In his annual Father's Day proclamation, President Barack Obama praised biological fathers and father figures and also called for new initiatives to promote responsible fatherhood.
"Our children don't need us to be super heroes. They don't need us to be perfect," he said. "They do need us to be present."
Obama shared how his own father left when he was two years old and the pledge he made as a young man to be a good dad, if nothing else.
"I can say without hesitation that the most challenging, most fulfilling, most important job I will have during my time on this earth is to be Sasha and Malia's dad," Obama said.
As a candidate, Obama even shared his passion of fatherhood with CBN News.
"If we have an epidemic of children being raised without their fathers, then it's not enough to blame government or blame racism or to blame poverty," he said. "It's also important for us to take a look in the mirror and make sure we're looking after our kids."
Over the last year-and-a-half, promoting fatherhood has been a key initiative of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.
The group has held townhall meeting and community forums, while nearly $500 million has been budgeted for programs that help fathers get jobs and be good parents. The administration has also created a Web site devoted to fatherhood.
Promoting Gay Fathers?
Yet, one line in this year's Father's Day Proclamation has some who support traditional family values concerned.
"Nurturing families come in many forms and children may be raised by a father and mother, a single father, two fathers, a step father, a grandfather or caring guardian," Obama said.
Peter Sprigg, Family Research Council senior fellow for policy studies, says mentioning "two fathers" is "inappropriate" and promotes a "highly controversial political and social agenda."
"It certainly seems like this is almost a gratuitous effort to pander to homosexual activists and to those who favor same-sex marriage," Sprigg said. "[This is] something that President Obama claims he does not favor. So there's a certain irony there as well."
So far, Obama hasn't faced much backlash on the comment from pastors -- whom he courted for support throughout the campaign for his fatherhood initiatives.
Monday, the president continued to focus on dads, speaking at a Washington, D.C., event about responsible fatherhood.
America has paid a hefty cost for absent fathers. The National Fatherhood Initiative has estimated taxpayers foot a bill of $99.8 billion a year to support homes headed up by single moms.
The social damage is huge as well. The NFI study showed a strong link between homes with absentee fathers and teen suicide, drug and alcohol abuse, rape, crime, and homelessness.