“There are as many reasons for this societal mayhem as there are statistics documenting it. At its core, however, is the irresponsibility of fathers.”–former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, Philadelphia Inquirer, 1/29/09
Hundreds of you responded to our Action Alert last week and educated former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum on what fathers go through to remain a part of their children’s lives after divorce or separation.
I don’t know if Santorum will respond in print or not (his column runs every other Thursday in the Philadelphia Inquirer) but it’s important that when anti-father falsehoods are voiced by prominent figures, we’re there to respond with the truth. It is said that “80% of success is showing up,” and too often our movement has lost because it hasn’t shown up. Thank you for showing up.
Santorum’s original column was Obama’s actions speak volumes. Below I reprint a couple of the letters our readers sent Santorum.
Anthony, a highly-skilled medical professional, wrote:
Dear Mr. Santorum,
I disagree with your conclusion that “fatherlessness” in our society is the fault of fathers. I was forced out of my home and was prevented from seeing my own children because my now ex-wife wanted to move in her boyfriend.
This month, the child support I have paid to her for the past 7 years has a grand total of $397,000. All of it is gone–$1,000 a week for seven years. She has not spent most of it on my children but rather on her house, herself, her new husband and her new baby.
Another reader, Ian, wrote:
Dear Mr. Santorum:
Thank you for taking the time to read my correspondence, I am writing in regards to the article you published on irresponsible fathers. I too agree that we have a major problem within today’s society that is caused by the absence of fathers in our children’s lives. However, I disagree on the fundamental basis on why such absences are caused.
I too have been effectively removed [from my children's lives]. I fought a legal challenge for my children for nearly two and a half years at the cost of over $35K in legal fees, and probably another 10 or 15K of equivalent work pro-se. My argument was that both parents needed an equal say in our children’s lives. My ex-wife’s argument was that she wanted sole custody.
Due to a small line at the bottom of the relevant law, since both parents couldn’t agree, she was awarded sole custody. Where is the Justice in that?
I have had to launch legal challenges with the local school district, doctors offices, babysitters, and have had to involve the local police on three occasions to enforce my visitation rights to see my children. I have had to deal with my children coming to my house and telling me that mommy hates daddy and mommy hates Grandma too. I have had to deal with many other destructive and damaging behaviors that have real impact on my children.
Why? Because the custodial parent sees fit to engage in them. I try to protect my children from exposure to such behaviors by attempting to provide a safe and non intimidating environment for them at my home. My ex-wife does not. But with such limited time with them, my impact is minimal at best. Irresponsible? I’m doing everything in my power to remain relevant.