- Resource Centers
- Knowledge Base
- Make a Difference
This blog is maintained by the Ruth Institute. It provides a place for our Circle of Experts to express themselves. This is where the scholars, experts, students and followers of the Ruth Institute engage in constructive dialogue about the issues surrounding the Sexual Revolution. We discuss public policy, social practices, legal doctrines and much more.
Posted on: Friday, August 06, 2021
This article was posted August 5, 2021, at Church Militant.
Stepping between parents and their children is a hallmark of the transgender agenda. But one organization that offers legal services is fighting back to protect the natural order. Church Militant's William Mahoney recently spoke with one of the attorneys.
The Child and Parental Rights Campaign, or CPRC, is a nationwide group founded to "respond to a radical new ideology." One example of the CPRC's work is found in a case where one parent wants a child to transition, while the other does not.
Mary McAlister: "We represent the parent who does not. [We] try to uphold them and empower them and represent them in court so that they can have their rights asserted to not put their child through all of this horrible transition."
The transgender agenda has infiltrated everything from child protective services to schools. But the CPRC is there, empowering parents against this infiltration at every level.
McAlister: "The schools are conspiring with these gender ideologues and encouraging children to hide these things from their parents."
And while groups like Planned Parenthood endlessly lobby for deviant public policies to benefit financially, the CPRC is there fighting for legislation that benefits children and their parents.
McAlister: "And so we've worked with legislators when they've attempted to pass these laws that will ban the treatment of children. ... And we've had some bills that have been passed that we've worked on."
The pro-family group is endorsed by many board-certified medical and mental health professionals from coast to coast.
Attorney McAlister, who recently spoke in July at the Ruth Institute's 2021 Survivors' Summit, explained the new group is looking forward to its first
victory in court. For more information on the CPRC, visit ChildParentRights.org.
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: Tuesday, June 22, 2021
The Supreme Court’s decision allowing a faith-based foster care agency to continue operations is the right move.
By Contributors, including the Ruth Institute's Fr. Paul Sullins
The Supreme Court just decided Fulton v. Philadelphia, a landmark case involving the rights of religious foster care agencies to operate while still observing their religious beliefs. Several prominent social science narratives have sprung up around this case: One is that a allowing religious foster agencies to continue the work they have done for more than 200 years will limit the supply of foster parents, and another is that religious agencies operating on traditional sexual beliefs will harm LGBTQ children. As Muslim, Catholic, Protestant and Latter-day Saint scholars, we want to set the record straight on both of these narratives.
The claim that allowing religious agencies to stay open while staying true to their religious beliefs will reduce the number of foster parents is conjecture at best and a drastic exaggeration at worst. Indeed, none of the justices appear to have bought this argument, as the majority opinion states, “if anything, including (Catholic Social Services) in the program seems likely to increase, not reduce, the number of available foster parents.”
While national-level data exists on children in foster care (albeit with varying quality across states), there is no such dataset on foster parents. Here’s what we do know about foster parents and foster care agencies: Foster care is extremely difficult, but faith helps navigate its challenges. While 30%-50% of foster parents quit after the first year, 82% of foster parents in one study cite faith or church support as something that helps successful fostering.
Families recruited via religious organizations foster for 2.6 years longer than other foster parents. Finally, 36% of families recruited by one Christian organization said that they would not have become foster or adoption parents if it hadn’t been for the efforts of that foster agency.
Faith-based agencies pioneered foster care in the U.S. The first orphanage in the new world was started by Catholic nuns decades before our country’s founding, and the Catholic church in Philadelphia had been finding homes for foster children decades before the city ever got involved.
Even taking into account that some evidence suggests same-sex couples are about six times more likely to foster than mixed-sex couples, same-sex couples are still a small fraction of all foster parents. The latest estimates from the Census Bureau indicate that there are approximately 568,110 same-sex married couples in the United States compared to 57.8 million mixed-sex couples. The argument that the mere presence of a Catholic foster agency will dissuade same-sex parents from fostering, even when those same Catholic agencies provide referral resources to prospective same-sex parents, requires a highly speculative conjecture.
