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 Post subject: Christian Crusaders Go To Battle Over Spanking
PostPosted: Sun Feb 06, 2005 12:05 pm 
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Christian crusaders go to battle over spanking
Sunday, February 06 @ 09:13:56 EST
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Tools of discipline horrify some of faithful

By Anna Badkhen, San Francisco Chronicle

Arlington, Mass. -- To raise a child, one needs three invaluable allies: the Bible, the help of an extended family and "biblical-based resources" -- 9-inch-long spanking paddles of blue polyurethane, according to Steve Haymond from Bakersfield, who sells the paddles online for $6.50 apiece.

Twyla Bullock, in Eufaula, Okla., swears by the Rod -- a 22-inch, $5 white nylon whipping stick her husband designed and produced until recently. Named after the biblical "rod of correction," the Rod provides "a faith-based way to discipline children ... and train them as Christians," Bullock explains.

Susan Lawrence, a devout Lutheran from Arlington, Mass., is appalled.

"Christians are supposed to listen to Jesus," Lawrence said, bringing the Rod down with a thump on the seat of her living room futon and looking at the resulting dent with incredulity. "Can you imagine Jesus teaching to use the Rod?"


Corporal punishment has long been an accepted method of child discipline among evangelical and fundamentalist groups, but an increasing number of Christians are raising objections, arguing that advocates of spanking wrongly cite Scripture to justify a practice that should be banned. Lawrence, who peppers her conversation with quotes from the New Testament, says striking children defies the Golden Rule from the Gospel of Matthew: "In everything do to others as you would have them do to you."

Last year, Lawrence, 49, launched her Parenting in Jesus' Footsteps site on the Web (www.parentinginjesusfootsteps .org,), which is critical of corporal punishment being practiced by Christian parents.

She also took her case to the federal government, arguing that the Rod should be outlawed just like flammable pajamas or toys that can choke. Last month, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission turned down her formal petition, saying it had found "no basis for determining that the product constitutes a substantial product hazard."

Although the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Psychological Association strongly oppose the physical punishment of children, the practice remains widespread among both religious and secular Americans.

According to a 2002 national poll by ABC News, two-thirds of the public approve of corporal punishment as a disciplinary measure. In a 1995 Gallup poll, one-third of parents who said they spanked their children said they had hit them with "a belt, hairbrush, stick or some other hard object."

Twenty-three states sanction spanking in schools. California does not allow corporal punishment in school, but parents or guardians can spank their children so long as it does not result in serious physical harm, in which case it becomes child abuse.

"Americans have a strong belief in the parents' right to use it on their children in the privacy of their home as they please," said Ronald Rohner, an expert on corporal punishment at the University of Connecticut. But he said many fundamentalist Christians, in their literal reading of the Bible, regard spanking as a religious as well as parental duty. The Book of Proverbs in the Old Testament, for example, says that "the rod of correction imparts wisdom, but a child left to himself disgraces his mother," and "he who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him promptly."

Christian conservatives often quote such passages from pulpits, on radio and television shows and on the Internet, and provide guidelines for what they call biblical discipline.

The Family Research Council, a Christian advocacy group, warns that physical discipline "is inappropriate before 15 months of age" and suggests that parents spare the rod and slap children with a bare hand instead.

The evangelical leader James Dobson recommends that parents use a "swish or paddle" or other "neutral" object, reserving the hand as "an object of love."

"Corporal punishment, when used lovingly and properly, is beneficial to a child because it is in harmony with nature itself," Dobson, the founder of Focus on the Family, which claims a mailing list of 2.5 million believers, wrote on the organization's Web site (www.family.org).

Joey Salvati, a carpenter from New Kingston, Pa., and a father of two, has been crafting wooden spanking paddles since 2002. The $5.75 implements come with a suggestion as to the number of swats for various childhood misdemeanors: one for disrespectful behavior, two for cursing, three for cheating, lying or "direct defiance."

"None of these paddles are perfect. Neither are we!" reads the slogan on Salvati's Web site, www.spare-rods.com. "Use lovingly and NEVER in anger."

Bullock called the rift among Christians over corporal punishment "a division between people who disagree with biblical discipline, and those who believe in it."

