The Glorification of Child Abuse

**Warning** In this video are some very raw descriptions of violence towards children. If you have a background that involves physical abuse you may want to skip this one.

Note: This sermon was preached in 2011 at Central Baptist Church in Baton Rouge. It’s worth noting that this church also runs a K-12 school where one can only imagine what the discipline policies are like. The pastor of Central,B.G. Buchanan, attended the seminary founded by none other than J. Frank Norris, hero of fundamentalism.

This is not the fringe. This is as mainstream a fundamentalist pedigree as you can get.

442 thoughts on “The Glorification of Child Abuse”

  1. From his website, “He has published a book on courtship and marriage that is a must to every believer that desires God’s blessings on their union”. Really. I kind of thought that book was finished a few millenia ago. Silly me.
    My church quit bringing in evangelists when we couldn’t find any fundamental ones that would actually preach and not just yell stories about himself.

    1. On breaking a child’s will, as advocated by Michael and Debi Pearl, Libby Anne over at Love, Joy, Feminism on Patheos is doing a terrific deconstruction of Debi Pearl’s _Created to be His Helpmeet_ and _To Train Up a Child_. She’s currently an atheist, but was raised in a fundamentalist household, and also posts about breaking away from that mindset in raising her own children and relating to her husband. It’s well worth checking out.

      http://www.patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism/tag/created-to-be-his-help-meet

  2. What a sad, perverted understanding of authority! And to wish a childhood like his on anyone–not only wish it on children of this day but to advise people to live this way!
    Yes, he is right his father beating him has made him the bully that he is today.

    1. “Yes, he is right his father beating him has made him the bully that he is today.”

      No, he chose to be a bully. Plenty of people are abused and never hurt another person ever. Plenty of people have perfectly happy childhoods and still end up being assholes.

      Phil Kidd chose to be a monster.

      1. I’m sorry if it sounded like I am implying that those who are abused become bullies. I don’t believe that. I know plenty of wonderful people who were abused.

        Yes, he chose to continue the abusive, bullying behavior his father taught him. Some people rise above. Some people choose to imitate their abuser. My point I was trying-and failed–to make was his father laid the foundation for his life journey.

      2. Thanks, PP, for pointing out that distinction. My hubby was sexually abused by his sperm donor, but he overcame that, praise God. But, while he was a teenager, he carried around a lot of anger and hate – thankfully, he had a strong Christian male role model in his grandpa who took time to take care of him and help heal him.

      3. Persnickety, if you are saying that anyone can choose to abuse or not to abuse, I agree.

        But surely you don’t mean that the way parents treat children has no effect on the children’s personalities? That seems demonstrably false.

        1. Of course how our parents treat us affects us. I’ve stated as much in this very comment thread. However, I don’t believe “bully” is a personality trait: It is an action. A choice.

          I have discussed my own childhood experiences elsewhere on this site. My history of abuse has damaged me in ways I have to confront every single day. I have physical and emotional scars that I cannot turn away from no matter how hard I try. But I CHOSE — and choose — to not hit my children. I CHOSE — and choose — to not verbally degrade or abuse them. I CHOSE — and choose — to raise them to love themselves and other people. I CHOSE — and choose — to instill in them that they are part of God’s glorious creation and that they are incredibly amazing and wonderful in so many different ways.

          These are all choices. My scars are my own and should not be borne by others, certainly not my children. My past will never be fully behind me, but it should not ever affect these precious little people who have been entrusted to me for such a short time.

        2. In many of our choices, though, we choose what we know. We choose what we have been taught.

          Calling it a “choice” doesn’t really mean it is a deliberate, rational, reasoned choice with an alternative.

          My father as a child was beaten up by a bully and came into the house crying. His mother sent him back outside with the instructions to beat up that kid and not come back into the house until he had.

          Yes, my dad was a bully. But it was what he had been taught to be.

        3. And yet, abuse survivors choose every single day to not abuse their children, partners or loved ones.

          The idea of “cycle of abuse” has been proven to be false. The majority of abuse survivors turn their anger and hurt inward rather than outward. Most never go on to abuse another person. Those are facts.

          It’s also a fact that our parents made choices. It doesn’t feel good to know that my parents chose to abuse and neglect me, but it is a comforting thought to know that I was not a mindless victim of my parents’ legacy of violence but instead had a choice to do better.

        4. You know what, rtgmath, I think I’m coming off very hostile here, and I’m sorry for that. I know this is a sensitive spot for many of us, and I had no intention of devaluing your experiences and impressions.

          Again, I apologize.

        5. Thank you. Accepted!

          But I understand. In these issues we all feel like we have something to defend. If one is convinced that spanking is appropriate, one will not want to be told otherwise.

          And I can see the attractiveness of an essentially free-will position that makes people perfectly responsible for their own choices, despite the choices made for them.

          I used to think that way as well. Then I got into education. Over the years I have taught thousands of people, each with their own story. What I have come to find is that I cannot judge them. I cannot judge the young man who was a gang-banger. I cannot judge the young man in jail for carrying drugs — to make money to feed his family. I cannot judge the girl, unmarried with two small children now trying to get an education and a job.

          We do what we know. If we do not know there is a different choice, we can’t make it. And if we know of a different choice, but there are qualifications to it, skills needed we don’t have, etc., we cannot take that route.

          The best I can do is say, “There, but for the grace of God, go I.”

          I am so glad that God will judge. Not me, and certainly not the fundamentalists. Christ did not condemn the woman taken in adultery! He did not rail at the tax collectors or the prostitutes. And he even accepts me.

          Peace.

        6. Thank you!

          “If one is convinced that spanking is appropriate, one will not want to be told otherwise.”

          Just to clarify, I cannot really think of any situation in which I think spanking is the most appropriate choice.

          But I won’t deny that I judge my parents for what they did to my sister and me because I do. Not proud of it, but there it is.

        7. And I don’t blame you for it, not one little bit.

          The only way I can keep from judging my father for his cruelty is to compare his childhood with my own. He obviously made my childhood less traumatic than his own.

          And sometimes that is the best someone can do.

          It made a big difference to me when I realized I didn’t have to blame them. It made a bigger difference when I realized something else.

