It can be difficult for many Christian professionals to live out their faith in the workplace, and unfortunately, many of them are leaving their professions to avoid the increasing hostility towards Christian ideals and worldview. Critical professions like law, medicine, and education—just to name a few—are losing Christians at an alarming rate.
The Ruth Institute and its founder and president Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse have turned their attention to helping Christians reclaim the workplace and fight corruption of so many critical professions. Dr. Morse joins host Traci DeVette Griggs on this week’s episode of Family Policy Matters to discuss the ramifications of Christians fleeing many professions, and how The Ruth Institute is fighting to reverse this trend.
“The fact is that people have a tendency to do is to say, ‘Okay, I’m going to leave the profession, and I’m going to go over here in my private niche where I can function according to my principles,’” notes Dr. Morse. “And I get it […] But when you’ve done that, you’ve left the institution to the enemies of Christ and to the enemies of reason; you’ve abandoned in a way, the institution.”
So how can Christian professionals reclaim the workplace? There are several options, according to Dr. Morse. One is to get on the boards and committees that may be available for your profession, like a school board or bar association or faculty senate.
“Another option that some people take is to form alternative professional associations,” continues Dr. Morse. Rather than the American Medical Association or the American Bar Association, there are associations “who are trying to do the things that a professional society should do, but at the same time do them within the scope of Christian values, and to be a force for resisting some of the corruption that’s going on.”
Tune in to Family Policy Matters this week to hear Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse discuss how The Ruth Institute is working to protect Christian professionals and preserve Christian worldview in the workplace.
TRACI GRIGGS: Thanks for joining us this week for Family Policy Matters. From librarians to doctors, teachers to lawyers, many Christian professionals are second-guessing their jobs—and even their occupation—in light of increasing hostility to Christian principles and the difficulty of living out what they believe. Can anything be done to reclaim these professions? Well, Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse is founder and president of The Ruth Institute, and she’s thought a lot about this question and its consequences. She joins us today to share some of her thoughts on why and how we should move forward boldly with confidence to reclaim these important professions.
Dr. Morse, welcome back to Family Policy Matters.
DR. ROBACK MORSE: Thanks so much for having me.
TRACI GRIGGS: Why do you say that so many important professions—like medicine, law, journalism, education—have been corrupted today?
DR. ROBACK MORSE: The sexual revolution has been going on for my entire adult lifetime, and over the course of that period of time, one profession after another has compromised in some way with the tenants of the sexual revolution. And in some cases they’ve compromised very, very profoundly. We have the specter of doctors who pretend they don’t know when life begins. We have the specter of lawyers and judges who say they don’t really believe in law, and who are rewriting the Constitution from the bench, and all of these other things. So, there’s an enormous amount of corruption in the various professions and it has come largely, not exclusively, but largely through the sexual issues. So, as somebody who’s concerned about the sexual revolution—as we are at The Ruth Institute—we figure it’s time to take direct aim at this problem of corrupted professions and see what we can do to reclaim those professions for Christ.
TRACI GRIGGS: Which professions do you consider to be the most important to reclaim? Which do we go after first, do you think?
DR. ROBACK MORSE: That’s a good question. Any of your listeners who are part of the professions will say, “Mine! Let’s get mine first!” I think there are some important principles that unite all of the professions. So in a certain way, the law and medicine and journalism are at the top of the heap, but so is education. I mean, the promotion of the sexual revolution through the education system is profound and deeply, deeply entrenched, and it’s been going on for a long time. All of those things are very important and need to be addressed. But what I want your listeners to be aware of is whatever profession you’re involved in, you are probably seeing it in your own profession. And we want to talk to you because the problems that the people in law or medicine are having, are similar to the problems that you’re facing in library science or social work or whatever the other profession might be.
So we’re trying to work on common solutions to some of those problems by people talking to each other and collaborating. That’s where we’re headed with this, Traci. We can’t afford to be in our little silos anymore. We’ve got to go for the root of the problem, which is the underlying corruption of so many professions.
TRACI GRIGGS: So you mentioned—I kind of skipped over it a little bit—but you mentioned that you think the crux of this issue is sexual issues. Talk a little bit more about why you think that is.
