So apparently there has been a lot of controversy in California recently regarding spanking. A bill was proposed that would have made it illegal for anyone (including a parent) to strike a child under the age of four. Well that pissed off a lot of child hitters, so the bill was revised to just make it illegal to discipline a child with a closed fist, belt, electrical cord, shoe or other objects. The bill would also make it easier to prosecute anyone who throws, kicks, burns, chokes or cuts a child younger than 18. Also included would be striking a child younger than 3 in the head or face, and vigorously shaking a baby or toddler. And a lot of people are still pissed off. (read more here)
Of course this bill is being labeled as intolerant and anti-christian. Apparently hitting children is the only godly way to get them to do what you want. While the revised bill does allow open handed spanking, that's not good enough for some groups that insist that harder objects must be used to break the child's will.
Why is this a bad thing to some? One church whose advice pamphlet
on spanking will be challenged by this new law, says that "guiltiness of sin can only be removed by God at salvation, but God has established a method by which children can have human justice satisfied and thus remove guilt. This method is spanking," because "The reality about Biblical spanking is that it works in a child's life to help bring him to the point of salvation." This church advises parents that "children should be disciplined starting shortly after birth with spanking beginning at the manifestation of the rebellious will," and that if after spanking "If the will has not been broken, spank again. Some of the ways the administrator of discipline can tell if the child is still being willful is if he turns around or puts his hands behind him during the spanking, or if he screams during or after the spanking." Oh and the Bible is clear that you can only use a rod to spank. They also tell parents that "when parents know to spank for a disobedience but withhold the rod, they are sinning."
I guess they're going to have to revise their theology or finally be punished for abusing children.
I know most spanking advocates aren't as extreme as this church, but I really have a hard time understanding it still. Just like I really can't fathom how anyone could hold the mindset that women are inferior to men, I can't understand how anyone can think it's okay to hit a child. I see it happen all the time, but I still don't get it. If it was a man hitting a woman or even a person hitting a dog - they would be prosecuted. But to hit a child is considered an inalienable right. I posted this quote before, but it is fitting today -"When a child hits a child, we call it aggression.
When a child hits an adult, we call it hostility.
When an adult hits an adult, we call it assault.
When an adult hits a child, we call it discipline." - Haim Ginott"
Why? To show that they are bigger and stronger and have power over the child? To teach that might makes right? To break the child's will/personality? To control the child? To instill the fear of discipline (or God)?
I do not want my child to think that just because someone is bigger and more powerful than she is they can do whatever they want to her (no matter what our national war policy might imply). I do not want my child to be a good person because she fears physical harm if she isn't. I do not want my child to love/serve me or God out of fear.
There's something messed up about having to use laws to punishment parents who hurt children in order to punish them. One would hope common sense and love would dictate that, but other forms of rampant violence (spousal abuse, rape...) show that control and intimidation through physical violence is too often the norm. So if we need to add laws that protect babies and children to those that protect women, then so be it.
, Corporal Punishment
Labels: Culture, parenting, Politics