The Ruth Institute’s 5th Annual Summit for Survivors of the Sexual Revolution will be held Friday and Saturday, June 24-25, in Lake Charles, Louisiana. It will feature speakers who have lived through – and escaped – the Sexual Revolution. In a released statement, the Ruth Institute said its Summit will combine its “unique blend of scientifically sound evidence, carefully reasoned arguments, and compelling personal testimonies.”
The Ruth Institute is an international, interfaith coalition founded in 2008 that equips people to understand, appreciate, and defend traditional Christian sexual ethics. Founded by Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, it provides “decades of research to support individuals and families harmed by divorce, the hook-up culture, and other forms of family breakdown.”
Topics include overviews of the Sexual Revolution and its effects; mistakes of modern philosophy; the effects of divorce, abortion and the transgender movement; how a change in sexual orientation is possible; and how the fall in couples’ fertility is leading to a demographic winter. Speakers include Dr. Morse, Kristan Hawkins of Students for Life of America, Fr. Paul Sullins, Eric Scheidler of the Pro-Life Action League, Walt Heyer of Sex Change Regret, and many more.
The Summit will be held in-person at the West Cal Arena & Events Center in Sulphur, Louisiana. Those unable to attend in person are able to participate virtually. (More information can be found on the Summit site.)
Dr. Morse has been a champion for traditional marriage, and has authored or co-authored six books on marriage, family and human sexuality. She taught economics at Yale and George Mason Universities. She is married with two children (one adopted), and was a foster parent to eight children in San Diego County. She recently spoke with CWR.
CWR: What is the Sexual Revolution, and what are some of its most obvious effects?
Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse: I lay it out in some detail my 2018 book The Sexual State: How Elite Ideologies Are Destroying Lives and Why the Church Was Right All Along; the Sexual Revolution teaches that anyone can do anything they want sexually and nothing bad will happen to you. In my book, I show the different ways it manifests itself: the contraceptive mentality, divorce, and gender ideology.
The contraceptive mentality says that we should make a practice of separating sex from child-bearing. The divorce ideology says that a society should break down the connection between sex, babies, and marriage. And divorce is only one aspect; also related is single parenthood and third party reproduction, in which you can buy sperm and eggs and the children produced will never know their parents. Gender ideology teaches that the sex of the body is not particularly substantial or important. You can change your sex, do social and medical engineering and nothing bad will happen.
CWR: The Summit will feature survivors of the Sexual Revolution?
Morse: Yes. It is applied natural law; when you do something opposed to the divine law and natural law you are going to have negative consequences. You can choose to ignore the law, but you are going to get hurt if you do.
Survivors of the Sexual Revolution include those who have been harmed by it, either by their own involvement or the involvement of those around them. The children of the divorced, for example, are people both innocent and harmed; they are deeply wounded. We’re one of the few organizations that will talk about that. With family breakdown, we’re supposed to be celebrating being free and liberated, but there are people, like the children of divorce, left in the wake of that. There is a lot of wreckage.
There are people who have done things to themselves, such as post-abortive women, who bought into the idea that abortion is the solution to their problem. They find out quickly or belatedly that what they did was wrong. Such women endure symptoms of trauma and stress. If you’ve heard the testimony of a post-abortive woman, it is very powerful and moving. We also need to hear from those harmed by the “hook-up” culture or who had a problem and got a divorce, but found out that did not solve it.
Some of the most powerful testimonies are from people who were part of the LGBT subculture and walked away from it. These people do not get publicity, a turn at the mic; there are not an even number of pro and con voices out there in the media. Part of what we try to do at the Ruth Institute is to give such people a turn at the mic and an opportunity to be heard.
CWR: Besides the political Left, does it seem that the political Right is compromising on issues related to the Sexual Revolution? For example, the embrace of public personalities like Dave Rubin, who declares himself to be in a same-sex “marriage,” and who is expecting two children via surrogacy?
Morse: Yes. … When the U.S. Supreme Court redefined marriage through the 2015 Obergefell decision, it seemed that so many of the pro-traditional marriage forces threw up their hands and declared, “Oh, well. We tried.” Then they moved on to do something about the next issue — transgenderism.
What if the pro-life movement had done that in 1973? If a Dr. Jack Willke or Joe Scheidler had said, “Oh, well, we’ll just have to live with abortion.” Where would the pro-life movement be? But that seems to be the stance of people trying to defend the traditional definition of marriage. At the Ruth Institute, however, we will continue to defend the traditional definition of marriage.
CWR: What are some of the newest challenges in the past several years?
Morse: Transgenderism. Society has acquiesced on so many issues in the culture—divorce, gay marriage, homosexual practice—although some haven’t completely given up on porn. Transgenderism is the most obvious and aggressive next step on the part of the revolutionaries.
CWR: What is the path back to healthier families and a healthier society?
Morse: We need to do something about bad public policies which make it difficult for people to get married and to stay married. Until we get rid of no fault divorce, for example, we’re going to have a problem. Society has to stop incentivizing bad behavior.
We have a structural problem. Half of the first births of Millennials are to unmarried women. That is a structural problem, and bad public policy is driving that. Twenty percent of Millennials identify with the LGBT movement. Things going on in the culture are steering people that way.
CWR: Who do you think should participate in the Summit?
Morse: People who are doing activism in the area of family, marriage, and sexuality should participate. We are going to have people talking about what they’ve done and how to be more effective. I am not interested in listening to people who want to complain.
One thing I’m going to do is present a 15-minute talk on defending traditional Christian sexual ethics. Those who come to the Summit will receive a flash drive with the presentation, slides and a script. You can take it and give the talk yourself. That’s what Dr. Willke did for the pro-life movement. He’d ask, “Who is in the womb? What is that?”
I will talk about what marriage is, why we need it, and answer related questions.
CWR: Who are some of your most notable speakers?
Morse: Two who are widely known are Kristan Hawkins of Students for Life and Walt Heyer, a man who lived as a woman for eight years. Kristan will be receiving our pro-life leadership award and Walt our public witness of the year award.
Regarding Kristan, the first day of our conference, June 24th, is the day the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to release its Dobbs decision, which could overturn Roe v. Wade. If you participate, you can be in the audience with like-minded people when the announcement comes down.
And Walt is a person who we believe over the course of his life has testified to the damage of the Sexual Revolution. He discovered that being a “transgender” did not solve his problems and walked it back. He and his wife now spend their lives helping people avoid the transgender cult or recover from it. I think participants will find his testimony extremely valuable, and he will also deliver a keynote speech. I think people will find the conference an informative and inspiring event!
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