The commandment is actually "honor thy father and thy mother," but lately it seems that mothers are getting the honor and dads ... well, dads get the blame. For example, look at Tim Tebow and his mother — honor. Look at Tiger Woods’ and his dad — blame. Tiger Woods has the reputation (one of many) of being a loving, loyal, respectful son. Substitute “husband” or “father” for “son” and you get other reputations he once had. Also, “nice guy” and “good role model.”
Woods is attractive, likable, and seems intelligent (though one must wonder). Even someone who is so far removed from the sports scene that she thinks hockey is a game in which men hit each other with sticks and therefore likes it, that would be me, thought that Tiger Woods was a refreshingly sincere, dedicated athlete. This is why Time doesn’t let me pick “Man of the Year.”
Although “Honor thy father and thy mother” is one of the original Top Ten (commandments), its adherents belong to all faiths and no faith. Its top supporters, I suspect, are parents. When I was nine, my fourth-grade teacher (Sister Julia Michael) expanded its scope to include all authority: teachers (surprise!), policemen, politicians, and laws; it basically meant do whatever you’re told. We did. Now that I am no longer a young Catholic, but an old Methodist, I learn my lessons elsewhere.
When the July 20, 2009 issue of People arrived in my mailbox, it was carelessly tossed aside. When I was looking for junk to start the annual income tax mess, I re-discovered it. Oh, how timely. Had I read it then I would certainly have forgotten by Thanksgiving what Tiger Woods, in an interview, said about his father.
When award-winning photographer FCEtier (my husband) learned of his comments, he was flabbergasted to discover that Earl Woods was nothing more than a lying, philandering [fill in the blank]. This man, so beloved and respected by his son Tiger, was apparently one of the worst examples of a father that you will find. No, he didn’t beat Tiger when he was a mere cub (not that we’ve heard), and he hasn’t been accused of neglect. Far worse.