Faith of the Fatherless

Wonder why atheists hate God? Check out their relationship with Dad

BY: Anne Morse


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One wonders who will write those defenses for future generations. Consider: Today, more than a third of American children live apart from their biological fathers. If current trends hold, only about half of America's kids will spend their entire childhood within an intact family.

Even nuclear families are at risk, spiritually speaking: Studies show that busy boomer parents spend far less time with their kids than parents did a generation ago.

Vitz warns that all this faulty fathering will lead not only to skepticism toward God but also to increased social pathologies--especially among boys. "Boys very much look to their fathers as a model, not only for God, but for what they would like to be," Vitz told Beliefnet. "Nietschze was really saying, 'Dad is dead, therefore God is dead. Dad isn't here, so therefore God doesn't exist.'"

But the hunger for a father never goes away, Vitz cautions. A boy without a father "will move into gangs, or hero worship of some sports star," or worse--a charismatic political or cult leader. Badly fathered girls will reject God, as well--and spend their lives seeking a relationship to replace him.

"Faith of the Fatherless" serves as a wake-up call to people of faith: Unless they want to see America slide further into atheism, they must reach out to all those fatherless kids with strong, tender father figures.

Vitz's book is a warning to dads as well: If you want your kids to share your faith, you must share your time and love with them. If you don't, Vitz says, "they will reject everything you stand for--your politics, your worldview, and your faith, if you have one. And you will deserve it."

Tony Blair, take note.

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