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This blog is maintained by the Ruth Institute. It provides a place for our Circle of Experts to express themselves. This is where the scholars, experts, students and followers of the Ruth Institute engage in constructive dialogue about the issues surrounding the Sexual Revolution. We discuss public policy, social practices, legal doctrines and much more.
Posted on: Wednesday, February 19, 2020
Ruth Institute to Present Its Make-The-Family-Great-Again Petition to State Dept. Commission
“On February 21st the Ruth Institute will make history,” said Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D., Founder and President of the Ruth Institute. “We will present our petition to Make the Family Great Again to the State Department’s Commission on Unalienable Rights. This petition is historic because, for the first time, we explain how and why the family itself has human rights. And we demonstrate to the State Department that a worldwide coalition supports this view.”
Morse explained: “The Commission was appointed by Secretary of State Michael Pompeo to advise the Department on how to make authentic human rights the basis of its dealings with international bodies and foreign governments. As the Commission’s Chairman, he appointed Dr. Mary Ann Glendon, a distinguished Harvard Law Professor well-known for her thoughtful articulation of genuine human rights, including the right to life.”
Pro-family leaders from five continents have signed the Ruth Institute’s petition. Dr. Morse explained, “Pro-family leaders from around the world have seen first-hand the destructive results of international policies undertaken in the name of ‘rights.’ All too often, the United States government has facilitated policies that undermine the rights of children to their parents, and parents' rights and responsibilities toward their children. These pro-family leaders are keenly interested in the deliberations of this Commission.” (See below for a partial list of leadership signers.)
The Ruth Institute Petition urges the State Department to work for the recognition of:
Morse noted: “President Trump campaigned on a promise to Make America Great Again. Only by making the family great again can he fulfill that promise. The Ruth Institute and its international interfaith coalition whole-heartedly support the cause of making the family great again, worldwide.”
The Ruth Institute is a global non-profit organization, leading an international interfaith coalition to defend the family and build a civilization of love.
The Ruth Institute collaborated with Life Petitions to create and circulate this petition, which can be found here.
Dr. Morse is the author of The Sexual State: How Elite Ideologies Are Destroying Lives.
To schedule an interview with Dr. Morse, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Leadership signers include: Gary Bauer (President, American Values), Brent Bozell (Founder and President, Media Research Center), Fr. Shenan Boquet (President, Human Life International), Janice Shaw Crouse (Author, Columnist and Speaker), Pat Fagan (Director, Marriage and Religion Research Institute), Robert George (Professor of Jurisprudence and Director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions, Princeton University), Jor-El Godsey (President, Heartbeat International), Governor Mike Huckabee (former Governor of Arkansas and commentator), Alveda King (Author and Activist), Michael Pakaluk (Professor, Busch School of Business, Catholic University of America), Tom Morrison (Representative, Ill. District 54), Steve Mosher (President and Founder, Population Research Institute), C. Preston Noell (President, American Society for Tradition, Family and Property), Sharon Slater (President, Family Watch International), Steven Smoot (President, Family First Foundation), Mathew D. Staver, Esq. (Founder and Chairman, Liberty Counsel) and Michael Voris (Founder and President, St. Michael’s Media).
Signers from outside the United States include: Rebekah Ali-Gouveia (Pro-Family Leader, Trinidad), Bishop Emmanuel Badejo (Bishop of Oyo, Nigeria), Moira Chimombo (Former Executive Director, Sub-Sahara Family Enrichment, Malawi),
Silvio Dalla Valle (Executive Director, Association for the Defense of Christian Values, Italy), Ann Kioko (President,
African Organization for Families, Kenya), Lech Kowalewski (Board Member, Polish Federation of Pro-Life Movements), Christa Leonhard (Foundation for Family Values, Germany and the Swiss Foundation for the Family), Gwen Landolt (First Vice President, REAL Women
of Canada), Warwick and Allison Marsh (Founders, Dads4Kids, Australia), Dr. Theresa Okafor (Director, Foundation for African Cultural Heritage, FACH, Nigeria), Fr. Boniface Ssenteza, (Youth Chaplain for the Kasana-Luweero
Diocese and National Scouting Chaplain, Uganda), Christine Vollmer (Founder and President, Latin American Alliance for the Family,
Venezuela), Andrea Williams (Chief Executive, Christian Concern, United Kingdom) and Levan Vasadez (Pro-Life
Activist, Republic of Georgia).