The claim that LGBTQ children are harmed by faith-based agencies is particularly pernicious. These claims are largely based on speculation and prejudiced stereotypes about the treatment of sexual minorities by traditional-minded Christians, Muslims, Jews and people of other faiths. The idea that opposition to same-sex Nikah, or Muslim marriage, for example (which most Muslims worldwide probably hold), will lead to mistreatment of LGBTQ children stems from a prejudiced misunderstanding of the religious ethic that drives religious foster parenting.
Scientifically, there is no research that suggests sexual minority foster youths have worse outcomes when raised in traditional religious homes. (And the faith-based agency in this case served all children regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity.) More generally, the literature on the effects of religiosity on LGBTQ health is more complex than many think, with many studies showing positive effects.
This week’s Supreme Court decision says organizations and individuals with traditional religious outlooks on human sexuality still have a place in the foster care system and protects one of the largest swaths of potential foster care parents. The parade of horribles put forward by some people under the guise of social science skews what is really at stake in this case. In a matter as complex as foster care, all should be careful to look at the facts, and the Constitution, when deciding whether faith-based agencies that have helped children in need for centuries should be allowed to continue that work. Fortunately, the Supreme Court did just that.
Posted on: Tuesday, January 12, 2021
by The Ruth Institute StaffA few years ago, The Ruth Institute analyzed the case of Lisa Miller, who fled the country with her biological daughter, to protect the daughter from the alleged abuse of Lisa’s former partner. Lisa, a former lesbian, was damaged and harmed by the Sexual State. Lisa's former partner used the power of the family courts to force Lisa to share custody with her, by redefining the "presumption of paternity" to the gender-neutral "presumption of parentage." Now Lisa Miller is back in the news – hoping to receive a presidential pardon.
The case is strange and disconcerting for anyone who is familiar with it. Lisa Miller (interviewed for her story in 2008 by Lifesite News) – had a difficult life: by the time she was seven she was paying the mortgage, making sure food was on the table, and dealing with her parents’ divorce. Due to that and her mother’s mental illness, she got addicted to speed, and when she was married, her husband introduced her to alcohol. After a failed suicide attempt while recovering from alcoholism in the hospital, she was transferred to a psych ward.
While in the psych ward her therapists decided, without consulting her husband, that the reason she had so many struggles was because she was a lesbian. Clearly, they told her, the struggles she was facing came from difficulties “coming out.” Later, after divorcing her husband, she followed their advice.
The therapists encouraged her to be a lesbian (rather than working out her relationship with her husband), and told her that even if her first relationship with a woman didn’t work out (it didn’t), that doesn’t mean that the second one wouldn’t (it didn’t either).
The incredible thing was that she had all of this childhood trauma (what 7 year-old should be balancing checkbooks and taking speed?) that the therapists hardly delved into and didn’t really discuss with her. Talking a patient into a sexual identity based on the therapists’ hunch, and disconnected from the facts of the patient’s case, seems like it might be malpractice.
This also brings up another question about the immutability of sexual preference. After both of her failed relationships with different women, and the abusive, though longer-term relationship with Janet Jenkins, she decided that actively living a lesbian lifestyle wasn’t for her (not to mention her doubts about her sexual preference during that span of time). Can sexual preference be immutable if people’s sexual preference changes? If sexual preference is immutable for some people but not others, how is the law to deal with a category like that?
Lisa’s life became more difficult as she moved in with, and later became joined in a civil union with, Janet Jenkins. Lisa said, “Janet and I did not have a typical relationship.We were together – however, there was rarely any intimacy.Maybe once or twice a year and this was consistent throughout the relationship.I personally did not feel that way.This upset Janet a great deal and a lot of the abuse centered around that, as well, with name-calling and things like that… I actually, ended up leaving her in 1999 because the relationship had turned violent”
While many of us may be confused as to why Lisa might stay in a relationship that became more and more abusive, Lisa explained it in terms of a comfort
zone. “For me, being with her, and this is going to sound weird, but it was like a comfort zone because I was used to being abused growing up…
with women, what I was trying to do was trying to recreate a mother/daughter bond that I never had.”
