The Father of the Year. . .

. . .is Bill Clinton.

Clinton was named the “Father of the Year” by the National Father’s Day Council on Wednesday.

The group selected Clinton for his “profound generosity, leadership and tireless dedication to both his public office and many philanthropic organizations,” Dan Orwig, chairman of the National Father’s Day Committee, said in the announcement.

via Bill Clinton named ‘Father of the Year’ – POLITICO.com.

Profound generosity, tireless dedication to his public office and the rest of it are well and good.  But what do they specifically have to do with Fatherhood?  “Tireless dedication” to one’s work can well mean neglecting one’s children.  No disrespect to the former president, but his one daughter is all grown up now, so what made him such a good dad this particular year?

Who might be better candidates for Father of the Year?

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Grace

    Clinton, Father of the Year?

    “Profound generosity, tireless dedication to his public office and the rest of it are well and good. But what do they specifically have to do with Fatherhood? “ – -

    His public office has nothing to do with “Fatherhood” –   but of course they will find something – I wonder what that could be

  • SKPeterson

    Another pointless award in a series of pointless awards made throughout history by pointless organizations. Nothing more than the usual politics or historical (sleight of )shorthand used when naming some figure “The Father of His Country” or “The Father of This” or “The Father of That.” I did not even know there was a National Father’s Day Council. I did not even know Father’s Day needed a council. How much “counciling” is needed to receive a tie, a pair of socks, some underwear, or a hastily done, yet still touching, handmade card from your kids along with a rather unusual objet d’art that might somewhat resemble a coffee cup? I am sure that if this Council did not exist, or did not award Bill Clinton or other famous persons “Father of the Year,” that all of fatherhood would be denigrated and soon abandoned as a fruitless pursuit.

  • James Sarver

    From the Council’s announcement:

    “About The National Father`s Day Council

    The National Father’s Day Committee is part of the Father’s Day/Mother’s Day
    Council, Inc., a non-profit association that has as its mission the recognition
    and awarding of honors to role model contemporary Fathers and Mothers, while at
    the same time contributing to issues affecting the life and well-being of men,
    women and families.”

    Ronald Reagan is a former laureate as well, so it doesn’t seem terribly political. The group claims to have contributed $30m to organiztions they feel benefit families.

    Awards to celebrities/political figures = free publicity. They got us to look…

  • Eriks

    Looking at the list, http://www.momanddadday.com/about_fathers.htm which includes Gen. Petraeus, Hulk Hogan and Shaquille O’Neal, it’s apparent this has less to do with actual qualities of being a father and rather the qualities of a role model who is also a father. For better or worse, it looks like that’s their motivation.

  • Joanna Hensley

    It should have been you, Dad.

  • Joe

    kind of weird, are they suggesting that to be a good father you must do something extraordinary like be president or run a major charitable foundation? Seems to be a complete misunderstanding of the vocation they claim to be honoring. A father fulfills his vocation (i.e is the conduit for Christ’s love to his kids) through the everyday, mundane tasks of parenting and holding a job.

    I could not help to see the similarity between the council’s apparent view of a good father and many of my Pentecostal friends view that to be a good Christian they needed to do something extraordinary for Jesus.

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  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    Maybe they’d already given away the “gigolo of the year” award…

  • rlewer

    My first reaction was, “Surely you jest!” Would that be Monica’s reaction too?

    Another self-appointed committee.

    Hulk Hogan?

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    Yet another accolades-awarding organization that has jumped the shark.

  • fjsteve

    rlewer, I think Monica would agree that Clinton is the daddy of the year. Or would that be papi of the year? Not sure. The question is what would Monica’s father think of a man his own age who had an extra-marital affair with his own daughter being named father of the year?

  • Anne

    Are you sure The Onion didn’t do this story?

  • tODD

    I don’t agree with the carping here that suggests that committing certain sins should preclude you forever from the possibility of being a “good dad”. I think there are a lot of dads who have, by God’s grace, recovered from such significant stumbles, and quite a lot more dads who are all too familiar with the temptations involved.

    Still, there is an oddly large number of unfaithful husbands in that list: Clinton, Gen. Petraeus, John Edwards, Hulk Hogan — and those are just of the names I recognized in recent years.

  • Gene Veith

    Sniff, sniff. Thanks, Joanna.

  • fws

    Clinton, for all his qualities and flaws is one of the fathers of the nation.
    Lutherans, of all people, should have no problem at all with this extention of the term “father”.

