- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 21, 2009


This Father’s Day, let’s stand up as men and boldly shove back against this society’s attacks on masculinity. To first be sure our left-right combination lands squarely, we have to clearly define manliness - we need to understand just what is being attacked before we can counterattack.

The answer to who is manly and who isn’t - as I discovered while researching my book “The Ultimate Man’s Survival Guide” - has always been defined according to various cultures’ codes of honor.

If a Japanese samurai, for example, truly adhered to Bushido, or code of the warrior, he was honorable. The Chinese often were judged according to the Precepts of Taoism; Judea-Christians have long had the 10 Commandments; and throughout the Middle Ages, there were chivalric codes of honor and, later, in Europe and America (especially the South) the gentleman’s codes of honor.

These codes are not relics. Some modern codes include the Texas Ranger Code of Conduct and the U.S. Marine Corps Creed. It’s just that they have lost traction with much of mainstream society.

So OK, manliness has always been defined by a code of honor. So what’s so bad about these codes?

C.S. Lewis made a startling point in his fine book “Mere Christianity” that answers this question. He found that if you compare all of these codes of honor, you find that most of the rules in them are the same. This caused Lewis to conclude there are universal core values to being a human being, that everything is not relative.

After all, those codes were written by various cultures across several millenniums and often were established independently from each other. So if so many peoples across history came to the same conclusions about what is moral, it follows there are fundamental, absolute rights and wrongs.

So, if there are absolute values, real rights and wrongs, good and evil, all is not relative. Therefore, a man who adheres to a code of honor - which by its very nature is a black-and-white set of concrete moralities - is the antithesis of the morally relative person the liberal left lauds. Hmm, so manliness is defined by a man who truly believes in absolute moral values or, as the Founding Fathers of America put it, in inalienable rights; therefore, it follows that a manly man believes the U.S. Constitution says what it says and means what it says, that he knows our Constitution is not a “living document” relative to polls or to the whims of activist judges or world opinion.

So then, to the man who follows a code of honor, justice is blind, not relative to someone’s empathy. Huh, that’s why manliness is under attack by leftists. And that’s why those metrosexual, girlie men vote for the candidates they do.

Here’s a quick aside that must be addressed: Feminists, or especially ultra-left-wing feminists, “feminazis,” please drop the knee-jerk reaction that masculinity is a threat to women. After all, any man who has to put down the other gender in order to prop up his ego is too insecure to be a real man. A male chauvinist is nothing more than a child in a man’s body. To see for yourself, read the codes of honor. You won’t find a sexist rule among them. Instead, you’ll find that women need to adhere to the universal code of honor to be all they can be, just as men do.

So now that we can see the attack on manliness for what it is - the moral relativists’ fear of the individual liberty that codes of honor represent - this Father’s Day do what Benjamin Franklin did. Franklin looked at all the codes of honor and wrote his own code, a list of 13 fundamental virtues. He first developed them when he was 20 years old (in 1726). His rules included temperance, frugality, sincerity and justice and led him to an uncommonly successful and happy life as a statesman, businessman and inventor. Do the same. Write your own code based on universal core values after reading his and other well-developed codes.

Next, endeavor to live by that code of honor; after all, if just a small, but ardent, group of Americans do this, perhaps the dishonorable age in which we find ourselves will fall back again to the real, concrete ideals on which we were founded.

Frank Miniter is the author of “The Ultimate Man’s Survival Guide,” a book on recovering the lost art of manhood.



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