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.


Brandon Dutcher: Appreciate home teachers on teacher appreciation week

By BRANDON DUTCHER

This article was first published on May 2, 2015, at tulsaworld.com.

Next week is Teacher Appreciation Week, a time to celebrate the 3.5 million school teachers in this country, including some 400,000 working in private schools.

But there are hundreds of thousands more teachers who also deserve our gratitude, including one who lives under my own roof. The very picture of unselfishness, Susie Dutcher goes about her work each day with a quiet strength and dignity, toiling into the wee hours over essays and worksheets and lesson plans for our home-schooled children.

“She looks well to the ways of her household,” as the proverb says, “and does not eat the bread of idleness.”

“I respect your public service,” she once testified before a subcommittee of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee. “And I hope you respect my public service, which consists of providing the public with one healthy family, comprised of well-adjusted, productive individuals.


“Because of the time and money and energy I invest in their lives,” she said, “I believe my children will grow up to do great things. I believe none of them will end up on the welfare rolls, in prison, or in any way dependent upon the state.”

Economists tell us the difficult work of childrearing provides a benefit to society (I believe the term is “positive fiscal externality”). “Everyone benefits from having a next generation in place to sustain the society and keep its institutions going,” writes Jennifer Roback Morse. “In modern developed countries, the family saves the state money by taking care of its own dependent young, rather than foisting that responsibility onto the taxpayers.”

Our political leaders should appreciate these parents, including those mothers who educate their own children. These teachers build human capital without making demands on budget-conscious appropriators already besieged with requests from competing interests.

After all, policymakers don’t have to provide my children’s teacher a salary, health and retirement benefits, and so on. Indeed, her family’s tax dollars help pay the salaries of public school teachers. She pays for school breakfasts and lunches, too — both for our own children and for the children of our fellow citizens. She buys her own school supplies (without the tax deduction, alas, that other teachers enjoy) and also buys school supplies for others.

When it’s all said and done, her hard work of educating our children will have saved our political leaders well over half a million dollars. That’s money they can use to build roads and bridges, incarcerate criminals, or pay schoolteachers.

Imagine how much money politicians would have to come up with — not only current expenditures but also construction costs — if the nation’s 1.77 million homeschooled students showed up at their local public school tomorrow morning wanting to enroll.

My children’s teacher is not a professional. She’s an amateur, a word that traces to the Latin amare (“to love”).

“Rather than an exchange,” economist John D. Mueller explains, “love is best described in economic theory as a gift or voluntary ‘transfer payment’ — that is, as a voluntary distribution out of one’s resources not made in compensation for useful services rendered.”

As she told the senators that day, “I used to be a schoolteacher, and certainly the salary and benefits I could earn teaching school would improve our material well-being. But some checks can’t be cashed at the bank: My son Lincoln, when he was 3 years old, said to me one day, ‘I’m proud of you ‘cause you do the right things. Like take a shower, and fix my breakfast … Those kind of things.’

“I know it’s all worth it when we’re on the floor playing with blocks and I notice out of the corner of my eye that he has stopped playing and is staring at me like a smitten young man. ‘I love the way you talk,’ he said to me. ‘And I love the way you smell.’

“‘How do I smell?’ I asked.

“‘Like a mommy.’ ”

That little boy’s all grown up now, headed to medical school in the fall — thanks to his teacher, who very much deserves our appreciation.



Marriage Advocates Warn High Court: Children Will Suffer Most From Marriage Redefinition

by JOAN FRAWLEY DESMOND

This article was first posted at ncregister.com on April 16, 2015.

NEWS ANALYSIS: Churches, scholars and activists weigh in with amicus briefs as the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to hear oral arguments in four key cases.

WASHINGTON — “Given both the unique capacity for reproduction and the unique value of homes with a mother and father, it is reasonable and just for a state to treat the union of one man and one woman as having a public value that is absent from other intimate, interpersonal relationships,” read the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ amicus brief filed with the U.S. Supreme Court ahead of related oral arguments.

“No other institution joins together persons with the natural ability to have children, to assure that any such children are properly cared for by their own parents.”


On April 28, the justices will hear oral arguments in Obergefell v. Hodges, along with three other cases that will decide the fate of state laws that define marriage as a union of one man and one woman.

“Does the 14th Amendment require a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex?”

That is the key question before the justices, who granted review of four cases after the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals found that the state marriage laws did not violate the same-sex couples’ right to due process and equal protection, as guaranteed under the 14th Amendment.

“Does the 14th Amendment require a state to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out of state?” That is the second question that also will be decided by the high court.

The 6th Circuit has jurisdiction in Ohio, Tennessee, Michigan and Kentucky. But if the justices reject the appellate court’s ruling, the landmark decision could have ramifications across the country.

Not only could the decision strike down state laws that effectively bar same-sex “marriage,” it could affect family law and anti-discrimination statutes across the nation.

Depending on the findings of the majority, the decision could also pave the way for a flood of church-state litigation, as the U.S. bishops cautioned.

Thus, this long-anticipated moment has led a range of individuals and groups, from top legal scholars to civil-rights groups and social researchers, to file a reported 120 amicus briefs with the court.

During the oral arguments, the justices will review constitutional matters like the right of states to set marriage laws. They will also consider whether a state law defining marriage as a union of one man and one woman should be subject to a higher standard of scrutiny because of its negative impact on a social group that has long been a target of discrimination.

