The Engage Family Blog

Official Blog of The Family Policy Council of West Virginia

Another Case of Foot IN Mouth

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Harry Knox, President Obama’s tap for head of the Office of Faith Based and Community Initiatives, renamed the “President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Parnterships” by the Obama Administration, has not been known for his silver tongue.  Let’s just say he’s been quite critical of the Catholic Church’s teaching on homosexual behavior and birth control.

It seems Mr. Knox is at it again – this time in a discussion on how best to spend your taxpayer dollars.

In an interview with PBS taped at the Human Rights Campaign, Knox talked of fatherhood:

“Responsible fatherhood offers us an immense opportunity to speak to a real need in the country,” said Knox, director of the faith and religion program at the Human Rights Campaign, a homosexual rights group, during the PBS interview broadcast on its Religion & Ethics Newsweekly show.  

That’s fair.  Weird venue for doing so, but nothing wrong with talking about the importance of fatherhood.  This is one of those areas we applaud President Obama’s rhetoric.  He has long been vocal about the need to strengthen the role of Dad in the home.  We are concerned that the actions don’t always meet the rhetoric, but, still, happy to have the conversation.

But, Knox took a quick, progressive left turn:

“It’ll be challenging to do that for instance in ways that are not dismissive of the tremendous gifts of single mothers; not to sort of hold a heteronormative view of fatherhood up as the only model,” said Knox.

Ok, I added the italics, but……HUH?!?!  It’s a challenge to promote responsible fatherhood when the “heteronormative view of fatherhood” is the “only model?”  What is precisely wrong with the “heteronormative view of fatherhood?”  Is “fatherhood” really “fatherhood” in some other type of model of parenting?

Nope.  He didn’t stop there: 

“For instance, 25 percent of gay male couples in the country are raising children – their own and other people’s,” Knox, a member of the United Church of Christ and the Interdenominational Conference of Liberation Congregations and Ministries, told PBS.

“So the challenge will be for all of us getting to know what fatherhood means for us, and how to talk about it in a way that is as inclusive as possible and empowering as possible,” he said.

He added that mentoring programs for homosexual fathers should be reviewed by the council.

“One of the things I am suggesting on the council is that they look at mentoring processes that gay dads have developed to help each other be good fathers around the country,” Knox said.

via CNSNews.com – Obama’s Faith-Based Adviser Urges Challenge to ‘Heteronormative’ Fatherhood .

Essentially, Knox is saying that because we have redefined what is meant in terms of “marriage” and “family,” we now have to get “to know what fatherhood means for us, and how to talk about it in a way that is as inclusive as possible and empowering as possible.”

Cue the Twilight Zone music.

Just as marriage ceases to be definitionally “marriage” when persons of the same-sex enter a similar union, so to does “fatherhood” cease to be “fatherhood” when a person of the female gender attempts to mimic the role. 

It gets more confusing when we begin discussing the impact of 2 dads and 0 moms in a home.  Children are entitled to a Mom and a Dad.  Social science tells us that is the best venue in which to raise a child.  Gov’t should not knowingly deprive children of that chance, nor fund – in the name of “responsible fatherhood initiatives” – projects to widen that gap.

I recognize that life circumstances sometimes leave children in a lurch, necessarily without one or the other parents.  But if the goal is strengthening the role of fathers, we should consider the ideal.

Let’s save “the council” some time: two moms have the potential to make great moms, but they will never make one mediocre dad.  

Mr. Knox, President Obama, if you want to strengthen the role of fatherhood, strengthen the institution of marriage.  Hold Dad’s accountable for the children they father.  Break the cycle of divorce by promoting healthy marriages in which Dad’s live committed to the mother of their children and demonstrate to the next generation what it means to be a man.  And father.

Stop tinkering with definitions.

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Written by Jeremy Dys

May 18, 2009 at 6:40 pm

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