          The more I knew, the more power I had to choose. When I had my wakeup moment to realize I had become an abuser, I determined that I had to set things in order. I made a list of good qualities and bad qualities of my parents. I chose qualities of my parents to keep (as my “inheritance,” especially since they disinherited me). I chose qualities of my parents to refuse. I chose not simply to reject them, but to replace them with qualities I wanted.

          In that way, I can still honor my parents for some very good and right things. But my life is not determined by blind acceptance of my parents nor active rebellion against them.

          My older sister was always in rebellion, long years afterward. It has scarred her soul. She feels she has to continually fight.

          I found a way to be free, to make my own choices. And I am the better for it.

  3. I heard Phil preach in the mid-80’s at a camp meeting at Mac Ford’s girl’s home in Arcadia, LA. My father also had the unpleasant task of going on a missions trip to Mexico the week afterward with several people…including Phil. He was an ass then and is a bigger ass now.

    I can vouch for how he would browbeat/bully/intimidate the girls from the home during his sermons and remind them how no one loves them but Mac Ford and the other workers who would regularly beat them. The poor girls were required to sit through his garbage couldn’t dare voice any disagreement. I felt bad for them. I don’t recall him saying they should be raped, but knowing now what I didn’t know then, many of them likely had already been abused.
    BTW…I find it interesting that Kidd doesn’t state anywhere on the web where he received his alleged degree/s…I’m calling “shenanigans”! Anyone have any idea where he received 1) his bachelors degree, 2) his masters in psychology, or 3) his “Doctorate” degree?

  4. My parents kept a leather strap on top of the refrigerator. It was their preferred tool to install fear in their children. It was also a family heirloom. My great-grandfather was a leather smith, and he actually made leather straps for the sole purpose of “disciplining” children
    One day my sister framed me for something she did. In sprite pleas from my brother and my best friend of my innocence, I got spanked any way. When my mother’s rage subsided, she realized I was innocence. She was upset, shaking and crying. She apologized (and I was too quick to forgive). She said she would do anything to make it up to me. (I really wanted her to spank my sister twice as much as she spanked me, but my sister never got spanked) I demanded I would be allow to take “the family heirloom” on to the driveway, douse it with gasoline and set it on fire. My mother was hesitant, but she knew she had no choice. It was so liberating to have the evil tool of fear out of the house. And my parents never spanked us again.
    Stefan Molyneux of Freedomain Radio has an excellent video the negative effects of corporal punishment on children. He uses scientific studies to back up his claims. But we all know how fundies feel about science.

    1. That is a great story. My mother spend years, literally, searching for the perfect instrument of torture. She tried everything from wooden boards, to shoes, to belts, to dowel rods, to plastic cooking utensils, to books(yes, she spanked us with actual books), to ping pong paddles (it had a picture of a frog on it and we had to call it the “froggy paddle”). She finally settled on plastic plumbing supply line. I remember many times she would sit there in front of us, usually at the dining room table, and try out a new idea by smacking her hand with it and making comments like, “oooh, that one has a nice sting. Look at the redness on my hand!! That will hurt nice and good when I spank you with it.” My father once made her a cutting board as a gift, out of a 3/4-inch thick piece of wood and as soon as he handed it to her she said “this will make a good paddle!” and she promptly broke it in half hitting one of us with it. My father was upset but of course he didn’t do anything.

      Anyway, kind of like your story, we were constantly on the lookout for ways to destroy her various implements. Once she decided pieces of pipe were the appropriate device, we would drop them behind the couch or roll them under the beds so she couldn’t find one when she wanted to spank us. (If we could delay her even a few minutes, we had a 50-50 chance that her rage might subside and we wouldn’t get beaten.) Sometimes, when we would rearrange furniture, we would find two or three various discipline implements hidden.

      And, yes, also like you, we were regularly beaten for things we didn’t do. My sister, who was the only one of us that was “truly saved” according to my mother, was allowed to accuse us of anything at any time and we would be punished for it, no questions asked.

      1. I’m beginning to wonder how you ever survived growing up; your mother could settle the Mideast Conflicts without batting an eye.
        Personally I would give my teeth to have your mum apply some of her “discipline” to Preacher Kidd, “Is this it? Am I hitting hard enough? Should I use a ruler or flyswatter, can you tell which stings harder? Let me hit you again just to be sure!” 😆

      2. …are you my brother? because I’m pretty sure we have the same mother.

        Did your mom ever play the “go get a spanking stick” game? Where you had to go get something, and if it wasn’t “strong” enough, you’d get spanked even more?

      3. Wow…did we have the same mom? I was beaten with everything imaginable. At first she used wooden dowel rods, and when they broke she would ram the broken end into my butt. It got infected from the wood splinters, and so she switched to my belt. Well, when she was calm–which wasn’t often–she would use the leather end. When she was angry she would use the metal buckle, but that left too many marks. I got hit with kitchen utensils, got hit with a broomstick, and had both a chair and a coffee table BROKEN over my head. I still suffer migraines as a result. She always believed in “bare-bottom spankings” so I was forcibly stripped to ende this abuse. From the before I was 8 to after my 15th birthday I wet the bed every night because I was afraid to leave it. My dad eventually took me to a “doctor” to diagnose the problem, but the doctor told us it was a psychological condition and referred us to a counselor. We only saw the counselor three times: after he said that I had a fear of my mom we didn’t go back. Rather, I was shamed for bringing disgrace to the family. Eventually my mom switched to a pvc pipe for beatings. She held that 10 whacks was for petty offenses, like spilling a cup of milk. 50 whacks was for failing to complete one of the many chores she assigned, which was all of the housework (so she could be on the computer for over 12 hours a day). Some beatings went up into the hundreds of whacks, such as the day my mom discovered my dad’s playboy magazine. He declared it couldn’t be his–he was a man of God–so it had to be mine. And of course I would be spanked for lying until I confessed to it! The beating went on for an entire afternoon. I lost count after 500 whacks. I could not sit down for days and had to sleep on my stomach. There was so much blood that my socks were soaked. I was only 14. I spent days without food as a punishment, and was kept home from church “sick” sometimes when severe beatings left too many mks. I even spent a couple weeks locked in a cellar for “disrespecting” my mom. All the while the church was led to believe that I was a rebellious child. To this day I still have nightmares about living in that “godly” home.

        1. “Sorry” doesn’t begin to cover the sadness I feel in reading about your ‘godly’ home, “Pastor’s” Son.

