Author archives: Cathy Ruse

Pronoun Police Get VA Teacher Fired

by Cathy Ruse

December 10, 2018

The pronoun police have marched into small-town America.

A high school French teacher in the tiny Virginia town of West Point has lost his job. His offense? He asked permission to avoid pronouns when referring to a biological girl student who now identifies as a boy.

Peter Vlaming (pictured) was fired last week in a unanimous vote by the local school board (all Democrats) because of his Christian belief that God made humans male and female, and that a girl cannot become a boy.

Vlaming was willing to use the student’s new masculine name, and to avoid using pronouns altogether with this student. But he was not willing to use a false pronoun. “I did agree to use the new masculine name [and] to avoid female pronouns,” said Vlaming, but “I won’t use male pronouns with a female student.”

Keep in mind, Vlaming’s position was not a failure of courtesy. Third person pronouns are not used face-to-face, they are used when talking about a person who is absent. Vlaming was happy to use the student’s new masculine name. But that was not enough for the school. They ordered him to use male pronouns for the student even when he was not in the presence of the student. 

Students are allowed to remain silent during the Pledge of Allegiance, but this teacher was not allowed to remain silent when it came to pronouns. Use a false pronoun, or lose your job.

God bless this teacher—he would not speak in denial of God’s truth about male and female, and for his silence the government terminated him.

Starbucks for Coffee, Not Porn

by Cathy Ruse

December 5, 2018

Congratulations to Donna Rice Hughes and Enough is Enough (EIE) for their successful public online petition that put pressure on Starbucks to filter its public Wi-Fi services. The company recently announced it would stick to its promise to stop providing pornography through its free Wi-Fi starting in 2019.

Two years ago, the company promised to filter out pornography in its 14,000 U.S. shops. Enough is Enough called out that broken promise in a recent press release demanding that Starbucks “do the right thing.”

Protecting the innocence of children in America is even more precious than green efforts and paper straws,” Hughes said. “By breaking its commitment, Starbucks is keeping the doors wide open for convicted sex offenders and others to fly under the radar from law enforcement and use free, public WiFi services to access illegal child porn and hard-core pornography.”

Customers deserve a porn-free coffee stop—especially children.

Having unfiltered hotspots also allows children and teens to easily bypass filters and other parental control tools set up by their parents on their smart phones, tablets and laptops,” said Hughes.

EIE has had other successes in its SAFE WiFi campaign to persuade major public service companies to filter out pornography, of which Family Research Council is a part. In 2016, McDonalds adopted a Wi-Fi filter policy.

It is greatly encouraging to see another one of our country’s biggest providers of free public Wi-Fi acknowledge, at least through its actions, the dangers of pornography. Five states have declared it a public health crisis.

Pro-Life Law Upheld By Another Federal Court: Dare We Say “Momentum”?

by Cathy Ruse

October 22, 2018

The Louisiana law requiring abortionists to have hospital admitting privileges was recently upheld by the federal 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. Last month, a similar Missouri law was also upheld.

This feels like momentum. 

This column contains a good description of where the legal fight stands on requiring abortionists to obtain admitting privileges.

Good, but confusing, because the Supreme Court has confused things so much. 

Here’s my attempt at a shorter description:

Prior to the devastating 2016 Whole Women’s Health v. Hellerstedt ruling striking down Texas’ abortion safety regulations, the Supreme Court had long used the “undue burden” standard from Casey (1992) to measure the constitutionality of state abortion regulations: A law could stand if (1) the state had a legitimate reason for the law, and (2) the law did not impose an “undue burden” on obtaining an abortion (meaning it did not place a “substantial obstacle in the path” to obtaining an abortion).

But the Hellerstedt majority did not follow this legitimate reason + no undue burden formula. Instead, it asked whether the burdens from the law outweigh the benefits from the law

This is a new balancing test, and there is a lot of room for judicial shenanigans in balancing tests.

As the majority in Hellerstedt saw it, many Texas clinics threatened to close, so that showed a large burden, and since abortion was already safe in Texas (the court’s conclusion), additional safety requirements would provide little benefit.

Importantly, the court disregarded the legislators’ position that hospital admission privileges do provide a health benefit for women. 

But the recent 5th Circuit’s application of the balancing test came out differently.

In Louisiana, only one of the five clinics threatened to close. On the benefit side, the court gave deference to legislative position that admitting privileges provide “a real, and previously unaddressed, credentialing function that promotes the wellbeing of women.”

