The Devastation of the Sexual Revolution (Guest: Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse)

Crisis Point

Interview Transcript

The sexual revolution has wreaked devastation on our culture and our society. How do we recover and help the survivors?

Link:
• Ruth Institute Summit for Survivors 2022

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Transcript:

Eric Sammons:

The sexual revolution has wreaked devastation on our culture and our society. How do we recover and help the survivors? That’s what we’re going to talk about today on Crisis Point. Hello, I’m Eric Sammons, your host and the editor-in-chief of Crisis Magazine. Before we get started, just want to ask people to like and subscribe to the channel, let other people know about it. The channel’s growing. I really appreciate all those who have shared it with others. Let’s go ahead and get started. Our guest today is Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse. She’s the founder and president of the Ruth Institute. She’s a campaign spokeswoman for California’s winning Proposition Eight campaign defining marriage as a union between a man and woman. How shocking.

She has authored or co-authored six books and spoken around the globe on marriage, family and human sexuality. Her latest book is A Sexual State: How Elite Ideologies Are Destroying Lives and Why the Church Was Right All Along. Welcome to the program.

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse:

I’m glad to be with you, Eric. I’ve been a Crisis reader for a long time back to the Ralph McInerny and James Schall days, so it’s very-

Eric Sammons:

Yes, very.

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse:

… nice … Not all publications survive.

Eric Sammons:

Yes, we’re actually celebrating our 40th anniversary this year. It will be in November. We’ll be 40 years old.

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse:

That’s very wonderful and good for you. Good for you.

Eric Sammons:

We’ve been around for a long time.

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse:

To pass the torch successfully, that’s a big thing.

Eric Sammons:

Exactly. I remember I read a book by you. This was a while ago. Oh, gosh. Now the title escapes me… Something taking off of Hillary Clinton’s It Takes A Village.

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse:

Oh, yes. Yes, yes, I remember.

Eric Sammons:

… What was that book called?

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse:

It was called Love and Economics: It Takes a Family To Raise a Village.

Eric Sammons:

Yes. I loved that book.

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse:

Oh, thank you.

Eric Sammons:

I remember reading that. When did that come out?

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse:

It was originally published by Spence Publishing in 2001 with a different subtitle and the subtitle … no one could understand the subtitle. When Spence went out of business, the rights reverted to me, so the Ruth Institute brought it out again. I think we brought it out again with that subtitle in 2008 and paperback only.

Eric Sammons:

I think I got it maybe a year or two after it came out and I just thought it was an excellent book just on … I dabble in economics, so just seeing … The biggest problem I’ve always had with … I tend to support libertarian economics, but I always feel like the family is left out of the equation too often in discussions, which is why I loved your book because making the family as the center point of economics is really, I think, a Catholic way of looking at it.

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse:

Well, I didn’t really know it was a Catholic way of looking at it when I first did it, but I just thought it was applied natural law. For me, it was the experience of going from being a free-market economist to being a full-time mom to two children within six months’ time, because that’s a whole story, and I don’t know if you remember that from the book, but that it just became so clear to me that children need their parents. We adopted a little boy from Romania who was two and a half years old when we got him. He had been in very minimal care for the first two and a half years of his life. Then, six months later we gave birth to a baby girl.

Well, you got me, I’m a nerd. My husband, engineer, nerd, total nerd. When we look at it, it’s a science experiment. This is a controlled experiment. What difference does it make whether you have a mother and father in your life? Of course, you can see, oh my gosh, oh my gosh, it makes so much difference. That’s what propelled my mind down that path that led to the book, Love and Economics. Those kids came in 1991. That was our big year. Then, 10 years later, I had written the book by that time, but it turned everything upside down. You can’t be a, “Let’s leave everybody alone to do their own thing,” kind of libertarian anymore once kids enter the picture. Since everybody enters the world as a child … Last I looked, this is the universal human experience. It’s not like some small thing you can set aside. That’s what turned my life into a very particular path where I … Well, I still am on that path.

Eric Sammons:

Right. Sounds like that’s very connected to your founding of the Ruth Institute, this idea of really protecting children and helping them after they’ve had to go through some experience that is not the ideal of a mother and father at home with them, taking care of them. Tell us a little bit about the Ruth Institute, when you founded it and the purpose behind it.

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse:

I founded the Ruth Institute in 2008, when we still lived in San Diego. My kids were getting older and didn’t need me as much. We had done foster care for a few years, so we were done with that. It was time to move on to something else, and I always had it in my mind that I wanted to have some kind of a think tank. I modeled myself on the Acton Institute if you know the guys at Acton. I’ve been involved with Acton for a long time, from the beginning, really. I admired them and saw what they had accomplished and so on. I thought that, “Well, that’s a good path for me now that I’m … ” Of course, once you leave a tenure track position, which I had left my tenured position at George Mason, you’re completely unemployable after that. No one will ever touch you again in academic life. I’m like, “I’m going to do what I want.”

