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.


Ruth Inst. Happy BLM Moving Away from Anti-Family Rhetoric

“Given renewed support for the family during an election year and after the COVID lockdown, even a radical group like Black Lives Matter has toned down its anti-family advocacy,” said Ruth Institute President Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D.

Morse noted that the Black Lives Matter Global Network, which founded BLM in 2013, recently removed from its website the statement: “We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure by supporting each other as extended families and ‘villages’ that collectively care for one another, especially our children, to the degree that mothers, parents and children are comfortable.”

“This is the standard utopian dogma of the radical left,” Morse said. “Despite the cliché that ‘it takes a village to raise a child,’ children are raised best by mothers and fathers providing a loving home in which they can grow and flourish.”


Morse added: “All of the pathologies which afflict the black community – including crime and drugs – can be traced to the decline of the black family.

“On the other hand, collectively, African Americans are more supportive of the traditional family and man/woman marriage than just about any other demographic. I learned that when I was spokeswoman for Proposition 8 in California, which defined marriage as the union of a man and a woman.

“I don’t think the Black Lives Matter Global Network had a sincere change of heart,” Morse observed. “The founders describe themselves as ‘trained Marxists.’ Wherever Marxists have come to power, from North Korea to Cuba, they have sought to replace the family with the collective, be it the state or the party.

“Still, its move is an unspoken acknowledgement of the popularity of the family in these perilous times, and reason why our petition for a pro-family presidential debate is more important now than ever.”

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

Sign the Ruth Institute/LifeSite petition for a presidential debate on family issues here.

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


Our Annual Summit for Survivors of the Sexual Revolution is Coming!

 

Educating yourself is the first step in fighting the effects of the sexual revolution in your life and among loved ones.

The Ruth Institute is hosting its Third Annual Awards Dinner and Summit for Survivors of the Sexual Revolution, and you're invited.

Learn how to confront and survive trends in transgenderism, the LGBT subculture, the pitfalls of population control, post-abortion trauma, same-sex parenting, childhood sexual abuse, and more.

The summit will include various sessions loaded with information. Have you ever wondered, for example, how pornography is affecting people’s lives? The Summit’s class “Protecting Our Children from Our Pornified Culture” will open your eyes. These and other facts about pornography will be discussed:


  • The average age of first exposure to porn is 11 years old
  • 25% of search engine requests are related to sex
  • 35% of downloads from the Internet are pornographic
  • 40% of Americans say they regularly visit porn sites
  • 70% of men aged 18 to 24 visit a porn site at least once a month
  • One-third of all Internet porn users are women
  • Conditions frequently associated with porn addiction include depression, anxiety, mood disorders, substance abuse, memory problems, and erectile dysfunction
  • In the United States, 68% of divorces involve one party having what is described as an obsessive interest in pornography

For this and many other well-researched presentations, save the date:

Third Annual Ruth Institute Awards Dinner and

Summit for Survivors of the Sexual Revolution

PROTECTING CHILDREN AND FAMILIES

July 17-18, 2020

 


 



8000-strong petition asking Trump to ‘make family great again’ delivered to US State Department

The petition urges the Commission to make the family its focus, by acknowledging that human rights start with the family.

Featured Image
Jennifer Roback Morse delivers 'Make The Family Great Again' petition to Mary Ann Glendon, chairman of the US State Department’s Commission on Unalienable Rights, in Washington D.C., Feb. 21, 2020. Ruth Institute
By LifeSiteNews staff and By Ruth Institute

 

February 26, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – A petition signed by 8,000 people asking President Trump to “make the family great again” by making life, marriage, and the family guiding principles in U.S. foreign policy was delivered on Friday to the US State Department’s Commission on Unalienable Rights in Washington D.C.

The Ruth Institute along with LifePetitions presented its “Make The Family Great Again” petition along with its signers to the Commission’s Chairman, former Ambassador to the Holy See Mary Ann Glendon.

“We are concerned about the rights of the family and the rights of children,” said Ruth Institute Founder and President Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse prior to hand-delivering the petition. The Ruth Institute is a global non-profit organization equipping Christians to defend the family and build a civilization of love. Also present at the petition delivery was Gualberto Garcia Jones, Director of Advocacy at LifePetitions.

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Jennifer Roback Morse and Gualberto Garcia Jones outside the US State Department’s Commission on Unalienable Rights to deliver 'Make The Family Great Again' petition, Washington D.C., Feb. 21, 2020. SOURCE: LifeSiteNews.com

After delivering the petition, Morse spoke at a meeting of the Commission. She outlined in a video prior to delivering the petition what she was going to speak to the committee about.

