Friday, June 8, 2012

Pastor Arrested for Preaching Spanking

“Philip Caminiti, 55, was pastor of Aleitheia Bible Church... Caminiti was found guilty by a jury in March of eight counts of conspiracy to commit child abuse for teaching church members what he said was a literal interpretation of discipline prescribed by the Bible...”
 – The Wisconsin State Journal, May 25, 2012


The Wisconsin State Journal recently reported about a pastor jailed for encouraging child abuse- or spanking, depending on who you talk to.  You can read the full article here.

Now, I don't know exactly what this pastor was preaching, the kind of disciplinary practices that he was endorsing, or what exactly the methodology of spanking was which he was encouraging.

Maybe he was right, maybe he was wrong.

He was certainly right about one thing: kids need spanked.  I'm a graduate of the school of more than a few parentally-inflicted hard knocks, and I'm a better man for it.  But my experience isn't authoritative.  Let's look to Something that is.

The Bible repeatedly exhorts parents to spank their children- mostly in the book of Proverbs.  (Pr. 13:24, 23:13)

This does not equate to teaching child abuse.  The Word of God encourages loving parental
involvement in the lives of their children- teaching them, training them, and disciplining them when necessary.

To do anything otherwise is to abuse the child- whether by ferocious and angry beatings or by a failure to train the child in ways of righteousness.

So spanking isn't wrong- actually, it is very right.  It's hard to see this in a world where we rarely look past our nose.  We are used to microwave solutions.  We don't log in the brain-hours necessary to see the end results of our policies.

Thomas Sowell, in his excellent book Basic Economics, explains that governmental involvement in the economy should be judged by the incentives created, not by the ostensible purposes of the programs.

We are so susceptible to so much when we allow ourselves to be driven by emotion, by passion, by the tyranny of the urgent, by the simple need to DO SOMETHING!!!

When we look at life from this “do something, even if it's wrong” perspective, things like socialism make sense.  “Of course we need to steal from the rich- these poor people need help!”

We don't realize the devastating end results of these decisions.  We don't realize that by stealing from the rich we discourage wealth, that by indiscriminately feeding the poor we incentivize poverty, that by counting to fifty instead of spanking the child we train that child that instant obedience is really not that important.

And then what happens?  They grow up a terror, join the military to get away from their parents, and get spanked into obedience in boot camp.


I don't know whether this pastor was portraying the Biblical picture of loving discipline or the worldly stereotype of angry abuse.  I do know that the Biblical picture of child-raising involves spanking, and that God's Way is the best way.  If we can't see the benefits that come from walking in obedience to God, it just means that we need to open our eyes.

But there is something much deeper, much more disturbing here than a questionable interpretation of Scripture.

Dane County Circuit Judge Maryann Sumy said, according to the Journal, that “the sentence, in part, was intended to send a message that child abuse will not be tolerated and to prevent Caminiti from once again teaching members of his church to spank their children with wooden objects to cure them of selfishness.”

Dare I say “wow”?

Not only did this judge just arbitrarily condemn the very definition of Biblical spanking, but she
condemned a man- punished him- to send a message?

Punishments are not to be administered as a method of communication!  The guilty are to be punished, the innocent are to be vindicated (Rom. 13, Ex. 23:7). 

But this pastor was not only sent to jail to send a message.  He was also being punished for his actions- or was he?  This man has not been convicted of any crime.  He has been convicted of “conspiracy to commit” a crime. At least, the judge thinks it is a crime.

This would be laughable if it weren't so horrifying.

The judge arbitrarily defines child abuse to include spanking.

I'm going to make up a word here: Fungusonomy.  Fungus-law.  This is what we see happening today, and it is the logical outworking of the humanistic worldview.  Fungusonomy teaches that the law has to be ever expanding, ever growing- we have to DO SOMETHING!!!  As good little humanists, we aren't limited by any law outside of ourselves.  It is up to us- well, actually, up to our nanny state- to police everything, to hold it all together, to punish hate crimes and thought crimes and mistreatment-of-mother-earth crimes.

