Did the Christian god rape Mary?

December 24th, 2014 No comments

In the midst of all our preparations for our Christmas celebrations, something serious appeared on the horizon. A former Evangelical, Valerie Tarico, wrote an article on Salon called “Why rape is so intrinsic to religion.” With a title like that, the week before Christmas: one can only surmise that she intended to provoke.

I feel called to respond to this article, as a Roman Catholic woman intellectual. I know that I have many non-Catholic

Not a rape scene: Federico Barocci's Annunciaton, 1592

Not a rape scene: Federico Barocci’s Annunciation, 1592

readers among my Ruth Institute friends, but I have to speak as a Catholic for two reasons. First of all, that is what I am. Secondly, non-Catholic Christianity is not a well-defined thing. One can readily point to non-Catholic Christians who believe all sorts of things. There is no non-Catholic Christian “definitive” or “traditional” interpretation of anything. Say what you like. Believe what you like. But Catholicism has at least this virtue: one can figure out what it actually says and does not say.

Dr. Tarico cites numerous examples of rape stories in a variety of religious traditions: Zeus, Jupiter, Zoroaster and so on. Tucked away within those stories is the story of the virginal conception of Jesus in the womb of Mary. I’m reminded of the old Sesame Street song: “One of these is not like the others.”

As a matter of Catholic doctrine and Catholic tradition, Mary freely gave her consent. The Angel Gabriel stood there and waited for her answer. Nearly a thousand years ago, St. Bernard of Clairvaux captured the beautiful image of all creation, including Adam and Eve and all their descendants, waiting breathlessly for the Virgin’s answer. Read more…

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How You Can Be Part of The Ruth Movement in 2015

December 23rd, 2014 No comments

1) PRAY for the Ruth Institute – for our safety and for the transformation of the hearts and minds of those we encounter.

2) FOLLOW us on Facebook and keep up with our activities.

3) PROMOTE the events and activities we are engaged in.

4) GIVE a one-time or monthly donation to help fuel our 2015 initiatives which include:
Read more…

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What we accomplished this year

December 23rd, 2014 No comments

What the Ruth Institute is most proud of and thankful for this year is the accomplishments of our “It Takes a Family to Raise a Village” (ITAF) leadership conference graduates. We have several we’d like to feature for you today. Check out what these students, emboldened by their experience with the Ruth Institute, have gone on to accomplish on their campuses. Read more…

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Why the Ruth Institute cares what Marriage Data the Census collects

December 22nd, 2014 No comments

The Ruth Institute inspires and equips the Survivors of the Sexual Revolution to recover from their negative experiences and reach out to help the young. We move people from being Victims to Survivors to Advocates for positive change.

Yesterday, I posted a story about the Census Bureau dropping questions about marriage, as well as a sample email you can send to object to this development.  I also posted this background information, in case you want more information before you send an email.

You may wonder then, why the Ruth Institute cares about the questions the Census Bureau asks about marital status.

Three reasons.

First, I want to call to your attention this fact: the Sexual Revolution has been victimizing people for 50 years or so. How is this possible? By suppressing the harms caused by sexual license. Each person believes their own personal story is unique, and that any sadness, loneliness, loss or grief they experience is unique to them, and perhaps even, their own fault. Connecting the dots between the pain and the Sexual Revolution would be the beginning of the end of this destructive ideology.

Second and closely related: failing to ask the right questions can be a method of suppressing information. Conversely, asking the right questions is crucial to getting the right answers.

I do not really know the intentions of the individuals in the Census Bureau who are contemplating the removal of questions about change in marital status.

I can tell you these facts:

  • Women are more likely to be murdered by their cohabiting boyfriends than by their husbands.
  • Children are at significantly greater risk for fatal child abuse from their mother’s cohabiting boyfriend, than from their biological parents married to each other.
  • Second marriages are more likely to end in divorce than first marriages.
  • Most divorces do not involve domestic violence.

We only know this information because someone asked the questions. And typically the “someone” who asked, was NOT the government. Researchers quite often have to piece the information together from multiple sources. I can hardly believe this is entirely an accident. I say this, without meaning any disrespect or without meaning to cast aspersions on the motives of everyone involved in data collection within our various levels of government.

Finally, I am a nerd at heart. Data is important to me. I cut my teeth on social science research, specifically in economics. I love the stuff. In my heart, I want us to get the facts right, and respect the integrity of the data.

Dropping important questions from the Census simply cannot be a good thing. Send a note to Jennifer Jessup and tell her your concerns. jjessup@doc.gov  But don’t delay. Comments close on December 30, 2014 .

 

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Sample email to stop the Census from wiping out marriage

December 21st, 2014 No comments

Dear Ms. Jessup

I am concerned that the Census is considering removing the questions about changes in marital status in future American Community Surveys. Marriage is different from other relationships. The recent trends in marriage show that the institution is in decline. If you quit asking the questions, you will not be able to detect such trends.

As a taxpaying citizen, I insist that you continue to monitor the state of marriage by asking questions 21a-21c and questions 22 and 23. If the Census has the time and resources to ask people about their plumbing and their internet use, you can certainly ask a few questions about change in marital status.

Removing these questions is symbolic of the government’s attack on the institution of marriage. I deeply resent the idea that the federal government does not consider these questions worthy of attention. I hope you will continue to include these questions.

