Thinking About Father's Day...

In church yesterday, our pastor referenced this article by Jim Wallis at Sojourners. Here's a chunk:
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Donald Trump, and Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the (now former) chief of the International Monetary Fund, have all been in the media lately for sins and crimes past, present, and accused. The stories have now come out about a long-time affair Schwarzenegger had with a member of his house staff, Strauss-Kahn’s alleged assault against a hotel maid, and Donald Trump’s long and blatant history of sexism.

As the secret stories are revealed, there is great interest and perverse excitement in the media. The pain and suffering from the women involved, and the invisible hurt of the children, are brushed aside. Instead, the women are subtly, and sometimes directly, blamed. And sometimes, in all-male circles, there is a wink and a nod, and, most disgustingly, even a little envy of the powerful men who get to break all the rules when it comes to women. The primary outcry is from other women who, in the name of equality and dignity, lament this continual pattern of abuse.

What has been missing from this too-often repeated narrative is the condemnation of these behaviors and attitudes from other men — especially men who are in positions of power, authority, and influence. While the primary blame lies with the perpetrators, we should look next at the good men who say nothing. It’s time for good men to hold accountable those who abuse women. Those who abuse, assault, and rape are not real men. They distort and destroy any sense of healthy manhood. It’s time to tell our sons that they must never act like these abusers and perpetrators, and to make sure to raise our own sons to love, respect, and be faithful to women.

While Schwarzenegger and Strauss-Kahn have provided ugly caricatures of the moral corruption of men in power, Donald Trump sums it up well. For example, the “Trump Rule,” according to a book by a Miss USA pageant winner, required that all contestants parade in front of Trump, the co-owner of the pageant, so that he could separate out those he found attractive. Trump once said this about his own daughter, Ivanka: “She does have a very nice figure … if [she] weren’t my daughter, perhaps I’d be dating her.” And to show how oblivious to criticism he really is, Trump told Esquire in 1991, “You know, it doesn’t really matter what [the media] write as long as you’ve got a young and beautiful piece of [expletive].”

The best use I know of for men who treat women this way are as anti-role models for my two sons. They exemplify what I hope my boys will never become. So here is my little contribution to condemning men who need to be condemned for not behaving. When T.V. shows with these unrepentant men come on, we will change the channel. When movies come out with them on the big screen, we will stay home. When sports games are played with them as stars, we won’t be buying tickets. When another media story erupts because of more bad behavior, my boys will be told that men who abuse women are not real men. They might still have money and power, but their abuse of women diminishes their humanity.
My emphases.

While those of us who watch these shenanigans from the sidelines may offer up occasional commentary criticism and ridicule, all too often we let this type of behavior (I'm looking at you, John Edwards) go without condemnation.

As the father of a son and a daughter, this hits close to home for me. I swear to you that if a man ever treated my daughter in the manner that we see in the media so often, I would lose my sh*t. I want my son to know how to treat women -- and on a larger scale, humans.

Nobody deserves to be treated the way that Trump speaks about his daughter. Dude -- that's your DAUGHTER that you are talking about there.

Read the whole article, and pay close attention to the discussion in the comments below. There are the usual partisans who claim that 'Wallis is too liberal, blah blah blah' -- but there are some really good comments as well.

And to those of you who have kids, raise 'em right. The world needs less Anthony Weiners and Donald Trumps...

Photo: clockwise from top left: Sam Morris/Reuters, Davis Turner/Getty Images, Alex Brandon/Associated Press, Damian Dovarganes/Associated Press, Gary I. Rothsteine/European Pressphoto Agency, Brendan McDermid/Reuters