An army of twelve million boys is roaming the nation without their biological fathers. Not all the boys are up to mischief or breaking the law. Some have no fathers due to death or misfortune. However, most are the products of irregular unions, broken families and abandonment. Thus, the overwhelming majority are in conditions that are asking for trouble.
Fatherless boys represent a huge risk category. Numbering 12 million, they make up nearly a third of all boys. These boys are more likely than those with biological fathers to join the ranks of those who commit crimes, drop out of school, and commit suicide. They are also much more likely to enter these paths than girls. Most young men who commit mass shootings come from this troubled demographic.
Treating the Symptoms, not the Root
Such startling facts should give rise to obvious conclusions. The best way to help these unfortunate boys and society is to encourage families to stay together. Let them be with their fathers. In this way, the problem is cut at its root.
However, liberal society insists on treating the symptoms, not the root of the problem. Government agencies will extend mental health and counseling services to the unbalanced boys. Special educational programs try to make up for the shortcomings of the 12 million fatherless. Governments will provide financial aid to broken families.
These measures cannot solve the problem. The government can do little to provide the boys with what they really need—their fathers. The real problem is a society that finds absent fathers and irregular unions acceptable. Since the sixties, people no longer see the family with both a father and a mother as the norm and promote free love instead. Adolescents are taught they can be promiscuous without consequences. However, there are consequences, as seen in this army of 12 million fatherless boys roaming the nation.
The Wrong Philosophy of Life
This tragedy happens because of a wrong philosophy of life that dominates the culture.
Too many people believe the myth that the greatest good is the freedom of the autonomous individual. This fallacy holds that as long as individuals do not impede the self-interest of others, they are free to do whatever they want. They are free to be whatever they want to be. Indeed, they are free to self-identify as whatever they choose to be.
This concept of human freedom accepts no boundaries or limits. It denies reality and ends up impeding the freedom of others who refuse to validate their fantasies.
The Errors of the Sexual Revolution
The sexual revolution of the sixties took this false theory to the extreme limits. It taught that every individual could engage in any consensual relationship as long as it had no direct consequences. Thus, the introduction of the pill and contraception deprived these free relationships of the consequence of offspring. When contraception failed, abortion ensured a person’s freedom could continue unobstructed.
When free love gave rise to the actual birth, it imposed no direct obligation upon the father. Without the vows of matrimony, the father is free to leave without legal penalty. And the mother (or the government) is left with the task of raising the son, who joins the army of 12 million fatherless boys.
When Gratification Harms Society
The fiction of individual autonomy teaches that acts should have no consequence beyond gratification. People can supposedly control their pleasure by indulging in free love, drugs and aberrant lifestyles without harming society.
However, such reasoning is wrong. Every social act has an impact on society and especially the family. Actions have consequences beyond self, and people need to act accordingly. If something harms society, the person has no right to do it.
Justice is the virtue where all are given what is due to them. Individuals sin against justice when by negligence, they harm themselves, burden their families, deprive society of their talents and incur needless government expense.
The Boy is the Victim
This logic applies in the case of the fatherless boys. The actions of the parents have consequences. The man deprives the son of a father. The mother, heroic though she might later be, fails to engage in a stable relationship that will provide the boy with protection. Society is deprived of a healthy unit needed to build society. The government is often called to provide assistance.
The most unfortunate victim of the two parents’ negligence is the boy. When aborted, an individual with a unique mission in history is eliminated, and that plan of God for him is forever lost. When born, the boy is deprived of the father who should be his blueprint, protector, teacher and moral compass. He will never know the security and comfort of a father and mother united in purpose and love. He will not grow up in a family of natural siblings who will help him preserve his innocence.
The child suffers more because broken families do not integrate well into a community. Those who do not follow God’s law or are hardened in sin rarely open themselves up to the saving actions of the Church.
Boys and Girls Not Equal
While all these consequences also apply to girls, the fatherless boy is especially hard hit. Contrary to the egalitarian lies that claim boys and girls are equal, the experience of fatherlessness proves the opposite. The boy reacts differently to the father’s absence than the girl, who can find consonance with her mother. Thus, fatherless boys go astray at far higher rates than fatherless girls.
The boy does not know how to channel his rough energies into protection. He does not understand the world without role models of courage and strength. The deprived boy becomes cynical, resentful and aggressive.
The Institute for Family Studies (IFS) describes the tragic results of fatherless boys well: “The decline of marriage and the rise of fatherlessness in America remain at the center of some of the biggest problems facing the nation: crime and violence, school failure, deaths of despair, and children in poverty.”
Dealing with an Army of 12 Million
Society has the right the defend itself against this scourge. Governments can hold young people accountable for their irresponsible acts. The culture can be a powerful weapon to censure impurity and make child abandonment unacceptable. The traditional family can encourage members to honor the family’s reputation. The Church teaches the joys and possibility of practicing purity.
All these influences now find their counterparts in the present-day society, promoting an opposing agenda. Government, education, Hollywood, progressive clergy, and many other factors conspire against every boy who dares to be born. What began as a small number of unfortunate boys has now ballooned into an army of 12 million.
Most people refuse to deal with these issues. They insist that the government look at symptoms, not causes, programs, not institutions. Dealing with causes calls upon people to change their lives and the culture they enjoy. The time is coming when the immensity of the crisis will overwhelm the nation.
Meanwhile, the most precious thing a mother can give her young son is a father. If she stays with the father for life, she gives her son a fighting chance for survival. The most precious thing a fatherless son can receive from anyone is an introduction to a mother—the Blessed Mother. Devotion to her will lead to her Divine Son, giving him every advantage in fighting the culture and help him become the father he never had.
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