When I started the Ruth Institute in 2008, Eric, I thought that what I was going to do is to talk to college-age women about why they need not be afraid to start their families and why they don’t have to wait until they’ve made partner in the law firm, gotten tenure or all those kind of things that a lot of us were really primed to think about because we thought, “Well, we have to compete with the men, we have to do what the guys do and the babies aren’t so important. They’ll be there,” all that kind of stupid … I wanted to tell people that wasn’t right and that it’d be okay if you started your family sometime before menopause kicks in.

Then, in 2008 in San Diego, something happened that I didn’t expect, which was Proposition Eight. Proposition Eight, as you mentioned in the introduction, is a ballot initiative to amend the California constitution to make marriage the union of one man and one woman. Well, that actually started in San Diego. At that time, the auxiliary Bishop of San Diego was Salvatore Cordileone, and he got the whole thing going. It was really Catholics in San Diego who raised the money to get it on the ballot. Then, once it was on the ballot, all these other people, all these other groups, came together to get the thing through.

I had literally just started the Ruth Institute and I got recruited to be involved in this. I didn’t really want to get involved in gay stuff. I don’t mind saying that. That’s not really where I wanted to go. In fact, I don’t know anybody who really wants to get involved in those issues, but I felt like I couldn’t sit it out because I had so much knowledge about how children need their mothers and fathers. If you thought about it very much, you could see that if you redefine marriage, you’re going to end up redefining parenthood. Kids are going to end up separated from their natural mother and father and all these other consequences we’ve already seen from broken down families, and so on, all those things are going to follow if you redefine marriage and you have two guys raising a kid. You’re going to have problems.

I didn’t feel I could sit it out, so I got involved in that, and the Ruth Institute has been involved in those type of issues ever since. Over time, I came to see and feel very strongly that, if you try to just deal with gay marriage without talking about any other part of the sexual revolution, you’re not really going to be completely credible because we used to like to say, and the campaign used to say this … they would say, “Kids need a mother and a father.” I remember sitting there … even the first time I heard it, I’m like, “That’s not really good enough.” They need their own mother and their own father, wherever that is possible. That’s what they need. Nobody wanted to talk about that because they didn’t want to get involved in a fight about divorce.

I’m like, “You know, a lot more kids lose their parents to divorce than are ever going to lose it over gay marriage, so we really need to at least be prepared to talk about it.” Even if we don’t bring it up all the time, we can’t sit there flatfooted when somebody else brings it up, like, “Oh, I don’t have anything to say. Hmm. Let’s talk about something else.” I just couldn’t do that. Anyway, over the years, it expanded until now I would say we’re the one-stop shop to deal with anything that has to do with the sexual revolution.

Eric Sammons:

Let’s get back then to the sexual revolution. It’s interesting because I’m sure in the 1960s, if you had told some advocate of the sexual revolution, “By the way, what this will lead to is drag shows for kids,” I think they would’ve thought you were insane and just said, “That’s the worst slippery slope argument I’ve ever heard in my life,” yet here we are in 2022 and, of course, that’s exactly what’s happening. Let’s go back then to the sexual revolution. What were the promises made by the sexual revolution and why were they flawed from the beginning?

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse:

Well, that’s a huge question. I have a book that was published by Tan Publishing called The Sexual State: How Elite Ideologies are Destroying Lives and Why the Church Was Right All Along is the subtitle. In that book, I break down the sexual revolution into three main ideologies, interlocking ideologies. The reason I do that, Eric, is because there seems like there’s so many parts to it, but there’s really only three big ideas. Everything you’re seeing can be broken down into one of those three big ideas. I think that’s easier for people to manage, to think it through and feel less overwhelmed by it.

The first big idea was the contraceptive ideology, and the idea there was that a good society should do everything possible to separate sex from babies because, after all, everybody knows by now, by the ’60s, that Freud has taught us and all these people have taught us that, if we repress our sexuality, we’re going to be crazy. You can’t have a happy life if you repress your sexuality, these taboos are terrible and so on and so forth, so the only way you can have your fulfilled sex life is to somehow eliminate the connection with babies. That’s the whole contraceptive piece, plus the abortion piece as a backup in case of a contraceptive failure, and it’s just the whole concept that sex is an entitlement, sexual activity is an entitlement.

In my opinion, that led to the #MeToo movement. What exactly do you think is going to happen if you tell everybody that they’re entitled to sex and nothing bad’s ever going to happen? Who’s exactly empowered by that, I ask you? Well, the predator is empowered by that. That’s one set of ideas all wrapped up in a nice, shiny bow that women are going to be empowered, we’re going to be equal, we’re going to be happy, so on and so forth, and every child is going to be a wanted child, you see. That’s the next thing. Those were some of the promises, which as soon as you say them, you realize they’re ridiculous. They didn’t happen. They’re not going to happen. They can’t happen.

