by Don Hank
I became a father’s rights advocate in 1995, shortly after my first encounter with a Kafkaesque court system. If someone had told me our justice system was like that I would have assumed they were making it up.
I promptly founded Lancaster Non-Custodial Parents (later known as Lancaster-York Non-Custodial Parents, LYNCUP) and set about to right the wrongs of a broken system. As a business man, I am a problem solver. Leave it to me.
Since then, I spent years studying the issue. I needed to know why this was happening to me and to thousands of others and how my life savings and the custody of my son could be so quickly transferred from me, someone the courts hardly knew, to her, someone else they hardly knew.
Here’s what I found out:
In the 1960s the radical feminists had started taking over the “family” courts. Now feminists don’t care about women, any more than homosexual activists care about gays. The goal of both groups is family destruction. They call it “culture change.”
So why did they do this?
Feminists, like all radical leftists, believe in the myth that traditional family oppresses women, who no longer need men for anything, even to help bring up their children. Their writings show that this idea is purely subjective, and although science shows fathers are important, they believe this myth implicitly. Their ideology is a religion and they are blind zealots.
They achieved their mission with lightning speed by first creating a sense of national crisis, just as the radical gay activists of today are doing.
To create the sense of crisis, they proclaimed that fathers were abandoning their kids and the kids’ moms in droves, leaving them high and dry.
Of course, some fathers were in fact doing just that, playing into their hands, and they could point to these wayward fathers as examples of the urgent need to clamp down on men.
The radical feminists also said millions of men were guilty of wife beating. First they said it was ex-number of wife beatings per day across the nation. Then the number somehow doubled. The press dutifully reported these incongruous numbers without requiring verification. The feminists then asked for tough anti-male legislation enabling judges to evict men on unsubstantiated testimony. Their request was soon granted in all 50 states. Oddly, the number of wife beatings just kept increasing, even long after draconian laws were in place. Men apparently liked punishment and were incorrigible. Under the new laws, the right to face one’s accusers was overcome. The Constitution was trumped. But that wasn’t precedent. Think about it. We could have seen it coming. More on that later on.
Somewhere along the way, someone named Murray Straus of the University of New Hampshire conducted a long-term study and found that the number of wife beaters was about equal to the number of husband beaters, and that, in fact, the latter used weapons significantly more often.
That information should have changed everything.
But politicians could do nothing with such statistics. The female of the species was already irreversibly cast as the victim and any attempt to undo that image would garner no votes for any of them in the long run.
After a few years of involvement with the movement, I saw that no posse was on the way and none would be coming.
Men lobbying for fathers rights were, as it were, fools waiting for Godot.
As I studied, I began to see that fathers’ issues were just part of a much bigger problem, and that problem was hard line Maoism cynically calling itself “liberalism.”
It was easy to trace this bigger problem back to the hippie movement of the 60s when America’s values system had started to upend itself.
To my surprise, I found that numerous men’s groups, like the NCM (National Center for Men) were trying to imitate the strategies and tactics of the feminists. Thus, NCM’s Mel Feit, for example, started dressing like a woman and going on talk shows. He pointed out that, if he was seen as a woman, people would listen to him. Given the demonization of men in the media, that made some sense. One of his pet laments was that women could decide to abort their children while men could not. Thus, he advocated abortion rights for men as well.
That made no sense.
Not only did these men, who called themselves masculists in imitation of the feminists, seek to imitate the immoral movement that had hurt men and their children in the first place, but their message was also irrelevant. If the oppression of fathers by the legal and court system had been the first or only wholesale violation of constitutional principles, then these men might have had a leg to stand on. But they seemed oblivious to the fact that an earlier flawed decision had ushered in a new era of constitutional abuse, and now they were on the receiving end of a further refinement of that abuse by a corrupt system whose previous fraud they had deferred to without a whimper and, incredibly, still failed to notice.
