Kathleen Parker: A nation can't flourish without fathers to raise their children

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  • happy2bhere clearfield, UT
    March 5, 2014 8:15 a.m.

    Feminists, womans libbers, ect. would ask the question this way. Can a nation flourish without federally funded day care being available to all working women. Therefore the real question is, can day care workers take the place of fathers and mothers in the home?

    P.S. Notice how thin skinned the Obama apologizers are getting these days?

  • David Centerville, UT
    March 4, 2014 8:05 p.m.

    I am grateful for my father. He worked hard at work. He served in his church as a bishop and stake president too. So when he came home from work, he often went to the church for a different kind of work.

    But at home he taught us in family meetings. He gathered us for scripture study. He worked with my brothers and sisters in the yard on the weekends: mowing, weeding, planting, harvesting, helping our neighbors.

    He helped a single mother in the ward finish her basement so she could rent it out for another source of income to help her balance her budget.

    He always swept the kitchen floor, and often helped wash dinner dishes. I had a great dad, and still do.

    Now its my turn to be a great dad.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    March 4, 2014 3:08 p.m.

    airnaut Open Minded Mormon Pagan,

    Interesting that I dont see any critism of obama as you so incorrectly predicted. Unlike liberals, most conservatives can look at the issue and not the person to determine whether somethning is a good idea or not.

    This program is a good idea from barack. Its also vital it come from private funding because it certainly isnt taxpayers' fault for the state of young black men today.

    Young black men are where they are today due to the actions of young black men. Thats just the truth. Its their responsiblity to fix it and no one is to blame for any of it other than the actions of those who have contributed(other young black males)

  • Badgerbadger Murray, UT
    March 4, 2014 1:00 p.m.

    President Obama did make a strong statement early in his first term to absent fathers. It is the best thing he has done as president. I hope he spends more of his efforts on this issue. It could be the crowning achievement of his presidency, and I hope he continues a crusade for fathers being present and active with their children, after he leaves office.

    The ACA rollout and fallout
    Foreign policy
    Fast and Furious
    The fake economic recovery
    17 Trillion in debt and still rising

    All failures

    He could find forgiveness from many, and leave a bright spot in his legacy, if he could improve the outlook for our children by promoting functional families with a father and mother.

  • cavetroll SANDY, UT
    March 4, 2014 11:52 a.m.

    It's not only culture that is to blame for the downplaying of fathers. Our legal sysytem also takes this approach. Look at the lawsuit being brought against the state of Utah in their misguided adoption laws. Fathers aren't important to the state, until it comes to child support.

    Just get a divorce here in Utah. Custody was the only issue my exwife and I couldn't agree on. She wanted sole custody and for me to have visitation (This is called standard visitation). I wanted joint custody. Guess whose side the judge ruled in favor of. Then try to get the custody agreement enforced. For child support, one only has to contact ORS and child support is striclty enforced, regardless if the other parent is behind on child support. But try to get visitation issues enforced, good luck with that.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 4, 2014 11:45 a.m.

    I think the conservative drive to make us believe that the cause of undesirable behavior in young men and women is the fault of the lack of a proper parent set is simply a smoke screen to hide the real cause which goes much deeper. The lack of a proper parent set may be just another result of the economic problems faced by people of all ages.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    March 4, 2014 11:38 a.m.


    Yes, in times past financial support was more important but then again kids (at least the males) sometimes worked with the father. But yes, there was less fathering and more financial support than now.

    I am not sure men have been any slower to change than women. I think it is less than a paycheck that men find defining but more their work role (e.g. I am a _____ vs. I work at _____).

    As to being more self-involved. No. The problem there is equally spread. Our culture tends toward self-involvement and self-importance vs. any type of sacrifice.

    Men should not have to earn respect as fathers any more than women should have to earn respect as mothers. Yes, both must rise up to meet their responsibilities but the culture should include an automatic respect for the position and then individuals should rise up to meet that expectation.

    The culture needs to make fatherhood a manly option (and at one time it did). Individuals can make that choice for themselves but cannot change the culture alone.

  • Thid Barker Victor, ID
    March 4, 2014 9:55 a.m.

    Easy welfare has displaced the father in the home. Women and children don't need men to provide for them, the government does that! And we are told that is compassion?

  • Sven Morgan, UT
    March 4, 2014 9:48 a.m.

    Twin Lights said:

    "Our culture has done an amazing job of showing men to be unimportant in family life. For decades fathers have (more commonly than not) been depicted as tyrannical train wrecks or, more commonly, buffoons to be tolerated. Mothers have been the only ones with a clue."

    Bingo! Watch almost any television show, and your observation is proven correct.

    This devastating trend of fatherless homes is especially true among Blacks in the USA, where the rate of children without a father is above 70%.

    March 4, 2014 9:34 a.m.

    Twin Lights, it has only been within the past two generations or so that fathers have been asked to have any input into their children's lives other than to support them monitarily. My own grandfather worked 12 hours a day 7 days a week to provide for his family. That was his task.

    Starting in the 40s and 50s, that commitment to work became less important and men were asked to step up in the home - as father, as husband, as helpmate.

    Men have been slow to change. They still define themselves by their paychecks and consider so much of the rest to be "women's work." Instead of becoming more involved in their families, many men have become more self-involved.

    If men want respect as fathers, they need to make fatherhood a manly position. No one else can do it for them.

  • airnaut Everett, 00
    March 4, 2014 8:39 a.m.

    Kathleen Parker has broken the cardinal rule of saying something positive about the President.

    Right or Wrong -- She will be assailed by the "hate all things Obama" haters.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    March 4, 2014 7:02 a.m.

    Our culture has done an amazing job of showing men to be unimportant in family life. For decades fathers have (more commonly than not) been depicted as tyrannical train wrecks or, more commonly, buffoons to be tolerated. Mothers have been the only ones with a clue.

    I certainly don't want to see mothers downgraded in their depictions. But we must have a culture that respects and promotes fatherhood as essential to the child, the marriage, and the father himself. I know this makes some uncomfortable because their own father was absent or worse. But we should not cast a cultural touchstone based on the worse case scenario.

    Fathers must be present in their children's lives. Children need fathers for good development. Does this mean mothers cannot be successful alone? Of course not. Just as fathers can be successful alone. But ask a successful single parent if it would have been better to have had a caring and responsible partner in the venture.

    Thank you Ms. Parker for an insightful message.