This article by Claire Roise looks at how society’s views of cigarettes and seat belts have changed over the years and how it would look if abuse followed suit. It is a very interesting article and I recommend it highly. I remember the changes she discusses quite well. (I was an oddball child who insisted on wearing a seat belt back in a time when they were not used at all. I remember digging them out from under the seat and brushing off all the gunk.) Society’s views of abuse have been changing over the years, but very slowly. Too slowly.
Valerie Tarico looks at the problem of Christian discipline leading to abuse in “Bible-based” discipline has led to child abuse in Salon Magazine. I am seeing non-believers getting more and more concerned with this issue and rightly so. It breaks my heart that abusive Christians are giving Christianity a bad name. Of course, it is only natural that they are trying to find a way to stop the abuse. My only concern with that is that their definition of abuse often includes teaching children that they are sinners in need of salvation, which is the heart of the Gospel.
Because of that article, Pastor Doug Bursch (who was raised in a grace-filled, loving home) discussed the problem with M. Dolon Hickmon on his Christian Talk Radio show, Live from Seattle 820AM. This conversation is extremely interesting as well as important. Dolon explains how important it is for Christians to recognize abuse. Not only do churches fail to notice abuse, they often inadvertently encourage it. He explains how each person listening to a sermon about spanking has a different definition for the words being used. Both abused children and their parents assume that the word, “spanking” means exactly what they are currently doing and are being validated that they should continue, even if the pastor preaching means nothing of the sort. Raising awareness is very important and he has a lot of hope that the book he wrote will go a long way towards that. You can get information about his book here. ****Warning! Book very triggering for survivors of abuse****
Back in March of 2012, Jan Heimlich debated Michael Pearl in a video which was featured in The Christian Post. Although, I did mention the debate at the time as well as Samuel Martin’s Rebuttal to one of his statements, I never gave my own rebuttal.
I would like to respond to some of Mr. Pearl’s statements. Rather than transcribe his comments myself, I will use the quotes given in the Christian Post article.
… In our book, To Train up a Child, we clearly point out that parents should not spank when it doesn’t work; they should not spank when they’re angry. We point out that they should spank five or ten licks, no more. And we point out that the spanking should be in accordance to the size of the child. We point out they should never leave marks.
I really don’t know where he says not to spank when it doesn’t work. I would appreciate some help with that. All I can find is him saying that if you are consistent, it will work. Here is an example from To Train Up A Child (TTUAC)
Those who are MOSTLY consistent must use the switch too often. Those who are ALWAYS consistent come to almost never need the switch.
Dara Stoltzfus shows us how we can raise children to not see abusive behavior as normal in Wives With Knives.
While I’m at it, I will also link to another interesting post called Looking Up.