Ruth’s Real Aims

May 11th, 2010

I am flattered by the attention from Daily Kos blogger, Dante Atkins. Sadly, this post is short on substance, and long on ad hominem attacks and innuendo. I will leave aside for now, his silly attack on our logo, of all things. I will ignore his mangling of the Biblical story of Ruth, except to note one thing: I chose Ruth because she is a unifying figure, loved by all the major faith groups. Catholics love her; Jews love her; Evangelicals love her; Mormons love her. Everybody loves Ruth, it seems, except for leftist bloggers. I’ll leave it to the reader to imagine how leftists like Dante expect to build a coalition when they alienate every major faith tradition in America.

But leave all that aside for now. I just want to concentrate on the core values of the Ruth Institute, and our list of goals that he lifted from our Strategic Plan. I am proud to have him call attention to the goals of the Ruth Institute:

“It aims to work hand-in-hand with other organizations in the marriage movement to:
• Decrease the divorce rate
• Increase the marriage rate
• Decrease the cohabitation rate
• Increase the number of children who grow up with both married parents
• Reduce the lag time between the age of sexual initiation and the age of first marriage
• Maintain at least a replacement-level birth rate, so that the devastation of a European-style “demographic winter” is avoided.”

Poor Dante can’t quite contain himself. Is he really in favor of more divorce? Does he actually have a problem with more children growing up with both of their married parents? All he can do is fulminate about how we are some kind of well, let me quote him directly: “The Ruth Institute–officially sanctioned by the National Organization of Marriage–is an organization with an overtly sexist and racist organization.” Never mind that the last sentence is incoherent, and evidently has some words missing. We are able to get the gist of it. I am a racist because I am concerned about population decline. Does poor Dante offer any answer to the question of how the socialist governments of Europe are going to provide the benefits they have promised their citizens, if the population continues to decline? He does not because he has no answer. All he can do is change the subject. Instead of the subject being the unsustainability of the current combination of welfare policies and demographic trends, Dante wants the subject to be all about little old me, with my computer and my one full-time employee, ruling the world from my dining room table.

And I am a sexist, according to Dante, because, “The real mission of the Ruth Institute is to erase the gains that women have made with regard to their social, economic and sexual liberation and ensure that they become baby factories.” Dante evidently has missed the fact that many, many women, are fed up with the sexual revolution, the divorce revolution and all the false promises of Leftist Feminism. The fact is that the trends toward increasing labor force participation for married women and increasing higher education for women were under way well before Betty Friedan ever showed up to steer the whole conversation in the destructive direction that Leftist feminism has taken.

Poor Dante takes issue with our criticism of artificial reproductive technology this way: “if you thought that the Ruth Institute would be content to let women have children on their own time–say, using techniques like fertility treatments or artificial insemination–you’re wrong. Two of the top featured articles at the Ruth Institute’s website–this one and this one–openly decry these practices.”

The first article tells the story of a woman who donated her eggs to help a friend become pregnant. She became infertile as a result of the procedure for extracting her eggs. Evidently, Dante thinks it is objectionable for me or anyone else to call attention to the risks that young women are subjected to by the increasing commercialization of child-bearing. Whatever happened to the Left’s suspicion of commerce? The new position of the Left is evidently that the free market is terrible, unless it is a free market in human reproduction, and then it is all good.

The second article is about an anonymous sperm donor who evidently has fathered 400 children, with no responsibility whatsoever for any of his children. Does the Daily Kos really think this is an unambiguously good development that deserves no further scrutiny? I’m proud to be calling attention to the hazards associated with ART. Not many other people are. Whatever happened to consumer protection?

But Dante gets to the heart of his objection right here: “The only way women ought to have children, if you ask the Ruth Institute, is if a man is present to control the situation.” He surely knows this inflammatory statement is a half-truth: it is better to have children with a man, but not because the man is there to “control the situation.” It is easier for the woman if she has a partner; it is better for the child to have the love and support of both parents; it is better for the man to be connected with his offspring, taking responsibility for their support and protection, rather than leaving the woman to fend for herself, or rather than being ejected from the family home. What about this doesn’t poor Dante understand?

The Ruth Institute is all about spousal cooperation, a concept that his fevered Leftist brain cannot grasp. That is because in the Leftist fantasy world, the relationship between men and women is a special case of class conflict, as Engels argued: “the husband is the bourgeois, and the wife represents the proletariat.” Male and female are primarily political categories, not biological categories. And the differences between men and women are evidence of cosmic injustice. All sex differences have to be wiped out, as an act of social justice. Conservatives and libertarians take note: This leftist formula is more than moral posturing or empty rhetoric. Since differences between men and women actually exist and will assert themselves, the Left is writing itself a blank check for unlimited government intervention into the lives of ordinary people.