After Lisa and Janet got back together, they moved to Vermont and obtained a civil union in 2000. In 2001 Lisa decided to have a daughter via artificial sperm donation. Janet generally maintained that she wasn’t interested in the child, and was not helpful during the pregnancy. The birth certificate lists only Lisa Miller as the parent.
According to Lisa, even though Jenkins was granted some parental rights after the dissolution proceedings began (though they lasted more than 5 years). Jenkins’ involvement with the child was minimal, even skipping the court ordered dates for visitation.
As far as the sordid allegations of the proceedings go, what Lisa Miller alleges Jenkins did isn’t pretty. She recounts that her daughter said that Jenkins would bathe naked with her (as a 5 year-old girl!), and that her daughter would come back from the few visits she did have and mime committing suicide. After that, Lisa cut off visits, and eventually fled the country to protect her daughter from an allegedly abusive and erratic ex-partner.
Dr. Morse said of this heartbreaking case, “Lisa Miller was one of the early victims of the Sexual State. Her case convinced me that redefining marriage would redefine parenthood in ways that few people were taking seriously. Lisa Miller entered into a civil union with another woman and had a child through an anonymous sperm donor. Lisa no doubt believed that she was the mother of the child. The government redefined parenthood, right out from under her. She had no idea that by entering into a civil union, she had given parental rights to the other woman, something that does not happen in stepparent situations.
“When those visits became abusive, Lisa tried to prevent them. The bias of the court in favor of the non-parent was so strong and the power of the family court so arbitrary, that Lisa could not protect her child. She fled the country with her daughter. She had the assistance of two brave Mennonite pastors and a Christian businessman.
“I support a presidential pardon for Lisa Miller, and for Philip Zodhiates, Timothy Miller and Kevin Miller.”
Support Lisa Miller by signing the petition at LifeSite News today!
Posted on: Thursday, October 15, 2020
Amy Coney Barrett is a danger to families who desperately want children. So says Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., based on an advertisement which Barrett signed back in 2006, which included the statement that “we defend the right to life from fertilization to natural death.” This, Duckworth suggests, disqualifies Barrett from the U.S. Supreme Court.
Duckworth, who has two daughters through IVF, told Fox News: “If a fertilized egg is a person, then that really has significant negative consequences for a family like mine that desperately wanted to have children.”
I don’t know Judge Barrett from Adam. But I do know something about infertility and the IVF industry. The IVF industry appeals to the worst instincts of American consumerism. The Catholic critique of artificial reproductive technologies is morally defensible.
It is common for people struggling with fertility to ask about in vitro fertilization costs – to try and understand how to incorporate those into their family budgets. One cost aspect not often considered is the cost in human lives, and the impacts this will have on the couple and their children.
Get what you want, the way you want it, when you want it. Sounds like a fine idea. Pick the one you want. Pay for it. Ignore all the others. Or just throw away anything you are tired of or don’t want, or that doesn’t satisfy you. Or you could turn it in for a refund. Or maybe you could buy a few extras to keep on hand just in case you want more. You can always throw them away later. Or maybe donate them to a charity.
“Have it your way,” is a fine advertising slogan for hamburgers. Take advantage of quantity discounts and stock up just in case, is a fine strategy for buying paper towels. The costs associated with such transactions are minimal, especially since they only involve objects. But the “object” in question when considering artificial reproductive technologies is not an object at all, but a person.
You may ask, “What is IVF?” to put it simply – My spouse and I have our eggs and sperm removed from our bodies and we pay a stranger to mix them. Or, I buy the sperm or egg of a stranger. I pay someone to mix their gametes with mine. I look at the embryos. With the help of an expert with exquisite taste, I choose the ones I want. I throw away the rest. Or, maybe, I put them in cold storage, just in case I decide I want them later.
This is the “assisted reproductive technology” industry, including IVF, surrogacy and related technologies. Consumers of this product are sometimes called “commissioning parents.” The fact that people want the product is supposed to be a sufficient moral justification to allow them to have what they want, regardless of the costs involved.
