Author Archive

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!

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

Did the Christian god rape Mary?

December 24th, 2014 Comments off

This article was first published December 26, 2014, at

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…

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.  But don’t delay. Comments close on December 30, 2014 .


Categories: Politics & Marriage Tags:

Sample email to stop the Census from wiping out marriage

December 21st, 2014 Comments off

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.


Dr Jennifer Roback Morse

Founder and President, The Ruth Institute

sent to Jennifer Jessup

December 21, 2014

Categories: Politics & Marriage Tags:

More detailed information about the Census’ sneak attack on marriage

December 21st, 2014 Comments off

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!

Categories: Politics & Marriage Tags:

Sneak Attack on Marriage by The Sexual State

December 21st, 2014 Comments off

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

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.


Recipe for Peace: Overcoming Loneliness

December 21st, 2014 Comments off

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…

Four Christmases: The Superstition of Divorce

December 16th, 2014 Comments off

A superstition is something we believe in spite of the evidence, because we like the way it makes us feel.

For example: “I can solve all my problems if I could just divorce my spouse, and try again to find the Perfect Soulmate.”Four_Christmases-Movie_Poster

Do you remember the movie, Four Christmases, the Reese Witherspoon, Vince Vaughn Christmas movie from 2008?  The premise of this movie is that Reese and Vince have 4 Christmases: one with each one of their divorced and remarried parents.  I wrote a column about this film when it came out.

Popular culture has a way of reflecting the anxieties and ambiguities of our age, sometimes without quite meaning to. Christmas 2008’s bit of holiday eye candy, Four Christmases, illustrates the anxiety around insecure relationships, across the generations. The title comes from the visits that a happily unmarried yuppie couple must make to their two sets of divorced parents. But the movie could be called The Superstitions of Divorce. It strips away the lies we tell ourselves to justify our rejection of one another….

Not a one of these first three parents has learned a thing from their divorces. Boyfriend and Girlfriend are not deceived by their parents’ efforts to absolve themselves: They still have the same problems and crazy behavior. The new love interest doesn’t solve their problems.

Another superstition: “The kids will be fine as long as their parents are happy. Kids are resilient.”

Social science can now tell us for certain that this is untrue, as can millions of children of divorce who are now old enough to speak for Read more…

Recipe for Peace: Overcoming Despair

December 14th, 2014 Comments off

Hope is anticipating a positive future.

During the Christmas season, sometimes reality does not live up to our expectations. We feel discouraged, which can cause despair. We give up thinking that our lives will ever work the way we want them to, or that our lives and struggles have meaning.  We need an antidote to despair.

One way we can anticipate a positive future is to purify our memories. Our old hurts and resentments weigh us down with discouragement and self-doubt. So does our unforgiven-ness.

We cannot change the past. But we CAN change how we think about the past:Hope Blog 1

  • how tightly we cling to our interpretation of it
  • how much blame we assign to people
  • whether we forgive ourselves and others

Each one of us is on the battlefield of Good and Evil every day. Satan is “the father of lies and a murderer from the beginning.”  He likes nothing better than to sink his claws into us, and dish out lies to us about ourselves, our relationships and our worth.

He has been at it since that momentous day in the Garden of Eden. But his successes have really escalated over the past 50 years with the lies of the Sexual Revolution.

How can we be hopeful in the face of all that?

God has been at work restoring the cosmos since the day of the first human sin. We can help by letting go of our old wounds and allowing Him to restore US! We can look forward to a better, more hopeful future.

Here at the Ruth Institute, we offer a Recipe for Peace. No matter what may be going on in your life, we think you can contribute to creating an atmosphere of peace within your own families, work places and circles of friends. In this way, we can participate in the peace of Christ the King. How do you remain hopeful? How do you forgive others? How do you let go of blame? Share your thoughts with us at #RecipeForPeace.

Join us on the Ruth Institute Facebook page, and learn more about the #RecipesForPeace campaign. 

“No One Told Me It Was Wrong”

December 11th, 2014 Comments off

The California Catholic Daily picked up my MercatorNet article, with this new and I think, more appealing title.

My husband and I traveled to St. Joachim’s parish in Madera CA to participate in a marriage preparation/marriage enrichment weekend. This parish is manned by an order of priests, the Oblates of St. Joseph. They have been perfecting this particular retreat, “Life-giving Love” for quite a few years.

The title of my article comes from this anecdote that I recounted from the weekend:

The betrothal of Mary and Joseph, by Raphael

The betrothal of Mary and Joseph, by Raphael

Another couple shared that they had each been married before. One of their marriages had ended through death, the other through an annulment. Each of them had sterilized themselves during the course of their first marriages. The husband had made the decision to have a vasectomy. The wife decided to have her tubes tied. She decided this without consulting her then-husband. She had it done while she was in recovery from delivering her third child.

This couple was the most powerful couple of the whole weekend. They sat in front of us weeping openly about these decisions to sterilize themselves. They came to see that the reasons they gave themselves originally were not good enough. They spoke of their regrets. The most powerful regret was that they could not become parents together with their new sacramental spouse.

They spoke of their love for the church. “No one told me it was wrong.” The man said repeatedly, through his tears. “If only I had known. If only someone had told me.”

This is the down-side of the clergy not talking about the Church’s teaching on marriage. People have to figure it out for themselves by trial and error. And the “errors” can be really painful, and irrevocable.