Father Hunger Fuels the Persistence of Father’s Day

Our culture has been trending toward a shallower portrayal of fathers who lack strong character or even a masculine identity. In recent decades, identity politics has inundated our culture with portrayals of fathers who identify as homosexual and/or transgender, such as in shows like “Modern Family” or “Transparent.” In large part, that’s because flooding popular culture with an LGBT focus — along with abolishing positive portrayals of traditional parenting — have been specific projects of the heavily funded GLAAD Media Awards since 1989. But if we look back at the earlier portrayals of traditional fathers, we can sense the father hunger that’s at the root of Father’s Day as a beloved tradition. 

In an age filled with hostile propaganda against the nuclear family and devoted fathers in particular, it is worthwhile to ask why the celebration of Father’s Day persists.

Most of us instinctively understand the connection between fatherlessness and social ills, such as crime, poverty, and mental illness. At the same time, we can see the calm and joy of children who are blessed with responsible and loving fathers.

Maybe those are reasons why the tradition of Father’s Day continues to hold sway in America, in spite of ideologues who hope to abolish responsible masculinity by labeling it as toxic, patriarchal, or a product of “white supremacy.”

Father’s Day also takes place at the height of June’s barrage of “Pride Month” agitation. Central to the “pride” agitprop is a massive campaign for the erasure of sex differences through gender ideology and the push for artificial reproductive technologies such as surrogacy that serve to remove fathers — as well as mothers — from the lives of children.

Still, the tradition of Father’s Day endures, despite the thanklessness of the work of good fathers by a culture that seems to reject the very notion of fatherhood. That’s because Americans actually love dads no matter how much the media instruct us to despise them.

Fictional Portrayals of Fatherhood Are Testaments to Father Hunger

Many stories in our popular culture are especially instructive on the importance of good fathers and a reminder of the father hunger children experience. In part, the term “father hunger” describes the emotional starvation, confusion, and frustration that comes with the loss of a father through death, absence, neglect, or abuse.

The Bible is filled with references that attest to the sorrows of the fatherless whom we are warned to treat well. Psalm 68:5 reads: “A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, is God in his holy habitation.”

The father-child relationship is also central to countless works of great literature, including Ivan Turgenev’s novel Fathers and Sons, Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, and Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. There’s no shortage of movies that zero in on the critical role of fathers, including “The Lion King,” “Three Men and a Baby,” “Mrs. Doubtfire,” and “Field of Dreams.” However, you’ll notice that the production of such beloved stories seems to have faded in the 1990s. It’s no surprise that so few are produced these days.

Especially edifying about the yearning for good fatherhood is the role of the single father in so many old television shows in America. Beginning in the 1950s, there were numerous shows about the single dad — or dad surrogate —

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