By Stratford Caldecott
The Winter 2013 issue of Humanum, the freely available online journal of the Pope John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family in Washington, DC (or rather the Institute’s Center for Pastoral and Cultural Research), is devoted to the crisis of fatherhood in our culture. It contains articles and book reviews devoted to the literature on this topic. (The following notes are based on the Editorial for the issue.)
The collapse of marriage in the developed world is happening faster than many believed possible. Civil marriages exceed religious ones, and both are in steep decline. In Italy, the heartland of Catholicism, where the largest religious institution on earth might be expected to have some influence, there are only 3.6 marriages a year for every thousand inhabitants, compared to 4.7 for the European Union as a whole—in the wealthy parts of Italy the numbers are even lower. Clearly most couples now do not get married. Single parents, especially single mothers, are commonplace. Given that it is hard enough for a stable, loving couple to bring up a child, or children, the difficulties faced by single parents are formidable.
The recovery of fatherhood is not merely a political and sociological challenge, to be met by strengthening the legislation that keeps families together, deters separation, and insists that a man takes more responsibility for his children (whether he be married or not). What needs to be recovered is a vision, a sense of responsibility, something the philosopher Gabriel Marcel in his book Homo Viator (1951) called a “creative vow.”
The father is more than a biological instrument above all when he is prepared to consecrate himself for a role that transcends the physical. He gives of himself biologically to the mother when the child is conceived; but he gives of himself spiritually when he accepts a continuing and indeed eternal responsibility for the gift that God gives him in return—the gift of the child whom he did not fashion and whose destiny he cannot determine or control.
No longer the primary breadwinner, today’s father is not even necessarily the one who engendered his own child, thanks to the wonders of IVF. Technology, which already in the 1960s severed the connection between sex and reproduction, now promises to separate gender from parenthood entirely. It is hardly surprising that so many fathers are missing from the landscape of the contemporary family.
The tenets of the BLM terrorist movement clearly show that it is a Marxist strategy for gaining power to destroy the nuclear family.
Happy Father’s Day!
the Bee offers the following way to dimantel fatherhood.
It’s Father’s Day, and it’s time to celebrate. But how can you celebrate your father while still continuing the important work of dismantling the patriarchy?
We’ve got some ideas:
1. Make Dad his favorite breakfast and then kick him in the groin. — The best of both worlds: celebrating dad and also smashing the patriarchy.
2. Give him kale instead of environmentally harmful steaks. — Your dad will love it when you take him out to dinner tonight for a nice, juicy kale salad.
3. Instead of thanking fathers today, thank single moms, pet owners, and people who are like a parent to their large collection of anime body pillows. — Make sure dads don’t feel special today. Thank literally everybody.
4. Take Dad fishing and then kick him in the groin. — He’ll never see it coming as he’s distracted trying to get his hook off a log.
5. Make your dad turn off the sports and tune in to a moving lecture on intersectional feminism. — Although the NFL is basically the same thing at this point.
6. Refuse to laugh at your dad’s jokes. — Laughing at dad jokes just encourages the patriarchy and perpetuates oppression. Don’t give in.
7. Give your dad an expensive set of tools but make sure the tools are all pink. — A pink toolset says, “Dad, I love and respect you, but also, gender is a social construct.”
8. Kick your dad in the groin and then when he’s doubled over in pain, kick him in the groin. — DOUBLE patriarchy smashing.
Now go forth and smash the patriarchy! And also say Happy Father’s Day to your dad. But mostly, smash the patriarchy.
Never forget, friends, the destruction of Western civilization is a feature of leftism, not a bug!