Fatherhood and the Government

 

Did you hear about the new book on anti-gravity? It’s impossible to put down.

Who doesn’t like a dad joke every now and then? Something that is just as likely to get groans as it is laughs. That joke I found on a website called fatherhood.gov. The “dot-gov” part should stand out to you. Yes, the federal government is using taxpayer dollars to tell bad dad jokes. Jokes are just a small part of it. There are lots of other resources on the site that are designed to help men be better fathers. It says that funding for the site is “provided through the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005.” Only politicians have the nerve to refer to spending as “deficit reduction,” but whatever you call it, it is taxpayer money that is being spent.

In Florida, Governor Ron DeSantis just signed a $70 million dollar bill to promote fatherhood as well. We cannot underestimate the importance of fathers in our society. As former president Barack Obama once said:

We know the statistics — that children who grow up without a father are five times more likely to live in poverty and commit crime; nine times more likely to drop out of schools and 20 times more likely to end up in prison. They are more likely to have behavioral problems, or run away from home or become teenage parents themselves. And the foundations of our community are weaker because of it.

Having a father in the home means less crime, poverty, and hopelessness. All good things that should be promoted. My question is, should the government be the ones doing this? My experience is, anything that can be done, the government can do half as well for four times the price. Should we expect anything different from their fatherhood initiatives?

An argument can be made that more fathers stepping up to raise and provide for their children will mean less welfare and smaller prison populations. If that were to happen, then yes, government spending would go down and the fatherhood programs would have paid for themselves. Still, I don’t see boys turning to the government to learn how to be men.

Boys should be learning how to be responsible men and fathers from their own dads. So, what do we do now that so many were denied that experience? We have generations of boys growing up in more or less matriarchal families with fathers who didn’t bother. One would hope that churches, synagogues, and mosques could pick up the slack. Looking at the moral decay in our society, it doesn’t seem that the church is up to the task. For the good of our culture, that will need to change, but what about the government? Do you believe these government programs can really improve families, and the culture? Or could the money be better spent (or not spent at all)?

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  1. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    One thing that might help a lot with fathers would be making it more difficult for mothers to throw them away.

    • #1
  2. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Among other problems:

     

    • #2
  3. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    One would hope that churches, synagogues, and mosques could pick up the slack.

    Churches are going to run into the same problems as the culture in that you have (1) a generation that failed to pass down values and (2) an absent generation.

    Until the older men in our churches step in, there simply isn’t enough man power in churches to provide for robust men’s ministries.

    You find a few here and there, but it’s hard to find male leadership in the church.

    • #3
  4. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Stina (View Comment):

    One would hope that churches, synagogues, and mosques could pick up the slack.

    Churches are going to run into the same problems as the culture in that you have (1) a generation that failed to pass down values and (2) an absent generation.

    Until the older men in our churches step in, there simply isn’t enough man power in churches to provide for robust men’s ministries.

    You find a few here and there, but it’s hard to find male leadership in the church.

    Do the women push them out, and then complain that there aren’t any men?

    That sounds familiar.

    • #4
  5. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Stina (View Comment):

    One would hope that churches, synagogues, and mosques could pick up the slack.

    Churches are going to run into the same problems as the culture in that you have (1) a generation that failed to pass down values and (2) an absent generation.

    Until the older men in our churches step in, there simply isn’t enough man power in churches to provide for robust men’s ministries.

    You find a few here and there, but it’s hard to find male leadership in the church.

    Do the women push them out, and then complain that there aren’t any men?

    That sounds familiar.

    Not in the churches I’m in. My current church has several men involved, but it’s kid’s ministries and tech and Sunday School. No one is doing men’s ministries.

    The men are there and the women make room for them to lead, they just aren’t.

    In some cases, they feel inadequate. They are trying to figure stuff out. Who are they to give advice to other men?

    • #5
  6. E. Kent Golding Member
    E. Kent Golding
    @EKentGolding

    I facilitate a men’s Bible study.   All of the men in it are more qualified to the lead the Bible study than I am;  however I actually do it.  

