The New Christians

The New Christians


Do People Still Hit their Kids?

posted by Tony Jones

Yes, they do.  It’s called “spanking.”  Here’s the premise: In order to improve your children’s behavior, you hit them.  Makes virtually no sense, right?  Well, that’s exactly what a new study confirmed: Children who were spanked tend to be more aggressive as they grow up.

But leave it to FOX News to provide a “fair and balanced” debate.  If you take the time to watch this short video, you tell me if you think the host’s questions are “fair and balanced.”



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Makeesha

posted March 30, 2009 at 2:48 pm


wow…really? they needed a study to reveal that children learn violence from being treated violently? shocking! (tongue in cheek) as for the fox “debate”…ha!
I “love” all the caveats and qualifiers pro spanking people need to make spanking “palatable” ..if you do it perfectly with certain children under perfect conditions with the perfect attitude…good grief. how about we just equip parents with discipline tools that don’t include spanking … I think we all could agree that parenting without spanking is the ideal.
The whole world of “godly parenting” that includes spanking is bizarre to me.



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jhimm

posted March 30, 2009 at 2:59 pm


I’m definitely not pro-spanking. I was spanked as a kid, and while it didn’t make me violent, it made me resentful and always escalated whatever conflict I was having with my parents.
HOWEVER. Our culture has found NOTHING to replace spanking which compels children to behave appropriately, especially in public, and until we do, people are going to keep circling back around to this topic.
One big road block, I think, is that parents have (generally speaking, obviously there are exceptions) ceased to understand that they have an obligation to other people to remove their children from a public space if their children are being disruptive. Parents have somehow developed this sense that they ought not be expected to suffer simply because their children are misbehaving. What they fail to grasp, it would seem, is that by insisting they shouldn’t have to suffer, they are implicitly insisting that everyone else should. How we, as a culture, have come to tolerate this kind of uncivil and hostile behavior I do not understand.
If parents were willing to remove -themselves- along with their children when the situation called for it, I think we would see a significant reduction in the public desire for spanking, because the public would no longer be bearing the brunt of the burden of ill behaved children.
Note, I have no children and thus am not actually allowed, according to our culture, to have opinions on either parenting or children. I am expected to be grateful everyone is perpetuating the species and keep my mouth shut. So ignore me.



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bryan a

posted March 30, 2009 at 3:17 pm


when my children were younger my wife and i did employ spanking as a method of discipline, and i would do it again if we were starting over. (by the way, I’m 32)
i always explained why before and after. and i always let my kids know that i loved them before and after. and the discipline always ended in a hug.
was it a good deterrent to them misbehaving again? Oftentimes it was. Did it help them understand that their actions led to certain consequences at a time when they didn’t know what “consequences” meant? Absolutely. Did it ever make them question my love for them? Not a chance. I NEVER let it happen that way. maybe among parents who spanked I was the exception…i dont know.
i only wanted to speak up Tony, because in saying that it “makes no sense”, i thought you were going overboard. i may be wrong, it’s happened before…but those are my two cents…



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Charles Cosimano

posted March 30, 2009 at 3:24 pm


There is no need for the state to intervene to stop parents from spanking. The spectre of never seeing their grandchildren and rotting in a cheap nursing home should be more than enough to deter them.



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Jared

posted March 30, 2009 at 4:06 pm


I found it interesting that the woman who conducted the study tried to explain and defend that the majority of the physical discipline was spanking (as defined as “open handed on the buttocks”), not what the gentleman referred to as all types of physical contact and punishment – hitting, slapping, punching, etc. Yet for the rest of the “fair and balanced” debate she prefers using “hitting” as opposed to “spanking” even after alleging that the majority of the disciplining studied was spanking, not hitting.
As far as the Fox News host’s questions being fair and balanced… it did not come across as unbalanced to me.



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Scott M

posted March 30, 2009 at 4:10 pm


Jared, while not all forms of hitting are ‘spanking’, every form of ‘spanking’ involves striking or hitting the child. The fact that you seem to find one word more palatable than the other is telling.



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Panthera

posted March 30, 2009 at 4:27 pm


Fascinating. And the conservative Christians tell me that, as a gay man, I am unfit to raise children…but hitting them is OK???!!!
I have often worked with dogs. Big dogs. Rottweilers and up. Have cats, dogs and my family raises horses.
Rule number one in our house as kids – and in my husband’s and my home today, the animals get cared for first. In the morning, they eat before we do. Nobody ill sleeps alone. If that means a night on a cot in the barn, my mom, even at her age has done it.
We never, ever have hit our animals. I have taken home blue medals for discipline, I have walked pit bulls through psychiatric testing to prove they weren’t skittish. In short, I know what I am talking about. No one is going to tell me that just because a child is “too young” to understand human language, hitting them is OK!
Explain to me, please, just exactly how physical violence which you would not tolerate against a dumb beast is OK with a child???
Discipline, yes. I learned as a child to put the needs of those in my charge ahead of my own. That is called a Christian upbringing in my country.
And yes, take those screaming kids out of the restaurant, the super market, the cinema…
But don’t hit them.



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Rich

posted March 30, 2009 at 4:27 pm


I remember stating my public opposition to spanking about 36 years ago. Now that I have a 5 year old son at home, I realized that I had to abandon that position.
Pro. 13:24; Pro. 29:15; Pro. 22:15



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Chris

posted March 30, 2009 at 4:39 pm


“fair and balanced” not likely. every question asked to the “pro spanking” person was sarcastic and misleading. she did a great job of responding. every question to the “anti-spanking” person was fueling his position.



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Panthera

posted March 30, 2009 at 4:43 pm


Uh, Rich, when it suits conservative Christians, lePouf! the OT doesn’t count.But, when it does, it counts…
Nobody disagrees that parents are responsible for firm discipline. I just don’t think you can justify it with the OT, unless you are also not wearing poly/cotton, keep a kosher kitchen, etc.
Oh, and virga means everything from a twig to a wand (like Harry Potter). So mayhap we should not rely too much on the literal and focus on the message, which is clear: Discipline your kids that they will understand justice, temper your discipline with mercy, that they may learn.



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Steve

posted March 30, 2009 at 4:44 pm


“Do people still hit their kids? Yes, they do. It’s called spanking.”?
Just to be clear: not everyone hitting kids is spanking them.



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Makeesha

posted March 30, 2009 at 4:48 pm


thank you for saying that Scott – spanking IS hitting. My husband can’t hit me in any way other than playful and not hurtful. Why does our society allow parents to hit their children and actually make up a word to make it more palatable? because they CAN, they are bigger and more powerful and who’s going to stop them? Three year olds aren’t going to unite and rally to create laws against it like women did at one point.
And the bible argument is ridiculously flawed.



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ben

posted March 30, 2009 at 4:55 pm


From the linked article: “”(Spanking) does not teach children why their behavior was wrong or what they should do instead,” the report said.”
Well of course it doesn’t and anyone who says it does should be quickly corrected; but who says this?? As the gentleman in the newscast explained, spanking must be seen as one form of discipline amidst all the options, and any spanking should be met with, as bryan a describes above, explanation-teaching-reassurance. It’s unclear what forms of “spanking” this report dealt with, and the quotation above would suggest it examined spanking of the worst kind.
I think much of this “dabate” (on Fox and in our culture) is another instance of two sides talking past one another. Some folks fear that no spanking means no discipline; other fear spanking must be drunken-rage-child abuse. I’d suggest that any parent who employs spanking when angry, in a way that causes physical injury, or in a manner divorced from their primary roles of teaching, nurturing, and loving – must stop immediately. But, for those parents who can live openly with one another and their kids, discussing these dangers and repenting of hints at such sins, are free to use spanking as an effective form of discipline.



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Kyle Nolan

posted March 30, 2009 at 5:11 pm


I was spanked. I appreciate that I was spanked.
I was an am well behaved, and I believe in radical nonviolence as an adult.
The thing is, spanking has to be used as a last–and I mean last–resort. It was far more effective for my parents to let me know that it was a possibility than to actually do it. On an occasion or two one of them actually did spank me, but it was at the point where nothing else they did was having an impact on me. The fact that I knew it was a possibility was what really taught me about consequences. And they never spanked me in what I would say is an abusive manner. It hurt just enough that I wouldn’t want to go through it again, but not so much that I had any business holding a grudge for it.
I’m not saying all parents should spank their kids. But abusive parents will be abusive parents. Abusive people probably aren’t going to think about consequences–they’ll just be intimidating enough that it’ll stay covered up.
Just because a parent spanks doesn’t mean he or she is an abusive parent. Mine weren’t, and I thank them for how they disciplined me today.



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Rich

posted March 30, 2009 at 5:24 pm


Indeed, there are abusive parents that we read about everyday. There is a clear difference between an abusive parent and one capable of disciplining – to include, spanking with love.
To the gentleman opposed to the OT, there is ample support in the NT – i.e., Hebrews, Ephesians, and Colossians. Moreover, I am one who holds to the view that He is the same yesterday, today and forever.
What is this obsession with political labels? I suppose I should feel insulted because I’ve been placed in a box labeled “conservative.”



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Panthera

posted March 30, 2009 at 5:26 pm


Ben,
You are quite right, this, too, is one of those culture war issues.
I get so tired of it.
I teach young people, I work with animals, I have friends who have young kids. We have managed a society which is enormously less violent and far more disciplined here in Europe although we don’t spank our kids.
Yes, they are disciplined. We don’t do those silly American “Time-out” exercises when a child has just made a scene in a restaurant – we take the child out, immediately and he (or she) is given a very stiff lecture on respecting people. Then, the child is taken home. No “this is your last warning” nonsense, the kid knows we mean it. And they learn.
Failure in school means repeating the year, none of this stupid promotion with their age group.
But we don’t abuse them.
I am 6’2″ and built like the proverbial brick outhouse. When the youngest foal in my parents’ field ambles over to me, his mother doesn’t worry – she knows I am safe. How can a child feel safe when someone who is 20 times bigger than they are and has more strength in their little finger than the kid in their whole body might, at any moment, strike out?
This argument should not be the usual culture war nonsense about permissive/overbearing child rearing. It should be about the most effective way to raise children.
Thanks for the quiet comment.



