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Reversing the "Seamless Garment"

Family Policy Matters / NC Family Policy
The Truth Network Radio
March 9, 2020 9:54 am

Reversing the "Seamless Garment"

Family Policy Matters / NC Family Policy

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March 9, 2020 9:54 am

This week on Family Policy Matters, host Traci DeVette Griggs talks to Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, founder and President of the Ruth Institute, a global nonprofit focused on keeping families together. Dr. Morse addresses the popular “seamless garment” approach that has been used against the pro-life movement, and how she and the Ruth Institute plan to turn this approach on its head to advance pro-life and pro-family values.


Policy matters and engaging in weekly radio show and podcast, family policy, this is John Ralston's family and were grateful to have you with us for this week's program is our prayer that you will be informed, encouraged and inspired by what you your own family policy matters and that you will for better equipped to be a voice of persuasion for family values in your community, state and nation, and now here's our host family policy matters Tracy to thanks for joining us this week for family policy matters.

Single issue voters. For those of us who are pro-life and vote pro-life. It's an accusation we hear quite a lot where accused of being too focused on abortion, not caring about what happens to babies and their mothers afterbirth and ignoring other issues that I believe are more important, such as government welfare programs, climate change or immigration there a good way to respond to this criticism. Our guest today has some ideas on that.

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse is founder and president of the Ruth Institute, a global nonprofit focused on keeping families together and helping the millions of people who have been harmed by family breakdown will she recently called for a pro-life movement to embrace the idea of a quote seamless garment that moves the conversation around life issues to a broader defense of the rights of children and parents. Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse. Welcome to family policy matters.

Thanks so much for having me what you could start off by telling us what is usually meant by a seamless garment when we hear it in the American political or cultural discussions today, but as far as I know the term originated with Cardinal Joseph Bernardino Chicago and trying to trying to get Kolber to Catholic politicians who voted in favor of pro-abortion policies by say well it's okay if they're not pro-life because they're voting the right way on welfare programs and immigration and things like that so so there will like the one area but they're not pro-life on abortion when you distinguish government connecting all of those issues together and so therefore it's okay Catholic voter can be discerning and deciding what kind of candidate to vote for. You don't have to always vote for the antiabortion candidate. That's where the rhetoric of the seamless garment began I think is good to the best of my knowledge and this is not always necessarily a helpful kind of rhetoric for the pro-life movement isn't it my opinion, this rhetoric was calculated to undermine pro-life movement in the sentence to to basically say look this issue of abortion is not that important Catholic politicians will vote in favor pro-abortion policies. That's okay as long as they're voting for the life issues in other areas such as welfare payments in support of important things like that. So it really was a rhetorical strategy that was designed to undermine the passionate, and I think necessary priority given to the life issues the direct what is your subtleties indirect issues, but the direct life issues which is the taking of innocent life is always wrong. So we change the subject and a lot of times changing the subject is the best that people can do if they're losing an argument change the subject into what you want to do now is turn this concept on its head right. The concept of the seamless garment and make something that the pro-life movement can embrace a talk a little bit about what your ideas are on. I love turning things out on their heads.

Okay I love taking somebody's rhetoric and standing it on its head and because when you do that you force people to think about what's really being said, the clichs have to go out the window. Now you don't show our idea is that if you're in favor of taking care of children and babies and their mothers after they are born not just before birth because this is the charge it's often lodged against us are concerned about. We need to be concerned about the marriage issue marriage issue is a life issue whether children have access to their own mothers and fathers for a lifetime. That is something we should care about if we really care about babies and their mothers and so I want to shift the discussion away from government programs that transfer money to people and focus our attention on the government programs and social policies that connect children with their own parents and if you are not in favor of connecting children with their own parents will put you on the spot and shake you explain yourself why is it okay for some children to have access to both of their parents throughout the whole lifetime brother children don't have that access what are you talking about the nature of the seamless garment that I want to bring forward to say, but if you're concerned about children and their welfare.

You need to be concerned about the relations with their parents and how the state does or does not protect the child's right to be in relationship with both parents. I do think that it is helpful, but you wouldn't be your personal: maybe I think it's helpful to see how all of these issues are related to each other. The underlying issue is the traditional Christian sexual morality is humane and it is intellectually coherent the sexual revolution is in human and it is intellectually incoherent.

My point here is not to say guys abandon your post to come work on my issue.

Although I would love to have you come work on my issue. That's not the point.

My point is that the broader perspective you take on it, the more you see how abuses are connected. I think it will help you to do your work, whatever it may be within the pro-life movement. This idea of a seamless garment for the pro-life movement came to you as a result I understand of a survey that the Ruth Institute conducted at the students for life pro-life summit during this year's March for life.

So tell us about that survey.

The idea that we wanted to go to the summit takes place after the March for life because I wanted to see if those were our people. When you think of it in their exhibitors.

There is the reason exhibitors come to big events is because they want to get you involved with what they're doing. They want you to be aware of their mission choice idea will crowd the students for life of America is our people. What were doing so to find out we created the survey to give the participants would stop by our booth just asked them of these issues which issues are important to you and so we put on their euthanasia.

