Science and Spanking

So, there have been some new studies lately regarding spanking. While I realize that many Christians don’t give a fig what the scientists say, many do and I thought it might be helpful to link to some articles about these studies.

Here is an article from Scientific American.

Here is an article from IFL Science.

I also have a nice article from Psychology Today which looks at child development and explains that many of kids’ so-called “naughty” behaviors are developmental and human.

Does Candace Cameron Bure promote the Pearls?

Inquisitr.com reports that Candace Cameron Bure promotes some very harsh teachings including that of the Pearls’. They even link to an old blog post entitled,“Ask Candace” for proof.

Do you have any parenting tips?
Who doesn’t? We all learn things along the way, that we end up sharing with people whether they like it or not. 😉 There are 3 books I consult along with long conversations with my sister-in-law, mom and few good friends. The books that guideline raising our children are the Bible, Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp and To Train Up a Child by Michael & Debi Pearl. My parenting tip of the day is … consistency; it’s key.

This article also discusses the Duggars and possible endorsement of the Pearls, which we have already discussed here.

Not Allowed To Foster Because of Spanking

Gregory and Melanie Magazu have been told that they may not have foster children because they spank their own children. I think that it is a good thing. Foster children have enough trauma, without being aware of children in the home being hit. This applears to be a test case, so I will be watching it.

“To Train Up A Child” in New Zealand News

Eileen Joy and her petition have made the mainstream news in New Zealand after reaching 100,000 signatures.

Here is an article in the New Zealand Herald.

Here is an article from Auckland Now. (Sunday Star Times)

Here is an article from 3 News

There is also debate about this on Facebook.  I found a some on this pages:

The Children’s Bookshop

Here are some Op Ed pieces:

Shelley Bridgeman: ‘Child abuse’ book stays in the New Zealand Herald

ROSEMARY MCLEOD: Parenting wrongs can create a lasting, painful legacy in the Dominion Post

Update: I see in the following piece that the book has been submitted to the censor’s office.
Peter Calder: Classics that fail public taste test in the New Zealand Herald

Update in the Barbour Case

The Pittsburgh Post Gazette has an update on the Barbour Case which focuses on the children involved and their new life and healing.  It’s so wonderful to post some good news for a change!

In case you missed them, here are my previous posts about the Barbour case.

 

Life Sentence for Killing Child While Trying To Break his Will

Markiece Palmer has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the beating death of Roderick “RJ” Arrington. This was another case of parents abusing their child in the name of religion. The part I found intersting about this case was that the judge condemned him for his attempt to break the child’s will. Here is the quote from the story in The Las Vegas Review Journal. (Warning, upsetting story; not for the faint of heart)

“You used your faith as a basis to justify that,” District Judge David Barker said at Palmer’s sentencing hearing. “It sounds to me like you were trying to break him, this little boy, to break his spirit, to break his will.”

ETA: There was some question about the report to CPS on my Facebook wall, which led me to share this (very disturbing) news story.

Update: A settlement has been reached in the civil suit brought by the child’s father.

Maj. John and Carolyn Jackson on trial for abuse

I just found out about a new abuse trial, that of Army Maj. John E. Jackson and his wife, Carolyn.  The North Jersey Record writes about the case here.  It involves 3 adopted children, one of whom died some time ago (which they are now investigating due to the findings of abuse of the other 2.) I normally would not post about a case when religion has not been mentioned, but according to this story, when the oldest biological son confronted his father about the abuse, he was told that children were being trained. This article is giving me flashbacks of the Williams case.

Updates:

Doctor’s Testimony

Social Worker’s Testimony

Carri Williams Appeals

Maureen shares an update of the Barbour case, in which Kristen Barbour was sentenced to 6-12 months for pleading no contest to the felony charge of endangering her 2 adopted Ethiopian children.  What I find most surprising is that she will be allowed to go home and take care of her children for 40 hours per week. This is all explained in this article in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette.

Update:  More about the Barbour case in this article: Franklin Park child abuse case draws protest, counter-protest.

