Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day

Everyone recognizes the importance of fathers. Father's Day usually produces some good thoughts that need to be remembered and considered more frequently.

Here's a video from The White House Blog: Responsible Fatherhood. Obama says,

the hole a man leaves when he abandons his responsibility to his children is one that no government can fill.

But the government continues to try to be "Big Brother," Big Father, and our Savior. Obama continues:

We can do everything possible to provide good jobs and good schools and safe streets for our kids, but it will never be enough to fully make up the difference.

See? I assume "we" means the government. It's not the government's job to provide jobs and schools, and even streets. Fathers create good workers on the job; homes make the best schools.

I've been trying all day to think of something to say about Father's Day. It hasn't clicked for me yet. After I became a Creationist, my father and I lived in different worlds, as he remained an Evolutionist. But I wouldn't be blogging here if it weren't for him. He helped me incorporate "Vine & Fig Tree," and the pension he diligently worked and consistently saved for since he was a teenager pays my Internet bill today. He was nothing if not a faithful provider for his family. He was the model middle-class American in the mid-20th century, leaving the Ozarks and moving to California to catch the upwardly-mobile trends, working for aerospace and defense contractors.

My two favorite books on the importance of fathers are works by George Gilder. First I read his book Wealth and Poverty. Then Sexual Suicide, which was later released as Men and Marriage. I think this book spun out of his work Naked Nomads: Unmarried Men in America, or vice versa. Maybe I'm thinking of Visible Man: A True Story of Post-Racist America. I believe I first heard about Gilder in the Journal of Christian Reconstruction Symposium on the Family (Winter, 1977-78).

I can't put my hands on my copy of Wealth and Poverty right now, but I seem to recall my shock to read Gilder the "good guy" writing some dedicatory notes to David Rockefeller, whom I had always regarded as a "bad guy," to the effect that Rockefeller had served in some fatherly role to Gilder. That was clarified for me a couple of years ago, when I read David Rockefeller's Memoirs, one of the most interesting and inspiring books I've ever read. I would have to say that John D. Rockefeller Jr. was the most important father in the 20th century, because his son David Rockefeller was the most important person in the 20th century. David was raised to be important. From an early age he was given a vision to be a steward of vast wealth and preserve/change the world. Out of hundreds of millions of Christian fathers, I can think of only a handful who give their children such a future-oriented vision. God owns more than the Rockefellers. Anyway, I believe Gilder's father was college buddies with David Rockefeller, and when Gilder's dad died in WWII, Gilder became a ward of Rockefeller. But I don't think of Gilder as a promoter of the plutocrats' "New World Order." I could draw some parallels between my own father's worldview and that of David Rockefeller, despite my dad having been born and raised in dirt-poor Arkansas (and I think "dirt-poor" can be taken quite literally here).

The books I dreamed of using if I ever became a father were Bill Gothard's Men's Manual, the Rebuilder's Guide, the three volumes of Character Sketches, and much of the Institute in Basic Youth Conflicts materials.

Here are the books Doug Philips recommends fathers pass on to their children. I've never read a single one. They seem sentimental and past-oriented, rather than dominion- and future-oriented.

I hear Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse's Ruth Institute is running a Father's Day Movie Poll. You can click here either to vote for one of their choices, or to nominate a favorite "dad movie" of your own. I caught the last 15 minutes of Will Smith's movie last night on TV. I'll thank you to put a comment on this blog if you can think of better Father's Day movies.

Kudos to fathers.

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