Irresponsible Fathers

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Irresponsible Fathers

Recently, former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum wrote a column in Philly.Com titlted: "The Elephant in the Room: Obama's actions speak volumes"  

By Rick Santorum

Is there some John the Baptist to give us a clue about where exactly Barack Obama Superstar is going to lead us? How about one of America's most respected African Americans? Bill Cosby, in his best-selling book Come on, People! (a hipper way of saying "Repent and make straight your path"), detailed what he called
the crisis of the black community. The book examined the influence of multifaceted poverty on our youth and the need to lift this generation beyond the vicious cycle of life on the street.

Cosby didn't stop there. He also criticized parents' lack of accountability: "I'm talking about these people who cry when their son is standing there in an orange suit. Where were you when he was 2? Where were you when he was 12? . . . And where is his father, and why don't you know where he is?"

Cosby's call for parental responsibility went largely unheeded. Even worse, some in the black establishment treated him only slightly better than John the Baptist was treated 2,000 years ago.

In a speech last Father's Day, however, Obama said something important and, perhaps, change-making: "If we are honest with ourselves, we'll admit that what too many fathers . . . are is missing - missing from too many lives and too many homes. . . . They have abandoned their responsibilities, acting like boys instead of
men. And the foundations of our families are weaker because of it."

Properly, Obama was speaking to Americans of all races. Yet, having spent years pushing the government to encourage intact families, I know the same sad truth Cosby knows: Family disintegration and fatherlessness is most acute in the African American community. According to a Census Bureau report, one of every three American children live apart from their fathers, but two of every three African American children live in fatherless homes.

Social scientists have chronicled the attendant devastation. Rapes, murders, drug abuse, sexual abuse, abortions, and out-of-wedlock pregnancies up; marriages, diplomas and jobs down. The problem is
especially acute in Philadelphia, where, for example, the murder rate is about three times the national average, and rape is nearly twice it.

There are as many reasons for this societal mayhem as there are statistics documenting it. At its core, however, is the irresponsibility of fathers.

Some 25 million American children live apart from their biological fathers. Many have little to no interaction with them.

Young men, in particular, look for strong male role models and, not finding them in their fathers, find them in falsely hyper-masculine hip-hop stars or the thugs too often playing in the NBA.

In the Senate, I fought for resources for the National Fatherhood Initiative to fight this scourge. In my book It Takes a Family, I offered a series of solutions for families and communities across the
nation. In return, I was accused of imposing my personal values on society.

Encouraging dads to care for their kids, and parents to teach their kids right from wrong, is imposing my values?

Then came Obama. As a senator, he joined in the reintroduction of my Responsible Fatherhood and Healthy Families Act after my electoral defeat. As a presidential candidate, he gave the Cosby-like Father's
Day speech. And last week, in his first words as president, he talked of an "era of responsibility."

Obama has a unique opportunity to confront what's destroying our inner cities. He can institute pro-family policies that erase the disincentives keeping many fathers from becoming dads. He can use
his "bully pulpit" to talk up the importance of fatherhood.  Yet, even if he doesn't say another word, he will still have some influence. St. Francis is said to have said, "Preach often. When necessary, use words." Obama's very existence as a devoted husband and father will show inner-city young men what it is to be a man in full.

Maybe an Italian American politician from Pittsburgh and a black comedian from Philadelphia weren't the right leaders for this fight. For the sake of our children and our country, we should pray that the first African American president from Chicago's South Side is.

E-mail Rick Santorum at

I replied with this:

Mr. Santorum, most fathers have NOT abandoned their responsibilities and most fathers are not "missing from too many lives and too many homes out of their choice. Most have been kicked out of their homes.

Only 11% of mothers value their husband's input when it comes to handling problems with their kids. Teachers & doctors rated 45%, and close friends & relatives rated 16%

77% of non-custodial fathers are NOT able to "visit" their children, as ordered by the court, as a result of "visitation interference" perpetuated by the custodial parent. In other words, non-compliance with court ordered visitation is three times the problem of non-compliance with court ordered child support and impacts the children of divorce even more

In recent years, we have seen many women plan on being a single mom and they are applauded for this. We even had a single mother give birth to eight infants and no one seems to care that there will be no father in their lives.

We also see many sources that even question if fathers are actually needed (other then for being a wallet)

You said that you spent years pushing the government to encourage intact families. Did you vote for the Violence Against Women Act? If so, you are responsible for the destruction of many families and you are one of the reasons many men have been kicked out of their

You see, although there is a vast amount of unbiased evidence that the abuse rate is equal, the VAWA only protects women and it often forces men out of their homes and away from their children with little or absolutely NO evidence of abuse.

There is not enough space here to explain all of this but if you really want to know the truth, please check Shattered Men or Media Radar and you will find it.

As a pastor, I do want to point out the only real solution to this problem:

Sir, I want to remind you that I find it ironic that you accuse fathers of abandoning their responsibilities while far more women abandon theirs even before birth.

Mr. Santorum, how did you vote on abortion issues? If you voted pro- choice and you are now condemning men for not being responsible fathers, you sir are a hypocrite. There is often accusations that men force women to abort because they do not want to be responsible
but as proof of male irresponsibility, people like to cite Carol Gilligan's famous study, In a Different Voice, which found that in one-third of cases, the father influenced the woman's decision to get the abortion.

But citing this and similar studies reverses the argument. If the decision to get an abortion rests with the father one-third of the time, then clearly, the woman has made the decision in the other two- thirds of the cases.

But even Gilligan's one-third figure is suspect. A few years ago, Arthur Shostak and Gary McLouth interviewed 1,000 fathers of aborted children. Their book, Men and Abortion: Lessons, Losses, and Love reveal that only 4% of the women had been opposed to getting the abortion in the first place.

The rape and incest idea is a lie too....According to Planned Parenthood's own research arm, about 13,000 abortions each year are attributed to rape and incestórepresenting a mere 1 percent of all abortions

It does not end there. What about the safe haven laws? Yes they are to protect infants from being tossed in trash cans, but does it not also allow for irresponsible MOTHERS? How often do the authorities look for the father to see if he wants his child? Actually, in reality, I know of many fathers that have tried to get their children in situations such as this but most often, they are denied and their children are adopted out to strangers instead.

Mr. Santorum, who then is most often the irresponsible parent? Have you ever addressed this side of the issue or are you spending your time appeasing the gender feminist in their misandry to demonize all men?

Note:  As of March 12, 2009 Mr. Santroum has NOT replied to my e-mail

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