Bill Maier, a child psychologist and the vice president of Focus on the Family, argued that Christian groups opposing spanking deviate from "the orthodox interpretation" of the Bible, which, he said, lists spanking as "one of many disciplinary methods that are at parents' disposal."

"There is no basis for saying that Scripture says spanking is somehow evil or should not be used by parents," said Maier.

But equally observant Christians, such as Al Crowell, director of the San Francisco-based Christians for Nonviolent Parenting, are becoming increasingly vocal in their opposition to the practice.

"If taken literally, the Old Testament condones having slaves and stoning women who have sex outside of marriage. But if you look at the life of Jesus, it's pretty hard to imagine him hitting children," said Crowell, a father of two who, along with 645 others, has signed Lawrence's online petition to ban the Rod.

In addition to her petition to ban the Rod, Lawrence, who homeschools her children, has so far obtained 300 supporters to sign her online petition calling for a complete ban on corporal punishment in the United States.

"We're a very violent, hitting society, a very child-unfriendly society," said Lawrence, who has adorned the front door of her snow-cocooned Colonial house with stickers that say "Kids Safe Zone."

"I have a saying: 'Peace begins at home.'"


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Groups on both sides of spanking debate

PRO

Web sites and groups that support corporal punishment:

-- Focus on the Family, one of the nation's leading Christian evangelical groups, explains the merits of spanking on www.family.org

-- www.geocities.com/spankwithlove3, an online resource dedicated to corporal punishment, gives tips on how to better position the child for spanking, and explain the level of effectiveness of spanking through different garments (for example, according to the Web site, denim jeans absorb 70 percent of the impact of a barehanded blow).

-- www.christian-parents.net, which states as its goal instructing parents how to "biblically teach and discipline their children," defends spanking as "moral and upright in the sight of God."

CON

Web sites and groups that oppose corporal punishment:

-- www.stoptherod.net

-- www.parentinginjesusfootsteps.org

-- www.childadvocate.org

-- www.nospank.net, includes a link to Christians for Nonviolent Parenting

-- American Academy of Pediatrics, at www.aap.org

-- American Psychological Association, at www.apa.org

-- California and these 26 states have banned corporal punishment in public and private schools: Alaska, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin.

-- It is illegal for a parent, teacher or caretaker to use any form of corporal punishment on a child in 13 countries: Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Norway, Austria, Cyprus, Croatia, Latvia, Germany, Israel, Iceland, Romania, Ukraine.

E-mail Anna Badkhen at abadkhen@sfchronicle.com.


Reprinted from The San Francisco Chronicle:
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?
f=/c/a/2005/02/06/MNGJ4B6UE11.DTL

Catherine

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 06, 2005 1:05 pm 
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Catherine,

Here is an article about another method of discipline for children that has been advocated in a Christian women's magazine. It is the use of hot sauce to discipline children.

Feeling the Heat
Some Parents Apply Hot Sauce to a Child's Tongue as Punishment. The Practice Has Some Experts Burning

http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dy ... ge=printer

-Eva


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 06, 2005 1:57 pm 
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That's barbaric....but so typical...

Children have so few rights in our country. Yet the people who put hot sauce on their children's tongues, beat those children, torture animals, and hate their neighbors are the same people who are in the amen corner of their churches every time the doors are open,

The bible is definitely not a good moral guide. In II Kings 2:23-24, god massacred 43 loud-mouthed children. And human sacrifices are accepted by this diety...Jepthah's daughter (Judges 11:30-40). II Samuel 21:1-14 the sacrifice of seven of Saul's sons, who were hanged, caused this god to be appeased.

Also, the Ten Commandments are a farce.

Catherine

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"Behind every great fortune lies a great crime."
Honore de Balzac

"Democrats work to help people who need help.
That other party, they work for people who don't need help.
That's all there is to it."

~Harry S. Truman


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 06, 2005 2:56 pm 
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And how does one spell H.Y.P.O.C.R.I.T.E?

Haven't met a 'Christian' yet who lives by the teachings of the Bible. Pick and choose, pick and choose. It seems it is more important to live by the pick and choose lifestyle than by the Bible.