Posted on: Tuesday, February 11, 2020
Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D., Founder and President of the Ruth Institute, announced that she will present the signatures of the Institute’s petition to Make the Family Great Again at the next meeting of the State Department Commission on Unalienable Rights February 21.
Of the petition, co-partnered with Life Petitions, Morse said, “We’re greatly encouraged by the outpouring of support, including from many leaders and scholars.”
Morse noted: “President Trump campaigned on a promise to Make America Great Again. But only the family can help him fulfill that promise.”
In July, Secretary of State Michael Pompeo established the Commission to advise his department in its dealings with foreign governments and international organizations.
The Ruth Institute petition urges the Commission and the State Department to make certain fundamental principles the basis for articulating these unalienable rights, among them that:
The petition calls on the Commission to work for the recognition of:
Leadership signers include: Gary Bauer (President, American Values), Brent Bozell (Founder and President, Media Research Center), Ted Baehr (Chairman, Christian Film and Television Commission), Fr. Shenan Boquet (President, Human Life International), Janice Shaw Crouse (Author, Columnist and Speaker), Kari Curtin (National Director, Marriage Reality Movement), Pat Fagan (Director, Marriage and Religion Research Institute), Robert George (Professor of Jurisprudence, Princeton University), Jor-El Godsey (President, Heartbeat International), Governor Mike Huckabee (former Governorof Arkansas and talk show host), Alveda King (Author and Activist), Robert Knight (Washington Times columnist), Michael Pakaluk (Professor, Busch School of Business, Catholic University of America), Toni Morrison (Representative, Ill. District 54), Steve Mosher (President and Founder, Family First Foundation), C. Preston Noell (President, American Society for Tradition, Family and Property), Sharon Slater (President, Family Watch International), Steven Smoot (President, Family First Foundation), and Michael Voris (Founder and President, St. Michael’s Media).
Pro-family leaders from around the world have seen the destructive results of international policies that undermine the rights of children to their parents, and parents' rights and responsibilities toward their children.
Signers from outside the United States include: Rebekah Ali-Gouveia (Pro-Family Leader, Trinidad), Bishop Emmanuel Badejo (Bishop of Oyo, Nigeria), Moira Chimombo (Former Executive Director, Sub-Sahara Family Enrichment, Malawi), Ann Kioko (President, African Organization for Families, Kenya), Lech Kowalewski (Board Member, Polish Federation of Pro-Life Movements), Christa Leonhard (Foundation for Family Values, Germany, and the Swiss Foundation for the Family), Gwen Landolt (First Vice President, REAL Women of Canada), Warwick and Allison Marsh (Founders, Dads4Kids, Australia), Christine Vollmer (Founder and President, Latin American Alliance for the Family, Venezuela), Andrea Williams (Chief Executive, Christian Concern, United Kingdom), Levan Vasadez (Pro-Life Activist, Republic of Georgia), and Fr. Boniface Ssenteza, (Youth Chaplain for the Kasana-Luweero Diocese and National Scouting Chaplain, Uganda).
“We’re honored to have such distinguished leaders among the petition’s signers,” Morse said. “Their support and that of more than 8,000 others should help the Commission to understand that the family is the foundation of these unalienable rights.”
Go here to sign the petition to Make the Family Great
Posted on: Saturday, October 26, 2019
October 22, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Ruth Institute Founder and President Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D., welcomed the news that the Commission on Unalienable Rights will begin its work with two public meetings, October 23 and November 1, at the State Department in Washington, D.C.
PETITION: Ask President Trump to Make the Family Great Again! Sign the petition here.
"The Commission has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get the State Department behind authentic human rights, which begin with the family," Morse said. "Respect for the rights of others is learned in the family. In turn, governments must respect the rights of families, including the right to educate their children in their own faith tradition, without being undermined by the government."
The Ruth Institute is co-sponsoring a Make The Family Great Again Petition with LifeSite Petitions.