But the plaintiffs and their allies have also argued that state laws barring same-sex couples from legal marriage express an irrational animus and a deep bigotry toward same-sex couples.

Thus, amicus briefs submitted by sociologists, churches and adoption agencies offer dueling views of marriage and the well-being of children brought up in non-traditional households.

Such matters are of special concern to Catholics, who support marriage as a union of one man and one woman and believe that children fare best when their mother and father take their marriage vows of fidelity and permanence seriously.

Family Stability

In the amicus brief filed on behalf of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the focus turned to the natural-law arguments that undergird a state’s strong interest in defending traditional marriage.

“It bears emphasizing that a government preference for husband-wife unions as the optimal environment in which to raise children is a judgment about marriage as the only institution that serves to connect children with their father and mother together in a stable home,” read the USCCB brief, which rejected the charge that such laws were motivated by bigotry.

“It is not a judgment about the dignity or worth of any person, married or not.”

The USCCB asserted that marriage laws, which help secure the bond between the biological parents and their children, not only benefit their offspring but also the mother, who typically retains custody of the children if the parents do not remain together.

“The physical presence and identity of the mother of a child is assured at birth without the assistance of the law; but the assistance of the law is helpful, if not indispensable, in assuring the presence and identity of the father.”

Finally, the brief pinpointed an increasingly urgent concern of Church leaders: the likelihood that “marriage equality” will lead to an explosion of endless church-state litigation, as Catholic schools and services resist demands that they embrace the moral equivalence of same-sex unions with marriages that unite a husband and wife.

“Because marriage so pervades civil and social life, these conflicts will similarly pervade, extending much farther than other categories of conflict that might be considered analogous,” the brief predicted.

The Ruth Institute, a California-based research center whose mission includes the promotion of “marriage as a lifelong commitment between one man and one woman,” made a separate but related point in a brief that cited the rise of litigation related to non-traditional households.

The brief warned that biological mothers and fathers could find their parental rights weakened with the redefinition of marriage. As evidence, it cited the rise of lawsuits filed by women who had been involved with a same-sex partner and successfully secured visitation rights to that partner’s children, though they had no biological ties and had not adopted the children.

“States can and should avoid creating the legal chaos that ensues when gender is removed from the marital institution,” argued the Ruth Institute’s brief.

Similar concerns were raised in a brief submitted by 100 marriage scholars, who warned that marriage equality “necessarily requires replacing the gendered ‘man-woman’ definition with a genderless ‘any qualified persons’ definition." And genderless marriage will send the message that biological fathers are optional, and their presence is not required in the home.

The Welfare of Children

The USCCB and the Ruth Institute base their arguments, at least in part, on two undisputed facts: Every child has one biological mother and one biological father, and the child is most likely to do well when both parents are in the home.

A decade ago, these facts were deployed to strengthen public resistance to any change in U.S. marriage laws. But today, many social researchers contend that children flourish in homes headed by same-sex couples, and their findings are noted as a key defense of same-sex couples’ right to legal marriage and to adoption.

Thus, in an amicus brief filed with the Supreme Court, a group of adoption agencies and advocates led by the Donaldson Adoption Institute contend that children waiting for foster homes and for adoption will suffer if the court does not recognize same-sex couples’ constitutional right to legal marriage.

Yet, even as the Donaldson Institute made this assertion, the USCCB brief warned that Catholic adoption and foster-care services might have to close their doors, as several have already done, if legal same-sex “marriage” forces Church-affiliated agencies to change their child-placement policies.

Further, an amicus brief filed by the American College of Pediatricians and sociologists that include Mark Regnerus at the University of Texas, sought to educate the court about the limitations of some social-research findings that have been cited by marriage-equality activists to advance their argument that children thrive in households led by same-sex couples.

“All but a handful of the studies cited in support draw on non-random samples,” asserted the brief submitted by the American College of Pediatricians. “This limitation is repeatedly acknowledged in scientific meetings and journals, but ignored when asserted as settled findings in public or judicial advocacy.”

In contrast, the brief noted, the “three largest statistically representative datasets used to address the question,” including the ‘National Longitudinal Survey of Adolescent Health,’ with 20,000 cases — have all found that children with same-sex parents fare substantially worse — most measures show at least twice the level of distress — than do children with opposite-sex parents.”

In the face of such evidence, the brief concluded, “State laws restricting marriage to opposite-sex partners have a rational basis.”

However, a slew of friend-of-the-court documents also made clear that many scholars and activist groups strongly dispute this assessment and liken the exclusion of same-sex couples from legal marriage to the segregationist policies of the Jim Crow era. This judgment is so well entrenched in elite legal circles, that The New York Times recently confirmed "no major law firms" had filed briefs "urging the justices to rule against gay marriage."

"Leading law firms are willing to represent tobacco companies accused of lying about their deadly products, factories that spew pollution, and corporations said to be complicit in torture and murder abroad. But standing up for traditional marriage has turned out to be too much for the elite bar," reported The Times.

That harsh view of the state laws was on display in an amicus brief filed by the Human Rights Campaign, which has spearheaded the push for "marriage equality" across the nation.

“Today, we can see that discrimination against gay people — whether it takes the form of a statute limiting marriage to straight couples, a state law refusing to recognize the valid marriages of gay couples from out of state or a state constitutional amendment mandating the exclusion of gay couples from marriage — ‘once thought [to be] necessary and proper,’ really ‘serve[s] only to oppress,’” stated the Human Rights Campaign, in a passage from its brief, which cited the court’s landmark ruling in Lawrence v. Texas. That ruling struck down the state's sodomy laws.

