by Richard A. Panzer, President, Unification Theological Seminary
When I first studied the Principle in the 1970s, I was struck by its description of the devastating impact of the misuse of love and moved by the possibility of lasting marriages centered on God. When I looked at American society I thought, “all we have to do is to introduce God into the picture, then people could create their own “Four Position Foundations.”
Four decades later, how the world has changed! We now live in a world in which not just the position of God is questioned, but the position of the man is no longer seen as essential either. More and more women are choosing to have a child with no committed father in the picture. In fact, more than half of births to women in their 20s in the U.S. are outside of marriage. This is also the case in many “advanced” countries around the world.
Men are typically seen as the aggressors in intimate relations, but in this case it’s usually the women who are making the decision that their sex partner is not father material. Their thinking seems to be, “good enough to have sex and maybe even create a child with, not good enough to actually co-parent the child.” As described in the book, Promises I Can Keep: Why Poor Women Put Motherhood Before Marriage, these women have decided that their children will do better without their fathers.
I wonder if anyone is asking the children what they think? We know that many children born from artificial insemination urgently want to know who their “father” is. In their simple desire to know who they are and where they come from, they seem to know something that our society has forgotten, their very identity is inextricably linked to the father who gave them half the DNA that courses through every cell in their body.
For children of those fathers not hidden behind a fertility company’s promise of anonymity, bitter questions rise: “Why didn’t my father want to stay? Why doesn’t he care about me?”