So if a pastor encourages spanking, he must be silenced.  Because that might mean abuse.  Never mind The Bible.  Never mind the Constitution.  Never mind the years of misery that untrained children go through until they're finally spanked in much more painful ways later in life.  Never mind that this might result in many, many innocent people being convicted of child abuse.  Never mind any of that.

Somebody might get hurt.

We have to do something.

Read Gary North's excellent article on this case here.

34 comments:

Bush Maid said...

Such a sad thing, because it is true. I think if you ask any now adult who was disciplined Biblically as a child if they suffered because of it, their reply would be quite the opposite. The thing is, no one is held accountable for their own actions anymore. There is no responsibility. And even if you do do something wrong, there are no consequences. (or next to none) This is all a result of children not being held accountable for their misbehavior as a child. Spanking shows a child that there are consequences to one's actions. If they grow up without this training, they become prideful self centered adults who think the world owes them everything and they can get away with anything. With the Biblical principle of spanking now removed, people are training the next generation of adults to be quite useless to society.

Gabriel Hudelson said...

YES. It's striking how victimized modern American society is. Reminds me of Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged.

Bailey said...

Leave it to Wisconsin. *sigh*

There's so much wrong with that article that I'm just like...wow. It makes me mad, too, because there ARE cases of genuine abuse of spanking that DO need to be addressed by the law...but equating a few swats with abuse trivializes what abuse is.

I don't support spanking 100% for 100% of the child population but it ticks me off that courts are butting into Biblical interpretation and church discipline. It should be the Christians (whether they spank or not) who keep an eye on abusive teaching and deal with it themselves.

Racheal said...

I was spanked and even though I didn't like it then--I am very thankful that my parents spanked me. I have actually thanked them for taking a paddle to me. They always made sure to explain to me why I was getting spanked and pointed me to the Bible. "This does not please God...what does the Bible say about it?"

Gabriel, I have never read any of Ayn Rand's works though I'm in the slow process of reading a book on her philosophy (Without a Prayer by John Robbins). It is extremely confusing and contradictory. How does it come across in novel form? ('Atlas Shrugged' is a novel isn't it?)

Gabriel Hudelson said...

"It should be the Christians (whether they spank or not) who keep an eye on abusive teaching and deal with it themselves."

YES. It's not the state's job.

Racheal, yes, "Atlas Shrugged" is a novel. She is ferociously conservative (good!) and ferociously feministic (bad!) and ferociously atheistic (also bad!). So she really is a mixed bag. She does a great job of exposing liberal philosophies, but she also tries to create a system of morality without God, which results in, of course, an epic fail.

Xalem said...

As a pastor myself, I actually am happy to see someone holding pastors to account for their preaching. In any congregation, the children are the most vulnerable. A preacher could teach parents an abusive parenting style, and create a wall of silence within the community giving a child nowhere to turn for help. God clearly calls on leaders in the Church to put the needs of children first. (Mark 9:42) Pastors cannot simply preach a narrow doctrine when it comes to raising children. Any pastor has to be aware of all of scripture, all the theological discussion on these issues, and all the scientific literature and all cultural knowledge. The role of pastor is a profession for exactly this reason. My denomination expects me to weight all these concerns very carefully whenever I preach. I have no sympathy for those who claim that the Bible commands the rod to rule the household. It is in the home where Christ's gospel of forgiveness must be most clearly lived out. Any pastor that teaches parents a harsh discipline approach to parenting runs incredible risks:kids who commit suicide or run away, parents who go too far and abuse their own children. The Bible is clear, the pastor will be held responsible by God, and for my part, I think human courts should be able to intervene when a pastor has gone too far. I hope this arrest is a wake up call for those who take on the profession of pastor.

Jemimah :-) said...

