‘Marriage for Today’ Hosts Defend Michael Pearl’s Teachings.

An article in The Christian Post reports that ‘Marriage for Today’ Hosts, Rev.  Mike Fox and his wife, Trisha, have been using the Pearls’ teachings to raise their daughter and are scheduled to appear on CNN to defend Michael Pearl.

Because Christians did not stand up and condemn the dangerous teachings of the Pearls, they ended up in the public eye.  I had always had a policy of keeping them a secret from non-believers and focusing on Christians, but once the third child died, the proverbial cat was out of the bag.  I do not make a habit of linking what the non-believers say about Pearl since they do not make arguments which are relevant to Christians, however, when the Washington Post reports on the Pearls I figure that is of interest as it is part of mainstream news.  I see many more in smaller papers to which I do not link, but a simple Google search will find if you are interested.  Some search terms to use would be, “Pearl Controversial book” or “Lydia Schatz Pearl”

Update:  The ‘Marriage for Today’ Hosts have a new article on The Christian Post about their appearance on Anderson (aired Dec 2, 2011).  The comments on this article are very interesting.  I agree with many of the commenters that it is very unusual for a pro-spanker to quote someone from the Christian Domestic Discipline movement to give credibility to their arguments.



  1. Nathaniel on November 19, 2011 at 2:27 pm

    Why on Earth would you say a non-believer’s perspective would have nothing of value to a Christian on this issue? Do our voices proclaiming the abusive inhumanity of these “rules” really mean nothing if it comes from a non-Christian mouth?

    • Hermana Linda on November 19, 2011 at 5:02 pm

      It’s not that they mean nothing, it’s that they tend to be irrelevant. If someone is convinced that God is telling them to do something and someone who doesn’t even believe in God tells them that they are wrong, they are not going to pay any attention. However if a Christian explains that God is NOT saying that at all using the Bible to prove it, that is a different story. Well, not always, often they just write off that Christian as a heretic, but at least there is a chance of it helping convince them.

    • Zooey on November 20, 2011 at 6:24 am

      Nathaniel, Linda’s point is well taken. The Pearls specifically target Christians, by claimiung that their advice is “Biblical” (which it is not).
      As satisfying as it is for those of us who have been fighting the Pearls for years, to find you as allies, the problem is that the Pearls simply shrug off anything that non-Christians say as not applicable to *them*, as do their followers. This is precisely why it is so important to hear Christian voices speaking out against them.

    • C.L. Dyck on November 20, 2011 at 3:21 pm

      Hi, Nathaniel…if it helps any, my family background is atheist/agnostic, while my husband’s is conservative Christian. We are raising our children within the beliefs that my husband brought to our marriage–but my background also contributes much in terms of the freethinker lifestyle of critical thinking, etc.

      We see huge peer pressure on Christian parents from a couple of different directions. (1) From within the religious community, to be countercultural in raising their children and stand up to things like consumerism, institutionalization of education, and pressure to secularize; (2) From the wider culture, to reject their personal convictions in order to integrate better.

      NGJ is one of those phenomena where the movement’s leader uses cult-style “they’re all fallen away and worldly” talk to scare his readers into refusing to consider alternate viewpoints, and this has negatively impacted dialogue in the wider Christian community, never mind across different beliefs.

      In our estimation, the maximum danger zone is among parents who think Pearl is talking about faith-based ideas they recognize and accept, when instead they’re hearing double-talk that leads them into a tangled web of spiritual, emotional and physical abuse.

      These are people with strong ideas about rejection of mainstream lifestyles. Without a basis of trust that input is given in good faith to parents’ personal convictions, addressing the problems of NGJ just becomes another form of peer pressure *against* parents’ beliefs, and entrenchment can occur. Advocacy from within the faith community seeks to structure itself in ways that remove that obstacle in favor of open dialogue.

      Non-Christians have a vital role in opening up dialogue simply by being gentle and accepting in spite of religious differences. The simplicity of a kind word has the power to tip the balance, and it’s crucial to building community support for better parenting. And as someone with a loving and precious relationship with my non-Christian family, I have no doubt there are plenty of people out there with the compassion and wisdom to contribute.

      My husband and I wrote the free e-book “Parenting in the Name of God” (see Linda’s sidebar links) as something that speaks to conservative Christian parents on their own terms, and we encourage concerned individuals of any belief to use it as a resource that can and does reach the TTUAC demographic through a faith-based approach.

  2. Bethany Mitchell on November 16, 2011 at 9:47 pm

    I am not a Christian (I’m Jewish), but I’m so happy you’ve put together this website/blog about that awful child abuse book, To Train up a Child. I have not read it, but have read all about it contains through websites and reviews. It sickens me to think that parents actually treat their children in this abusive manner! I love my children and would NEVER discipline them in this abusive way. Gee whiz! I wouldn’t even treat my worst enemy this way! The authors of this book (along with their followers) are sick (meaning dementedly sick) people. (Don’t know if I spelled dementedly correctly or not, but you all know what I mean.)

    I will follow your website/blog to get the latest news on all this. Thanks again for taking time and putting this informative website/blog together.

    • Hermana Linda on November 17, 2011 at 8:31 am

      Thank you so much for following my site and for your kind words.

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