The first presidential debate takes place tonight. As I was driving to work this morning I wondered what question I would ask if given the opportunity. There is one thing I’ve been curious about.
Did you know the Obama administration operates a fatherhood initiative? There aren’t many things President Obama has done that I support, but the National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse is one. From the “About us” section of the site:
Fatherlessness is a growing crisis in America, one that undergirds many of the challenges that families are facing. When dads aren’t around, young people are more likely to drop out of school, use drugs, be involved in the criminal justice system, and become young parents themselves.
Yes! As the Manhattan Declaration states, the family is the most fundamental unit of society. Kids raised in intact families become healthy, responsible adults equipped to contribute to society and raise the next generation. Dads matter in all of this! It is tremendous to see the president acknowledge this inarguable fact and dedicate resources to promoting the unique role of the father.
But, last May, the president made an announcement that doesn’t square with his strong stance on fatherhood. He said that he was now a proponent of same-sex marriage. Forgive me for spelling it out, but a marriage between two women lacks a dad. And it’s no stretch to posit that, like fathers, mothers have a unique and vital role to play in the life of their children. A marriage between two men lacks a mom.
So, my question is do dads (and moms) matter or not?