The second ideology is what I call the divorce ideology, because that is what says that a good and decent society should not only separate sex and babies, it should and is entitled to, everybody’s entitled to, separate sex and babies from marriage so you can have sex without being married, you can have babies without being married, you can be married without having babies. There’s no necessary connection between any of these things. Underlying that ideology, which is very seldom stated right next to each other … There’s divorce ideology over here, “Divorce is fine.” Over here is the idea of, “Kids are resilient.” Kids are so resilient. They’ll be fine. You can do anything you want. Don’t worry about the kids, they’re fine. They’re so resilient. Well, you park those two things up next to each other and it’s ridiculous. It’s so clearly self-serving. “We get to do what we want and the kids will be fine. We’re so fragile as adults, we must have our needs met, but the kids will be fine. No matter how many times we switch out our sex partners, no matter how much we disrupt their living arrangements, no matter how many boyfriends I bring home, nothing bad’s going to happen.” That’s crazy.

Then, the third ideology of the sexual revolution is what I call the gender ideology, and this encompasses some forms of feminism. Feminism is a big, amorphous thing, so I want to be a little cautious about the word feminism because it means a lot of things to a lot of people, but surely, everyone would agree there’s a part of feminism which says that the sex of the body is not particularly significant, that we can rewrite social roles and cultural roles any way we want, and of course we want equality so therefore, we’ll socially engineer everything to make men and women equal. Along with that has also come the idea that the body is so insubstantial that, if you want to change the body itself, you can do that, too. That’s where we are now. That’s how feminism, homosexuality and transgenderism … how all those things are linked. They’re linked by the idea that the body doesn’t really matter very much and we can either socially engineer or medically engineer our way to any combination of things that we want and, like always with sexual revolution, nothing bad will happen to anyone.

Eric Sammons:

Of course not.

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse:

No! No, no, no.

Eric Sammons:

Now, it’s interesting that you mentioned these three parts of the sexual revolution. The first two in particular, whereas we know that it’s really natural law, the idea that, obviously, sex and procreation are connected, marriage, family and babies are all connected and things like that, yet it’s also true that the Catholic Church is really the only institution that’s standing up against contraception, at least officially. I know there’s issues in the Catholic Church, but we all know that.

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse:

No kidding.

Eric Sammons:

That’s the understatement of the year, right?

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse:

We have issues? All right, Protestant brothers and sisters who are watching … I have a lot of non-Catholic followers, Eric, just so you know.

Eric Sammons:

That’s actually what I’m coming to.

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse:

Oh, okay. Mormon brothers and sisters, Evangelical brothers and sisters, listen up. We know we have issues, okay? Go ahead, Eric.

Eric Sammons:

Exactly. Crisis, we have a number of … In fact, I just got an email today from a Protestant reader of ours, but the idea, though, is that contraception and divorce … the Catholic Church, at least officially, still stands up against that, and most Protestant denominations have not done that.

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse:

Correct.

Eric Sammons:

My question is, Ruth Institute is obviously an interfaith coalition. How do you navigate that to not underplay the importance of those evils, really, contraception and divorce, yet you deal with a lot of non-Catholics who … their faith tradition may accept both or at least one of those?

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse:

I have a very strict policy about this, Eric. My policy is that I will talk to anyone who will listen, which narrows the field more than you might think, actually. Seriously, what we say about ourselves as part of our … What do you call it? Our mission statement, value statement, whatever those things are that we try to keep focused on, is that we will work with individuals and groups who share our views in whole or in part. If somebody wants to join us on one issue and they’re not 100% on board with any other issues, that’s okay. I try not to pick fights with people unnecessarily and certainly within the staff, our events and things like that. We never talk about the Filioque clause in staff meetings and stuff like that. We really don’t.

Eric Sammons:

That’s for after hours at the bar.

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse:

That’s right. A few beers, we’ll talk about that. Well, our Mormon friends will be sipping their ginger ales or whatever.

Eric Sammons:

Right, right, right.

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse:

But no, I feel that my personal location is to hold the door of the church open. I’m at the door of the church, holding the door open for anybody who wants to come through and honestly, there are people who look at what we’re doing, who listen to what the church has to say and they’re like, “This … in my heart, I believe this,” whatever this is, “In my heart, this is what I’ve always believed, but I can’t explain it. Can you explain it? Dr. Morse, can you explain this?” That happens to me all the time. That used to happen all the time in Prop Eight, that people would know in their hearts that they were hearing something that wasn’t right, but I gave them the words for it. I think the Catholic Church gives them the words and the intellectual structure to see how it all fits together, it’s coherent. it’s been thought through. I didn’t make this up myself. We’re standing on the shoulders of some real giants in a lot of ways.

