Gratitude for the Devotion and Labor of Fathers

Saint Joseph, patron of fathers and workers. Guido Reni c. 1640. (19th c. photograph by James or Domenico Anderson, Wikimedia Commons)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Father’s Day piece at the Federalist is a meditation on the contributions of fathers to the labor of their households.  You can read it here: “Rather than Judging Fathers’ Household Labor, Let’s Appreciate It.”

One of the recent feminist complaints is that men should contribute more to  housework — as in laundry, dishes, and child care.  Rarely do we hear anything about “gender equity” when it comes to the sort of household labor that is traditionally masculine.  But Dads who take on projects to add sweat equity contribute a lot to their families, though those things are little noted in the culture.  When I think of all my husband  has done to promote the little homestead, I’m grateful. And I’ve always preferred doing the housework if it frees him up for such big ticket projects.

And when I think back on my own father who actually did a lot of housework, grocery shopping, and caregiving, I am very grateful for all he contributed both as a breadwinner and on the homefront.  He was an amazing man who had a hard life. But he always appreciated his blessings, especially his family. He was cheerful,, and truly a delight to be around.  Remarkable. In my Federalist piece, I reflect on the many things he did for his family, quietly and without complaint.

I think trying to keep score in household chores is a lose-lose situation in any relationship, assuming both are contributing according to their gifts. Fathers in particular should be more appreciated for their efforts, whether the labor is “gendered” or not. Everyone has something to offer, and it’s up to the team to work out a system without fixating on 50-50.

On this Father’s Day, let’s appreciate the devotion of fathers and their unique gifts, whatever they might be.

A Happy Childhood is the Root Cause of “Privilege,” and It’s Nothing to Apologize for

“Privilege theory” claims that the “haves” are basically endowed with “privilege” that comes from being white or male or heterosexual or any number of other things.  And that such people should engage in self-criticism and privilege awareness for being responsible for inequality and the suffering of “have-nots” in society.

But it’s more likely that what these self-appointed “diversity and equality” experts see as privilege actually has its source in something else:  the gift of sacrificial love to a child from his or her parents.  Such sacrifice by parents gives a child an immense sense of security and happiness that allows him or her to explore the world with gusto and joy.  The child isn’t aware that this is “privilege,” nor should he or she be.  Because, when you think about it, it is more likely every child’s right – to feel connected and loved by his or her own parents whenever possible. This is the thesis I presented in my Federalist article last week:  “Privilege Theory is a War on Happy Childhoods.”

To illustrate, you can watch NFL Hall of Famer Marcus Allen explain how his success is due to having attentive and loving parents. This is yet another testimonial to the fact that true power ultimately comes from having strong personal relationships.

 

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

Herein lies the real root of “privilege”—its deepest root, in fact. Having loving family bonds is the foundation for success. The good news is that a society need only have an ethos that recognizes and supports such family bonds to make them accessible to virtually all children.

Obviously, there’s nothing “white” about valuing family and personal relationships. Likewise for good habits, such as thrift, common courtesy, or diligence. What about attitudes of kindness and generosity? Good attitudes are equal-opportunity decisions. They don’t belong to an ethnic “ideology” that causes inequality. Quite the contrary. Everyone is capable of good habits, and such habits are worth praising and instilling in everyone.

If we all promoted these attitudes, we’d be a lot happier. We’d have much better things to do than constantly inspect the proverbial grass on the other side. We’d learn more and prosper more. But of course, not every child today is blessed (“privileged”) with a mother and father together willing to nurture and sacrifice for their child.

A Conversation with Robert Oscar Lopez on Campus Insanity

Please listen to a podcast I did with Robert Oscar Lopez, Professor of English at Cal State Northridge, by clicking here: https://soundcloud.com/militant-de-lenfant/cogwatch-13-morabito-on-the.

Professor Lopez and I discussed the current unrest on college campuses.  Why do so many students today seem unable or unwilling to engage other points of view?  Why do so many feel the need to retreat to “safe spaces” whenever they encounter a word or thought that “triggers” negative emotions?  Why are they so incoherent? So hostile? So blindly obedient to leftist agendas?  So divorced from reality?  To explore these questions, listen in!