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Panthera

posted March 30, 2009 at 5:39 pm


Rich, I am not ‘oppossed’ to the OT, I just object to the way conservative Christians use it when it suits them, discard it when it doesn’t.
The Bible has passages demanding that a disobedient child be put to death. Does that not mean we must do so? I ask the question seriously.
Deuteronomy 21:18-21:
In English KJV (I don’t use the fundamentalist American Bible translations, they are an abomination).
18If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them:
19Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place;
20And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard.
21And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear.
And the Vulgate, for once pretty one-to-one:
18si genuerit homo filium contumacem et protervum qui non audiat patris aut matris imperium et coercitus oboedire contempserit
19adprehendent eum et ducent ad seniores civitatis illius et ad portam iudicii
20dicentque ad eos filius noster iste protervus et contumax est monita nostra audire contemnit comesationibus vacat et luxuriae atque conviviis
21lapidibus eum obruet populus civitatis et morietur ut auferatis malum de medio vestri et universus Israhel audiens pertimescat



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nathan

posted March 30, 2009 at 7:45 pm


Do some people abuse their kids? Yes.
Is it inherently abusive to spank? No.
My parents spanked me. I never felt degraded. I knew I was loved and it was never lashing out in anger by my parents.
Then again, I was pretty perfect so I can count on one hand how many times they actually did spank me.
Spanking for every infraction is ridiculous.
Some kids just need to be talked to.
No abuse please, no left-ward fundamentalism either, thank you very much.



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nathan

posted March 30, 2009 at 7:49 pm


sorry, just to clarify.
I don’t think it’s wrong to rule out spanking. I just don’t think it’s necessary to get all highminded about it either.
The only people I see actually getting snotty, self-righteous and a bit untoward is some folk in the “no spanking crowd”–at least in the circles I run it.
I mean…we’ve had no reason to spank our daughter, but the fact that we’re open to the idea of it has engendered some pretty interesting conversations with some people.



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Andrew

posted March 30, 2009 at 8:04 pm


“How can a child feel safe when someone who is 20 times bigger than they are and has more strength in their little finger than the kid in their whole body might, at any moment, strike out?”
Any moment strike out? It is distorting to make that the point of argument.



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Panthera

posted March 30, 2009 at 8:31 pm


No, Andrew, it is not.
The argument for spanking – leaving this nonsense of cherry-picking the Bible aside – is that the child is not old enough to be reasoned with.
OK, if the kid is not capable of reason, than how is he or she to comprehend the spanking as anything but physical violence out of nowhere?
Were he or she capable of reason, then a connection could be made in speech.
I just can not countenance violence. Since I work with animals and teach young students, I have a fine opportunity to see that what works with one, works with the other. I maintain discipline without physical coercion. Why would I want to teach a Rottweiler that disobedience is punished with pain and attack? And a rottweiler is far more emotionally stable and of generally nicer disposition than the average human. Less dangerous, too.



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Tim

posted March 30, 2009 at 8:32 pm


Can’t say I never spanked, but it’s less than 3 times.
Results??? Bright, motivated, compassionate, and responsible kids… not perfect, of course
My opinion… violence never works in any sphere of life.
Top 3 Parenting proof text Bible verses…
Blessed are the merciful for they will receive mercy.
Take the plank out of your own eye (= worry about what you’re modeling) before you take the speck out of your neighbor’s eye
Seek the Kingdom first and these things shall be added unto you.
Humble opinion offered,
Tim



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Scott

posted March 30, 2009 at 9:07 pm


Surprise, surprise TJ claims the moral high ground again in order to be derisive (Tony do you list derisiveness as a favorite hobby, I do) toward his more conservative brothers and sisters. Thank you O TJ for your great wisdom which you bestow upon us from your more enlightened Olympian heights. Think how much more moral/intellectual authority you’ll be able to claim when you finish your 17 year dissertation project and can claim a Princeton PhD and not just be a candidate anymore. You may even get to be a talking head on cable news.
I rue the day…



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Scott

posted March 30, 2009 at 9:16 pm


Oh and PS, why do people spank? Because for many it works (see the defenders of spanking in this comments section). Think of this as a more outcome oriented approach and not one based on Enlightenment ideas like “propositional logic.” Spanking is so post-Enlightenment.
And PPS, is there anything more annoying than people who work with animals and compare raising kids to training animals. Animals?people. Spanking?’hitting’ (note the scare quotes), and righteous indignation?being right.



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Panthera

posted March 30, 2009 at 9:46 pm


Having experience of both, Scott, I know what I’m talking about. You treat animals with respect, they work with you. You treat kids with respect, they work with you.
Show either that violence is a normal parenting reaction and both animals and kids learn it.
I didn’t have to do my graduate work in psychology to learn that, I picked it up from the way my dad handled shelter animals which he and my mom rescued. Same way we were disciplined as kids.
But don’t let me stop interfere with your being annoyed, dear boy. I haven’t seen your style in years, simply years. All too weary making, really.
TTFN and do say hi! to Gertrude S., there’s a luv.



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Andrew

posted March 30, 2009 at 9:51 pm


I disagree Panthera, if you want to argue that it is striking out of no where.
The few times I spanked in the past, it was calm and the kids were clear that was the consequence prior to their choice of the action. No surprise, nothing sudden or unexpected. You can make an argument against it, but I am going to insist it is about what it is in reality, not arguing on your perception.



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Andrew

posted March 30, 2009 at 9:56 pm


“Here’s the premise: In order to improve your children’s behavior, you hit them. Makes virtually no sense, right?”
Not really much of a conversation starter. This intro seems to welcome other views and experiences to the door from the outset. Set up the straw man and tear it down.
Perhaps there could have been a better intro to this conversation…



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Theresa Seeber

posted March 30, 2009 at 10:40 pm


I am frustrated. I just spent ten minutes thoughtfully and carefully composing a response and it was lost in the technological sorrows of the internet – when the captcha expired and I refreshed, my work did not reappear. Sigh. Well, I had written along the lines that no, to your actual question, the host was not fair and balanced in that he did not actually host a debate at all. What he did was keep the conversation from going in the direction of stating that spanking is causing some kids to be more aggressive, because he obviously is an advocate of spanking.
I also wrote that as the mother of four kids – two who are “strong-willed”, I have found some validity in spanking. But spanking has always been a struggle for me. I hate it. It makes my heart feel sick. My approach to spanking is the one in which the child is sent to his room to await the spanking. When I am calm I come in, make sure he understands his crime (briefly – he’s terrified) and give him a few controlled swats on the rear. Then I leave the room for a couple moments, and when I return we talk, as I hold him, and we pray. Even typing that pains my heart. But David and I agreed (as I cried I admit) that we would spank our kids as discipline for the most severe forms of defiance. I think that this form is okay, but I would never say one way or another for anyone, as I have mixed feelings.
I also had another thing to share. Scott, listen to the way you sound. I will take your words and change them slightly to direct back to you. This is not the way I talk to others, but I see it is the way you do and I want to show you because I care very much for Tony, and the fact that he is God’s workmanship created in Christ Jesus and you are being quite cruel and divisive. Here are your words turned back to you (gee, I feel like I am about to spank a child – not fun in any regard, but maybe good for getting attention of the offender?): “Surprise, surprise SCOTT claims the moral high ground again in order to be dIVisive (SCOTT do you list dIVisiveness as a favorite hobby, I doN’T) toward his more LIBERAL brothers and sisters. Thank you O SCOTT for your great wisdom which you bestow upon us from your more enlightened DOGMATIC heights. Think how much more BIBLICAL authority you’ll be able to claim when you finish your BASH TONY project and can claim a LEGALISM PhD and not just be a candidate anymore. You may even get to be a talking head on cable news. I rue the day…” Come on, can’t you see what you are doing? This is not the way of Jesus, although you seem to do this in his name. If Tony is so important to you, go to this link http://www.emergentvillage.com/weblog/our-response-to-critics It seems it was written in large part to you. I used all-caps not to yell, but to point out any changes I made in your original text.
Tony, happy birthday tomorrow. I am sorry if I am making it harder to avoid the mean comments of people like that by responding to them. Poo. Drink a beer to me will ya? Peace my friend.



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Matty

posted March 30, 2009 at 10:45 pm


After reading the post, watching the video and reading all the comments, I think Tim is the one who has said it the best. I would also add Micah 6:8 to his list, “What does the Lord require of you but to do justice and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
Grace and peace,
Matty



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Panthera

posted March 30, 2009 at 11:11 pm


Theresa,
I certainly understand your position -“this is going to hurt me more than it does you”.
Still don’t agree with spanking, but you present cogent reasons.
I, too, lose texts to the ‘gotchas’, lately quite a few. Found out something useful yesterday, had the opportunity to try it out again this evening (now, if any of you conservatives want to take a peach switch to the rear end of the in-duh-vi-dual responsible for this interface, I am prepared to abandon my position).
When the blasted thing has lost your work, again, as usual, try hitting the back button a few steps until it says it has to load data out of the cache (sorry, my browser is not in English, but I am sure you get the idea). It has then magically restored my text!
Depends on which stupid error the gotcha has made, but worth a try.



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Andrew

posted March 30, 2009 at 11:42 pm


I agree with Theresa and Panthera…. this comment thing responds kinda quirky.



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Darren Wright

posted March 31, 2009 at 2:35 am


The issue is much larger than spanking verses non-spanking, especially as someone who has worked across cultures I know of a number of communities that still practice what they call “tough love” which is vastly different to spanking.
Spanking is a small section of the conversation at hand…
As for Fox being “fair and balanced” I’m in Australia and we don’t pay much attention to Fox Network for anything other than fuel for humour.



