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Reflections on Mass Culture and Fatherhood
Christian Headlines ^ | June 11, 2014 | Eric Metaxas

Posted on 06/14/2014 10:05:02 AM PDT by xzins

When I was working on my book, “7 Men: And the Secret of Their Greatness,” I thought about the way that our culture has depicted men, specifically fathers, over the past half-century or so.

It’s hard to believe today, but one of the iconic television shows of the 1950s was actually called “Father Knows Best.” And believe it or not, the title was not ironic! Jim Anderson, played by Robert Young, really did know best. He was kind, patient, generous and firm when he needed to be.

As the saying goes, that was then and this is, well, not then.

Arguably the defining phrase of what’s been called “the long 1960s,” which ran from approximately 1967 to 1980, was “question authority.” As I wrote in “7 Men,” since that time we’ve adopted the idea that no one is really in a position to declare that something is right or wrong. Authority figures and role models have taken a major hit in this process.

Perhaps no one more than dear old dad. Jim Anderson of "Father Knows Best" was replaced by Archie Bunker, a loud-mouthed bigot, followed by Homer Simpson, a buffoon. Both of them are loveable and fun to watch, but not role models.

Now this lack of male role models in popular culture is tragic for many reasons, one of which is that being a father is an essential part of what it means to be a man. That’s not the same thing as saying that you can’t be a man unless you’re a father—three of the seven men I profiled in “7 Men”—George Washington, Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Pope John Paul II—did not have children.

But that did not make them any less fathers to the people in their lives. In his biography of John Paul II, “Witness to Hope,” George Weigel chronicled how the then-Karol Wojtyla functioned as a father-figure to a group of younger people in his native Krakow.

Likewise, Washington was definitely a father-figure to his men. So much so that he was able to defuse a possible mutiny by unpaid Continental Army veterans, simply through appealing to their shared sacrifices.

And that is the essence of fatherhood and manhood: service and sacrifice. They are what enable a man to avoid the false choices of on the one hand “macho” domineering and on the other hand the emasculation that denies the differences between the sexes. The men I wrote about in “7 Men” “seemed to know that at the heart of what it is to be a man is that idea of being selfless, of putting your greatest strength at God’s disposal . . . of giving what is yours in the service of others.”

We’re extremely unlikely to get the role models we need from mass culture. That makes it especially incumbent on us Christian fathers and men to be those role models, starting at home.


TOPICS: Editorial; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: culture; fathers; fathersday
The targeting of fathers was an early strategy of the liberal/socialist movement. They had to belittle dads to accomplish their agenda of breaking families.

In our gut, though, we know they are wrong, and we know that a Godly father in the home is part of God's best plan for the rearing of future generations.

Fathers are much more than Father's Day, but Father's Day is still a reminder to dads and to families that there in life in honoring our fathers and our mothers.

1 posted on 06/14/2014 10:05:02 AM PDT by xzins
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To: All

The targeting of fathers was an early strategy of the liberal/socialist movement. They had to belittle dads to accomplish their agenda of breaking families.

In our gut, though, we know they are wrong, and we know that a Godly father in the home is part of God’s best plan for the rearing of future generations.

Fathers are much more than Father’s Day, but Father’s Day is still a reminder to dads and to families that there in life in honoring our fathers and our mothers.


2 posted on 06/14/2014 10:05:21 AM PDT by xzins ( Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! Those who truly support our troops pray for victory!)
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To: xzins
We’re extremely unlikely to get the role models we need from mass culture.

Most people get their sense of morality from the mass culture. They have no way of measuring or recognizing when it is wrong, or when it has gone off the rails.

3 posted on 06/14/2014 10:13:30 AM PDT by marron
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To: marron

Unfortunately, that also applies to many Christians.


4 posted on 06/14/2014 11:01:02 AM PDT by freedomfiter2 (Brutal acts of commission and yawning acts of omission both strengthen the hand of the devil.)
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To: xzins

I wonder if liberals would be so gung ho for uniting families if the fathers of those illegal kids invading were “antigay christians”.


5 posted on 06/14/2014 11:51:03 AM PDT by lavaroise (A well regulated gun being necessary to the state, the rights of the militia shall not be infringed)
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To: lavaroise
I wonder if liberals would be so gung ho for uniting families if the fathers of those illegal kids invading were “antigay christians”.

Liberals have little doubt that between mass media and their anti-male anti-Christian public schools, they can suppress that little problem.

6 posted on 06/14/2014 12:26:34 PM PDT by Carry_Okie (ObamaCare IS Medicaid: They'll pull a sheet over your head and send you the bill.)
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To: wagglebee

I’m out of town. Posting on my smart phone and have no access to the M/A ping list. Ping this if you feel it’s applicable and happy father’s day.


7 posted on 06/14/2014 8:05:09 PM PDT by Responsibility2nd (NO LIBS. This Means Liberals and (L)libertarians! Same Thing. NO LIBS!!)
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