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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: Monday, July 19, 2021
Kathy Schiffer - This article was originally published on the National Catholic Register
Our society is under attack from within. Those in the helping professions — doctors, educators, counselors — all have faced a challenge from the Cancel Culture. The culture wrought by the sexual revolution demands that we abandon our Christian principles, replace the traditional family and embrace a whole new culture of sexual “freedom” which promotes same-sex “marriage,” transgenderism, premarital and extramarital sex and abortion as societal goods.
The Ruth Institute will challenge the prevailing narrative with its fourth annual Summit for Survivors of the Sexual Revolution July 16-17. This year’s event will bring together experts to discuss the global sexual revolution, citing the casualties and the medical costs. The participants will lay out solutions to reclaim the professions and strengthen the traditional family.
The Register spoke with Jennifer Roback Morse, founder of the Ruth Institute, about the theme for this year's summit, with its focus on those in the fields of medicine, education and therapy.
“What the professions all have in common,” Morse explained, “is that they are under tremendous pressure from the left to conform to a false narrative. And the central problem is common to all of the professions, not just the ones we're talking about. In social work, for example, the same pattern is evident: [Sexual revolution ideologues] weasel their way into the profession, manufacturing fake evidence and reshaping the narrative.”
One example of such blatant distortion, Morse reported, was a resolution passed by the American Medical Association members at their annual meeting in June. The AMA advocated for the removal of sex from birth certificates. “Designating sex on birth certificates as male or female,” claimed AMA Board Chair-Elect Sandra Adamson Fryhofer, M.D., “perpetuates the view that sex designation is permanent and fails to recognize the medical spectrum of gender identity. This type of categorization system also risks stifling an individual's self-expression and self-identification and contributes to marginalization and minoritization.”
Morse reported that last year, at the Ruth Institute's 2020 Summit, they learned that Planned Parenthood had been distributing cross-sex hormones to teenagers. Until that time, pro-life sidewalk counselors had been trained to help an abortion-minded woman to choose life, but they were not prepared to counsel teens who arrived at the clinic planning to initiate a sex change.
Morse worked with Dr. Michelle Cretella, the executive director of the American College of Pediatricians (ACPeds), developing a way to encourage teens with gender dysphoria to seek help, instead of seeking life-altering surgery. Together they came up with a pamphlet for sidewalk counselors to use. That pamphlet, titled “Your Pain Is Real,” will be introduced Friday and Saturday.
Attendees of the summit will explore four related themes: the global sexual revolution; counting the casualties; medical costs; and the demographic winter and the future of freedom and family.
Speakers Expose the Fallacies Behind the Transgender Movement
The topic of transgenderism is one which several of the summit’s speakers have faced personally.
Walt Heyer experienced gender confusion as the result of an abusive childhood. He took hormones and underwent surgery to adopt the appearance of a female, then lived for eight years appearing to be a woman until stopping in 1991. Heyer, whose story is told in Ryan Anderson's 2018 book When Harry Became Sally, talked with the Register about his presentation at the Survivors' Summit.
“The issues are significant,” Heyer said, “in that the idea of changing genders is false. No one today has the medical expertise to biologically change what is innate and fixed from conception; that is, when the sperm hits the egg, gender/sex is immutable and as such, cannot be changed by using hormones or performing radical surgical procedures. The infallible truth is that a person can only changepersona (public presentation), not gender or sex (biologically innate and fixed). My role [in the summit] is to bring a perspective of truth that is so often neglected, earned through my experience of living as a woman for eight years.”
As a young child, Erin Brewer experienced intense self-hatred and loathing for her female body. She cut her hair short, wore her brother's hand-me-downs and was verbally and physically aggressive toward her classmates. A caring school counselor led her parents and teachers to help resolve her gender confusion by reinforcing her female identity, exposing her to strong and talented women and putting her in girls' groups such as Brownies.
Today, Brewer is a well-regarded therapist who specializes in helping gender-dysphoric teens. She is co-founder of the Compassion Coalition, an international group for those fighting to ban invasive, harmful, unproven medical interventions for gender-confused children, as well as co-founder of Partners for Ethical Care, a group to raise awareness and support efforts to stop the unethical treatment of children by schools, hospitals and mental healthcare providers under the duplicitous banner of gender-identity affirmation.