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Kyle Nolan

posted March 31, 2009 at 6:29 am


I never was afraid of my parents striking me out of nowhere. And my dad’s a big, strong guy–a bricklayer. Apart from my mom, I never knew anyone gentler than my dad. But at the same time, I knew the consequences of my actions.
Once, when I was little, I walked out in the road in Pigeon Forge when my brother wasn’t paying attention to me like he should’ve been. I’m pretty sure my dad spanked us both, but that was after he jumped in front of a car to save my life. I think I can take it.
My point is, I got spanked in extreme cases of disobedience. It wasn’t like my dad ever gave me a reason to fear him. But I respected him.
I’m not trying to endorse spanking, but people who use it as a means of discipline shouldn’t be automatically blackballed. If it’s done properly, there isn’t anything wrong with it.



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Andrew Tatum

posted March 31, 2009 at 8:03 am


“I’m not trying to endorse spanking, but people who use it as a means of discipline shouldn’t be automatically blackballed. If it’s done properly, there isn’t anything wrong with it.”
Agreed. I was spanked as a child. I will spank my children only in cases of extreme disobedience and I think that such discipline is in keeping with Christian parenthood. And, no, I’m not talking about Focus on the Family or other trash like that. I simply believe that the inability of parents to provide boundaries and, when necessary, physical discipline is the reason why I’ve seen children in my youth ministries over the years who have no respect for adults (or even themselves). It takes time for children to develop the capacities for reason that would allow alternatives to spanking to be successful. Until that time comes, physical discipline is the only option that actually works in cases of willful disobedience or defiance.



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Panthera

posted March 31, 2009 at 9:13 am


Andrew Tatum,
I certainly agree that children require discipline and structure in their lives.
And I agree completely that Focus on the Family is not a good source for Christian, well, anything.
Part of the problem with these discussions is that we are all very much split by the culture wars. I am a gay Christian, married to a man with whom I have been together for nearly one-quarter century. Married, in my country in Europe, that is – when we are in the US we aren’t even granted human status. That is my filter at looking at these questions – and I appreciate both your and the many other thoughtful comments here. After the last eight years, Christians in Europe tend to be very apprehensive when American Christians start talking about discipline.
I can understand being furious, I can understand being frightened to death and furious at the same time. One of the worst experiences in my adult life was the day my husband decided to confront my red-nex, fundamentalist Christian relations and was beaten so badly he ended up in the hospital. I was so glad he was still alive and so furious that he, typical European, could think it possible to talk to American conservative Christians without getting his teeth knocked down his throat. Speaking from experience.
So when I got to him in the hospital, it was enormously hard for me not to explode. I didn’t, but I could just feel the adrenalin coursing through me.
And that is the problem I see with physical violence as a means of discipline towards children. You may be cool and rational, you may have given yourself a ‘time out’ after the child told his aunt she was a nasty, grasping bitter old bag, and he knew that ’cause mommy had said so… (if you think I



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Panthera

posted March 31, 2009 at 9:19 am


OK, it is now official.
Give me the peach switch and I will personally see to applying the board of knowledge to the seat of understanding in the IT department…
First, the gotcha pretends to ignore me. Yeah, right. Then it regurgitates half of a text I had erased because it was too off topic. Then it disappears with the next text, who knows what will show up here, finally, so glad this is my work computer and there is nothing on it which I would be embarrassed by…unless the blasted thing spews out my mid-term exams online…
Folks at Beliefnet, please, tell us if there is hope. Could we perhaps all contribute a few dollars, specifically for a better interface? Or for a one way ticket for the programmer. See, I cool down and the peach stick goes back in the broom closet.



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Panthera

posted March 31, 2009 at 9:39 am


OK, gave it enough time – I guess the right post is gone and the wrong post was posted.
Sigh.
Here, very briefly, my thoughts. Genuinely sorry about that above, folks.
Andrew Tatum,
I certainly agree that children require discipline and structure in their lives.
And I agree completely that Focus on the Family is not a good source for Christian, well, anything.
Part of the problem with these discussions is that we are all very much split by the culture wars.
This is the problem I see with physical violence as a means of discipline towards children. You may be cool and rational, you may have given yourself a ‘time out’ after the child told his aunt she was a nasty, grasping bitter old bag, and he knew that ’cause mommy had said so… (if you think I am not making that one up, you’re right). But your child will still take the message that misbehaving leads to physical violence.
I was disciplined. Serious, stern, old-world discipline. When I ordered the gardner to fill the pool (I was about three and it was a sunny day in the middle of Winter in the alps), not only was the pool not filled, but my grandmother who overheard me didn’t let me work in the stables that entire weekend. Didn’t get to see any of my friends, animals or human until I learned to behave. When I told my aunt (see above) what I thought of her, I got sent to bed with dinner being oatmeal and water…
Drove the car off a cliff, had to pay for it out of my own earnings, working at the gas station down the road.
Was arrogant towards a waiter, dad arranged for me to spend a week in the kitchen washing dishes…
And guess what, I managed to grow up to not be an axe-murderer! Am still a cat in my ego, and I guess nomen est omen, but at least they taught me that actions have consequences.
Isn’t that the real reason we discipline our animals and our children, so that they can find their way in a world which is cold, nasty, brutish and rewards any misstep with the severest consequences?
Why yes, it is. I just, personally, don’t think spanking or other forms of physical violence do the trick.
I did my student teaching in the US, in a state which permits corporal punishment. Never once did I have to paddle a kid’s behind to maintain discipline. I noticed, those of my colleagues who did most frequently, were also those who had the most trouble maintaining authority. I don’t know if there is a connection there, but I did learn from it. And yes, I know that my sheer size and the heavy accent alone helped make students think of the Gestapo… But the Latin teacher who supervised me weighed maybe 75 pounds soaking wet, was five foot nothing and never even had to raise her voice, much less reach for that magic wand…



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Iris Alantiel

posted March 31, 2009 at 10:22 am


I am totally opposed to spanking, and I do not believe it’s in keeping with Christian parenting. What’s Christian about hitting somebody – even hitting them to make them do good – when there’s a better way? And there is, but when spanking is such an easy deterrent for various behaviours, the incentive isn’t always there to find that better way to discipline a child.
But even when corporal punishment has the intended effect in the short term, it invariably leads to one of two lessons, neither of which I think Jesus would approve:
1) It’s okay to hurt people who are smaller and/or weaker than me if I’m not getting my own way.
-OR-
2) If somebody hits me, it’s because I’m bad and I deserve it. I should just take my punishment without complaint.



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Keith

posted March 31, 2009 at 10:28 am


The empirical evidence of the ineffectivenss — in some ways, the countereffectiveness — of spanking is very strong. But that doesn’t matter, or at least can’t matter for a while, in Evangelicaland. Too many leaders have taken stands that too pro-spanking for them to back down now, no matter how the facts turn out. It will have to be done slowly: Younger leaders can take a middle position — close enough to their elders to be not going against them, and to make no practical difference for the time being, but moderate enough in how they express it to leave them room to save face when they later move away from advising parents to spank. Then when the elders fade out of the picture, things can change.



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Panthera

posted March 31, 2009 at 10:59 am


Keith,
That is precisely what the younger Evangelicals are saying about global warming, recognizing that gays and transgendered can very well be Christians and definitely deserve human status.
What they say about focusing our energies as Christians not only on abortion, abortion, abortion—and electing Republicans—but also about those one or two little lines in the Bible on helping the poor. Well, those were mainly spoken by that long-haired Jewish Rabi, good ol’ whats-his-name, so I guess they don’t carry the weight of a true Christian like Paul.
It is past time for these hateful, spiteful monsters to drop off the stage. They have done more harm to the US than good, they have driven countless millions away from Christ’s salvation with their arrogant know-nothing cherry-picked versions of the Bible…
Just the discussion about prison ministry I heard in Dallas last year was enough to show me that the younger folks (under 60) and the older folks just plain have no common ground, not even Jesus. For the older Evangelicals it is exclusively about hatred and getting rich and powerful.



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Theresa Seeber

posted March 31, 2009 at 11:44 am


Panthera, I can’t believe your husband was actually literally beaten up! I am so sorry! Amazing what Christians will do. Well, we are only people after all. No that doesn’t cover it either. That was just sick. Ugh. Gasp. Snort. Pshaw. Skubalon. Okay I’m done. Sorry. Hey, I have written a post about Jesus loving gay people at http://eyesofhope.wordpress.com/2008/11/26/jesus-loves-gay-people-too/ I would be honored by your presence there (and anyone else who behaves – unlike Tony’s graciousness, I delete mean comments the moment I see them).
Okay, here is a challenge for all of us. The Bible has a comment in the Old Testament: Whereas there is no verse that says “spare the rod spoil the child,” as my husband points out, there is this, Proverbs 13:24 (NIV)- He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him.” So what, in the original historical context of that teaching, was the rod? (PS thank you to biblegateway.com for verses I don’t have to type out – they provide it for my copy and paste convenience LOL)



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Chris

posted March 31, 2009 at 12:48 pm


Tony, I respect your opinion, but have to disagree. You imply that it’s illogical to spank in order to produce a positive outcome in behavior:
“Here’s the premise: In order to improve your children’s behavior, you hit them. Makes virtually no sense, right?”
But isn’t it true in many cases that we reach a positive end through a negative (ie, painful) means?
– During exercise, you actually damage muscle tissue, which causes your muscles to grow stronger and gives you more endurance
– The state threatens its citizens with negative consequences (fines, jail) in order to produce a safer, more enjoyable living environment
– God himself uses trials – some very horrific in nature — to purify our faith and forge character in us
If there is a negative thing within our children (sinful tendencies, selfishness), it seems like a loving thing to do to accurately identify that thing as a negative, teaching our children to recognize and shun it themselves. I respect those who choose time-outs or other negative consequences to achieve this, but I believe that corporal punishment is another valid means.
My aunt had her two sons during the late 60s, and bought into the zeitgeist of that period. She didn’t introduce negative consequences into their lives because she believed they would encounter enough negativity later in life. Both of them became juvenile delinquents, and both have struggled with alcoholism and failed marriages as adults. I can’t help but think there was a correlation.



