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…you were made for greatness.” — Pope Benedict XVI
“I believe in God, the Father Almighty, the Maker of Heaven and Earth.”
Okay, I know that this is not a belief held by all. It is my belief and my right, in fact obligation, to say it. In public, including online. Even though it is considered bad form to do so nowadays. It informs my worldview and ties it all together. Certainly, it also has a mystery to it since I inhabit a material body in a material world, but one that is also infused with the transcendent. Body and soul. Spirit and flesh. This is God’s design for the humanity that He created.
I also believe that male and female He made them. In His image. His design. Each had the dignity of Him within. They are also very different – Mars and Venus different. This difference is not a problem. It is a gift. The female genius of women that Saint Pope John Paul II spoke of often and the inherent leadership characteristic of men work in perfect harmony together, when lived out well.
Our world today rages against this natural design. Our world today is very lost and confused.
Two historical “movements” are largely responsible for this attack on Fatherhood. First, the women’s liberation movement in the 1970s and then the subsequent gay/lesbian movement following sometime after or even coincident with that. Each of these movements were or became antagonistic against God’s design for the family.
First, from Saint Pope John Paul II’s 1995 Letter to Women:
Women’s dignity has often been unacknowledged and their prerogatives misrepresented; they have often been relegated to the margins of society and even reduced to servitude. This has prevented women from truly being themselves, and it has resulted in a spiritual impoverishment of humanity …
In this year’s World Day of Peace message, I noted that when one looks at the great process of women’s liberation, “the journey has been a difficult and complicated one and, at times, not without its share of mistakes. But it has been substantially a positive one, even if it is still unfinished, due to the many obstacles which in various parts of the world still prevent women from being acknowledged, respected and appreciated in their own special “dignity”.
The women’s liberation movement was necessary and “substantially a positive one.” Even a righteous one, you could say. “Women’s dignity ha[d] often been unacknowledged and their prerogatives misrepresented; often relegated to the margins of society.” This required cultural change and the original women’s liberation movement largely accomplished that.
But then the wheels came off, in my opinion. Many activists from very different and very atheistic worldviews entered the cultural changes occurring that were unleashed by the women’s movement. The objectives of the initial movement, mostly accomplished, were taken hostage by these new activists who had much more chaos in mind with their desired cultural change. Unfortunately, too many women joined along in this continued but very unrighteous usurpation of the original movement. It felt powerful and a continuation of “change.” But this change was harmful to women and children as we now see more clearly.
The objective of raising the dignity of women to its rightful equal place alongside men, was turned into an all-out war on God’s design for the human family, and in particular in a coordinated attack on fatherhood. Even the concepts of masculinity and femininity were ridiculed and attacked. The forces involved in this cultural war controlled the institutions in education, news media, psychology and the movies and TV produced by Hollywood. Here is their vision of a father:
The onslaught was constant and forceful. And effective. It continues to this day. It is intentional and hateful. It rages against God’s design for His Creature and Creation. And there is no worse offense of this existence than to be a white Judeo-Christian male.
And men fled the battlefield. We abdicated our familial role designed by God.
And the world was greatly wounded by this. Our children were gravely injured. Confusion reigns. When anarchy like this is in “control,” there is no stability to our human existence. When our so-called “gender” becomes whatever we “feel like” rather than who God created us to be, well the consequences will be grave and severe. Suicide and mass murder are just some of the worst fruits of such confusion and despair. If there is not an eternal life, what is the meaning of this earthly existence? Some young men, without a mission and purpose to life, without a supportive, present and instructive father in their early formative years, have decided that there is no meaning to earthly existence and checked out in their own ways.
So, the time has come for a renewal of this battle. For the taking back of the ground previously lost in the surrender of our culture to the anarchists. And it is time for the men to take on their natural leadership in making this happen.
Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted of the diocese of Phoenix has written a road map for this battle. In September 2015, he issued an Apostolic Exhortation to the men of his diocese titled “Into the Breach.” I encourage all, and especially men, to go to this website and read the Exhortation. The world needs it. Our families need it. Our children especially need it.
If not Now, then When? If not Me, then Who?
And make no mistake, ladies. This isn’t a call to bring back the wrong-headed “Mad Men” days of yesteryear. This is about the return of authentic manhood. The manhood modeled by the Son of God Himself, Jesus Christ:
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” — Ephesians 5:25