman can sustain itself, provide for itself and protect itself. Fathers are natural authority figures. Mothers are natural objects of loyalty and affection. Totalitarian governments hate both mothers and fathers.” The pilgrims at Plimouth needed both their families and the fruit of their labors to survive. The change made in 1623 from collectivized living to private property allowed the structure of the family to survive and flourish.

The pilgrims were also concerned about generations yet unborn and the big picture. They showed their commitment to the future by staying put. When the Mayflower finally departed New England shores on March 21,1621, the captain offered to return the remaining weary and diseased pilgrims. Not a single one left. They stayed planted. They understood that their mission was “to plant the First Colony.”

Mayflower II, Mayflower replica, Mayflower the ship that brought the pilgrims across the atlantic

Their commitment to the future was also shown by how they spoke. They used the words “seed,” “root and branch,” as well as “planting,” “tree,” “covenant,” “blood,” “lineage” and “nations” when they talked about the future of their families and the colony. They built their settlement to house their posterity permanently.

They looked for a Heavenly city, Bradford explained, and sought that which was promised the “heirs”: a promised land and liberty to worship according to the dictates of conscience. Contrary to popular belief, the Pilgrims didn’t limit freedom of conscience to their own members. By enacting the Mayflower Compact in they produced a civil government which protected both the Pilgrims and the strangers.

Monument to the Pilgrim Fathers, Plymouth Massachusetts

 

The Forefathers Monument memorializes that commitment. It states “Erected by a grateful people in the remembrance of their labors, sacrifices and sufferings for the cause of civil and religious liberty.” This protection even extended beyond protestant faiths. Uniquely for Puritan New England, Governor Bradford, and other members of the colony, received a Canadian Jesuit Priest who made a tour of Massachusetts in 1650. The priest was even given fish on a Friday, in deference to his religion.

They extended that freedom of conscience to their Indian neighbors as well. Richard Pickering, Senior Historian at Plimoth, explained that archaeological evidence shows they interacted almost daily the first year. By treaty, the pilgrims and the Wampoanog tribes under Massasoit kept peace for over 50 years, helping each other against enemies, starvation, and disease. When Massasoit contracted typhus, and was on the verge of death, Edward Winslow scraped the furry bacteria from the chief’s tongue, fed him soft foods and nursed him back to health. The chief said, “Now I see the English are my friends and love me.”

Pointing to the long-lasting influence of the Pilgrims’ concern with their descendants, Richard Pickering said their ideas were later incorporated into the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution with the stated purpose to “secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.” They were able to instill these virtues because they thought about and acted for their posterity.

This Thanksgiving, let us be grateful for the Pilgrims and their sacrifices. Their focus on family permitted them to survive the first few harsh winters. Their focus on their posterity, blessed not only their neighbors, but also all Americans who enjoy the blessings of liberty. And it all happened because of family.

- Written by Julie Maddox, friend of the Ruth Institute.


Ruth Inst: Thanksgiving Regulations Mark Too Many as Rulers, Not Leaders

“Thanksgiving, more than any other American holiday, is a family holiday,” said Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D., President of the Ruth Institute, in a special Thanksgiving message. 

“No matter their religious heritage, on this day, Americans unite in giving thanks for their many blessings. Families long scattered gather together to share food and make memories. In years past, the day before Thanksgiving was always the busiest travel day of the year.”

But all of this has changed, thanks to officious government. Morse charged: “This Thanksgiving, some governors are going wild with COVID restrictions. Some state governments are telling us how many people we can have at the Thanksgiving table.”

Moreover, Morse observed: “Some of the virus-containment rules establish flagrant double-standards. The Mayor of San Francisco tried to limit church attendance in the massive cathedral there to one person at a time.


“Still, sanity will eventually prevail,” Morse promised. “Yes, there are risks involved in travel and gatherings, but many people who contract the virus have modest symptoms or no symptoms at all. The vast majority of people recover fully. We now know that contracting COVID is not a death sentence.

“How and where to celebrate Thanksgiving should be the decision of individuals and families, not government. The so-called experts who are advising the governments, are single-minded in their focus on numbers of cases. They cannot see the collateral damage.”

Morse said this includes:

  • The elderly who waste away from loneliness.
  • The addicts who can’t go to their 12-step meetings, relapse, and lose their sobriety.
  • The people who become depressed and even suicidal.
  • The small business owners who have a lifetime of effort wiped out.

