Drew Zahn is a WND news editor who cut his journalist teeth as a member of the award-winning staff of Leadership, Christianity Today's professional journal for church leaders. A former pastor, he is the editor of seven books, including Movie-Based Illustrations for Preaching & Teaching, which sparked his ongoing love affair with film and his weekly WND column, "Popcorn and a (world)view."More ↓Less ↑
For now, former Sen. John Edwards can still list “2007 Father of the Year” on his resume, even though last year marks the conception of a child he allegedly fathered in an extra-marital affair.
As WND reported, Edwards received the award from the Father’s Day/Mother’s Day Council in June 2007, eight months before his admitted lover, Rielle Hunter, gave birth to a baby girl.
The council’s website says it presents its Father of the Year Award to “fathers who have attained success in their chosen fields, and have found the time to be role models in raising their children.”
Though the council has declined to answer inquiries about whether it would revoke Edwards’ award, a publicist for the organization told WND that “Father of the Year” is awarded based on what’s happening in the nominee’s life at the moment, not a reflection of his later conduct.
But what was happening in John Edward’s life “at the moment?”
For at least a portion of the 12 months prior to receiving the award, Edwards has confessed, he was having an extramarital affair.
The news source that broke the scandal insists the relationship was still ongoing within a month of receiving the award.
On several occasions, Edwards adamantly denied allegations of the affair, calling the story “tabloid trash.”
“It’s completely untrue, ridiculous,” he said. “I’ve been in love with the same woman for 30-plus years and, as anybody who’s been around us knows, she’s an extraordinary human being, warm, loving, beautiful, sexy and as good a person as I have ever known. So the story’s just false.”
When he accepted the “Father of the Year” award, he emphasized the importance of setting a good example as a father.
“It is true, your children learn not only from what you say, but from what you do,” he said in his acceptance speech. “Whenever they do anything that you’re proud of in your life, you’ll be able to look back on the things that you taught them both through your words and through your deeds.”
The former senator still insists that the affair was broken off before Hunter became pregnant in 2007 and that the baby, Frances Quinn Hunter, isn’t his. One of Edwards’ campaign aides, who is also married with children, has claimed to be the father of Hunter’s child.
The National Enquirer, however, which broke the story, still asserts that Edwards fathered the child and has challenged the former senator to take a paternity test. Edwards publicly consented to the test, but Hunter has refused.