DR. ROBACK MORSE: The sexual revolution is something that has been very sneaky. From the very beginning, the attempts to overturn traditional sexual morality and replace it with a legal structure that supports something other than traditional sexual morality; it’s always been very sneaky. They’ve always claimed that, “It’s just this one little thing that we want.” “Oh gosh, this is the only thing we’re asking for.” “Oh, how can you stop us?” “Oh my goodness, how could you possibly object?” And then the minute you admit the principle, you’ve got abortion on demand for anybody who wants it right up to the moment of birth, and now beyond birth. So it’s always been very sneaky; that’s a bad sign right there.
The reason the sexual revolution is so insidious is that it has been from the beginning an attack on the human body. It’s basically a statement that we don’t like the human body. We don’t like it that we have this strong urge to be sexually active, and that this urge to be sexually active will result in a baby sometimes. And then that baby will make demands on us that every civilized society expects parents to live up to; we don’t like any of that. And so we’re going to undo that step-by-step, piece-by-piece. No one has really completely addressed the fact that the underlying issue is a revolt against the body, which is a revolt against creation, right? And trying to implement that throughout society has amounted to a wholescale attempt to undermine human nature. Human nature itself is in the cross hairs. So, these are the reasons that I think it’s so important to see the sexual revolution as central to this whole issue.
TRACI GRIGGS: You mentioned that everybody needs to work together, and all these different professions need to work together to reclaim them. What are some ways that people who are in these professions can do that?
DR. ROBACK MORSE: It depends. If you’re actively working in the professions, there are a couple of ways that you can operate in a constructive manner. I mean, one is to call out your conscience rights wherever they’re being violated, and to not simply go along quietly with what’s going on. Now sometimes that will put you in a position where your job is at stake and people then go, “Well, gee, do I really want to put my whole job at stake for the sake of this principle?” People are back and forth all the time with that question. Another way you can operate is to say, “I’m going to get myself on the board that makes decisions for my local bar association,” for instance, or on my college campus, my particular university, “I’m going to make sure I go to the faculty senate meetings.” “I’m going to get myself appointed to the Appointments Committees,” and the various things so that you are active inside your profession. But that’s not always a realistic option for people.
Another option that some people take is to form alternative professional associations. There are now alternatives to the American Medical Association, alternatives to the American Bar Association, and so on. And these are groups of professionals who are trying to do the things that a professional society should do, but at the same time do them within the scope of Christian values, and to be a force for resisting some of the corruption that’s going on. Now, if you are a retired member of a profession, you actually have many more options than a person who’s actively employed, because after all they can’t fire you if you’re already retired. You can use your connections and your knowledge of your profession to be a positive force within your profession. And depending on your personal situation, those are some of the ways that people can resist the takeover of the professions by the corruption of the sexual revolution.
TRACI GRIGGS: Talk a little more about retirees. You gave some great suggestions on what people who are working should do. What are some things that retirees might be doing?
DR. ROBACK MORSE: There was a very interesting case in Australia of all places, that not all of your listeners will be familiar with because it was a Catholic situation, but it was very, very high profile so you still might’ve heard of it. The highest-ranking Cardinal in Australia, Cardinal George Pell, was accused of sexual abuse. It was pretty clear from the beginning that the charges couldn’t be true because they were sort of self-contradictory and it was impossible for the timeline to have worked, and so on and so forth. But there was so much media hype over the case that he got convicted. He got sent to prison. He was in solitary confinement. Well, the whole thing was finally overturned, and when you look at how it was overturned, the next to last case was a case where they brought in—among other people to be on the panel at the appellate level—they brought in a retired judge. And the retired judge is like, “You can’t do anything to me; this case is ridiculous.” And he laid out the arguments that then formed the basis for the appeal which finally got Cardinal Pell off, which was ultimately finally justice.
So that was an instance, and lots of professions do that. They’ll have a role where, you know, “Let’s bring in the retired investigator because we’re short-handed,” or “Let’s request a report from a retired physician,” things like that. So, there are often opportunities of that kind.
