Author archives: Cathy Ruse

The ERA: A Bad, Old Idea

by Cathy Ruse

January 10, 2019

Yesterday a senate committee in Richmond voted in favor of Virginia ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Yes, I am speaking of your grandmother’s ERA.

The deadline Congress set for states to ratify the amendment has long since passed—nearly three decades ago. Proponents couldn’t convince enough states that it was a good idea within the deadline, and since then five states have withdrawn their ratification.

The issue is officially moot. But proponents hope they can convince enough states to go through the motions anyway, and then convince a lawless judge to ignore the deadline.

The Left loves lawless judges.

Women deserve to be treated with respect and fairness. We can all agree on that. But the ERA won’t deliver these things—in fact, it will undermine them.

The same lawless judges who might ignore ratification deadlines could also employ the ERA to eliminate the recognition of male and female. But that puts men in women’s shelters and prisons. It puts men in women’s bathrooms and showers. It puts men in women’s sports.

We don’t need that kind of help.

The ERA is not only anti-woman, but anti-children—especially the most vulnerable waiting to be born. 

Proponents say the ERA is not about abortion. But look at what they do: Every time a state considers ERA language that is abortion-neutral, they kill it. That’s because abortion is at the heart of the ERA.

Women deserve safe spaces, privacy, and a level playing field. Children deserve a fighting chance to be born.

When the Virginia Senate takes up the measure in the days ahead, they should waste no time in putting to rest this bad, old idea.

Parents Beware of Puberty-Blocker Propaganda

by Cathy Ruse

December 19, 2018

Transgender activists promote puberty blockers as safe, effective, and reversible.  A new column at The Federalist details why medical experts disagree.

Originally used to treat prostate cancer, puberty blockers are also used for endometriosis and “precocious puberty” (for girls under 8, boys under 9).

But using puberty blockers to stop normal puberty is “off label,” meaning no research has been done to prove the safety of such use and the FDA hasn’t approved the drug for this purpose.

Extreme Side Effects

One of the puberty blockers frequently administered to girls who identify as boys is called Lupron.

Even with on-label use, Lupron is associated with loss in bone density and weak and brittle bones. Tragically, and ironically, another side effect is severe depression and suicidal ideation. The transgender lobby likes to wag a finger at parents and say: “Do you want a transgender child or a dead child?” But look at the drugs they are pushing on children.

Lawsuits

Not sure if a drug is totally safe? Look at the lawsuits. Lupron manufacturer AbbVie has been sued by a woman who took Lupron 14 years ago for endometriosis and now has widespread arthritis and suffers constant pain: “My body is on fire.” Another lawsuit charges Lupron with causing extreme bone density loss in an individual who took the drug starting at age 17.

Other Cases

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports on another patient who took Lupron for precocious puberty at 10 after which she suffered such severe pain that she was put in a wheelchair in 5th grade. An Atlanta GYN who specializes in endometriosis reports many women suffering memory loss after taking Lupron.

Are Puberty Blockers Reversible?

No. The lost years of bone development cannot be regained, say medical experts.

According to endocrinologist Michael Laidlaw:  

There is an exquisitely timed release and change of multiple hormones during normal puberty. Among these are growth hormone and the sex hormones which account for the growth spurt including bone growth and development. It has been shown that puberty blockers interfere with the expected increase in bone density in adolescence such that the bones are not as strong as they would be had normal pubertal development been allowed. This is due to the effect of dropping sex hormone levels to subnormal levels. These lost years of bone development cannot be regained.

Why Some Medical Experts Call This Psychological Child Abuse

Up to 98 percent of gender dysphoric boys and 88 percent of gender dysphoric girls will experience an end to their sex confusion after naturally passing through puberty, according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition.

That means only about 5-10 percent of effected children will pursue further sex-change interventions.

But how many children on puberty blockers pursue further sex-change procedures? One hundred percent, according to a Dutch study reported in The Journal of Sexual Medicine. The study, evaluating the impact of puberty blockers on 70 children, found that all 70 went on to take cross-sex hormones.

What This Means for Parents

Parents who visit a gender specialist for a suffering child, beware. Puberty blockers like Lupron are said to buy time to allow your child to explore his identity. But for many children—100 percent of them, according to a key study—they are a one-way ticket to transgenderism.

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.

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