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Theresa Seeber

posted March 31, 2009 at 1:25 pm


Chris, there is a major difference between no discipline at all and simply disciplining without actual spanking. I agree that your Aunt’s approach was very harmful, but also see merit in disciplining without using spanking. To be honest, there are so many creative ways of disciplining, including the ever-popular time-that-fits-the-crime method (such as dish washing at a restaurant mentioned above. I bring this up not to argue, simply to point out that we are dealing with a complex issue that goes way beyond to spank or not to spank, into how might we discipline our kids if we choose not to spank? Because I think (I hope) we all would agree discipline itself is not the problem. Does that make sense, or do I just seem to be arguing?



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Ted Seeber

posted March 31, 2009 at 1:31 pm


I’d also have to disagree- but in a different way. You see, I’m autistic. I don’t have the built-in sense of good and evil, appropriate and inappropriate, behavior, that seems to be instinct with NeuroTypical society. I’m glad my parents didn’t have this modern revealed wisdom that pain is somehow not an appropriate motivator- because I don’t have the empathy to feel pain in others, I would have probably ended up a mass murderer instead of a Roman Catholic.
Not all parenting techniques are appropriate for all individuals. My son, spanking isn’t appropriate for- his Cerebral Palsy means he feels pain differently, and bare hand to backside is a tickle to him. By the time I could make him feel pain to the point of crying, we’d be taking him to the hospital. So I’ve been forced to find other methods of discipline and punishment.
But that doesn’t mean you should automatically rule out the rod, nor does it mean that some modern “study” with pre-determined biases should be our rule for parenting.



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Panthera

posted March 31, 2009 at 2:19 pm


I admit that current research among our nearest relations in the animal kingdom – the high order mammals – shows that there are some built in basics regarding moral judgment.
That is good, but it surely doesn’t abjure us from the responsibility to teach those in our charge the difference between right and wrong. Now, how we go about that is the big question. Were someone to show me that hitting a child is most effective and least harmful, I would (grudgingly) accept that there are other methods. Given, however, that my policy of non-violence works, both with animals and students in my charge, I shall stick with it.
And yes, one reason I am very opposed to violence is because my husband and I have both been attacked and physically harmed (in my case permanently) by dear, loving, fundamentalist Christian family members who felt beating us up was the way to express God’s love to us. Of course that plays a role in how I approach these conversations with American conservative Christians. Now that science and medicine have taken away the absurdly false notion that we choose our sexuality, Christians have to come to terms with once again either saying “the earth does SO anchor our sun and stars in their baths around her” or decide that Jesus really did mean us, too, when he offered his love.
But the records show, sadly, that an enormous number of children and early teens are thrown out onto the streets, beaten and abused by their oh-so-Christian parents for being gay in America. I can’t help but see a connection, there. How things begin is how they usually go on – start disciplining your child firmly, but non-violently and when the inevitable conflicts arise, you will have established a much better basis for dealing with them than escalating the violence to match your helplessness.
And, in the end, isn’t violence always the last resource of the helpless?
Still don’t see why this has to be the culture wars issue it is – the Bible simply does not offer the cut and dried rules I have seen quoted here, with nobody responding to the simple mandate to take your disobedient kid out to the city limits and stone him to death. You can’t have it both ways and the good old, ‘well, Christ absolved us from the OT’ argument doesn’t work on this one.



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Proverbs

posted March 31, 2009 at 2:44 pm


First, let me say that this Captcha has expired, is an easy fix, type all the words you need to say in word or note pad and save them for posting. This is what I have learned over that last few years while taking online college courses.
Secondly, this ordeal about disciplining children should be no ordeal at all. My reasoning is as such. Based on the OT as Panthera has conveniently tried to avoid is a just and foremost in it’s serenity. There are passages within the NT that give advice as well. But these are the rules as set forth. If we are Christians of any denomination, the bible and God’s word is where we shall find sanctity. As the bible so states, and does not leave room for a comparison with animals. Nor are there rules regarding the treatment of animals and God’s children as the same. (Proverbs, listed in 3 versions so as not to cause despair):
The Proverbs of Solomon of the circle of the wise men which appears around 10 BC, just before Jesus Christ’s arrival.
KJV: Proverbs 13:24 – He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him bedtimes.
NKJV: Proverbs 13:24 – He who spares his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him promptly.
NIV: Proverbs 13:24 – He who spares the rod hates his son, But he who loves him is careful to discipline him.
KJV: Proverbs 22:15 – Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.
NKJV: Proverbs 22:15 – Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.
NIV: Proverbs 22:15 – Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far from him.
KJV: Proverbs 29:15 – The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.
NKJV: Proverbs 29:15 – The rod and rebuke give wisdom, But a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.
NIV: Proverbs 29:15 – The rod of correction imparts wisdom, but a child left to himself disgraces his mother.
Now continuing on, I have to say that like most I have been spanked in my youth as well. However, let me distinguish a solemn difference between what I feel about this cause. As child I was told that I was the oldest between my brother and I, and that I was to teach him what not to do or lead by example. So therefore when he was bad I would get disciplined as well. Of course not the same as him, but worse because I was his protector and guardian while away from the home.
Now during my enlightenment, my father or mother did not have to tell me that I did wrong when I got my spanking (beating in some cases, which is wrong in my book), however, I knew what I did wrong and that my punishment was warranted. I do feel that there were something’s that could have been done differently, like the explanation of why, and maybe a hug or two from him and maybe even a post spanking talk to show me that he still cared for my well being and his reasoning for doing what he did. Although this never happened to my distraught, and did leave me somewhat confused or pissed at the time.
I did have a form of resentment towards him, mostly because he went overboard at times. But it did allow me to learn from this and shown to myself that that was something I would not do to my own children. I have never been chastised as a violent always getting into trouble person and have managed to keep myself out of jail due to my teachings from my parents. Self learned or taught by them. I have also started raising a family with the rules in the bible and my own understandings of the way the lil ones need to be taught.
I do not believe that a spanking has to be done for every wrong committed in order to make it right. I do believe like others that it is a necessary step to providing stability in the learning development for a child’s growth. I do not spank my children all the time, but there are times when it is absolutely necessary, to set the pace of who is boss and who is their teacher. It is us as parents to teach our children right from wrong, not society. I also believe that we should also discipline them at the earliest convenience of the discrepancy, not when it’s convenient for the public.
Because as we all know, if your child and I know mine, that roughly about 30 minutes after the thing they did wrong they have pretty much forgotten about it. So to drag them kicking and screaming from a restaurant table outside to talk to them and tell them they don’t do that and then take them home without enjoying the rest of the evening is in effect, simply wrong. Then you are bowing to their desires of causing turmoil and allowing them to control you. Thus the fact that you are going home and away from the restaurant. This is not what we should be teaching our kids, this simply spoils them. Allowing them to get what they want and only teaches them one thing, that what ever it was that made mom and dad mad, got us to go home early so we didn’t have to do what they wanted us to do. The spoils of misfortune.
Is this what we want our children to learn? I don’t think so, we want our children to know the hardships and consequences of their actions, not the latter. So sometimes that means we have to lay down the law and the hands, to show them not only do we care but that they have done wrong and it needs to be corrected. I have followed this and have 2 wonderful and beautiful children 1 daughter and 1 son (as some have expressed “2 of the most well behaved and mannered children I have ever met”), with a baby in training.
Thirdly, the path of enlightenment, not to be a derivative of an outward thought of knowledge, which means that what we learn from the bible is just and true. Not something to decide when we want to use it or follow it. This brings to mind of a certain set of verses and information that I must use here.
This in reference to ones out right posting. Keeping in mind that I’m not trying to bash anyone here but the Way, the Truth and the Light are there for a reason and if we are all Christians then we should be following the book, “The Bible” not what society says is ok, despite what others may think. If we are Christians and believe in an Exalted “God” then we believe that he gave us his son to save us from our sins and that who so ever believeth in him and repents his sins shall have ever lasting life.
The below information is not meant to go off topic, but if those of us are deliberating and using the bible and its teachings to further this discussion, regardless of whether we are modern day Christian ‘s or not, then I feel that it’s a necessary part to add here. We can all forgive and love each other in what we do. But remember that once we ask for forgiveness and abide by that which we asked to be forgiven for, then we are in part doing what we are supposed to do by being in the light of the divine One. Below is an excerpt from an article I read from Contender Ministries:
“God put a limit on sex, though. Yes, a limit – only one. There is no long dissertation on the do’s and don’ts of sex. The only caveat to the enjoyment of sex is this: sex is meant to be enjoyed in the context of marriage – not outside of it. Unfortunately, these days we must be specific. Sex is to be enjoyed within the context of a marriage between a man and a woman. That’s it! That’s the limit. Genesis 2:24-25 says, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.” Hebrew 13:4 says, “Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.” All sexual sins (i.e. promiscuity, adultery, homosexuality, prostitution, etc.) are sins because they do not conform to the limit of sex being a marital activity. Now of course some of you will point out the list of sexual activity prohibited by the Mosaic laws, but let’s not address those issues of the law from which Paul said we are now free. Instead, let’s stick to those ancient commands that endure eternal. To that end, the above-mentioned single rule is how we are to judge sexual morality”
The men of Sodom and Gomorrah were the first recorded in the Bible to face punishment for their sexual perversion. In Genesis chapter 19, we find two angels that pay a visit to Lot’s home in Sodom. In verse four, we find that “all the men from every part of Sodom” surrounded Lot’s house, and told Lot to bring out his visitors “so that we can have sex with them.” The pro-homosexual revisionist argues that the wickedness of Sodom and Gomorrah was that the residents wanted to commit an act of rape. That the rape would have been homosexual is not an issue, according to their argument. However, Jude 7 indicates that Sodom and Gomorrah’s punishment was due to their sexual perversion. Their sin was not simply one of violence (rape) but of sexual immorality (homosexuality). As further evidence of the sinful nature of homosexuality, Leviticus 18:22, and 20:13 both describe homosexuality as “an abomination.”
Contrary to the opinions of some, the Old Testament is not the only place in the Bible that condemns homosexuality. We previously mentioned Hebrews 13:4, where Paul exhorted us to honor the marriage bed and keep it pure. In Romans 1:26-27 Paul is very specific, “For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet.” In 1 Corinthians 6:9, Paul wrote, “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind.” The Greek word from which the King James Bible gets the word “effeminate” is malakos, which literally means something soft to the touch, but is used as a negative metaphor to refer to a boy kept for homosexual relations with a man. The “abusers of themselves with mankind” are those men who engage in unnatural sexual relations with other men – homosexuals. That is also how the NASB, the NKJV, and the NIV translate that verse. Also in the New Testament is verse 7 from the book of Jude, defining exactly why Sodom and Gomorrah were punished – homosexuality.
Here you can read the rest of this portion by going to this link:
http://www.contenderministries.org/articles/christianliving/homosexuality.php
We can not discipline others if we have to knowledge of self discipline or Covent. We need to be a bit more clear in the word of “God” and follow his and Jesus’ example before a judgment is passed on others. Since we are not given authority to judge others but we do it anyway, then we are no better then others that have done so before us. Keep the faith and follow the straight and narrow.