The other place that retired people can be involved is being involved in the alternative associations, the alternative professional associations that I mentioned. Sometimes retired professionals can take a role in very, very local things such as going after your local school board when they’re out of control, because if you’re a retired lawyer or a retired school teacher or retired doctor, and you’re looking around and your school board is doing some crazy thing in sex-ed in your local school, you as a retired professional may have a very important role to play in the public resistance to that. Because you’ve got more time than the typical parent who’s dealing with their child and dealing with making a living and all that kind of stuff. The parents are the most concerned, but they’re also the most strapped. So those are some ways that retired professionals can really, really make a difference. And I would really encourage people to consider how they might be involved.
TRACI GRIGGS: I think that’s a great point. We have a lot of retirees across the state that we know of here at the Family Policy Council that are doing just that. They are working and being great advocates, so that’s a great point. Talk about the opposite side of the spectrum; when young people are trying to figure out their vocation or profession, what are some things they need to be aware of when they’re considering some of these careers?
DR. ROBACK MORSE: I think most young people—most Christian young people who take their faith seriously—they’re no doubt already aware of the pitfalls that we’re talking about. And so they’re going to need very early on to get connected and networked with people who are further along in their professions, who can help them, who can guide them, who can offer them protection if they need it. So that’s extremely important that you find yourself a good mentor as you go through your profession. I don’t want to say, “Give up your dream to be a doctor because you’re going to be under so much pressure to perform abortions and trans-surgeries and all these kinds of things.” Don’t give up, but you’re going to have to go into it with your eyes wide-open and seeking some very serious mentorship from adults.
TRACI GRIGGS: Why is it important that these professions don’t give up? What’s the threat posed by the absence of true Christian believers in some of these professions?
DR. ROBACK MORSE: Oh, calamity. I’ll tell you what, the fact is that people have a tendency to do is to say, “Okay, I’m going to leave the profession, and I’m going to go over here in my private niche where I can function, and where it can function according to my principles.” And I get it; I get why people do that, and it’s important that some people do it. But when you’ve done that, you’ve left the institution to the enemies of Christ and to the enemies of reason; you’ve abandoned in a way, the institution. And so it’s not everybody’s vocation to be in the middle of the fight, I get that, but somebody needs to stand and fight because otherwise there’s no resistance at all to corrupting medicine with the idea that the body is all social and we can renegotiate what it means to be a man, what it means to be a woman? We simply can’t turn our backs on these things, even though we sometimes do have to make strategic retreats.
TRACI GRIGGS: Any signs of hope?
DR. ROBACK MORSE: The latest round of issues that have come from the sexual revolution are so outrageous, so contrary to reason, so harmful to the very vulnerable young people, that people are finally waking up. And I consider that a sign of hope that people are waking up, that they are upset, that they’re moved to act. I’m seeing people who are not Christians being upset and activated, and willing to talk to us. People who wouldn’t have talked to us five years ago are talking to us now, because we’re the ones saying, “If you feel like you’re born in the wrong body, that’s a problem not with your body; that’s a problem with your feelings. Nobody’s born in the wrong body.” There are now radical feminists who are talking to us because they respect the body. They have other areas where we don’t agree of course, but that’s okay. We’re talking with people that wouldn’t give us the time of day before, so that I see is a great sign of hope.
TRACI GRIGGS: All right, well we’re just about out of time for this week, but before we go, Jennifer Roback Morse, where can our listeners go to learn more about The Ruth Institute?
DR. ROBACK MORSE: The Ruth Institute, we have a very active website, at ruthinstitute.org. And your listeners should be aware that we’re having a conference on this very set of themes called, “The Summit for Survivors of the Sexual Revolution.” It will be July 16th and 17th here in Lake Charles, Louisiana. And we are going to have professionals from all these walks of life that we’ve been talking about, and people getting together in the same room, networking with each other, learning from each other. It’s going to be a great experience. And you can learn all about that at ruthinstitute.org or on our Facebook page.
TRACI GRIGGS: Dr. Jennifer Roback Morris, president of The Ruth Institute, thank you so much for being with us today on Family Policy Matters.
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