Man, can that really happen?!?!?!?!?!?
I strongly believe that spanking is an all biblical and god-honouring thing for parents to do, as long as it is done in love. When a parent does it in anger then it is definitely wrong. God has appointed the job of disciplining children to their parents, but he clearly shows that it is ALWAYS to be done in and out of love.

Gabriel Hudelson said...

Mr. Xalem, I agree that pastors should be held accountable to keep their teachings within the purview of Scripture.

However, I do not see Scripture anywhere giving the state jurisdiction to provide that accountability.

Gabriel Hudelson said...

Jemimah- totally agree. :-)

Anonymous said...

Everyone here speaking in favor of spanking for discipline is skipping over three VERY important words from the judge's statement: "WITH WOODEN OBJECTS"

I'm all for discipline, and I received it when I deserved it, but a big line is crossed when you've decided that your hand isn't delivering a sufficient message and you go find a hunk of wood to help you deliver your "love" to your kid...

Gabriel Hudelson said...

Anon, Scripture says "the rod." :-)

Andrew Romanowitz said...

Anonymous: Let me clarify for Gabriel. The Hebrew word which is translated "rod" in the scripture literally refers to a shoot off of a tree. You might call it a switch. I wouldn't call it a hunk of wood, either, but then again, neither did the judge. He ruled against all wooden objects, and, last time I checked, trees are made out of wood. Thus, the fact remains that the judge stands in contradiction to the scripture, and whenever that happens, we are required to obey God rather than man.

To both Anonymous and Bush Maid: I would disagree with the philosophy that discipline is about hard consequences. In the scripture, discipline is not spoken of as "just deserts," but rather something necessary for the prevention of consequences. The disciplinary philosophy which argues that the purpose of spanking is to teach kids that there are consequences to wrong actions actually ignores the Biblical priorities regarding discipline. I know, I sound like a heretic, don't I? Allow me to clarify. In Proverbs 13:24, 19:18, 22:15, 23:13-14, and all of the other foundational verses regarding discipline in the scripture, forgive me if I've made a terrible oversight, but I don't see anything speaking of the rod as some sort of inexorable consequence for the sin of the child. The scripture rather presents that rod as something that parents impose upon the child for the child's good; something that parents give to the child because they love the child and want to see the child be sanctified from internal tendencies to self-destructive foolishness.

I would posit that discipline is not so much about what you deserve as what you need. At least, that's what just about every single scripture verse I've read on the subject tells me. "Deserve" when applied to the subject of discipline is used in reference to penology, and I know this is probably going to get somebody a little riled, but I do not think that the Scripture addresses the rod in the context of penology. Yes, it is used to address sins, but its sole purpose is the security and sanctification of the child, not (if I may use the expression) criminal punishment. At any rate, it seems that even really level-headed, Reformed Christians suppose things about biblical discipline which not only do not follow from scriptural teaching, but are really contradictory to what the Scripture teaches.

Bailey: I would give you a series of hearty amens (you are dead right on jurisdictions and genuine cases of abuse and all that), but there's one remark in your comment that checks me: "I don't support spanking 100% for 100% of the child population..." My question is, what does the Bible say about that? I thought the Bible said that if you don't correct a child, that child will (assuming that there is no very miraculous intervention by God) ultimately spiritually destroy itself by its foolishness. Or am I perhaps misunderstanding your remark? Please clarify.

Stand Fast,

Andrew Romanowitz

Gabriel Hudelson said...

Thanks for the great clarification, Andrew. Don't know if I totally agree with the second paragraph- I think you might be doing some unnecessary semantical dancing there. :-)

Andrew Romanowitz said...

Mr. Xalem,

I think it will be best to respond to your marks line by line:

"As a pastor myself, I actually am happy to see someone holding pastors to account for their preaching."

And...you think the state should do that. Actually, the biblical way of dealing with wacky churches is accountability between churches, not state intervention. That's why I'm a presbyterian.

"In any congregation, the children are the most vulnerable. A preacher could teach parents an abusive parenting style, and create a wall of silence within the community giving a child nowhere to turn for help."