“I'm going to tell them that we hold these truths to be self-evident: that every person comes into the world as a helpless baby, that every person has a mother and a father, that every society needs some structured institutions for getting children from helpless infancy to responsible adulthood, and that the needs of children place limitations on the behavior of adults, including adult sexual behavior,” she said prior to delivering the petition.

Morse told LifeSiteNews that after delivering the petition, Ambassador Glendon told her that she was “grateful for our interest in the Commission’s work and promised that our petition would be permanently stored in the State Department’s archives.”

It’s been a long road from when the Ruth Institute launched its petition last September, in partnership with LifePetitions, to the meeting at the State Department on Friday.

In July, the Commission on Unalienable Rights was appointed by Secretary of State Michael Pompeo to advise his department on how to incorporate an understanding of authentic human rights into its dealings with international bodies and foreign governments.

Morse said that the petition “urges the Commission to make the family its focus, by acknowledging that human rights start with the family.”

It declares that the Commission should work for an understanding of the rights which undergird the family, including:

  • The right of every child to a relationship with their natural mother and father except for an unavoidable tragedy
  • The right of every person to know the identity of his or her biological parents
  • The right to life from conception to natural death
  • The right of parents to educate their own children in their faith tradition and values without being undermined by the state.

Besides 8,000 online signers at LifePetitions.com, the petition was also signed by an illustrious array of leaders in the United States and from around the world.

Leadership signers included:

  • 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)
  • Jor-El Godsey (President, Heartbeat International)
  • Governor Mike Huckabee (commentator and former Governor of Arkansas)
  • Alveda King (Author and Activist)
  • Michael Pakaluk (Professor, Busch School of Business, Catholic University of America)
  • Tom Morrison (State Representative, Ill. District 54)
  • Steven W, 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)
  • Michael Voris (Founder and President, St. Michael’s Media)

Signers from outside the United States included:

  • 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)
  • Levan Vasadez (Pro-Life Activist, Republic of Georgia).

Morse testified at the Commission meeting that day: “Pro-family leaders from around the world have signed our petition, which we undertook in partnership with LifePetitions. The pro-family leaders from Latin America and Africa are especially aware of the harm international agencies can do when they ignore the rights of the family mentioned in our petition. All too often, the United States government has collaborated in the promotion of destructive policies which undermine the rights of children to their parents, and parents’ rights and responsibilities toward their children.” Read complete testimony here.

The Ruth Institute intends to continue pressing the Commission on Unalienable Rights and the State Department to make the family the basis of its human rights policy.


Ruth Institute to Present “Make the Family Great Again” Petition to State Dept. Commission on Unalienable Rights

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:


  • Marriage and the family are universal institutions for the stability of society and the continuation of the human race.
  • Children need their mother and father.
  • Stable loving families provide the basis for strong societies, including thriving economies, national security and international peace.

The petition calls on the Commission to work for the recognition of:

  • The right of every child to a relationship with his or her natural mother and father except for an unavoidable tragedy.
  • The right to know the identity of one’s biological parents.
  • The right to life from conception to natural death.
  • The right of families to educate their children in their faith tradition and values, without being undermined by the state.

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), 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 Again.


Pro-family groups ask US ‘Commission on Unalienable Rights’ to fight for parental rights

 

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:


  • Marriage and the family are universal institutions for the stability of society and the continuation of the human race.
  • Loyalty and fidelity are universally recognized as virtues.
  • Children need their mother and father.
  • Stable loving families provide the basis for strong societies, including thriving economies, national security and international peace.
  • The United Nations and other international organizations often work at cross-purposes to these important truths.
  • Making America great again requires that we make the family great again, both at home and abroad.

Therefore, the Petition urges the Commission on Unalienable Rights to work for recognition of the following fundamental rights:

  • The right of every child to a relationship with his or her natural mother and father except for an unavoidable tragedy.
  • The right of every person to know the identity of his or her biological parents.
  • The right to life from conception to natural death.
  • The right of families to educate their own children in their faith tradition and values, without being undermined by the state.

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.

 



Imagine This: Putting Children First

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.

A Utopian Coup

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. Morse Book

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.

Make Families Great Again

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.

What Are Children? What Do They Want?

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.

Grinding Us Down to Atoms

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.

 



Global Organization Petitions to ‘Make the Family Great Again’

by Martina Moyski • ChurchMilitant.com • September 20, 2019

DETROIT (ChurchMilitant.com) - Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, founder and president of the Ruth Institute, launched 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," 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:


  • Marriage and the family are universal institutions for the stability of society and the continuation of the human race.
  • Children need their mother and father.
  • Stable loving families provide the basis for strong societies, including thriving economies, national security and international peace.