Meanwhile, I was initially impressed by the works of Dr. Warren Farrell, who had once been an activist in the women’s movement but had grown disenchanted and gone over to the men’s movement. I eagerly read his best-selling book “The Myth of Male Power” and later “Father and Child Reunion,” which pointed out the lies and distortions about men that had influenced family law, making it almost impossible for men to get even joint custody of their children. Farrell also showed that, statistically, sole male custody was better than sole female custody. It was brilliant, as far as it went.
In the wake of his book successes, Warren was elected to the board of the Congress of Fathers and Children.
Then in the last California gubernatorial race, he threw his hat in the ring. Instead of breaking witht he party that had wrought such favoc with our culture, he ran on a Democratic ticket, declaring he would “reform” that party.
One gentleman who called my non-custodial parents organization, LYNCUP, told me how his wife had physically abused him throughout their marriage. He had been a Christian but his treatment in the courts drove him to atheism, he said.
I don’t want to create the impression that men and fathers are buying wholesale into the lies of the Left without any resistance whatsoever. In fact, many of the fathers who call me are devout believers who have been strengthened by their untoward experiences. No, I am talking mostly about the ones who should know better, including the top national leadership, which, at least initially and for many years, failed to distance itself from the Left and has failed to identify godless Leftism as the arch enemy of fatherhood that it is.
The Spiritual Side of the War against Men
Then shall he answer them, saying, verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal. (Matt. 25:45-6)
In 2001, as I was beginning to see the fatal flaws in the leadership of the men’s and fathers’ movement, my personal life came apart, and when I hit bottom, I found myself abruptly faced with a choice: Trust God or perish. This choice was no longer an abstraction. It was an existential imperative.
Unlike the man supposedly driven into atheism, I saw that God was speaking through tragedy. This man’s mistake lay in believing that the God who created him somehow owed him something. And to punish God, he disavowed him, like a small child might rebel against a parent who refused to buy him a toy.
I recognized that God had finally come for me, and I let him walk me home, with tears of repentance streaming down my cheeks.
As I read the Bible and fellowshipped with Christians, I saw the aspect of this situation I had missed before:
I looked back on the 60s when all the devastating cultural change had started and realized who was to blame.
It was me.
I was every bit as much to blame as any of the feminists, corrupt judges, lawyers and indifferent legislators who had allowed us fathers to be stripped of our rights. I was to blame much as Saul of Tarsus had been to blame for the martyr’s death of Stephen. I had stood by and done nothing.
You see, back in the 60s, I—we men—had welcomed Wade versus Roe as much as women did, maybe more. That decision, along with the pill, opened new vistas of hedonistic gratification. The fact that it might cost us our national soul mattered not a bit.
We had traded something infinitely precious for something utterly worthless.
As strange as it might seem to an unbeliever, by giving up, I found the struggle suddenly becoming significantly easier and more manageable.
Before, I had been trying to fight almost alone, along with a ragtag army of other clueless disgruntled fathers. Some, like Farrell, were brilliant and capable of besting the radical feminists in debates. Yet nothing changed. We should have known that. Debate never changes leftists because they are of their father the Devil, so truth is not their game. That’s why they invented post-modernism. Besides, more to the point, both sides were mired knee-deep in the moral lowlands.
And it was men like me who had sold their birthright, so to speak, turning the playing field over to evil. We were tools in the hands of the Prince of darkness. So the question was not: how could God do this to me? It was: how could God stand by and watch us walk away victorious when we ourselves were perpetrators?
But now I was no longer focused on winning. I gave myself, including my infernal Gordian knot of a life, over to Jesus Christ.
What I now saw through spiritual eyes can best be explained by an analogy:
Suppose you had a wound in your wrist and were losing blood fast.
You could try treating the wrist, applying compresses.
But that wouldn’t stop the bleeding, would it? To do that, you would need to apply pressure higher up the arm, over the main artery.
I—along with the rest of the men’s movement—had been operating on a local level, treating symptoms when in fact the problem was systemic.
The body, that is, our nation, was dying, but we were obsessed with only a small part of it, namely, our wretched rights. Even though we activists constantly stressed children’s need for fathers and claimed to be fighting for them, at bottom, we knew it was about us. That’s why our cause was doomed.
