- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 14, 2009

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Thank you for publishing Cheryl Wetzstein’s column on fatherhood (“Fatherhood issues remain,” Culture, Tuesday). Politicians and the media finally are beginning to realize the perils of fatherlessness - and there are many.

I think Ms. Wetzstein understands that not all men are to blame. At the same time, however, I think some of our elected officials think men are solely responsible for the dissolution of the American family. President Obama intoned this sentiment during his Father’s Day speech last year. He said, “They have abandoned their responsibilities, acting like boys instead of men.”

The government would strengthen marriages immensely by creating laws that emphasize the importance of men in the lives of children. And I’m not just talking about the ability to pay child support.

Men are excluded from their children’s lives in almost every divorce. They are relegated to being visitors and are treated like second-class citizens. For the dignity of the men, this should stop. Equality in custody courts would prevent many divorces. Even if it does not save all marriages, equal custody would mean children would have access to both mom and dad. And that would be a good thing - for children and families.

DON MATHIS

Sherman, Texas

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