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.

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Morse's 15-point manifesto

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."

The Ruth Institute's petition, including notable signers from both inside and outside the United States, can be found online.

 


Be a happier parent - or laugh trying

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.

What about discipline? How do you get your kids to do what they’re supposed to do and how do you avoid bad behavior?

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.



'The Sexual State': How Government and Big Donors Gave Us the Sexual Revolution

By Tyler O'Neil

This article was first published October 4, 2018, at PJMedia.com.

Cover of "The Sexual State" by Jennifer Roback Morse

In 21st century America, sex is all around us: on television, in movies, in classrooms, in politics, and even in churches. Sex permeates our desires, our expectations for relationships, even our identity. The Sexual Revolution goes far beyond the LGBT movement, and it has fundamentally reshaped American society. But few Americans actually grasp exactly where this revolution came from. An explosive new book reveals that government and wealthy donors, rather than impersonal historical forces or newly liberated women, propelled the Sexual Revolution.


"The State bears the greatest responsibility for the toxic sexual culture in which we live," Jennifer Roback Morse, founder of the Ruth Institute (RI), writes in "The Sexual State: How Elite Ideologues Are Destroying Lives And Why the Church Was Right All Along." She presented five other explanations for the Sexual Revolution, and found each one wanting.

Many have suggested that the Sexual Revolution came about through the inevitable and impersonal "march of history." This view does not work "because it robs us and our forbears of human agency." Even the over-hyped birth control pill "is just an inert piece of technology" that people could decide to use or not use, or use in different ways.

Morse also rebuts the feminist narrative, which suggests that "these changes have been one long string of victories for the benefit and advancement of women." Ironically, the very success of women's liberation "undermines the claim that women have been completely powerless and dominated by the patriarchy throughout all of recorded history." Furthermore, the author argues that "the pro-life movement is dominated by women," suggesting that not all women want more of the Sexual Revolution.

Perhaps the most common explanation for the Sexual Revolution is the "liberationist narrative," which posits that everyone is more free thanks to new sexual norms. This view also cannot explain how age-old oppression was immediately dissolved in one generation, Morse argues.

Furthermore, many people "have become less free, in fact actually oppressed, by the very forces that are supposedly liberating us. The breaking of family bonds has increased the size and scope of the State, including the intrusion of the State into the everyday lives of ordinary people." She mentions college sex tribunals, family courts — which even rule on which schools and churches children can attend — and higher taxes to pay for social workers who manage tough divorces and family breakdown.

Morse also rejects the "over-population narrative," which suggests that "too many people create ecological disaster and economic backwardness," so the State needs to control population through birth control and abortion. Interestingly, advocates of this narrative "haven't been able to adapt the narrative to the changing circumstances of population decline, which the Over-Population Narrative itself helped bring about."

Finally, the author turns to a "steal capitalist narrative," explaining the Sexual Revolution by pointing to the many people who benefit financially from family breakdown. Abortionists, pharmaceutical companies, the fertility industry, pornographers, divorce professionals, family court judges and lawyers, medical professionals who specialize in sexually transmitted diseases, and social workers all perversely benefit from family breakdown, contraception, and abortion.

Even higher education and employers benefit from women choosing to get married later, to go to school and to work, rather than raising a family. Morse claims that employers benefit from easy divorce as well, as women are less able to rely on their husbands to financially support them. She suggests that these factors cement the Sexual Revolution, but they do not explain it.

The author boils the Sexual Revolution down to three basic "ideologies:" the Contraceptive Ideology separates sex from childbearing; the Divorce Ideology separates sex and childbearing from marriage; and the Gender Ideology eliminates the distinctions between men and women that individuals do not explicitly embrace.

"The Sexual Revolution needs the State for one major reason: the premises of the Sexual Revolution are false," Morse declares. "Sex does make babies. Children do need their parents, and therefore marriage is the proper and just context for both sex and childbearing. Men and women are different." The Sexual Revolution requires "reconstructing society" around a rejection of these basic truths, so it involves a great deal of propaganda.

"If you can make people believe Bruce Jenner, the 1976 male Olympic decathlon winner, is a woman, you can make them believe 2 + 2 = 5. If you can make people afraid to say, 'Bruce Jenner is a man,' you can make them afraid to say anything," Morse quips. "The Sexual Revolution is a totalitarian ideology with a blind commitment to the implementation of its tenets, regardless of the human costs."

