Monday, June 20, 2005

Father's Day

"The emphasis was on the importance of traditional Catholic teachings on sexuality and the family, under which men - not their wives - are called to be ''the spiritual leaders of your home," as one speaker put it."

I'm not going to talk much about my father's day - I didn't really get anything, unless you count the omelet and handmade hashbrowns, or my use of the new laptop, or the new bike I'm buying on our communal funds in a week, or any one of the other thousands of things my wife does for me over the course of the year (including letting me contemplate an expensive rope hammock and eventually deciding on a deck-building book instead. No, I'm not building a deck, I'm pondering an arbor for the front edge of my deck).

However, what I will talk about a day after Father's Day is the discussion I had to listen to over the top of my cube about what's wrong with people who claim to be good fathers who don't follow Christ and haven't read the latest books about being a father and how to use...? wield? subjugate? perhaps it's best to say "club" your children with the pointy-scriptured stick of fatherly love (I exaggerate, but you get the picture). It amuses me to no end when Christian A talks about Christian B and criticizes Christian A's Christianity because they're doing it wrong in some way - not following the right portions of the faith, not embracing the latest book on Christianity and fatherhood, not spanking their children because it's in the Bible - whatever they feel is "right" that the other person isn't doing that would obviously solve all their woes.

Anyway, the Revealer has a nice link to an article in the Boston Globe by Paul Zakrzewski , "Daddy, what did you do in the men's movement?" that covers a lot of ground in three short e-pages, linking the men's movements of the 90's to the Promise Keepers and other religious movements of today. It's interesting to see this obsession among men who would find it religiously criminal to see a therapist and who, if they approached fatherhood (and being a husband) from a balanced perspective that involved their children and wife in the family rather than excluded them as objects to be acted upon in their individualhood, might actually create the family they should have (though not necessarily want if slaves and serfs are more their style).

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