The Human Rights Campaign also noted the relevance of the high court’s 2013 decision in U.S. v. Windsor that overturned part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Writing for the majority, Justice Anthony Kennedy dismissed the enactment of DOMA as an expression of U.S. lawmakers’ irrational “animus” for same-sex couples.

While some legal scholars framed state laws barring same-sex “marriage” as a form of sex discrimination, the NAACP Legal Defense & Education Fund equated such laws with previous bans on interracial marriage that were overturned by the high court in 1967 in Loving v. Virginia.

“Four decades ago, the ‘tradition’ of banning interracial marriage seemed sacrosanct to the vast majority of Americans,” stated the NAACP legal brief.

“Yet such intolerance is now widely seen for what it truly was: racist, wrong and unconstitutional.”

The Next Step

Will such guidance influence the justices? Hard to tell, as legal scholars have suggested that the Supreme Court would not have agreed to hear the four cases if there wasn’t already a consensus among the justices about the unconstitutionality of state laws that effectively bar same-sex couples from legal marriage.

The court is expected to issue its decision by the end of June, and though legal experts have suggested the justices will likely rule in favor of same-sex “marriage,” it is possible that they could leave that decision to individual states.

Will they reconsider Justice Kennedy’s dismissive view of laws that define marriage as a union of one man and one woman as an expression of raw bigotry?

The April 28 oral arguments will likely provide some tantalizing clues regarding the justices’ thinking.

Joan Frawley Desmond is the Register’s senior editor.



Pro-family activist: needs of children come second after gay 'marriage'

by Charlie Butts

This article was first posted at onenewsnow.com on April 27, 2015.

For the sake of children, marriage should be between a man and a woman, says a pro-family activist.

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, founder and president of the Ruth Institute, says legally redefining marriage would "redefine parenthood" to allow same-sex adults to claim they are married, shoving the needs of children to the side.

wedding rings on Bible 620x300"And so we're asking the court this question: why should the marriage equality rights of adults, so-called, take precedent and be more important than the family structure rights of children? That's our question," she tells OneNewsNow.


The California-based Ruth Institute, which helps children affected by the "Sexual Revolution," filed an Amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court as it weighs the legality of homosexual "marriage" in all 50 states.

Up until now, she says, the public has agreed the purpose of marriage was to attach mothers and fathers, and their children, to one another.

"We've been undermining that purpose steadily for the last 50 years," says Morse. "But if we take this final step of saying that marriage is a genderless institution, there will simply be no question that marriage is now for the private, personal benefit of adults and has absolutely nothing to do with children."

But marriage does have an impact on children and has been proven, if that marriage is intact, to be the most beneficial environment for the children.




Your Revolution is Killing Us

A review of The Sexual Revolution and its Victims by Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse

By Austin Ruse

This article was first posted at Crisis Magazine on May 1, 2015.

MARILYN-MONROE

It is inevitable that advocates for the Sexual Revolution will say all we need is a bit more of it. More orgasms. More sex-ed. More abortion. More contraception. Less guilt. More freedom, man.

But they will never acknowledge that their revolution has been tried and found wanting, wanting being a fairly benign way of saying murderous.


Their revolution has been murderous indeed and the body count grows ever higher. Yet still they want more, just a little bit more.

Pat Buchanan recently wrote, “The French Revolution was many times more terrible than the Bourbon monarchy. The Russian Revolution made the Romanovs look benign.” You could add Mao Tse Tung, who made Chiang Kai-shek look like a schoolboy.

And so it is with the Sexual Revolution; it is many times more terrible than the supposed patriarchy it supplanted, the one where women were forced to stay home, bake cookies and never found their G-Spot.

Many revolutions have impressive body counts. But the Sexual Revolution is far and away the most impressive and it shows no sign of abating, only metastasizing. Well, maybe Plato’s Retreat closed in ’85 but Ashley Madison is alive and well, as are the sex ads at Craig’s List and Backpage.com. Maybe the gay bathhouses closed, but check out the website Grindr. Actually, don’t.

Gay writer Jeffrey Escoffier says, “Central to the Sexual Revolution was the growing acceptance of sexual encounters between unmarried adults.” He says sexual debut came earlier and earlier and that increasing divorce “provided another opportunity for men and women (to a lesser degree) to engage in non-monogamous sexual activity.”

The underlying issue was freeing the sexual id from the religious and societal taboos holding it down. He credits Freud, Wilhelm Reich and pornography with loosening everyone up. Reich “argued that sexual expression (primarily, the orgasm) was natural and that social control of libidinal energies by the family, institutionalized sexual morality, and the state was destructive.”

Sexual Revolution Cover Escoffier says the Sexual Revolution of the 1960s and ’70s “would never have happened without a series of extended battles over obscenity and pornography,” that “these battles helped to create a public space in American culture for sexual speech.…”

It is a wonder to see sexual revolutionaries, just like the communists before them, insist that all we need is just a little bit more. At least the communists thought the breaking of a few eggs might be regrettable but in the long run was beneficial to the omelet. The sexual revolutionaries deny the eggs.