    • #6
  7. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Stina (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Stina (View Comment):

    One would hope that churches, synagogues, and mosques could pick up the slack.

    Churches are going to run into the same problems as the culture in that you have (1) a generation that failed to pass down values and (2) an absent generation.

    Until the older men in our churches step in, there simply isn’t enough man power in churches to provide for robust men’s ministries.

    You find a few here and there, but it’s hard to find male leadership in the church.

    Do the women push them out, and then complain that there aren’t any men?

    That sounds familiar.

    Not in the churches I’m in. My current church has several men involved, but it’s kid’s ministries and tech and Sunday School. No one is doing men’s ministries.

    The men are there and the women make room for them to lead, they just aren’t.

    In some cases, they feel inadequate. They are trying to figure stuff out. Who are they to give advice to other men?

    That doesn’t seem to bother women either.  :-)  (I mean, the “giving advice” part when they haven’t figured things out for themselves.  :-)  )

    • #7
  8. Vance Richards Member
    Vance Richards
    @VanceRichards

    kedavis (View Comment):

    One thing that might help a lot with fathers would be making it more difficult for mothers to throw them away.

    The “Have a Baby, Get a Check” welfare system does create an incentive to have fatherless homes. 

    • #8
  9. Vance Richards Member
    Vance Richards
    @VanceRichards

    E. Kent Golding (View Comment):

    I facilitate a men’s Bible study. All of the men in it are more qualified to the lead the Bible study than I am; however I actually do it.

    If you need any free resources for your men’s Bible study, check out mensgroup.org  (I know the guy who runs it)

    • #9
  10. Chuck Thatcher
    Chuck
    @Chuckles

    Vance Richards: Looking at the moral decay in our society, it doesn’t seem that the church is up to the task.

    For sure there are no perfect churches.

    But still, societal moral decay? You do have a point. Maybe there are churches like there are RINOs.

     

    • #10
  11. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Chuck (View Comment):

    Vance Richards: Looking at the moral decay in our society, it doesn’t seem that the church is up to the task.

    For sure there are no perfect churches.

    But still, societal moral decay? You do have a point. Maybe there are churches like there are RINOs.

     

    Religion In Name Only?

    Righteous In Name Only?

     

    • #11
  12. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Chuck (View Comment):

    Vance Richards: Looking at the moral decay in our society, it doesn’t seem that the church is up to the task.

    For sure there are no perfect churches.

    But still, societal moral decay? You do have a point. Maybe there are churches like there are RINOs.

    Religion In Name Only?

    Righteous In Name Only?

    CINOs.

    • #12
  13. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Stina (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Stina (View Comment):

    One would hope that churches, synagogues, and mosques could pick up the slack.

    Churches are going to run into the same problems as the culture in that you have (1) a generation that failed to pass down values and (2) an absent generation.

    Until the older men in our churches step in, there simply isn’t enough man power in churches to provide for robust men’s ministries.

    You find a few here and there, but it’s hard to find male leadership in the church.

    Do the women push them out, and then complain that there aren’t any men?

    That sounds familiar.

    Not in the churches I’m in. My current church has several men involved, but it’s kid’s ministries and tech and Sunday School. No one is doing men’s ministries.

    The men are there and the women make room for them to lead, they just aren’t.

    In some cases, they feel inadequate. They are trying to figure stuff out. Who are they to give advice to other men?

    That doesn’t seem to bother women either. :-) (I mean, the “giving advice” part when they haven’t figured things out for themselves. :-) )

    No it doesn’t:p women’s ministry is doing fine these days.

     

    • #13
  14. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    Vance Richards (View Comment):

    E. Kent Golding (View Comment):

    I facilitate a men’s Bible study. All of the men in it are more qualified to the lead the Bible study than I am; however I actually do it.

    If you need any free resources for your men’s Bible study, check out mensgroup.org (I know the guy who runs it)

    I like that. I might push that to my husband and see if he’ll do it with our oldest.

    • #14
  15. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Vance Richards: We have generations of boys growing up in more or less matriarchal families with fathers who didn’t bother.

