The weak rationalizes that this is hard to swallow, especially among those whose sense of humor happens to be a dead cucumber, for fear of mental attack, as opposed to heart attack which for lack of medical term I call mental enteritis as differentiated from gastroenteritis. As this euphemism elongates further, a psychological diarrhea is to be expected — meaning you felt that you are at night with your life, throwing punches in the dark because you are outrageously scandalized, you who do not even know who or what your father is, if at all, you happened to have any.
And that excruciating mental flagellation is not without a cruel aggravation. The sordid imputation if you are fatherless is that you are a smutty bastard. Perhaps worse than this problem is this realization that when the dirty sticking finger of a chance points to the fact that you came into this world because of a DNA accident in the lab, you as a person is no different from a bat, which is neither bird nor beast. It hurts when people look at you that way. Day and night bats hang inverted in the ceiling of the cave or in darkly lit branches of huge trees. In life, that’s how they live – upside down!
As I state this personal observation in life, I am aching to write about artificial embryos in today’s welter helter-skelter of human cloning that right now bedevils our national psyche even as we pick the petals of the flower of indecision — she-loves-me-she-loves-me-not — while courting the possibility of this world filled with man-made, not God’s, creations.
For instance, I dread the thought of SCNT, our scientists’ acronym for Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer, a brainy technique of producing humans in the now crazy race for the most scientifically advance stem cell research. But because it requires more space which we do not have, I will just pass this controversial subject of human cloning right now, and go back to it later. Add to it the fact that writing about it is not funny.
At this moment, I really mean to write about what is not known or what is less known of fatherhood on Father’s Day. This brings to mind Sonora Louise Smart Dodd [notice the middle name of this lady], a devoted child who fathered Father’s Day, but who may not really know who her father was. That’s because even a woman could be the father in a home without a padre de familia.
Approximately in 72.2 % of the
U.S. population, “fatherlessness is the most significant family or social problem facing
America today.”  Thus you may also feel challenged – as I am myself challenged – when I declare henceforth, that I am fathering not only this adversarial but also puzzling line of thought.
A sprinkle of history may help unravel this mystifying conundrum on fatherhood. Father’s Day was first celebrated in
Washington on June 19 about a hundred years ago or so.
Sonora, the living spirit behind the celebration of Father’s Day, was as smart as her father named William Jackson Smart [notice her father’s surname] who mothered her since her mother died when she was 16. She was smart enough to originate the promotion of Father’s Day to honor the widowed William, who on record was unquestionably a devoted, affectionately caring father.
Riding on the same analogy, citing William as a motherly prototype of a man that he was, it is needless to say that a man could in fact be the mother of the house. Thus on the same vein, it may be posited that if that is so, even
Sonora herself may not therefore really know who her real mother was.
For the mind to catch this end, an historical hand in birthing the concept of Father’s Day came from President Woodrow Wilson who approved
Sonora’s idea. However, it was President Lyndon Johnson who issued the Proclamation in 1996 naming the 3rd Sunday of June as Father’s Day.
With this hard line of archival facts, we must survive the possibility of mental indigestion as we intellectually nibble and gobble this piece. We need an anchor or a common ground in understanding one’s perception of what — not who — a father is. We can cultivate a garden of flowers that they may bloom into what a father is as an identifiable entity or being.
I am biased in describing him as one who takes responsibility, be that a responsibility to a child, family, society, or to anything of which such accountability or duty or concerns are reasonably attributable. With this, we can also identify a father, who really is not.
He could be a biological father, but not really a father who for some reasons, had abandoned a child or had long left the family for good. A father that flew out of the coop of responsibility and pursued by cops or sought by our justice system after having been declared by the court as a “deadbeat Dad”, is a welcome example of what is not a father in our popular perception of what he should be.
Inversely, one not blood-related who raised a child, showed fatherly love and kindness and parental care is just the opposite. A stepfather of this kind, steps into the picture. So are those foster and adoptive fathers who shoulder the burden of raising a family as their own.
While it is true that it takes a village to raise a child, it is equally true that it takes a good father to run a village.
Perhaps what really compounds the confusion with regards to this father-image entanglement is when we generally accept calling someone a father as a form of address. Although just recently in the
Vatican underground, someone else allegedly deserved more to be chosen as the new Pope in
Rome, the whole Christendom has no alternative but to accept the Cardinal-elected incumbent in the
Vatican as the anointed Holy Father. Those who disagree could turn themselves into prodigal sons to a father mentioned in the Bible, and later on, return to the Father, the Christian Faith or back to the Christian fold.
