Much of the mayhem we see today is linked to fathers absent from families.
Around this time we celebrate Father’s Day. But fathers in our culture have not recently been regarded asvery important-— at least according to Hollywood and other shapers of our nation's culture.
We used to have television programs like "Father Knows Best" or "Leave It to Beaver." Each had a respectable father figure in their casts. A decade or two later, we devolved to Archie Bunker on "All in the Family."
He was the stereotypical bigoted, benighted patriarch not worthy of emulation.
Then we further devolved to "The Simpsons," and Homer Simpson, the buffoonish dad —anything but a role model.
Of course, in many households today, there are no fathers.
That’s a serious problem.
So many of the children in fatherless homes begin their lives at a serious disadvantage.
The breakdown of the family at large has caused a huge crisis in our society.
For instance, statistics show that the majority of prison inmates come from broken families.
Familes with no father is a serious blight on American life.
As the family goes, so goes society.
Contrary to what the left says (who spend much of their energy diminishing traditional gender roles and arguing that whatever "family you choose" is just as good as the real thing), fathers are integral to the lives of children.
Ask yourself, what is it that is devastating the black community today?
Many in our current climate would say the main issue is racism. But sociologically, cultural pathologies are linked closely to poverty. And poverty is linked closely to the structure of the family. Government subsidies (by which the left buys votes) has created a permanent underclass of people by subsidizing families with no fathers — and unemployment.
Prior to President Lyndon Johnson's The Great Society, the rate of illegitimacy in the black community was relatively low and families were intact.
As economist Thomas Sowell points out, the poverty rate for African-Americans fell by 40% from 1940 to 1960 — just before The Great Society welfare programs.
Today, the illegitimacy rate is over 75%, which is devastating.
I remember many years ago when I attended an "evangelical church" in Chicago that was a little on the liberal side. One of the lay leaders, a man, got up and prayed, and he said, "Our Father, Our Mother . . . "
I thought, "What?!?" So I asked him after the service about the unorthodox prayer.
His response was that that church was in the shadow of the most notorious housing project in the city, Cabrini-Green. Families without fathers was a huge problem there. Most people growing up there had a negative feeling about their earthly father because he was absent or drunk — or abusive.
Cabrini-Green was such a disaster that it has since been torn down.
In his book, "Hearts of the Fathers," Charles Crismier notes that many American children today lack the "God-ordered earthly anchor for soul security" because dad is not in the home. He specfically notes, "It is well known but seldom discussed, whether in the church house or the White House, that fatherlessness lies at the root of nearly all of the most glaring problems that plague our modern, now post-Christian life."
For example, take the issue of poverty. Says Crismier, "Children living in female-headed homes have a poverty rate of 48%, more than four times the rate for children living in homes with their fathers and mothers."
He points out that fathers are so important in the Bible, beginning with God the Father, that the words "father," "fathers," and "forefathers" appear 1,573 times.
Obviously, children in fatherless homes can survive and even thrive despite that handicap. But what a better thing it is to follow God’s design for the family.
There’s also a link between absent fathers and unbelievers.
Approximatley 20 years ago, when he was a professor at New York University, Dr. Paul Vitz authored a book, "The Faith of the Fatherless."
In that work he demonstrated how famous atheists and skeptics in history had virtually no father figure in their life or, at least, had a very negative father.
Examples he cites are: Voltaire, Bertrand Russell, H. G. Wells, Friedrich Nietzsche, Jean Paul Sartre, Thomas Hobbs, and Sigmund Freud, among others.
Conversely, Vitz found that strong believers often had positive fathers or father figures.
In an interview for Christian television, professor Vitz exaplaind, "I would say the biggest problem in the country is the breakdown of the family, and the biggest problem in the breakdown in the family is the absence of the father. Our answer is to recover the faith, particularly for men, and we’ll recover fatherhood. And if we recover fatherhood, we’ll recover the family. If we recover the family, we’ll recover our society."
If you’re a father and you stay with your children and you love your wife, you’re a real hero as well as a role model.
Keep it up — our nation is counting on you.
Jerry Newcombe is co-host/senior TV producer of Kennedy Classics. He has written/co-written 25 books, including "The Book That Made America, Doubting Thomas" (with Mark Beliles), "What If Jesus Had Never Been Born?" (With D. James Kennedy), and "George Washington's Sacred Fire" (with Peter Lillback). Read Jerry Newcombe's Reports — More Here.
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