Only in churches where elders are unaccountable autocrats who usurp authority over the jurisdictions of families. Pastors are required to open the word of God and preach every part of it, but that is not a jurisdictional grant of power to force parents to do certain things to their children.

"God clearly calls on leaders in the Church to put the needs of children first. (Mark 9:42)"

And children don't have a need to be disciplined? May I refer you to Proverbs 23:13-14?

"Pastors cannot simply preach a narrow doctrine when it comes to raising children."

Your use of the term "narrow" as a pejorative is arbitrary. The scripture is very narrow on some things; for example, there is a narrow way that leads to life. Is that a bad narrowness? Is God wrong for making the way narrow? Of course not. Then it is indefensible to say that all narrowness is necessarily bad.

In the CHRISTIAN faith, the Bible is an epistemic, presuppositional authority, and epistemic, presuppositional authorities kind of have to be absolutely authoritative and immutable. Whether you subjectively determine the Scriptural teaching to be too "narrow" is really out of the question.

"Any pastor has to be aware of all of scripture, all the theological discussion on these issues, and all the scientific literature and all cultural knowledge. The role of pastor is a profession for exactly this reason. My denomination expects me to weight all these concerns very carefully whenever I preach."

Says who? What does "scientific literature" and "cultural knowledge" have to do with biblical interpretation? I thought that scripture interprets scripture. I thought that God is wiser than man. I thought that the scripture was a presuppositional standard for all truth. I thought that a pastor's profession was to be a minister of the infallible, immutable word of God, not the latest textbook.

Andrew Romanowitz said...

"I have no sympathy for those who claim that the Bible commands the rod to rule the household."

I don't agree with the position that the rod was instituted primarily for the purpose to "rule a household." For more on that, see my earlier comments to Anon. and Bush Maid. But I definitely believe that the rod was instituted by God, that it is a real rod, that you are supposed to spank children with it, and that any person who disagrees holds the authority of God's word in defiance, the pleas of humanistic science and godless culture notwithstanding.

"It is in the home where Christ's gospel of forgiveness must be most clearly lived out."

How does the rod stand opposed to forgiveness? God is said to discipline his own children (see the early part of Hebrews 12), and the analogies employed are rather severe, but the chastisement of the Lord is not contradictory to the doctrine of the atonement, because the chastisement of the Lord (and of godly parents) is not for retribution, but for sanctification.

"Any pastor that teaches parents a harsh discipline approach to parenting runs incredible risks: kids who commit suicide or run away, parents who go too far and abuse their own children."

Any parent that fails to correct his children in love runs the risk of hastening their destruction. It is never advisable to go so far in the avoidance of one danger as to incur another.

"The Bible is clear, the pastor will be held responsible by God, and for my part, I think human courts should be able to intervene when a pastor has gone too far. I hope this arrest is a wake up call for those who take on the profession of pastor."

Yes, and the Bible is also clear, that you will be held responsible if you abuse the word of God and make it of no effect. Your assertions are quite dogmatic, but I fear that they are at the same time entirely contrary to the law and the testimony of God's word. Regarding the intervention of human courts, the fact that you think something (or anything for that matter) does not go an inch towards placing this case within the jurisdiction of civil government. That, sir, must be done by the author of civil government, namely God. Exercise of authority where God has not granted it is the very definition of tyranny.

Sto Pro Veritate,

Andrew Romanowitz

Andrew Romanowitz said...

Gabriel,

You're quite welcome.

My concern is that we be strictly exegetical in what we teach about the discipline of children, rather than speculating about this or that. When we're speculating, we need to acknowledge that fact.

The problem with saying that discipline is punishment is that it contradicts the atonement, because Christ has taken the punishment for the sins of God's children, and yet God disciplines his children. I'm seeing a distinction between punishment and discipline by virtue of Hebrews 12, and I think it's very important that we uphold that distinction, because it has big implications for the way that we approach disciplining children, and the way that we think the rod is supposed to "work."