Professor Lopez, author of Jephthah’s Daughters: Innocent Casualties in the War for Marriage ‘Equality’ has been targeted and harassed for the past several years by the LGBT lobby.  This is not only because of Lopez’s stance against same-sex marriage, but because he has a compelling story of his own:  He was raised by lesbians and identifies as bisexual.  (He may also be the object of their scorn because he has been faithfully married to the mother of his children for 15 years.)  The “diversity” bureaucrats at Cal State Northridge have worked tirelessly to concoct a case against Professor Lopez.  The video clip below will give you a brief summary of Professor Lopez’s insights:

You can also explore some of the related links on my site.  Here’s a post on the program “Bonds that Matter” that Professor Lopez hosted at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library last year. And here’s a previous podcast with Prof Lopez and me on the parallels between the LGBT lobby’s tactics and Bolshevism.  Also, here’s a brief review of mine of Jephthah’s Daughter’s.   Please order your copy from Amazon today!

 

 

Our Gordian Knot, Part II

Edvard Munch, Separation  (1896)

There is a common thread that runs through all agendas that increase the power of the State:  Separation of human beings from one another.  Obamacare meddles in the doctor-patient relationship.  Common Core meddles in the teacher-student relationship.  Excessive regulation of businesses meddles in the customer-merchant relationship.  No fault divorce meddles in the husband wife relationship and the child-parent relationship. Abortion especially meddles in the mother-child relationship. Same sex marriage meddles in the child-parent relationship by insisting that no child needs — nor should they even desire — a relationship with both of their biological parents, parents of both sexes.  We can deny these facts all we like, but the State’s role in separating us undeniably exists in each of these policies.

Central planning has always been about separating and isolating people.  And the attack on the family has always been about centralizing the power of the state for the benefit of the few elites in control of it.

“Marriage equality” and transgenderism has been such a centerpiece of the Obama Administration’s transformation agenda precisely because undefining marriage jump starts the process of separating families.  The separation of families inevitably snowballs into the separation of people in other kinds of relationships, particularly friendships.  Family breakdown can’t help but play a key role in the breakdown of social trust and the disintegration of once functioning and vibrant communities.   Every totalitarian society depends upon a sense of alienation among its people. Central planning agendas are always pushed in the name of something positive-sounding like “love makes a family” or “authenticity” or any number of platitudes. Tyrannies always claim to support the very thing they intend to destroy.

The marketing boom in artificial reproductive technologies — especially for same sex households — shows us the extent to which ART serves to deliberately sever a child’s bond with either the mother or the father or both.  Transgenderism separates us at perhaps an even more intimate level, because it ultimately renders all sex distinctions meaningless, thus separating us from our identities as either male or female, father or mother, son or daughter.  This may seem counter-intuitive in an age when transgender individuals like Bruce Jenner portray an exaggerated image of the female persona.  But the ultimate goal of gender theory is the obliteration of all sex distinctions.  We might say that the Jenner phenomenon simply manifests the “transitional” moment we are passing through in the interim.

We ought to disabuse ourselves of the notion that the LGBT agenda was ever about the rights of a minority demographic. It’s always been a convenient vehicle towards the centralization of power.  Which depends upon human separation.  Always in the name of togetherness.

Our Gordian Knot

“Alexander Cuts the Gordian Knot” by Jean-Simone Berthelemy, 18th c.

A complex problem is sometimes referred to as a Gordian Knot. You may know the Greek legend or myth in which an oracle prophesied that anyone who could undo the complex and intricate knot tied by King Gordius of Phrygia would rule all of Asia.   Many tried and failed.  But when Alexander the Great was confronted with it, he didn’t bother with convention.  Legend has it that he stepped back and just sliced right through the knot with his sword. We sometimes call this kind of solution “thinking outside the box.”

I ponder this story as I consider how crazy and complicated our modern problems have become.

In my teen years at school we used to refer to the news as “current events.”  Homework sometimes included looking at a newspaper or a network news program.  Then there’d be a report to the class.