    Why not?

    read this:

    http://bookofconcord.org/lc-3-tencommandments.php#para103

    Excerpt:

    The same also is to be said of obedience to civil government, which (as we have said) is all embraced in the estate of fatherhood and extends farthest of all relations. For here the father is not one of a single family, but of as many people as he has tenants, citizens, or subjects. For through them, as through our parents, God gives to us food, house and home, protection and security. Therefore, since they bear such name and title with all honor as their highest dignity, it is our duty to honor them and to esteem them great as the dearest treasure and the most precious jewel upon earth. …158] Thus we have two kinds of fathers presented in this commandment, fathers in blood and fathers in office, or those to whom belongs the care of the family, and those to whom belongs the care of the country. Besides these there are yet spiritual fathers; (Lutheran Confessions, Large Catechism, 4th Commandment

  • Tom Hering

    Oh Frank, don’t you know that the Biblical/Confessional view of government has been replaced by the modern conservative view for most American Lutherans, and that Luther didn’t mean by “civil government” what it sounds like he meant, because he was living in a different time and place, and blah-blah blah-blah blah …

  • fjsteve

    fws, I don’t think the issue is recognizing Clinton as a father but, rather, as a great father–at least one great enough to be called Father of the Year in a nation of roughly 90 million dads. If the number of people under his “fatherhood”–including extended fatherhood, as you point out–is a determinative factor then I guess all Fathers of the Year should be Presidents.

  • Grace

    Bill Clinton is certainly no comparison to my father, or countless other men whom I’ve known, who have kept their marriage vows, loved their wives and children enough to live a life, which instilled morals, telling the truth, and most of all serving God – whether they were carpenters, lawyers, pastors, teachers, contractors, doctors, etc. Just because someone becomes president of this country, does not mean they have slipped into “father of the year” status, or because a few people believe they are just wonderful, using the world’s standards as a bench mark.

    You’re mixing the “Commandment” up with men (fathers) who have given their children a stellar model in which to follow – All children are to honor their parents, mother and father – but that doesn’t mean they are honored by others who are not their children, using “Father of the Year” award. That is just plain dumb!

    If I were Clinton, I would be embarrassed – reminds me of the King without clothes!

  • Grace

    Sorry, that should be EMPEROR without clothes!

  • Hanni

    You asked whom we would nominate. If I didn’t have to nominate a particular father, I would suggest that the father of the special needs child get this award. I know some, they are dedicated, loving with many times a lifetime of care ahead of them. Thank you God for the faithful father who cares for special needs, handicapped, whatever name we use. Your love enables them to press on.

  • Abby

    The site for National Father’s Day Council is called: momanddadday.com. Their mission is:

    “The Father’s Day/Mother’s Day Council, Inc. is a not-for-profit, non-commercial, all volunteer association. Our mission is to promote the celebration, observation, and preservation of the holidays Mother’s Day and Father’s Day by focusing on the value of good sound parenting. The Council concentrates its energies on highlighting and contributing to charities and contemporary issues that affect Mothers, Fathers, and Families.”

    They are also about:

    “The Father’s Day / Mother’s Day Council is a not-for-profit organization that strives to heighten the meaning and observance of the Father’s Day and Mother’s Day holidays, while raising funds for philanthropic purposes. Established in 1937, the Council has donated nearly $20 million over the past 20 years to meaningful family- related charities nationwide.”

    Key words there: “while raising funds for philanthropic purposes.” Who better than Bill Clinton to help raise funds?!

    “Clinton, for all his qualities and flaws is one of the fathers of the nation.
    Lutherans, of all people, should have no problem at all with this extention of the term “father”. To equate the choice of Clinton as “father of the nation” with the stated purposes of the organization — to keep centered on the honoring of father/mother’s day — is quite a stretch. But if you want to go with that, I could see Obama being named instead of Clinton except he was already given “Man of the Year.”

    I am not denouncing that he may be a “good father” to Chelsea. But again, the stated “mission” of the organization is that “Our mission is to promote the celebration, observation, and preservation of the holidays Mother’s Day and Father’s Day by focusing on the value of good sound parenting.”

    I still think it has more to do with the fundraising aspect of the organization. It would be interesting to see who they give funds to out of their Foundation.

    http://www.momanddadday.com/

  • Grace

    Father of the Year Awards website and LINK – BENEFICIARY of the money they will raise.

    72ND ANNUAL “FATHER OF THE YEAR AWARDS” 2013

    BENEFICIARY: Save the Children, US Programs
    “Save the Children works to break the cycle of poverty and improve the lives of children by ensuring they have the resources they need – access to a quality education, healthy foods and opportunities to grow and develop in a nurturing environment. When disasters strike, like hurricanes and wildfires, Save the Children is among the first on the ground, ensuring the needs of children are being met.

    Save the Children’s early childhood education, literacy, physical activity and nutrition, and emergency response programs reached more than 147,000 children and families in the United States last year alone. For more information, visit savethechildren.org/usa.”

    http://www.momanddadday.com/fathers_details.htm

  • Grace

    I don’t believe for one moment, that the amount of money any one or two people have raised or earned, have anything to do with what kind of parents they are, or how well or bad their children turn out. What matters most is their obiedence to the LORD, their committment to God, the moral values they practice and instill within their children.

    Those who are pro-choice certainly represent a strange choice for “Father of the year”

     

      Bill Clinton Loses Temper, Lashes Out at Pro-Lifers – YouTube
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7XfmJeIJpns


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