A young teenage girl learns she is going to be a mother. Somewhere out there, a young teenage boy learns he is going to be a father. In American society, we naturally assume that it will be the mother who bears most of the responsibility of raising and caring for the children. Thus, we have many programs, both public and private, to benefit young, unwed mothers...as we should.
But, comparatively, there aren't that many programs focused on helping the young men find their way along the parenting journey. Both families are often of little help. His parents are often disengaged because they have neither the skills nor the resources to accept responsibility for raising another child. Her family is angry at the young expectant father, because they feel he picked the family flower before it had fully bloomed. Consequently, the father-to-be gets lost in the shuffle, and either runs from his parenting responsibilities, or gets pushed out of the way. Combined with an ever-increasing absence of fathers from the nuclear family due to crime, drugs, unexpected death, or other life choices, we have generations of American children being raised in fatherless homes. Fifty years ago, the number of children being raised in fatherless homes was one in five. Today, that number is one in four...and, it's even worse in African-American families where the ratio is one in two. It's a national epidemic!
In "Raising Fathers" Bill Johnson uses his own life experiences as a son to an alcoholic father, and a father himself, to begin a national conversation about the issue. At times invoking humor, at other times unbelievable tragedy, he speaks of the innate desire of every child to have a good relationship with their earthly father. He speaks of the divine nature of our Heavenly Father in assigning surrogate fathers to help the fatherless. And, he talks in depth of the societal impacts facing America due to generations of fatherless children.
Jack Partridge, former President, Columbia Gas in Ohio, summed up Johnson's work. He said, " I found Congressman Bill Johnson's "Raising Fathers" to be a startling, eye-opening, and compelling read."
Mark Weaver, Former Deputy Attorney General of Ohio, went on to say, "Bill Johnson is a national leader with a father's heart and an American soul. This book will make you cry, laugh, and -- most importantly -- think. We should all join Bill's clarion call to raise our nation by raising fathers."
After reading "Raising Fathers", Gary Terashita, Editor-in-Chief, Regnery Faith Publishing, said "In Raising Fathers, Congressman Bill Johnson writes on one of society's deepest tragedies and greatest needs, the loss of and reclamation of fatherhood...I recommend this book to everyone in the cause of restoring America to greatness."
Finally, Jim Roberts, Founder and President, The American Veterans Center, said "I found reading 'Raising Fathers' to be an emotionally powerful experience. I feel certain that other readers, especially fathers and fathers-to-be, will feel the same."
It will take decades to reverse the erosive and corrosive effects that the absence of fathers in the traditional American family has had and continues to have on America's culture and society. "Raising Fathers" begins the conversation...now each of us must join the conversation if we ever expect to see a reversal of the trend of fatherless homes, and see a return to the safety and security of the traditional American family for future generations.
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About the Author
Johnson graduated from Stephen D. Lee High School in Columbus, Mississippi in 1972, and in January 1973 joined the United States Air Force. He earned a Bachelors Degree in Computer Science from Troy University in 1979, and a Masters Degree in Computer Science from Georgia Tech in 1984. Serving for over 26 years in defense of our nation, first as a flight simulator instructor and maintenance technician, Johnson eventually held numerous executive and command positions, including: Executive Officer to the Commander, USAF Standard Systems Center, Gunter Air Force Station, Montgomery, Alabama; Commander, 96th Communications Squadron and Deputy Group Commander, 96th Communications Group, Eglin Air Force Base, Ft. Walton Beach, Florida; and, Director of the Chief Information Officer Staff, U.S. Special Operations Command, MacDill Air Force Base, Florida.
After retiring from the U.S. Air Force in 1999, Johnson turned to creating successful Information Technology companies. In 2006, he became the Chief Information Officer for Stoneridge, Inc., a global manufacturer of highly engineered electronic components for the transportation industry.
In 2010, Johnson was elected to his first term in the U.S. House of Representatives, serving the people of Ohio's Sixth Congressional District. He was reelected in 2012, 2014, and 2016. He serves on the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the House Budget Committee.
Johnson has served in his local church's music and youth programs, and he speaks around the country on faith-based issues. Johnson currently resides in Marietta, Ohio with his wife, LeeAnn, and their son Nathan. In addition, Johnson is the proud father of three grown children (Josh, Julie, and Jessica), and is the grandfather of six.