Being a Dad

By Michael Eagan
August 26, 2002

Is it just me, or is television getting sleazier, more violent, and more sexually explicit than it was when we were kids? Maybe I'm just getting old and losing touch, but it seems as though lately, I can't turn on the tube during what used to be the "family hour" without seeing a couple frolicking in bed, or hearing a lewd sexual innuendo followed by canned laughter, or watching someone get gunned down in the middle of the street. I think it's important for fathers to watch television with their children and then discuss the program afterwards, and I make an effort to do it as much as possible. But I've been finding it harder and harder to tolerate many of the shows my children are watching, and I'm considering getting rid of the television altogether to protect them from the dangerous and deviant messages that have been spewing from the idiot box of late.

For example, last Sunday my wife, my son Isaiah, my daughter Kimmy and I were watching one of our favorite programs together, ABC's "Alias". For those of you who haven't seen it, it's a very well-written spy show wherein an attractive young woman leads a rather interesting life as a graduate student, a martial arts expert, a double-agent for the CIA helping to take down an evil organization from the inside, a journalist for a high-powered Chicago newspaper, and a single mother living in south central Los Angeles. The show does a good job of editing violence in such a way that there is no blood or gore, and watching the young lady juggle the demands of her quadruple life while she struggles to come to terms with her estranged father, take care of her autistic daughter and also serve as an ambassador to Yemen, is touching and exciting at the same time. It's a fine program; the bone I have to pick is with the ABC network and the show's sponsors. During the first half of the show, a shampoo commercial came on the screen in which a dark haired lady stepped into the shower, lathered her hair with shampoo, and proceeded to have an orgasm.

Did I mention the woman was completely naked?

I don't know how it works in secular families, but in mine the females shower with their bathing suits on, wash their hair with latherless Prell, and neither my daughter nor my wife have ever, ever had an orgasm. I won't allow it. The Bible makes it clear that the female orgasm is blasphemous.

My son Zachary was thankfully absent, as he was sleeping over at the hospital that night due to some bangs and bruises he had sustained falling down the stairs, tripping over a coffee table and walking into my fist. But I wasn't about to let my other kids witness such a disgusting display of deviance without punishing them for it. And since I was already spanking Kimmy when the commercial came on for some reason I had lost track of, I decided I might as well continue for a couple extra minutes just to make sure she got the point that female sexuality is a dirty, evil thing and definitely NOT an appropriate way to sell shampoo. After I was done, I took a beer break and then started in on Zachary. By the time I was done punishing him, I was so drunk and angry that I decided to get out my trusty studded belt Old Red and discipline Kimmy some more, and then I fell asleep. A more permissive father probably wouldn't discipline as thoroughly as I do, but that's why his kids are on the Ricki Lake show while mine are polite, obedient and completely silent.

The horrible image of that lewd commercial bothered me for days afterward, until I could barely think about anything else. It started to become kind of an obsession of mine. One morning later that week, while my wife was in the shower, I swear I heard a distinct, low female-sounding moan coming from the master bath. I peeked in and determined that the moan was coming from the shower stall. I became so infuriated that my wife was emulating that woman in the horrible shampoo ad that I barged in and belted her across the mouth so hard she fell over in the tub. When the moaning sound continued, I realized it had just been the rusty shower pipes all along. The misunderstanding was quite humorous in retrospect. I bought my lovely wife a bouquet of carnations and all was forgiven. I decided that my obsession with the shampoo she-devil had gone too far and decided to put it out of my mind. 

On Friday of that week, we were all together as a family again and watching an episode of the CBS series "Touched by an Angel", one of the most fantastic family programs on television today. Well, in order to avoid any incidents like we had had on Sunday, whenever the commercials came on Zachary was instructed to change the channel to something else until they were over. During one commercial break, Zachary flipped the channel to a show about New York City police officers that I had never seen before. Expecting to see something heroic and 9/11 related, I told him to leave it on that channel for a minute. Well, no sooner had I said that then a person on the dark city street pulled out a gun and shot the police officer five times in the chest. I was so stunned I could barely move. When an officer shoots a person on the street, that's justifiable. But when a person on the street shoots an officer, that's nothing short of pure evil. Regular readers of my column know that if there's one thing I don't allow in my house or anywhere near my family, it's violence. Zachary was laying on the floor in front of the television, watching the whole thing transpire, and once I returned to my senses I instantly sprung up from the couch and kicked the remote control from his hand so hard it slammed against the TV screen and shattered into pieces. I accidentally fractured his tibia in the process, so just days after coming out of the hospital, my unlucky son had to go back. Normally such repeated hospital visits would bring out the liberal vultures who call themselves social workers and attempt to break apart families, but luckily our family doctor is a fellow Promise Keeper and a close friend of mine, so it's all good. He understands that there is a clear line between fatherly discipline and real abuse that neither I nor he would ever cross. In fact, once Zachary's arm heals, the good doctor says he has some yard chores the boy can do to pay me back for the remote control he broke. 

If the liberals had their way, a father would go to jail for even talking sternly to his kids. Is it any wonder why the kids of these liberals end up with sass mouths and criminal records? Some of the things we stress as Promise Keepers are protecting our daughters from harm, molding our sons into respectable men, and keeping our wives subservient. Following any other path leads a family directly to dysfunction, addiction and ruin. It is because of this philosophy and the recent incidents that I believe I have made up my mind to disable the living room television. If my children want to be entertained in the evening, they can read the Bible instead of letting that televised filth into my house. The only television in my house will be in my private study, and it will be strictly for watching football, boxing, and the four adult pay-per-view channels I subscribe to.


Previous columns by this author:

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