Brewer will join Heyer on a panel titled, “Putting the Pieces Together: Equipping the Pro-Life Movement to Confront Trans-minded Clients.” Brewer told the Register, “My goal is to help educate people that transitioning is not an identity, but it's an experimental medical intervention that is both dangerous and harmful. All the research has shown that the best treatment is watchful waiting, supporting kids who are genuinely distressed. Often these children have underlying mental health issues; many are autistic.”
Brewer warned that society is doing these troubled children a serious disservice with skewed messages about what is normal and healthy development. “The goal of activists,” Brewer warned, “is to subvert the whole concept of biology.” As an example she cited a transgender activist who, in December 2020, called for all children to be placed on puberty blockers until they are old enough to decide for themselves what gender they would prefer.
The Demographic Winter
Don Feder, the Ruth Institute’s communications director and coalitions coordinator, warned about the worldwide decline in fertility. Even secular sources, he told the Register, are beginning to realize the real problems that a reduced birth rate will have in the years ahead.
“On May 24, the New York Times had a story,” Feder said, “with the ominous headline, ‘Long Slide Looms for World Population, With Sweeping Ramifications.’”
Feder had never expected to read such a headline in the New York Times. “I guess, though,” he said, “you can only close your eyes to reality for so long. It's become so obvious — not just that fertility rates are declining, but that we're soon going to go into population decline.”
Feder was disappointed that still, most people among the “population control” crowd still have blinders on that prevent them from seeing the future. He noted that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle had recently received an environmental award from the United Kingdom-based population control group Population Matters, after announcing their intent to have no more than two children. The group called the couple “role models” for taking such a strong stand against overpopulation.
But despite the impervious population control advocates, Feder warned of dire consequences for civilization.
“I saw that China will lose half its population by 2100,” Feder said. First Chinese officials permitted only one child, and now, seeing the looming population crisis, they have permitted two. But still, Feder noted, the outlook of the Chinese toward children has been deeply affected.
“In the past, the most important thing in Chinese culture was family, tradition,” Feder said. “For Confucius, the family is everything. But now although the government is permitting more children, today most Chinese, especially in cities, are saying, ‘We don’t want two or three children; we don’t want children at all.’”
The worst-case scenario for the declining birth rate in China could actually signal the end of a civilization, said Feder.
“You need people to maintain a society,” he said. “You can do without natural resources; but you can't do without people.”
He pointed to China's neighbor to the east, Japan, where they have an expression called “lonely death.” An industry has grown up in that Asian nation to remove the remains of old people who died at home by themselves, with no family to care for them. The fertility rate in Japan has fallen to 1.3 children per woman, Feder said, while in industrial nations, the replacement level (the level needed to maintain a population at the current level) is 2.1.
Here in the United States, the fertility level has been below replacement level for five or six years now. According to Feder, “Every year, we’re told the birth rate is the lowest it's ever been. In my generation, the average woman had 4.1 children; now, it’s below 2.”
For information on how to attend the Ruth Institute’s Fourth Annual Summit For Survivors of the Sexual Revolution July16-17, either in-person at Treasures of Marilyn’s in Lake Charles, Louisiana, or via live-streaming, go to ruthinstitute.org/summit-2021 .
Posted on: Wednesday, May 12, 2021
- Don Feder
This was originally published on FrontPageMag.
Last week, the left’s war on procreation was headline news.
In the April 29thBritish edition ofVogue,Nell Frizzell wrote a pean to population control: “Is Having a Child Pure Environmental Terrorism?” – a shameless piece of virtue signaling.
Frizzell confessed that when she was pregnant, she “worried feverishly about the strain on the Earth’s resources that another Western child would add.”
The author went on to agonize about the amount of electricity her child would use in his lifetime, the food he would consume and what it would take to grow it – and how the future consumer would add to air pollution, global warming and depleted resources.
It was painful to read and depressing to contemplate – that someone so indoctrinated in the cult of Carbon Footprints can display their ignorance in the mass media.