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Theresa Seeber

posted March 31, 2009 at 3:18 pm


Panthera! I wish I could somehow take some of your pain away. I can’t believe people would hurt others so in the name of Jesus, when he himself is crying his eyes out with you. How to proceed from here with what I want to say, without somehow lessening the effect of my sadness for you? I want to respond to your stone-him comment. Oh. You got me there. I remember recently telling some people that if I am supposed to condemn my brothers and sisters in Christ for being gay then I had better stone my defiant son first, because they are listed in the same passage in the OT.
I have noticed this morning (as I have been met with defiance by my daughter) that I often say to them, “If …. then I will give you a spankin’.” Now I am challenging myself to not only stop saying that all the time, but to consistently, purposely avoid spanking for the next week no matter what (cannot committ my dh to such an experiment) and see what I can come up with. Already this morning I was about to say it to my 2 year old, but decided, thinking of you all, to pick him up and move him to something else rather than standing there expecting obedience. Okay he’s two, distraction works. But I will embark on this experiment and keep you posted. One week.



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Seth R.

posted March 31, 2009 at 8:55 pm


Where on earth did you come up with the idea that parenting or children make sense?
You know how, touchy-feely “open-minded” folk stay so progressive and nice with kids?
Here’s the secret –
They don’t have any. Or only have one – kind of like having a golden retriever (fashionably American). Easy to feel nice and superior about child-rearing from a safe distance.
Truth is that kids are different. Some kids wilt if you throw them a mildly disapproving glance. Other’s won’t respond to anything but a bop on the head. And some don’t respond to anything at all (in which case, you might as well not spank them – you’ll both feel better).



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kevin s.

posted March 31, 2009 at 10:05 pm


Do people still imprison their kids? Yes they do, and it’s called time out.
Do people still enslave their kids? Yes they do, and it’s called chores.
Do people still sedate their kids? Yes they do, and it’s called giving them medication.
Do people still molest their kids? Yes they do, it’s called wiping their butts.
When you don’t employ perspective, you lose the capacity to argue.



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Scott

posted March 31, 2009 at 10:59 pm


Dear Theresa Seeber,
Notice that I realized the irony of my derisiveness toward Tony Jones’ derisiveness. People like Tony Jones and I – God love us, and forgive us, and save us – are not nice people. We are polemicists. Fire gets met with fire, iron gets met with iron. When Tony Jones tries to mock and ridicule people who ‘still hit their kids’ he’s asking for someone to take the bait (I did), he’s out Limbaughing Limbaugh, a guy who has parlayed liberal baiting into a multi-million dollar a year gig. Notice he didn’t write with a tone of care or concern, he wrote with clear and palpable disdain. He knows good and damn well there are good and decent people who spank their kids and that you catch more bees with honey than with vinegar. He’s not trying to convince people it’s bad to spank their kids or to get them to examine their disciplinary practices. Tony Jones is trying to divide and conquer (actually his favorite rhetorical trick) by implying that people who don’t think like him (or his ilk) are morons, while people who “get it” are part of his super-sweet-Emerging-Third-Stream-Rhythm-of-Jesus-Club.
Tony’s rhetoric is a study in self-legitimating power-grabbing that would make the most Enlightened Modernist proud.



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Keith

posted March 31, 2009 at 11:29 pm


Yes, Scott, Tony has an opinion here, and, yes, he believes he’s right. Not being an “anything goes” relativist, he believes the other side is wrong, and he expresses that opinion. Mocking, ridiculing? “Clear and palpable disdain”?? “Out-Limbaughing Limbaugh”??? I don’t know. A little snarky, maybe. But the worst it gets seems to be: “Makes virtually no sense, right?” Tony probably *dreams* about his critics being so moderate in their expression when they go against him. To my reading, your comments are giving off several times as much palpable heat as anything Tony wrote here.



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Andrew Tatum

posted March 31, 2009 at 11:55 pm


What I’ve read a lot so far in this discussion is the repudiation of “violence” as such as a means of repudiating spanking as a proper form of child discipline.
I’ll venture this caveat – take it or leave it:
It is possible for a parent to spank a child without anger, spite, malice, fury or…ahem…violence. Acts of discipline and even forms of physical punishment do not categorically equal violence. There is quite a difference between spanking (or physical discipline) violence inflicted for the purpose of intentional harm. Tony is, as others have noticed, expressing an opinion. And, in my opinion, he’s wrong. He’s wrong precisely because he views hitting a child on the rear end as harmful violence when, in fact, it is mere discipline. Spanking, properly done, does not cause physical harm or even lasting emotional harm or trauma. This is, of course, a matter of “opinion” but, nevertheless, having experienced both “violent abuse” and “spanking” as a child, I can say that there is most definitely a difference.
Thanks, Tony, for the discussion-generating thoughts.
Peace,
A.T.



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Panthera

posted April 1, 2009 at 3:41 am


The nice thing about this blog is the mixture of thoughtful and conservative Christians, thoughtful and liberal Christians, thoughtful and desire-not-to-be-religiously-categorized-people and a few folks like Scott and me.
That is, Scott and I are similar in our take-no-prisoners positions. Otherwise, no. A devoutly thankful, no. Although, I have learned a thing or two about being snarky and b1tchy from him…
The not so nice but very important aspect of this blog is that people like Scott and me (howl away, Scott, but I’m lumping us together here) also get the opportunity to have our noses rubbed in some of our more off the wall statements. Uh, the pro-spanking faction here would probably say ‘get our rear-ends swatted with a rolled up newspaper’.
It’s kind of nice, actually (the blog, not the rolled up newspaper, what were your thinking). In fact, this is the only blog at Beliefnet I am familiar with, in which one actually occasionally finds across the aisle agreement on truly important things.
Such as caring about how children are raised.
I see some real thoughtfulness in most of the answers here from both sides. An enormous difference to, for instance, the discussions one can find at some of the other blogs here where people are only interested in >>–forcing their opinions down everyone’s throat.
Sure, occasionally I get told here that I am not a Christian because gay and Christian are impossible to the hateful minds of some.
And, occasionally, an American Evangelical-Fundamentalist-Literalistic-Inneranntist, (separate categories, I do believe we once hit seven categories trying to include all the flavors of my-way or the-highway American conservative Christianity) will provoke the ire of someone to their left (which begins to the right of Genghis Kahn, as near as I can tell) and get a thorough drubbing with quotes from a real Bible, in a real language and using proper semantic context. Which they will then dismiss, as in pearls before, well anyway…
Or one of the ‘how can you be so blind and D-U-M, dumb’ folks on the jaded-intellectual-left will do a drive-by and leave even me so disgusted that I begin to think Erin Manning might have a point or two to make, after all.
What Tony offers us is a chance to communicate. For too long, the blogs have only been echo-chambers of like-minded people reinforcing their notions, left or right.
Over the last months, I have learned here that not all conservative American Christians want to dissolve my marriage, and I do believe one or two conservative American Christians have come to see Christians of another mindset as God’s children, too.



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Ted Seeber

posted April 1, 2009 at 3:31 pm


I’ll put just this one last thing forth in this discussion, then hold my words:
How does one achieve justice without violence, when attacked by the violent? If you are nonviolent- I applaud you- but to say violence has no use in this world means that you are OK with the strong and violent overcoming the weak and helpless- and I would hope NO Christian would be so tolerant as to take that position.



