Love and Economics: From Contract to Cooperation

January 17th, 2015 Comments off

A review of Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse’s book, Love and Economics.

Posted at acton.org on Thursday, January 8, 2015

By

The subject of contracts is not particularly romantic, which is part of the reason I’d like to talk about contracts—and how we might reach beyond them.

In some ways, we’ve come to overly ignore, downplay, or disregard contracts. Across the world, we see grandmaster politicians and planners trying to impose various “solutions” with the flicks of their wands, paying little attention to core features like trust and respect for property rights. Here in America, our government is increasingly bent on diluting or subverting our most fundamental agreements, whether between husband and wife or foreclosed Billy and his bank. Read more…

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Ol’ What’s-His-Name

January 10th, 2015 Comments off

The night before Thanksgiving my sister took her daughter to New York City to watch the balloons being blown up for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. On the way to the city her four-year-old asked, “Mommy, do those balloons go all the way up to that ‘Church Guy?’”

“You mean God?”

“Yeah, him!”

Read more funny parenting stories here.

 

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Two Things Pope Francis Will NOT Say in His Encyclical on the Environment

January 10th, 2015 Comments off

…and how we Catholics can help him

by Jennifer Roback Morse

This article was first published at The Daily Caller on January 9, 2015 and at aleteia.org, January 10, 2015.

Pundits left and right have been jockeying for position in anticipation of Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment. This is quite amazing, considering that even the publication date hasn’t been published yet!

I do not know what he is going to say. Neither, dear reader, does anyone else whom you are likely to read. However, I can tell you two things that he will certainly NOT say. And those two unsaid things have the potential to speak volumes, if only we will listen. Read more…

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Exciting update! 800 comments sent about removal of marriage questions from census

January 7th, 2015 Comments off

Thank youYou may recall that the U.S. Census Bureau was proposing to remove five marriage-related questions from one of its surveys, and was soliciting feedback about the removal. Dr. Morse urged Ruth Institute fans and supporters to write to Jennifer Jessup at the Bureau to urge Ms. Jessup to not remove the questions (see Dr. Morse’s posts here). We have an update to this endeavor. The Washington Times reported on Dec 30:

The Census Bureau has gotten at least 800 written comments about its proposal to drop five marriage questions from its annual survey.

A bureau official declined Tuesday to say whether most of the comments were in opposition to the proposal, but leading family research groups have been unanimously against cutting the questions from the American Community Survey (ACS).

Scholars from the Brookings Institution and researchers from National Center for Family and Marriage Research at Bowling Green State University (BGSU) in Ohio were among those who also protested the removal of the questions, according to the article. We also know that many of our fans and supporters sent emails to Ms. Jessup because of Dr. Morse’s request.

The article also reports that  there will likely be a second round of comments solicited before the final decision is reached. If you are on our newsletter list, you’ll receive an update about that when it becomes available. If you are not on our newsletter list and would like to stay updated about this and other topics, go here to signup: RuthNewsletter.org.

We appreciate all our fans and supporters who wrote to Ms. Jessup. Thank you!

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Does this caterpillar make me look fat?

December 31st, 2014 Comments off

A while back we got one of those butterfly growing kits that you start from caterpillars. There were the same number of caterpillars as members of the family, so the children named each one after us. I was a little distraught when I heard one child declare, “The big one is Mommy.” But I felt a little better later on when I heard one say, “The caterpillar with its head in the food is Daddy.”

Sounds like that caterpillar had a rough night.

Read more funny parenting stories.

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Recipes for Peace

December 25th, 2014 Comments off

Our Ruth Institute Recipes for Peace campaign is winding down. I want to thank everyone who participated by posting cute family photos and survival tips for the holidays! I had a lot of fun, and I can tell that all of you did as well.

Let us remember that Jesus is the King of Peace. He allowed Himself to come to us as a child, in all the weakness and vulnerability of an infant. He allowed us to do our worst to Him, and still He loves us. He triumphed over our sins, and even death itself. All of this is foreshadowed in the modesty of his birth.

Have a very Merry and Blessed Christmas everyone, from all of us at the Ruth Institute!

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Did the Christian god rape Mary?

December 24th, 2014 Comments off

This article was first published December 26, 2014, at ChristianPost.com.

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.” Read more…

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How You Can Be Part of The Ruth Movement in 2015

December 23rd, 2014 Comments off

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 Comments off

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 Comments off

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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