I went to see Atlas Shrugged Part III the night it opened. The evening led me to reflect on what had attracted me to Ayn Rand as a twenty-something graduate student in economics.
And let it be said: I was very attracted to her ideas. I appreciated how she dramatized the evils of a centrally planned economy. I was persuaded by her depiction of the fast descent of economic control into a totalitarian state.
Most of all, I loved how she said it was ok to be selfish. There it is. The naked truth about the appeal of Ayn Rand. Selfishness and an irrational individualism continues to be a glaring weakness of much of the Right today.
But why exactly, was selfishness so appealing to my twenty-something self? Read more…
Jennifer Johnson, Director of Outreach
My name is Jennifer Johnson and I am the Director of Outreach at the Ruth Institute. Since you linked to an important document created by my organization in your post called, “Conservatives Can’t Be Pro-Marriage and Oppose Gay Marriage,” I would like to respond to you.
You said that you haven’t found a conservative to “give you a satisfactory answer” as to “how gay marriage tangibly undermines traditional marriage arrangements.” That’s unfortunate, and I’m not very surprised. However, this kind of answer is the kind of answer specialize in here at the Ruth Institute (which is no longer part of NOM, BTW).
Before I answer, let me pose a question, Melanie. Have you researched the precise manner in which gay marriage is implemented into the legal code? I would like to make a prediction: that you have not done this research. Very few have. What I have observed, instead, is that gay marriage supporters make an assumption. Their assumption goes like this: Read more…
by Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D.
Why should we stand for the family, or for marriage, or for any of the cultrually conservative issues?
The Judicial Elites have handed down a disastrous series of Federal Court decisions, solidifying governmental commitment to the ideology of the Sexual Revolution. The Entertainment Elites seem to celebrate every family form, except the natural family of a loving father and mother faithful to one another and raising their own children together. The Media Elites continue their shameless manipulation of public opinion. The Economic Elites pour money into political campaigns and propaganda campaigns designed to prop up the structure of the Sexual Revolution. Academic Elites continue their behind-the-scenes scribbling, advocating for recreating marriage, the family and even the human body, in their own image. Read more…
Picture yourself living to a ripe old age. For men, divorce is about as dangerous as picking up a pack a day cigarette habit. Being unmarried shortens a woman’s life span by more years than having cancer or living in poverty.
The bottom line here is clear: Your marriage matters–not just to your children and friends who need your good example, but also to yourself. If you’re not trying to make it work for others’ sake, can you at least do it for yourself? If your marriage is on the rocks, seek help and don’t give up.
Find more marriage, and potentially, life-saving tips here.
Regarding 101 Tips for a Happier Marriage
“As someone who, through the grace of God and a lot of hard work, was able to rebuild a marriage, I can say that this book offers so much to couples who may be struggling. First and foremost, it helps husbands and wives understand the true definition of marriage as God ordained it. Second, it is filled with practical and very doable action items for everyday people with busy lives. If couples truly make an effort to apply the advice in 101 Tips for a Happier Marriage, their relationship–not only with their spouse but also with the Lord–will be the best it can be.” –Teresa Tomeo, Host of Catholic Connection
Order a special autographed copy for your loved ones here!
P.S. Autographed copies are available for non-newlyweds too!
Accolades for 101 Tips for a Happier Marriage
“How can something as wide and complex as marital conflict be addressed by a book so slender and simple? Our culture stresses the wedding day and forgets the married life–until the wheels start coming off and then it’s often too late. But there is hope. This wise and practical book is not only for couples who want to make their good marriages great, but even better for couples who, for their own unique and pain-drenched reasons, find themselves tempted to give up on the dream. To Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse and Betsy Kerekes go the laurels for this much-needed manual for strengthening men and women for what G.K. Chesterton called the ‘duel to the death which no man of honor should decline.’” –Patrick Coffin, Host of Catholic Answers Live
Pick up a copy here.
Listen to what your spouse is trying to tell you during a conflict. Sometimes conflict arises because one person is trying to hold the other accountable for misbehavior, bad habits, or character flaws. You’d probably rather hear about your character defects from your spouse who loves you, than from your boss during an exit interview.
How well do you typically do on your New Year’s resolutions? Did you lose ten pounds? Are you down to only a pack a day? Are you exercising eight days a week? Well why not work on something a little more internal? Park your pride in the still-cluttered garage, and listen to what your spouse has to say. You may not enjoy it at the time, but you may end up thanking him or her later.
Get your copy here. And don’t forget that you can order a special personalized edition signed by both authors by ordering here.
Very interesting article over at Ethika Politika, called “Choosing Transformational Marriage,” by a young lady named Elizabeth Stoker Bruening. She makes the point that we are all so freaked out over whether we stay married or get divorced and how we feel, that we overlook the transformational nature of marriage itself. She observes that the raft of “quick fixes” to prevent divorce or create happiness:
already mistake the nature of the institution. In the ‘romantic’ view, marriage … was only ever a declaration of love; the deluge of media mediating on how to restore affection, satisfaction, or interest to a marriage is evidence of this
“till death do us part”
sense of divorce as the inevitable outcome of weakened sentiments.
Yet, all these projects intend to manipulate marriage to better serve one’s own purposes, while … marriage is better thought of as a purpose to be served, in which the long story of love unfolds.
Marriage lasts wherein the couple allow themselves to be transformed by it, and faithfully commit to that transformation, re-orienting the way they relate to one another and the marriage itself by willful habitation to the virtues of charity and kindness.
I agree with Mrs. Bruening that the best view of marriage is to see it as a purpose worth pursuing, rather than as a vehicle for Read more…
Protect yourself when your spouse starts criticizing you. Imagine yourself inside a giant bell-shaped jar. You can observe what is going on around you, but the jar protects you from anything harmful actually coming in. This gives you some psychological space to begin listening.
This is an opportunity for you to learn and grow, but that can be a difficult and painful task. Pretend you’re watching this encounter unfold on television. You are now the writer. How would you write the scene to provide the best possible outcome for both of you? When it’s your turn to speak, be both the director and the star. You can take the high road and only accept what you think is valuable from your spouse’s comments.
Get more marriage tips here.
Reviewed by Julie Dortch Cragin, wife, mother of six, manager of St. Mary’s Bookstore in Nashville, Tennessee, and author of Bless My Child, Jesus at My Side, and Visiting Mary: Her U.S. Shrines and Their Graces.
101 Tips for a Happier Marriage: Simple Ways for Couples to Grow Closer to God and to Each Other
“The whole point of this book,” write its authors, “is that you can improve your marriage, even if your spouse doesn’t change a bit.” In a time when strong marriages seem to be an exception, couples young and old can benefit from learning ways to refresh their relationships and to bring joy back into their commitments. Remember that first year of married bliss? Wouldn’t we all like that year to last a lifetime? Read more…