by Marc T. Newman [critic]
Once you get past the first four of the Ten Commandments that deal with humans’ relationship to God, the first “horizontal” commandment is that people honor their fathers and mothers (Exodus 20:12). Last month we honored mothers. If you went to church, you may have seen moms getting flowers, perhaps being asked to stand, even receiving applause. The sermon likely extolled the virtues of motherhood with a special emphasis on appreciating the women who raised us.
This Sunday is Father’s Day, and I have, on more occasions than I wished, sat through Father’s Day sermons that primarily explained how men have failed as fathers, and why, if we would just adopt a 3-, 7-, or 12-step plan of self-flagellation and growth, we might be able to become the men God intended. Like most men, I am not the perfect father. Like all people, I am not a perfect person. But how will our children learn to honor their fathers if they can’t even get an attaboy from the pulpit on Father’s Day? They certainly are unlikely to get it at the Cineplex. (more…)