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Theresa Seeber

posted April 1, 2009 at 6:42 pm


Scott, you must not know Tony personally to think such things of him. I do know him personally, and have not only seen many interviews (online and in person), debates (online and in person), conversations (online and in person), and presentations (this is getting redundant), and heard many podcasts, in which he has participated/led, but have had the honor of being in private conversation with him repeatedly, alone and in the presence and participation with others. Tony has never once that I have witnessed/heard/seen used tactics like you describe here. If he is a little bit like a snake in the grass in that he does not come right out and tell us exactly what he is thinking, because he would rather prod us and cause us think for ourselves, then so be it. Nice is not a far-fetched description for Tony, but I wouldn’t use it. I would instead use “gracious” or “respectful” or “kind” or “considerate” or “thought-provoking” or “intelligent” instead. He does not mock or ridicule, but it may feel like it to you if you are closed-minded and refuse to be challenged. If that is the case I have no idea why you hang around here, unless you feel you are on a mission from God to divide us from him because he is evil or something. To say he wants to divide and conquer, or that he is forming some sort of “us and them” situation in which those who disagree with him are “out” is completely off base, and my husband and I have personal experience with him to prove it. He is not power-grabbing, which is evident in a closer look at his life. Have you read any of his books? Have you read “The Sacred Way?” My gosh, how can so many people be blinded to a person’s character? I will tell you from my own experience that led me to meet Tony in the first place that I had been warned by very power-hungry Christian leaders that Tony was promoting idol worship in the form of little statues you carry in your pocket, and that we should try to stop the little bugger from corrupting us all by boycotting him and labeling him as something anti-Christ. I was warned not to pursue him because he was evil. Guess what? I took four months to examine the evidence presented me (okay it was on Tony and a handful of others who make up “emergent” in these attackers’ minds) and found that I had been fed a whole heap of lies. I even confronted these famous leaders, who withered under the presence of the truth I had found. They couldn’t deny the truth to me one-on-one, but they could when they stood at pulpits and blew their trumpets of falsehood to prominent leaders who then went out and perpetuated it.
Wow! I am REALLY placing a lot of angst on you that really belongs to a group of people, not just one man. Whoa. As Tony would say to me right about now, breathe slowly through your nose, Theresa, calm now. LOL I don’t think I do anything half-heartedly. Sorry if I over-estimated your criticism, Scott. To me your comments represent a greater ill that comes from a great cloud of false witnesses against all things emergent.



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Panthera

posted April 1, 2009 at 8:08 pm


Ted,
I can only speak for myself, but if you have followed my comments on these various blogs through the last several months, you will have noticed that I unreservedly support Israel.
And despise the Islamic world.
No, I don’t advocate unjust war.
Yes, I oppose violence when it can be avoided.
Many people who have been beaten as badly as I have feel that way.
But, let me make myself clear. Many years ago, I was walking out of the building on my American college campus where we printed our gay and lesbian alliance newsletter. One of the football players accosted me, shoved me against the wall and told me to, well, do something rather indecent or he’d beat the crap out of me.
I broke his jaw.
Nearly got kicked out of school, and would have been had not two very brave co-eds backed me up.
It is unfortunate that conservative Christians tend to assume all gays are weaklings, all liberals are pacifists and cowards.
Given the appalling revelations of torture and the enormous illegality of the Iraq war which were both directly enabled by fundamentalist Christians in the US, I really think it is time to very much reconsider just what, exactly, God calls us to do and just how much of the physical violence against people conservative Christians don’t like is truly God’s will, mandated by the Bible and how much is just plain hatred.
Sorry, but just exactly what does all of this have to do with spanking or not spanking kids?



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Rev Dave

posted April 2, 2009 at 11:19 am


I know I’m coming to this conversation a bit late, but I have some questions for the hitting advocates that I hope someone will try to answer. And for the record, I’m not trying to be snarky here, I really wonder about these things. Finally, this is not theoretical to me. My kids are 3.5 and 1.5 so I am living in the very heart of the discipline-for-kids-who-can’t-really-reason question. (Sorry to burst your bubble about us “progressive parents,” Seth R.):
1. After you are done hitting your child to demonstrate how bad his/her behavior was, what do you say to them when they hit you? Or a sibling, friend, teacher, grandparent, etc.? In other words, how do you teach them not to hit others in the midst of you hitting them?
2. Do you have strict rules about your hitting? Are you the only one allowed to hit your kids or is it ok if a teacher or neighbor or pastor or relative hits them too? If so, how do you go about telling those people they can hit your child(ren)?
3. Sort of the inverse of #2, do you hit only your children? Or do you discipline other kids that are in your house in the same way? If so, how do you make that known to the families of those kids who visit your house?
4. At what age do you decide hitting is no longer the way to discipline your kids?



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Theresa Seeber

posted April 2, 2009 at 2:34 pm


Panthera and Ted, before this goes on any further…. I just want to point out that Ted is my husband’s cousin, who has autism among other things, and ask that you would consider please just letting this drop. Who am I to ask such a thing? Well, Panthera, I did show you graciousness, true graciousness, above, and have deep fellings of sorrow and grief for what you have gone thru. And I know how easily something like this conversation can take a turn for the worst. So that is my request, that the non-spanking line of reasoning not continue lest someone get hurt. Besides, this is Tony’s blog and this is not the subject at hand. That was my attempt, take it or leave it. I respect you both. Peace.



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Theresa Seeber

posted April 2, 2009 at 2:50 pm


Not that anyone expressed any interest in my little experiment, I am bringing an update. Right away I noticed that I threaten a “spankin'” a lot to try to get my kids to behave, when really most of the time putting out the effort to remove them from the situation and get them doing something else would work just as well. For my youngest, it is distraction, for those able to reason, a good talk does it for my daughter, but my strong-willed child is not effected by any sort of revelation that what he is doing is wrong – at first. But after a while I find he can articulate it back to me in a fair semblance of humility, or at least show the difference in his behavior. With him it isn’t usually long-lived, but we take what we can get. I have always ached over the spanking issue. I love the vast resources of alternate discipline I have learned thru the years, and continue to learn, so that I almost never ever spank them. But like I said above, the way I do it has always been as kind as such a thing might possibly go, and I do not suddenly lash out unexpectedly. It is so systematic maybe the spanking part can even be avoided altogether.



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Panthera

posted April 2, 2009 at 4:48 pm


Theresa,
I didn’t speak to it because I felt it would probably bring a load of criticism down upon you for trying it ‘my way’.
Which, of course it wasn’t – no such thing. Frankly, I admire you enormously. That is precisely what being a parent is all about – finding the best way to raise your children.
Keep slugging away at the problem, if you will forgive the term. You have my admiration.
Be happy to drop the subject.
Like most of the gay Christians around here, I get attacked quite frequently in these threads (less so on Tony’s) and thus tend to prefer the debating tactic: Why use a fly-swatter when a 12 gauge is to hand?
Everytime we, as Christians, have demanded the natural world (which God made) be as we insist it be, not as it is, we have made fools of ourselves and driven people away from God. Especially then, when we have foolishly cherry-picked the Bible and demanded that an interpretation be seen as anything but. One of the reasons fundamentalist American Christians get so het up about only certain English language versions of the Bible being God’s true word is simply because the moment you switch to Greek or Latin or German the meanings shift. Frequently in a direction which suddenly does not support the argument which the conservative American Christian demands the rest of us accept.
I don’t think exclusively in English, so it troubles me not at all to see that the Bible is not the literal word of God. What matters is God’s message of forgiveness through grace, offered by the death of his Son, Jesus for our sins. If you can accept that your state of sin separates you from God and that your only salvation lies in His grace, then how, I often wonder, can so many Christians – especially ones claiming to follow Jesus – be so determinedly cruel and void of charity? They know fully well that through their hatred, they are calling no one to salvation and when we read their words, especially at some of the blogs around here, it is obvious that they take great joy in their certainty that God’s promise counts for everyone, except, of course, gays.
Way too long of a post, sorry. Keep us abreast of your progress. Since your kids are, no doubt, gifted with your brains, it ought to make for an interesting time, especially once they grasp that you have unilaterally disarmed. Until they realize there are worse things than being spanked, it might be, well, I’ll leave it at interesting.



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Theresa Seeber

posted April 2, 2009 at 6:01 pm


Panthera, we need to connect elsewhere so we can talk about more than just this post without tromping on Tony’s blog! You can facebook friend me and although I don’t know your real name you can add a message to the request telling me who you are if you like. I am in the Los Angeles Network. Anyway, I am not telling my kids I am refraining from spanking, and it is interesting how much I am thinking about you all because as I mentioned earlier I have two kids who are strong-willed. Many spanking advocates who have strong-willed kids, especially defiant ones to boot (one of mine is just that) spanking is the only truly effective means of discipline. I am on a journey hoping to find out for myself that that is not true. Wouldn’t that be a beautiful thing? As I was putting my two year old down for his nap just now he was refusing absolutely to stay down and sleep. Rather than my usual “Do you want a spaking?” to which he usually responds quite well, I started talking to him and asked if perhaps I might fit in his new toddler bed. He instantly stopped protesting the nap and said I could try to fit in this new bed of his. With one leg swung up on his little bed, and the other holding me up on the floor, I laid my head on his pillow with him and we cuddled. No discipline necessary that time. Had I had to discipline after all, I knew I couldn’t spank (this week), so I was working on some alternate ideas. Anyway, I am having fun with this. I am a strange sort. LOL As for worse than being spanked goes, my teenager can’t see his friends for a week due to a break in curfew, and that is way more effective discipline than spanking any day. :-) PS, have you been to my “Jesus Loves Gay People Too” blog yet? http://eyesofhope.wordpress.com/2008/11/26/jesus-loves-gay-people-too/



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Andrew

posted April 2, 2009 at 9:56 pm


Rev Dave,
I just got done posting on this topic in more depth at my blog, but let me answer your questions.
1. There would be punishment for hitting me and I do not find that inconsistent. It is my place to discipline, not my child’s. That would be equivalent to a recruit telling a drill sergeant to “give him 20″. After all, the drill sergeant just said it to him, right?
2. There were strict rules. My wife or I only, and only if we were completely passionless about the situation. If there was ANY emotion involved, spanking was disqualified (actually, all discipline was, until one of us could be detached).
3. My kids only. However, if there are children over my house who do not follow instructions or try to have selective hearing, they are quickly shown the door. They are welcome back when they agree to obey the rules of my household and not before.
4. I felt my kids were beyond spanking at about 5.



