AirMaria has posted a link to a disturbing article on the relationship of fatherlessness to the rising crime rate in Newark, New Jersey. The author Steven Malanga is astonished by the fact the the starkness of the situation has been largely ignored by those in positions of responsibility, including the clergy.
No problem could be more obvious, nor silence on the matter more devastating. Nevertheless, instead of coming out swinging in homilies against the disparagement of fatherhood, too often homilies begin with “My sisters and brothers”–a bone tossed to the feminists for no good reason. Why should anyone apologize for the fact that women are not men? Women are not being helped by this, and most of them are not impressed by men who wring their hands over bogus feminist gripes.
Angry women are angry because fathers have not been fatherly, not because fatherhood and manliness are brutal. Our effeminate age is one of the main culprits behind male irresponsibility and brutality.
Angry children are angry, because they have no guidance and no control. No one makes reasonable expectations of them, and then gives them the means to achieve them. In a word, they are without fathers.
It is so frustrating that “fathers” in civil life and in the pulpit think themselves acting on behalf of the common good by giving us more mush, and less fatherhood.
The dysfunctional family is both nuclear and societal. It is a crisis of fatherhood. It needs to end now.
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You say “Angry children are angry, because they have no guidance and no control. No one makes reasonable expectations of them, and them gives them the means to achieve them. In a word, they are without fathers.”
To assume that guidance, control, reasonable expectations and “the means” (whatever they may be) are the sole responsibilities of fathers is patently absurd. It would be equally absurd to say that comfort, moral support, unconditional love, etc. are sole responsibilities of mothers.
ALL adults active in a child’s life are, to one degree or another, parenting. To segregate specific aspects of nurturing and rearing to one individual is to invite certain failure.
In addition to loss of one parent or the other from divorce, death, incarceration and other forced or voluntary separations, a parent may otherwise neglect or fail in various ways. Historically, these gaps have been filled by others in the child’s life: other relatives, close family friends, community members, etc. We ignore or neglect these important influences at the CHILD’s peril.
Fatherlessness is an epidemic. We ignore IT at a child’s supreme peril.
I am not ignoring or neglecting other important influences, but those influences would be even more profitable in the presence of a father.
I never suggested that authority and provision are exclusively the domain of fathers, but they are characteristically so. Sometimes a generalization is generally true.
Furthermore, I am not segregating anything by asserting that there are real positive differences between a mother and a father. Respecting those differences and capitalizing on them brings order and balance.
I know many women who are eager for their husbands to lead the family and take the principal responsibility for maintaining order in the household. They are quite capable and unafraid to lead, and do, but they are content to have a real leader for a husband, as long as he is an honorable man.
They are not “inviting certain failure.” They are actually rearing well-rounded, independent and successful children.
I know many women who are eager for their husbands to lead the family and take the principal responsibility for maintaining order in the household.
It takes two to tango, Padre. I know more than one woman who finds her identity and her power in a posture of, oh, let’s call it Domestic Emotional Terrorism. As U2 put it so succinctly: “You ask me to enter, then you make me crawl.” I pity and pray for the husbands (and children) on the receiving end of this type of hypocritical (and hyper-critical) tyranny. It, too, seems quite endemic — especially among the holier-than-thou wives of humble Christian men.
Still chivalry is doing the right thing for the right reason no matter what. Furthermore, we have hope of improvement. A virtuous man is likely to have a positive effect on a vicious woman, but I grant you that that is not always the case.
There certainly those wives who want their husbands to be responsible for everything and then complain about everything.
I think we should also have hope that chivalry might begin in youth. It would be a good thing to learn mutual respect before tying the knot.
Without question, it seems to me, a man unafraid of leading and using his authority, who is still self-sacrificing and honorable is a great man–and necessary.