Tag Archives: Fatherless

Large-scale UK study confirms the importance of fathers to children

A family praying and reading the Bible
A family praying and reading the Bible

Dina sent me this article from the UK Daily Mail.

Excerpt:

A father’s love is as important to a child’s emotional development as a mother’s, a large-scale study has confirmed.

Examining the cases of more than 10,000 sons and daughters revealed how a cold or distant father can damage a child’s life, sometimes for decades to come.

The review of 36 studies from around the world concluded that his love is at least as important to youngsters as that of their mothers.

Researcher Professor Ronald Rohner said that fatherly love is key to  development and hopes his findings will motivate more men to become involved in caring for their offspring.

‘In the US, Great Britain and Europe, we have assumed for the past 300 years that all children need for normal healthy development is a loving relationship with their mother,’ he said.

‘And that dads are there as support for the mother and to support the  family financially but are not required for the healthy development of the children.

‘But that belief is fundamentally wrong. We have to start getting away from that idea and realise the dad’s influence is as great, and sometimes greater, than the mother’s.’

His conclusions came after he examined data from studies in which  children and adults were asked how loving their parents were.

Questions included if they were made to feel wanted or needed, if their  parents went out of their way to hurt their feelings and if they felt loved.

Those taking part also answered questions about their personality. These ranged from ‘I think about fighting or being mean’ to ‘I think the world is a good, happy place’.

Tallying the results showed that those rejected in childhood felt more anxious and insecure as well as hostile and aggressive.

Many of the problems carried over into adulthood, reported the study published in the journal Personality and Social Psychology Review.

Crucially, a father’s love was often just as important as a mother’s. In some cases, it was even more so. One reason for this may be that rejection is more painful when it comes from the parent the child regards as more powerful or respected.

You can read more about how fatherlessness damages children here.

I think the first question we should ask the people who want to redefine marriage is this: “which parent to do you think that a child can do without? the mother or the father?”. We must do everything we can as a society to keep both of a child’s natural parents in the home while the child grows up. If we really care about children, then we should prefer to meet their needs, even if the grown-ups have to be a bit more responsible in their decision making. if the conflict is between innocent children and selfish grown-ups, then the children should win.

We need laws and policies that promote traditional marriage, not laws and policies that break it down and destroy it. Repealing no-fault divorce, lowering subsidies for single motherhood, and making shared parenting the default position, would all help solve the problem. Policies like school choice and lower corporate tax rates helps men to be able to perform in their role as provider. We have to be practical and ask: “what makes men capable of marriage and parenting?” If we want strong fathers, then it makes sense to ask how to make fatherhood more reasonable: what do men need in order to do what we want them to do?

Christians should be especially concerned about the presence of fathers, given the evidence I blogged about before showing how the presence of quality fathers is essential for passing Christian beliefs on to children. Churches need to ask themselves tough questions: Are we teaching women how to choose men based on practical concerns and proven abilities in our churches? And are we doing a good job of attracting men to churches by promoting the masculine, practical aspects of Christianity that men like – like science, apologetics debates, economics and foreign policy?

Jennifer Roback Morse lectures on sex and sexuality at Harvard University

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse
Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse

Dr. Morse delivers a talk based on her book “Smart Sex” at Harvard University.

The MP3 file is here. (21 Mb) (Link in case that doesn’t work)

Topics:

  • the hook-up culture and its effects on men and women
  • cohabitation and its effect on marriage stability
  • balancing marriage, family and career
  • single motherhood by choice and IVF
  • donor-conceived children
  • modern sex: a sterile, recreation activity
  • the real purposes of sex: procreation and spousal unity
  • the hormone oxytocin: when it is secreted and what it does
  • the hormone vassopressin: when it is secreted and what it does
  • the sexual revolution and the commoditization of sex
  • the consumer view of sex vs the organic view of sex
  • fatherlessness and multi-partner fertility
  • how the “sex-without-relationship” view harms children

52 minutes of lecture, 33 minutes of Q&A from the Harvard students. The Q&A is worth listening to – the first question is from a gay student, and Dr. Morse pulls a William Lane Craig to defeat her objection. It was awesome! I never get tired of listening to her talk, and especially on the topics of marriage and family.