Even bad arguments have to be refuted, or else they will take on a life of their own, and become common currency. Dante’s “arguments” if you can dignify his screed with that description, are indeed bad arguments. I intend to refute them. Too many bad arguments have been allowed to go by unchallenged because people are afraid of being called names such as “racist” or “sexist” or now “homophobic.” This is what the Left does best: create a new epithet to put a stop to arguments and ideas that challenge their worldview.

There is much more I could say about these very interesting topics. But I have said enough for one night, and one post.

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  1. Adam
    May 11th, 2010 at 23:30 | #1

    Keep up the good work on the ruth Institute. With your small amount of resources, you certainly have all the means you need to refute these kinds of attacks. On the right or left, you should have the decency to keep certain documents confidential. A strategy of deceit by the opposition is very dissapointing.

  2. Mama Paloma
    May 12th, 2010 at 01:25 | #2

    What is this capital-L Left to which you refer? That’s right, it’s that monolithic thing over there with the capital-L Liberals, bringing socialism like a scourge upon the world. Oh, and, “Leftist Feminism” is alienating to every faith tradition? You undermine your arguments with such broad, cliched strokes and with your focus on people’s personal lives. Some of the far left-est feminists are nuns, currently under investigation by the Vatican, and other Christians for social justice who are focused on many issues. They stand up, as Jesus did, for the oppressed and reviled. If every so-called Christian spouting your brand of heresy would give up their pharisee’s perch and join them, imagine what could be possible. If you can’t stomach that, at least brush up on your terminology in Logic 101 by going to http://plover.net/~bonds/adhominem.html

  3. May 12th, 2010 at 23:16 | #3

    Mama Paloma, accusing Dr. Morse of being a Pharisee is an ad hominem argument.

    Claiming that someone is a heretic is an action which requires thorough justification, too, or else it constitutes defamation, at least in circles where people call each other heretics. Have you any evidence of heresy, or are you simply using words you don’t really understand?

    As for the nuns, speaking as someone studying Philosophy and Theology at the Graduate Theological Union, I’m pretty sure that simply “being a nun” does not automatically make one right; they are typically being investigated by the Vatican precisely because they are not Catholic teachers but claim to be. They don’t teach Catholic truth. So I don’t see how bringing that up actually helps your case, because the whole point of the Vatican investigation is that these nuns have accepted “Leftist Feminism” and are therefore reducing the Catholic mission to being nice to people and letting them have their way in all things, without looking to the consequences of such leniency.

    And correct me if I’m wrong, but it doesn’t seem like you’re arguing against the idea that the Left is Socialist, but that Socialism is wrong. In which case there’s a problem here, because socialism IS opposed to the family, religion, and private property, at least according to Marx, Lenin, Stalin, and Mao (especially Marx). All these things are absolutely crucial and vital to society. Something which sets itself against them is going to do people an injustice.

  4. Paul of Alexandria
    May 13th, 2010 at 08:28 | #4

    @Mama Paloma
    “Left” is shorthand for the Socialist Progressive movement; see Pournelle’s Axes for a good description of how this works, keeping in mind that in addition to being an SF author Jerry Pournelle has a rather large number of degrees, including doctorates in psychology and social science. Note that in his graph he reverse the conventional “right” v “left” conventions (which are based on where the parties sit in the English Parliament).

    Yes, many clergy in the Roman Catholic church are members of the Progressive movement. They are wrong in this, and blatantly defy the teachings of Christ. Again, Mama Paloma – presuming from your post that you are also of this movement – you seem to think that the only two options are the extremes. A women must either give her body to all comers, or must be a “baby factory”. One must either be a rabid socialist or a heartless corporate hack. Social justice is not a Christian concept, nor is it a good concept for helping a society, emphasizing as it does victim-hood and a equality of results over equality of opportunity.

  5. Karen Grube
    May 13th, 2010 at 09:34 | #5

    Mama Paloma . . .

    Excuse me? Heresy? I don’t think so. There is absolutely no doubt that Jesus loves every single man, woman and child that God created, no matter who they are. There is also absolutely no doubt that, as a member if the divine Trinity, He was part of creating two separate genders for the purpose of populating this world and giving each individual a soul. And there is no doubt that He honors and treasures the relationship between a man and a woman because of that simple, physiological fact.

