My father in law was an intimidating man. He was unreasonably tall, an Episcopal priest, and my wife adored him, so maybe it’s not weird that I needed some way to humanize him, a bit. Maybe that’s why I called him Father Dad.
For the record, he was not a fan. There may have been a glare and a raised shaggy eyebrow, and I may have pretended I didn’t see it; I don’t remember. I do remember, however, that the very first time we met, we talked about the philosopher Wittgenstein.
Looking around, it’s as if the world is coming back to life as it greens around the edges, and the air is finally warm enough that I can hang up that winter jacket. Yes, it looks like it finally happened — spring has arrived. Ahhh, Spring. That time of year when we remember how everything we see, and feel, taste, smell, and hear is billions of years old.
Today’s sermon was going to be rather different. I wanted to talk about men shrugging off the chains of societal pressure and daring to live a more authentic, more meaningful, life. I wanted to explore a healthier masculinity, discuss how I almost missed my kids’ entire childhood, and explore at least one path back into right relationship with community. It had Friederich Nietzsche and an Arnold Schwarzenegger impression. It would have been a great sermon. Very uplifting. You all would have been amazed. Next time.
But the events in Parkland, with 17 more students and teachers dead, have left me with a hole in my heart and I just can’t stop poking at it, so I hope you’ll pardon my slight change in direction this morning. Continue reading “Toxic Masculinity”