Then there was the news that Microsoft founder Bill Gates and his wife Melinda, America’s Woke power couple, are getting a divorce. Unfortunately, the work of The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will continue. With $43.3 billion in assets (larger than the economies of most countries) the Foundation is dedicated to making the world a more barren place.
Its target isn’t Western children but kids in Africa, which, in a way, makes sense. Africa is the only continent with above-replacement fertility. In conjunction with the United Nations Population Fund, the Gates Foundation sponsored a series of international conferences pushing population control, including abortion.
At one in Addis Ababa in 2013, there was, according to UNFPA, “a focus on universal access to reproductive health (code for abortion and government-sponsoredcontraception), especially for young people and other vulnerable groups.”
Bill’s interest in young people was reflected in his friendship with the late Jeffrey Epstein, already convicted of soliciting sex from minors when the two first met in 2011.
Along with the UN and International Planned Parenthood, the Gates Foundation is dedicated to eliminating safeguards for unborn children. Melinda believes that until women “have the power not to have children,” life will not improve in emerging nations.
In an “Open Letter to Melinda Gates,” Nigerian pro-life activist and biomedical researcher Obianuju Ekeocha laments: “We are thirsty and they give us condoms. We are hungry and they offer us contraceptive pills. We are sick and they offer us the most modern techniques of abortion…. We are impoverished and they offer us sexual liberation!”
If the billions that Bill and Melinda and their Good Club friends like Ted Turner and George Soros pump into population control were spent on clean water, better nutrition and maternal health care, the condition of Africans would be immeasurably improved. But then they’d be buying life, when what they want is death.
Strip away the humanitarian bombast and we’re left with a brutal reality: The billionaire lefties of the world want fewer Africans. That Africans are still having large families, with polar ice caps supposedly melting and super-storms brewing, offends their sensibilities. Prince Harry is anxious about African population growth infringing on animal habitats. Cheetahs si; children no?
On another front, it looks like the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is finally going to do something about the most pro-abortion president in our history (who White House mouthpiece Jen Psaki shamelessly refers to as “a devout Catholic”) at their June meeting.
In his first day in office, Biden repealed the Mexico City Policy (blocking U.S. aid to foreign NGOs promoting or performing abortions). Now, the Hyde Amendment (prohibiting federal funding of abortion domestically) is in his sights. Calling Joe a “devout Catholic” is like calling a Jew who eats bacon cheeseburgers on Yom Kippur “observant.”
The Gateses, the Vogue writer and Biden’s handlers are all neo-Malthusians -- disciples of Paul Ehrlich, the much-discredited prophet of over-population.
After visiting Calcutta in the 1960s, and based on his extensive study of insect life, Ehrlich wrote “The Population Bomb” in 1968, which forecast worldwide famine in the 1970s. If you missed it, you aren’t alone. The Bomb blew up in Ehrlich’s face, like an exploding cigar.
As economist Julian Simon demonstrated in “The Ultimate Resource,” population growth leads to more resources, not less. Rising prices spur exploration and the discovery of new processes to use resources more efficiently.
If population growth leaves a nation stuck in poverty, why are China and India (with the world largest populations) booming? Why did the Industrial Revolution first occur in Britain, which experienced unprecedented population growth in the 18thand early 19thcenturies, instead of Greenland?
While environmental activists view more people as more mouths to feed, others see them as more hands to produce and more brains to innovate.
Despite this reality, the Malthusians are having an undeniable impact. Worldwide fertility rates (the number of children the average woman will have in her lifetime) are falling fast. Sometime in this century, we will get into population decline, perhaps even population freefall.
Replacement fertility is approximately 2.1. Globally, fertility has fallen precipitously, from 4.7 in 1950 to 2.4 today. In the European Union, the average fertility rate is 1.55. In the United State, it dropped from 3.55 during the baby boom years to around 1.9.
That’s why the population-controllers are targeting Africa, the last stronghold of robust fertility.
Overpopulation is a myth. Population decline could soon be a reality. Then it will be a question of who’s left to generate the power, grow the crops and take care of the thousand and one tasks essential to keep society functioning.
We’ll need Fizzell’s child, and his descendants, to help keep the lights on.