    Throughout millennia, successful societies have honored and protected with their laws and traditions the union of one man and one woman and the families they produce. After all, the union of one man and one woman is the ONLY union that can produce children without outside interference. When two women can create a child together or two men without outside interference, then maybe we can talk. But I don’t see that happening any time soon. And NO it doesn’t matter that not all married opposite-sex couples can or even do produce children. The point is that this is the only union that CAN. THAT is, at its core, why they majority of people support traditional marriage. There is something instinctual, something inside us that tells that this is right, and it has nothing to do with what a preacher may say on Sunday morning or what a court may try to force on us to make us think otherwise. We instinctively know this.

    Social justice? Excuse me? Again, I don’t think so. True social justice recognizes the differences between us, that’s true, and even works to stop abuses of those differences. But here’s the problem: this so-called ‘social justice’ movement has been co-opted by a group of leftists – yes, I said it – who don’t want social justice at all but want to destroy the very things that make our society successful – like religious tolerance and free speech and even natural marriage. What you call ‘social justice’ wants to silence those who disagree and doesn’t want to let them speak what they know is the Biblical truth or even what they know the majority of us want!

    Oppressed and reviled? I can only speak for California, but if you paid any attention at all to the Prop 8 trial, there was absolutely NO evidence that gays and lesbians lack political clout and power. Just because the majority of voters determined that they wanted our laws to protect traditional marriage does’t equate to oppression. In fact, California has I believe the most liberal domestic partnership laws in the nation. All that trial could produce was a bunch of emotional arguments that had absolutely nothing to do with the Constitutionality of the law and of the legality of the voters being able to make the decision on the definition of marriage for themselves.

    This whole push for gay marriage – the push for what you laughingly call ‘social justice’ – is nothing more than an excuse for forcing the entire gay agenda – including indoctrinating elementry-school age children into the gay lifestyle in our public schools, suppressing the free speech of Christians, and destroying our military morale – on all of us, like it or not. This isn’t something that anyone should tolerate in the name of ‘tolerance.’

  6. Ray
    May 16th, 2010 at 09:51 | #6

    Population decline? I am confused. I was under the impression that the world population is still increasing at a rapid rate. What population decline is the Ruth Institute talking about?

  7. Joseph C.
    May 16th, 2010 at 10:09 | #7

    To Dr. Morse:

    If women are indeed as weak as you imply (and there’s no other ration reading of your fourth-to-last paragraph), may I humbly ask why anyone should give two cents as to your own opinion, given how inherently weak you are?

    Provided it is indeed *your* own opinion, and not one dictated to you by your male partner. Provided you live as you advocate here, under the protection and support of a male.

    And to Karen Grube:

    The entirety of your comment reminds me, sadly, of Hon. Leon Bazile’s ruling in 1959 on ‘Loving v. Virginia’. His idiocy can be excused only because he was repeating Johann Friedrich Blumenbach’s formulation on racial ethnicity, and frankly was a man of his time (thus knowing no better).

    You, I’m sorry to say, have no such excuse.

    “Gay agenda”? “Destroying our military morale”? Not only does this put you in the same camp as Hal Lindsey and the Van Impes, but reveals how little you think of the professionalism and strength of our men and women in uniform.

    Thankfully our laws protect your right to be such an idiot. It doesn’t protect you from being called on it.

  8. Anonymous P Hancock
    May 16th, 2010 at 11:23 | #8

    The second article is about an anonymous sperm donor who evidently has fathered 400 children, with no responsibility whatsoever for any of his children.

    If one reads, one finds that the “400 children” estimate comes from the doner himself, even though he has no way of knowing if any of his sperm was ever even used to conceive a child. Evidently, the author of this post uses the term “evidently” to mean “without any factual basis for believing so”.

    Karen Grube said:Oppressed and reviled? I can only speak for California, but if you paid any attention at all to the Prop 8 trial, there was absolutely NO evidence that gays and lesbians lack political clout and power.

    But they weren’t successful. Doesn’t that speak to a lack of clout?

    Just because the majority of voters determined that they wanted our laws to protect traditional marriage doesn’t equate to oppression.

    So, oppression isn’t one group of people telling another group what they can and can’t do? I thought that’s exactly what oppression was.

    In fact, California has I believe the most liberal domestic partnership laws in the nation.

    Not counting the states where same sex marriage is legally protected, of course. You know, like Massachussetts, where divorce rates have gone down since the legalization of same sex marriage

    All that trial could produce was a bunch of emotional arguments that had absolutely nothing to do with the Constitutionality of the law…

    Are you honestly arguing that people’s feelings of love and desire to enter into a legal family with each other have no relevance? If you are, it seems you must believe marriage to be not much more more than a legal arrangement, and I can’t see why you would then feel it necessary to restrict this option for certain groups.