Morse offered a message of hope in this holiday season: “The family is bigger than government. In fact, the family existed long before there were governments. The Bible tells us that humanity started with the family.

“Every totalitarian movement of the past 100 years has despised and feared the family. That’s because the family can stand on its own. Every little household created by a man and a woman can sustain itself, provide for itself, and protect itself. Fathers are natural authority figures. Mothers are natural objects of loyalty and affection. Totalitarian governments hate both.

“In my book, The Sexual State, I point out that a free society like ours does not need or want a ‘ruling class.’ We need and want a leadership class. It has become sadly clear that too many of the people in positions of power, influence, and authority are rulers, not leaders.”

Morse closed her powerful statement with a plea to educated professionals to do their part to fight corruption in their own spheres of influence.

The Ruth Institute is a global non-profit organization leading an international interfaith coalition to defend the family and build a civilization of love.

To schedule an interview with Dr. Morse, contact info@ruthinstitute.org.


Thanksgiving Message from Dr. Morse

Thanksgiving, more than any other American holiday, is a family holiday. No matter their religious heritage, on this day, Americans unite in giving thanks for their many blessings. Families long scattered gather together to share food and make memories. In years past, the day before Thanksgiving was always the busiest travel day of the year.

Not so much this year. This Thanksgiving, some governors are going wild with COVID restrictions. Some state governments are telling us how many people we can have at the Thanksgiving table. Some states won’t let anyone enter without a negative COVID test, or a two-week self-quarantine. Pennsylvania announced new restrictions ten days before Thanksgiving, disrupting thousands of people’s plans.

Some of the virus-containment rules are blatantly biased. The Mayor of San Francisco tried to limit church attendance in the massive cathedral there to one person at a time. Also in California, a judge lifted restrictions on strip clubs, considering them protected free speech. But churches in the same jurisdiction are closed for indoor services.


 

In the meantime, some of these self-appointed dictators transgress their own rules. California Governor Gavin Newsome was recently caught dining at one of the most exclusive and expensive restaurants in the state in direct violation of rules he himself had established. And let’s not forget Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and her infamous unmasked trip to a beauty salon.

But sanity will eventually prevail. Thanksgiving is a family holiday and the family is bigger than government. Yes, there are risks involved in travel and gatherings. Yes, some people become very sick from COVID. Some even die. But many people who contract the virus have modest symptoms or no symptoms at all. The vast majority of people recover fully. We now know that contracting COVID is not a death sentence.

The experts who are advising the governments are single-minded in their focus on reducing numbers of cases. They cannot see the collateral damage to other legitimate aspects of human thriving.

  • The elderly people who waste away from loneliness.
  • The addicts who can’t go to their 12-Step meetings and relapse and lose their sobriety.
  • The unemployed who become depressed and even suicidal.
  • The small business owners who have a lifetime of effort wiped out.

Most of all, the so-called experts don’t take account of the divisions their sometimes-arbitrary rules have created. Families and friends are quarreling over who cares the most about other people.

  • “If you really cared about grandma’s health, you’d wear a mask and stay home.”
  • “If you really cared about the future we are leaving our children, you’d fight the governmental takeover of all of social life.”

And so on. Not only are we physically isolated. We are also psychologically isolated from people we love, work with and do business with.

One thing is for sure: these divisions are not natural. These conflicts are driven by the propaganda-artists in the media. Are they trying to pit us against each other? I don’t know that. But, let me stand this rhetoric on its head and speak directly to the media and others responsible for creating this current climate of fear and division.

  • If you really cared about our health, you would have encouraged people to take vitamin supplements that boost our immune systems at modest cost.
  • If you really cared about our health, you would have encouraged people to lose weight. We’ve known for some time that obesity is a risk factor for complications from COVID, as it is for respiratory diseases in general. If you had applied yourself to persuading people to lose weight instead of scaring them to death, a lot of people would have lost a lot of weight by now and been much healthier overall.
  • Speaking of scaring people to death, if you really cared about our health, you wouldn’t be. You would be leading a media campaign to “stay calm and carry on,” as the British did during WWII.
  • If you really cared about our health, you would be leading by example, suffering in the trenches alongside everyone else, instead of standing on your privileged positions and flouting your own edicts.

As I say, the family is bigger than government. In fact, the family existed long before there were governments. The Bible tells us that humanity started with the family. The Ruth Institute is an international interfaith coalition to defend the family and build a civilization of love. Our coalition includes Roman Catholics, Orthodox Christians, Evangelicals and Pentecostals, Mormons and observant Jews. I can tell you that we are united in this one point at least: God created the family in the Garden of Eden. He created the Cosmos, the plants and animals, men and women. And finally, He created the first social institution: the married couple.