Then, that’s how we navigate it. We say what we have to say and I don’t shrink from anything that I think needs to be said and anybody wants to gather around gathers around. Not everybody gathers around on every point, but you’d be surprised how often it happens to me that I’ll be talking to either a mixed audience or even an Evangelical audience, and somebody will raise their hand and say, “Dr. Morse, I’m an Evangelical. We want to hear more about contraception. Tell us more about this.” I’m like, “Okay. I’d be glad to.”

Eric Sammons:

I remember when I was a Protestant in the pro-life movement. I thought the Catholics were insane to be against contraception. I was very young. I was dumb. To me, I was just like … Here’s the thing is I had never heard anything argued against it, so I just accept it because that’s what you do. It wasn’t like I had thought it through and like, “Okay, let’s look at the different arguments for and against it.” Then, when I started to hear … My first reaction was, “You people are insane. How could you be against contraception?” Then, over time, listening to the arguments, I’m like, “Wait a second. This actually makes sense and I can see how it’s connected to abortion.” That’s what it seems like you’re doing. You’re trying to put it together that we’re not here where we are in 2022 just because of abortion got legal or something like that. It’s far more than that, it’s much more, so I’m glad you’re able to bring that together.

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse:

For you, what was the thing that … When you said, “I first started hearing arguments,” who did you hear them from? What did you hear? What clicked for you, Eric?

Eric Sammons:

This was in the early ’90s. I was in college at the time. I was dating a girl and I’d been dating her long term. We ended up breaking up but, when we thought about marriage, we just assumed, both of us, that we’d continue with contraception in our marriage. Then, somebody, a Catholic friend, was basically just like, “Why would you want to restrict the children God might give you in marriage?”

It wasn’t even talking about … I was against sexual promiscuity at the time and sex outside of marriage, so obviously you couldn’t argue for contraception there because I was already against having relations outside marriage but, for me, it was fine in marriage, but they were like, “Well, hold on a second. I thought when you get married,” this was a Catholic saying this, “wouldn’t you want any gifts that God would give you, be open to life and things like that?” They said it much better than I am right now, and it just got me thinking, “Hold on a second. Why would I get married in the first place? What is the reason? Is it just so I can have a friend that I can live with for the rest of my life, or is there something deeper to it than that?” That then starts the road that goes down a whole bunch of paths, then you have a whole different way of even looking at marriage itself. It’s not just a partnership between two people, but there’s an actual end to it, a purpose to it.

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse:

That’s what we have lost, and that’s what was so difficult about trying to defend man/woman marriage without ever talking about anything else because this three-part typology that I just explained to you? I figured that out over the years of trying to defend man/woman marriage because I realized, in people’s minds, they had already redefined marriage. They had already redefined marriage to make it intrinsically sterile, to be about the adults, not about the children, and that the sex of the body wasn’t particularly significant.

I realized my objection to gay marriage, to redefining it even further by removing the gender requirement explicitly: what you’re doing is taking all these things which were false in the first place, and you’re solidifying them and trenching them even more deeply in the law. It’s bad enough now, people. Are we really going to take another step in this direction? Well, that’s a hard argument to make in the context of a political campaign, although we won quite a few elections and we lost it in the court. I just became convinced that it was necessary for somebody to do the long-term work of saying, “I don’t care about the next election. I don’t care about the next court case. Somebody else can worry about that. I’m going to spell this out as logically and as completely as I can so that whoever’s doing that work, they have something solid to build on so that people don’t have to be so afraid.”

I’ll tell you this one story about … this is a Prop Eight story. As you may remember, we won in the state of California. The voters of California in 2008 voted in favor of man/woman marriage, and we were in court almost immediately. The elites of society brought that to court and it was financed by Rob Reiner, the Hollywood guy. He put a bunch of money on the table to finance this court challenge. The government of California, including the attorney general, refused to defend the law, which the law was man/woman marriage now, and it’s the duty of the attorney general to defend the laws of the state. They refused to defend it, so we ended up in court just to get standing for the campaign to defend it. All kinds of court challenges.

I was in the courtroom in California. Numerous times, I was there as an observer because I had been involved and so on, and I remember this one time we were in court. It was the Ninth Circuit, and judge Stephen Reinhardt was presiding over it. I don’t know if people remember him, but he was Mr. Liberal Lion. He was the guy who was largely responsible for how out of control that court was. We were having oral arguments. Our attorney, the pro-Prop Eight attorney, was standing up there talking about how children need a mother and a father, and Reinhardt said something along the lines of, “Well, why don’t you outlaw divorce, then?” “Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha … ” The whole courtroom burst out laughing.

I just wanted to jump up and yell at our attorney, “Answer him. Answer him! Please say something.” Of course, he didn’t, of course, we lost and, of course, then it turned out that his daughter married a woman and it was just one impossible thing after another with that whole court thing. As things developed, it just became clear that, whatever else other people were going to do, my personal vocation was going to need to be to take this intellectually and build the foundation that people could work on and have something solid to work with.

