By Pamela Seal
Diocese of Lake Charles
LAKE CHARLES — A Baptist minister jailed for his pro-life witness; a wife and mother of seven defending marriage, family, and life across the globe; and an author who publishes widely on the rights of children were all honored on July 16 for their efforts to promote family values.
The fourth annual Ruth Institute’s awards dinner was part of a two-day Summit for Survivors of the Sexual Revolution held July 16-17 at Treasures of Marilyn’s. The theme for this year’s conference was “Reclaiming the Professions for Life and Family.”
This year’s recipient of the Witness of the Year Award is Rev. Walter B. Hoye II, an Oakland, Calif., pastor who is the subject of the Ignatius Press book, “Black and Pro-Life in America.” He shared his story of being jailed for 30 days for his pro-life witness outside an abortion clinic in Oakland in 2009. The reason for his imprisonment: standing on a public sidewalk with a sign saying, “God loves you and your baby. Let us help you.”
“Harassment within 100 feet of an abortion clinic includes holding a sign, having a conversation, and passing out literature,” Hoye explained. “Because my viewpoint is pro-life, and I was there to help the men and women going into the clinic and present them with alternatives to killing their baby, I was sentenced to 30 days in jail.”
The first person to visit Rev. Hoye in jail was Oakland Bishop Salvatore Cordileone, who is now Archbishop of San Francisco. Through their visit, Hoye said he learned about the difficulty of Cordileone’s work in Oakland at the time.
“He asked me what it was like to do what I do,” said Hoye. “It turns out that we have so much in common. Even to this day, he and I work together and will continue to do so for the rest of our lives.”
Rev. Hoye said the number one issue facing Black America today is irreversibility.
“Three years after Roe v. Wade (1973), the total fertility rate for black women fell to 2.3, down from 7.9 in the 1850s. In 2019, the number of children per black woman was only 1.7, well below the necessary replacement value of 2.1. Our numbers are clearly going in the wrong direction. We are getting to the point where Black America will be facing irreversibility by the year 2050.”
That is why Hoye, founder of the Issues4Life Foundation, has dedicated his life to educating Black leaders about the evil of abortion.
“Our theme for the Issues4Life Foundation is simple: without life, nothing matters. You can have a family waiting on you. You can have a job waiting on you. You can have an education waiting on you. You can have a just society waiting on you. But if you can’t get out of the womb, nothing matters,” he said.
Receiving the Activist of the Year Award was Sharon Slater, president of the Family Watch International and chair of the UN Family Rights Caucus. She and her husband live in Arizona and have seven children, three of whom are siblings adopted from Mozambique.
Slater helped create a website called Stop CSE (www.comprehensivesexualityeducation.org) that includes extensive amount of information state by state. The website was created to warn parents and policy makers of the serous harms of explicit comprehensive sexuality education programs. It is a joint effort of Family Watch International, the UN Family Rights Caucus, the Stop the Kinsey Institute coalition and concerned parents worldwide.
“If you click on your state on the map, you will get a state profile with a list of laws related to sex education, parental rights, obscenity laws, anything that could relate to sex education,” said Slater. “It will also show you the federally funded programs that your state received money for or organizations in your state to implement the radical comprehensive sexuality education. It is a one-stop shopping for everything you need to know. It’s also part of our Protect Child Help Coalition way of gathering people to fight this fight in the various states.”
Slater also serves on the board of directors of No Left Turn in Education on the board of the Political Network for Values, a resource for legislators and politicians across the globe defending human life, marriage, family, religious freedom, and conscience.
The Book of the Year Award was presented to Katy Faust of Seattle, Wash., for her book, “Them Before Us: Why We Need a Global Children’s Rights Movement.” She is the founder and director of the children’s rights organization, Them Before Us. Faust is also a regular contributor at The Federalist.
Raised by her mother who has been in a relationship with another woman since Faust was 10 years old, she said she became involved with children’s rights when the gay marriage rights debate came to Seattle in 2012.
“We never had stories from the kids who have lived through all of these modern families,” Faust said. “Once you hear those stories, in almost every area of marriage and family, we are asking for kids to sacrifice their fundamental rights — to be known and loved by their mom and dad — for the sake of adult desires. It is global. It is not limited to one state or one country.”
Noting that her mother is one of the most important people in her life, Faust stressed that every issue about marriage and family is obsessively focused on adult desires, longing, losses, and always to the detriment of the rights of children.
“We need to put them, children, before us, the adults,” she said. “In this world of children’s rights, nobody gets a pass.”
Faust, who is married and the mother of four children, the youngest of whom is adopted from China, said her book evolved by accident. “I started anonymously writing a blog opposed to gay marriage because I knew what the other side would do to me if they knew how I felt,” she said. “Them Before Us” provides child-centric answers to questions about marriage, family, parenthood, surrogacy, adoption, reproductive technologies, divorce, same-sex parenting, cohabitation, polygamy and more.
Live-streaming and online programs during the Summit were available on topics including: Confronting the Corruption of the Professions; Reclaiming the Therapeutic Professions; Resisting the Corruption of Education; Defending the Body; Equipping the Pro-life Movement to Confront Trans-minded clients; and Surviving the Sexual Revolution.
The Ruth Institute was founded by Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse in San Diego in 2008. The non-profit organization has since relocated to Lake Charles in 2015. The Institute provides decades of research and educational tools to support individuals and families harmed by divorce, the hook-up culture, and other forms of family breakdown. For more information, visit www.ruthinstitute.org.