By E. Geedahgar Garsuah
Bishop Kortu Brown
MONROVIA: The President emeritus of Liberia Council of Churches (LCC), and General Overseer of the Water in the Desert Apostolic Pentecostal Church, Bishop Kortu Brown, has underscored the need for adequate application of the law against “absentee fathers,” who he strongly believes are irresponsible.
According to Bishop Brown, the rising rate of abandonment of children predominately by their biological fathers is partly responsible for the increasing negative behaviors of many youths such as drugs addiction, depression, among others in Liberia.
The tough-talking Liberian Prelate indicated that several fathers have adopted the habits of being careless as they demonstrate gross lack of interest in providing for their biological kids, which often results in such abandoned children growing up in the Liberian society without any fatherly care and the necessary parental support and guidance.
Bishop Brown noted that it is worrisome that many Liberian fathers escape their fatherly obligations, hoping that others in the society will assume such crucial role in addressing the wellbeing of their children.
According to him, the issue can be addressed when the central government and single-mothers derive appropriate mechanisms that will ensure that “careless and run-away fathers” face the full weight of the law for their actions.
He added that such attitude, on the part of the run-away fathers, have severe negative consequences for both children and the entire Liberian Nation.
Bishop Brown said: “Today we have so-called ‘zogos’ (drug addicts and petty criminals). Many are children of single-mothers who just walked away from home hopelessly. Now we have a big social crisis on our hands with no end in sight.”
The LCC former President urged relevant state-authority to, “Use the law to rein in irresponsible fathers who neglect their children and allow the mothers to suffer in bringing up those children only to show up when the expenses are limited or gone.”
According to the Bishop, the law must be applied to obligate fathers to care for their children as a means of curtailing the growing waves of disaster ranging from vagrancy (homelessness, begging, pennilessness and destitution), among other social vices.
“When you impregnate a woman, take responsibility; when the woman delivers, support your child; be a responsible father,” he emphasized.
According to the Bishop, “Irresponsible Liberian fathers are helping to increase economic hardship in the country. Stop sending children into the streets to fend for themselves and to serve as bread-winners, which makes them hopeless and helpless,” the vocal clergyman intoned.
Bishop Brown, at the same time, predicated that if the current waves of child abandonment in Liberia continue, it would have severe negative effects on Liberia’s peace and security and as well the country’s efforts for development and progress.
Aside from the above mentioned negative consequences for the country, Bishop Brown foresees an entire generation of young Liberians being victims to psychological and emotional trauma, which he says would result to a huge drop in ethical principles.
The Liberian prelate indicated that most of the hardships that the neglected children are faced with would be minimized if their biological fathers were providing guardianship and financial support to each and every one of them as opposed to abandoning them with their poor mothers or other relatives without any income-generating capacity.
“Many families are suffering because of the challenge of the children being left with their indigent mothers by unscrupulous and irresponsible fathers who do not care for them.
That’s the fate of many Liberian children. They don’t know their fathers; they haven’t seen their fathers since they were born. And many of such fathers don’t even live far away from them,” he stated.
Bishop Brown’s outbursts were contained in his Sunday, June 4, 2023 Sermon delivered at his church edifice in Brewerville, outside Monrovia. The sermon highlighted the serious nightmare haunting Liberia Africa’s oldest republic owing to the rising number of single mothers.
Although the Bishop did not name factors which may be partly responsible for such situation, some social commentators, over the years, indicate lack of jobs for most fathers and other economically empowered opportunities, among others.