Thoughts on fathering….

I’m reading a novel right now called “The Shack” written by William P. Young. It is a story about one man’s,Mack, encounter with God in the face of a tragedy in his life. In the novel God appears to Mack as a big black woman. It doesn’t bother me that God is a big black woman. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, God is neither male or female. God can be who he needs to be to each and every one of us. In this story, Mack needed a motherly figure, so that is how God appeared to him. There is something that disturbs me about this conversation between God and Mack. Mack asks God, “Why is there such an emphasis on you being a Father? I mean, it seems to be the way you most reveal yourself.” God responds to Mack by saying, “Let me say for now that we knew once the Creation was broken, true fathering would be much more lacking than mothering. Don’t misunderstand me, both are needed–but an emphasis on fathering is necessary because of the enormity of its absence.”

In my opinion, this is a direct attack on fatherhood. It is hard to be a good parent, for both fathers and mothers. I do not believe that God would think, say, or believe that men have a more difficult time being fathers than women being mothers. Our society has created an image of manhood and fatherhood that is negative. Men and fathers are portrayed as sex-crazed idiots. Just turn on the television and you will see example after example of this in the programming and the commercials. This novel, which is supposed to be written from a Christian perspective, is just perpetuating this “absence” of good fatherhood. Fatherhood, and parenthood as a whole, needs to be built up, not torn down. Shame on you, Mr. Young, for perpetuating society’s negative attitude towards men and fatherhood.

Published in: on September 25, 2008 at 3:11 pm  Leave a Comment  

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