“Fathers are kind! Fathers protect you! Fathers raise you!”
Teen Titans, Season 4, Episode 13, “The End, Pt. 3”
Technically this snippet comes from the midst of Raven’s brief speech as she stands up to the evil, demonic denizen of Hell which sired her, finally overwhelming and defeating him as he screams in agony and defeat, so it might not be the first one quote you think of when you think, “Father’s Day.” However, if I might be permitted a moment to explain…
Raven has never really had a “father.” What she’s had is a powerful, terrible figure looming in the background of her entire life, casting a shadow over her, swallowing her in his darkness. For as long as she can remember, she has feared him, and he has been constant and relentless in his trying to break her spirit. To him, she is nothing more than the means to an end, to be used and cast aside without a second thought. Only he has to invest a great deal in making her bow to him, always using the word “father” like a hammer to beat her down. He tells her he is all-powerful, that she is pale and weak in comparison to him, having only a trace of his power, and she can never overcome him, because he is her “father.”
When Raven finally rises in resolute defiance, the first words, which immediately precede the above quote, are, “You may have created me, but you were never my father.” She then lists his sins against her in these nine words, what fathers do, and he did the exact opposite of.
A father is more than the male who donates genetic material. A father is selfless, filled with love for his children, and their mother. He does not need to be a pushover, but to a real father, nothing is more important than his sons and daughters.
There is no greater weapon against darkness than the pure, unadulterated light of truth. This truth is one which Raven’s demonic so-called “Father” falls before like wheat before the scythe.
Like many and most, I have not always understood my father, and I’d be lying if I tried to whitewash the mistakes either he or I have made. But I know he’s always done the best he knows how. And when you get down to it, he was there for me. He was kind, he protected me, and he raised me. He’s my father.
I love my Dad.
And he loves me.
To him, I say, “Happy Father’s Day!”