Two points for the record: First, we must never regret the existence of a particular child, no matter how that child was conceived. Disapproval of the circumstances of a person’s conception does not translate into a belief that the person so conceived is unworthy or defective. Presumably, everyone opposes rape as an immoral act. But a child conceived in rape is still a full member of the human race, fully deserving of respect, love and legal protection. Likewise, the IVF baby (a child conceived through artificial means) is fully human, fully deserving of respect, love and legal protection.
Second, do not try to dismiss my arguments with the assertion that I don’t know the pain of infertility. As a matter of fact, I do. My husband and I dealt with infertility for four painful years. We can attest that it is a miserable experience. What we deny is that the depth of our misery or the intensity of our desire for a child is relevant to the question at hand.
Duckworth herself raised one of the crucial questions. Without seeming to realize the significance of her statement, she told Fox News:
“In my case, with both of my girls, they looked at two or three fertilized eggs, not even embryos at this point, and said, you know, this one isn’t very viable,” Duckworth explained. “The third discarded could result in my doctor being criminalized.”
This is when Duckworth stated: “If a fertilized egg is a person, then that really has significant negative consequences for a family like mine that desperately wanted to have children.”
What exactly is the third “discarded” thing? Duckworth says these zygotes are “not even embryos” at this point. Does she deny that the zygote is alive? How can a non-living thing be “viable” or “not very viable?” The terms “zygote,” “embryo,” and “fetus” describe stages of biological human development, not the development into a human person.
This is the first of the contradictions of this position. If the zygote is chosen, it is Duckworth’s precious child. If it is discarded, does that mean it never was anything or anyone of value? Imagine the psychological cost on a person who treats the smallest, most vulnerable humans with such callous disregard.
Here is a related ethical dilemma. Suppose they don’t want to discard the embryo, but they don’t want to gestate her right away, either. So they freeze her. Later, they unfreeze her, gestate her, and then she becomes their precious child. What was this person during the time that she was frozen? An object? A nonperson?
Now you may think that I am causing problems here, because I referred to the frozen embryo as a person. “You blurred the distinction between the zygote and the embryo and the ultimate person. If we would just all get on board with the proper terminology and proper thought process, that all these problems would go away.”
But honestly, it doesn’t have to be me who raises this question. What if one of the living children herself brings up these topics? “Hey Mom and Dad, what about all my frozen siblings? Did you guys really kill a couple of my siblings on the very day that you “chose” me to live? I could have been the one that got frozen or killed.” And so on.
Will you have answers for these questions? Will your answers be good enough for her? For that matter, will your answers be good enough for you and for your child’s other parent as the years go by? Was the cost of the IVF worth it?
I have known people who have been in agony for years over their frozen children. I know an adult man whose mother revealed that she had an abortion when he was a teenager. The “survivors guilt” and disorientation he experienced were surreal. These questions will not all go away, just because no one is asking them right now.
Questions of this kind flow directly from the initial proposition that children are best viewed as the objects of their parents’ will. If the parents want the child, the child has legally recognized rights. If the parents do not want the child, they can do anything they want, at least before birth, and possibly beyond.
The most coherent alternative moral position is each child is an unrepeatable gift from a loving God. God created this particular child to reflect his goodness in some unique way. Our participation in the procreative process is to love our child’s other parent and allow God to bless that love as he deems best for all of us. As parents, we accept the children God gives us and care for each of them to the best of our ability. If God does not give us children, we accept this fact with grace and move on with our lives.
As I say, I do not know Judge Amy Coney Barrett or what she believes. But I do know this: the IVF industry is indefensible. The Catholic alternative is both intellectually coherent and morally defensible. And I am not ashamed to say so.
Posted on: Wednesday, September 30, 2020
“Last night’s confrontation between President Trump and former Vice-President Biden shows the need for a separate debate focusing solely on family issues,” said Ruth Institute President Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D.
Partnering with Life Petitions, the Ruth Institute has a petition calling for a debate on family-related issues. More than 6,000 signatures have been collected.
Morse observed: “Last night’s debate covered the Supreme Court, COVID-19, the economy, and race and violence, among other pressing concerns. It was entirely predictable.
“This is all well and good, but the family lies at the heart of all of these concerns,” Morse noted. “Urban crime and violence are spurred by the decline of the family in inner cities. Strong families are the foundation of a strong economy. Intact families have found it easier to weather the coronavirus storm.”