The book begins with a list of victims of the Sexual Revolution, a topic for a future article. Those victims include children of divorce, spouses who did not want to get divorced, women who waited too long to have children, young women who wanted to abstain from sex, and more. Suffice it to say, the Sexual Revolution has harmed many people.

Morse narrates how the state unleashed the Sexual Revolution, beginning with the Supreme Court contraception case Griswold v. Connecticut (1965). The Contraceptive Ideology predated this decision and played a large role in pushing the Court to change the law on contraception.

The author cites liberal attorney Leo Pfeffer and conservative historian Allan Carlson, who agreed that governments will consider contraception necessary once they have established welfare states — in order to prevent the subsidized poor from having children. Tragically, the U.S. government pushed contraception before Griswold, pushing contraception in post-World War II Japan and other foreign countries considered to be U.S. interests.

In the 1960s and 1970s, USAID started pushing contraception and abortion, thinking these "family planning" efforts would help other countries defeat poverty. These policies were also wrapped up with the ugly eugenics movement in America.

In order to downplay the ugly history of eugenics, contraception activists turned to the work of Alfred Kinsey, an academic who claimed that "up to" 67 to 98 percent of American men ha had premarital sex and that 69 percent of American males had at least one experience with a prostitute. His claims were shot down by other researchers, who exposed his shoddy methods. But the Rockefeller Foundation funded his research and sent his crackpot theories mainstream.

Planned Parenthood and its allies enjoyed connections to elites, and helped push the Court in the direction of legalizing contraception for anyone across the country.

Similarly, elite institutions and big donors pushed no-fault divorce, Morse argues. After Ronald Reagan signed the first no-fault divorce law in 1968, the American Law Institute (ALI), founded with support from the Carnegie Foundation, crafted model legislation to insert the state in between husbands and wives — and favor the spouse who wanted a divorce.

The ALI pushed for decriminalizing private sexual acts between consenting adults, a key plank that struck down states' ability to regulate obscene materials and contraception.

By 1974, all but five states had adopted a form of no-fault divorce.

Morse argues that no-fault divorce positions the power of the state on the side of whichever spouse least wants the marriage to continue. This damages spouses who are committed to the marriage, but it also damages children who do not grow up with both of their parents. It also empowers the government, which now mediates between divorced mothers and fathers.

The author argues that the claim "the kids will be all right" is propaganda. She cites the work of Judith Wallerstein, who found that divorce has a long-term impact on children — damaging their prospects for romantic relationships in adulthood. Similarly, the worries about husbands abusing wives are overblown, as studies have shown that women and children are more likely to be abused in cohabiting relationships than in marriage.

Finally, Morse argues that the government and elites pushed the "Gender Ideology" — long before transgender identity went mainstream — in order to encourage women to be "ideal workers:" "a person who never takes time off, is never sick, whose mental and psychological focus is entirely on the job."

"We've built a society around the premise that our educated women must be permitted to time their 1.6 pregnancies right down to the minute when it's most convenient. But convenient for whom? All too often, it means the convenience of the employers, or the interests of the career path, or of those who hold the student debt which the young woman or young couple must pay down," Morse claims.

The author does not lament the fact that women have entered the "managerial class," highly paid professions which do not involve manual labor. She herself is a member of this class. Rather, she suggests that the pressures of work and the benefits of this class enable people to overlook the obvious differences between men and women.

"People who do manual labor aren't deluded for a moment that men and women are interchangeable," Morse quips. For this reason, men are vastly over-represented in the dangerous professions.

Women's involvement in the workforce need not be connected to the Sexual Revolution's Gender Ideology, the author argues. "I claim the right to participate in the labor market as women, not as men in skirts." She suggests that "educated women would be better off if they accepted that their fertility peaks during their twenties and planned their lives around this fact."

Morse lays out a basic life plan: Women should go to college for a liberal education, not a vocational one. They should et married and have kids early, using their higher educations to be involved in educating their kids. "Let your husbands support you. Trust them. Be grateful for them," and when the children are older, go back for an advanced degree and work.

Tragically, activists are pushing on all these issues and more. Morse discusses same-sex marriage in a chapter on the Gender Ideology. She recalls the battle over California's Proposition 8.

"The 'Yes on 8' campaign was arguably the largest grassroots campaign in history," she writes, noting that California's secretary of state website crashed because there were over 5,000 pages of contributors to the campaign. Yet modern "progressives" "took Proposition 8 to court on flimsy pretexts and rich people's money."