Every totalitarian movement of the past 100 years has despised and feared the family. That’s because the family can stand on its own and is a potential threat to any totalitarian plan. Every little household created by a man and a woman can sustain itself, provide for itself and protect itself. Fathers are natural authority figures. Mothers are natural objects of loyalty and affection. Totalitarian governments hate both.

In my book, The Sexual State, I pointed out that as members of a free society, we don’t want a “ruling class.” We want and need, a leadership class. It has become sadly clear that too many of the Elites are rulers, not leaders. In my decades of studying the Sexual Revolution, I have concluded that virtually every profession has been corrupted by that toxic ideology. Doctors who can’t figure when life begins or whether a boy can become a girl. Lawyers who happily use the law, not for justice, but as an ideological battering ram. Librarians and schoolteachers with agendas that undermine the wishes and authority of parents. It would not surprise me to learn that corruption I know about in these professions is not the only arena in which ideology trumps truth and science and justice.

I speak now to educated people, professional people, anyone with skills or authority or influence: I call upon you to use these gifts for the common good. The Elites, including the billionaires, the Tech Moguls, the politicians and the media, rely on you to implement their policies. They need you to supply technical knowledge and to keep systems running. They need you to actually see patients and go to court and choose library books and decide what the school play will be.

I call on you: Become servant leaders, not tools of the Ruling Class. When you see untruth or deception or corruption in your sphere of influence, don’t let it slide. Do something about it.

And everyone: do keep this one thought in mind: The family was created by God. Governments were created by man. God is infinite and everlasting. Governments are finite and fleeting. Only the family endures. We will outlast any government.

On that note, I’m off to start making pies for my family’s Thanksgiving feast. I’m Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, for the Ruth Institute, wishing you all a very blessed Thanksgiving Day.

 


Ruth Inst. Applauds Court Ruling on Reparative Therapy Bans

“In striking down bans on Sexual Orientation Change Efforts to lessen same-sex attraction, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals sided with First Amendment free speech against LGBT dogma,” said Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D., Founder and President of the Ruth Institute.

The court overturned local ordinances of the City of Boca Raton and the county of Palm Beach, Florida. These ordinances prohibited licensed counselors from offering counseling to minors who voluntarily seek their help to “reduce same-sex behavior and attraction and eliminate what they term confusion over gender identity.” (pg. 4)

Morse noted, “Sexual Revolutionary activists, and the professional associations they control, have successfully persuaded local governments to adopt these bans. The activists argue that this type of therapy, based solely on conversation between therapist and client, are psychologically harmful. I am especially pleased that the Court’s majority considered the evidence on this point.”


The Court stated: “[The Defendants] present a series of reports and studies setting out harms of SOCE. But when examined closely, these documents offer assertions rather than evidence, at least regarding the effects of purely speech-based SOCE. Indeed, a report from the American Psychological Association, relied on by the defendants, concedes that ‘nonaversive and recent approaches to SOCE have not been rigorously evaluated.’” (pg. 21)

“Without conclusive evidence, LGBT organizations insist that homosexuality is innate, and that individuals with same-sex attraction must accept their fate -- that they are condemned to be ‘gay,’ whether they like it or not,” Morse explained.

In fact, the majority decision pointed out that the ordinances contain an exception for “counseling that provides support and assistance to a person undergoing gender transition.” But the Court goes on to observe, “No such carveout exists for sexual orientation. The ordinances thus codify a particular viewpoint—sexual orientation is immutable, but gender is not—and prohibit the therapists from advancing any other perspective when counseling clients. That viewpoint may be widely shared in the communities that passed the ordinances, but widespread agreement is beside the point; the question is whether a speaker’s viewpoint determines his license to speak.” (pg. 12)

Morse congratulated Liberty Counsel, which provided representation to the therapists in this case. “I agree with Liberty Counsel President Mat Staver when he said that ‘This is a huge victory for counselors and their clients to choose the counsel of their choice free of political censorship from government ideologues.’”

The Ruth Institute is a global non-profit organization leading an international interfaith coalition to defend the family and build a civilization of love.

To schedule an interview with Dr. Morse, contact info@ruthinstitute.org.


