EDITORIAL: The Importance of Fathers

Happy Father’s Day, to all the RedState readers who have been so blessed in their lifetimes, as well as to all the RedState staff who enjoy the same.

I wanted to take some time, as the “anti-feminist” of RedState to pay homage to men, and in particular, to fathers, dads, daddies, pops, papas, and every other variation of the title.

Just to be clear, if your contribution to fatherhood could have been mailed in a plastic baggie and applied with a turkey baster, this isn’t for you. Do better with your life.

Psalm 127:3-5 NLT says, “3Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him. 4Children born to a young man are like arrows in a warrior’s hands. 5How joyful is the man whose quiver is full of them! He will not be put to shame when he confronts his accusers at the city gates.”

It is clear that from the beginning, when God told Adam and Eve to “be fruitful and multiply,” that children were meant to be a blessing. What they weren’t intended for was to be seen as a barrier to one’s ambitions, trophies, little extensions of the lives we wished we’d had, or as weapons to be used against our former partners, in the event that the relationship falls apart.

Josh Kimbrell, conservative Christian radio host out of South Carolina, chair of the Palmetto Conservative Alliance, and author of the book, “Fatherhood on Trial: The Fight to be a Father in the Age of Divorce,” knows too well the hazards of trying to be an involved and present dad, when the system is all too often rigged to favor the mothers.

As he pointed out in a recent conversation, our family law system was written when divorce was at around 25% in this country, while it is now at around 55%.

From the book’s website:

In October 2014, conservative radio talk-show host and South Carolina political activist Josh Kimbrell faced the most heinous of criminal charges: Criminal Sexual Conduct with a Minor in the First Degree – which carries a life sentence – for allegedly molesting a 3-year-old.

His accuser – his former wife.

Her enabler – an over-motivated investigator.

Their unknowing ally – a politically-driven prosecutor.

The 3-year-old – his own son.

Modern feminism has become a pox on our society. While I can see the need for the more classical form of a women’s movement, to assure equal treatment under the law, in the job market, and in the political realm, modern feminists have taken it to a place it was never meant to go.

Pro-tip, ladies: You don’t get to tell the government to stay out of your womb, but then demand they pay for your birth control. That’s bad form.

Kimbrell included several quotes from feminists in his book. One from feminist anthropologist, Margaret Mead, reads, “A father is a biological necessity, but a social accident.”

Basically, she’s rooting for the guys with the plastic baggies and the turkey baster daddy.

Sadly, women like Mead, Gloria Steinem, and pop culture have launched an assault on fathers, and manhood, in general. The well-being of our society, however, does not bear up well under this myth being perpetuated about the relative unimportance of fathers, beyond contributing half of their DNA.

Statistics show that 90% of single parent households in America are headed up by females. The highest rate of poverty, across every demographic, is in single-mother households, with dependent children. Around 60% of single mother households are impoverished, compared to only about 11% of families with both parents present.

Further, studies indicate that children from single-mother households run the risk of poorer health, are more likely to drop out of school, act out in socially unacceptable ways, and are also more likely to bear children out of wedlock, perpetuating the cycle of poverty.

These are the ugly, troubling realities, but when you turn on the TV and nearly every family sitcom portrays the dad as the comedic backdrop to the family – bumbling, oafish, and otherwise ineffective, it begins to paint a subtle picture in the public’s mind.

When you have Gender Studies professors screeching about “male privilege” and “mansplaining,” as if men are to automatically be held as enemies and antagonists, at least until they prove themselves sufficiently emasculated, therefore, non-threatening, that creates an unfair image of what the male role in our society was meant to be.

The role of men in our society, and as the head of our family units (yes, I said, “head of the family” and I meant it) cannot be overstated.

A good father is a gift to his children, core to the foundation of a stable society, and necessary far beyond just the biological details of family building.

I’ll go further and point out that just because the marriage fails, that doesn’t mean the father’s role is lessened. If anything, it is heightened, due to the fact that they have to be even more vigilant in guarding the overall well-being of their offspring.

Fathers are the first superhero in a little boy’s life. Everything they learn about being men, and ultimately, fathers themselves, they learn from their own fathers, first.

Fathers are the first love in the hearts of every little girl. How those daughters are valued and treated by their fathers, that is how they will measure up the “love” of every other potential suitor they encounter.

Finally, how fathers treat their mothers is how children will grow to expect their relationships to be. Open shows of affection and respect have far-reaching effects.

So to the fathers, the daddies, the dads, pops, papas… and also to those who may not have the biological connection, but stepped up to fill the void left by the absent father… kudos to you all.

You are important. You are valued. Enjoy your day.