Eric Sammons:

I think one of the reasons why we don’t want to ask the divorce question, for example, is because it has a personal impact on so many people, either as children of divorced or divorcees themselves, and that’s one thing I wanted to talk about next, which was when most of us think about the sexual revolution and, if you ask me, for example, “Who was harmed by the sexual revolution,” my first thought, and I think a lot of people’s first thought, would be, for example, the woman who sleeps around thinking that’s going to bring her some type of joy, some type of happiness. Of course, it doesn’t. She’s being used by multiple boyfriends, things like that.

What I’ve noticed when I was looking through what the Ruth Institute doing, your upcoming summit you’re going to have, we’ll talk about it more in a moment, is you talk a lot about the survivors of the sexual revolution, people who are impacted more indirectly in the sense that they were not doing the things that the sexual revolution said to do but instead, because other people around them were doing it, it harmed them. Who are some of these people who have been harmed more secondhand smoke, so to speak, of the sexual revolution?

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse:

Well, the biggest category would be the children of divorce, because they are certainly innocent parties. They didn’t do anything wrong, yet when their parents decided to divorce for whatever reason, and there are a lot of reasons that people decide to get divorced and there are a lot of stories, the children … their lives are turned upside down.

It has been shown numerous times, Eric, numerous times. There is simply no doubt that children are harmed by their parents’ divorce. That’s true almost irregardless of what else was going on in the marriage. Now, not 100%, but it has to be really, really bad, not a low conflict, moderate conflict kind of marriage, it has to be a super-high conflict marriage where people are getting beat up, there’s drugs and so on and so forth. Short of that, kids are harmed by their parents’ separation and divorce, and they are certainly harmed by their parents’ subsequent re-partnering. Whether they get married again or whether they just have a string of new lovers that come through the house, those new relationships are very disruptive and very hurtful to children on all sorts of levels. There’s no empirical doubt about that whatsoever. There are literally hundreds of studies showing one case after another, one social indicator after another, that kids are hired by that. The children of divorce are certainly an innocent party who suffer tremendously from the divorce ideology.

Likewise, the abandoned spouse. Now, here’s a fact you probably don’t know, because we’re about the only people who ever talk about this: we have this narrative in society. The revolutionary narrative is, “Well, no-fault divorce is important because, when two adult, mature people decide that they’ve had enough, why should the state have any interest in keeping a loveless marriage together?” That’s the narrative. It suggests to you that the two people have agreed, that they’ve settled their differences amicably like grownups, it’s like a transaction or a contract whose dissolution is being negotiated and everyone’s better off if you can do that at lower cost. That’s the narrative behind no fault divorce. It was the narrative behind passing it and people still tell that story.

What people don’t know is that at least 75% of divorces have a reluctant party, meaning it’s not mutual at all. One party wants to get divorced, one already wants to stay married. Now, the implications of that are vast, simply vast because, number one, it means that the state must intervene to break up the marriage because there’s one person who wants to stay, What no-fault divorce really means is unilateral divorce, and it really means that the state always takes sides with the person who wants the marriage the least. That’s what no fault divorce actually means. It doesn’t mean neutral arbitration or just low-cost separation. It doesn’t mean any of that. It means one party can end the marriage unilaterally. Then, as soon as you do that, now the family court’s involved, so that reluctant party who’d like to stay married … that person’s got to be separated from the marriage. They have to give up all the assets of the marriage. The court gets to divide the assets, which generally means the family home, the time with the children and the influence over the children’s life.

When you really think about it, it is profoundly unjust and very few people will say that abandoned spouse, the reluctantly divorced party, that that person has had some injustice done to them. I know a lot of people that call themselves standers, who are standing for their marriage, and people tell them, “Oh, you’ve got to move on. Oh, you’re interfering with your ex’s chances for happiness,” so on and so forth, but the fact is they’re trying to be loyal. They’re trying to be loyal. They’ve made a vow and they’re taking that vow seriously. I don’t know how you can have a great civilization if you incentivize disloyalty on the scale that we have incentivized disloyalty. Think about that.

Eric Sammons:

Exactly. The divorce is just … it’s just so widely accepted, though. How do you help people like, for example, children of divorce? How do you actually practically help them?

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse:

We try to have workshops on healing family breakdown, and we did okay with it, but it’s not really our forte. There’s another group that does that type of work. Dan and Bethany Meola, who are actually coming to our summit because I wanted to highlight them. They put on retreats, workshops and things for adult children of divorce to help them because that’s a whole unique vocation, to be involved in any kind of therapeutic stuff, and that isn’t really who I am and what I do. I think our contribution as the Ruth Institute is to call attention to it and to say, “Look, this is a thing and don’t you dare tell the kids they need to get over it, don’t you dare tell them they’ll be okay. Just stop with that.” Dan and Bethany can be nice about it and we’re not nice about it as much. We’re like, “Stop! You’ve got to stop that.”