Sincerely

Dr Jennifer Roback Morse

Founder and President, The Ruth Institute

sent to Jennifer Jessup

jjessup@doc.gov

December 21, 2014

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More detailed information about the Census’ sneak attack on marriage

December 21st, 2014 No comments

In a previous post, I described the Census Bureau’s proposal to eliminate questions about changes in marital status from future data collections. This post provides you with more detail, so you can examine this issue for yourself.

Go here for more information on the Request for Comments.

Go here for more information about the specific questions they are proposing to drop.

Go here for more information about the census itself. Scroll down to page 97 for their explanation of the questions they propose to omit, starting in 2016.

If you scroll through this document, you will see that this American Community Survey asks questions about these issues. I suggest you choose a few to mention in your letter to Ms. Jessup, as I have done.

  •  Whether the person moved in the last year
  • Race
  • Ancestry
  • Plumbing
  • Internet use, broadband or DSL?
  • Type of computer, laptop or desktop?
  • Number of cars in the household
  • Type of fuel used to heat the house
  • How much people pay for their utilities, insurance and mortgage

In my email to Ms. Jessup, I mentioned plumbing and internet use. You can mix it up a bit in your email.

Thank you for writing this email!!  If we all send an email, and ask 2 friends to do the same, Ms. Jessup may have a surprise in her in-box in a few days!

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Sneak Attack on Marriage by The Sexual State

December 21st, 2014 No comments

The US Census Bureau is in the process of removing questions about marriage from its surveys. According to the Washington Examiner:

Members of Congress and agencies rely on demographic data to shape policy. Marriage has been declining, and the presence of single mothers is among the largest factors in the growth of entitlement programs.

But the government soon may have no idea how marriage is changing in America and how it is linked to the well-being of children and adults. The American Community Survey is sent yearly to a small fraction of Americans and goes into more detail than the once-every-ten-years Census, which sticks to basics and to which all Americans must respond.

Removing questions about marriage from the Census is a small step, taken by technocrats inside a relatively innocuous government agency. The totalitarian masters in George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984 systematically removed words from the language.  Controlling language, controls our thought.

Without the proper words, we will have trouble forming precise concepts in our minds. Marriage matters. A tremendous amount of social science research shows that “marriage” really is more than a piece of paper. If we quit asking people questions about marriage, divorce, remarriage and the like, all sexual coupling will be blurred together under the heading of “intimate partners” or “roommates.” We will not have the information we need to even ask whether marriage matters.

For the past fifty years or so, the Elites of our country have been engaged in a long-term battle to deconstruct the family. They do not wish for the marriage of your mother and father to be the source of your identity, your sustenance and your education. They resent the idea that the particular members of your family should be the object of your gratitude and your loyalty.

In other words, the State wishes to crush the family because the State resents the competition.

Did I mention that the comment period closes on December 30, 2014? They are seriously not expecting you or I to notice what they are about to do, over a holiday.

Shall we surprise them? Write to the Jennifer Jessup, the bureaucrat who is in charge of handling the “requests for comments.” She, no doubt, expects to hear only from her fellow technocrats in other federal agencies about whether they will be inconvenienced by dropping these questions. She probably is not expecting to hear from outraged citizens about the blatant attempt to manipulate reality. Surprise her. Her e-mail is jjessup@doc.gov

Go here for more details.

Go here for a sample e-mail that you can send. I just sent Ms. Jessup an email. Join me.

 

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Recipe for Peace: Overcoming Loneliness

December 21st, 2014 No comments

Love_BlogChristmas is the saddest time of the year in which to feel lonely. We can feel alone in a crowded room, when we feel no one really knows or understands us. We can feel alone because we literally have no one around us. There are so many reasons today why people are estranged from their families. Christmas loneliness may be one of the great unsung stories of our time.

How to overcome this loneliness? Read more…

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Kids are funny

December 19th, 2014 No comments

The girls were looking at their baby albums. My middle daughter, the most dramatic of the bunch by far, announced in a grandiose voice, “It’s time for the tale of the babies! Part One: Baby Gemma grows up!”

Also while looking at their pictures they saw their favorite stuffed animals when they were brand new. “Look how young Momma Bear and Ribbity are! Momma Bear was so fluffy back then.” I couldn’t help but laugh. They sounded like me when I look at pictures of my husband and myself from long ago. We were both much fluffier then.

Read more funny parenting stories.

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Why conservatives must embrace “Children’s Equality”

December 18th, 2014 No comments
The new inequality: childrens' needs vs. adults' desires

The new inequality: childrens’ needs vs. adults’ desires

I was talking to Dr. Morse yesterday, and asked her to think back to when she was a young girl in school. “How many kids were from divorced families?” I asked her. She said she could think of one. The rest lived with their married biological parents. Before the Sexual Revolution, there used to be an important and unrecognized equality among children: nearly every child lived with his/her married parents.

Let’s think for a moment about what the Sexual Revolution has done to equality from the child’s point of view. In the name of adult sexual liberation, we now have a tremendous amount of family/structural inequality among children. Some kids live with their married parents, and many do not:

  • Nearly 40% of births are out of wedlock
  • A majority of teens don’t live in intact families
  • One in three children live in single parent homes

Read more…

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