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Rev Dave

posted April 3, 2009 at 3:25 am


Andrew,
Thank you for responding in such a measured way. It sounds like you and your wife must have had more than a few conversations about just how to administer the spanking you did.
I’m going to push back a bit on your answer to my question #1. I don’t think it is equivalent to the drill sergeant/recruit analogy. One of the books my son has wanted to read (repeatedly) lately is Clifford’s Good Manners. One page says something like, “when people disagree, don’t hit – talk it out.” this is important to us because we want to teach our children not to hit. As I was reading that book last night I was thinking about this post and wondering how I would go about teaching our kids that hitting is wrong while also explaining why it was ok that we occasionally hit them. It just seems like that would be beyond our kids to understand. I just don’t understand how to teach a child that hitting is wrong by hitting them. it reminds me of a Derek Bell lyric: “it’s like saying murder is wrong and showing you by way of execution.”
It just occurred to me that in all of this I am assuming that everybody wants to teach their children that hitting others is wrong and that’s probably an unfair assumption of me to make. That would be one way to resolve this issue I suppose.
Anyway, I’m sure we can all agree that disciplining children is a daunting, but important, task.



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Proverbs

posted April 3, 2009 at 9:26 am


Rev Dave in answer to your comments from me;
1. Well for me I would tell them that it’s not their place to hit me. Since I am the main disciplinarian in my home. Be that as it may, I let them know that just because I spank them at times, does not give them permission to go around hitting other people. Especially in respect to girls/women for my son, he knows that there is a stern punishment for hitting them. He know that from mine and his mothers teaching that to hit girls is not nice and not polite. As for our daughter, well it’s hard to deal with the lil girls as they grow up so fast and think they know it all. But we both teach them to respect other people and to hit them should only be in an act of self defense should it need to be.
2. I have given the school permission to grant corporeal punishment as others call may it, however, they are to notify me prior to that happening. It hasn’t ever come to that, but they have my permission. I grew up with that and feel it is an effective measure to nip the incident in the bud before they forget about what it was that they have done. I also want to know what my child(ren) have done so that I can have a talk with them when they get home about what transpired. But as most of my friends and family know me, they usually tell me when my children are acting badly and leave the punishment up to me. Like I said before I don’t spank them all the time, but there are times when it just needs to be. Like the one girl here, Theresa, I think her name is, both of my children are very stubborn (hard headed), or as some might call VERY, VERY HYPERACTIVE and or ADD. But being that I am a very hyperactive person myself I know what they are going through and can make amends for that and aid in their learning.
3. Well as far as disciplining other children in my house, I have to say that I do. But I warn the parents of the children that when they come in my house that they must follow the same rules as my children. But I do tell them that I will ask them once to handle it first, and then if it continues I will handle it. Not very often do I need to spank any other children in my house (mostly family members) but I do give them a stern talking to and make them sit down somewhere for a bit. But just like with my children I will sit down with them after there sort of time out time and talk to them in a very quiet manner so they don’t consider me a bad person for doing what I did.
4. Well I am of the firm believer that you must set the ground rules and foundation for children up to the age of 5 or 6. I see it that that is the time where the children know by them who is the boss (alpha male/female as the case maybe) and who is the lenient one. So up to that age is when the spanking in most important to me. It helps them determine what is right and wrong. Like if I do this I will get in trouble and if I don’t do that everything stays peachy. After that there are other alternatives. For example, my daughter is a big DS (hand held game) but, and now when she is bad or acts up, then we take that away for a time until she understands what she has done. My son will not get to go out and play with his friends. In a sense they both will be grounded of sorts and that irritates them to the utmost.
Take last night for example. They both were acting up and stomping their feet because they didn’t want to finish their home work or want to listen, so I said ok no problem and made them stand in the corner of my house with their noses stuck to the wall for 15 minutes. This had my son awestruck and he balled forever. I told them to think of the reason why they were there and then had a talk with them when it was over. Overall I agree with you and others that there are ways of disciplining children, but that there are the stages of development that a child goes through and we should be ready to meet that need as parents. If a spanking falls into a stage of that then so be it. As far as the age to stop, well that would be up to the individual parent, but for me I’d have to say around 10 is where it stops for me. There are other things that can be done at that age to make them more upset then a ritualistic spanking. Not to address issues and let it ride where the child thinks they made out, doesn’t teach them much at all.
Respectfully, CW



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Andrew

posted April 3, 2009 at 11:46 am


Dave,
I think it all comes down to how things work out practically. Though my children were occasionally spanked when they were younger (now they are 10 and 7), they NEVER hit anyone. Yet I know child after child who’s parents were dogmatically committed to not spanking, yet their kid tends to want to resolve all of their issues by hitting. Why the inconsistency? I think it is about whether or not a child has learned self control. To a child who cannot control themselves, frustration builds until they lash out physically. For me, spanking allowed us to get control of the moment, at an age where there was little objective reasoning available for the child.
Having come out of their younger years able to control their passions, my children now have many options available to them that other children, who never learned to control their impulses, do not.
And to go back to the recruit analogy, let me use myself as an example. Presently for my children, discipline involves various rewards or loss of privilege (on the rare occasions that it is needed). My removal of a privilege from my daughter does not give her the permission to do the same to me, or her brother for that matter. My kids and I are not peers … it is not an equitable relationship. I am in charge and they know that. I think this gives them a security that most children do not get. When a parent does not make clear that they are in charge, the child’s only alternative is too assume that he or she is calling the shots; and that is a very scary place to find themselves. I believe independence is something that is turned over slowly over time. I have taught for 18 years, and the biggest problem I see is parents giving over responsibilities and decision making abilities WAY too soon.
Sorry for the rant… I see so much bad parenting, that it is easy for me to go off once I get on the topic.
I agree that discipline is a daunting task, and it is imperative that we be intentional about it.



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Theresa Seeber

posted April 3, 2009 at 2:02 pm


My teenager just earned himself a nice, hard spanking but I didn’t do it. Panthera had reminded me that there are worse things that can happen to a kid than a spanking, so now my son has a day of pulling weeds and cleanup in front of him. How’s that? :-)



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Rev Dave

posted April 3, 2009 at 4:39 pm


Andrew and Proverbs (aka CW?),
Thank you again for being willing to engage in this conversation sans vitriol.
While my wife and I remain committed to not spanking, I admit that having you express thoughts on this that you and your spouses have certainly wrestled with as, ah, punched a hole (if you will) in the caricature of a spanker that exists in my mind.
Andrew, you and I don’t disagree that parents and children are not peers. (Wait, how many negatives in that sentence?) What I mean is that we agree about that. We parents are in charge and the kids know that and, as you say, need to know that. They need boundaries set for them.
I was never trying to suggest otherwise. I was trying, and apparently failing, to hear your thoughts on what seems like an internal inconsistency: teaching your children that hitting is wrong while utilizing hitting as a discipline. Which both of you addressed to some degree. I do wonder what sorts of questions about this inconsistency your kids will ask you when they are older…
We also agree that some parents ask some children to make more decisions than their development should allow. We try to give our very young kids simple choices to help empower them and teach them with very small stakes. e.g. do you want a blue or white bowl for your cereal?
Finally (and apologies for the length of this comment), Theresa, I’d say pulling weeds is about the worst punishment imaginable! Probably for the teens I know and work with and definitely for me! On the other hand, you still spank your teenager!? how does that work?
Peace,
Dave



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Theresa Seeber

posted April 3, 2009 at 5:57 pm


Rev Dave,
I was expecting a question like that, LOL! My son has not only ADHD but also ODD (oppositional defiance disorder – can you believe there is actually a legit diagnosis for such a thing????). He is strong-willed and extremely negative – not to mention easily angered. (Did I mention he is red-headed?) So yes, we still spank. Really though, my husband is the one that does the spanking (except last week when I really needed to do something right away to “get his attention” as mentioned by others above). But it is – don’t know how much of my stuff you read above – always a systematic type of thing. No lashing out and suddenly raging on the kids. Anyway, also not knowing how much of my stuff you read above, I am on a week-long no-spank regime to see what happens. It has always made me sick to my heart that my husband insisted before we wed that we would be spanking parents. Before that I had been taught by Gary Ezzo’s parenting course that Christians spank, but I never liked it. Especially since as a new Mom I spanked while still angry and it felt absolutely terrible. (My son was almost 3 when we wed, in case you noticed the time line inconsistencies LOL)



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Ted Seeber

posted April 3, 2009 at 7:04 pm


2 quick clarifications, both to Panthera, to whom I owe an apology.
1. The reason I posted what I did about aggression came from Tony’s original blog posting, and the assumption that we need to raise passive kids. I hope my kid is NEVER passive in the face of injustice to anybody. And gay bashing is most certainly injustice.
2. In another place on Tony’s blog, I took a remark of yours as being about abortion, not same sex marriage. While the two are certainly linked as pro-life issues, well, I think we have a major problem in the United States with separating sacramental and civil marriage. I personally think they should be the same, but for different reasons- the first is hetrosexual only because tradition demands it and offers us other examples, such as David and Saul, for expressing love between people of the same gender. The second, because the state has a vested interest in promoting procreation if it is to survive. But from that standpoint, infertile heterosexual couples should be denied the civil liberties of marriage as well.