          Frankly, I don’t know which is more horrifying: a woman who delights in torturing her children, or a man who willingly offers his son as a scapegoat for his own sins. 😈

          My hope & prayer is that you find peace, healing, & most of all, see some justice for the agonizing torture you experienced. (gentle hug)

        2. Dear “Pastor”s Son,

          I want you to know that reading that, I felt the pain with you. How horrifying that a young boy had to endure such torture at the hands of the woman who should’ve loved him the most. And how familiar so much of that sounded to me, though I must say you had it even worse. But I too was treated with an absolute lack of mercy, and I too was regarded as the “black sheep”, the “bad one”. I still am seen as the “bad seed”, because 3 years ago I cut off contact with my family of origin, because they are all poisonous, and all the old church ladies that my “mother” cries to about her “lost” daughter have no idea what an abusive monster they are comforting.

          I want to know how you are doing NOW with the memories of what you have described. Too many of us turn to drugs or alcohol or other compulsive behavior to dull the pain. I hope you have found ways to cope that have allowed for you to have a good life. The two most helpful things I ever did for myself in coping with the past were to read two books: Alice Miller’s “For Your Own Good”, and Dr. Laura Schlessinger’s “Bad Childhood, Good Life”. Miller’s book is quite meaty and requires something of a commitment to get started and keep going, though you will never regret it if you do. Dr. Laura’s book is an easier read, and while a book can’t heal the scars, it is a practical guide to moving on the best you can and not letting the monsters win by having the rotten life they want for you. It helped me SO much.

          I wish you the best.

        3. I’m sorry, Pastor’s son. I don’t know what to tell you – my story is pretty much the same as yours. I married as soon as I was legally old enough, to be able to leave the home.

          All I can say is that I’ve been there, done that, and I still tremble uncontrollably and get sick whenever someone acts like I’ve done something wrong. I’m 35 years old, and my mother lingers with me still. I think one of the things that will linger with me till I die is being beaten outside till the board broke, and then, because she was so angry that it broke, she grabbed the garden hose and continued till I was literally facedown on the ground and couldn’t move from pain and terror.

          The worst part? The entire church knew. But did anyone say anything? Not. a. word. Can’t look soft, you know!

    2. That made me think of one of our church members who kept a razor strap hanging on the wall to use on his kids. I shudder to think of those beatings (I witnessed a few of them).

      My dad stuck to a paddle–these were regularly broken on us and then taped up with electrical tape until he could make a new one–along with his fists. My mom was a little more creative: in addition to the paddle she used wooden spoons, switches from trees, and one time an extension cord (I think that one was the worst). Whatever was close at hand, I guess.

      My brothers also tried to sabotage the process by hiding or breaking the various implements. I understood their desire to avoid pain, but of course when my parents got their hands on an appropriate replacement weapon, the punishment was that much worse.

      DS, I really believe my parents probably don’t remember the abuse as I do, and my brothers have always said “we deserved what we got” so I think there must be massive denial on my brothers’ part as well. I’m the only one in my family who thinks there was anything abusive about our upbringing.

      1. I’ve never heard anyone else say the cord was the worst. Vacuum sweeper cord in my case (+rage). In a weird way, further affirmation felt good to me. I try to be be extremely careful that I am not remembering things with extra drama.

        1. I know what you mean about remembering. I tend to dismiss and minimize my memories, because I don’t want to be seen as attention-seeking or self-pitying or (worst of all :roll:) bitter. But these things do happen to kids, including you and me and many others here, and it was horrible.

  5. There is something else going on in this “sermon” besides the child abuse advocacy. That is, he essentially puts 100% responsibility on parents for everything their kids do wrong. Your kid smarts off? You haven’t asserted your authority enough. Your kid disobeys? You haven’t been tough enough. Etc. Etc. Etc. Bottom line: it is the PARENTS’ fault when the kids mess up.

    This, of course, justifies abuse more than anything else could, because if you as a parent are responsible for your children’s misdeeds, then you MUST take any and all steps to prevent your kids from doing wrong. (I realize, of course, that the fundy definition of “doing wrong” is insanely broad.) Fundies need to realize that just because your kids are kids doesn’t mean that you have failed as a parent.

    1. There are instances where I do agree with Mr Kidd that parents are responsible for the wrongs committed by their children. Take the Jack/David Hyles situation for example…

        1. We’ll have to disagree on this one. If you (Jack) teach your son (David) that you can get away with anything because you are an MOG and your son acts accordingly, you (Jack) are (at least partially) responsible.

          As much as implying that parents bear blanket responsibility for their children’s actions is wrong, saying that parents bear no responsibility in not necessarily correct. If I were to teach my sons to be bullies and they followed suit, would I not be responsible?

    2. I think the “something going on,” no matter how it is dressed up in Biblical language, often boils down to this: In fundamentalist thought, children exist to make their parents look good, to increase their standing in the community. Any deviation from the insanely strict standard of child behavior may put the parents’ status as in-group members in danger. If you’re not in, you’re out; and if you’re out, in the fundamentalist worldview, you’re sliding into Hell. Hence the obsession with beating children. The most drastic methods must be applied early and often because the stakes are so very high.

      I think that people who take up the Pearls have this set of unexamined assumptions at the back of their minds and this fear leads them to assume that the Pearls do too. They don’t realize that the Pearls, and the Roloffs, and this lamb-eating sadist here, aren’t afraid in the least. They love the feeling of power they get from being able to hurt children and thereby earn applause. What scares them is being called out for their addiction to the pleasures of cruelty. Has anybody seen Debi Pearl’s screed about the connection between the Pearls’ disgusting book and the death of Hana Williams? She compares herself and her husband to Jews headed for a death camp–because people are saying that they shouldn’t advocate torture of children!

      1. I agree! One memory I have is being told that the verse “Her children rise up and call her blessed” I Proverbs 31 is a COMMAND to children. Um, no, it’s supposed to reflect the natural outcome of a virtuous woman’s parenting. In other words, if a woman is a good mother THEN AND ONLY THEN will her children bless her. It can’t be forced. But it was in my home growing up.