The solution had to be sought on a higher level, and that level was not physical.
It was spiritual.
Ignoring the spiritual side of spiritual warfare is like ignoring the nuclear side of nuclear warfare, only the damage is more permanent, eternal to be exact.
Wounded disgruntled fathers continue to call me and discuss their issues. And I give them as much time as they need to unload and also advise them as best I can. I understand how close to suicide many of them are. But I generally wind up telling them what I’ve just told you, about the spiritual side, about how we men had lost our way by siding with the Left and looking to a godless system to save us, and how we desperately need to restore our souls before we could hope to win the war.
At that point, I generally lose their attention, I am sorry to say. It’s not that they are being rude or deliberately ignoring me. It is more as if they no longer understood plain English.
But that’s to be expected. America has been taught by clever word-twisting charlatans to believe that good is evil and evil is good, and that there is no such thing as truth. Abortion and free love are inalienable rights. What part of that didn’t I understand?
But men are like logs. If a wedge is applied, for example, in the bark across the grain rather than with the grain, the wood will not break, but if it is applied at the cut end so that it enters a plane of separation, even a child can split the log. I believe that at some point in our lives, God sets the wedge, putting each one of us in our splitting position. He needs us broken, devoid of any and all vestiges of pride and self.
Some of us are full of knots. We refuse to split no matter where the wedge is placed.
But most have a tender spot that will yield to a little pressure. At some point, divorce court puts most men in that splitting position.
It is vital to recognize that and to act in timely fashion, taking advantage of a golden opportunity to achieve salvation.
Many divorced fathers are hurting this Father’s Day season. Some have been denied all access to their children while being assessed a confiscatory amount of “child” support (actually a mother subsidy, as Farrell correctly notes). Some are in jail, unable to pay. Many are wondering which way to turn, now that they’ve lost their life savings and their families.
They’re lonely. Their kids are suffering thanks to a heartless system.
But how many of us have considered this?:
God knows from personal experience what it is to be alienated from his Son and watch him suffer, apparently as a result of a corrupt judiciary. Yet He knows all the suffering was actually a result of sin. Not his Son’s, but ours. But the suffering had a purpose: your salvation.
Look at the remarkable symmetry:
Here we are, all of us, God separated from his only begotten Son, and we broken men standing apart from both Them and our own children, with a broken Jewish and Roman judiciary in the first century, and a broken American judiciary in the 21st serving as a foil, the apparent, or material cause, but with our sin as the spiritual, or real, cause of all this separation—our separation from God and His son and our children’s separation from us. And on top of that, we are even the reason the judiciary is broken! Doesn’t the perfect beauty of this tragedy stir your heart, Dear Friend? Now can you stop blaming God and others?
All God wants is for each hurting father to turn away from sin and accept his son’s blood as propitiation.
The clever charlatans of the Left, the same group that disenfranchised fathers by promoting radical feminism, have told you that obedience and belief are dangerous to mankind. They trotted out the tired analogy with Nazism umpteen times.
Don’t you fall for it, Dad.
Just this once, refocus all that energy you had been directing toward defeating the courts and legislature to the goal of defeating the Left’s pernicious myth that the leftist construct of civil rights can save you and that the problem can be fixed by the corrupt system that caused it in the first place. In other words, focus on yourself this time.
You’ve tried disobedience and unbelief. It didn’t work.
Now come to the only true Savior.
The Winning Formula:
First, at variance with the teachings of the fathers’ movement, acknowledge that fatherhood in itself is not sacred or worthy.
If you don’t belong to God, then there’s nothing sacred or worthy in you or in anything you do.