Why do famous atheists believe that God does not exist?

Women need to learn to choose a man who is prepared to be a father and husband
The importance of fathers for teaching children about a God who cares

Here’s a lecture by New York University professor Paul Vitz to explain a connection between atheism and fatherlessness:

Here’s an article by Paul Copan (related to the lecture) which points out how father presence/absence and father quality affects belief and disbelief in God.

Excerpt:

Seventh, the attempt to psychologize believers applies more readily to the hardened atheist.It is interesting that while atheists and skeptics often psychoanalyze the religious believer, they regularly fail to psychoanalyze their ownrejection of God. Why are believers subject to such scrutiny and not atheists? Remember another feature of Freud’s psychoanalysis — namely, an underlying resentment that desires to kill the father figure.

Why presume atheism is the rational, psychologically sound, and default position while theism is somehow psychologically deficient? New York University psychology professor Paul Vitz turns the tables on such thinking. He essentially says, “Let’s look into the lives of leading atheists and skeptics in the past. What do they have in common?” The result is interesting: virtually all of these leading figures lacked a positive fatherly role model — or had no father at all.11

Let’s look at some of them.

  • Voltaire(1694–1778): This biting critic of religion, though not an atheist, strongly rejected his father and rejected his birth name of Francois-Marie Arouet.
  • David Hume(1711–76): The father of this Scottish skeptic died when Hume was only 2 years old. Hume’s biographers mention no relatives or family friends who could have served as father figures.
  • Baron d’Holbach(1723–89): This French atheist became an orphan at age 13 and lived with his uncle.
  • Ludwig Feuerbach (1804–72): At age 13, his father left his family and took up living with another woman in a different town.
  • Karl Marx(1818–83): Marx’s father, a Jew, converted to being a Lutheran under pressure — not out of any religious conviction. Marx, therefore, did not respect his father.
  • Friedrich Nietzsche(1844–1900): He was 4 when he lost his father.
  • Sigmund Freud(1856–1939): His father, Jacob, was a great disappointment to him; his father was passive and weak. Freud also mentioned that his father was a sexual pervert and that his children suffered for it.
  • Bertrand Russell(1872–1970): His father died when he was 4.
  • Albert Camus(1913–60): His father died when he was 1 year old, and in his autobiographical novel The First Man, his father is the central figure preoccupation of his work.
  • Jean-Paul Sartre(1905–80): The famous existentialist’s father died before he was born.12
  • Madeleine Murray-O’Hair (1919–95): She hated her father and even tried to kill him with a butcher knife.
  • We could throw in a few more prominent contemporary atheists not mentioned by Vitz with similar childhood challenges:
  • Daniel Dennett (1942–): His father died when he was 5 years of age and had little influence on Dennett.13
  • Christopher Hitchens (1949–): His father (“the Commander”) was a good man, according to Hitchens, but he and Hitchens “didn’t hold much converse.” Once having “a respectful distance,” their relationship took on a “definite coolness” with an “occasional thaw.” Hitchens adds: “I am rather barren of paternal recollections.”14
  • Richard Dawkins (1941–): Though encouraged by his parents to study science, he mentions being molested as a child — no insignificant event, though Dawkins dismisses it as merely embarrassing.15

Moreover, Vitz’s study notes how many prominent theists in the past — such as Blaise Pascal, G.K. Chesterton, Karl Barth, and Dietrich Bonhoeffer — have had in common a loving, caring father in their lives.16

Here are some corrections to the list:

1) Voltaire was not an atheist but a deist who rejected claims of the Bible’s inspiration, like Paine. Voltaire’s aphorism, “If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him,” far from being the cynical remark it is often taken for, it was meant as a retort to the atheistic clique of d’Holbach, Grimm, and others.

2) David Hume’s religious views remain uncertain. He never said he was an atheist. A gentle skeptic suits him more.

3) Bertrand Russell was an agnostic.

Not only is there that anecdotal evidence of a psychological explanation for atheism, but there is also statistical evidence.