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Panthera

posted April 4, 2009 at 9:37 am


Ted,
I wasn’t so much offended as confused. That, of course, is a rather commons state for me, so don’t worry.
The problem is very simply that if our exclusive focus here is on wielding the Bible as a weapon to ‘prove’ our views, then I think we are not following God’s will, at all.
Look at those who demand we read the Bible literally – literally being defined as:
-Their translation which just happens to interpret ancient languages the way they want them interpreted
-Ignoring those passages which are either contradictory or do not support their views
-Expanding our ‘literal’ sense to mean that interpretation which gives them the most power to be as they wish to be.
The classic example of this literalism being, of course, the charming conflict between Matthew 7:1-5 :
Judge not, that ye be not judged.
2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. Mk. 4.24
3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.
And John 7:24 :
Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.
So, what we have here are two texts. Now, fundamentalist American Christians, reading ‘literally’ will happily tell you that John overrides Matthew because what John is really saying is that, once having decided you are righteous, you may judge.
A-hem.
Who decided the righteousness of whom?
That this interpretation might be precisely what those few lines in Matthew were talking about fails to occur to them. Good thing we stopped reading Matthew before verse 8. It might sum up my feelings all too adequately. And I do so love pearls. Especially wild ones. Kinda like pigs, too, come to think of it. But I digress.
Frankly, I assume Jesus meant exactly what he said. But then, we have long since seen here that in any conflict between God’s love, expressed through his Son and any possible other line from the Bible which is not so charitable, the American fundamentalist Christians will always leave that long-haired Jewish Rabi out of the mix. Goodness, he wore sandals and hung around with prostitutes and tax-collectors! What ever could he have been thinking.
Besides, he was a Jew, not a gen-u-whine Christian like, um, er well all those who are useful for pitching an argument against human and civil rights.
And that, ultimately, is our conflict. Sure, the Bible says, and I won’t torture you with the Latin again, spare the rod, and spoil the child. It also says, take your drunken 17 year old son out to the city limits and ask the neighbors to stone him to death.
How strange that American fundamentalist Christians suddenly feel they have to literally accept the first passage on the rod and, of course, Jesus freed us from following that second passage. Pacta servant sunt, unless it happens to get in the way of self-righteousness.
The real argument, it seems to me, should be on just exactly how to discipline children so that they can behave themselves properly in this world after they leave home. Would I want my children to be raised as I was – to be charitable to those less fortunate than myself, respectful to authority, hard working and committed to treating animals well? Yes, I surely would. That concept of meus et tues which got drummed into me at a very young age, together with ‘your right to throw your arm around stops where your brother’s nose begins’ certainly made an impression.
I was not beaten, I was not spanked. We didn’t “do” time-outs.
The rules were hard and firm and even one toe over the bright line resulted in immediate punishment. No, “I am warning you for the last time”. No “if that ever happens again.” Nope, breaking rules resulted in being disciplined. With a long lecture on why the rule was there and an even longer punishment to guarantee I learned the lesson.
Had breakfast before feeding the dogs? I only made that mistake once. Spent the next two weeks serving all the animals (including the barn folk), collecting the eggs making>/i> breakfast for my brother, father, mother, and then and only then getting to sit down and eat. More than an hour later than otherwise, and when you are 12, let me tell you – your stomach thinks your throat has been cut and kibble sure looks and smells better than you used to think.
Put the mower away without cleaning it? Fine, no hu-hu. Next week there was a shiny, brand-new push mower and it already took the power mower two hours to cut the grass just behind my folk’s house…To really drive the point home, my brother got to use the power mower for his half of the lawn.
I disagree strongly that the Bible demands we physically hit children. I firmly believe that we must discipline our children firmly.
Ted, just a side note, in case you made it through all of that above. I don’t think it is useful to assume all gay Christians also advocate abortion. I want to see abortion reduced tremendously. At the same time, I do not feel that I, as a man, have the right to tell a woman what she must do with her body. I have no standing. All I may do is to show her the alternatives.



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Panthera

posted April 4, 2009 at 9:48 am


Oh, my. I apologize for the italics.
Set a tag incorrectly.
I swane, between my incompetence and this interface, well, never mind.



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Ted Seeber

posted April 6, 2009 at 5:28 pm


Nope, signing into belief net does *not* result in no captcha. Darn.
Panthera- I never said being gay = believing in abortion. But being gay, and acting on it, is in the mind of true conservative Christians in the same mold as other life issues- a slippery slope that threatens extinction of humanity in general. Let’s move that conversation to the Same Sex Marriage portion of the blog, shall we?
And on the other- yes, for many kids who are “normal” or “neurotypical”, that chore-based natural consequences discipline does indeed work. However, for some kids who aren’t normal to begin with- a two week chore based discipline will at best result in the original behavior reasserting itself later, and at worst (me) would result in me doing the chore in such a way that it would be *worse* for the family than had I never done the chore to begin with.
For instance, once I made the mistake of not helping with bringing in the firewood. My chore was to move all the firewood out of an outbuilding that was falling apart, and stack it buy the house. I was so angry at having to have done the chore, that I ended up smashing a window while stacking the firewood.



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atone

posted April 6, 2009 at 7:41 pm


“We have managed a society which is enormously less violent and far more disciplined here in Europe although we don’t spank our kids.”
By and large, Europe is less ethnically diverse country-to-country too. And with racism on the rise, Europe really cannot claim the moral high ground when it comes to violence – particularly if you look back over the last 100 years. I think there are several other contributing factors of violence in the U.S. that should be looked at rather than the stereotypical cookies we like to reach for the lower shelves. And I think Tony has taken the easy, over-simplistic road. I’ve noticed the OT was brought up a bit, but never in the context of what it actually says regarding discipline. The U.S. was far less violent a century ago and spanking was the norm but we didn’t live in a postmodern, Grand Theft Auto 4 world then either



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atone

posted April 6, 2009 at 8:15 pm


Tony, one more thing. It doesn’t help advance the conversation if you make people who spank their kids out to be child abusers. I thought this kind of extremism and demonization was a thing you avoided. Of course, if you really do think parents who spank are child abusers then the conversation is simply DOA – either way, it’s tough to take you seriously on this issue.
Brad



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Theresa Seeber

posted April 8, 2009 at 12:45 am


Brad (atone), you said “It doesn’t help advance the conversation if you make people who spank their kids out to be child abusers.” Where did Tony say that? Are you maybe projecting some of the words of some of the commenters onto him? I just don’t see him saying that at all, anywhere. I don’t see how inaccurate accusations help to advance the conversation either. Not trying to nag, just don’t see where you got that.



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Zach Nielsen

posted May 26, 2009 at 11:20 am


Doug Wilson wisely writes:
People who do not know how to look beyond surface appearances will say that when you spank a child you are teaching them violence. They say spanking a child is hitting a child, and they are impatient with those who seek to make fundamental distinctions. Lovemaking is not rape, even though the same biological act is involved in both. Executing Ted Bundy is not imitating Ted Bundy, even though someone loses his life in both instances. The difference between child abuse and child discipline is as vast as the difference between unrighteousness and righteousness.
Godly discipline, spanking included, is an act of love. Children who are disciplined appropriately know that they are being loved, and they know that the world is a secure place. Boundaries exist, and those boundaries are defended by parents who love the boundaries, just as they love their children. Children who are not corrected and spanked when they need it know that their parents are actually exhibiting a hatred of them (Prov. 13:24). This is what Scripture teaches, and so we may safely assert it. But having done so, we are also invited to taste the godly fruit of obedience in this. The Scriptures are not true in a vacuum; they speak the truth to us, about us, and concerning us. Whenever we obey, trusting God for the blessing, the results are what the Bible promises to glad obedience.
http://www.credenda.org/issues/16-2childer.php



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PDeverit

posted June 7, 2009 at 2:20 am


Inherited Bad Habit
Child buttock-beating for the purpose of gaining compliance is nothing more than an inherited bad habit.
Its a good idea for parents to take a look at what they are doing, and learn how to DISCIPLINE instead of hit.
I think the reason why television shows like “Supernanny” and “Dr. Phil” are so popular is because that is just what many (not all) people are trying to do.
There are several reasons why child buttock-beating isn’t a good idea. Here are some good, quick reads recommended by professionals:
Plain Talk About Spanking
by Jordan Riak
The Sexual Dangers of Spanking Children
by Tom Johnson
NO VITAL ORGANS THERE, So They Say
by Lesli Taylor, M.D., and Adah Maurer Ph.D.



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Susan James

posted August 4, 2009 at 9:28 am


I had no idea until after becoming a parent that people still hit their kids. Since making friends with other parents I have realized the awful truth. The majority of people still hit their children. Hitting and spanking helpless children does not work. All it does is cause psychological damage and physical damage. They don’t respect you because you hit them they are scared of you. In the long run they will be more violent and more likely to misbehave if you hit them. It is an ignorant and cruel way to raise a child. Some people use religion as an excuse to batter their helpless children. But would Jesus hit an innocent child? Besides, there are much more effective ways of raising an obedient child. My child has never been hit and my friends are jealous of how well she behaves. This is because her self-esteem and confidence has not been battered by abusing hands.



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Rayford Mccanless

posted June 26, 2014 at 7:01 pm


I would like to thnkx for the efforts you have put in writing this blog. I am hoping the same high-grade website post from you in the upcoming as well. Actually your creative writing skills has encouraged me to get my own web site now. Actually the blogging is spreading its wings fast. Your write up is a good example of it.



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posted 8:51:22am Oct. 25, 2009 | read full post »

Social Media for Pastors
Following up on Christianity21, we at JoPa Productions are developing a series of boot camps for pastors who want to learn about and utilize social media tools like blogging, Twitter, and Facebook.  These are one-day, hands-on learning experiences, currently offered in the Twin Cities and soon

posted 10:45:52am Oct. 22, 2009 | read full post »

Ending Christian Euphemisms: "Fundamentalist"
I've taken some heat in the comment section for using yesterday's post on "unbiblical" and a "higher view of scripture" as a thin foil for my own disregard of biblical standards. To the contrary, I was pointing to the use of the word unbiblical as a stand-in for a particularly thin hermeneutic. Ther

posted 10:15:41am Oct. 21, 2009 | read full post »

Why You Should Get GENERATE
Last week at Christianity21, GENERATE Magazine debuted. With the tag line, "an artifact of the emergence conversation," it fit perfectly at the gathering. When I actually got around to reading it last weekend, I was truly surprised at how good it is.There have been several efforts to begin a paper j

posted 3:14:37pm Oct. 20, 2009 | read full post »




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