The petition affirms that:
Therefore, the Petition urges the Commission on Unalienable Rights to work for recognition of the following fundamental rights:
Morse noted: "Our more than 40 original petition signers are a Who's Who of the international pro-family movement, including Gov. Mike Huckabee, Alveda King, and Fr. Shenan Boquet, the President of Human Life International, as well as international leaders from Africa, Europe, and Latin America."
To date, nearly 7,700 have signed the petition worldwide.
"We welcome the beginnings of a process to get the State Department behind the rights of the family. If kids don't have a right to their parents, nobody has a right to anything," Morse concluded.
The Ruth Institute is a global non-profit organization equipping Christians to defend the family and build a civilization of love. On April 26–27, the Institute held a Summit for Survivors of Sexual Revolution.
Dr. Morse is the author of The Sexual State: How Elite Ideologies Are Destroying Lives. More at thesexualstate.com.
Posted on: Friday, September 20, 2019
By John Zmirak Published on September 19, 2019, at The Stream.
If you’re not following Dr. Jennifer Morse on family issues and sexual morals, you’re missing out. I meet her every year at the wonderful gathering Acton University. It collects defenders of ordered liberty, virtue and economic empowerment from all across the world. This year she gave a terrific talk on her book The Sexual State. It’s an important read, because it highlights how the sexual revolution resembles the French and the Russian Revolutions. Each one saw utopian movements championed by intellectuals grab vast, unaccountable power, then set up a state to impose their ideas by force on anyone who resisted.
That’s right, the Sexual Revolutionaries were every bit as interested in grabbing coercive state power as the Jacobins or the Bolsheviks were. Simone de Beauvoir famously said:
No woman should be authorized to stay home to raise her children. Women should not have that choice, because if there is such a choice, too many women will make that one.
She was a libertine, but no libertarian — in fact she obediently echoed the Stalinist politics of her mentor and master, Jean Paul Sartre. For whom she served as a pimp, recruiting younger women for her former lover.
Morse shows how the New Left used the language of liberation and empowerment to cover its coup over the organs of the state — always with the pretense that it was simply advancing people’s rights.
But the rights of the unborn ended up in a medical waste dumpster. Likewise the rights of businesses that wanted to pay a “living wage” to fathers of families. That’s now illegal, and has been since the overly broad Civil Rights Act of 1965. In fact, we have set up a vast and intrusive bureaucracy aimed at forcing equal outcomes between the sexes, the differences between the sexes be damned.
Now, in the wake of a narrow and dishonest Supreme Court decision, we must all pretend that same sex marriage is real. Only explicitly religious employers (for the moment) may cling to the pre-2015 truth. Not even wedding vendors or cake bakers.
It wasn’t even a year before the revolutionaries extended their grab for power. Now they’re using the power of government, and all the intimidating force of Woke Capital, to force us to accept an unheard and insane idea of gender —namely that there are 100 “genders,” which bear no relation to physical sex. They are more like moods, and they can change from day to day.
The only important thing? That we dissenters must be forced to recognize them, and punished if we refuse. Let girls in locker rooms, women in rest rooms, and real, physical women competing in sports be damned, as well.
As I said, read Morse’s book. For a flavor of how she cuts across stale debates and highlights the victims of our current, post-Revolutionary regime, check out her latest. In a column at the National Catholic Register, she calls on us to “Make Families Great Again.” Using President Trump’s campaign language with a bit of a twist, she calls on Secretary of State Pompeo to advance real human rights that the sexual revolutionaries have intentionally neglected. That is, the rights of children.
No, not the “right” of sexually exploited girls to abort their babies without reporting their rapists. Planned Parenthood guarantees that. Nor the “right” of small kids to grooming by explicit sex education and drag queen sex offenders at public libraries.
Instead, Morse focuses on the things that young people really want. Things that all children crave — instead of what selfish narcissistic adults want to force on them. She writes:
Self-Evident Truth No. 1: Every person comes into the world as a helpless baby.
Self-Evident Truth No. 2: Every person has a mother and a father.
… From these two facts (which I hope everyone will accept), I draw these two conclusions:
Reasonable Conclusion No. 1: Every society needs some plan for helping its members move from helpless infancy to adulthood.