Excerpt:

In 1994 the Swiss carried out an extra survey that the researchers for our masters in Europe (I write from England) were happy to record. The question was asked to determine whether a person’s religion carried through to the next generation, and if so, why, or if not, why not. The result is dynamite. There is one critical factor. It is overwhelming, and it is this: It is the religious practice of the father of the family that, above all, determines the future attendance at or absence from church of the children.

If both father and mother attend regularly, 33 percent of their children will end up as regular churchgoers, and 41 percent will end up attending irregularly. Only a quarter of their children will end up not practicing at all. If the father is irregular and mother regular, only 3 percent of the children will subsequently become regulars themselves, while a further 59 percent will become irregulars. Thirty-eight percent will be lost.

If the father is non-practicing and mother regular, only 2 percent of children will become regular worshippers, and 37 percent will attend irregularly. Over 60 percent of their children will be lost completely to the church.

Let us look at the figures the other way round. What happens if the father is regular but the mother irregular or non-practicing? Extraordinarily, the percentage of children becoming regular goesupfrom 33 percent to 38 percent with the irregular mother and to 44 percent with the non-practicing, as if loyalty to father’s commitment grows in proportion to mother’s laxity, indifference, or hostility.

[…]In short, if a father does not go to church, no matter how faithful his wife’s devotions, only one child in 50 will become a regular worshipper. If a father does go regularly, regardless of the practice of the mother, between two-thirds and three-quarters of their children will become churchgoers (regular and irregular). If a father goes but irregularly to church, regardless of his wife’s devotion, between a half and two-thirds of their offspring will find themselves coming to church regularly or occasionally.

A non-practicing mother with a regular father will see a minimum of two-thirds of her children ending up at church. In contrast, a non-practicing father with a regular mother will see two-thirds of his children never darken the church door. If his wife is similarly negligent that figure rises to 80 percent!

The results are shocking, but they should not be surprising. They are about as politically incorrect as it is possible to be; but they simply confirm what psychologists, criminologists, educationalists, and traditional Christians know. You cannot buck the biology of the created order. Father’s influence, from the determination of a child’s sex by the implantation of his seed to the funerary rites surrounding his passing, is out of all proportion to his allotted, and severely diminished role, in Western liberal society.

Basically, anyone who doesn’t have a benevolent, involved father is going to have an enormously difficult time believing that moral boundaries set by an authority are for the benefit of the person who is being bounded. The best way to make moral boundaries stick is to see that they apply to the person making the boundaries as well – and that these moral boundaries are rational, evidentially-grounded and not arbitrary.

Feminism’s new plan to achieve lasting happiness without giving up promiscuity

Do young women understand how to get to a stable marriage?
Do young women understand how to get to a stable marriage?

The article that I am linking to in TODAY’s post is from the far-left Huffington Post. Please do not read the article if you are under 30. Huffington Post, like most radical feminism web sites, has dropped down to the level of 50 Shades of Gray. Reader discretion is advised. But I had to write about their article because it really shows you that radical feminists are not innocent little doves hoping for traditional marriage and children.

First, a little introduction. Radical feminism is a rejection of traditional sex roles for men and women, and the committed union of men and women in marriage.

Here is what radical feminists oppose:

  • female sobriety when among the opposite sex
  • male sobriety when among the opposite sex
  • female chastity prior to marriage
  • male chastity prior to marriage
  • women preparing for the traditional roles of wife and mother
  • men preparing for the traditional roles of protector, provider, moral leader and spiritual leader
  • paying for their own condoms and birth control pills
  • men who are pro-life and pro-natural-marriage

Radical feminism wants nothing to do with men who are sober and chaste. The only real way to decide whether a man is good or bad – for a radical feminist – is whether he is attractive looking and does not try to lead women or hold them accountable morally or spiritually. Men are just accessories designed to provide women with fun and thrills. They are not to be selected for their ability to perform “sexist” virtues like chivalry, providing or leadership.