Eric Sammons:

Let’s say a sibling is getting divorced. This has happened to so many of us, of course. They say, “Okay, so and so and I, we just … ” they’re married maybe 20 years, 10 years, whatever the case may be and they’re getting divorced. Let’s say they have kids. What is the path that the person, the sibling, should take in that situation? The common thing everybody says is, “Oh, you have to support it. You have to support it.” You have to go along with it, basically, because you’re just going to make things worse. What actually should a person do in that situation?

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse:

Well, if you resist it, if you say, “Really, you should slow this whole thing down,” a lot of times, they won’t be happy with you, so it will be uncomfortable in that moment, but I think the way to … It’s delicate. Admittedly, it’s delicate. It’s one thing for me to stand at the podium and talk in a general way, it’s a very different thing for you to talk to your brother, your sister or something like that.

There are many facets to this. I think the feminine approach to divorce and the masculine approach to divorce are very different, when a man’s initiating versus when a woman’s initiating. Is there a new boyfriend or a new girlfriend in the picture? All those type of questions go into how you would, as a practical matter, approach it.

I think one thing that you can say in pretty much any situation, “Look, if you have kids here, you’re going to tell them, ‘Look, Mommy and Daddy still love you.'” Presumably, they’re going to say that. “Mommy and Daddy still love you, we just don’t love each other anymore.” Well, look, your spouse, whom you don’t love anymore is half of who your child is, so when you tell your child, “We don’t love each other anymore but we still love you,” that doesn’t actually add up in their little six-year old mind or whatever because, in point of fact, it doesn’t really add up at all because that’s half of their identity. That’s half of their body is that other person that you’re now saying you don’t love anymore.

I think there really is something to be said to “staying together for the sake of the kids.” It’s very important. The fact is, a lot of the things that upset us in our married life? We can overcome them. It’s not like you’re going to leave one marriage and go off and instantly find bliss, wedded bliss. There are going to be problems in the next phase of your life. I have heard many times, Eric, many times I’ve heard people say, “If I had known how hard divorce was going to be, I would’ve worked harder at my marriage.” That’s another factor to put into the equation.

Eric Sammons:

Now, the sexual revolution, of course … my goodness, everything that it’s done to destroy our culture is just immense but now, the latest one, of course … I feel like it went contraception, we have divorce, we have abortion, we have homosexuality and now, of course, it’s transgenderism. This one … I wrote about this recently. I feel like this might be where they finally are crossing a line that the average person just can see, “Okay, now you’ve gone too far.” We both know that natural all was broke all the way back at contraception, but I think the average person can say, “Hold on a second. That is a guy. That’s not a gal who’s swimming in that swim meet.” How do you equip people to refute the lies of the transgenderism movement, which is, as you know, being shoved down our throats right now?

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse:

Well, I read your article on this subject, by the way. I saw your article, and here’s what I would say. I agree with you that this is a step too far, that a lot of people are saying, “This is too much,” and “You can’t bamboozle everybody forever.” There are a lot of people who are just like, “No, that’s a dude. Stop it. Just stop it with me.” I just don’t even go there. That’s very important. It’s a very important, very positive development. The only thing where I would take issue with you is I would never say anything that would suggest to people that, “Oh, well. It’s going to take care of itself because they’ve gone too far.” No. People, you’ve got to fight. You’ve got to stay in the fight.

The fact that they’re crazy, you would think it would’ve imploded a long time ago, but it doesn’t implode. These are people who are hungry for power. Not the immediate activists but, for sure, the people behind them who are financing all this stuff, the people who are cheerleading and writing the scripts for all this stuff, the people who are orchestrating the whole thing, those people are power-mad and they are not going to give it up just because they’re crazy. You’ve got to keep pushing, you’ve got to make them look bad and you’ve got to make a nuisance of yourself in various ways.

I am encouraged by the fact that there are quite a few ordinary folk who are showing up at libraries, who are showing up at school boards and who are putting up a stink about this type of stuff. Some of it … every once in a while, you’ll see somebody actually backpedal, so there’s nothing automatic about it, but the good point is that it’s happening so rapid fire and the lies are coming so quickly next to each other that there are people today who can remember what it was like two weeks ago, and it wasn’t that crazy. You can’t completely fool everybody, whereas when it’s a slow moving train wreck, it’s hard for people to remember, “Oh, there was a time when mothers and fathers stayed married for a lifetime, and yet they quarreled sometimes, but it wasn’t really as awful as were made to think.” It’s harder to sustain that memory. That’s the way I would answer that, Eric.