        1. My sadistic psychopath of a mother used to focus on that verse and explain how her torture (which could actually be defined as torture) was because she loved us and that she expected us to “rise up and call her blessed some day.” My eldest sister who is just like her (abuses her kids the same) is the only one who did. Gag…. 👿

  6. Deacon’s Son – “the rage subsided” – exactly – its about rage not discipline. Any remorse from your mother later in life? In my forties now and I regret some instances when I yelled too loudly (never spanked) – I would be horrified if I had used “instruments”. It amazes me that most of these fundies don’t get perspective later in life.

    1. No remorse whatsoever. Youngest child still at home is only 12, so some abuse still goes on. (Mostly verbal and emotional at this point. But then again, she is verbally and emotionally abusive to all her children, including the adults. Supposedly one of my brothers still at home “threatened” my mother and now she is “afraid” to spank the kids. Whatever really happened, I don’t care, as long as she quit beating them.) She regularly posts stuff on her Facebook advocating abusive forms of discipline. When I confronted her about some things a few years ago, all I got from her was, “I am sad that is how you remember it because that is not how I remember it at all.”

      1. My parents were nowhere near as abusive as many of the ones chronicled here, but whenever I mention something in the past that puts either of them in a bad light, my father staunchly denies that it ever happened. I don’t think he’s deliberately lying; I think he has somehow managed to erase those things from his memory. Sometimes I wish I could do the same.

        Dad is old now, but it’s not an effect of memory loss in general, because he has had that habit for my whole lifetime.

      2. DS, your mother sounds just like my dad. My sister is 14 years younger than I am, and there was nothing I could do to protect her. When she was a teenager, she ran away several times, and after a couple years of that she finally got a caseworker at juvie who asked her WHY and listened to her. This is after she ran away, hopped on a plane (they were living in Hawaii at the time) and came to a safe house here on the mainland. My dad guessed that one of my brothers and I were complicit. (We were, but he had no proof- we were very careful about that.) I got the bang on the door late at night, two cops looking for my sister. She was cowering in my closet while I told them that I could get them no information. (Not really a lie- because I couldn’t not without giving her up.) We got her on a train the next day. Took them a couple of weeks to find her at my brother’s.

        The authorities put her on a plane- handcuffed to a marshal, and charged Dad for the one way trip (I admit I laughed about that). They put my sister in foster care, and after a series of hearings (with the caseworker who listened to her) and eventually remanded her to foster care until she was 18. Dad was livid. (Mom appeared to be relieved, according to my sister.) Dad filed charges against my brother, for custodial interference and kidnapping, and against me as an accessory. Thankfully the authorities decided it was not worth pursuing, and Dad didn’t have the money to pursue it in civil court. But my brother and I were shaking in our shoes. We were both facing working through grad school while sitting in a cell.

        Was worth it though. She’s healthy, happy, and has three teenaged boys of her own- who are not afraid of her and hate her no more than teenagers normally hate their parents.

        1. Wow, that is quite a story. I knew a missionary family to Germany that had their 3-4 older kids someone manage to leave Germany and return to the states without their parents’ knowledge. There was severe physical abuse in that home (and rumored sexual abuse as well). I always thought it was ironic that the kids left GERMANY, which is much stricter on child abuse, to come back to the USA to escape their abusive situation.

          Fortunately, my situation wasn’t quite that bad, but I have had siblings ask to come live with me. So far, my parents have found out and managed to manipulate them and/or convince them to stay at home.

      3. I wasn’t beaten physically but that would have been preferable to the emotional and psychological beatings I got from both my parents but mostly from my other. I have an older sister two older brothers and a younger brother and I grew up being unfavoraby compared to my older siblings. I still am by my mother who is now 82. (My father died 10 years ago) My pinger brother didn’t get it so bad but he is a law into himself. Nothing I did of my own choice as a kid seemed to please my parents. When I brought this up with my mother a few years ago she accused me of “making up stories”

  7. How can any preacher even jokingly say they hope someone is burning in hell tonight? The answer is that they themselves would be burning in hell tonight if they were dead because they are no true Christian.

  8. I know many of you have gone through some horrible things with which I cannot relate. And for what you have gone through, you have my upmost sympathy.

    Having said that, I’m going out on a limb and saying….I don’t believe spanking necessarily amounts to abuse, and it was helpful to me as a child. One does not have to be a fundy or even a believer at all to believe that a small negative consequence such as a spank or paddling can amount to positive future behavior, depending on the kid.

    Some believe all corporal punishment is abuse. I would personally disagree although I know there is no clear definitive line, and it is better to err on the side of caution than to submit a child to abuse.

    1. There’s a difference between a swat on the behind and the beatings described by Kidd. While there’s room for debate on the ethics of spanking, no one should beat their child in the manner that Kidd is describing.

    2. Thank you for sharing your point of view. I think there are some here who would agree with you and some who would not. Personally, I think spanking is an unscriptural form of discipline and therefore wrong. So, it doesn’t matter to me whether it constitutes “legal abuse” (in fact, in almost all states, it doesn’t). I just think Christian parents are called to a higher standard in this area.

    3. I don’t think spanking is necessarily abuse.

      But I also don’t think it in any way builds up my relationships with my children just as my husband hitting me would not build up our relationship but instead damage it, and possibly even irretrievably.

      I know that many would argue that children are not the same as adults, and I would agree: They are far more fragile and have fewer coping mechanisms. For that reason, I choose to correct my children in ways that teach them proper behavior out of respect for themselves and others rather than out of fear for me.

    4. Thanks Larry, had to read this far down the thread to find someone that had the nerve to go against the “liberal stream!” I do that alot around here.

      First, Phil Kidd is a maggot! But christian parents need to discipline their children in a biblical fashion, and certainly the bible directs some corporal punishment. Having said that, if a parent is unable to control their temper or anger, they shouldn’t even attempt to “spank,” and the #1 rule if one is going to “spank” a child, is to NEVER attempt to do so when angry!

      1. Greg, I can appreciate & understand the view that the Bible supports (or commands) some corporal punishment. I thought the same and acted accordingly.

        I would like to share a bit of my perspective & experience as to why I think the emphasis on not spanking in anger is worse than the occasional angry smack on the bum or back of the hand.

        In order for me not to spank in anger, I had to shut down all of my feelings, including positive ones like empathy & kindness. I had to become cold & calculating in order to follow through with what I believed God commanded me to do as a parent.