Fast forward to today and things are moving so fast and furious in unpredictable directions that “current events” seems an antiquated term.  We have layers upon layers of crises that have congealed into a problem so humongous that it confronts us like a complex Gordian knot of cosmic proportions. How can the damage ever be undone? The past month alone contains enough angst and lunacy to last generations. We’ve seen the expose of Planned Parenthood’s racket in trafficking organs from aborted children, with graphic videos that give us a fresh perspective on the horrors and sorrows of abortion.  Then we have the transgender hype being fed to us 24/7 by Hollywood and the media, with a ramped up campaign to push gender confusion hard onto school children.

And now that the Supreme Court has legally abolished marriage as a male-female institution, we are about to see the biggest piece of censorship legislation ever. It pretends to be an anti-discrimination bill and goes by the name “Equality Act.”  The idea is to mete out punishment to anyone who doesn’t get with the agenda to re-program en masse our language and our thoughts.  In particular, it aims to re-design everyone’s thoughts about personal relationships. That’s because ultimately all personal relationships emanate from organic marriage.  How so? you may ask. Because that’s the union that produces citizens who build communities in which other personal relationships are spawned.  Destabilize marriage and you’ve destabilized the basis for functioning families.  Without functioning, autonomous families, we can’t have functioning and self-reliant communities.  In the end, the State wins big.

But the landscape is becoming littered with more and more rabbit holes being dug on a daily basis by our government: data-mining, the replacement of personal medical care with medicine-by-bureaucracy, debilitating multi-trillion dollar debt, the cultivation of ignorance in the schools through enforced conformity by programs such as Common Core, the non-stop attacks on religion.

On the international scene, it’s just as much a Twilight Zone.  We have the Obama Administration’s weird Iran deal that puts the world closer to war. At the same time, the White House turns a blind eye to the mass killings of Christians in the Middle East.  The cult of ISIS marches on to replace the Rule of Law with Sharia Law. In the meantime, the Administration is intent on force-feeding the gay agenda on a global scale, including to under developed countries like Kenya where he lectured the leadership last month. The list goes on and on and on.

That, in a nutshell, is our Gordian Knot.  To be continued . . .

The Supreme Court’s Diktat on Marriage

Wedding in Delhi

I was on vacation all last week.  Thankfully, I was able to avoid the internet most of the time.  I heard about the Supreme Court’s edict on marriage in passing, during a layover at JFK Airport yesterday.

Also yesterday, the Federalist published my article “Fifteen Reasons Why Marriage Equality is about Neither Marriage Nor Equality.”  It’s my little compendium of overlooked realities and my expectations for what the future holds.  In short, we can expect the State to meddle a lot more heavily in all of our personal relationships as a result of this ruling.

No doubt the Court’s action is a major watershed moment in the transformation of American law. But for those of us who have been pondering the same sex marriage trend line for about 20 years, this whimsical ruling comes as no surprise.

That’s not only because of the abuses of power by the Judicial branch (especially the corrupt nature of Justice Kennedy and similar infections in Justice Roberts) but mostly because there’s been too much brokenness in society — all around us — to sustain laws that protect family stability. Consider how Roe v. Wade dictated to all of us that the State must regard all unborn children as completely non-human.  This knowledge alone doubtless has damaged the psyches of many children growing up post-Roe.  Consider also how no-fault divorce allows children’s homes to be busted up at whim, forcing them to do the shuttling, forcing them to put up or shut up.  And consider how the epidemic of fatherlessness has broken the lives of youth.  With artificial reproductive technologies and same sex marriage, the law can now impose by design both fatherlessness and motherlessness on children.  In the end, it looks and feels not only like a war waged against the intact, organic family, but also against all personal relationships.  After all, the family is the default starting point for building true community.

All of these developments have created a heightened sense of separation anxiety and profound loneliness in society.  K12 and college education have piled on, saturating us with political correctness and the cultivation of ignorance, which further prevents anyone from building relationships that might help them learn how to navigate through all of this confusion.  This has softened the ground for the social engineering that’s been taking place under the convenient mask of “marriage equality.”  We really need first to look with fresh eyes at all of the dismantling and machinations that lay behind us before we can meet the challenges ahead.  The task is daunting, but it all comes with the territory of our human condition.  (I hope to write more on this in the future.)