Eric Sammons:

I think you’re right about the fighting and I want to make sure I encourage everybody to do it, too, because a great example is how this month in June, you have Pride month stuff shoved down our throats, especially, for example, at your local library. Even a library in a red state, a red county, a red area, a pro- … maybe they voted 80% for Trump or something like that. They’re still going to have the Pride display right at their library, especially if nobody says anything about it, if nobody says, “Wait a second, I’m not going to come here. This is my taxpayer dollars going towards this and you’ve got to take this stuff down.” I think that’s where we probably … the most power, obviously, is local. You’re not going to necessarily change somebody in Washington, DC, but in literally your backyard, almost, the library down the street, is a possibility.

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse:

Well, when you think about it, too, I mean, there have been numerous instances around the country now where drag queen story hours have been canceled, where books have been taken out of the library, been removed, or these displays have been undone. At the very least, they’re not on display anymore. Think about the gubernatorial election in Virginia. That was undone by angry parents, the angry parents who had had enough of the school boards, and that was particularly school boards who were completely indifferent to the needs of the parents, to a girl being raped in the school bathroom by a boy in a dress which, of course, the activists tell you will never happen, you’re just fantasizing that such a thing could happen, and then the school board trying to cover it up and so on. The angry parents changed the course of that election. I think that we should take heart by that. I think we need to be encouraged by that.

Eric Sammons:

Let’s talk about this upcoming summit you have. I believe it’s the fifth annual summit?

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse:

That’s right.

Eric Sammons:

First of all, just give us an overview of what it is, where it is, all the details.

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse:

It’s The Summit for Survivors of the Sexual Revolution is what we call it. This is what we call our conference, our annual conference, to indicate what it’s about, that we’re focused on these type of issues that you and I have been discussing here. It will be June 24th and 25th of 2022, Friday and Saturday and it will be in Lake Charles, Louisiana, which is where I live. The world headquarters of the Ruth Institute is in Lake Charles, Louisiana. That may sound like it’s out of the way, and it’s sort of out of the way, but if you live on Highway 10, which is the southernmost interstate, it’s between Houston and New Orleans. You drive right past Lake Charles if you’re driving down Highway 10.

Anyway, it will be, like I said, the 24th and 25th of June. We’re still selling tickets to it and we will close it down Monday morning. We have to give the head count, final head count, to the caterer, so if you watch this two weeks from now, you won’t be able to join us in person, but there will still be virtual passes. You can buy virtual access to it. You can watch the summit in real time from Ketchikan, Alaska or wherever you happen to be. You can still participate. You can participate in real time, you can ask questions, you can be involved.

Also, after the summit, you have immediate access to the raw video of the summit. That material’s not going to be released to the general public until much later because it takes a long time to process video and all of that kind of thing, but you’ll have access to it. Everybody who participates, whether virtually or in person, will have access to those videos really right away.

Eric Sammons:

Now, of course, I’m sure anybody would benefit from this, but who particularly are the type of people you think would most benefit from attending this summit?

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse:

I would say our target market are the people who are already involved in some form of pro-life, pro-family ministry and who want to be more effective at it. There are a lot of effective ministries out there, but what we do that I think is unique is we help people see how all the pieces fit together and we help you see that what you’re doing has effects over here and over there.

Indeed, a lot of the people already know that. Your people who work in pregnancy care centers, for instance, they know perfectly well that they’re engaged in hand-to-hand combat in the sexual revolution for each and every soul who walks through their door. To be better equipped, to have a broader picture of what that is, what’s driving it, what are the incentives, what are the thought processes and stuff like that.

If you’re all day at your pregnancy care center, you can’t be thinking about transgenderism and informing yourself about that, so if you come and hear our experts, you’ll get a picture of what that is. Anyone who sits around and complains all day, don’t show up. I don’t have time for you. Really? You think you have time to sit around and complain? Well, anyway, if you’re already involved in something, we can help you be more effective. I feel quite certain about that.

Eric Sammons:

That’s great, and you have a great lineup of speakers, but I admit I have to call out one. My friend, Paul Darrow is going to be speaking at that, and-

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse:

Oh, he’s a pal of yours, is he?

Eric Sammons:

… Yes. I met him when I was working down in Florida. We had him come down and speak. Just a wonderful, wonderful guy. If people who have ever seen the documentary, Desire of the Everlasting Hills, Paul is one of the three people who are featured. These are people who lived a very promiscuous, gay lifestyle, homosexual lifestyle, but then they were called out of it by the grace of God.

I just think his testimony … All their testimony, all the people on that movie plus and just in general working through Courage and things like that is just so powerful because what it really does show … Paul … this isn’t his intention, I don’t think, but he reveals the lies of the homosexual movement better than anybody I know because he just talks about his lifestyle and how it was so glamorous on the outside, yet it obviously was completely empty, destructive and awful. I think that’s the key because, when you watch the sitcoms on television or whatever, they always have a gay character whose life is just perfect, happy and everything, and there’s nothing. They’re always the good guys. They have a boyfriend, the guy that’s always happy … whatever, and everything’s great, but then the reality of what it really is.