Thank heavens. The Bible has horrible 'values'.

I love that our 'religious' people are so determined to place the 10 Commandments anywhere and everywhere, yet they don't live by them.

Go figure.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 06, 2005 3:41 pm 
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About five miles from where I live, off on another road, there's a fellow who has a farm. This farm is one of the eyesores of the area...poorly maintained, a few yardart vehicles scattered about, rickety outbuildings and broken-down fencing. His animals look ok, though, so that's one plus for him.

A couple of his sons have been arrested for dealing drugs, child abuse, and non-payment of child support. One of the sons lives in a trailer on his father's land...and sticking down in the dirt in front of both of these wonderful Christians' homes are Ten Commandments signs... the signs that were manufactured right after the Supreme Court came out with the ruling that the Ten Commandments had to be removed from government buildings.

All those good Christians probably took their children's lunch money to buy a Ten Commandments sign and rushed right home to make sure everyone who passed by knew they were living their lives according to the Commandments....praise Jesus.

:roll:

Catherine

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"Behind every great fortune lies a great crime."
Honore de Balzac

"Democrats work to help people who need help.
That other party, they work for people who don't need help.
That's all there is to it."

~Harry S. Truman


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 06, 2005 7:25 pm 
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Odd, but Jesus said to not be like the Pharisees, not be showy about their holiness.

He said, when you pray, go into a closet so that only you and your father in heaven will know you are praying.

My gosh, we sure do have a lot of Pharisees today, don't we?!


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2005 8:38 am 
I love how people like you can come on to webistes like this, complain and complain that christians are this and christians are this. you complain that christians force their beliefs on you, and that they're terrible parents and that they hate unbelievers. arent you just perpetuating the problems that we face here in society? are you not just hate-perpetuators? how is doing what you are doing making you life or anyone elses better? You know what? its not. hate is a terrible thing that has no place in our society. but thats exactly what you are doing. shame on you. shame on you as one human being to another. hate is the biggest cause of persecution and alienation in this world, and you find some reason to spread it here...
furthermore, it is well observed in this world that there are people who call themselves things they are not. people DO lie. its a fact of life here on earth. there are some people that claim they are chritstian, when they really arent. its like me saying I'm a great guitar player without ever taking lessons or practicing. id be lying.
im not saying every christian that acts inappropraitely is lying that they are christians, but a lot may think they are christian when in fact, God has nothing to do with their lives. God warned us about these people in the bible. He called them 'wildernss christians", because they thought they were in fact christian, when they really didnt understand what that entailed. 1 Tim 4.2b says "They pretend to be religious, but their consciences are dead [seared]".
they didnt realize that being a christian meant that you had to sacrifice bad things in their lives for Him. He warned us because He said that these people will become a forceful reason why many wont come to God. That is why He has told christians that it is very important to learn the Teachings of God and fully live it, so that they can be good examples. all the ways of God are outlined in the bible. and thats another thing...quite a few people that say their christians, have never read the bible! i, myself, take these people a little less seriously, only because God himself said that the bible was to be read so that you would know what a christian really stood for. if you havent read the bible through, even memorized parts, you wont know what God and Christ are about. and if you dont know what Jesus Christ REALLY did for us (and I'm not talking the superficial level that everyone believes it to be) and you dont live according to His ways, you are not a true believer. thus, you are lying to people about what faith you belong to. if this sounds familiar to you, as you might probably know some of them, then all I ask of you is that you dont judge ALL christians according to the ones that dont live by the christian way. Our planet is made up of 6 billion plus people and 2 billion of those are proclaimed christians. if a small part of these chrisitans (which would still be a large number relatively) werent in fact christians, theyd be showing christians in the wrong light. They could really do some damage for the cause that the rest of us are trying so depserately to serve. I don't just serve God, I serve my fellow man and I care. I care because God cares about all of us. He cares that we all live happily together, with no lying, cheating, stealing, murdering and destroying. He wants the best for us. If you want to call me a bad person because thats what I stand for, then that is unfortunately very sad and I am sorry that you can't see the truth. maybe if you stopped your hate parade here on this forum and educated yourselves more about Christianity (the deeper stuff, not the supeficial), maybe you would actually see...


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