Vatican Cover-Up Continues: Dr. J's Explosive Interview w/ Catholic Journalist Phil Lawler

On today’s Dr. J Show, veteran journalist, now editor of Catholic World News, Philip Lawler shares his insights on the newly released McCarrick Report, the Pope’s comments on same-sex marriage, the President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops congratulating Joe Biden on the election, and the status of the Church in China. The show’s host is Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D., Ruth Institute Founder and President.

Of Pope Francis’s comments on homosexual marriage, Lawler observed: “The Pope wasn’t changing Church doctrine on marriage. He can’t do that. Unfortunately, his remarks provided an opportunity for journalists to misrepresent Church doctrine.”

Lawler agreed with a November 10th Ruth Institute release questioning the propriety of Archbishop Jose Gomez, President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, congratulating Biden before the votes are fully counted and certified.


Lawler said: “There was no need for Gomez to say anything. He wanted to curry favor with the man who will likely be the next president.” Morse added: “Biden promises soft-persecution of the Catholic Church and abortion under all circumstances, paid for by taxpayers.”

Regarding the report on ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick’s sexual abuse, Lawler noted that the report is silent on important questions, including: “How did he rise through the ranks?” and “Who helped him?” Lawler said the only member of the hierarchy who comes off badly in the report, ironically, was Archbishop Carlo Vigano, former Apostolic Nuncio to the United States who blew the whistle on McCarrick.

McCarrick helped to negotiate the Vatican/China deal, whose details have yet to be made public. Morse charged, “It’s believed that the Pope will now select Chinese bishops from a list submitted by the communist regime. This comes at a time when the Church – both underground and official—faces increased persecution.”

The Dr. J Show is a weekly interview that features experts on issues relating to marriage, family and human sexuality. New episodes release every Friday.

The Ruth Institute is a global non-profit organization leading an international interfaith coalition to defend the family and build a civilization of love.

To schedule an interview with Dr. Morse, contact info@ruthinstitute.org.


100 Years of Legal Abortion: Happy ‘Birthday,’ Subhumanism

Our thanks to these authors for the mention and for calling us "One of the best comprehensive pro-life organizations around"!

By Jason Jones & John Zmirak

Published on November 18, 2020, at The Stream.

November 18 marks a powerful anniversary. In 1920, the newly-hatched dragon that was the Soviet Union legalized abortion. That made it the first government in the West to embrace the destruction of children since the conversion of Constantine. No one even dared to raise the idea of doing that until the 18th century, when the Marquis de Sade proposed it — in the midst of one of his many pornographic, literally Satanist books.

The egg he laid took centuries to mature, but it pecked its way out 100 years ago today. Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir both argued for abortion as the only way women could be fully “equal” to men. Equally free, that is, to abandon the innocent product of sexual gratification. In the U.S., Ruth Bader Ginsburg picked up de Sade’s argument (likely ignorant of its origins) and tried to enshrine it in U.S. law. In the Soviet Union, by the best estimates, the average woman had six abortions in her lifetime.

Abortion and Totalitarianism: You’re Only “Free” in the Bedroom

One of the best comprehensive pro-life organizations around is the Ruth Institute. Its founder and president, Jennifer Roback Morse, issued a statement to mark this bleak day in history.


‘It’s not surprising that a totalitarian state pioneered legalized abortion. Just as communism violates human rights on a massive scale, abortion denies the most fundamental of rights — the right to life — to the unborn child.

That’s why it’s ironic that so many international organizations try to portray abortion as a fundamental human right, comparable to free speech or the right to a fair trial.’

Until the end of World War II, legalized abortion was limited to Russia and countries controlled by the U.S.S.R. Then Sweden and Japan followed suit. In the 1960s and 70s, many European democracies passed similar laws. In 1973, the Supreme Court imposed abortion on the United States.

Today, the World Health Organization estimates there are 50 million abortions a year worldwide. ‘The number of abortions performed in the past 100 years could be in the billions,’ Morse said.

She also warned: ‘Now some prominent NGOs and government aid-givers are trying to force abortion on African countries like Kenya, despite overwhelming local opposition. It’s important for us all to understand the origins of legalized abortion. It started with a regime dedicated to the abolition of human rights and the family, and the massive expansion of state power.’

Keep reading.

 



November 1920-2020: A Century of Abortion in Russia

A shout-out to our friend Paul Kengor, with a thank you for mentioning us in your fine article!

By the 1970s, the USSR was averaging 7-8 million abortions per year. To this day, the countries with the highest abortion rates remain communist or recently communist: Russia, Cuba, Romania, Vietnam, China.