Now, feminists have been very unhappy lately, because their plan for forming relationships (focus on career, choose hot guys, get drunk, have premarital sex, wait by the phone, claim that all men are evil when no one calls, repeat) doesn’t work. But radical feminists don’t see the problem with their promiscuity plan. They don’t think that marriage is a good thing, because it has unfair sex roles. And they don’t think that women or men should prepare for commitment by being sober, chaste and self-sacrificial. They think that they can choose pleasure right now, and at every moment following, and that this will somehow work out to provide them with lasting love, support and intimacy as they grow older. Somehow, after they tire of sexual revolutionisting with the hot guys, they will easily be able to find a man who is simultaneously hot and sober, faithful, committed, and a great father to whichever children she decided not to abort. And if this plan doesn’t “work out”, then it’s the fault of patriarchy and toxic masculinity.

The Huffington Post article explains why radical feminists think that their plan is failing:

[…][S]ome straight women have thrown their hands up in despair at the prospect of dealing with straight men. These men, who grope us and talk down to us and consistently fail to clean the bathroom ― we’re supposed to make lives with them? Let them touch us?

Women woke up one day to find that their husbands voted for Donald Trump and their sons have been ***posting on incel boards. Even before we heard the claims about Harvey Weinstein’s history of sexual harassment and assault and the ensuing avalanche of other horrifying Me Too allegations, we heard about our president grabbing women “by the pussy,” Bill Cosby feeding women roofies, and R. Kelly allegedly sexually exploiting young girls. So many straight men, we have been forced to accept, are bad to and for us. Why would we take the enormous risk of loving one of them?

All the bad boy leftist men they freely chose to have premarital sex with for money or career advancement failed to please them. And all men must be the same. After all, radical feminists rejected traditional male virtues and roles as “sexist”. Instead, they decided to have premarital sex with secular leftists like Bill Clinton, Anthony Weiner, Elliot Spitzer, etc. Those men are fun and thrilling, and might even help your career. If these relationships failed, then surely the relationships not chosen – the ones with the sober, chaste, responsible men – would have failed, too, right? You don’t expect a woman to have a relationship with someone who doesn’t support abortion and gay marriage, do you? How could a man who is pro-child and pro-marriage possibly be suitable for commitment and parenting? Just choose the hot ones who make you tingle, and then generalize about all men from those failed experiments.

More:

One seductive yet impossible fantasy might be the romantic attention of a man who lacks the exhausting baggage of male entitlement.

To find such a fantastical being, women ― in fiction, at least ― have turned to the sea.

Yes, the radical feminists are turning to the sea to find fictional mermen who meet their feminist ideals for relationships.

More:

Lucy, the protagonist of The Pisces, is newly single, running out of time to finish her dissertation, and spiraling out of control.

[…]Despite the therapy sessions, Lucy can’t stop searching for male attention to restore her sense of desirability and worth. Before each encounter with a prospect, she feels buoyant and eager, but again and again, she’s left sexually and emotionally unfulfilled, in part because the men don’t much care whether she’s enjoying herself.

One man she meets on an app ― a hot younger dude in an open relationship ― convinces her to have sex with him in the lobby bathroom of an upscale hotel. It’s quick and mediocre. She doesn’t come. Afterward, he leaves without telling her, stranding her alone at the hotel bar. Lucy thought the encounter would be something different, that it would make her feel deliriously sexy and desired.  She tries not to let herself feel sad about how transparently he was using her to fulfill his fantasy while her own went entirely ignored. What she wants is for even this one-time fling to care desperately about making her come, for his world to narrow around her pleasure, even for just a few minutes.

Wow, the hot bad boys don’t care about the women who choose them for irresponsible recreational premarital sex? If only there were some way to keep a man committed? It can’t be marriage though, and acting like a wife. That’s “sexist”. I’m surprised that having recreational premarital sex with a hot, promiscuous pro-abortion pro-gay-marriage Democrat doesn’t lead to the woman enjoying herself in the long term.

It’s mermen to the rescue, though:

When she begins to fall for Theo, a tautly handsome swimmer she keeps seeing in the ocean near her sister’s beachside home, it seems like she may have found the something that couldn’t exist. Theo looks decades younger than her, but he is fascinated by her. He seeks her out, pulling up by the rocks at the edge of the beach to talk with her night after night. He wants to kiss her, then give her oral sex for hours under the stars. Soon, she learns that there’s a reason he initially stayed submerged from the waist down during their encounters: He’s what we might call a merman, and instead of legs he has a scaly tail.