The really gratifying part of the 5th Circuit opinion is when they call out these abortionists for not even really trying to get admitting privileges—for “sitting on their hands.” One abortionist apparently threatened to close if his was the only abortion clinic left, but then when he learned that another clinic would be remaining open, he changed his position and threatened to close if his was one of only two clinics left. This shows bad faith, and the 5th Circuit wasn’t going to be played for fools. 

It would be best, of course, if the Supreme Court got rid of the Hellerstedt balancing test altogether. Perhaps that will happen now that there are a majority of justices who aren’t keen to make up fancy new standards to get the results they want. 

But in the meantime, pro-life laws are winning, even under a bad standard. 

Man Steals Gold Medal From Top Woman in World Cycling Race

by Cathy Ruse

October 16, 2018

We don’t watch a lot of television in our household, but every July you can find us, adults and children alike, watching stage after stage of the Tour de France. Once, my daughter asked, “Has a woman ever won the Tour?” No, we told her. Women and men are different, and it wouldn’t be fair to make them compete against each other.

Transgender crusaders don’t care about fair.

On Sunday, a biological male won the women’s UCI Masters Track Cycling World Championship in Los Angeles in the 35-39 age category, taking the gold from the second-place finisher who is actually a woman (image below).

Rachel McKinnon, a biological man who identifies as a woman, has responded to critics of his win on Twitter, calling them “transphobic bigots.”

In January, McKinnon told USA Today that his crusade is “bigger than sports.”

It’s about human rights,” McKinnon said. “I bet a lot of white people were pissed off when we desegregated sports racially and allowed black people. But they had to deal with it.”

No, Rachel, you’re not fighting for human rights. What you’re doing is rigging the game. 

You’re rigging the game so that no girl will ever win a sports competition in school. No woman will want to devote her life to the pursuit of excellence in a competitive sport, knowing even before the competition begins that being the quickest/strongest/toughest woman may still not make you the winner. 

You’re killing sports for half of the human race.

But I agree with McKinnon: this is bigger than sports. I stand with the radical feminists who call it the very “erasure of women.” If a 40-year-old man can claim to be a woman, then being a woman has no meaning.

Forced Use of False Pronouns Kills Faith and Freedom

by Cathy Ruse

August 30, 2018

I highly recommend Abigail Shrier’s piece in The Wall Street Journal today, “The Transgender Language War.

Her lede likens Fairfax County school bureaucrats to “Orwellian” bullies. That is gratifying to this Fairfax mom who has stood shoulder-to-shoulder with other moms and dads against this corrupt school board.

And her overall critique of the centerpiece of the Transgender Movement is spot on.

Forcing kids (and adults) to use certain words—in this case, to use the wrong pronoun for the sex of someone else—is forcing them to declare a creed they don’t believe in and to embrace an opinion they disagree with. How is this not government-mandated religion and thought?

On religion, Shrier writes:  

For those with a religious conviction that sex is both biological and binary, God’s purposeful creation, denial of this involves sacrilege no less than bowing to idols in the town square. When the state compels such denial among religious people, it clobbers the Constitution’s guarantee of free exercise of religion, lending government power to a contemporary variant on forced conversion.

On freedom of thought and speech:

But individuals need not be religious to believe that one person can never be a “they”; compelled speech is no less unconstitutional for those who refuse an utterance based on a different viewpoint, as the Supreme Court held in West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette (1943). Upholding students’ right to refuse to salute an American flag even on nonreligious grounds, Justice Robert H. Jackson declared: “If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, religion or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein.” This is precisely what forced reference to someone else as “ze,” “sie,” “hir,” “co,” “ev,” “xe,” “thon” or “they” entails. When the state employs coercive power to compel an utterance, what might otherwise be a courtesy quickly becomes a plank walk.

New CDC Numbers Show the Sexual Revolution Keeps Making Things Worse

by Cathy Ruse

August 29, 2018

Fire departments nationwide are going on far fewer fire calls as home fires have declined dramatically over the years. Why? Builders use better flame-resistant materials, and people have better smoke detectors and sprinklers. 

Cigarette smoking has been declining for years, and the motor vehicle fatality rate has been steadily decreasing since 1921. 

This is called progress. And you can see it all around you.

But the sexual revolution just keeps making things worse.

The New York Times reported yesterday that more Americans are suffering from sexually-transmitted diseases than ever before. Every year for the last four years, more and more people have become infected with chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and in 2017 the number of new diagnosed cases rose to 2.3 million.

Chlamydia and gonorrhea often lurk without symptoms,” said the report. Dr. Gail Bolan of the CDC warns that people are unwittingly spreading the disease “silently through the country.”