By Dr. Paul Kengor

This article was first posted November 17, 2020, at The Catholic World Report.

Kudos to Rachel’s Vineyard and the Sisters in Jesus the Lord (as well as Jennifer Roback Morse at the Ruth Institute) for marking the centennial of a tragic moment. It was 100 years ago, November 18, 1920, that the Bolshevik regime in Soviet Russia legalized abortion. It was a moment of terrible consequence for Russia and the world.

“We are hoping that this anniversary will not pass unnoticed and that it will be an occasion of praying for an end to abortion in the whole world,” says Mother Maria Stella Whittier, a nun with Sisters in Jesus the Lord. “We invite all clergy and laypeople around to world to pray with us on this day—each in their own way and ability—and to repent by showing even the smallest restraint.” They are urging people worldwide to join them in prayer for the defense of unborn children this November 18th.

Amen to that. What happened on that date was truly a landmark, for it was a day of infamy.


Abortion was legalized by the Bolsheviks soon after they seized power. Their revolution commenced in St. Petersburg in October 1917, followed immediately by a brutal civil war from 1918-21, which (according to historian W. Bruce Lincoln) would leave some seven million Russian men, women, and children dead. But that was nothing compared to the deaths of the unborn that commenced when the Bolsheviks legalized abortion in November 1920.

Interestingly, Russians were not free to own a farm or factory or business or bank account—or go to church—under the Bolsheviks. As for Russian women, communists seized their fur coats as well as their bank accounts. You could no longer get your baby baptized. And yet, if you wanted an abortion (or a divorce), the sky was the limit. In that very narrow area, you had complete freedom.

In November 1920, having overthrown the ship of state and butchered (literally chopped into pieces) the entire Romanov family in July 1918, the Bolsheviks made good on Vladimir Lenin’s June 1913 promise (printed in Pravda) for an “unconditional annulment of all laws against abortions.” Very much akin to their later progressive progeny in the West, the Soviets issued their decree under the guise of “women’s health.” Lenin’s decree was titled “On the Protection of Women’s Health.” Abortion was made fully available and free of charge to Russian women.

As often happens when a certain vice is legalized, society saw more of it—and then some. The number of abortions skyrocketed. Remarkably, by 1934 Moscow women were having three abortions for every live birth—shocking ratios that American women, in the worst throes of Roe v. Wade, never approached.

Keep reading.



Wednesday Marks 100th Anniversary of Legalized Abortion Worldwide

“On November 18, 1920, Soviet Russia became the first country to legalize abortion,” said Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D., founder and president of The Ruth Institute.

“It’s not surprising that a totalitarian state pioneered legalized abortion. Just as communism violates human rights on a massive scale, abortion denies the most fundamental of rights – the right to life – to the unborn child,” Morse declared. “That’s why it’s ironic that so many international organizations try to portray abortion as a fundamental human right, comparable to free speech or the right to a fair trial.”

Until the end of World War II, legalized abortion was limited to Russia and countries controlled by the U.S.S.R. Then Sweden and Japan followed suit. In the 1960s and 70s, many European democracies passed similar laws. In 1973, the Supreme Court imposed abortion on the United States.

Today, the World Health Organization estimates there are 50 million abortions a year worldwide. “The number of abortions performed in the past 100 years could be in the billions,’’ Morse said.


She also warned: “Now some prominent NGOs and government aid-givers are trying to force abortion on African countries like Kenya, despite overwhelming local opposition.

“It’s important for us all to understand the origins of legalized abortion. It started with a regime dedicated to the abolition of human rights and the family, and the massive expansion of state power,” Morse charged.

In Kenya, the fight against abortion is being led by groups like the Kenya Christian Professionals Forum.

Human Life International Poland has also been working to raise awareness of this tragic anniversary.

 




Pope Francis and Civil Unions: Be Not Afraid!

Pope Francis, Pope Francis greets the faithfulCOMMENTARY: Scripture, sacred Tradition and our Catechism all agree: Sexual activity must be confined to a lawfully married husband and wife.

by Jennifer Roback Morse

Many of our friends from a variety of faith traditions have contacted the Ruth Institute regarding the recent statements attributed to Pope Francis regarding the Church’s position on civil unions for same-sex couples. I have one statement and two messages.

The statement is very simple: Pope Francis has not changed the magisterial teaching of the Catholic Church.

My messages are very simple, too:


1. Do not be diverted.

2. Do not be demoralized.

Let me explain.