Let’s also not forget that central planners have always targeted the organic family.  Utopians regard family bonds of loyalty as a thorn in their side and an obstacle to building a centralized state.  Totalitarians always demand state loyalty above any other kind. This may be a hard pill to swallow, but it’s true.  History is filled with examples.

So, at the end of my “15 Reasons” piece linked above, I end with the reasonable question:  “What will the authorities decide to do to dissenters?”   We should persist in asking them this question directly, as much as possible.

We’re Being Set up to Cede the Right to Know our Origins

When children are separated from their biological parents, they are gravely wounded. Sure, they can develop coping mechanisms.  But they suffer a primal wound that cannot and should not be ignored.   I think the more we disregard the bond of child to mother and father, the more we devolve as a society into grave injustice towards children.  And it doesn’t matter if a woman agrees to donate her egg or if a man happily donates his sperm or if a surrogate contracts to give up a child in exchange for money or for any other reason.  The child will experience any such act as a loss.  We need to stop looking at children as commodities to satisfy adult desires.  If we keep hurtling down this path of human separation — separation that has roots in no fault divorce, the sexual revolution and abortion on demand — we will all end up enslaved by a bureaucratic state.

From “Anti-Slavery Almanac,” 1840

So today I recommend you read some recent documents that have historic significance.  They are amicus curiae briefs to the Supreme Court written by adult children from same sex households, in opposition to same sex marriage.  They are writers and scholars who understand – from their unique perspective of being severed from a birth parent and deliberately deprived of an opposite sex parent– that children have an inherent right to know their origins wherever possible.  When deprived of the love and knowledge of a birth parent, it’s a loss and a scar that doesn’t go away.

Here’s the reality: same sex marriage absolutely requires that the state accept and encourage the separation of children from their biological parents.  This is the trajectory it puts us on, even if we don’t quite feel its effects on society just yet.

Three amicus briefs were filed by six defenders of marriage. Dawn Stefanowicz and Denise Shick filed jointly here:

http://www.supremecourt.gov/ObergefellHodges/AmicusBriefs/14-556_Dawn_Stefanowicz_and_Denise_Shick.pdf

Heather Barwick and Katy Faust filed jointly here:

http://www.supremecourt.gov/ObergefellHodges/AmicusBriefs/14-556_Heather_Barwick_and_Katy_Faust.pdf

Robert Oscar Lopez and BN Klein filed jointly here:

http://www.supremecourt.gov/ObergefellHodges/AmicusBriefs/14-556_Robert_Oscar_Lopez_and_BN_Klein.pdf

This is the primary question before the Court:

Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex?

Professor Lopez argues persuasively that same sex marriage is on a collision course with the natural rights of children.  The Fourteenth Amendment should more appropriately be applied to children in this case.  Otherwise, it severs them from the right to know their origins, and does so without due process.  Here’s an excerpt from Lopez’s brief:

The Court should refer to the Fourteenth Amendment clause about equal protection of the laws, in order to uphold laws that define marriage as only male-female. In upholding such laws the Court would ensure that citizens with gay parents have equal protection both as minors and as adults, and that such citizens will not be estranged from their father or mother without due process.

In truth it is gay marriage that will create a suspect class of children targeted for the denial of essential civil and human rights. Gay marriage will allow adults to acquire custody of other people’s children and deny those children connections to their original mother and father. Other problems flow from this initial denial of the basic human right to be connected to one’s origins. What the Court must weigh now is the competing application of the Fourteenth Amendment to two distinct classes: [a] gay and lesbian couples who want children, and on the other hand, [b] COGs. [children of gays]

It really looks like we are all being set up to cede our rights to know our parents and our origins.

This Past Week Shows that PC is Morphing into TC

Detail of “The Natchez” by Eugene Delacroix (1835.) Natchez father and mother with newborn (uploaded from Wikimedia Commons.)