She then goes on to tell us about Carri Williams and the 59 page appeal brief she has filed, which she has on her site for us to read.  This is a lot to read, but I’ll try to summarize what I can understand.  They argue that it was not proven that Hana was under 16 nor that Immanuel’s scars were caused by Carri, that the terms “torture” and “extreme indifference to human life” were unconstitutionally vague and that she was deprived of a necessary witness.  They bring up the witness who claimed to be Hana’s uncle and testified to her age being 13 and then fled instead of returning to Ethiopia. It later came out that the State had paid him for his testimony. His testimony was stricken from the case, but the jury had heard it.  They also show where the prosecuting atty gave opinions and was instructed by the judge to stop more than once.  For these reasons, they believe that it should have been ruled a mistrial.

For more on the Williams case, please see my Hana Alemu “Williams” tag.

 

Another case of abuse

There are so many tragic cases of abuse, I don’t usually mention them unless the abuse was clearly tied to Christian teachings.  In the case of the Barbours the ties are not indisputable, but there are some pretty good hints.  Thankfully, this case did not end in death.

Maureen compares the Barbours with the Williams and finds quite a few eerie similarities.

There is a lot of information the 2 articles she links to from the Pittsburgh Post Gazette.

This story from Oct 2012 tells about how the adoption ended in tragedy.

This story from June 2014 is the follow up and tells us that the couple pleaded No Contest.

World Mag Looks At the Pearls

Kiley Crossland of World Magazine takes a look at the Pearl’s teachings in To Train Up A Pharisee.

News Article About Stephanie Cox

The Southern Illinoisan has an article about Stephanie Cox and and how she came to write a gentle Parenting book with her nose.

Here is more information about Stephanie Cox.

Bill Gothard In The Spotlight After Abuse Allegations

World Mag Reports that Bill Gothard has been placed on administrative leave while they research recent  allegations of abuse.

Here is the story from the Christian Post.

Naturally this story has impacted many people. Here is a testimony from Micah Murray which reflects on this news as he looks at Growing Up in Bill Gothard’s Homeschool Cult.

 

Kansas Spanking Bill Dies In Committee

The Kansas bill which would allow spanking in schools as well as allowing parents to swat children up to 10 times and leave bruising without legal repercussions has died in committee.  Here are 2 stories about that:

Spanking bill dies in Kansas House committee from the Wichita Eagle

Kansas Makes Us Proud! Backward Bill Expanding Spanking Rights in Schools Dies in Committee from Take Part

Kansas Bill Would Allow Spanking in Schools

Fox News reports that in Kansas there is a bill proposing allowing spanking in schools.   Supporters claim that it would help children learn to respect authority.  This bill would allow parents, and those to whom they give permission, to leave redness and bruising.

The Wichita Eagle has more information about the spanking bill.  Apparently they are trying to define the difference between corporal punishment and abuse and protect parents from legal retribution when they hit a child under those guidelines.  This is generating a lot of controversy, I will keep my eyes on it.

Stopspanking.org analyses this issue here and reports that the bill is considered highly unlikely to pass.

International Business Times Looks At The Pearls

Today the International Business Times featured an article about the pressure being put upon Amazon to stop selling the Pearls’ book, To Train Up A Child.  This is a very good article except for a small confusion about the children who have been killed.  Sean “Paddock” was killed in 2006, Lydia “Schatz” in 2010 and Hana “Williams” in 2011.  For more information about what the Pearls’ teachings had to do with the death of Lydia, please see my post, Why Blame The Pearls At All and for more information about what the Pearls’ teachings had to do with the deaths of Sean and Hana, please see Why Blame The Pearls At All Part 2.

An Interview With Michael Pearl’s Nephew

Alicia Bayer has an interview with Michael Bailey who is Michael Pearl’s nephew.  He discusses his childhood, Michael Pearl and the book he is writing to refute his teachings in, Michael Pearl’s nephew speaks out on God, beatings and To Train Up a Child.

Also, today Margot Peppers has an article about the Pearls and their book, To Train Up A Child, in the Mail Online: Inside the extreme child-rearing guide that advocates whipping children with belts and branches. . . and has been linked to three deaths in seven years.