That said, if you think I'm doing semantical dancing, I'm glad that you've called me on it. Would you elucidate where you think I'm getting too semantical?

Stand Fast,

Andrew Romanowitz

Gabriel Hudelson said...

Well, you bring up a fascinating point that I've never thought about, but I think to be too staunch on that is to become the person you are condemning- the one who speculates on the text. Because, really, you sin, you get spanked. So it is a punishment. God disciplines His children- so we are punished for wrongdoing.

Depending on how you define it, yes, but that's why I think your post gets into semantical dancing- where we strain at the gnat of whether spanking is discipline or punishment and ignore the weightier issues of the law, such as whether the spanking (discipline or punishment regardless) is being done in love.

James Templeton said...

I wonder if the judge realizes that for some of the things grownups do now Moses would have you stoned, and she thinks Biblical spanking is bad.

Andrew Romanowitz said...

Okay, Gabriel, upon reflection, I have this to say. I know that this is a long response, but I don't think it's possible to adress your assertions cogently without this much discussion.

First of all, it is not true that all responses to sin are punishment. Therefore, is not logical to say that, just because spanking is a response to sin and involves pain, it is a punishment. It simply does not follow.

Today, Christians who otherwise try to build their worldviews and practices on the word of God often have philosophy of disciplining children which could be summed up in a very simple credo: “I believe in spanking (and maybe in love).” Nothing is said about how and why and when and where a loving parent uses the rod, except for the fact that, on some occasions, love requires us to apply the rod to the backside of a child (with no specification of why love requires us to do so). If this is the sum of our knowledge on the point, I'm sorry, but it's not worth much. Christians today usually supply all of the details in their child training philosophy by drawing from their own speculations and assumptions, and from the polluted wells of worldly “common sense.”

At any rate, here's the biggest reason why the distinction matters: spanking is not an end to itself. It is for a purpose. If spanking is going to mean anything in the Christian worldview, we must understand that purpose, and we must obey the command to use the rod in such a way as to best fulfill that purpose. What matters is not merely that, purposes, ends, expectations and relational context aside, you are very careful to whack your children with a stick in response to some of their sins. If spanking is for a specific, singular purpose, that purpose matters, because without that purpose spanking wouldn't be necessary-that purpose is actually what makes it a weighty matter! How then can we say that whether we spank our children or not is weighty, but what we intend to accomplish by spanking them is not? To appeal to "love" generally is not helpful, because every truly loving action always has a specific good result in mind.

The question we need to understand is, why is spanking a necessary response on the part of a parent to the sin of a child? The possible answers, as I understand them, are the following:

-Spanking is a necessary response on the part of a parent to the sin of a child because when a child sins, that child has violated the laws of God and the laws of the parent, and everyone who disobeys the law deserves a punishment proportional to their offense.

-Spanking is a necessary response on the part of a parent to the sin of a child because if children are not afraid of their parents, they will not obey their parents; therefore, the purpose of spanking is to make the child afraid enough of the consequences of a sinful action that they will not do it again.

-Spanking is a necessary response on the part of a parent to the sin of a child because the parent is the child's moral and spiritual shepherd, and it is the parent's duty to provide for the sanctification of his child. The purpose of the rod is to cleanse a child's heart (speaking of sanctification, not atonement) by driving out sin, when the child receives it humbly and willingly.

Andrew Romanowitz said...

Modern disciplinary philosophy involves a more or less homogenous mixture of the first two. It takes a manipulative approach wherein it is entirely possible to whitewash the outside of the child without changing his heart, because it assumes that, rather than somehow cleaning the inside of the child (per Proverbs 20:30), the purpose for discipline is to impose an unwanted consequence upon the child externally, to cause him to be motivated by fear to obey the rules. This kind of thinking leads to terrible consequences. It relationally isolates the child's heart from the parent, making the roots of sin indiscernible; it trains the child to be in the habit of obeying his parents (and God) for selfish motives rather than others-centered ones, ultimately creating a grade A hypocrite; and it then tells the child that he is safely on the way of wisdom. That, my friend, is very, very dangerous. Camel-sized dangerous.