If this job doesn’t get done, there will not be a “society” in any meaningful sense of that term. We don’t need a perfect plan, mind you. But we do need some social structures that address the fundamental issues of infant helplessness and the basic human needs for attachment, connection and identity.
Reasonable Conclusion No. 2: Mothers and fathers cooperating with each other in a lifelong loving union for their mutual benefit and the benefit of their children (including possibly adopted children) provides such a plan for helpless babies. This union is what societies usually call “marriage.”
This line of thought produces its own set of rights, different from those we commonly hear about:
- The right of every child to a relationship with his or her natural mother and father, except in cases of unavoidable tragedy.
- The right of every person to know the identity of his or her biological parents.
- [And] the right to life from conception to natural death. And
- the right of families to educate their own children in their faith tradition and values, without being undermined by the state.
The president campaigned on the promise to “Make America Great Again.” Without the restoration of the family, he will be unable to fulfill that promise. But, more importantly, the newly formed Commission on Unalienable Rights has the potential to shift attention from the desires of adults, based on their fantasy ideologies, to the needs of children, based on immutable realities.
Morse is right, not just philosophically but empirically. Societies that undermine the family always build up an intrusive government. Because someone has got to take care of the weak and the vulnerable. You know, babies, old people, sick people, etc. If families end up shattered, because the legal system and the culture sees and treats every person as an isolated atom? Then the state will have to step in.
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Indeed, statists are more than happy to. Like Marx, they dislike the family on principle as an alternative locus of loyalty. And like Hitler, they claim the state has the first claim on every human being, before his parents. Like Margaret Sanger, they think sexual “liberation” will produce a race of super-beings, unlike previous generations beaten down by biological realities.
The welfare state exploded massively in the wake of the sexual revolution. It had to, in order to pick up all the shattered pieces of the old, familial order. And to glue them back together in shapes more pleasing to bureaucrats and social elites.
Since we seem trapped in the discourse of individual rights, without the freedom to speak of the common good, Morse proves herself both sane and savvy by recasting the evils of the sexual revolution in terms of children’s rights. Let’s hope her approach catches on.
To sign the Ruth Institute’s petition to President Trump asking him to put families first, go here.
Posted on: Friday, September 20, 2019
"The president campaigned on the promise to Make America Great Again. But only the family can help him fulfill that promise," Morse said.
The "Make the Family Great Again" petition urges the newly established Commission on Unalienable Rights, under the umbrella of the secretary of state, to consider certain fundamental principles the basis for articulating unalienable rights:
Morse argues that the most sustained attacks on the family are not coming from the "culture." Instead, the government itself has created much of the anti-family climate, she says.
A case in point, according to Morse, includes the government refusing to enforce the marriage "contract"; no-fault divorce means the government always takes sides with the partner who wants the marriage the least.
Another includes the government mandating and financing sexual education in public schools which promotes the LGBT ideology, including transgenderism.
She said they are mostly asking President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, who launched the Commission on Unalienable Rights, "to recognize the family's right to exist" and "to stop actively attacking it."
The family advocate's 2018 book, The Sexual State: How Elite Ideologies Are Destroying Lives and Why the Church Was Right All Along, presents a 15-point manifesto for the family.
The first 10 points address things the government should stop doing, including "sex education in public schools," "taxpayer-funded Women's Studies and Gender Studies programs at universities" and "the 'marriage tax' from all welfare programs."
The author argues that the sexual revolution did not just happen but was deliberately created by "elites" (named in the book), harnessing the power of the state, which allowed them to inflict "three false and calamitous ideologies — contraception, divorce and gender" that have led to widespread and profound misery.
Overall, Morse maintains that committed Christians have the best chance of offering the world what it is really looking for.
Pope St. John Paul II, who lost all of his immediate family — mother, older brother, an infant sister and father — by the time he was 20 years old, is sometimes remembered as "Pope of the Family."
The sainted pope penned a "Letter to Families" which he said gave him "a welcome opportunity to knock at the door of your home, eager to greet you with deep affection and to spend time with you."
To make the family holy again, the Pope wrote, "[T]he question of responsible fatherhood and motherhood is an integral part of the 'civilization of love.'"