The litany of broken eggs is tedious, certainly, but we must continue to recite it and in the recitation lay it all at the doorstep of the revolutionaries: more than 50 million dead babies in this country alone; almost one million deaths due to AIDS; 19 million new cases of STDs every single year in the United States; millions addicted to pornography; sex trafficking; galloping pedophilia; forty percent of children born without a father in the home. Your mother never heard of chlamydia. Now teen girls get shots to prevent it.

The Sexual Revolution, which Wikipedia oddly says ended in the 1980s, is the heart of the matter. It is the font of all our current difficulties. Many of us work on bits and pieces of it: ending abortion, defending marriage, religious freedom and the like. One person works right at the heart of it, Jennifer Roback Morse, who runs the Ruth Institute in California.

Roback Morse has a Ph.D. in economics and has taught at Yale and George Mason University. She has held fellowships at Stanford, Cornell Law School, and the University of Chicago. For years she has raised the alarm about the Sexual Revolution and its victims. She believes we can make common cause with them; the survivors and walking wounded anyway, and perhaps one day, in the hazy future, end it.

She has published a very helpful collection of her essays called The Sexual Revolution and Its Victims.

She starts by calling the revolutionaries liars.

“All we want to do is lower the cost of divorce to the handful of people whose marriages have irretrievably broken down.”

“All we want to do is allow married couples to use contraception for serious health reasons.”

“All we want to do is provide sexual education for children whose parents might not be responsible enough to do it themselves.”

All lies, she says, told for the purpose of establishing an easily expandable principle. And we have certainly seen these “modest reforms” expand and expand again and again.

She calls these the battle cry of the “ruling class” and like all revolutions, this one has certainly eaten its young, feasting most ravenously on the defenseless, that is, children, and the poor.

Roback Morse describes the modern view of sex as “a recreational activity with no moral or social significance. The freedom we have come to value is to be completely unencumbered by human relationships. We are entitled to end or walk away from any relationship with a person who might legitimately make demands upon us that we don’t want to fulfill. And the reproductive freedom in particular is the right to unlimited sexual activity without a live baby resulting.”

She says the major tenets of the Sexual Revolution are that every person is entitled to unlimited sexual activity, contraception will cure all negative consequences including conception and disease, no one is required to give birth and therefore abortion is an absolute entitlement, any consequences not handled by contraception and abortion are not worth talking about, no one ever gets attached to an inappropriate sex partner, no one ever regrets a consensual sexual encounter, and teen depression linked to hooking up doesn’t exist.

Such tenets are awfully expensive, both in terms of the individuals who live by them and those who are merely collateral damage. The cost to society runs to the hundreds of billions of dollars even if you just look at Federal money spent on the underclass whose problems have been exacerbated exponentially by internalizing the Sexual Revolution.

We watch this week as the Supreme Court ponders whether to constitutionalize yet another adult sexual experiment the cost of which will be born by kids and by society at large.

Roback Morse thinks we are fighting the symptoms—abortion, gay marriage—and not the disease. She proposes something of an Inchon landing. The sexual revolutionaries have been attacking from the front for going on 50 years, their victims strewn out behind them. She proposes a landing behind their front lines, striking at the heart of their movement, counting on the victims of contraception, divorce, abortion, pornography, and promiscuity to assist us.

She is not suggesting that the individual battles cease, only that we open a new front.

As we wait, the body count rises ever higher and all the while the revolutionaries insist the revolution hasn’t really been tried, not yet anyway. All we need is a little bit more: more orgasms, more pills, more sex-ed, more abortion, more freedom man, and then you’ll see the beautiful things we can do for humanity.

Just ignore all those bodies.

Editor’s note: In the image above, Marilyn Monroe appears as a modern Eve.

 



Religious Liberty Is Not Enough

by Jennifer Roback Morse

This article was first posted at Crisismagazine.com on April 29, 2015.

 I want to thank those who took the time to respond to my recent article, “Why Religious Liberty Arguments Aren’t Working.” Our focus at the Ruth Institute is crafting sound arguments and clarifying the proper context for their use. Religious liberty arguments are a case in point. While there is merit in religious liberty arguments, we propose a broader strategy that will help all who are engaged in this greatest struggle of our time.


What I’m Not SayingI am NOT saying that lawyers like Matt Bowman and his colleagues at the Alliance Defending Freedom should stop taking religious liberty cases.

I am NOT saying that advocates should stop sticking up for Christians who have been harmed.

I am NOT denigrating the people who have lost their jobs, their businesses or their educational opportunities for the sake of their religious beliefs.

Never in a million years.

In fact, I support them all.

Nor am I saying that we don’t need religious liberty.

So what am I saying?

A Hypothetical DialogueA Christian baker refuses to bake and deliver a wedding cake for a same-sex couple’s wedding reception, citing deeply held religious beliefs. At one time, this might have been an acceptable legal argument providing protection from prosecution under anti-discrimination laws. This appears to be no longer the case.

But I’m not so interested in what will or won’t fly in a court of law. I trust the attorneys like Charles LiMandri, Jay Sekelow, Brad Dacus, Dean Broyles and all the wonderful men and women at the Alliance Defending Freedom to know their business. They know what arguments can and should be made in a court of law, under different sets of facts.

I’m getting at something else.

Suppose someone other than a lawyer questions the Christian baker: a news reporter or their next door neighbor or their lesbian co-worker.

“Why won’t you bake and deliver this cake?”

“Because my religion forbids gay marriage.”