If the child's spiritual well-being is the reason why spanking is a necessary response to serious sins (aside from, perhaps, the joy and peace of those who are in relationship with the child), then yes, the purpose of spanking has a tremendous amount of bearing on the practice. It's going to affect the way you treat your children when you spank them, specifically the following:

-Whether you 1. seek to make “punishment” as swift and ritualistic as is possible, 2. try to add to the general terror of the occurrence by putting on severe looks and creating suspense, or 3. seek to deal with the event soberly and with the sorrow that it requires, while carefully communicating a relational context of love and forgiveness.

-Whether you 1. tell your children before you correct them that they are receiving the penalty for their sin (punishment being a one-way action, always indifferent to response) 2. berate them for causing you trouble, and threaten that if they don't shape up it'll be worse next time, or 3. instruct your children regarding repentance, the safety of wisdom and the dangers of foolishness, and the importance of their willingly receiving the correction you are going to give them.

-Whether you spank your children hard enough to 1. meet the requirements of their offense, 2. make them terrified of breaking your commands again, or 3. cleanse their hearts, provided they receive the correction willingly.

-Whether you 1. act like you don't care after you have corrected them or 2. comfort them.

I could go on and on and on, but the point is, this stuff matters. It has major implications for what we teach our children about law, obedience, sin, atonement, sanctification, repentance, and forgiveness. Needless to say, these are very important concepts which are foundational to the Christian religion.

In summary: The Scripture says too much about the way that discipline relates to the destiny of the souls of children for us to allow for sloppiness in our philosophy of it. When it comes to disciplining children with a view to repentance and sanctification (which is the only biblical purpose for discipline), a precise understanding of the nature, the purpose, and practice of spanking is very important. If we ignore it, we are obeying a dead letter rather than the spirit of the law, and consequently being downright legalistic; not to mention that we are probably going to create very thorough hypocrites who don't even know that they are hypocrites, as well as a lot of buried relational tension between us and our children.

I hope this treatment isn't too long for your time, but I really couldn't cut it shorter without leaving room for confusion.

Stand Fast,

Andrew Romanowitz

Gabriel Hudelson said...

Oh my.

"How then can we say that whether we spank our children or not is weighty, but what we intend to accomplish by spanking them is not?"

Good point, but that's not what I'm trying to argue.

"That, my friend, is very, very dangerous. Camel-sized dangerous."

Totally agree with this, too.

In fact, I think I agree with everything that you've said. It's the quibbling over whether to call it a punishment or a form of discipline that I think goes too far.

Because really, I think it's both!

Andrew Romanowitz said...

Gabriel,

Thanks for reading.

Maybe there's a misunderstanding here. If the question is really over the term applied, I guess that's not such a big deal. (Even the biblical terms for entirely different things are sometimes the same; for example, the same word which is translated "instruction," and refers to reproof on some occasions in Proverbs, also is used to speak of the "chastisement of our peace" poured out on Christ in Isaiah 53. The issue for me is in the meat of the matter; what are we really doing? But, having done some research in the wider Christian community on the subject, it does appear that the terms are generally chosen to connote specific philosophies.

Sometimes I wish you'd say more so it's easier to know what it is exactly that you are trying to argue...;)

Stand Fast,

Andrew Romanowitz

Gabriel Hudelson said...

I'm trying to argue that discipline serves the dual purpose of being a hard consequence and training to prevent them. :-)

Andrew Romanowitz said...

Gabriel,

Okay, then I still disagree with you, because I don't see the former stated in the scripture.

It's okay. We won't kill each other over it, I hope :D?

Stand Fast,

Andrew Romanowitz

Gabriel Hudelson said...

