Father's Day was last Sunday, in case you missed it. (And if you did – quick! Call your dad!)
In honor of this beloved yet somewhat fading holiday, I'm posting a link to a rather deep but very intriguing essay by Andrew Peach (yum!) entitled "The Demise of Fatherhood." Okay, it isn't a very cheery subject for Father's Day, but I found it an extremely thought-provoking analysis of fatherhood in the western world, including rather stunning quotes like the following:
"… it is now possible, without the slightest exaggeration, to begin using phrases such as 'the end of the human family.'"
Yikes! Got your attention now? Give it a read! Thanks to my brother Rob for pointing this out to me in the online version of "First Things," the excellent journal founded by Catholic thought leader Richard John Neuhaus.
You can read the essay here.
I agree that “rugged individualism” could certainly lead to a decline in fathers taking responsibility for their children.
However, I disagree with the assumption that dads are becoming distant because of the philosophy that underpins a specific court cases (in this instance, Roe and Casey).
I loved the quote from Wendell Berry, who commenting on marriage and family said:
Ok if we throw something Cheerful in here?
We had a great Fathers Day/weekend, nice time with the kids & family, lots of good time together. From observing things from the video arena, it seems more like people are asleep than anything. With out 120+ various flavors of churches in the 4 city area, we continue to work towards trying to wake up to spiritual awareness & not to forget to show up ‘n support responsibilities such as fatherhood & God Honoring media.
Hoping we cheered somebody up today!
That is a sobering article. The writer really makes a point. A good point. As a young man, I would like to have the perseverance and courage to be a permanent father … in the future.
thanks Phil for the link.
Apparently the top Christian DVD of last week was Minnesota Cuke 1. Is that a coincidennce or good publicity for MC 2?
Another scholastic attempt to find the “culprits” for the demise of our fathers and for that matter our families.
At 61 I am not happy to be captured in the definition of either functional nor voluntary. The premise is interesting the presumption a bit flaud.
Our society is family based. Our current government is individual based. Fathers give authority to the family and society rejects authority for its own sake. Society is a set of norms believed and acted out. Though we are unique in our time…we are not the first to try and let government or society raise our children. Weakness in beliefs and authority from a father in the home gives way to having children reach outside the family for the truth.
Let’s not give up on fathering…let’s give honor and glory to fathering. Let us set the norms that society can operate within.
Thanks for the chance to rant a bit.
Ted from Minneapolis
I don’t see this piece as trying to find “culprits”; it seems more intent on determining why we are where we are, not who’s to blame. And I think it’s logical to assume that, once we give women the right to physically separate themselves from their children via abortion, men will also seek to distance themselves from their children in the only way they can — abandonment, both physical and emotional. This is all a part of the devaluing of life that Roe v Wade has helped to establish; I believe it has helped us to become more callous and insensitive to each other and to God’s creation in general. And I’m also not sure fathers who walk away from ther children are expecting the government to raise them; I’m not sure they give a rip who raises the kids, as long as they don’t have to. It’s just selfishness, not some idea that the state can do a better job. True fathers are not functional or voluntary, obviously — we are there because we have no desire to do otherwise, and because we realize that is what God would have us do. I have found nothing in life that is so rewarding, and no greater way to understand God’s love for us.
I am convicted that part of the problem is the way so many people view God’s fatherhood. I get the impression that folk assume that “fatherhood” in God is an analogy drawn from human fatherhood. In reality, the exact opposite is true; human fatherhood is a type, or image, of God’s own eternal fatherhood within the Blessed Trinity. If that reality doesn’t shape our idea of fatherhood, we won’t every give it the credit it’s due. Pax!
Hi, this isn’t relevant to Veggie Tales or Phil, but I thought I should comment on a website that you might be interested in. It’s abort73.com and it’s a really comprehensive information and education page about abortion from a Christian perspective. They have stories of girls changing their mind from having an abortion after reading stuff on the website. I thought some of you might be keen to have a loook. They have great T shirts which are really cheap but look good and they point people to the website.
Phil — Where are you?
HEY PHIIIIIIIIIIL! WHERE YOU AT?!