What’s worse, gonorrhea is becoming a sex superbug. It has become resistant to several antibiotics, and CDC officials predict it will become resistant to the last remaining antibiotic now being used to fight it. Dr. Bolan says it’s urgent for drug makers to develop new antibiotics to treat it.

These are painful diseases—they can cause severe damage to the reproductive system, and in some cases even death. 

And who is it that is suffering? Almost two-thirds of the new chlamydia infections are among youth 15-24 years old. Gonorrhea is now “very common” among young people 15-24 years old. 

It is our children who are suffering. Mere teens. Boys and girls who should be brimming with youth and vitality and health. It is their bodies that are being riddled by disease.

And what are we adults doing about it?

We are calling on drug makers to develop new drugs to give to all of the once-healthy teens who will get infected with sex superbugs.

We are teaching “consent for sex” in public schools in younger and younger grades, which will only cause the demographic of sick children to start at 13 instead of 15.

What we are not doing is helping them find the path that leads not only to health but to happiness: Saving sex for marriage, and then being faithful to your spouse.

The sexual revolutionaries call that offensive. Suffer the children. Ideology above all.

High School Students Enticed into Private Booth for “Queer” Storytelling

by Cathy Ruse

August 8, 2018

LGBT activists are nothing if not creative. Their latest approach involves inviting high school students into, in their words, a “big, gay booth” to talk about sex.

In a recent post on the blog of the Harvard Graduate School of Education, the “Beyond Bullying Project” bragged about the success of its latest efforts going into Bay Area public high schools to entice students into private booths to talk about LGBT sexuality.

Our pitch to would-be storytellers was open-ended,” said the project organizers. “Tell a story about yourself, a friend, your family…the story does not even need to be true.”

The project “collects” the stories on audio and videotape, and claims to have spent time in schools in North America, Australia, and New Zealand.

Apparently, participating schools welcome the rainbow-festooned booths, even directing their shop classes to build the “curricular, emotional space” for “queerness.” Schools also invite project organizers to make presentations in class.

Bay Area students assisted in decorating the booths with rainbow paper, lights, boas, and chalk drawings. “Everywhere, it screamed gay,” said the organizers.

Apparently, students “enjoyed the freedom” to leave class to visit the booth.

What an excellent use of education hours and tax dollars!

For some kids, skipping class was not motivation enough to enter the booth.

The team recognized that approaching a big, gay booth might be a social risk for some students and teachers so we offered them alibis to account for their interest,” the blog continued.

Outside the booth…we placed bowls of granola bars or chocolates, flyers announcing pizza lunches…iTunes gift cards and an iPod touch that we would raffle off at the end of our two weeks at the school.”

For every story a student told, they received a raffle ticket for the iPod.”

Together, these incentives provided enough cover to allow storytellers to enter the booth without inviting too many questions about their interest.”

Apparently, not all students were thrilled with the presence of the booth. Organizers admit that some “seemed to deliberately alter their path through the school so as to avoid meeting our invitations to step inside.”

How difficult to be a student today, tossed about in a sea of cultural Marxism. My heart goes out to them. Now more than ever, they need the solid ground of strong families, strong faith, and strong friendship.

The Transgender Movement Just Pushes People Too Far

by Cathy Ruse

August 6, 2018

When I read this column by Rafael Castro, I was reminded of other people who reluctantly supported same-sex marriage in order to “get the issue behind us.” They, like he, must feel betrayed and angry. The T in LGBT is a ticking time bomb that could sabotage the activists’ whole operation:

As a religious conservative living in a liberal city – Berlin – I was torn between loyalty to tradition and respect for individual freedoms on the issue of gay marriages. What eventually swayed me to support gay organizations in this field was the argument that alternative definitions for marriages are a human right.

I thus sided with the LGBT liberation movement with the hope that once such marriages were legal, the issue would be behind us and the energies exhausted in this fractious debate would be channeled to fight far more serious abuses of human rights in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

These expectations have been bitterly disappointed. To the best of my knowledge the LGBT lobby has done next to nothing in order to help gays and lesbians who are whipped and stoned in nations like Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Instead of championing genuine human rights it has promoted the issue of transsexuality, blowing it out of all proportion, and has declared war on our historical and science-based understanding of sex and gender.

In its obsession for blurring all gender differences it is pressuring the academic and culture establishments to erase any awareness of gender differences from the youngest of children and harassing any person who refuses to endorse this gender ideology. In addition, it has even encouraged voices demanding that incest, polygamy and pedophilia be normalized in our societies.