        Unfortunately, once I shut myself down to everything but logic, it stood to reason that I would escalate the punishment. If one blow didn’t bring about the desired change, two would certainly work. Or perhaps I needed to strike harder. Or use something beside a hand, like a wooden spoon – or a lamp cord.

        In all of this I was not angry. Never. In fact, after the punishment was over, I would turn my emotions on again and weep with body-shaking sobs while trying to comfort my children.

        Just about the time I realized I was becoming a monster, an Internet friend introduced me to grace-based, gentle (non-corporal) discipline. I joined an on-line community in true Fundy fashion, thinking I was going to show them some spanking was biblical.

        I am not exaggerating when I say what I learned through careful, earnest study of the rod verses saved my family & my relationships with my children. The rod is a symbol of authority, & we should exercise wise authority over our children. We should not have to strike them into forced submission.

        Thank you for reading. This wasn’t easy to write, and I hope you take it as the honest attempt at communication I intend.

      2. From experience I found that I could start the process of spanking while not being angry. I became angry and angrier while I was spanking my kids, especially if they fought it.

        Totally unreasonable of me, of course. But it was what I had been subjected to as a child and what I was taught in fundyville.

        The only way to win is to not play the game.

        1. “The only way to win is not to play the game.”

          Well said, rtgmath!

          Except it wasn’t until I came away from that thinking that I realized it was a sadistic game. Prior to that, I was convinced the state of my children’s souls was in my hands. If I failed in corporal discipline, my children would literally have hell to pay.

          What a weak savior I served. 😳 What a terrifying image of God I showed my children. 😥

        2. You are right. But that is how fundamentalists shape your decisions with your family, your faith, and your politics.

          Fear.

          To them, force is always the answer. Punishment, the fear of God, might makes right. From spanking to nuclear war to buying assault rifles for the home, the one with the most force wins. That spanking metaphor is apt to the talk about striking Syria for the use of chemical weapons. More force. “The only solution to a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” Really? What about that school worker who talked a shooter into surrendering by giving him sympathy and kind words?

          Fundamentalism presents an angry God, even at children. It is no wonder I cannot stand to think of God as my Father.

          I hope I stopped soon enough so that my children could catch a glimpse of a loving God much sooner than I did.

        3. Greg, did you read anything of my earlier response to you?

          If the Savior’s commands don’t work for everyone, from the greatest to the least, from the healthy to the infirm, then they don’t work. Rather, our interpretations of His commands don’t work. If our interpretations require the injury of the least of these, we are most assuredly misconstruing His words.

        4. rtgmath, I also have issues with God as Father, because mine was such a monster. I have to say, the God of the Old Testament reminds me a great deal of my Dad. But I still have a hard time with the loving, reconciling ‘parent’ in the New Testament. Still working through that.

          I blame my dad that I still wrestle with any faith at all.

        5. The God of the Old Testament was territorial and quite unconcerned that other nations have faith. Oh, there were a few notable exceptions, but for the most part other nations and people were expendable tools. God did not even bother to reveal himself to them most of the time.

          I still find myself looking over my shoulder from time to time, looking to see whether God is getting ready to strike me an unexpected blow.

          I have often wished I could simply “unbelieve.” I can’t. But believing is often painful. The Christmas Tsunami of Sunday, 26 December 2004 killed over 230,000 people in a single, horrible stroke. A third of them were children. Fundamentalist theology tells me that God is In Control. I heard a fundy preacher say that was God’s judgment for celebrating Christmas (sure, by killing people who didn’t celebrate Christmas — bad aim, as usual).

          I realize that my dad was not a monster all the time. When he was angry, it was terrible. When he wasn’t he could be kind. But it left an insecurity in me, not able to really feel like I am accepted. That has been getting better over the years, but it is bothersome.

          My regards to you. I hope you can find a way to see yourself as clear from any monsters in your life.

  9. Phil Kidd came to my church every year for I don’t even know how long. The last time I heard him preach was in 2009– which was after he became the pastor of his own church. He seemed like he was softening up a bit because of that.

    Apparently not. I’m certainly not surprised, but very disappointed. He cried and stuff over how horrible he realized he’d been. Too bad that didn’t stick.

    1. I think this may have had more to do with his own son starting a more “liberal” type church than with him taking on one of his own. It’s kind of hard to preach about women in jeans, rock music in church, etc when your own kid is doing it and you’re there supporting him.

  10. I agree these fundies go way overboard, but my parents (who were fundies at the time) had enough decency and discernment to have rules for themselves about punishment:
    1. Never punish the child in anger… i.e. wait to cool off.
    2. Spanking is not the only option, i.e. time-outs, TV & Video Game restrictions etc. are good.
    3. (almost) never more than 3 swats, never with a belt or anything leather.
    4. Once the kid is 10-ish, spankings are a last resort, administered by parent of the same gender.
    Again, we see & hear so many extreme examples, but there’s a balance to child raising that’s missed in America. Kids do need to understand cause & effect, aka consequences or they just keep pushing the envelope. Call me old-fashioned, but I’m not ruling spanking out with my son (he’s only 3 mos old right now) but please don’t lump me in with the freaks who chain their kids in closets…

    1. If you wouldn’t strike *another adult* on the buttocks to teach them, why is it conceivably acceptable to strike *a child* in that manner?

      A simple, occasional swat may not be abusive, but it’s definitely lazy parenting. So much easier to smack than get to the root of the issue and think of ways to teach your children acceptable behavior.

      1. “So much easier to smack than get to the root of the issue and think of ways to teach your children acceptable behavior.”

        Exactly. And you get a child who conforms outwardly but may be seething with rebellion inwardly.

      2. You’re right overall, but there are times when parents get frustrated, when you’ve told the child “Don’t touch that” countless times and it still goes ahead and breaks/spills/knocks over the whatever. A quick smack on the behind is understandable, generally with a “I told you to leave it ALONE!” I would never advocate abuse, but very small children sometimes don’t respond to lectures, time-outs, etc, esp for small misdemeanors; it’s never easy to decide what and how to do. And yes I agree with That Italian Guy, there’s beatings and there’s basic discipline, the latter should not have to include spankings but once in a while it does. Even the best-tempered parents have their days. 😕 The important thing is your child knows you love it. 🙂

  11. Proverbs 23:14 Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.

    Even the modern versions have forgotten to remove spanking from the text.
    (NIV)
    14 Punish them with the rod
    and save them from death.

