Monday, March 13, 2006

What Did We Expect?

One of the epic moments in American history occurred and passed like the tremor of an earthquake. I felt it watching the nightly news with my father. There were more aftershocks as I rode the school bus to my seventh grade class the next day. The really odd thing was that no one else seemed to feel them. My friends shrugged their 13 year old shoulders as if to say, “so what?” My pastor at church said nothing about it. My teachers dismissed my uncomfortable questions, and drew the attention of the students back to the chalkboard. I noticed that most other dads in our circle of friends along with fellow church members were not nearly as concerned as my father.

A moral earthquake hit the whole country in January 1973, and my father knew it right away. It was as if my father had his own seismic-sensing devise that alerted him to danger. The moral earthquake was the Supreme Courts decision known as Roe v. Wade. We are all now fully aware, or so we think, of the ever-widening implications of this judicial event.
I grew up in a home in which my father insisted that we talk about the most gut-wrenching issues of our times over dinner. This practice could seriously challenge one’s ability to digest properly. I have, more than once, been stopped “mid-chew” with a piece of very unappetizing information. It was at one of those meals that my father explained the possible impact of this decision upon future generations. He ended the conversation the way he often did by looking at his two sons and saying, “Boys, I fear for your future.” Thirty years later, his instinct seems prophetic.

One somewhat unexpected consequence of “Roe” is the impact on the American father. It left him with a drifting and aimless sense of “manhood.” Syndicated columnist Mona Charen points out that Matt Dubay of Saginaw, Michigan, was ordered to pay $500 per month in child support for a daughter he admits to fathering with his ex-girlfriend. He is now fighting the judgment in court arguing that it is unconstitutional to force parenthood upon him in a way that the courts cannot and would not force upon a woman. Those who survive Roe and make through gestation to birth now grow up to face a world where their self-centered sexuality is a “right.” Women become the sole-arbiters over the life and death of the next generation (often as a matter of convenience) and men bear little more than forced responsibility. Now Mr. Dubay and those who plead his case argue that this is “constitutionally unfair.”

The feminists may scream, but who will listen? They and their political policy-making partners have been codifying the rejection of responsibility for decades. As Mona Charen states: “It should come as no surprise that men are inclined to do the same.”

My dad did not have the privilege of a high school diploma because World War II came at an inconvenient time. Nevertheless, he had a biblical worldview. The Bible demands responsibility and promises ultimate consequences for those seeking to shirk it. Today, some would call that kind of document antiquated.

It is time for people to listen to those fathers who sit at those kitchen tables and bear a burden for their children’s future. The father must teach his children that there are severe and lasting consequences to every human action, especially those which violate what scripture holds sacred.

Ed Litton

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