    And girls too. Girls need their fathers.

    • #15
  16. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    MarciN (View Comment):

    Vance Richards: We have generations of boys growing up in more or less matriarchal families with fathers who didn’t bother.

    And girls too. Girls need their fathers.

    Fathers who didn’t bother, or mothers who – with government assistance – didn’t let them.

    • #16
  17. Quietpi Member
    Quietpi
    @Quietpi

    Amen and Amen.  For the last 25 years I worked mostly on murder cases.  My job involved getting to know the defendants’ families (if you can call them that) fairly well.  Almost without exception, the defendants grew up in single – parent or single – grandparent households (if you can call them that).  It was almost the same for defendants in other felonies.  I never had a defendant who was raised by a single father.  

    Other things typically follow, especially involvement in gangs.  As you study gangs and gang members, and read some of their communications, it becomes clear that the gang becomes members’ surrogate “families.”  The familial – type, gushing affection they display is, frankly, disgusting.  You can  imagine what happens when your “dad” is the “OG,” completely tatted bodies, scars, etc. etc.  

    Just as tragic, and maybe even more pathetic, are girls who grow up without a father to teach them how they should expect to be treated by men.  And of course the men aren’t being trained how to treat women.  Well, on second thought, yeah, they’re learning alright.  

    I remember encountering a gang member, an OG, who was held in awe by other gang members because he had three women pregnant at the same time.  Here you have the very model of a gangster “father.”  I’m sure all his kids will turn out great, aren’t you?

    • #17
  18. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    By the way, in my previous comment, by “government assistance” I didn’t even really mean the financial stuff.  Too often the men are kept away from their children because of custody orders, etc, and even false accusations of abuse.

    • #18
  19. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    kedavis (View Comment):

    By the way, in my previous comment, by “government assistance” I didn’t even really mean the financial stuff. Too often the men are kept away from their children because of custody orders, etc, and even false accusations of abuse.

    I was going to point out that “fathers” is just as good if not better to use.  But then I realized that the word “fathers” has been removed from the lexicon of at least the pertinent government bodies that oversee the roles that the former “fathers” filled.

    • #19
  20. Vance Richards Member
    Vance Richards
    @VanceRichards

    Flicker (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Chuck (View Comment):

    Vance Richards: Looking at the moral decay in our society, it doesn’t seem that the church is up to the task.

    For sure there are no perfect churches.

    But still, societal moral decay? You do have a point. Maybe there are churches like there are RINOs.

    Religion In Name Only?

    Righteous In Name Only?

    CINOs.

    There are a lot of churches out there that do seem to serious about the Bible. Former churches that have morphed into social clubs. But even ones that might teach a solid message inside the church are not really doing much outside their building to change the community and the culture. Too many preachers and not enough pastors who are willing to, not just preach the word, but help people actually put their faith into action.

    • #20
  21. Vance Richards Member
    Vance Richards
    @VanceRichards

    MarciN (View Comment):

    Vance Richards: We have generations of boys growing up in more or less matriarchal families with fathers who didn’t bother.

    And girls too. Girls need their fathers.

    Absolutely! My point was just, how can boys learn what it means to be a good father if they never had one.

    • #21
  22. Vance Richards Member
    Vance Richards
    @VanceRichards

    Quietpi (View Comment):
    I remember encountering a gang member, an OG, who was held in awe by other gang members because he had three women pregnant at the same time.  Here you have the very model of a gangster “father.”  I’m sure all his kids will turn out great, aren’t you?

    Yes, kids crave that male leadership. Weak or missing fathers do more for gang recruitment than anything else.

    • #22
  23. Raxxalan Member
    Raxxalan
    @Raxxalan

    Vance Richards: could the money be better spent (or not spent at all)?

    Almost certainly.  Government can’t really do anything to change people’s hearts.  When they try it is incredibly expensive and usually either fails or fails in spectacular fashion.   It could perhaps realign incentives, but I think too much water has gone over that dam for much to be done.