    The Message (MSG)
    13-14 Don’t be afraid to correct your young ones;
    a spanking won’t kill them.
    A good spanking, in fact, might save them
    from something worse than death.

    There are many others such as:
    Proverbs 22:15 Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.

    Proverbs 13:24 He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.

    Proverbs 19:18 Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying.

    Proverbs 29:15 The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.

    Even God uses discipline and chastisement for his children.

    Don’t let a nut like Phil Kidd drive you to the other extreme and make you think you are smarter than God about how to discipline children.

    1. Congrats on opening that giant can of worms. Once I’ve calmed down from being accused of being extreme and knowing better than God, I’ll be back to post my scads of careful research of the Hebrew which convinced me spanking isn’t actually advocated ny Scripture. 👿

    2. I cannot even tell you how many times we were beaten over the heads with the idea that my sister had T1 diabetes because He was “chastising” my parents, how I had a major dental accident because I was disobeying my parents, that I had miscarriages because I had sin in my life and so on. You know what, I reject that line of thinking entirely. It’s spiritually abusive.

      As to the rod verses, scroll down to number six. http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/discipline-behavior/spanking/10-reasons-not-hit-your-child

      Discipline is not the same thing as punishment.

    3. Ok, now that I’ve thought a bit, I’ve concluded posting reams of my findings will do no good. I was never convinced by other people’s claims of Scripture that differed from my entrenched indoctrination. I only came to different conclusions after asking God to clear my heart of prejudiced readings and open my eyes to what He would have me know.

      I will say that if one does conclude spanking to be advocated by the Almighty, then we’re definitely doing it wrong. The word translated child in Proverbs is the Hebrew word na’ar. It is a masculine singular noun with the idea of being “shaken off,” and refers to young men old enough to go to war or get married. (The two exceptions are Moses & Samuel, because they were shaken off much sooner than would normally happen.)

      Therefore, only rebellious young men (never females or young children) are to be struck with the rod, and only as a last resort to deter them from a crime worthy of stoning.

        1. You’re right, of course.

          But I can’t help hoping some future reader (or current Fundy lurker) might read my assertion & begin truly studying the topic for themselves. 💡

      1. That’s not how it works, Kreine. You are supposed to start with your received tradition. Then you go back and find one verse (or part of one) that you can use to defend your received tradition, and the rest of the Book be damned. For that matter, so does actually studying the original languages. The point is not the pursuit of truth, but defending the status quo. How dare you imply approaching the Word on its own terms, with enough humility to change your views if the text – all of it – doesn’t fit your received tradition? This approach worked very well for the Pharisees, and it continues today unabated.

        1. Not to mention, I’m usurping the role of male headship by studying for myself. Whatever was I thinking? 😉

        2. LOL! Bro. Ray from Ezekiel3 picked up on my femininity immediately & graced me with the appellation “odious woman.”

          Frankly, I was hoping for something more dramatic, like Jezebel. Guess I’ll have to try harder at expressing my true self, huh, Dr.? 😈

        3. Dang, Kreine, all this time I’ve been taking you seriously, and now I find out you’re a woman.
          What’ll I do? 😮
          You odious Jezebel.

          (I only put that last line in because I hardly ever get to use the word “odious.”)

        4. Thanks, guys. You always know just what to say to a gal. 😆

          I love being a doctor, Don! How about Pastrix Jezebel Harridan, Doctor of Dissidence?

          I’m seriously considering changing my screen name to Dr. Jezebel. Or Dr. Pastor Jezebel. Whaddya think?

      2. Kreine, thanks for sharing your research. As a parent of young children, I have been unsure about spanking for a while. The Bible verses about the rod have always made me think that spanking had merit. It hasn’t been all that effective with my children. and I hate myself for doing it. Amazing how many ‘tough parenting’ strategies I’ve implemented that have gone against my natural instinct as a parent! But I’ve followed advice from Christian people I’ve trusted. Anyway, I wanted to say, it isn’t pearls before swine. I appreciate the research of someone who has already tackled the subject rationally, and I’d be interested in a more lengthy extrapolation of the issue, from a Biblical perspective.

        1. LIT, you are doing a very hard thing by dissecting your beliefs and seeking greater understanding. I’m sharing some links to get you started, with the caveat that if you genuinely engage this topic, you will likely find your current paradigm shifting completely to a perspective you think inconceivable at the moment. The process can be extremely disconcerting, but it is well worth it in the end!

          http://gracethrufaith.com/topical-studies/spare-the-rod-and-spoil-the-child/

          http://www.religioustolerance.org/spankin8.htm

          http://captrainingdirectorblog.blogspot.com/2013/05/paddlingdoes-it-still-happen.html?m=1

          http://www.gentlechristianmothers.com/topics/gentlediscipline.php

          Best wishes!

      1. I guess I’m not sure how what I said about a specific word advocates child abuse? Especially since the word in question refers to what we would consider college-aged men. 😕

        Perhaps I’m misunderstanding.

        1. This was meant as a reply to Rightly Divided, I’m trying to say that I would rather overlook the verses he quotes than promote them, if they are used by some to justify mistreating children.

        2. Oh, gotcha! In that case, you & I are definitely on the same page.

          (Although if we’re going with specific words, the argument can easily be made that “spank” has no equivalent in Hebrew. Not that Rightly Divided would accept said argument.)

    4. The word “spank” is nowhere in Scripture. Go back to the original languages; it just plain is not there. There is no word, NOT ONE WORD, that can be translated “spank.”

      Some of the so-called rod verses can be translated as meaning actual hitting of persons with objects. The same words can be translated another way, because all languages have words with more than one meaning. How to choose among them? Perhaps by choosing the meaning which does not conflict with the direction not to provoke our children to anger, the observation by Paul that fathers teach and lead their children, or the dire warning of Jesus Himself not to keep children from Him or cause them to stumble.

      Look at the testimony of people who have left Christianity or left religion altogether after having been raised Christian. They’re all over the Web. You’ll find a depressing number of personal stories about being hurt in the name of God and concluding therefrom that the Christian God is despicable. I challenge you to find one, even one, testimony blaming a lack of beatings for a lack of faith.