In other words, I supported same-sex marriage rights with the understanding that I was contributing to defend human rights. Instead my support has been exploited by the sexual liberation movement to undermine the values and paradigms that give society its bearings and guidance to minors who are vulnerable in their development.

I feel betrayed and angry. From now on I will fight every progressive social cause, regardless of the language used to market it. It is evident that today’s progressives are more interested in dismantling Western society than in repairing its relatively minor flaws.

Looking back, I see that same-sex civil unions gave homosexuals all the legal and fiscal rights they needed . These civil unions respected the rights of all parties, without encouraging extremists to assault heteronormativity and bi-genderism. That’s how things should remain.

Transgender “Revolution” is Really an Elitist Diktat

by Cathy Ruse

August 1, 2018

I commend Jonathon Van Maren’s recent column, “Why Ordinary People Regard the Transgender Movement as Utterly Insane.”

Van Maren points out that the cultural “revolutions” of today—and especially the transgender revolution—are not revolutions at all. “Revolution” suggests an uprising by the people to overthrow an oppressive government or elite class.

But the transgender “revolutionaries” are, themselves, the elitists. And they push their agenda primarily from the top down. Van Maren writes:

Progressive politicians, select academics, and cowed journalists might accept the ideologies of gender-fluidity, but the average working man and woman still find much of this stuff to be insane when they are confronted with the beliefs and implications of gender fluidity. 

These ideas are being imposed on us, not demanded by us. Trans activists are demanding that the people accept their ideas. Trans activists claim that they are championing a new understanding of gender, but it is as of yet largely confined to the elites. They say that language evolves, and that trans pronouns will be ubiquitous in no time—but not even their political allies know most of these recently invented words. Despite the lighting-fast speed at which their cultural revolution has progressed, trans activists have not actually accomplished much at the grassroots level.

I suspect they know this, which is why they try so hard to force their ideologies into the schools, where they can indoctrinate the children of the working class men and women who have far too much common sense to accept their ridiculous ideas. As always, this battle will boil down to a fight for the hearts and minds of the next generation.

RNC: Schools Must Get a “Yes” from Parents Before Teaching Radical Sex Ed

by Cathy Ruse

July 26, 2018

Last week at the Republican National Committee’s Summer meeting in Texas, the nation’s parents were finally given the respect they deserve. A resolution requiring parents’ prior written consent for sex ed passed unanimously.

Offered by Virginia Committeewoman Cynthia Dunbar, the resolution (full text below) states the fundamental principle that no school should expose a child to sexual material without prior written consent from his parents. The resolution encourages legislatures to pass laws to this effect.

Who would disagree with this? Well, many school districts fight against having to get parents’ permission for their increasingly graphic, age-inappropriate, controversial sexuality education. Even at the RNC there was pushback in the Resolutions Committee, which passed it out of committee by a vote of 5-2 before a unanimous vote in the full body.

Committeewoman Dunbar said she was thrilled that it passed. “This should not be a partisan issue. Parents everywhere deserve the right to know what their children are being taught, and afforded an opportunity to consent to it.”

This is an important paradigm shift in the Sex Ed Wars. The ultimate goal, of course, is to correct the controversial, age-inappropriate, needlessly graphic content in so many sex ed programs, and to shift from a sexual risk reduction to sexual risk avoidance education model. Instead of encouraging risky sexual behavior, teens should be taught age-appropriate messages that encourage them to avoid sexually risky behavior, just as they are taught to avoid alcohol and drug use, and other risky behaviors. Until then, it is important to establish the fundamental premise that children should not be exposed to controversial sexual material without their parents’ prior consent.

As it is, too many school districts assume consent on the part of parents, automatically enrolling their children in sexually-graphic lessons unless parents take steps to make them to stop, often via an “opt out” form. 

But the “opt out” form has long lost its use; it is completely inadequate for today’s radical sex ed.

Leftist school boards routinely use the “opt out” to shield themselves from criticism (“don’t blame us, you can always opt out”) and as a sword against concerned parents (“since only X number of parents opt out, that means most families agree with us!”).  

In reality, parents have no idea the poison schools are pouring down their kids throats. What’s worse, schools mislead parents about the true content of their sex ed lessons. Many comprehensive sex ed courses that encourage risky behavior even employ abstinence messaging to hide the majority of their curriculum. A lesson labeled “abstinence” in the Fairfax County curriculum, for example, is not really about abstinence at all – it tells kids to refrain from sex until their next steady sex partner. Another labeled “Middle School Changes” is about encouraging children to consider LGBT orientation and identity.