He argued throughout the letter that, in order to fulfill its missionary mandate, the family has to abandon the view that it is "a victim of the culture"; instead it must see itself as "a protagonist in its transformation."
He reminds people they are not defeated and have freedom in Christ to embrace and live the truth of their humanity, a freedom that is neither understood or experienced in a life of sin.
For the Pope, building "a civilization of love" depends on sacramental living and active commitment of spouses.
Pompeo initiated the Trump administration's new Commission on Unalienable Rights on July 8.
The commission was created, according to Pompeo, to provide him "with advice on human rights" and to carry out "one of the most profound reexaminations of the unalienable rights in the world since the 1948 Universal Declaration" — and one engendered by reference to the "unalienable rights" that "are endowed by the Creator" cited in the Declaration of Independence.
The Ruth Institute is a global interfaith coalition created to defend the family and build a civilization of love.
Its resource center 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.
The Rev. D. Paul Sullins, Ph.D., a senior research associate at the Ruth Institute, did a recent study which found that "the spate of child sex abuse in the 1970s and 1980s was strongly related to a concentrated presence of homosexual men in the Catholic priesthood."
Posted on: Thursday, September 19, 2019
September 18, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – The Ruth Institute and LifeSiteNews have just launched a petition asking President Trump to “Make the Family Great Again!”
Sexual revolutionaries have been using so-called “human rights” language, domestically and internationally, to promote their radical vision of society. This includes insisting that both abortion and “same-sex “marriage” are “human rights.”
But, in their zeal to convert the world into a secular paradise, they conveniently fail to address troubling questions, such as: How can one “human right” trump the right to life of another person?; and, how can the desire for sexual license and companionship trump the right of a child to have both a mother and a father?
To better answer these questions and to achieve greater clarity as to what actually constitutes human rights, at the behest of President Trump, Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, recently formed a Commission on Unalienable Rights, to advise his department in its dealings with foreign governments and international organizations.
Where our government’s dealings with international institutions are concerned, this is a giant step forward.
For at least the last 35 years, all concerned parties have unquestioningly accepted the meaning which radical secularists attach to human rights.
Finally, the world is now wakening up to the reality that these radical secularists have, in the social-moral-sexual dimension of human rights, got it very wrong…and, continue to get it very wrong.
In particular, by jettisoning Christianity, these radical secularists have produced tragic real-world effects – which have devastated the prospects for the unborn and practically demolished the protections afforded by the state to man-woman marriage.
But, unborn children and the natural family need to be defended.
And, the philosophical foundation protecting genuine rights, which inhere in every human being from the moment of conception till natural death and which seek to vindicate, in law the unique superiority of the natural family as the quintessential building block of society, needs to be put in place and defended.
Radical secularists are very vocal in defending their morally-socially-and-sexually-corrupt philosophy.
But, they have nothing to be proud about.
35 years of their ideology has produced more than 1 billion abortions worldwide and the dramatic decline of marriage and fertility.
In short, the radical secularists’ philosophy has been an utter disaster for mankind. And, it’s now time for us to stop letting them destroy society, one person and one family at a time.
The world needs better ideas about Life and Family than those proposed by radical secularists and sexual revolutionaries.
That is why the Ruth Institute and LifeSiteNews have created a petition to encourage the Trump Administration to “Make the Family Great Again.”
This petition is directed to President Trump.
So far, the petition is doing very well, with almost 4,000 signatures!
We are asking the President to direct the Commission to consider the rights of children and families in their deliberations. This line of thought produces a different set of rights than those we are used to hearing about:
Pro-family leaders from around the world and across the religious spectrum have enthusiastically signed this petition.
To ADD YOUR NAME to this important petition, please CLICK HERE.
And, to learn more about the Ruth Institute, please CLICK HERE.
WATCH Dr. Morse, from the Ruth Institute, succinctly lay out the need for this petition, and the importance of the new Commission's work. Please CLICK HERE.
Posted on: Thursday, September 19, 2019
Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D., Founder and President of the Ruth Institute, announced the launch of a petition to Make the Family Great Again. “The president campaigned on the promise to Make America Great Again. But only the family can help him fulfill that promise,” she said.