      And if you think that not wanting to be hurt in the name of holiness is a sign of defective character in a child: you first. You submit to the rod, the glue stick, the plumbing line, the hot sauce on the tongue, and the insane protestations of love and demands for a pretense of happiness. Not willing to endure it as an adult who can leave or fight off the so-called discipline? Then do not presume to lay this burden on a child.

    5. There is, of course the Scripture, “You fathers, don’t provoke your children to anger, but nurture them in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”

      Hitting provokes anger. Hitting when you are wrong and they are right provokes a LOT of anger.

      All the beatings I got have ever done is make me fear God more than love Him. I have never felt secure in the knowledge of the love of my parents or in the love of God because of the promise of harsh judgment for making mistakes, for speaking what I thought, and for asking questions.

      Fortunately I am learning that God is not as quick on taking up his hammer of judgment as my dad and mom were to get the paddle, the belt, or something else to whip us with.

  12. Thank God we have Dr sears to tell us what the Bible REALLY MEANS:

    “Rod verses – what they really mean. The following are the biblical verses which have caused the greatest confusion:”.

    what we have here is “fundamentalism” in academia and the scholarly realm. Dr sears will tell us how to properly interpret the Bible.

    Dr. Phil Kidd and Dr. Sears hold the same amount of esteem in my eyes….. zilch.

    1. “Thank God we have Dr sears to tell us what the Bible REALLY MEANS:”

      “aww blessed sarcasm… the almighty shield for all to hide behind when there is no adequate, cogent and salient response to be had.”

      lol.

  13. I was goofing on my own comment on sarcasm in the same post…your lol should be placed there…”wait, is my response sarcastic? hmmmm”

    Pointing out my use of sarcasm to refute sarcasm and then goofing on sarcasm at the same time apparently escaped your “fundy hating” soaked brain thereby preventing the use of your brain cells from absorbing the finer points.

    Thanks for your efforts though. Nice try.

    1. Actually, it was two different posts, and the sarcasm comment was posted six minutes before the other one.

      Perhaps if you learned how to use the comment feature — replying instead of just randomly commenting — it would be easier to follow along. JAT.

  14. I grew up with spankings, paddlings, beltings (even the buckle side) as a regular thing. My parents claimed I would never be too old to spank.

    This abuse was done to my sister, as well. I don’t remember the youngest sister (there were 3 of us) getting spanked more than once or twice. She was the favorite. Anything that went wrong was either my fault or the fault of my closest sister.

    Dad was in the military. He had a mean temper. He would also threaten to kill me if I ever did [thus and such]. Frankly, I believed him.

    I am able to forgive my dad and mom, in part, because of what I know about their past. My dad had been given away by his mom to her parents so she could marry a man with several children and give love to them. My dad’s grandfather had a farm in Missouri, and my dad had to plow behind a mule. If he was disciplines, the grandfather used a bullwhip.

    By the time my dad enlisted in the military, he had a raging temper. The military honed that for their purposes.

    My mom went along with Dad’s temper. Boards, boards with holes in them, belts. By the time I had gotten to age 17 I had a terrible temper myself.

    I asked the Lord to do something about it. And about that time I suffered some illness that made me have to learn some patience. I went to BJU at the age of 24 and married when I was 26. We didn’t have children until I was 32.

    But I still had the temper, deep down inside me. And it came out when “disciplining” then children. The idea of “breaking their will” was there as well. One day my wife and I went too far, my 8-year-old son ran to a neighbor and called the police, and the police and DSS got involved in our lives.

    I went to the Pastor for help, and that Sunday he stood me before the church and removed me as a deacon and had people come up and “show me their love.” No help with my situation, just a heap of humiliation.

    Well, I was determined to understand the reason for my abusiveness, talked to my closest sister, put the abuse in my childhood into context and worked out a way to prevent my wife and I from getting so angry. I found my wife needed anti-depressants. I apologized to all my children, and I heard their long bottled up complaints.

    It wasn’t easy to stop being abusive. But I did. And I was able to repair the relationship with my sons (my daughter wasn’t born then). That took time.

    Fundamentalism glorifies abuse. It enables abuse. It urges parents to seek absolute submission, a thing none of us are able to give to others, not even to God.

    I realize that the reason I cannot think of God as my Father is because of my father. While my viewpoint of God is changing, the gut level feeling about God is fear.

    Only with my late escape from Fundamentalism have I been able to put so many things into context. I am happier than I ever was in any fundamentalist church.

    As the churches glorify child abuse, they are telling their people that they, too, can and should be abused by their “authority” (the pastor, etc.) and that it should be borne without complaint.

    Cultish behavior indeed.

    1. Thank you for sharing your experiences. I’m sorry your family went through so much, but I am very glad you were all able to pull through it.

      When we know better, we do better.

    2. Wow, all I can say is Amen and Amen, you really have taken the stronger path. It’s important that you’ve broken the chain of abuse, identifying your problems and getting real help, and your children (I hope) will love you for it, as well as learning to forgive your own parents. THAT’S real Christian parenting. 🙂

  15. The arrogance is astounding.

    What is it about this type of manipulation that draws so many unsuspecting souls to the trough?

    Why is it that this is attributed to the Spirit of God? Show me anywhere in the New Testament where this type of address is held up as typical in the dialogomai (dialogue) or the euangelizomai (preaching the good news) of the Apostles!

    We are simply following tradition and blaming the Bible for it.

      1. J.I.

        Shoot, uh, Snap! I forgot to consult with the inspired KJV before the Greek, which, of course, was, by the way, ispired by the said KJV, that is, according to, from what i’ve been told, the tradition!

        🙁

  16. For the past several days, I’ve listened to that clip twice (more angry the second time) and read through the comments. I’ve neither been abused nor been an abuser. Neither am I the Bible scholar that many of you are.

    But my heart goes out to those of you who’ve been beaten “in the name of God.” Whether the word “rod” in Proverbs means a literal stick or is meant figuratively, I can’t determine – but it definitely doesn’t mean that parents are allowed to beat their children so badly they must hide in closets from fear.

    Where does this idea come from that people in authority can do whatever they want? I don’t recall reading that in Scripture. I do read of Jesus washing His disciples’ feet and drawing children up onto His lap, however.

    I also recall that He said there’s a special place in Hell for those who hurt His little ones.

