PROVO, Utah — Speaking from a pulpit to Oxford University students
troubled about pursuing an education during the turmoil of World War
II, C.S. Lewis told them it was important they stick to their education
— even philosophy, a field he routinely called \"slippery.\"
\"Good philosophy must exist,\" he said, \"if for no other reason, because bad philosophy needs to be answered.\"
similar fashion, a group of BYU students of the Family Law Society
organized and carried out a formal symposium, called Stand for the
Family, meant to counter modern philosophies perceived to be damaging
traditional family relationships and, ultimately, society.
attending a several-day seminar in Southern California last summer at
an interfaith organization, the Ruth Institute, BYU law student Alisa
Rogers rallied support for a conference on strengthening the family.
Institute President Jennifer Morse attended and kicked off the two-day
forum in a 20-minute keynote speech Friday night. Morse, a Roman
Catholic, referred to her 170-plus predominantly Mormon audience as
\"brothers and sisters\" standing \"shoulder to shoulder\" with her and
other religions on moral issues, especially referencing opposition to
you've heard, the marriage issue is a unifying issue,\" she said. \"That
is, our opponents are always saying, 'You guys are being so divisive.'
But that's not what we've found at all. What we found in San Diego, and
indeed all across California, is that the marriage issue is a unifying
issue, and that the people who are orthodox across all the religious
traditions stand together on the issue of the definition of marriage.\"
and Catholics had already strengthened ties with one another in
California in 2000 over the definition of marriage. But in 2008,
Proposition 8 brought out a host of others, including Jews and
evangelicals. She recalled speaking to all four groups at once at an
orthodox Jewish synagogue.
evangelical megachurch Pastor Jim Garlow and San Diego's former Roman
Catholic auxiliary bishop, Salvatore Joseph Cordileone, had become
friends during the campaign and \"both felt like they had more in common
with each other than with some of the more liberal members of their own
Morse, who spent
15 years teaching at Yale and George Mason universities before founding
her institute, outlined two general reasons why she believes marriage
culture is unraveling: First, people are losing gendered language, and
second, people are thinking that fathers, mothers and caretakers can
perform the same parental duties interchangeably without losing
attacked the first idea by citing a half-dozen anecdotes where
government replaced gendered terms like bride or groom with terms like
Americans are being taught
to believe they're generic humans, that \"we're not men and woman, we're
generic parents, we're not moms and dads,\" she said. \"Ladies and
gentlemen, there are no generic people!\" she said loudly. \"There are
men and women; there are boys and girls. That's who we are, and to lose
the sense of ourselves as gender is to lose a part of our humanity. ...
We're dehumanizing ourselves.\"
these people who believe gender is insignificant who are more likely to
believe the dual gender requirement for marriage is arbitrary and
meaningless, according to Morse.
second argument for traditional marriage is that fathers and mothers
are more than the sum of their parts, that their different genders
contribute uniquely to a family structure.
\"There's more to me as a mother than a bunch of functions, a bunch of jobs,\" she said.
that is important, Morse asserted, \"Because one of the things that is
happening to us is people are (saying), 'If you can just figure out
what moms do, if you can just figure out what dads do — and if all
those jobs get done — then it doesn't really matter who does them.'\"
blasted that notion, saying it was the \"same old song and dance\"
feminists argued decades ago when advocates said it doesn't matter if a
mother or paid help looks after children.
are being told there is nothing particular about the mother,\" she said.
\"We think (as social scientists) that if we (can track) what people are
doing with their time ... that we're done, that we've got it all figured
But Morse, a mother of two,
said, \"The truth is, those of you who are moms and dads realize your
role as a mother or father goes far beyond the things you put down on
An example of a small
but important action that would normally be overlooked is a mother who
naturally, instinctively, rocks her child while standing in the
supermarket, a motion that scientists learned stimulates a baby's
nervous system in a way that helps his language development.
knew?\" She said. \"What is happening to us, is that we're being
decomposed into nothing but a list of traits. ... It short sells what
Morse finished her
remarks by lambasting liberal trends among family law, a profession
that is \"basically a cesspool\" and \"dominated by radical feminists with
an ideology and an agenda.\"
they have followed the philosophy of Marxism, and we are ending up with
a similar sexual state as the Marx-inspired Bolsheviks after the 1917
Russian Revolution, a time when divorce became available on demand,
sexuality ran feral, and abortion was legalized — \"All while we've been
asleep at the switch,\" she said.
symposium also featured 27 other presenters from 11 different academic
disciplines on subjects including same-sex marriage, pornography,
no-fault divorce, and ways to strengthen your marriage.
Readers can learn more about the Ruth Institute by visiting the Web site at RuthInstitute.org.