The sheer amount of material is daunting. In Fairfax County, there are more than 80 hours of sex lessons for every child – imagine the mountain of lesson scripts, slides, and videos a parent has to review to make an informed and educated decision about whether to opt out.

Opt out” allows school boards to take advantage of parents, especially working parents, single parents, recent immigrant parents. How many parents expect their school to give their son a lesson with 18 mentions of “anal sex,” suggest to their daughter that she might have been born in the wrong body, talk about oral sex with their 12-year old, or recommend daily sex drugs for their high schooler to support a lifestyle of multiple sex partners of unknown HIV status? As I say, parents have no idea what their schools are teaching; they trust their local schools, and schools take advantage of that trust. Teaching kids to engage in risky sexual behavior not only fails to reduce the negative consequences of such behavior, but to do so without their parents’ informed consent is downright wicked.

Prior written consent respects parents. “Opt out” says: Catch us if you can! 

Forty years ago, when Sex Ed was 2 hours in 6th grade on the basics of human development and reproduction, an “opt out” procedure might have made some sense. Today it is woefully inadequate.

This is why the resolution passed in Texas is so important. It shifts the burden away from parents having to say “no,” to schools having to get a written parental “yes”! 

Parents and children deserve no less.

RESOLUTION PROTECTING STUDENTS FROM EXPOSURE TO POTENTIALLY UNSUITABLE CONTENT BY SUPPORTING A PARENT’S RIGHT TO GRANT PRIOR WRITTEN CONSENT FOR SEX EDUCATION

WHEREAS, parents are a child’s first and foremost educators, and have primary responsibility for the education of their children. Parents have a right to direct their children’s education, care, and upbringing;1

WHEREAS, education is much more than schooling. Education is the whole range of activities by which families and communities transmit to a younger generation, not just knowledge and skills, but ethical and behavioral norms and traditions. It is the handing over of a cultural identity; 2

WHEREAS, American education has, for the last several decades, been the focus of constant controversy, as centralizing forces from outside the family and community have sought to remake education in order to remake America. This has done immense damage;3

WHEREAS, school administrators routinely ask parents for their prior written permission for students to participate in various school-related instruction and activities, including, but not limited to: field trips, sports, and distribution of medicine;

WHEREAS, parents and their students should be afforded the same respect with regard to the increasingly sensitive and controversial nature of human sexuality instruction;

WHEREAS, much of the content in human sexuality instruction centers on contentious and sensitive issues, including but not limited to: abortion, birth control, sexual activity, sexual orientation, transgenderism, and/or gender identity;

WHEREAS, the content often includes a personal analysis or survey that reflects or influences the student’s opinions on sensitive topics such as religious beliefs and practices, sexual orientation, and/or sexual activity;

WHEREAS, most states grant an obscenity exemption that allows content that would otherwise be deemed harmful to minors to be disseminated for educational purposes, creating the potential for inappropriate content to be included within human sexuality instruction;

WHEREAS, such information, content, or ideology is most appropriately placed within the discretion of the parents or guardians;

WHEREAS, the current opt-out paradigm assumes parental consent to student participation, allowing schools to automatically enroll students in potentially explicit, sensitive, and/or controversial human sexuality instruction without prior written permission;

WHEREAS, human sexuality instruction frequently places the wishes and concerns of the parents and/or guardians at odds with those of the school district; and

WHEREAS, the wishes and concerns of the parents and/or guardians are preeminent to those of the School District and should be acknowledged by simply affording parents and/or guardians the right to grant permission for such instruction; therefore

RESOLVED, that public schools must disclose the content contained within human sexuality instruction to the parents and/or guardians of all unemancipated students and shall only enroll those students whose parents and/or guardians provide prior written permission to opt their student into human sexuality instruction;

RESOLVED, that the default shall be that no human sexuality instruction shall be provided to any student not yet emancipated without prior written consent from their parent and/or guardian, making an opt-out default an insufficient protection for either the safety of the student or the rights of the parent;

RESOLVED, that all state legislatures are encouraged to enact legislation that implements these notices and safeguards to protect students from exposure to potentially inappropriate and salacious content and to acknowledge the right of the parents and/or guardians to direct their children’s education, care, and upbringing, including their right to protect them from exposure to content they find unsuitable.

Adopted by the Republican National Committee, _______________________ 

1 Platform of the Republican Party, Issued by the Republican National Committee, page 33 (2016, Cleveland, Ohio).

2 Id.

3 Id. 

Archives