Secretary of State Michael Pompeo established a Commission on Unalienable Rights to advise his department in its dealings with foreign governments and international organizations. This commission is chaired by pro-life Harvard Law Professor and former Ambassador to the Holy See, Mary Ann Glendon.
The “Make the Family Great Again” petition urges the Commission and the State Department to make these fundamental principles the basis for articulating unalienable rights:
The petition calls on the Commission to work for recognition of:
Initial signers include: Governor Mike Huckabee, Brent Bozell (Founder and President, Media Research Center), Ted Baehr (Chairman, Christian Film and Television Commission), Fr. Shenan Boquet (President, Human Life International), Janice Shaw Crouse (author, columnist and speaker), Pat Fagan (Director, Marriage and Religion Research Institute at Catholic University of America), Steve Mosher (President, Population Research Institute), C. Preston Noell (President, American Society for Tradition, Family and Property), and Sharon Slater (President, Family Watch International).
Signers from outside the United States include: Bishop Emmanuel Badejo (Oyo, Nigeria), Moira Chimombo (former Executive Director, Sub-Sahara Family Enrichment, Malawi), Ann Kioko (President, African Organization for Families, Kenya), Lech Kowalewski (board member, Polish Federation of Pro-life Movements), Christa Leonhard (Foundation for Family Values, Germany and the Swiss Foundation for the Family), Warwick and Allison Marsh (Founders, Dads4Kids, Australia), Christine Vollmer (Founder and President, Latin American Alliance for the Family, Venezuela), Andrea Williams (Chief Executive, Christian Concern, United Kingdom), and Levan Vasadez (Georgian Demographic SocietyXXI, Republic of Georgia).
“We are honored to have such distinguished leaders sign our petition,” Morse said. “People around the world are very concerned about US foreign policy. With their support and the leadership of Professor Glendon on the Commission, we have a unique opportunity to help the U.S. State Department champion family rights internationally.”
Sign the Petition to Make the Family Great Again here: https://lifepetitions.com/petition/ask-president-trump-to-make-the-family-great-again
The Ruth Institute is a global interfaith coalition to defend the family and build a civilization of love. On April 26-27, the Institute held a Summit for Survivors of Sexual Revolution.
Dr. Morse is the author of The Sexual State: How Elite Ideologies Are Destroying Lives.
Find more information on The Ruth Institute at http://www.ruthinstitute.org/.
To schedule an interview with Dr. Morse, contact email@example.com.
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: Tuesday, April 30, 2019
The Ruth Institute’s Summit for Survivors of the Sexual Revolution (April 27) was a success by any measure. The Summit, which took place in Lake Charles, Louisiana, included Survivors of Divorce and Survivors of the LGBT Culture.
The Summit was preceded by an Awards Banquet the evening of April 26. Those honored were Dr. Robert Gagnon, recipient of the Scholarship Award, and Jeff Morgan, who received the Activism Award. Both spoke the next day.
Moira Greyland Peat, who received the Public Witness Award, was the banquet’s keynote speaker. Author of The Dark Side of Avalon, Moira survived years of sexual abuse by her mother, famed science fiction writer Marion Zimmer Bradley. Many commented that while her testimony was emotionally exhausting, it also provided a necessary antidote to the cliched version of the gay lifestyle pushed by the media.
The Saturday Summit included keynote addresses by Dr. Stephen Baskerville (Professor of Government at Patrick Henry College on How No-Fault Divorce Empowers the State), Mrs. Leila Miller (author and Catholic blogger on The Lifelong Impact of Divorce On Children),
Dr. Robert Gagnon (Professor of New Testament at Houston Baptist University, on What the Church really teaches about homosexual activity)
and Fr. Paul Sullins (Ruth Institute Senior Research Associate, on The Impact of Same-Sex Parenting on children and the impact of the homosexual subculture on clergy s*x abuse).
There were also testimony panels on Abandoned Spouses and Adult Children ofDivorce – and Adult Children and Spouses of gays, lesbians and transgenders, and refugees from the gay lifestyle).
