Can you correctly identify who made the
following comments on the importance of fathers for the well-being of
children and the health of our communities?
fathers are absent . . . we know the damage that does to our
families. Children who grow up without a father are more likely to
drop out of school and wind up in prison. They’re more likely to
have substance abuse problems, run away from home, and become teenage
no more important ingredient for successnothing would be more
important for us reducing violencethan strong, stable families,
which means we should do more to promote marriage and encourage
father's absence is felt by children, families, and communities in
countless ways, leaving a hole that can have lasting effects.
If you guessed
these comments were made by a
right-winger or by a pastor, preacher, or priestyou are incorrect.
These were, in fact, words spoken by President Obama. If you want to
read more about how essential involved fathers are for the health and
well-being of our children and communities, visit
the website for the President’s Fatherhood Pledge.
Those of us in
the movement to promote marriage and safeguard it from being
redefined welcome President Obama’s statements. He rightly
understands both the unique and necessary contribution of fathers and
the explicit link between fatherhood, the well-being of children, and
the health of our communities. Yet, in light of his current policies,
we are left scratching our heads.
How can the
President argue that fathers are necessary for the well-being of
children and the health of our communitiesand even found a
national initiative promoting increased involvement of fathersbut,
at the same time, promote policies and laws that would intentionally
create fatherless children through the use of Artificial Reproductive
Technologies (anonymous sperm donation, surrogacy, etc.) and the
redefinition of the only public institution that unites fathers and
mothers to their children and each other (marriage)?
What accounts for
President Obama’s cognitive dissonance on these issues and leads
him to support policies and laws that work at such clear
cross-purposes? I believe the answer can be found by simply examining
whose particular interests the President looks at when he considers
these issues. When he champions fatherhood and the need for increased
involvement of fathers, the President’s focus is obvious: the
rights and needs of children. When
he champions the redefinition of marriage and the creation of
children through ART (anonymous sperm donation, surrogacy, etc.), the
President’s focus is equally obvious: the
desires of adults.
or not, President Obama’s policies have the effect of putting
children’s well-being and their basic human right to know and, as
far as possible, be cared for by their married biological mother and
father in competition against same-sex attracted adults who desire to
redefine marriage, gain public recognition of their relationship, and
intentionally create fatherless (motherless) children. This becomes
clear in light of the President’s cognitive dissonance. When he
views marriage and procreation through a child-centric
prism, he accepts what both our shared human experience and social
science confirms: mothers and fathers are different and bring their
own unique gifts to raising children; children do best when they know
and are cared for by their married biological mother and father.
However, when he views marriage and procreation through an
prism, he is prepared to jettison human experience and social
sciencewhich involves mental gymnastics and tortured
rationalizations: mothers and fathers are not different and do not
bring their own unique gifts to raising children; children are
resilient and will fare well without a father so long as they have
We need to
address the President with a plea to overcome his cognitive
dissonance on the issues of procreation and marriage. Reflecting on
his own painful experience of not knowing and being raised by his
father, President Obama said: “I still
wish I had a dad who was not only around, but involved.” Perhaps we
can ask him to apply his pain to future American generations by
opposing the intentional creation of fatherless children through ART
(anonymous sperm donation, surrogacy, etc.) and intentionally raising
children in fatherless families (redefining marriage).
please craft policies that encourage men and women to have children
after they are married. Please protect marriage as the life-long
union of one man and one woman: it is the only public institution
that achieves your goal of decreasing fatherlessness and uniting
children with both their fathers and mothers.