NOM BLOG

George Will on Generational Fatherlessness

 

George Will's moving column on a society that has failed (among other things) to attach sons to their fathers:

The worst day of Sugar Bear’s 55 years was one of the days — there have been many of them — when he got out of prison. In the early 1990s, in a prison where people whose sentences have ended and are being released see those whose sentences are just beginning, he saw one of his sons coming in.

Generational recidivism is not unusual in Sugar Bear’s world of fatherlessness. His son, who was convicted of selling drugs, is still incarcerated because he has not been a model prisoner. He is an apple that did not fall far from the tree.

... Born to an unmarried, mentally ill prostitute, he acquired his interest in driving from his grandfather, who would drive around the block with Sugar Bear in his lap. Not until Sugar Bear was 25 did he learn that his grandfather was his father, too, having had a sexual relationship with Sugar Bear’s mother.

... [Ken Canfield, 58, a Kansas State Ph.D. who, until five years ago, headed the National Center for Fathering in Kansas City] acquainted Sugar Bear with Psalm 68, which speaks of God as “father of the fatherless” who “setteth the solitary in families.” For people like Sugar Bear, people with holes in their souls never filled by the love of fathers, Canfield says religion offers the “spiritualization of fatherhood”:

“If you don’t have the calm self-respect that a father gives, your passions go sideways. For a number of men, their passions become sexualized as they look for comfort and affirmation of their manhood.”