Michael Pearl and Elizabeth Esther on BBC Radio

Yesterday the BBC had Michael Pearl and Elizabeth Esther on their radio talk show, World Have Your Say.  The segment about Michael Pearl and his teachings begins at 27:16.  They also have a few other guests discussing the teachings after Elizabeth Esther and Michael Pearl have their discussion/debate.

I am encouraged that Mr. Pearl has started back pedaling a bit and even said to stop hitting a 9 month old’s knuckles after 3 strikes with a spatula because it is clearly not working.  Of course, he qualifies it that the parent is not doing something right and must regroup and start over, but I am so thankful that he is starting to admit that it might not be working and that one should stop.   It would be great if he would admit that his method will not work for every child and even better if he would decide that there are better ways of getting the attention of a 9 month old than inflicting physical pain and that conditioning children is very unhealthy for them, but I must rejoice in any improvement.  When Elizabeth pointed out  that he was contradicting his book, he just brushed her off.   Hopefully, he will continue to promote guidelines of when things are not working and make sure that all his followers hear it.

The BBC Looks At The Pearls’ Training Book

Aiden Lewis of The BBC has a well researched article about the book, To Train Up A Child by Michael and Debi Pearl as well as the controversy which surrounds it.

Anderson Cooper 360 Takes Another Look At The Pearls

Andersoon Cooper 360 has taken their old footage from the interview Gary Tuchman did with Pearls back in Oct 2011 and the stories they did about the death of Lydia Schatz and remixed it with new footage about Hana “Williams,” in this new episode of Godly Discipline. They then discuss the Pearls’ culpability or lack of it, in the deaths. You will find both parts of this show (in 2 videos) on this page. You will find the transcript here. The segment in question starts about 2/3 of the way down. The easiest way to find it would be to use the find feature and search for “To Train Up A Child.”

Note: Here is more information about the Find Feature.

In case anyone is wondering, I am not in favor of holding the Pearls legally accountable.  The parents are to blame for following man instead of God.  Yes, the Bible does say that teachers bear a greater responsibility and God’s judgement will be fair.  I do believe that the teachings are dangerous and do my best to convince parents not to follow them and bookstores not to sell them. However, I am not trying to get the book banned, nor to harm the Pearls in any way.

 

Hana’s Story in Slate Magazine

Kathryn Joyce did a long and very thorough investigative report for Slate Magazine on Hana’s entire story.  Her article also looks at adoption reform.  I must warn you that if you are sensitive and/or easily triggered, please do not read this story. Here is what Maureen has to say about the same article.

The above mentioned article is perfect for sharing with any politicians or celebrities who might be willing to put pressure on Amazon.com to remove the book, To Train Up A Child.  If you can’t think of anyone, here is an idea from StopSpanking.org

Please ask Patty Murray to follow Parliamentary Member Nadine Dorrie’s example to demand that Amazon remove “To Train Up a Child” — a book that advocates child abuse and has contributed to the death of Hanna Elemu, murdered by adoptive parents Carri and Larry Williams right here in Skagit County!Call Senator Murray at (866) 481-9186 OR email her at: http://www.murray.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contactme

Parliamentary Member Nadine Dorrie has agreed to contact Senator Murray to advise her to speak out on behalf of children and parents! Let Senator Murray know that Washingtonians are outraged by this book!

For a sample letter and more information on this issue:

http://fundrazr.com/stories/a5WAOa/tw/61fc72

I should also mention that while Amazon.ca.uk has removed the paperback version of To Train Up A Child, the Kindle version is still available. More info here in this edited and updated post from @ADadCalledSpen.

 

Mr. Pearl Responds To British Parliament’s Efforts to Stop Sales Of TTUAC

ITV News reports that Mr. Pearl is Delighted Over Calls to Ban His Parenting Book.

Mr Pearl told the radio station: “I was delighted to hear that Parliament might ban my book, if they do, I will immediately advertise it as ‘the book banned in the UK’ and…we will end up selling another 100,000 books directly to the UK.”