Like the creature in “The Shape of Water,” Theo seems to be an exception to the rule of toxic straight maleness. Where other men hurt, threaten and betray, these unhuman beings pleasure, console and conspire with women.

[…]Her ex toys with her emotions; the men she dates are sexually selfish and reckless with her health. But Theo is different, both because he has a scaly tail instead of legs, and because he proclaims to be devoted to her and her pleasure.

After some discussion about the wonders of the merman’s equipment, (so important to a radical feminist!), we read this:

….there’s also an unmistakable queerness to these mythical, human-like creatures. They transgress the boundaries of what society traditionally demands from a male body. Lucy even notes a feminine quality to Theo…

[…]This story is a seductive one, especially to straight women who yearn to get outside of the oppressive structures and expectations of their dating realm. What if we found men who were different? Who were in touch with their emotions, called themselves “feminist allies” for reasons other than wanting to center themselves in the movement, enjoyed giving us orgasms, texted right after the first date?

Wow, she will get treated so well, and without having to marry him (sexist!), or commit to care for his needs (patriarchy!), or fulfill loving obligations for him in a restrictive long-term commitment (slavery!).

She can have sex with a hot sexy effeminate fish who is DECADES younger than she is, who doesn’t have a job or savings, and who isn’t able to be a father to children in any normal sense. But who cares! As long as he wants to give her orgasms, and he’s young and hot, and doesn’t try to tell her to get a real degree, or to get a real job, or to grow up and get married and have children who can take care of her in her old age. The merman provides all that’s important to radical feminists.

And I’m sure that this plan is sustainable, too. He will love her just as much when she is old and wrinkly, because giving a merman premarital sex always makes him commit self-sacrificially for life. That’s the power of recreational premarital sex – it turns irresponsible young hot mermen into pleasure-giving slaves for life.

How the presence and quality of fathers affects belief in God

Does government provide incentives for people to get married?
A father in the home helps children to reconcile love and moral boundaries

Here’s an article by Paul Copan which points out how father presence/absence and father quality affects belief and disbelief in God.

Excerpt:

Seventh, the attempt to psychologize believers applies more readily to the hardened atheist.It is interesting that while atheists and skeptics often psychoanalyze the religious believer, they regularly fail to psychoanalyze their ownrejection of God. Why are believers subject to such scrutiny and not atheists? Remember another feature of Freud’s psychoanalysis — namely, an underlying resentment that desires to kill the father figure.

Why presume atheism is the rational, psychologically sound, and default position while theism is somehow psychologically deficient? New York University psychology professor Paul Vitz turns the tables on such thinking. He essentially says, “Let’s look into the lives of leading atheists and skeptics in the past. What do they have in common?” The result is interesting: virtually all of these leading figures lacked a positive fatherly role model — or had no father at all.11

Let’s look at some of them.

  • Voltaire(1694–1778): This biting critic of religion, though not an atheist, strongly rejected his father and rejected his birth name of François-Marie Arouet.
  • David Hume(1711–76): The father of this Scottish skeptic died when Hume was only 2 years old. Hume’s biographers mention no relatives or family friends who could have served as father figures.
  • Baron d’Holbach(1723–89): This French atheist became an orphan at age 13 and lived with his uncle.
  • Ludwig Feuerbach (1804–72): At age 13, his father left his family and took up living with another woman in a different town.
  • Karl Marx(1818–83): Marx’s father, a Jew, converted to being a Lutheran under pressure — not out of any religious conviction. Marx, therefore, did not respect his father.
  • Friedrich Nietzsche(1844–1900): He was 4 when he lost his father.
  • Sigmund Freud(1856–1939): His father, Jacob, was a great disappointment to him; his father was passive and weak. Freud also mentioned that his father was a sexual pervert and that his children suffered for it.
  • Bertrand Russell(1872–1970): His father died when he was 4.
  • Albert Camus(1913–60): His father died when he was 1 year old, and in his autobiographical novel The First Man, his father is the central figure preoccupation of his work.
  • Jean-Paul Sartre(1905–80): The famous existentialist’s father died before he was born.12
  • Madeleine Murray-O’Hair (1919–95): She hated her father and even tried to kill him with a butcher knife.
  • We could throw in a few more prominent contemporary atheists not mentioned by Vitz with similar childhood challenges:
  • Daniel Dennett (1942–): His father died when he was 5 years of age and had little influence on Dennett.13
  • Christopher Hitchens (1949–): His father (“the Commander”) was a good man, according to Hitchens, but he and Hitchens “didn’t hold much converse.” Once having “a respectful distance,” their relationship took on a “definite coolness” with an “occasional thaw.” Hitchens adds: “I am rather barren of paternal recollections.”14
  • Richard Dawkins (1941–): Though encouraged by his parents to study science, he mentions being molested as a child — no insignificant event, though Dawkins dismisses it as merely embarrassing.15

