- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Cheryl Wetzstein’s column “Celebrating 100 Father’s Days” (June 16, Culture) touches on some important issues, but it falls short of the main point. Fatherlessness in America is not a cause; it’s an effect. Our society has so devalued the role of fathers — and men in general — that they cannot stand up and accept the responsibility critics demand of them. The “mother good, dad bad” attitude is driving men away from their families, even in intact households.

This society only values a man’s ability to make money, which is part of the reason young men in inner cities resort to selling drugs. Dads don’t go to jail for not spending time with their children, but they do for not paying child support. The state sets child-support obligations excessively high in order to receive more federal funding.

Often the judges who send these fathers to jail are the same ones telling good dads that their children need them only every other weekend. Worst of all, judges routinely ignore both the law and the evidence in making these decisions. In Virginia, because of the way judges are selected, sometimes all it takes to become one is to be friends with (or make a campaign contribution to) the state senator in your area.

The father issue will not be resolved until the financial incentive is taken out of destroying families and the judicial selection process is reformed.



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