Morse explained: “It’s a case of missing the forest for the trees. At the root of many of our most perplexing problems is the decline of the family, and a revival of family values is the solution.
“Some people claim that it ‘takes a village to raise a child.’ We think that is code for ‘let the government raise children and run the family.’ We at the Ruth Institute believe exactly the opposite. We believe it takes a family to raise a village, or a community, or a nation.”
Morse added: “Families in America want to know what the candidates would do to end the horror of abortion (currently verging on infanticide), if they would declare pornography a public health crisis (as have 16 states), what they would do to stop sex-trafficking, if they’re concerned about so-called transgender medical procedures for minor children, if they support using U.S. foreign aid to force developing nations to adopt Western-style laws on abortion and homosexuality, and how they would strengthen man-woman marriage, currently under attack on so many fronts.
“Last night’s debate in Cleveland strengthened our commitment to promoting a presidential debate on family issues,” Morse said.
Sign the Ruth Institute/Life Site petition calling
for such a debate.
Posted on: Thursday, September 24, 2020
Children of divorce, we are told, don’t suffer negative effects from their parents’ divorce. Unhappy marriages drag the parents down, which makes everyone unhappy. The solution, which permeates nearly every aspect of media, public policy, therapy, and even some quarters of the clergy, is divorce ideology, including switching sexual partners at will. This solution, complete with smiling, happy children, is preached as the ill for what ails us.
Instead of the promised panacea, many divorced parents find their pre-divorce problems still plague them. The probability of another divorce increases in a second marriage. And children, so often an after-thought in the whole process, are left suffering tremendous negative side effects.
All too often, children are not permitted to voice their real feelings. Love inside the family feels fragile: the kids have absorbed the message that people sometimes leave each other, or get kicked out. They may view love as unreliable. Even if children could verbalize their feelings, (which they can’t) they are afraid to risk losing their parents’ love. They don’t want to upset mom or dad. The children are silenced, or learn to silence themselves.
The children of divorce are socially invisible. If they have a problem, we take them to therapy. We put them on medication. But we never admit that maybe the adults should have worked as hard on their marriages as they seem to work on managing their divorce. And we certainly never tell the adults not to remarry.
So many children of divorce struggle massively with the emotional toll that the divorce took on them. From their perspective, each parent is half of who the child is. When the parents reject each other, they are rejecting half of the child. They may tell the child, “We still love you: we just don’t love each other.” The child cannot make sense of this impossible contradiction. In my opinion, this is the underlying reason for the negative side effects of divorce on children.
We, as a society, are faced with two competing world-views on divorce: 1. Divorce Ideology and 2. The traditional sexual ethic. Divorce ideology, reinforced by our media and culture, prioritizes parents’ sexual desire over all else, minimizes children’s rights, and requires state intervention. Children of divorce are not valued by the ideology or even the system.
The traditional sexual ethic, on the other hand, starts with the premise that children have identity rights and relational rights to their parents, that marriage exists to not only bind children to their biological parents, but to protect these rights, and naturally places legitimate obligation on the parents to protect and care for their biological children. When children are deprived of these rights without an inescapable reason, it is an injustice to the children.
We talk about protecting the rights of vulnerable populations, but we often forget that children are among the most vulnerable populations. We discard the systems built over thousands of years to protect them, and then silence them with the power of the state and a shattered family dynamic. No wonder children of today are struggling so much. Isn’t it time we changed our societal approach?
Leila Miller has done us all a great service by giving a voice to the Children of Divorce. Please read her book, Primal Loss: The Now-Adult Children of Divorce Speak, share it with friends, family, counselors, teachers, and pastors. Break the silence. Do it for your own family, and for the families of future generations.
If you are a child of divorce, have suffered negative effects because of divorce, or know someone who has, please visit our resource page here. Our resource page contains information to understand the why, the how, and the consequences of divorce culture, and has resources to help survivors.
Posted on: Wednesday, September 23, 2020
“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 email@example.com.