Now, to clarify, the book would only be banned on the Amazon.co.uk website. I have not heard anything about making it illegal to sell the book in the UK. However, if it is banned on a UK website, it is technically “banned in the UK,” at least in one small part of it. Therefore, he apparently does not feel that it would be misleading to promote the book at “banned in the UK.”

@ADadCalledSpen writes More On To Train Up A Child and has some questions. (Disclaimer: some language on that site)

How, can a book sell more if it’s banned from sale? How can you sell something that can’t be sold? That would be illegals[sic].

[Read more…]

British Parliament Wants Amazon to Stop Selling TTUAC

Nadine Dorries, a member of the British Parliament, is insisting that Amazon.co.uk stop selling Michael and Debi Pearl’s book, To Train Up A Child, according to an article by Jessica Elgot in the Huffington Post.

The story was then picked up by Parentdish who wrote quite a long article about the story as well as the book in question.

Also, there is a new petition on Change.com asking Amazon.co.uk to stop selling To Train Up A Child.   This petition is only about To Train Up A Child, unlike the old petition which asked Amazon to “refuse to carry books which advocate the physical abuse of children,” including, Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp; and Don’t Make Me Count to Three by Ginger Plowman.

On top of that, @ADadCalledSpen has An Open Letter to Jeff Bezos and All @Amazon About To Train Up A Child going around Twitter.

The Williams Trial: Day 30 – The Sentence

Tuesday October 29, 2013, the Williams were sentenced to prison for a very long time.  Carri has been sentenced for 37 years and Larry for almost 28 years.

Maureen was there and shares about it here.  You might also find this older post of interest, she wrote it the day before the sentencing.

Cindy Kunsman, of Under Much Grace, responds to Judge Cook’s comment, “I am at a complete loss as to why this happened,” in An Open Message to Judge Susan Cook About the Williams’ Sentencing: The Development of the Perfect Storm, in which she attempts to explain why.

After the sentencing, the Ethiopian Community Center had a graveside service for Hana.  (More about the graveside service.) They are working on getting a proper headstone for her grave.  So far, they have not been successful because the family owns the plot so they are considering making a memorial elsewhere. For more information on that, see the Facebook Group.

I should also mention that this might not be the last we hear of this story as there has been talk of an appeal.

Here are some news stories:

Skagit County couple receives long sentences in fatal abuse case on Kiro TV

Decades in prison for Skagit Co. pair who killed adopted girl on Komo News.

Williamses sentenced in adopted daughter’s death in the Skagit Valley Herald.
Decades in prison for Williams couple also in the Skagit Valley Herald and with more quotes

Skagit County couple sentenced to prison for adopted daughter’s death in the Seattle Times.

Couple given long sentences for death of adopted girl on King 5 News which includes video from the sentencing. In this video we see a family friend speaking on the Williams’ behalf calling them “two of the truest and purest people on this earth.”  I find that statement so flabbergasting that I don’t even know how to respond to it.

Religious Handbook Parents Carri and Larry Williams Given 65 Years for Killing Ethiopian Daughter in the UK Paper, the International Business Times.

Larry Williams’ Lawyers Still Trying

According to recent news stories, Larry Williams’ Lawyers are trying to get him a new trial and/or  a short sentence.  The sentencing is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct 29, 2013.

Here is the story in the Skagit Valley Herald which discusses them requesting a new trial. (Clicking on this story will add a cookie to your browser to ensure that you only view 5 such stories in any 30 day period.)

Here is the story on Kiro TV which discusses them asking for a sentence of only 5 years (with 2 years credit for time served) because he had no idea what his wife was doing while he was away at work.

Also, Carri’s lawyers want her Manslaughter conviction dropped, since she was charged for the more serious crime, according to this story in the Skagit Valley Herald.  (Clicking on this story will add a cookie to your browser to ensure that you only view 5 such stories in any 30 day period.)