As you might expect, the pro-life crowd would be concerned about euthanasia as well as about abortion, but we also put things like him are you concerned about the decline of marriage you concerned about in vitro fertilization and third-party reproduction issues like that astonished to find how what a great percentage of these young people at this conference board with the Ruth Institute's vision on all of these other topics which times people don't think of them as being connected to the abortion issue so we are delighted to find out, and it forced us to think through what she like our issues is because they recognized that all these issues are connected in their connected with the idea of what is the proper relationship between the human person and their sexuality at or sexual activity and what should the state be doing about sexual activity and the modern state basically is taking the position that is entitled to do whatever they want sexually and nothing that is going to happen as long as you use a condom every time everything will be fine something bad will happen to you and we government will do everything possible to reduce the cost of you having sex with whoever you want to that's our job is to make it easy for you to do whatever you want sexually. Where's your printer position is that sex is not a recreational activity sections a sacred activity that the life-giving power of the sexual act is something powerful that deserves our respect and is not a toy, and showed you start from that perspective that sex is sacred and that every child is an unrepeatable gift from God, if that's your perspective, you end up taking sides on a whole set of different issues that are all connected to that think that it's a recreational activity that you are entitled to engage in without any negative consequences end up someplace else.

We found students for life convention is that those young people get vague and not just one thing that the abortion issue is connected to a whole lot of other issues. What other issues are you envisioning being included in this whole seamless garment. Well, the way we approach our work at the Ruth Institute is that we are interested in the rights of children to their parents, start thinking about that, you'll see that there a lot of policies that actively undermine that objective of children coming into existence with both of their parents married to each other, committed to each other and committed to them as a child committed to their life. As part of a family. So many issues that flow from that including the ones that we've already mentioned mothers contraception, abortion, divorce, and also comprehensive sex education. To my mind comprehensive sex education is the propaganda arm of the sexual revolution truly get into the school and simply by adults being in there talking to children who are not their own children talking about sex like it is a technological thing that we have to manage with Pilsen devices and thought it doesn't matter what they're saying is you start talking like that you have already shifted the ground shifted the focus of the discussion away from the relationality and the life-giving power of sexuality and turn them into something technocratic so fundamentally connects these issues in your mind and is it fair to give them all equal weight and get them all equal weight of the pro-life movement is completely correct to say that the abortion issue right to life issue that has to have a preeminence because without being alive. You don't have any other rights the board member to the taking of an innocent life is always well it is always important to kill an innocent person and so that the fundamental issue with abortion, so it has to be prioritized some really great things to think about and also some ways to talk about this, but let's let's talk a little bit more about what we can say so give us some strategies when we are hearing these kinds of accusations. What kinds of responses do you feel like are the most appropriate and most effective question and about a lot of your listeners already know that if you're dealing with somebody who's questioning you, and are not acting in good faith, you probably don't want to go to many realms with them in our dinner conversation. If there acting in good faith, then that's great then you you can proceed.

But if they're not acting in good faith.

I would recommend getting yourself out of the conversation as quickly as possible because nothing is going to happen, you know. But you got somebody who really wants to know the answer to the question. Oftentimes it's a good strategy to turn the question around and asked them a question so people say, well, is it true that you don't really care all you care about is whether the baby gets bored or not you care about them. After that you can turn around and say what what you say that and if they come back with well you be in favor of this policy or that policy.

You could say what makes you think I don't take that policy back on them.

But the thing that you could say would be but but I do care about the child. Afterwords after their board because I am really concerned about the stability of their relationship with both her mom and dad back to that opens a whole realm of possibility for what to say is most likely your typical critic of the pro-life position has everyone thought about that question.

What is owed to the child before birth and after birth. What is owed to the child that is the question that the sexual ablution would cook for you not ask right in one way or another, bring it back to that question. What is owed to the child.

We say what is owed to the child is a relationship with both their mother and their father number one and number two is owed to the child that they know the identity of their mother and father with your mom and dad. I some kids get to know who their mom and dad is in other kids don't get to know and they don't get to know because why because someone else wants them to not know.

Okay, that's what you need to say well thank you that was a lot of good information or just about time for this week. But before we go.

Dr. Morse where listeners go to learn more about the topics we have discussed today and about your work at the Ruth Institute has a very active website which is Ruth you can go there and go to the Ruth Institute Facebook page. Or you can go to the Ruth Institute, YouTube channel we post a new episode of the Dr. J show every week at least one episode a week goes up and we interview people who have interesting and important information and insights about various aspects of the sexual revolution, so I really recommend that you sign up for the Ruth Institute, YouTube channel like us on Facebook, and sign up for our weekly newsletter will thank you for all your good work. Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, founder and president of the Ruth Institute, thank you so much for joining us today on family policy matters listening to family house.

We hope you enjoy the program to do it again next week to listen to the show online insulin more about NC families worked encourage and inspire families across a lot of website and see family.that's NC

Thanks again for listening and may God bless you and your friend

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