After Proposition 8 passed and the people had amended their constitution, California's attorney general refused to defend it. The people's will failed thanks to an effective pocket veto. in the case Hollingsworth v. Perry (2013), the Supreme Court ruled that proponents of ballot initiatives like Proposition 8 could not defend such laws in court, enabling Gov. Jerry Brown (D-Calif.) to resume same-sex marriage in the state. Now-Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) performed the first same-sex marriage after this ruling.

As with Proposition 8, wealthy liberals continue to push Sexual Revolution issues, particularly abortion and contraception. George Soros and Warren Buffett continue to fund abortion groups, and they use their money to "shape political institutions so they can use the government to recreate the world in their own image and likeness," Morse alleges.

Importantly, the book notes that contraception carries health risks for women, and some studies have shown that hormonal contraception is as likely to cause cancer as smoking. "Smoking has been all but banned, tobacco companies have been sued, and smokers have been socially shunned," Morse writes. "By contrast, the government actively promotes the use of hormonal contraception while the media plays down the risks."

Abortion, often considered an alternative should contraception fail, also carries tremendous health risks to the mother, which medical associations keep secret for political reasons, the author argues. She also notes that wealthy donors funded abortion activists who convinced the Supreme Court to strike down Texas regulations treating abortion clinics like any other medical facility.

"When the people of Texas, acting through their duly elected state legislators, enacted health and safety legislation for abortion clinics, the elites of society knocked it down," Morse declares.

"The Sexual State" makes a compelling case that state power and wealthy elites pushed the Sexual Revolution, and people should fight back. While Morse does address LGBT issues, her book mostly focuses on the negative impacts the Sexual Revolution has had on family life, harming faithful spouses, children of divorce, and many others.

Morse, a Roman Catholic, presents a very Catholic view of these issues and champions the Catholic Church's approach. Her book was ill-fated to release shortly after the sexual abuse scandal broke, but her points still stand.

The book may be too polemical, but it raises important questions about the hidden harms of the Sexual Revolution and who benefits from this humongous social change.

"The Sexual State" is an important book for libertarians to wrestle with, as it presents a compelling case that big government benefits from the Sexual Revolution, and that marriage and family would help weaken the power of the state.


Press Release: 'Go to Confession' Campaign

 

For immediate release:

“Families don’t just ‘break down.’ Marriages don’t just ‘fall apart.’ Somebody sins! So, go to Confession!” –Ruth Institute President, Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse

Ruth Institute launches ‘Go to Confession’ Campaign

(March 14, 2017, Lake Charles, LA) During this season of Lent, The Ruth Institute has launched an online and billboard campaign encouraging people of all faiths to make things right with God. “Families don’t just ‘break down.’ Marriages don’t just ‘fall apart.’ Somebody sins!” Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse stated in announcing the campaign. “That is why have launched a series of billboards and social media messages urging people to go to confession!”


Even in cases where one person has the major responsibility for fracturing the family, all family members can benefit from going to confession. “The injured parties may need help with bitterness, anger, emotional paralysis and many other issues. The grace of confession can help them,” Dr. Morse explained. “And of course, it goes without saying: if you have injured your family through addiction, abuse, adultery or desertion, go to confession. Jesus is waiting for you in the confessional and wants to forgive you. If you can’t tell him, in the person of the priest, that you are sorry, how are you ever going to be able to face your ex-spouse or your children?”

“Our ‘Go to Confession’ campaign reminds people that God is merciful and He will forgive us. What better time than during Lent?” Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, founder and president of the Ruth Institute said.

The Institute launched a billboard campaign in Lake Charles, LA, with messages: “Jesus is waiting for you,” “Sin makes you stupid,” featuring St. Thomas Aquinas (who loosely said that), and “Party’s over. Go to confession,” with an image of Mardi Gras debris. “Lake Charles is in the heart of Cajun Country, the Catholic buckle on the Bible belt. If we can’t publicly urge people to go to confession here, where can we? And the world desperately needs this encouragement.”

Dr. Morse added. “Guilty consciences make it harder for us to move forward and to resolve the issues caused by our sins, or the bitterness we’ve held onto from the sins of others.” Find the Ruth Institute’s ‘Go to Confession’ images on their website here, here and here.

The Ruth Institute is a global non-profit organization dedicated to finding Christ-like solutions to the problems of family breakdown. Founded by world renowned author, speaker and academic, Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, the Ruth Institute has accumulated decades of research to support individuals and families harmed by divorce, the hook-up culture, and other forms of family breakdown.

Reply to this email if you’d like to interview Dr. Morse further about this unique and beneficial ‘Go to Confession’ campaign.



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