Several events last week show just how fast certain cultural forces are working to separate us from one another, always, of course, in the name of “equality.” Fashion designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana spoke about how important it is for children to have both a mother and a father, and also criticized the use of artificial reproductive technologies in order to deliberately deprive a child of a mother or a father. Rock star Elton John who with his same sex partner has two such children, immediately called for a boycott of Dolce and Gabbana.

Patricia Jannuzzi, a Catholic who has taught for over 30 years in a Catholic school expressed her support for traditional marriage — in line with Catholic teaching — on her personal Facebook page.  She is now the target of an LGBT-supported petition campaign to have her fired, as well as for the school to promote “anti hate speech.”  The Catholic Church itself has not defended her, to put it mildly.

Another adult child raised by lesbians has come out in opposition to same sex marriage.  Heather Barwick’s article in The Federalist,  “Dear Gay Community: Your Kids are Hurting” has so far garnered over 42,000 social media shares and thousands of comments.   She has become an object of vitriol and scorn by the militant LGBT lobby for voicing her opinion.  She and other adult children from same sex households – including Katy Faust, Robert Oscar Lopez, Dawn Stefanowicz, Denise Shick, and Rivka Edelman – will be earning more wrath from LGBT shock brigades as they file amicus curiae briefs to the Supreme Court voicing their opposition to same sex marriage.

What do all these cases have in common?  Well, I could state the obvious, which is that the critical issue for kids is not so much having a gay parent, but yearning for a missing mother or father. And whether or not a parent is missing because of divorce, adoption, or other conditions is not the point.  The inherent issue with same sex parenting is that it absolutely requires that one parent be missing from the family.  It also requires that the law implicitly deny all children this right.

But there is another common thread that runs through all of these stories.  It’s the brutal silencing of any voice of dissent.  Political correctness is just too cute a term for the sort of fascism that’s running rampant through society today, particularly on the marriage issue.  I commend you to again read “Gay Marriage: A Case Study in Conformism,” by Brendan O’Neill.  PC has become the sort of extremism that ramps itself up to a level that invites savagery.

Which brings us to the topic of tongue cutting.  TC for short.  If we had a spectrum of free speech with civil society on one end and tongue cutting on the other, I would say we have definitely crossed the halfway point and are proceeding in the direction of tongue cutting.  Saddam Hussein used to literally have critics’ tongues cut out. Tongue cutting is also standard operating procedure in the world of Islamic fascism and sharia law.  That’s because whenever you are dealing with totalitarians, the very idea of freedom of expression cramps their style.  Of course we’re not at the literal reality of TC, but I think it’s fair to say that TC is now a virtual reality.

Katy Faust, Raised in Same Sex Household, Speaks Truth in Love

Several adult children of same sex households are starting to speak up about the wounds children have when deliberately deprived of one of their parents, and why they oppose same sex marriage.  One such person is Katy Faust.  She’s an engaging, compassionate, brave, and loving voice for the rights of children to know their origins.   Listen to her speak in the clip below:

Katy’s open letter to Justice Anthony Kennedy which was published at The Public Discourse last month got nearly 300,000 shares on social media so far. You can follow Katy’s amazing blog, which goes by the tongue-in-cheek name www.askthebigot.com  In this clip Katy talks about how important it is — especially as Christians — to straddle a fence.  We should not cocoon ourselves, but must reach out in love to the other side while holding fast to the Truth.  This may be very difficult, but it is our calling.  After listening to Katy, I feel the need to strike a more conciliary tone in my writing.  I want to always hold fast to the truth, but I do need to delve more into understanding and conveying the pain people feel.  And the loneliness.  Our human condition so often motivates us to stray and get lost and end up feeling that only hate is coming from “the other side.”