Andrew- that's just what it is. It's a hard consequence. You sin, you get spanked. We can debate the philosophy, but I don't think we can say it's not a consequence!

That said, thanks for the good food for thought. :-)

No, I have no assassination attempts planned over this issue. ;-)

Kathleen said...

"Sometimes I wish you'd say more so it's easier to know what it is exactly that you are trying to argue...;)"

I had to smile at this coming from the one person I have come across who types even more than I do. :)


Strangely, children "abused" in this manner usually grow up to be more mentally balanced than those who haven't. I would venture to guess that this judge was not spanked as a child, or she would recognize the value of it.

Living in the UK, I enjoy listening to the BBC's cricket commentary. One of their commentators, Geoffrey Boycott, is the stereotypical "grumpy old man." I remember one game where an England player had an unprofessional display of temper. Boycott's comment was, "that lad needed more smackings when he was younger." (said with a *very* strong Yorkshire accent) :)

Racheal said...

I haven't kept up with this...but there are some very interesting discussions here :)

However, I really wanted to remark about the 'wooden object' thing...as a kid I ALWAYS preferred the wooden paddle over my daddy's hand! It didn't hurt near as bad as that strong open hand wacking my bottom :)(Of course, I never told him that until pretty recently ;D ) I've only be literally switched once--and that was by my Grandpa. (By the way, what do ya'll think of grandparents spanking youngsters? I fully expect my parents to do it if I'm not around.)

Gabriel Hudelson said...

I would totally be fine with grandparental spanking. In our house, sometimes older siblings use physical punishment as well.

Dakota said...

Hey, I just came across your blog by doing a bit of blog-surfing and I'm glad I did! I've added myself as your newest follower, and I hope you'll check out my Christian devotional site as well.

Have a blessed day!

In Christ,
Dakota - A Look at Life from a Deerstand

Jodi said...

I thought that lying was a sin! You are lying via omission. He was NOT jailed for simply advocating spanking as discipline. He was jailed for instructing parents to beat children as young as two months old with wooden dowels.

If you leave that part out, you are either a liar and/or too stupid to know the difference between spanking and horrific abuse.

Gabriel Hudelson said...

Dakota, thanks for stopping by! I'll be sure to do likewise on your blog. :-)

Jodi, thanks for checking out my blog!

I don't know exactly what method of spanking that he was advocating or how he advocated it. Furthermore, he very well may have been encouraging child abuse, but that's really irrelevant to the point of this article! :-)

Anonymous said...

I think you, Gabriel, should be spanked for condoning child abuse. It sickens me, and I hope one day, you learn the truth about what you highly are recommending for our children. Very sick. I feel very sorry for you and any children you bear.

Andrew Romanowitz said...

Anonymous,

Perhaps we should all feel sorry for ourselves for being abused. Because I see at least six young people on this comment thread who recieved physical correction as children and do not think that they were abused. I don't think my parents were very sick, and I shudder to think what kind of a mess I would be if I hadn't been disciplined. I think my friends would agree. Now, if you're going to keep insisting that we should think, against our present inclinations, that spanking was bad for us in the long run, you are going to have to start appealing to something other than your self-made definitions of child abuse.

Stand Fast,

Andrew Romanowitz

Kathleen said...

Anonymous, Gabriel clearly does know what he is advocating here. He says himself that he was spanked. So was I. While I had a hard time being grateful then, I am most certainly thankful now for those past spankings.

You know, sometimes, my parents gave us a choice. They let us choose between the spanking, or some other punishment that "fit the crime". We always chose the spanking. It was better to have the brief unpleasantness over and done with, and the relationship restored. So yes, I chose the spanking over missing the next trip to the beach. Had I been given that choice, I'd probably have also chosen spanking over washing my mouth out with soap for talking when "zipped"... but I don't recall that ever being an option. :)

We aren't clueless here. We're speaking as those who recognize the value of parental (and, in some cases, grandparental) discipline in our own lives.