"Parent's Day." The Warm & Fuzzy Holiday You May Have Missed

Wednesday, July 26, 2006 at 04:36 PM

As has apparently happened every year since 1994, President Bush proclaimed July 23 as "Parent's Day."

Parent's Day?  Why? Don't we already have Mother's Day and Father's Day?  Is there some other kind of parent that needs acknowledging?

As the Presidential Proclamation said:

As a child's first teachers, mentors, and role models, parents shape the character of those who will help to build the future of our Nation. On Parents' Day, we pay tribute to the hard work and sacrifice of the millions of devoted parents who provide guidance, support, and unconditional love to their children.

Mothers and fathers help kindle imaginations, inspire a love of learning, nurture the formation of young minds, and give children the courage and the drive to realize their dreams. By instilling in children the difference between right and wrong, parents guide their children toward developing into successful adults and responsible citizens who lead lives of purpose. In addition, the commitment of parents to the welfare of young people strengthens families and communities throughout our great country.

My Administration supports grants and programs to promote healthy marriages and responsible fatherhood. The No Child Left Behind Act is helping us ensure that every child has the opportunity to learn, and recognizes that parental involvement is a vital part of the success of schools across America. Federal, State, and local programs, and faith-based and community groups provide additional resources to help parents as they work to raise children of conviction and character.

On this special day, we express our deep gratitude to parents for their dedication to a bright and hopeful future for their children. We also pray for parents in the military who stand up for America, and we resolve that their sacrifice will always be honored by a grateful Nation.
I call upon citizens, private organizations, and governmental bodies at all levels to engage in activities and educational efforts that recognize, support, and honor parents, and I encourage American sons and daughters to convey their love, respect, and appreciation to their parents.

That explains why Mother's Day & Father's Day aren't enough, right?  And what kinds of "organizations" might dive right into such a warm and fuzzy holiday?  Well, the American Family Coalition Inc. has developed the National Parents' Day Council Website.

You know, the American Family Coalition Inc., that warm and fuzzy group that describes itself as follows:

The the American Family Coalition (AFC) is a national non-profit grassroots leadership alliance promoting family and community renewal through educational and faith-based initiatives.

As a premier grassroots leadership and training enterprise reaching a comprehensive array of faith-based and community leaders, elected officials, organizations and programs throughout the United States, AFC seeks to:

++Promote a vision and framework for family and community renewal based on core principles.

++Support and share the best methods for achieving family and community renewal.

++Model effective programs to strengthen families and communities.

++Develop state and national alliances of leaders on family and community issues to promote synergy, national renewal and service to the world.

Big hopes for a group headed by the Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon, eh?

But another organization also finds Parent's Day to be an important holiday, saying:

Parent's Day is one of many initiatives that can help prevent fathers from continuing to vanish from their children's lives.

Which, again, doesn't explain why Father's Day couldn't do the job.  Or exactly how Parent's Day "help prevent fathers from continuing to vanish from their children's lives."  Do these people think father's vanish because there aren't enough holidays devoted to fathers?

What the hell, maybe they do.  After all, the author of the above quote is none other than  The Illinois Council on Responsible Fatherhood.

I've given this a lot of thought, and when it comes to Parent's Day, I really think we should all "just say no."

[editor's note, by Lee Russ]A site devoted to the "Reverend" Moon notes that this screwy holiday was, in fact, pushed by Moon, and is based on the view of Moonies that the reverend and his wife are the parents of us all. See here for details.