Moreover, Vitz’s study notes how many prominent theists in the past — such as Blaise Pascal, G.K. Chesterton, Karl Barth, and Dietrich Bonhoeffer — have had in common a loving, caring father in their lives.16

Not only is there that anecdotal evidence, but there is also statistical evidence.

Excerpt:

In 1994 the Swiss carried out an extra survey that the researchers for our masters in Europe (I write from England) were happy to record. The question was asked to determine whether a person’s religion carried through to the next generation, and if so, why, or if not, why not. The result is dynamite. There is one critical factor. It is overwhelming, and it is this: It is the religious practice of the father of the family that, above all, determines the future attendance at or absence from church of the children.

If both father and mother attend regularly, 33 percent of their children will end up as regular churchgoers, and 41 percent will end up attending irregularly. Only a quarter of their children will end up not practicing at all. If the father is irregular and mother regular, only 3 percent of the children will subsequently become regulars themselves, while a further 59 percent will become irregulars. Thirty-eight percent will be lost.

If the father is non-practicing and mother regular, only 2 percent of children will become regular worshippers, and 37 percent will attend irregularly. Over 60 percent of their children will be lost completely to the church.

Let us look at the figures the other way round. What happens if the father is regular but the mother irregular or non-practicing? Extraordinarily, the percentage of children becoming regular goesupfrom 33 percent to 38 percent with the irregular mother and to 44 percent with the non-practicing, as if loyalty to father’s commitment grows in proportion to mother’s laxity, indifference, or hostility.

[…]In short, if a father does not go to church, no matter how faithful his wife’s devotions, only one child in 50 will become a regular worshipper. If a father does go regularly, regardless of the practice of the mother, between two-thirds and three-quarters of their children will become churchgoers (regular and irregular). If a father goes but irregularly to church, regardless of his wife’s devotion, between a half and two-thirds of their offspring will find themselves coming to church regularly or occasionally.

A non-practicing mother with a regular father will see a minimum of two-thirds of her children ending up at church. In contrast, a non-practicing father with a regular mother will see two-thirds of his children never darken the church door. If his wife is similarly negligent that figure rises to 80 percent!

The results are shocking, but they should not be surprising. They are about as politically incorrect as it is possible to be; but they simply confirm what psychologists, criminologists, educationalists, and traditional Christians know. You cannot buck the biology of the created order. Father’s influence, from the determination of a child’s sex by the implantation of his seed to the funerary rites surrounding his passing, is out of all proportion to his allotted, and severely diminished role, in Western liberal society.

Basically, anyone who doesn’t have a benevolent, involved father is going to have an more difficult time believing that moral boundaries set by an authority are for the benefit of the person who is being bounded. The best way to make moral boundaries stick is to see that they apply to the person making the boundaries as well – and that these moral boundaries are rational, evidentially-grounded and not arbitrary. It is therefore very important to children to be shepherded by a man who studied moral issues (including evidence from outside the Bible) in order to know how to be persuasive to others. If you want your child to be religious and moral, you have to pick a man who is religious and moral. And it can’t just be a faith commitment that he makes, he can just lie about that. Women ought to check whether men are bound to what they believe by checking what they’ve read. A man usually acts consistently with what he believes, and beliefs only get formed when a man informs himself through things like reading.

My advice to Christian women is this. When you are picking a man, be sure and choose one who is already invested in Christian things and producing results. It’s very unlikely that he’s going to start from nothing after you marry him. If you value your kids, make a man’s interest in developing and acting on a Christian worldview the main thing you are looking for.