“Why does your religion forbid gay marriage?”

“Because enacting gay marriage will force Christians to do things they don’t believe in.”

Do you see the problem? From the point of view of the non-religious person, this is not an answer at all. We cannot cite religious liberty as a free-standing argument at this point. If we do not provide our unchurched or poorly catechized neighbors with an answer that makes sense to them, they will supply their own answer:

“You won’t bake the cake because you hate gay people.”

Replying “no I don’t hate anyone” without offering a reason other than “my religion forbids it” just induces them to take an even further and more destructive step:

“In that case, your religion deserves to be suppressed.”

Now Matt Bowman may be correct that Americans have an instinctive sense of fair play that causes them to recoil from government coercion. I fear we are in danger of eroding that wholesome instinct if we do not offer reasons for our beliefs. The attractiveness of the florists, bakers and photographers, and the outrageousness of their maltreatment, may no longer be sufficient.

We need to give our countrymen reasons to do more than merely put up with us. We need to give them reasons to actively agree with us, endorse our views and work to put them into practice.

So What Do We Say?There are a number of possible arguments we can offer at this point.

We can say that redefining marriage is bad public policy. Our organization, the Ruth Institute, puts most of its energies into developing these kinds of arguments. We can present these public policy arguments in many different contexts. Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco is not simply saying, “I’m the Archbishop. I can run my schools any way I want.” No, Archbishop Cordileone is giving reasons why the Catholic view of marriage and family is good and beautiful and deserves to be presented in all its fullness.

Even this past weekend’s March for Marriage, which had religious liberty as its central theme, did not treat religious liberty as a free-standing issue. Most of the speakers gave reasons why genderless marriage is bad policy, quite apart from people’s First Amendment rights to oppose it. Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, said that redefining marriage is an untried social experiment being performed on small children. This is a reason anyone should be able to understand, regardless of their religion. The Archbishop might have added: Jesus does not want us experimenting on small children.

Blind Faith Does Not Equal StupidityOften, our neighbors hear our religious liberty arguments as blind faith. “God said it. I believe it. That settles it.” Believe it or not, I actually have some respect for the “blind faith” view. But standing alone, it doesn’t work. It is not even a properly Biblical position. 1 Peter 3:15 tells us, “Be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you.” (King James Version)

What are some reasons we could offer for the hope that is in us, the hope that allows us to face serious hardships rather than renounce our beliefs?

We trust God as our loving father, and that he wants what is best for us. For a child to relax into the care of a loving parent is actually reasonable and developmentally appropriate. And let’s face it. Compared to God, we are all just a bunch of little first-graders running around causing trouble and showing off.

However, our unchurched neighbors are not going to know what we are talking about, unless we give them something to work with.

I for instance, could say that I trust Church teaching because I learned from experience that the Church was right about abortion being harmful to women. I learned from experience that the Church was correct about hook-ups and sex outside of marriage. I was willing to give the Church the benefit of the doubt about Assisted Reproductive Technology, even though I had no experience with it. Eventually, I came to believe that the Church was correct about contraception, a view which I had resisted for a long time.

You no doubt, have reasons of your own to trust God, the Bible and Church teaching. Share those reasons. People need to hear them.

In the back of my mind, is always Pope Benedict’s Regensburg address. God is not arbitrary. His will is reasonable. God wills what is good: things do not become good just because God wills them. Disobeying the moral law hurts us in the natural order, here and now, not just in the supernatural realm of life after death. This is a basic point of Catholic natural law thinking.

To be effective in this arena, though, requires a different kind of preparation than we may be used to. We have to purge ourselves of anger and blame. We have to repent of our own sexual sins. We have to deal with our guilty consciences, which often block us from seeing and telling the truth. (See me, above, re: contraception!) We cannot flinch when someone brings up divorce, Third Party Reproduction, or anything else that harms the connections between children and parents.

I heard a particularly effective instance of this delivered by John-Henry Westin at the Cleveland Right to Life convention. He gave a personal confession, along with a heartfelt plea that others, especially but not exclusively, same sex attracted people, not do as he did.

As long as we are charitable and not casting unnecessary blame, we can talk about just about anything.

What Does Victory Look Like?Besides, what kind of victory are we seeking here anyhow?

“I will allow you to have your idiosyncratic, inexplicable and probably indefensible religious beliefs, if you will allow me to have mine.” I am not satisfied with that stalemate. We need an authentic victory before the bar of history.

Victory is people realizing that children need their own mother and father.

Hopefully people will realize it before too many children are harmed.

Let’s ensure that future generations can proclaim: “People of faith were the only ones who had the foresight to see what we needed and the fortitude to stand up and fight for us.”

Religious liberty is important. But it is not enough.


Why Religious Liberty Arguments Aren’t Working

By Joe Carter

This article, which quotes Dr. Morse, was posted at acton.org on April 16, 2015.

Protect-Religious-Freedom-Rally-SignThe recent push back against state-level Religious Freedom Restoration Acts has sent a signal that, as Utah legislator Stuart Adams say, “the landscape of protecting religious liberty has changed. Permanently.” Many Christians are drawing similar conclusions about the cause of religious liberty being all but lost. I think this view is premature and that, to paraphrase John Paul Jones, we have not yet begun to fight.

