Barack Obama gave a great sermon on Fathers' Day calling fathers to responsibility for their children. He aimed at black fathers especially, for whom this problem is particularly acute. All fathers, though, were the subject of his comments. Some have read this argument, and his calls for personal responsibility along with government programs, as an attempt to appeal to white religious conservatives.
I hope Obama does appeal to religious people, conservative and otherwise, of all races. I believe that the message that fathers should be responsible for their children is not especially conservative. Parental responsibility is about as centrist a message as they come, being a subset of "mom, the flag, and apple pie."
What I would like to see is for Sen. Obama, and others promoting responsible fatherhood, to ground that message in the larger understanding that marriage is the most effective, most natural, happiest, and easiest way for fathers to be responsible for and to their children.