Nevertheless, the mechanics of the same sex marriage campaign has been essentially political in nature.  It will reach a political apex in April’s Supreme Court hearings, which will determine if it is the law of the land.  In the past couple of years a few blue state legislatures legalized same sex marriage after hearing testimonies about how hurt people felt by the definition of marriage as the union of a man and a woman.  Still, it was a close call.  In New York in 2011 Gov. Cuomo had to resort to late night back room deals and extend the session after official adjournment.  There was obviously a lot of arm twisting until he managed to get  the three votes he wanted.  A very similar thing happened in Maryland with Gov. O’Malley in 2012. He also worked overtime to get the three votes he wanted.  Then, after just a few legislatures passed the measures by the thinnest of margins, activist judges sprang into action to strike down laws in every state whose legislatures hadn’t passed same sex marriage.  And that’s where we are today.

Emotions have basically been the fuel of what looks to be window-of-opportunity politics.  Real societal change naturally occurs over time, as people absorb and think through the consequences of policies.  But when it moves at lightning speed like this, from the top down — along with speech codes that punish any dissent as “bigotry”  — that’s a clear indicator that you’re dealing with manufactured consent that has an expiration date.  It can be obtained only under extreme pressure.  Basically “marriage equality” has been a hard core propaganda campaign and a very hard and fast sell.   An excellent article that reflects on it all is “Gay Marriage: A Case Study in Conformism” by Brendan O’Neill in the British publication Spiked.  This goes way beyond gay marriage.  It seems that what we’re really dealing with here is the building of a closed society in which dissent will not be tolerated.  But, no matter what happens, I think Katy has the answer.

 

Just released! “Jephthah’s Daughters: Innocent Casualties in the War for Family ‘Equality'”

Cover image:  “The Sacrifice of Jephthah’s Daughter,” William Blake, c. 1803 (British National Museum)

This month six adult children from same sex households are submitting an amicus brief to the Supreme Court opposing same sex marriage.  Two of them — Robert Oscar Lopez and Rivka Edelman — have co-authored/edited a just released book which explores the fallout from the social experimentation we are all living through.  Please click here and “look inside” the text of Jephthah’s Daughters at Amazon.  I hope you decide to buy a copy.

The book is a rich anthology of articles and testimonials that describe experiences not discussed in the media.  According to Lopez, “We can help the reader understand why something viewed by so many as beneficial was actually harmful to so many more.”

I am honored to be a contributor, having written the introduction to the chapters on society and the globe.  There are six sections in the book.  The first, “Children,” explores the experiences of children who are separated from at least one natural parent.  This can happen in many different ways, but children of same sex households are separated from a parent by design.  Alana Newman who blogs at AnonymousUs.org was donor-conceived and wrote the introduction to this section.

Section II “Women,” focuses on the effects of artificial reproductive technologies on the health and the lives and psyches of women.  The introduction was written by Jennifer Lahl, founder and president of the Center for Bioethics and Culture.

Section III “Society,” reviews the whole Pandora’s box that same sex marriage is unleashing against healthy human relationships, against children, and against freedom.  Some of the vehicles are transgenderism, polygamy, incest, and sex education as a means of state control of children.  Section IV, “Globe,” discusses the emergence of the LGBT ideology throughout the world and what the growing commodifying of children means for human freedom (hint:  a form of bondage, a form of slavery.)  Yours truly wrote the introduction, and I suppose the bottom line I can’t escape is that this movement is putting us on the fast track to centralized power, and probably on a global scale.  In many ways, it’s a central planner’s dream come true.

Section V, entitled “Gays” includes reflections by those whom the LGBT movement claims to help, but does not.  Jean-Pier Delaume-Myard notes in his introduction that the LGBT agenda actually leads to inequality for gays, not equality.

Section VI, “Bards” explores the McCarthyism of the LGBT agenda — in the arts, the media, academia and throughout society.  Its introduction is written by Michelle Shocked, a world-renowned singer-songwriter twice nominated for Grammy awards.  She asks:  “How did a crusader for children’s rights become the target of a smear campaign?  Answer:  The same way a champion for artists rights did.  By identifying the nexus of non-existent nonsense that is much easier to attach ad hominem to than the question at hand.”

This is an extremely important book with perspectives that have been overlooked — and, in fact, blocked — throughout the entire debate on marriage.  Bobby Lopez founded the International Children’s Rights Institute because, at root, his fight is really about the rights of children.  Children have the right to know their origins.  And nobody has the right to turn them into commodities.