As predicted, Fathers 4 Justice may have done more harm than good for their cause by attacking British Prime Minister Tony Blair with purple flour, reports The Scotsman. The stunt is being viewed as a terrorist act by the British government instead of civil disobedience.
Lawyers and women’s groups are complaining that a climate of fear is brewing as Fathers 4 Justice and other activists are taking increasingly radical actions, reports The UK Independent. Last fall family lawyers were sent hoax letter bombs. Fathers 4 Justice denied responsibility, but this is not the type of publicity that will help their cause. If the public views them as extremists, no matter how strong their case, the general public will dismiss them.
Fortunately for the organization, at least some media continues to give them a fair shake and not view them as a fringe movement. The article in the Independent appears fairly balanced. Likewise, Ron Davis, the main suspect in the purple flour incident, gets a fair shake in a London Evening Standard profile.
The profile reveals a classic nasty divorce. Davis’s ex-wife claims he was abusive and controlling. Friends of Davis say he was a wonderful father who deeply loved his children. There is probably truth to both sides. But Davis’s complaint was that he was blocked from seeing his children at all, which is extreme.
Let’s be clear hear. There are a lot of disturbed men out there and not all men deserve full custody of their children. But unless a father is proven to be violent, abusive or criminal, he should be allowed to spend time with his children. There also are some disturbed women out there who at the urging of their lawyers lie about their husbands to gain full custody.
The losers, of course, are the children. If a mother tells her child that dad is evil, she is doing harm to that child. Ditto, if a good dad or mom is kept away from the child. If the parents fight and bicker for years, harm is being done to the child. If Fathers 4 Justice seeks to be successful in winning more rights for divorced fathers, then they better keep those guiding values in mind before pulling stupid stunts like throwing purple powder on their Prime Minister.