Posted on: Monday, September 21, 2020
Commenting on the outrage provoked by the child pornography of Netflix’s “Cuties,” Ruth Institute President Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D., said: “With this highly eroticized portrayal of 11-year-old girls, the global ruling class is once again pushing the envelope on pedophilia. This latest example of the pornification of our culture shows the need for a 4th presidential debate, exclusively on issues impacting the family.”
Partnering with LifeSite, the Ruth Institute has an online petition calling for a debate focusing on what the candidates would do to strengthen the family and counter the various threats to the family.
The petition currently has more than 5,700 signers.
“‘Cuties’ is just the latest example of a growing anti-family culture,” Morse said. “Others include the two egregious Supreme Court rulings at the end of June, one striking down the mildest restrictions imaginable on abortion, and the other which would allow so-called transgenders to participate in women’s sports – thus effectively ending women’s sports.”
Such a debate might include the following questions for the candidates:
“Questions such as these will not be asked in the three scheduled debates September 29 and October 15 and 22, but for families, they are just as relevant as energy policy, trade, and public health concerns. That’s why we’re pushing so hard for a fourth debate on family issues,” Morse explained.
Sign the petition here.
The Ruth Institute is a global non-profit organization leading an international interfaith coalition to defend the family and build a civilization of love.
Pornography and sexual exploitation were topics included in the Ruth Institute’s recent Summit for Survivors of the Sexual Revolution.
To schedule an interview with Dr. Morse, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted on: Saturday, September 19, 2020
This article was originally published in National Catholic Register.
“The global ruling class likes pedophilia.” That was the opening line of my speech entitled, “Childhood Sexual Abuse: Ending it, Healing it.” I can’t prove it in a court of law, of course. But we have now accumulated enough circumstantial evidence to convict in the court of public opinion. The Netflix film Cuties, and the controversy surrounding it, provides even more evidence to support my working hypothesis.
Netflix promoted the French-made film in the U.S. with a poster that was far more risqué than the poster that promoted the original version of the film. Netflix quickly walked back the images and apologized: “The movie is about a group of pre-teen girls doing highly eroticized dance routines to win a competition,” stated the network’s revised description.
The general public was not persuaded. In the Rotten Tomatoes reviews of Cuties, professional “critics” rated it 88% positively, while audience reviewers gave it an astonishingly low 3% rating. As part of the public’s reaction, an online petition called on the FBI to investigate Netflix. Another petition is calling people to cancel their subscriptions to Netflix. Both of these petitions currently have more than 600,000 supporters. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, has called on U.S. Attorney General Barr to investigate whether federal laws were violated in the making of the film.
Cuties, which was released Sept. 9, and the controversy surrounding it fit perfectly into the bigger picture of the elite support for pedophilia. I made my statement to this effect on July 18, 2020, at the Ruth Institute’s Summit for Survivors of the Sexual Revolution. The evidence I cited at that time included:
Public school teachers and administrators failing to deal with known sexual offenders, as illustrated in a book entitled, Passing the Trash.
Peter Newell, one of the co-authors of UNICEF’s Implementation Handbook for the Convention on the Rights of the Child, convicted of child abuse.
U.N. peacekeeping troops engaged in “food for sex” scandals with children in refugee camps, (cited on pp. 163-69 of The Invincible Family.)
Our very own Catholic scandals of the abuse of minors by Catholic priests, long covered up by the hierarchy.
And of course, we mustn’t forget Jeffrey Epstein, who, by the way, did not kill himself.
In the six weeks since I gave that talk, Cuties is just one of several additional incidents pointing to the same conclusion. Second on the list of soft-on-pedophilia news, we have the Democratic Party’s nomination of Kamala Harris as Joe Biden’s Vice-President and presumptive successor. In the seven years she was San Francisco’s District Attorney, she did not prosecute a single Catholic priest for sexual abuse.
According to a book by Peter Schweizer (Profiles in Corruption: Abuse of Power by America’s Progressive Elite) of the 50 largest metropolitan areas in the United States, San Francisco was the only one in which no priests were prosecuted. Schweizer hints that campaign contributions to the Harris as she advanced in her political career explains why she halted an investigation that her predecessor had already begun. But who knows?
