Tuesday, January 20, 2009

JRM's Ruth Institute Pro-life Mission

The Ruth Institute exists to promote lifelong married love to the young by creating a social and economic climate favorable to marriage. We accomplish our mission through speaking engagements to pro-marriage and pro-life groups across the country. This week, in recognition of the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, I want to tell you how we are able to assist the pro-life movement, thanks to your support.

Here at the Ruth Institute, we believe marriage is a key pro-life issue. The sexual revolution has taught us to think that sex is essentially sterile, and is nothing but a recreational activity, with no moral or social significance. Hence, we have come to think we are entitled to unlimited sexual activity without a live baby resulting. And we think we can safely act as if we have perfectly functioning contraception. Since neither of these points is true, we are almost certain to end up with pregnancies we can’t handle in relationships we can’t sustain. These are the situations which convince women they need abortion.

But being married takes the sting out of pregnancy: married women are far less likely to choose abortion. Sex within marriage creates the relationship that can handle a pregnancy. Conversely, a lot of sexual messing around before marriage turns out to be counter-productive, in that it reduces your chance of having a happier marriage later on.

This is why the Ruth Institute deals with the full range of pro-life issues as part of its mission to support marriage. All these issues are connected. This is why we provide inspiration and information to pro-life groups.

In St. Louis, I was the keynote speaker for the Archdiocese of St. Louis pro-life conference in October. The Archdiocese entitled their conference, “It Takes a Family,” partially in honor of my book, but also in honor of the Holy Family. Over six hundred people attended that conference. Later that day, I spoke at ThriVe St. Louis, a network of crisis pregnancy centers. My topic was “Smart Sex: Making the Hook-up as Un-Cool as Smoking.” You can get information about the Smart Sex book and CD series on the Ruth Institute website.

In November, I spoke at the Diocese of Phoenix Natural Family Planning conference. My theme was “The Prophetic Vision of Pope Paul VI.” Those of you who are not Catholic might think it would be a “tough sell” to explain why the famous “birth control encyclical” Humanae Vitae was prophetic. But I am convinced that history will be very kind indeed to Paul VI.

Later that same month, I was the keynote speaker for the annual dinner of the Life Legal Defense Foundation in Oakland. This organization provides pro-bono legal assistance to pro-life groups, including peaceful sidewalk counselors. I met some wonderful and interesting people there, including the Rev. Walter Hoye, an African-American pastor who recently lost his challenge to the statutes of the City of Oakland.

Most recently, I visited Reno, Nevada, to speak to the Catholic Professional and Business Club. That group made it possible for me to spend an afternoon with the residents of Casa de Vida, a maternity home for young women in crisis pregnancies.

The Ruth Institute exists to support events like these. Your generous support and enthusiasm supported all these activities. Most of the groups can pay for my time and travel. But if you think about the amount of research that goes into each talk, keeping up with the news and with new research, you will see that these speaking fees do not cover the full value of the services we provide. Only with your support can we continue to provide the high quality information the pro-life movement needs and deserves.

As we approach the dark anniversary of Roe v. Wade, please consider making a contribution to support the work of the Ruth Institute. The struggles of the pro-life movement foreshadow the struggles of the marriage movement. Once the courts have come down on the side of social and sexual revolution, we apostles of common sense and ordinary decency have very little room to maneuver. The Ruth Institute feels compelled to support the pro-life movement. The United States’ new administration is poised to be the most pro-abortion, anti- marriage administration ever. And we can’t let marriage go down without a fight. Check out the Ruth Institute site to see what we're doing in this battle.

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