Not To Worry, Carri Williams Is Being Kept Safe

In case anyone was worried about how Carri Williams is faring in jail, the Skagit Valley Herald reports that she is being kept safe in one of the Work Release pods.  This was an upgrade from the Solitary Confinement cell she was in before, as they are not healthy to use  for long term use.  It’s nice to know that they are doing their best to be as humane as possible while she is paying the price for accidentally torturing her daughter to death.  Maybe she will start to understand the concept of grace, (unmerited favor.)

Meanwhile, Larry has been in custody for 2 years and the article does not mention what protective measures they have been using to keep him alive, but one must assume that they are in place.

Sentencing is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct 29.

Spanking Debate in South Africa

Yesterday I posted a link to an opinion piece on News 24 from South Africa about where the term “Spare The Rod, Spoil The Child” originated. I now have discovered that there is a rip-roaring spanking debate going on in South Africa over their proposed new law against spanking.  The link I shared was a part of that debate.  Heating up the debate even more is the recent development that the South Africa Human Rights Commission is investigating a church who has refused to stop teaching that one must spank their children.   The church, Joshua Generation (JoshGen) is claiming that they are being persecuted for teaching God’s Truth. I got most of my information about this situation from another opinion piece on News 24 by Peter Allebone. Mr. Allebone does not argue from a Christian point of view and I disagree with his beliefs about evolution. However, I do not see what evolution has to do with spanking. He does give us some insight on the spanking debate and debunks the studies which were cited by Andrew Selley of JoshGen in his defense.

Please pray about this situation, specifically that the pastor of  JoshGen will understand God’s will in this situation.

The Beast Looks At Homeschooling

The Daily Beast looks at the problem of certain parents who use homeschooling as a way to hide their abuse  in The Sinister Side of Homeschooling.  This article does make it clear that homeschooling is usually not done as an excuse to abuse and that most homeschooling parents are not abusive.  However, the author of the piece also appears to be advocating for more oversight of homeschooling.  I am not sure I agree with that.  More children who attend public schools are abused than homeschoolers and even so, many die.  How much oversight would be necessary of homeschoolers in order to make sure that they are not abused?  I do feel that it would be a slippery slope.

The Williams Trial – Next Up: Sentencing

Maureen tells us that sentencing will be Oct 8.  She got that information from the Skagit Valley Herald.

Williams Trial – Day 29: The Verdict

Monday, September 9, 2013 the jury returned the verdict. Carri Williams was found guilty of homicide by abuse and
first-degree assault of a child. Larry Williams was found guilty of first-degree manslaughter and first-degree assault of a child. There was no verdict on homicide by abuse charge for Larry.  The jury was unable to agree and/or the judge declared a mistrial on that charge.  Sentencing  is up to the judge and I heard that it would be in mid-October.

Here is the story in the Seattle Times.

Certainly, there will be many articles written on this story. In an effort to get this breaking news to you right away, I will post this now and add in a few links to the best articles as I find them.

Here is Maureen’s report.

Here is the story on KiroTV.

Here is the preliminary story in the Skagit Valley Herald, and here is the complete story.

Here is the story on Komo News.  In this story I found out that Larry’s Defense plans to file an appeal.

Here is the story in the US edition of The Guardian which appears to be an overseas paper.

Here is Janet Heimlich’s report of the story on her blog, Religious Child Maltreatment.

The Williams Trial – Day 28: Jury Deliberation Issues

I totally did not expect any more drama in this trial until the verdict was reached but I was wrong.  One of the jurors disclosed that his wife works for the Prosecutor’s office during Jury Selection and both attorneys were fine with it then and accepted him.  Today, he was asked to be Presiding Juror and he declined, saying that it made him uncomfortable.  Then the Defense decided that they no longer wanted him on the jury and he was asked to leave. A new juror has been selected from the alternates and the 2.5 hours they had deliberated is now lost, as they need to start all over with the new juror.

Here is the story in the Skagit Valley Herald. The jury then asked to hear the 911 call and interview again.

Here is the story on King 5.

Maureen explains how to follow the trial in real time on Twitter.

At 4:30 PDT, the jurors were sent home for the weekend.