    …and of the legality of the voters being able to make the decision on the definition of marriage for themselves.
    That’s not what was happening at all. Voters were making the decision about the definition of marriage for other people, not themselves In fact, his argument only makes sense if Prop 8 was concerned with defining the ability of heterosexual couples to marry. It was, as we all know, only concerned with whether or not homosexual couples could marry. Or are you saying only gay people should have been allowed to vote? Otherwise, I don’t see how heterosexuals (of which I am one) could have been deciding any thing for themselves.
    This whole push for gay marriage – the push for what you laughingly call ’social justice’ – is nothing more than an excuse for forcing the entire gay agenda – including indoctrinating elementry-school age children into the gay lifestyle in our public schools…

    “Indoctrinating children” always seems to stand for “making children aware of the existence of gays” especially without (horrors!) teaching children that gay people are to be thought of negatively and excluded.

    ..suppressing the free speech of Christians…

    Is it “speech” to dictate by force of law what another is allowed to do? Surely this same thing is not happening to the Christians who, despite whisper campaigns, could not be made to perform same-sex marriages in their churches due to very robust 1st Amendment protections. In fact, two Catholics can’t even get married in a Catholic church unless the priest has personal knowledge or proof that both are “in good standing”, meaning weekly church attendance among other things.

    …and destroying our military morale…

    Did you hear the one about the lesbian soldier who was blackmailed into repeatedly performing sexual acts on male soldiers to protect her career in the military? Wouldn’t her morale have been higher if she wasn’t forced to keep her identity secret on pain of unemployment? Not forcing people into positions where they are coerced into sex (with genders they aren’t even attracted to) to keep there job is , I believe, something that can be called social justice without “sarcastic quotes” or even laughing.

  9. Arlemagne1
    May 16th, 2010 at 11:27 | #9

    To Ray’s as yet unpublished comment:
    Population decline will happen. Phillip Longman explains how population can increase but population decline is inevitable.

    He uses the image of a train going up a hill. Suddenly, the train’s engines cut out. The train will still continue to go up the hill until the momentum of the train declines. Soon, the train will stop and then start rolling backwards down the hill.

    So too with future populations. The baby boom provided many babies for our population. However, the baby boomers didn’t have enough babies to replace themselves. They’re going to get old. They can’t reproduce anymore. But they live on, counting as members of the population. Once they start dying off, the population will decline.

  10. Anonymous P Hancock
    May 16th, 2010 at 11:28 | #10

    @Anonymous P Hancock
    Oops. Tag fail. Inside the 6th quote block, the inner-most blocks belong to the commenter to whom I am responding, the middle level contains my responses, and the outer level is again the previous commenter.

  11. Ray
    May 16th, 2010 at 14:27 | #11

    @Arlemagne1

    Arlemagne1 :
    To Ray’s as yet unpublished comment:
    Population decline will happen. Phillip Longman explains how population can increase but population decline is inevitable.
    He uses the image of a train going up a hill. Suddenly, the train’s engines cut out. The train will still continue to go up the hill until the momentum of the train declines. Soon, the train will stop and then start rolling backwards down the hill.
    So too with future populations. The baby boom provided many babies for our population. However, the baby boomers didn’t have enough babies to replace themselves. They’re going to get old. They can’t reproduce anymore. But they live on, counting as members of the population. Once they start dying off, the population will decline.

    First of all, I don’t see a crash, but a gradual decline in growth:

    http://www.google.com/publicdata?ds=wb-wdi&met=sp_pop_grow&tdim=true&dl=en&hl=en&q=WORLD+POPULATION+GROWTH#met=sp_pop_grow&idim=country:USA:CHN:IND&tdim=true

    Second of all, we have over 6 billion people on this planet. How many more do we really need? Is it really a major concern of the population actually *drops* 10% to perhaps where it was just 15-20 years ago?

    It just boggles my mind that there are organizations seriously trying to *increase* the population growth rate.

  12. Arlemagne1
    May 16th, 2010 at 15:44 | #12

    Ray,
    How much population growth do we need? I doubt there is any good solid answer to that. But I believe the answer would depend on the society and its goals. If a society wants to have a generous welfare state with socialized medicine and social security, then it would need to have massive population growth to fund the ponzi scheme. If a society wants small government, fewer people would be needed. I’m sure a mathematician could work out exactly what TFR would be ideal to produce societal stability and prosperity.

    However, TFRs below replacement certainly would not fit the bill.

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