But our arguments aren’t for religious liberty certainly aren’t as persuasive as they should be. The reason, as Jennifer Roback Morse explains, is that such arguments are not “compelling enough to induce our fellow citizens to sacrifice something they value, namely, sexual liberty.” Morse identifies three reasons for this:


An increasing number of our fellow citizens do not believe in any god. A substantial number describe themselves as spiritual but not religious.

The American religious situation at the time of the American Founding was quite different. James Madison spoke for most when he regarded religion as “the duty which we owe to our Creator and the manner of discharging it.” When so many people do not regard themselves as having any “duty to the Creator,” the social foundation that made religious liberty appealing or even intelligible, no longer exists.

So, Reason #1 why religious liberty arguments are not working: People who don’t believe in God, couldn’t give a rip whether we religious believers are inconvenienced in our religious practice.

Secondly, the controversies over religious liberty are not about transubstantiation or the Trinity or predestination. We are arguing about sex: abortion, contraception, homosexuality and similar topics.

Our fellow citizens have absorbed and are committed to a particular view about the meaning of human sexuality and its place in our lives. Millions of people have ordered their lives around these beliefs. They are not going to give up those views, in the absence of an attractive alternative.

 

 



Refining Marriage Violates Children’s Civil Rights

Posted April 20, 2015 at americanclarion.com.

parentsSAN DIEGO, California — April 20, 2015 — The Ruth Institute, a non-profit organization dedicated to healing the American family from the structural injustices of the sexual revolution, in collaboration with Sharee Langenstein, Attorney at Law in the state of Illinois, submitted an Amicus brief to the United States Supreme Court on the upcoming marriage cases.

“Separating children from their parents without a compelling or unavoidable reason creates a structural injustice to the children,” said Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, Founder and President of the Ruth Institute. “The court must ultimately answer the question: why is ‘marriage equality’ for adults more socially compelling than the rights of children?”


Dr. Morse identifies the sexual revolution as the driving force behind other structural injustices to children which include divorce, single-parenting by choice, cohabitation without a commitment and 3rd party reproduction. Genderless marriage is just the latest structural injustice to children.

“The civil rights of children are just as important as the rights of adults,” said Dr. Morse. “In addition to having a right to a relationship with both natural parents, children have the right to their identity, including their genetic and cultural heritage. It is unjust to deprive a child of their origins or their past. It’s a human rights atrocity. Adults get to do what they want and kids have to suck it up.”

According to Dr. Morse, these court cases are adding an entire new category of victims – marginalized children. “The law is now becoming the very vehicle that separates a child from his or her parents.” Attorney Sharee Langenstein agrees. “Allowing same-sex couples to marry not only changes the definition of marriage, it also changes the definition of parentage. The law should recognize the natural connection between mothers, fathers and their children.”

Langenstein continued, “Studies show that children raised in households with same-sex parents suffer because of it. Many adults raised in such homes have chosen to speak out on the issue, but rather than listening compassionately to their stories, the media and gay rights advocates have endeavored to vilify and marginalize these courageous individuals.”

Morse and Langenstein assert that Courts supporting genderless marriage have failed to explain why a state has any interest at all in the private feelings and commitments of adults without concern for the welfare of the children such relationships produce.

Langenstein concluded, “The Supreme Court can and should return these important issues to the states and civil society for the comprehensive discussion they deserve.”



Does marriage have a public purpose?

BY JENNIFER ROBACK MORSE

Posted on mercatornet.com on April 22, 2015.

The Ruth Institute, a non-profit organization dedicated to healing the American family from the structural injustices of the sexual revolution headed by Dr Jennifer Roback Morse, in collaboration with Sharee Langenstein, an Illinois attorney, has submitted an Amicus brief to the US Supreme Court about same-sex marriage. Here is a selection from the brief.

******

What is the public purpose of marriage?

“Marriage is society’s primary institutional arrangement that defines parenthood. Marriage attaches mothers and fathers to their children and to one another. A woman’s husband is presumed to be the father of any children she bears during the life of their union. These two people are the legally recognized parents of this child, and no one else is.”


In 2003, following the decision in Goodridge v. Department of Public Health, Massachusetts became the first state to require legal recognition of same-sex unions. Since then, public discourse on the nature of civil marriage has been widespread. Those who would completely dissociate modern society from the historical and natural definition of marriage have not addressed the far reaching legal ramifications of removing marriage’s gender requirement. Of particular concern to amici are: the inevitable denigration of the legal status of natural parents; the loss of children’s rights to know their natural parents; and the severance of the biological definition of “parent” from its legal definition, all of which are inevitable should this Court find in favor of Petitioners.

The law regarding same-sex relationships has changed radically over the past twenty years, and in an effort to help foster these changes, Courts have attempted to define marriage outside of its historical and generative context. For example, in Goodridge, the Court asserted that,

“[w]hile it is certainly true that many, perhaps most, married couples have children together (assisted or unassisted), it is the exclusive and permanent commitment of the marriage partners to one another, not the begetting of children, that is the sine qua non of civil marriage.”

[US District Court Judge Vaughn Walker] in Perry v. Schwarzenegger (2010), defined marriage this way:

“Marriage is the state recognition and approval of a couple’s choice to live with each other, to remain committed to one another and to form a household based on their own feelings about one another and to join in an economic partnership and support one another and any dependents.”

What these Courts and others fail to explain is why a state has any interest at all in the private feelings and commitments of adults without concern for the welfare of the children such relationships sometimes produce. The purposes of marriage proposed by these Courts are not really public purposes at all.

