Re: Pastor under fire after children die
- The Pearls again (though we really should go further and ban all corporal punishment, it doesn't work and causes psychological problems, some of which the rest of society faces).
Though I think it worth reading some of the work of Benjamin Abelow at http://www.benjaminabelow.com/ on how corporal punishment may have shaped religion and how religions may seem natural to people who were corporally punished as children (might also explain why so many of the ultra-religious are big on child abuse and did lead me into a line of reasoning that may explain why they think atheists can't have morals).
--- In email@example.com, "killertiel" wrote:
> In their self-published book, To Train Up a Child, Pearl, 66, and
> his wife Debi, 60, recommend the systematic use of "the rod" to
> teach young children to submit to authority. They offer
> instructions on how to use a switch for hitting children as young
> as six months,
At that age nothing you do will work so there's no point bothering (just do the minimum to protect them and other people from harm, which doesn't require hitting (I'm not sure I want to know where people get the idea that hitting a child is going to remove them from a dangerous situation any better than picking them up)).
> Michael Pearl has said the methods are based on "the same
> principles the Amish use to train their stubborn mules."
There's far too much emphasis on obedience (there are times when I think we should have classes in school on how to disobey).
> The Pearls aren't being charged.
There might be free speech issues with charging them although inciting someone to commit child abuse probably does cross the line.
> But Dr. Frances Chalmers, a state pediatrician who examined Hana's
> death, suggested to the Times that their teachings may have played
> a role in Hana's death.
Bit of an understatement there.
> The Pearls, along with many conservative Christians, say the Bible
> calls for corporal punishment. "To give up the use of the rod is to
> give up our views of human nature, God, eternity," they write in
> the book.
The bible is so contradictory and open to interpretation it can mean whatever you want it to mean.
Besides, Rehoboam didn't turn out too well after being smacked.
One thing worth noting is that this kind of crap does sometimes spread outside fundamentalist Christianity, see http://www.nospank.net/c-wilson.htm for an example.
> And Michael Pearl rejects the notion that his teachings bear any
> responsibility for the childrens' deaths. "If you find a 12-step
> book in an alcoholic's house, you wouldn't blame the book," he told
> the Times.
Actually I probably would blame the 12 step book because 12 step programmes just aren't any good at dealing with addiction (they're more of a mutual enablers club).
> The issue of corporal punishment had already been making headlines
> recently. Last week, a Texas woman posted online a video from 2004
> that showed her father, a judge, whipping her with a belt when she
> was 16.
As much as corporal punishment needs to be banned it'd be hard to enforce such a ban if you've got judges doing it.