It came to my attention recently that the White House web site has a page with information about our nation’s founders, and it refers to these men as the “Founding Founders.”
Huh. Is this where we’ve come in our attitude toward fatherhood? The White House can’t even bear to identify our Founding Fathers in the way we’ve referred to them for more than two centuries?
That is a shame because on this Father's Day I think we can look at the state of our nation and recognize we need fathers more than ever. And we note this at a time when far too many children are growing up without them.
Sometimes when you talk about the importance of fathers, people get upset because they think you are “attacking single mothers,” which is one of the most absurd things I’ve ever heard. Single mothers are doing a two-person job by themselves. They should not have to do that, and their children should not have to pay the price for the fact that the partner in parenting their mothers ought to have is absent.
But this is where we are as a nation. Today, nearly 50 percent of first-born American children are born out of wedlock. In the black community, the number is nearly 70 percent.
These children may or may not grow up with their fathers in their lives, but the vast majority of them do not grow up with their father living with them or married to their mothers. Many of these children have to deal with a parade of live-in boyfriends or husbands that mom brings home.
A study by the Heritage Foundation reported last year that among families led by single mothers, 37.1 live in poverty. By contrast, among families led by married couples, only 6.8 percent live in poverty.
But as horrible a burden as poverty is on a child, you might argue it pales in comparison to the other things a child misses out on by not having a strong, wise, loving father in his or her life. The guidance and example offered by such a father often make the difference in whether a child will go in a good direction or down a dark road.
Think about it like this: When was the last time you heard a troubled person explain, “My father gave me too much love. He made too much time for me. He paid too much attention to me.” Never heard that? Of course not.
You have often heard the lament that our culture seems to belittle fathers. Entertainment portrays fathers as bumbling idiots while celebrating women who seem to have little need for men in their lives. This is true, but in some ways Hollywood only reflects other attitudes in our culture.
Getting back to our friends in the White House, you might remember the somewhat creepy “Julia” character the Obama campaign created to represent a woman who owes everything she has to the benevolent hand of government. Part of Julia’s life story involved a son, but there was no mention of a father, let alone a husband. But it didn’t matter, because government programs provided everything Julia needed.
I can’t even begin to tell you the value of everything my father taught me. Even though I was born in poverty, my father taught me how to overcome my circumstances. And he set the example for me to follow.
There is no substitute for that. I salute all strong, wise, loving, faithful fathers. And if you are a father who is not bringing those qualities into the lives of your children, maybe Father's Day can serve as the occasion to make a new start. Just think of the reward that will come some day when your children say they never could have become what they are without you.
Following the conclusion of his presidential campaign, Herman Cain established The Cain Solutions Revolution, an organization whose mission is to educate the public and advocate for the policy solutions that drove his campaign for the presidency. Read more reports from Herman Cain — Click Here Now.
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