    • #23
  24. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Raxxalan (View Comment):

    Vance Richards: could the money be better spent (or not spent at all)?

    Almost certainly. Government can’t really do anything to change people’s hearts. When they try it is incredibly expensive and usually either fails or fails in spectacular fashion. It could perhaps realign incentives, but I think too much water has gone over that dam for much to be done.

    And it would likely fail in spectacular fashion because if – for example – the government were to offer financial support for church programs to help restore families, it would only be allowed to go to churches that support same-sex marriage, transgenderism, etc.

    • #24
  25. Raxxalan Member
    Raxxalan
    @Raxxalan

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Raxxalan (View Comment):

    Vance Richards: could the money be better spent (or not spent at all)?

    Almost certainly. Government can’t really do anything to change people’s hearts. When they try it is incredibly expensive and usually either fails or fails in spectacular fashion. It could perhaps realign incentives, but I think too much water has gone over that dam for much to be done.

    And it would likely fail in spectacular fashion because if – for example – the government were to offer financial support for church programs to help restore families, it would only be allowed to go to churches that support same-sex marriage, transgenderism, etc.

    Also I don’t think this is a problem that can be fixed by spending money.   Money can do a lot of things.  Lack of money has real material consequences.  This problem isn’t primarily a money issue.  It is a morals issue and therefore government probably can’t do anything about it.

    • #25
  26. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Raxxalan (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Raxxalan (View Comment):

    Vance Richards: could the money be better spent (or not spent at all)?

    Almost certainly. Government can’t really do anything to change people’s hearts. When they try it is incredibly expensive and usually either fails or fails in spectacular fashion. It could perhaps realign incentives, but I think too much water has gone over that dam for much to be done.

    And it would likely fail in spectacular fashion because if – for example – the government were to offer financial support for church programs to help restore families, it would only be allowed to go to churches that support same-sex marriage, transgenderism, etc.

    Also I don’t think this is a problem that can be fixed by spending money. Money can do a lot of things. Lack of money has real material consequences. This problem isn’t primarily a money issue. It is a morals issue and therefore government probably can’t do anything about it.

    If they would support moral issues and people, it would be a different story.  But the agenda these days only permits government to support immoral issue and people.

    • #26
  27. DaveSchmidt Coolidge
    DaveSchmidt
    @DaveSchmidt

    Stina (View Comment):

    One would hope that churches, synagogues, and mosques could pick up the slack.

    Churches are going to run into the same problems as the culture in that you have (1) a generation that failed to pass down values and (2) an absent generation.

    Until the older men in our churches step in, there simply isn’t enough man power in churches to provide for robust men’s ministries.

    You find a few here and there, but it’s hard to find male leadership in the church.

    That has not been my experience in the church. 

    • #27
  28. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    When DeSantis signed the bill to support fatherhood, I had mixed feelings: I don’t want more government programs, and I don’t know if this one will really help fathers. But my heart goes out to the kids who are raised without their fathers. It’s so sad that so many people pushed back against the bill because fathers were given special treatment (not because of the dollars that would be spent).

    • #28
  29. Fritz Coolidge
    Fritz
    @Fritz

    Tucker Carlson a few months back highlighted the family-friendly policies that some country (Poland? Hungary? Don’t recall) had enacted, to counter the nation’s flagging birth rate by vastly cutting the taxes levied on couples raising more than one, two, many children. At some point their tax burden was near zero. Seemed quite sensible to me, based on the economic law that one gets more of what one subsidizes.

     

    • #29
  30. Ray Gunner Coolidge
    Ray Gunner
    @RayGunner

    A society gets more of what it celebrates and less of what it mocks.   If you have been consuming American popular culture these last 40 years, you have learned that single moms are heroes, single dads are deadbeats, married moms are brilliant, and married dads are dorks.

    To me, the dad problem is not going to be solved with money because it is not a problem of money.  It’s a problem of culture.  If we want more responsible men our culture needs to start celebrating responsible manhood.  

    And who do we turn to for that?  Hollywood? 

    • #30
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