Let’s extend this farther away from the mundane or ordinary concept of fatherhood to as to who sires or who fathers what, using the active verb. Chaucer, fathers English poetry; Herodotus, fathers history … and isn’t the Devil himself the father of lies, deception, mayhem and murder? Let’s be careful here. As a father, the Devil has many sons and daughters.
Ala hoy! You could be one of them.
Look at fathers of something in politics. Listen to politicians delivering campaign speeches and match them to what they had promised to do once they get elected. You may be shock to discover that the gap of discrepancies you are about to swim through is much wider than the
In politics, this kind of father image reminds me that the like-father-like-son adage may not really prove otherwise. “Read my lips, no more taxes”, the elder President George Bush once speechified before his media audience televised nationwide. Presidential candidate Bill Clinton then booted him out of office in a heart-breaking defeat on the issue of this no-more-taxes promise to the American public. Bush flushed himself down the toilet when in some kind of public lying or treacherous betrayal, taxes came down like a pouring rain.
Like President Richard Nixon who lied in Watergate, President Bill Clinton had the American public referring to that infamous libido as his
Waterloo for fathering a lie in public. He professed his innocence until the end, by declaring a contrived monotone of an excuse on television: “I don’t have any (xxx) relation with this woman Monica Lewinsky.” It was like a school child lying about a bad report card that required a spanking.
Impeachment – didn’t that controversial trial in the Senate come to
Clinton’s rescue? Anyway, watch out for the next presidential election year perchance spouse Secretary of State Hilary Clinton of
New York targets the White House. When this happens, Bill’s Senate impeachment acquittal may haunt the campaign trail not kinder than or not as playful as
Casper, the ghost.
One thing is sure to happen once Hilary rides the campaign trail to capture the Oval Office. There will be an orchestrated disharmony in the Democratic echelon, a cacophony of mud-slinging from without and throwing of punches from within, and of course there will be also a lot of docking (lying and denying of hidden skeletons in the closet) on both sides of the isles.
In which case we say welcome to this festival of fools — excuse my dust — I mean here comes Sen. John McCain who fathers this nationwide campaign to curb the embarrassment of fund raising that for some mysterious reasons always goes out of control. I truly feel the Senator’s heartache because he sincerely believes — and I have but a flickering light of reason to disagree — that this outrage corrupts not only the electoral process but also the whole damned system.
Yet it may surprise you and me that this is nothing compared to being accused of lying in public which in politics makes a presidential aspirant like McCain terminally ill. This hero of WWII lost to Barrack Hussein Obama of
Kenya who became president of the
United States, but now millions of Americans consider as the father of all impostors or cheats.
By the way, any latest development yet on those Quo Warranto proceedings against Obama the Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court are squatting on?
The other lawyer person in me requires an explanation what quo warranto means: Quo warranto is a prerogative writ requiring the person to whom it is directed to show what authority he has for exercising some right or power he claims to hold … compliment from Wikipedia for the ordinary understanding of the layman, to Obama and reportedly to his bootlicking lawyers and Muslim supporters who didn’t get it!
In a much larger scenario, we have almost all kinds of Democrat and Republican fathers fathering us throughout the years. But in running this country, do we really know who among them deserved to be called the nation’s real father?
Since the first Lincoln-Douglas debate in
Illinois on the issue of slavery so many, many moons ago, this matter was not settled until as a result of what they were debating about, we were orphaned by the Civil War. We only reminisced then of our elders that had long been gone but here with us in memory.
For example, we remember that the great Abraham Lincoln fathered the
Union, which is now the
United States of America.
But who said we always love our father?
Lincoln was assassinated. Who do you think would do that but the fatherless?
In the dark horizon as we attempt to measure the infinity of our fate, behind the bloody cloud, lies the silver lining.
Just think about it this way: This nation became the greatest on earth after the choking smoke of Civil War had cleared up, resurrecting the deeds of the dead in the battlefield, and picking up the splintered pieces of the badly battered American spirit that we, the children of our forebears of this agonizing past, had dared to put back together in order to become a much wiser and even strongest unified nation ever.
Not even the fatherless could ever assassinate the memory of
Lincoln and our forebears who fathered our fate as the nation celebrates this coming Father’s Day. #
© Copyright Edwin A. Sumcad. Access NWS May 13, 2010.