The following is a guest post by Jacob Pippin. Jacob is an authentic Floridian laying his roots down in the beautiful, small town of Sanford, along with his wife and their three children. He is a graduate of Rollins College with a degree in Communication and Public Relations. His writings include the family, education, and the effects of progressive ideologies on our culture.
We are currently living in an age of The Great Epidemic.
Bombarded daily with limp-wristed shouts of selective outrage about things like systemic racism, white privilege, and toxic masculinity, we are told these plagues spread out like a blanket over our society. Inventions of victimhood is all the rage, literally. It is everywhere, hiding under every rock and overshadowing every institution. But there is a destructive force looming beneath it all, a true epidemic that is currently tearing society asunder.
The epidemic of fatherlessness.
Words that Kill
I come from a long line of failed fathers. My paternal heritage is one of abandonment, drunkenness, drugs, and jail. My father engrossed himself in crime and vices, like his father before him. His grandfather raised him in his home, while his own father laid around in a drug-induced stupor for most of his life. That apple didn’t fall from the tree at all; it rotted in place, but one seed was able to fall: Me.
My father and mother were never married and I was born out of wedlock. My birth certificate does not bear his name and he could not be troubled to be there when I came into the world. As a result, I bear my mother’s maiden name.
Their life was troubled. At times my father was abusive—physically at some points, but always mentally. He was a master at the art of guilt manipulation. This continued nearly until the day she died of cancer. I was almost 4. She was 26.
After my mother’s death, a short custody battle ensued between my father and my maternal grandparents. At the time, he was a jobless addict and was spurred on by his grandfather to step up to the plate for his child. The judge gave him an ultimatum: If you want your child, get a job and get sober. It never happened, at least the sobriety part. At that point, my grandparents were awarded temporary guardianship of me. It was never contested again.
Throughout my childhood years I would see him on occasion. He would come to our small church on Sunday evenings, sit in the back pew, and give me a hug and few bucks. That ended when he got arrested for stealing a case of beer from a 7-Eleven. After that I saw him maybe once a year on my birthday, but that eventually faded as well.
The last time I saw my father in the flesh I was 16. Eighteen years ago. I was walking home from a friend’s house, kicking up dust on our dirt road when I heard the screaming. When I looked up I noticed my father’s blue Chevy truck parked in front of my grandparent’s house. I did not catch the exchanges. He was screaming at them; they in return. It was one of those surreal moments in life, a moment that didn’t feel real.
As I made my way up the driveway, he stopped, looked at me and said, “There’s that bastard. Don’t you know you’re just a bastard?”
Those were the last words he ever spoke to me. His voice and those words etched into my mind, forever.
The Path of the Storm
Much of my childhood could be summed up by pain and Ritalin. Uncontrolled emotions carried me into my adolescence and young adult years. Anger, bitterness, sadness, indifference. I felt and lived with them all as they engulfed like a flood. It was the air I breathed. Most times I could keep things in check: a few punched out windows here and there helped dull my embittered heart.
I spent many years trying to ignore it all, trying to suppress the rage I felt. I would do anything the world offered me as a pressure release value. Anything.
Wrestling helped. Slamming other kids on their heads and throwing them across the mat felt good. For those moments, I felt in control of my world. Blood and broken bones were a small price to pay for relief. But unfettered rage always lurked beneath the surface.
But I am a bastard no more by the grace of God. Christ saved me and gave me a new heart, one with new affections. The old has been buried.
Fast forward to the present. When I turn on the news and see the protests, the statues being toppled, and the smoke of private businesses that have been burned to the ground, I don’t see a progressive phoenix rising from the ashes of oppression.
I see the same rage I’ve known all too well. I see fatherless men who have found their sonship in the mob. Fatherlessness is a root of all kinds of evil if left to mature on its own. Statistics tell us that fatherlessness is the greatest predictor of violent crime and incarceration.
To ignore this fact in favor of some neutered view of reality, is a stupid denial of obvious reality. Grown men don’t cry over romanticized ideas of faux oppressional forces, but I have seen plenty do so when you ask them about their father.
We are witnessing the fruit of fatherlessness, with a stage four prognosis, and it has metastasized throughout the entire culture. This brave new world we are watching unfold will not usher in the utopia that many imagine—it will destroy everything in its wake. It doesn’t have plans to rebuild anything at all. Fatherless men were not taught to build, either in terms of homes or legacies. The feminized culture has emasculated them, both in mind and body, and taught them to do nothing but emote. Feelings don’t build civilizations. Blood, sweat, and sacrifice do.
Many of us were thrown into public school classrooms, told to shut the hell up and sit still, while women and effeminate male teachers taught us that we are but shadows and dust in the cosmos, nothing but chance acting on matter, with no end in sight. The ivory towers of higher education complete this neutering process of indoctrination.
They tell us our masculinity is poison, that women are the future, and we have no recourse but to take gender studies courses to re-gentrify our masculine minds to one less aggressive, replete with soft pastel colors and queer-affirming sentiments. Are we really surprised when violence roams the streets? Sure, a few soft effeminates are created, but many reject the reorientation process in favor of Burn-It-All-Down approach.
Men need fathers.
As Fredrick Douglas said, “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.”
“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.”
I needed my father. A father to discipline me, to celebrate with me in times of achievement, to correct me when I got out of my depth, to love me the only way a father can. The current cultural fallout is in fact a fatherless epidemic and the progressive culture is hell bent on keeping it that way.
They want Daddy State to be the shoulder we cry on. But Daddy State is impotent to give us the discipline and moral fortitude we need in order to be men. We need men of courage who have been sharpened by other men with the same resolve. We need men that fear God.
Robert Dabney once said, “No man could be called brave for advancing coolly upon a risk of which he was totally unconscious. It is only where there is an exertion of fortitude in bearing up against the consciousness of peril, that true courage has place.”
“No man could be called brave for advancing coolly upon a risk of which he was totally unconscious. It is only where there is an exertion of fortitude in bearing up against the consciousness of peril, that true courage has place.”
There is peril in our midst. We who are men and fathers know what God requires of us. We are called to lead our homes, to love and lead our wives, and to raise our sons and daughters in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. If we will not, the culture will. Now is not the time to abdicate our responsibility.
Men and fathers, may we not be content to sit back when our gallantry is being tested, to sit idly by while this impotent, cultural phoenix attempts to rise to steal the minds of our future men.
As Doug Wilson once said, “Christians are a race of dragon-fighters. Our sons are born to this. Someone ought to tell them.”
That someone is us.