A participant remarked: “These are tragedies the mainstream media, the divorce industry, and the gay-friendly culture do their best to ignore.” Another added: “I’ve been reading about the abandonment, betrayal and trauma of divorce for years. But hearing these speakers made the devastation real in ways that news stories and academic reports can’t.”
Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, Ruth Institute Founder and President, challenged participants to use the knowledge they acquired to help shape the debate over the Sexual Revolution.
“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,” Morse declared.
The entire Summit will be available on podcast and YouTube soon.
To schedule an interview with Dr. Morse, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The Ruth Institute is a global non-profit organization equipping Christians to defend the family in the public arena and build a Civilization of Love. Click here for more Information on the Ruth Institute.
Posted on: Wednesday, November 21, 2018
by Ruth Institute Circle of Experts Member, Bill Duncan
This article was first published Nov. 21, 2018, at News Max.
The U.S. Supreme Court does not often address divorce. In 1992, the Court specified that the federal courts do not have authority to rule on most divorce cases since the Court’s jurisdiction required a dispute between citizens of different states.
This is not say that the Court has never discussed it, though, because it has and those instances are very instructive.
In 1888, Justice Stephen J. Field (who had been appointed to the Court by Abraham Lincoln) wrote an opinion in a dispute over the ownership of a land grant in Oregon. Although not required to decide the case, Justice Field described the nature of marriage (and, by implication, the nature of divorce): “it is something more than a mere contract. The consent of the parties is of course essential to its existence, but when the contract to marry is executed by the marriage, a relation between the parties is created which they cannot change. Other contracts may be modified, restricted, or enlarged, or entirely released upon the consent of the parties. Not so with marriage. The relation once formed, the law steps in and holds the parties to various obligations and liabilities.”
In this case, the Court upheld the validity of the divorce in Oregon, holding that the legislature had the authority to grant divorces and, despite some misgivings about the behavior of the ex-husband in the case. This might seem curious to modern readers who are used to divorces in the court system, but this was not always the case.
The United States did not really inherit a practice for granting divorce from England where divorce was rare, granted by Parliament, and most would either have to be granted an annulment or a legal separation. Some of the states adopted the English approach, others allowed courts to grant divorces and others reserved grants of divorce to the legislature. By the end of the Nineteenth Century, legislative divorce had essentially disappeared, but the legislature provided clear standards for the courts considering a petition to divorce.
As a legal historian has noted, these statutes “were never simple, facilitative laws.” Rather, they specified that a spouse would have to demonstrate that there were serious grounds to justify a court in granting the divorce, such as adultery or abuse.
This is consistent with the rationale for legal divorce recognized in the earliest Supreme Court opinion to mention the topic.
In that 1819 case, Chief Justice John Marshall argued that legislative power to grant divorces only allowed an injured spouse to be leave the marriage because the marriage agreement “has been broken by the other.” Crucially, the opinion continues: “When any state legislature shall pass an act annulling all marriage contracts, or allowing either party to annul it, without the consent of the other, it will be time enough to inquire, whether such an act be constitutional.”
Eventually, though, states began to do just that, to allow one party to end the marriage without the consent of the other. This occurred through the no-fault divorce revolution. Now, if one of the spouses wants a divorce, that divorce will be granted even if the other objects and even if there is no serious fault alleged. It is not just that this kind of “no fault” divorce is allowed, it is the formal or de facto law of divorce in every state.
Now divorce is not a legislative or judicial proceeding as much as an administrative procedure, a mere clerical process where a court always says yes as long as someone asks and then the dispute shifts to splitting up property and child custody.
This is a drastic development given the multiple interests affected. Divorce implicates religious considerations for the parties, property rights, time with children, and on and on. A spouse may lose their opportunity to repair a relationship, may lose the ability to live with their children, may have to pay support to a former spouse when they did nothing to end the relationship, may have to sell their home, and much more, all without a finding that they did anything wrong.
This is a matter of simple justice and it corrodes the perception of fairness in our court system. The law must again recognize that marriage is “more than mere contract.” At the very least, a unilateral divorce should not be granted on no-fault grounds. The spouse who objects deserves a fair hearing. That is simple fairness.
Bill Duncan is director of the Center for Family and Society at Sutherland Institute in Salt Lake City, Utah. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.