To make yourself worthy, suspend unbelief. Ask God to forgive you of your sins in the name of His son Jesus. Dig deep down into your heart for those hidden sins and enumerate them, pronouncing their names. Anger, hatred, deceit, false pride, unclean lusts, whatever they may be. You know what they are. Ask Him to give you the strength to move forward and avoid repeating them. If you slip and fall later, beg Him for forgiveness. He’ll forgive you again, and again. But keep your eyes on Him and keep getting back up to ultimately claim the moral high ground. Then ask God to give you love toward those who’ve tormented you—your ex, her lawyers, the judge, the feminists, the judgmental ladies at the child support enforcement agency, and so on. Ask him to bless them! Ask Him with all the faith and love you can possibly muster up. This is absolutely crucial. Without love, you cannot win. With it, you can’t lose.
During the custody hearing, look at each of your former tormentors with love in your heart. Yes, this is not easy! But it is so worth it! And you can do it by remembering their mortality, the everlasting punishment that awaits them if they fail to repent, and the fact that you now have something they need so desperately, namely, the salvation of your soul. Ask God to give you the words to say during your testimony. Resolve to be truthful. Don’t lie or flatter anyone and don’t soft pedal to spare anyone’s feelings, but speak with love and tranquility (an aspirin may help). Therein lies true manliness. When your turn comes to testify, tell the court you are genuinely sorry for your role in all this mess and that, with God’s help, you intend to change. Tell the judge whatever he decides you will accept it as God’s will. Then do just that, no matter what.
“Wait a minute,” you say. “I was framed. She lied about me at every turn. I am a good father.”
That’s your physical man speaking. From God’s standpoint, you without God are not a good anything, although your real sin may not be what your ex accuses you of.
If you’re in the fathers’ movement, you may have marched or demonstrated for fathers’ rights.
But now ask yourself: When was the last time I joined a pro-life march? Don’t I know that the taking of an innocent life is at least as great a sin in God’s eyes as stripping fathers of their parental rights? Nine out of ten fathers who ask themselves this question will have to admit that, from that standpoint, they really are not the heroic champions of justice they imagined themselves to be. Most never once seriously considered the suffering of the unborn brought on by the same heartless judiciary that alienates us from our children. Only through experiencing their own suffering can they now see the injustice. That is certainly not very heroic or worthy of praise. But acknowledging this shortcoming takes courage.
You see, God is looking at the overall picture, and we can’t even hope to fool him. He knows the vast majority of fathers not only have done nothing to oppose the blatantly unconstitutional and cruel court decision that claims a million innocent lives annually, but we actually welcomed it as part of our sexual liberation. The clever charlatans have us convinced abortion is a right, and we hypocritically pretend we defend it for the “women’s” sake!
God saw the hypocrisy from the outset and in His infinite righteousness, turned our sordid sexual liberation into slavery. And not because He hated us but because He grieves for us and wants us back. For many of us, this is the only way we can hope to find our way back.
Child support, mother custody and eviction notices without recourse to trial are fair wages for a men’s sexual liberation that came at the price of traditional family and children’s well-being.
When you admit this to yourself, you will feel truly free, because you’ll no longer feel the need to convince people of your own innocence. Most divorced or separated men expend an inordinate amount of effort proclaiming their innocence. Once you see yourself as you are, you will be free of the obsession to vindicate yourself, and you can turn your attention to more important things, like serving God and helping others to find Him. And therein lies true freedom.
If the disenfranchised fathers of this nation—or even the majority of them—humble themselves and turn from their wickedness, God will heal our land and our hearts. That’s his promise (2 Chronicles 7:14).
I don’t pretend that you will immediately be let off the hook. You will most likely experience almost excruciating mental anguish at times. But you will be given the strength to endure it. And everyone around you will be astounded at the change in you, and will see Jesus in you as you walk with Him. And as a Christian, that is your job: to mirror Jesus in everything you do so that others will follow Him.
Perhaps you will be the next father to break as God applies his pressure to that wedge, bringing our sick nation a step closer to that promised healing.
Dad, God loves you as you love your children and is waiting for you with outstretched arms. He wants you home for Father’s Day. Will you go?
Donald Hank is a technical translator and staff writer for Laigle’s Forum. He is also the founder and President of Lancaster-York Non-Custodial Parents (LYNCUP).
Contact the author: firstname.lastname@example.org