I know when I first worked with Courage years ago, but then talking to Paul and stuff, that really just changed my entire mentality. Here’s how I think it changed it was I think we conservatives have a tendency to look at, for example, homosexual activists as an enemy, as somebody to defeat, and I get that. I’m not saying that isn’t true on some level, yet the truth is it’s more like a rescue mission than it is a battle because we’re trying to save them, really, from the destruction that they’ve wrought upon themselves. Usually, in so many cases, it’s because of abuse in their background or things have been done to them. That’s just one speaker at your summit that I know will hit the ball out the ballpark. I’m sure the other ones are great, but he alone I think is worth going to the summit, in my opinion.

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse:

Well, you know what? You should get a virtual pass and tune into the thing, then you can write columns for months with the people that we have. What you just described, Eric, is what we refer to as the witnesses. A Ruth Institute summit is a combination of witnesses, people who have been through the mill one way or the other, are willing to talk about it and willing to tell what it was really like. We have others who talk about the LGBT subculture but also, in years past, we’ve had children of divorce and abandoned spouses, and their witness stories have a lot in common, one of which is that they’re socially invisible. You never see heartbroken children of divorce on a TV sitcom, just like you never see a gay man who is in incontinent or who is unhappy. You never see any of that. The witnesses … that’s a very important component of our whole structure.

Then, we also always have experts, what we would call subject matter experts. We’ll have Dr. Quentin Van Meter talking about the medical costs of the sexual revolution, which certainly includes homosexuality, but also a whole lot of other things, too. We’ll have Father Paul Sullins, who is our senior research associate, who has written about numerous topics regarding the sexual revolution, but what he’ll be talking about at the summit is, first of all, that change is possible. He’ll be analyzing some of the studies on sexual orientation change efforts. People don’t actually commit suicide after going to a therapist, for example. Also, he’s doing a whole talk on counting the casualties of the sexual revolution, just summarizing all that.

We have the experts, the witnesses and the experts, then we always have activists. We’ve always got people who are doing stuff, because I want to inspire people to do things. We give awards and, this year, we’re giving awards to Kristan Hawkins. We’re giving her a pro-life leadership award. She’s the president of students for Life of America. Then, we’re also giving awards for activists. The activists of the year are two women who founded a group called Advocates Protecting Children, which is a group that deals with the trans issue. These are two moms who are on fire about this issue. If you come and you’re there in person, you will feel the energy in the room by these people who are just on fire for what they’re doing.

Eric Sammons:

Right. I think it’s great, by the way, that you guys are down in Louisiana and not in a place like Los Angeles or whatever, because I think that’s how you build the communities is places like that, where the insanity hopefully is not quite as insane as it might be in a New York City or something like that. I think it’s great you’re down there.

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse:

I appreciate you saying that because my husband and I moved out of San Diego in 2015 because we just couldn’t take it anymore. We left a place that has the best weather in the world and went to move in a swamp, but we love it here.

Eric Sammons:

I think a lot of families are doing things like that and I think that’s what has to be done because you’ve got to focus on … building up your local community is so important. I think that’s great.

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse:

Also, it’s a kind of … that’s how my husband and I as a couple would think of it but, as far as the Ruth Institute was concerned, I viewed it as a strategic retreat because you can get more done in an environment where people support you. In San Diego, I was afraid to have a sign on the door. I didn’t want to announce where I worked, where I lived. Here, I’m a respected member of the Chamber of Commerce here. We had a ribbon cutting and the mayor sent a representative to my ribbon cutting.

Eric Sammons:

Right there. That’s perfect. That encapsulates exactly why you would do something like that.

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse:

Exactly.

Eric Sammons:

It’s perfect. How do people register for the summit?

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse:

RuthInstitute.org, baby. RuthInstitute.org. You go over there and it’ll be very obvious. Summit, summit, summit. Picture of Kristan Hawkins. You go and you find the register page, and all the different options are there. The virtual pass is at the very bottom. There’s a little explanation of it. If you see this in time and are so inclined, of course we’d love for you to come for the whole thing. It’s a full two days. If you do the whole premium summit experience, Eric, it’s a full two days. It’s all day Friday, then the awards dinner Friday night, and then a full day of summiting, lecturing and things like that on Saturday. That’s the basic setup.

Eric Sammons:

That’s great. That’s great. I’ll make sure I put a link in the show notes so people can easily get to it.

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse:

That’d be great. We would really appreciate that. We would love to see Crisis viewers, Crisis readers down in Louisiana for our show.

Eric Sammons:

That would be great, definitely. It sounds like a great time, and very educational, too. Well, thank you very much. I really appreciate you being on the program and I wish you great success with the summit, but then continuing doing what you’ve been doing for a very long time now.

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse:

Well, thanks very much, Eric. I appreciate the opportunity to be on the show with you.

Eric Sammons:

Great. Until next time, everybody. God love you.

By

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