Marriage and the welfare of children

The Goodridge and Perry Courts, as well as any other Court that endeavors to sever the procreative significance of marriage from its public purpose, are wholly and unequivocally wrong. As observed by amicus Morse:

“[N]ot every marriage has children. But every child has parents. This objection [that not all married couples have children] stands marriage on its head by looking at it purely from the adult’s perspective, instead of the child’s... It is about time we look at it from the child’s point of view, and ask a different kind of question. What is owed to the child?

“Children are entitled to a relationship with both of their parents. They are entitled to know who they are and where they came from... but children cannot defend their rights themselves. Nor is it adequate to intervene after the fact, after harm already has been done. Children’s relational and identity rights must be protected proactively. Marriage is society’s institutional structure for protecting these legitimate rights and interests of children.”

Once marriage is stripped from its concern with the welfare of children, nothing remains of a genuinely public purpose. Marriage becomes little more than a government registry of friendships, which is, arguably, none of the public’s business.

A few judges have looked at the historical and social connotations of marriage and have correctly defined it to include the legal connection between parents and children. Unfortunately, such judges are often in the minority. For example, Massachusetts Supreme Court Justice Cordy, in his Goodridge dissent, stated that marriage provides:

“the important legal and normative link between heterosexual intercourse and procreation on the one hand and family responsibilities on the other.... [A]side from an act of heterosexual intercourse nine months prior to childbirth, there is no process for creating a relationship between a man and a woman as the parents of a particular child. The institution of marriage fills this void by formally binding the husband-father to his wife and child, and imposing on him the responsibilities of fatherhood. The alternative, a society without the institution of marriage, in which heterosexual intercourse, procreation, and child care are largely disconnected processes, would be chaotic.”

The majority opinion in the Goodridge decision illustrates the inevitability of that chaos. On the one hand, the Court makes the connection between the definition of marriage and the definition of parenthood abundantly clear: “Exclusive marital benefits that are not directly tied to property rights include the presumptions of legitimacy and parentage of children born to a married couple.”

On the other hand, the Court confuses the issue by referring to presumptions of “legitimacy” and “parentage,” instead of the presumption of “paternity” that has existed in common law for centuries. This shift is not merely semantic, but is instead a sleight of hand that inevitably results in the disenfranchisement of parental and familial rights. Massachusetts law now creates parenthood within a marriage, where formerly the law merely recognized it.

Legal separation from natural parents

In opposite-sex relationships, if a woman becomes pregnant, her husband is almost always the natural parent of her child. In same sex relationships, however, the spouse of the pregnant woman never is.

The same-sex partner of a biological parent is the legal equivalent of a step-parent. Like any other step-parent, the same-sex partner of a biological parent has no genetic connection to the child. When a child is born to a parent who is married to someone of the same sex, the partner of the parent is and should remain a legal stranger to the child unless and until an adoption proceeding is brought, a best interests hearing is held, and an adoption decree is entered. If the second natural parent is fit and has not surrendered parental rights, such a decree is, and should remain, prohibited by law.

The legal presumption of “parentage” rather than “paternity” serves as the vehicle through which the child becomes legally separated from his or her natural parents. Parental rights are vested in unrelated persons though neither a formal adoption proceeding nor a corresponding “best interests” hearing, (which serves as a Constitutional safeguard), has ever been conducted by any court.

Should this Court rule in favor of Petitioners, the chaotic presumption of parentage favored by Goodridge would be forced upon all 50 states, all US territories, and would give a Constitutionally impermissible advantage in parentage actions to persons who have no genetic connection to a child, without deference to the Constitutional rights of the child’s natural father or natural mother.

Dr Jennifer Roback Morse is the Founder and President of the Ruth Institute, a non-profit organization committed to inspiring survivors of the Sexual Revolution. She is the author of “Love and Economics: It Takes a Family to Raise a Village,” “101 Tips for a Happier Marriage”, “Smart Sex: Finding Life-long Love in a Hook-up World” and "The Sexual Revolution & Its Victims" (2015).

 

 



Press Release: Redefining Marriage Creates Civil Rights Violations for Children

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Redefining Marriage Creates Civil Rights Violations for Children

Ruth Institute Submits Amicus Brief to the U.S. Supreme Court

SAN DIEGO, California — April 20, 2015 — The Ruth Institute, a non-profit organization dedicated to healing the American family from the structural injustices of the sexual revolution, in collaboration with Sharee Langenstein, Attorney at Law in the state of Illinois, submitted an Amicus brief to the United States Supreme Court on the upcoming marriage cases.

“Separating children from their parents without a compelling or unavoidable reason creates a structural injustice to the children,” said Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, Founder and President of the Ruth Institute. “The court must ultimately answer the question: why is ‘marriage equality’ for adults more socially compelling than the rights of children?”

Dr. Morse identifies the sexual revolution as the driving force behind other structural injustices to children which include divorce, single-parenting by choice, cohabitation without a commitment and 3rd party reproduction. Genderless marriage is just the latest structural injustice to children.

“The civil rights of children are just as important as the rights of adults,” said Dr. Morse. "In addition to having a right to a relationship with both natural parents, children have the right to their identity, including their genetic and cultural heritage. It is unjust to deprive a child of their origins or their past. It’s a human rights atrocity. Adults get to do what they want and kids have to suck it up."