Victims’ groups have questionedHarris’ avoidance of the issue of child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church in California. They have highlightedthat Harris’ successor as California attorney general has already done more than Harris did to aid victims and investigate clergy sexual abuse.
In another move that’s soft on pedophilia, the California Assembly recently weakened the prohibition on statutory rape. The new law adds exemptions from mandatory registration in the state’s sexual offender registry, adults who had homosexual sex with a minor, if the ages of the victim and the perpetrator are less than 10 years apart.
Equality California explainsits support for the change. Current law allows judicial discretion for consensual yet illegal “sexual intercourse,” that is, vaginal intercourse, between a teenager 14-17 and a partner within 10 years of age. But current law does not allow the same discretion for consensual yet illegal oral or anal sex. Equality California considers this unfair to gay 20-somethings. They evidently didn’t notice that “Equality” in California could be achieved by removing judicial discretion for everyone.
There’s also this latest report: Jerry Harris, 21-year-old star of the Netflix series Cheer, was charged in federal court with producing child pornography, with victims aged 13 and 17. This is the type of person that Equality California wants to protect.
These incidents all point in the same direction. Among the rich and powerful are people who want to sexually exploit young girls and boys. These people have the power to steer the law and culture to make it easier for themselves and harder for their victims.
These same elite movers and shakers engage in culture-wide grooming. At last year’s Super Bowl halftime show Superstar pop singers Jennifer Lopez and Shakira performed a sexually stimulating act in front of millions of people. The Children’s Voice Chorus of Miami, with 40 children, some pre-adolescent, appeared amid the show’s sexual gyrations. The NFL and Pepsi, the corporate sponsors, evidently thought this was just fine and dandy.
These same opinion-makers engage in “gaslighting” the public, to make us doubt the evidence of our own senses and our moral sensibilities. A New York Times article used the time-honored technique of deflection. “Calls to remove the film have gained particular traction among supporters of the QAnon conspiracy theory.” The New York Times provides a link to another story in The Times of course, helpfully explaining how deranged QAnon is. We are supposed to draw the conclusion that everyone who complains about Cuties, including all those audience reviewers on Rotten Tomatoes, are nut-job conspiracy theorists who can safely be dismissed.
Let’s give the director of the film, Maïmouna Doucouré, the benefit of the doubt. Originally from Senegal, she said in an interview, that the idea for Cuties came to her after she attended an event in Paris. She witnessed a group of 11-year-olds performing a highly sexualized dance.
“I was so shocked,” she said. “For me, it was just, ‘Oh my God. What am I seeing?’” Many of the children’s parents, who were also watching the show, wore traditional religious dress, she added, and the culture shock fascinated her.
Okay, let’s take this at face value. I’ve seen some children’s dance troops that were shocking to me, so I get it. (Memo to mothers, fathers and grandparents: get your kids out of these type of dance schools.) Maybe the director did not intend to sexually stimulate her audience. That begs the question: What did the marketing department of Netflix intend? Someone decided to scrap the innocent-looking French poster in favor of the twerking poster for promotion of the film to an American audience.
This more charitable interpretation of the film itself doesn’t actually detract from my overall argument. In fact, it points directly to Netflix, the U.S.-based global entertainment giant as the main culprit in marketing the early sexualization of young girls. (For all I know, they may have done a huge disservice to the film’s creator.)
Netflix is still making plenty of money from the film and the controversy surrounding it. Will this help our daughters’ develop a wholesome understanding of their bodies? Will it make the job of conscientious parents easier? I somehow doubt it. More to the point, I somehow doubt that Netflix cares.
My working assumption is that the global ruling class is at best, utterly indifferent to the suffering of child sexual abuse victims. At worst, the global ruling class is actively participating in, profiting from or otherwise complicit in, child sexual abuse. Unless and until I receive evidence to the contrary, I will continue to assume that this is true. The controversial Netflix film Cuties is just one more thread in an increasingly explicit and disturbing tapestry.
Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D., is the founder and president of The Ruth Institute. Her latest book is The Sexual State: How Elite Ideologies Are Destroying Lives (and How the Church Was Right All Along).