I can tell you with 100% confidence that Pope Francis has not changed the magisterial teaching of the Catholic Church on the immorality of homosexual acts or on the true nature of marriage being the life-giving union between a man and a woman or anything else. How can I be so sure? Because he does not have the authority to change the teaching.

Every Catholic schoolchild is taught that the pope is only infallible when he speaks ex cathedra on matters of faith and morals. As a child, I was taught, as many of you were, that the pope can be wrong if he predicts who is going to win the World Series. As an adult, I extended that simple thought: When the pope makes personnel appointments or does foreign policy, he can be wrong, sometimes disastrously so. And, when he gives interviews to journalists with agendas, he certainly can be wrong.

the vatican

In fact, there are levels of “magisterial-ness,” if you want to call it that. Some writings of the pope carry more weight than others. Look closely at this resource, which explains various levels of doctrinal authority. You will not see “random papal statements to tendentious journalists who cut and paste the pope’s words to his own liking” anywhere on the list.

But what did Pope Francis really mean to say? I have no idea. I don’t think it is productive to try to “explain” or “explain away” his latest confusing statements. I do have some thoughts about what he and those around him may be trying to accomplish.

I believe the Pope and his advisers are well aware that he does not have the authority to change the teaching. The Vatican has in effect, suggested that the teaching has changed. The Vatican held a reception honoring the filmmaker. The Vatican Press office initially ordered silence about the controversy. The following week, the Vatican Secretary of State issued a “clarification” that the average person most likely neither heard nor understood. The net result: people continue to hold the incorrect impression that the Church’s teaching has “progressed” on the matter of homosexuality.

I can think of two possible explanations for why they might do this. First, they are positioning themselves as heroes to the gay-friendly world media, by appearing to move the mean old, nasty, out-of-touch Catholic Church out of the darkness and into the Modern Sunlight. You could think of this as a bright shiny object that attracts everyone’s attention.

Meanwhile, they divert attention from the clergy sexual abuse cover-up, including the newly-released but long-delayed McCarrick Report. While the release of this report is an important step, many questions remain. It focuses on how people above McCarrick in the ecclesial ladder missed the numerous red flags. But so far absent is the all-important question of the networks of people below McCarrick. People who owe their careers and other benefits to McCarrick may still have secrets, still be causing problems, and may still be flying under the radar. I do not know how to get to the bottom of something like this. But that makes it all the more important that we remain vigilant.

This is why my first message to faithful Catholics is: Do not be diverted. Take every opportunity to steer the conversation back to our insistence that the Vatican continue becoming more transparent. Do not allow another confusing papal statement to change the subject away from this important topic.

The second possible explanation for this latest episode of Vatican-induced doctrinal confusion is to demoralize the remaining faithful Catholics who love the Church’s teachings and are trying to defend them. The sexual revolutionaries would love to completely take over the Catholic Church and put an end to our resistance to their ideology. As we all know, the Church’s ancient teaching is one of the last remaining bulwarks against the continued crimes of the Sexual Revolution.

This brings me to my second message: Do not be demoralized.

Demoralizing one’s opponents is an important aspect of psychological warfare. Do not give them the satisfaction of being discouraged or upset. Do you have a right to be angry? You bet. Is it in your interest to be discouraged? Absolutely not.

Catholics who wholly embrace Catholic teaching may find it painful to realize that the Church, the bride of Christ, has been corrupted by the worst sort of sexual revolutionaries. I agree. It is painful. It is also a fact. However, we are not alone. Pretty much every profession and every sector of society, and yes, pretty much every church, has been corrupted by the Sexual Revolution.

Pope John Paul II, Be not afraid

The Church’s teaching is good and true. Scripture, sacred Tradition and our Catechism all agree. Sexual activity must be confined to a lawfully married husband and wife. This teaching belongs to all of us. The Pope has a responsibility to defend it. So does every bishop and every priest. And so, dear friends, do we as baptized Catholics. We have every right and responsibility to defend the teaching. If the hierarchy refuses to defend the teaching, it is all the more important that we do so.

Remember: Pope Francis does not have the authority to change Church teaching. He knows this. The media’s barely-concealed glee that the Catholic Church is ‘progressing’ is a distraction. We should work together to get the conversation back where it belongs, which is that the Vatican needs to be fully transparent about clergy sex abuse and harassment, and the role that homosexuality among the clergy plays in this.

Everything else is a distraction. In the immortal words of the late great Pope St. John Paul II: Be not afraid!

 



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