According to Dr. Morse, these court cases are adding an entire new category of victims – marginalized children. “The law is now becoming the very vehicle that separates a child from his or her parents.” Attorney Sharee Langenstein agrees. “Allowing same-sex couples to marry not only changes the definition of marriage, it also changes the definition of parentage. The law should recognize the natural connection between mothers, fathers and their children.”

Langenstein continued, “Studies show that children raised in households with same-sex parents suffer because of it. Many adults raised in such homes have chosen to speak out on the issue, but rather than listening compassionately to their stories, the media and gay rights advocates have endeavored to vilify and marginalize these courageous individuals.”

Morse and Langenstein assert that Courts supporting genderless marriage have failed to explain why a state has any interest at all in the private feelings and commitments of adults without concern for the welfare of the children such relationships produce.

Langenstein concluded, “The Supreme Court can and should return these important issues to the states and civil society for the comprehensive discussion they deserve.”

About Attorney Sharee Langenstein

Sharee Langenstein was admitted to the Bar of the Supreme Court of the United States in January of 2015 and has handled over a hundred appellate cases in Illinois. She serves as an Allied Attorney with Alliance Defending Freedom and as the Eagle Forum National Issues Chairman for Religious Liberty. She was an elected delegate to the 2012 Republican National Convention, and served on the Republican National Platform Committee where she fought to keep the sanctity of life and family in the Republican platform. She is a national speaker and expert on the freedoms protected by the First and Second Amendments. Sharee received her B.A. in writing from Missouri State University in 1995 and her Juris Doctorate from Southern Illinois University School of Law in 1998. She is a wife and mother of six daughters who lives and practices in Southern Illinois. Sharee is forever grateful that adoption "runs" in her family.

About Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse

Dr. Morse is the Founder and President of the Ruth Institute, a non-profit organization committed to inspiring survivors of the Sexual Revolution. She is the author of “Love and Economics: It Takes a Family to Raise a Village,” “101 Tips for a Happier Marriage,” and “Smart Sex: Finding Life-long Love in a Hook-up World,” as well as numerous pamphlets and tracts, including “The Government’s Duty to Marriage” and “The Socialist Attack on the Family.” Dr. Morse earned her Ph.D. in Economics at the University of Rochester in 1980. She taught economics at Yale University and George Mason University. She has served as a Research Fellow for the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty and has held fellowships at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, Cornell Law School, and the University of Chicago’s economics department. Her work has been published in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Reason, Policy Review, National Review Online, the Journal of Political Economy, the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, the University of Chicago Law Review and she has been a guest on Fox News, CNN and EWTN. A noted international speaker, she has been featured at the World Meeting of Families in Valencia, Spain in 2006 (sponsored by the Pontifical Council on the Family) and the Love Singapore Momentum Conference in 2014. Dr. Morse was named one of the “Catholic Stars of 2013” by Our Sunday Visitor – a list that includes Pope Francis and Pope Benedict XVI. Dr. Morse and her husband are parents of an adopted child, a birth child, eight foster children and now a goddaughter.

About The Ruth Institute

The Ruth Institute is a non-profit organization dedicated to healing the American family from the structural injustices of the sexual revolution. The Ruth Institute takes a comprehensive view of the repercussions of the sexual revolution and the diminishing rights of children. The Ruth Institute is academic and scientific rather than theological, drawing heavily from economics, law, social science, psychology, physiology and other disciplines. Visit www.ruthinstitute.org.

Here is a PDF of the release: http://ruth-institute.hotpressplatform.com/4-20-15-Ruth-Institute-SCOTUS.pdf 


​Pointers for your letter to the Apostolic Nuncio

by Jennifer Roback Morse 

I'm not leaving this alone! If you found your way to this blog, you should write to the Nuncio in support of Archbishop Cordileone!

Here are some ideas of things to say. I suggest you keep the text of your letter around 200-250 words. I would suggest you keep a balance of at least two statements supporting the Archbishop for every negative thing you say about his detractors. (You need not say anything negative about them, actually. But if you can't resist, be sure to include plenty of positives.)

The pen is mightier than the sword, but only if you use it! 

 

The Pen is Mightier than the Sword: but only if you use it...


On the plus side, calling attention to the positives about the Archbishop and his policies.

  • Any positive personal experience you may have had with the Archbishop.
  • Your support for traditional morality and gratitude for the Archbishop’s defense of traditional morality.
  • If you went to a Catholic school that did a good job of conveying Catholic moral teaching, say something about how much that meant to you, how that teaching helped you avoid trouble.
  • If you did not go to such a school, say something about how you wish you had, and mistakes you might have avoided. Anything specific that you wish to share could be very powerful.
  • If you have children or grandchildren in Catholic schools, express your desire that their teachers be setting a good example by living a Christian moral life.
  • If you are not Catholic, say so. Tell the Nuncio that the Archbishop’s moral leadership is important to you too.

On the negative side (calling attention to the people attacking him):

  • They are not representative of the Catholics of America.
  • They have hired an expensive public relations firm to attack the Archbishop, an unprecedented move, as far as I know.
  • No one knows who is paying this firm.
  • They call themselves "leaders" but they are not really all that prominent. 

Here is the address:

His Excellency, the Most Reverend Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano 

Apostolic Nuncio

Apostolic Nunciature of the Holy See

3339 Massachusetts Avenue N.W.

Washington DC 20008

Support the Ruth Institute