Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Left's Attack on Fatherhood

Recently I found myself watching one of my favorite father-son movies, “Frequency” from 1999.  (1) I won’t delve into the plot of the movie, but I will say I strongly recommended it.  Yet it got me thinking about the importance of fathers in the lives of children.  Now, more than ever, it seems that fatherhood is under attack in America by the Left.  For the Biblical Conservative, this presents a serious problem.

I am proud to say I have a great father who taught me how to be a man.  My Dad is my hero and my confidant.  He is the man who taught me how to throw a baseball and how to ride a bike.  He taught me the important things in life, like how a man should treat a woman and how a big brother ought to look out for his younger siblings.  He taught me the less important things, like how to tell a joke and how to mow a lawn.  When I was young, my Dad took me to church and took me to baseball games.  To this day, he is one of the most important people in my life.  I also had another great man in my life, my maternal grandfather.  He taught me how to change a tire and how to tell a good story.  Papap and I shared a love of history and of classic cars.  We went to museums together and to car shows.  From the day I was born until he passed away in 1999, he added to all the great things my Dad taught me and continues to teach me.  Papap and my Dad are my two heroes.

I have been blessed in a way that far too many people are not these days.  I have been blessed with a wonderful father, and to boot a second great male influence in my life in Papap.  Far too many kids are without that important influence.  There are situations which are beyond anyone’s control where a parent is widowed and left to raise their kids as single parents.  That cannot be avoided.  But that was not how God created parenthood to be. 

God had a perfect plan for the raising of children.  It involved two parents, one male and one female parent.  It also involved those two parents being joined in the covenant of marriage for life.  Marriage was God’s plan for creating children.  In the Bible tells humans that we should be fruitful and multiply, that is to procreate (for those of you from Palm Beach County, FL that’s “make babies.”): 

Then God blessed them, and god said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.
Genesis 1:28
In another place, God says this:

Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.

For those of you from Palm Beach County, “fornication” is all sex outside the boundaries of marriage.  So, according to God’s plan, all sex should be reserved for marriage and all else is sin.  And as any doctor, biologist, or individual over the age of twelve, sexual intercourse is indeed the way to create a child.  It is possible to achieve the physiological process without intercourse, but that requires a major derivation from the way children have been conceived for centuries.
- Hebrews 13:4

This is God’s plan for children.  A father and a mother, married, raising that child together.  The father brings certain things to the child as does the mother.  I look at my own childhood, and perhaps this situation will sound familiar to you as well, for an example.  As a child, many times I would fall down and hurt myself in some minor way.  My mother’s reaction was to give me a hug, kiss my boo-boo and make it better.  My dad’s reaction was to pick me up, playfully toss me in the air and make me forget about my scraped knee.  As I grew older, Dad taught me the proverbial “rub some dirt on it” male attitude that helped me learn how to not let a small bruise stop me. 

This is one small example of the ways mothers and fathers are different in the training of a child.  I learned certain things from Dad that Mom wouldn’t have taught me alone.  I grant you, I know if my father had unfortunately died while I was a child, Mom would’ve ensured that I had another father figure to hold that place (most likely Papap, or my other grandfather, or one of my uncles) to fill that role.  But there are certain things I needed a father to teach me.

Unfortunately, the world today, lead by liberal “open-mindedness” has done its very best to steal the necessity of a father away.  The liberal attack on the father started with something I consider to be a good thing: contraception (that’d be birth control, for those of you from Palm Beach County).  Prior to the widespread availability of such contraception methods as condoms and the birth control pill, most women were afraid to have sex outside of marriage for fear of impregnation and the social shame that went with being an unwed mother.  Once those methods were available, the risk of impregnation dropped with sex out of wedlock, making more women willing to take that risk.  (As a general rule, men, on the other hand, with our usual characteristic restraint, were pretty much ready to take that risk even without contraception.) 

However, since no form of birth control (save for abstinence) is ever 100% accurate, there was still some risk involved that kept many away from sex.  Even a 5% chance, combined with the shame that still existed with pregnancy out of wedlock, was enough to stop many, many people.  Liberalism struck again in 1973 with the landmark Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision.  (2) Liberalism went into full attack on family values with Roe v. Wade by teaching that it was acceptable to destroy a human life for the sake the comfort and convenience of the mother.  As a matter of fact, that mother could destroy that child before anyone else knew she was pregnant.

While we’re at it, the lack of shame that used to come with pregnancy outside of marriage is something that Liberalism has robbed from our society.  It’s a good thing for people to be ashamed of sin.  Sex outside of marriage is a sin.  If one is having sex outside of marriage and is impregnated, they have  public evidence of that sin.  Shame stops people from doing things they ought not do.

I understand there are circumstances where this ideal is not possible, through no failure of the parents.  An example of this is a widow or widower whose spouse has died.  This is unfortunate and unavoidable.  However, I believe it is necessary for the remaining parent to find some surrogate to replace the lost parent.  I don't mean that parent should get married as quickly as possible, by any means.  There are other ways to find the necessary surrogate. 

One great way to do this is through a grandparent, or an aunt or uncle.  I know one woman who is a widow who lives with her parents so that her father, her children's grandfather, can be that stand-in father figure.  God bless that grandfather, by the way, for fulfilling that role.

In a world that's determined to ignore the way the family was designed to operate, this is a fight that needs to be continued.  Even without referencing God, you cannot argue that it takes one male parent and one female parent to procreate a child.  The left is attempting to ignore the role of a father, but children need both Mom and Dad.

(1)    Frequency (IMDB Article)
(2)    Roe v. Wade

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