Fatherhood

Confronting the Bullies

The culture war drags on and Christians are in the crosshairs. Defending the faith and our right to present our case in the marketplace of ideas requires a sober analysis of our opponents’ strategies. In this battle we are confronting a coalition of activists, who insist that their ideologies cannot be challenged and anyone who [...]

Modeling Manhood: From Homer to Paul

In Homer’s epic poem, The Odyssey, a Greek war hero faces imposing challenges in his long journey home. After decimating the armies of Troy, King Odysseus sets out for Ithaca only to find himself wrestling against more formidable foes. For ten years the whims of gods and the winds of fate hinder his journey, while [...]

Permanent Assignments for Parish Priests Long Overdue

Papa was a rolling stone. Wherever he laid his hat was his home.  ~ The Temptations Efforts must be made to restore socially the conviction that the place and task of the father in and for the family is of unique and irreplaceable importance.  ~ Pope St. John Paul II I’m a rotten dad, but [...]

Shootings and Fatherlessness: A Clarification on the Data

Earlier this week I published a piece at Crisis for which I owe readers an apology and explanation. In 30 years of commentary writing, I’ve never had to do this, which surely has been God’s grace, given my many bouts of arrogant stupidity, but maybe the good Lord gave me this one for some badly [...]

Fatherless Shooters … as Liberals Push for Fatherless Families

Editor’s note: The following column reports figures on the fatherlessness of mass shooters that turned out to be inaccurate. Immediately upon discovering the error, Dr. Kengor took it upon himself to do his own research to find out what the actual numbers are and recorded his discovery in a new column published in Crisis several [...]

“It’s Time to Do Something!”

In the wake of the recent Florida school shooting, a chorus of well-meaning folks is demanding, “Enough—it’s time to do something!” As usual that “something” includes tougher gun controls and universal background checks—technocratic “solutions” that are ineffective at best and detrimental at worst. In Fyodor Dostoevsky’s epic novel, The Idiot, a well-meaning prince is driven [...]

Talk to Your Father

In a recent article for Crisis, I took to task Fr. James Martin, S.J., for calling it a cause for celebration, when a teenage boy declared to his father, on Thanksgiving, that he was a homosexual. I said that it would be the worst day of the father's life, because he would know that he and his [...]

Bishop Olmsted Calls Men Into the Breach

A father's prodigal love and approval fill the space carved into our being by the finger of our Creator. Boy or girl, man or woman, all, and no matter the age, thirst for it. Our household knows this well. After a period of infertility, physical deterioration, and loss, when we were told never to expect [...]

Reflections on Surviving One Year of Fatherhood

My father claims that he’s never changed a diaper. Not once. As for myself, I can’t remember a time when I didn’t have Desitin filling the cracks of my knuckles ... and I’ve only been a father for a little under a year. I’m a dad of the twenty-first century, which means I’m part of [...]

J.R.R. Tolkien: Husband and Father

Best known for his fantasy novels The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien is probably better known by members of his family for his profound example of true fatherhood. John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was born on January 3,1892 in Bloemfontein, South Africa. His life growing up there and then later in England [...]

The Sheer Joy of Fatherhood

Recently I ran into my former advisor at Texas A&M University whom I hadn’t seen for nearly a decade. While I held my son Thomas in my arms, I shared with him the details of my pro-life work for Human Life International. He beamed, looked at Thomas and said, “Looks like you are doing some [...]

Men Don’t Mother

There’s been a strange turn of opinions about fatherhood—at least in recent public debates. Decades of research have now documented the tremendous challenges children face when they grow up without their fathers. But you would never know it by looking at some of the recent public arguments for “genderless parenting.” So what do the decades [...]

Thanks, Pop

Father’s Day is a poignant occasion for me, as for many. I never knew my biological father, who died in an accident. Mom and I lived near Detroit with her oldest sister and her husband, who were childless. That’s how I got a Pop. Pop was larger-than-life. Born in Nebraska in 1904, he epitomized the [...]

God and the Sexes

For Christianity, gender is both important and irrelevant. God creates, Christ redeems, and the Holy Spirit sanctifies men and women alike, along with Jews and Greeks, rich and poor, black and white. But, apart from salvation, gender possesses a special importance in Christianity that cannot be viewed as either accidental or superficial. Both views flow [...]

The Adventures of a Stay-at-Home Dad

As I sit down to write this, I imagine a dramatically lit hourglass perched on the desk in front of me, the slipping sand warning me that shortly they will awaken -- ravenous, pulling books off shelves, turning electronic devices on and off at random, climbing everything in sight, and tearing open any package of [...]

Children Say the Darndest Things

Richard McGuire is the nom de guerre of a father who is trying to document the crimes of his four children for a hearing at the human-rights tribunal of The Hague. These are some of the lighter moments he captured over seven years -- with no help from the NSA -- that can be revealed [...]

The Politics of Family Destruction

The debate on the family is becoming increasingly politicized. Social conservatives propose federal programs to promote marriage and fatherhood and to enlist churches. Liberals respond that government does not belong in the family but then advocate federal programs of their own. Yet the more polarized the issues become the less willing we are to look [...]

Fathers and Sons

Losing Mum and Pup: A Memoir Christopher Buckley, Twelve, 272 pages, $24.99 And Noah, a farmer, planted a vineyard. He drank of the wine and became drunk and was uncovered in his tent. And Ham, the father of Cannan, saw his father uncovered and he denounced him to his two brothers outside. And Shen and [...]

Into the Purple

Among my most vivid memories of my father is being with him in Toronto, nearly 40 years ago, in the moments before he delivered a speech to a design convention. We were having coffee in the Colonnade, my beloved father and I. He had of course written his speech, which was supposed to be about [...]

Genealogy: My Fathers and Our Father

I'm genealogy crazy, to my wife's occasional dismay. As of a few years ago, I'd traced most of my ancestral lines back to about 1600, but one particular branch was giving me problems: the Kendalls, the source of my middle name. Two years ago, I discovered my grandmother's grandfather, Adelbert A. Kendall, but I couldn't [...]

The Government, Divorce, and the War on Fatherhood

Taken into Custody: The War against Fatherhood, Marriage, and the Family Stephen Baskerville, Cumberland House, 352 pages, $24.95 For whatever reason, social conservatives focus considerable political effort on abortion, gay rights, and obscenity, but pay scant attention to divorce. Perhaps they think that ship has sailed for good, whereas other battles still offer winnable stakes. [...]

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