  17. I haven’t even finished watching the whole thing, but what is so ridiculous to me is how he insinuates that you can’t set boundaries and tell children no without beating them half to death, as if those two only go hand in hand. According to him it’s either beat them or have spoiled hellions… completely preposterous.

    1. Not unique to this man, I’m afraid. Ezzo and the Pearls, to name only three, pepper their books with dire warnings of what horrible children you will have if you don’t (insert euphemism for systematic beating here).

  18. I took a peek at this video before heading off to my fundy-lite church thus morning and the visiting pastor preached about the sin of resentment. Part of his cure for resentment was asking the party who had offended us, to forgive us for resenting them. I asked him afterwards if he had truly thought this through. I questioned him about the situation that this would create for those who had suffered physical or sexual abuse. Should the abused have to find their abusers and ask forgiveness for resenting being abused (I have heard stories where the victims are made/led to apologize for their abuse)? I told him that his message sounded like a way to treat incidents of abuse “in house”. He told me that I had not listened properly and dismissed my input. I immediately resented him but chose not to ask his forgiveness…..

    1. “Part of his cure for resentment was asking the party who had offended us, to forgive us for resenting them…”

      “I immediately resented him but chose not to ask his forgiveness…..”

      You’re a brave soul to actually approach the man espousing non-biblical advise from the pulpit. It is not uncommon for the offender to marginalize those whom they view as causing dissension.

    2. This is all reminiscent of Chuck Phelps coercing Tina Anderson into asking her rapist’s forgiveness (for her allowing him to rape her, I suppose). This preacher simply does not understand how healing from resentment works.

    3. I may be wrong, but this seems backasswards to me. Isn’t the Biblical pattern for dealing with offenses given us in Matthew 18? And doesn’t that passage tells us to go to the offender, not to apologize for being offended but to confront him and give him (or her) the opportunity to apologize and repent? What does the offended party have to apologize for?

      1. “What does the offended party have to apologize for?”

        Apparently, for their response to being victimized; such as “bitterness,” or “resentment.”

        There has to be some sort of falacious argument term for this kind of approach from so-called leadership. Big Gary can find such a term if anyone can ❗

        1. How about the Middle Ground Fallacy:
          Saying that a compromise, or middle point, between two
          extremes must be the truth.

          Definitely an Appeal to Authority fallacy:
          Saying that because an authority thinks something,
          it must therefore be true.

          False Dilemma Fallacy:
          Where two alternative states are presented as the only possibilities, when in fact more possibilities exist.

          Loaded question fallacy:
          Asking a question that has an assumption built into it so that it can’t be answered without appearing guilty.

          Special Pleading fallacy:
          Moving the goalposts or making up exceptions when a
          claim is shown to be false.

          Humans are funny creatures and have a foolish aversion to being wrong. Rather than appreciate the benefits of being able to change one’s mind through better understanding, many will invent ways to cling to old beliefs.

          The problem is that most religious systems teach rhetoric rather than logic. So the pulpits are filled with Religious Sophists who are natural philosophizers, who in turn deny that they hold to any man-made philosophy because they hold to the “truth.”

        2. It’s not really a logic term, but the classic descriptive phrase for this kind of thinking (e.g., that people who’ve been wronged should apologize for being resentful) is “blaming the victim.”

          It’s what people do when, instead of asking who keeps throwing people in the river, they criticize the drowners for their poor swimming abilities.

    4. Imagine… a speaker at a fundy-lite church dismissing the input of someone who disagrees with them. Now I’ve heard everything.

      I said it before – people like Phil Kidd need to be held accountable for inciting abuse against children from the pulpit. It is despicable.

      1. This! “…people like Phil Kidd need to be held accountable for inciting abuse against children from the pulpit. It is despicable.”

        Who is responsible for lawfully holding these abuser promotors accountable? I’ve been pondering this question since viewing this horrific vid.

        1. He has a legal right to say his opinion, however sick and twisted it may be, although not necessarily to act on it.
          That is, it’s (mostly) illegal for him to beat children, but it’s legal for him to say he thinks children should be beaten.
          Just as I could legally say I wish Person A would die, but I can’t legally kill Person A.

          So the best the more responsible people in the community can do is to say why he Phil Kidd is wrong– and, of course, decline to give him public speaking opportunities.

  19. He talks about how hitting a child warps their mind. He disputes that, of course, and talks about how he was hit by the principal and his daddy. And during the telling, he demonstrates how warped his mind really is.

    Violence begets violence.

    And of course, it is violence by the powerful against those who are weaker to begin with. Somehow I can’t figure out how “I love you, and this is going to hurt you a lot more than it hurts me” is any different from “I hate you and I like to hurt you.”

    1. Oh, it’s different. It’s worse. Saying “I love you” while hurting someone blurs the distinctions between love, hate, and indifference, and, especially for young people, makes it much more difficult to sort out one’s feelings.

      1. “According to whom?” “What is your authority?”

        I don’t see you naming authorities for your particular points of view. And no, do not say, “I just believe the Bible” because you don’t. You pick and choose, and you know it.

        Not that I expect you to admit it.

        However, Dr. Martin Luther King used that phrase a lot, telling his supporters that the best way to affect change was to use non-violent resistance.

        The reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968) used the phrase when saying:[1][5][6]

        Hate begets hate; violence begets violence; toughness begets a greater toughness. We must meet the forces of hate with the power of love… Our aim must never be to defeat or humiliate the white man, but to win his friendship and understanding.[1]

        “The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral

        begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy, instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it.

        Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth.

        Through violence you may murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate.

        Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.

        Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.

        Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
        Martin Luther King, Jr.

        You might note that Jesus never used violence. Even when he drove the moneychangers out of the temple, his “whip” could not injure, only annoy or inconvenience. Likely the biggest reason the moneychangers left was because Jesus turned over their tables, spilling their loot and disrupting their business instead of going along with it.

        Other than that, violence was completely uncharacteristic of Jesus, who did not return evil for evil.

        Since the Scriptures tell us (Romans) to not return evil for evil to any person, to not take vengeance on any person, and to overcome evil with good, under what situation do you think that using violence on your children fits those Scriptures?

        The trouble is that we take our preconceived notions and then find Scripture passages to support them.

  20. Don, great response! This is what I find particularly interesting:

    “So the pulpits are filled with Religious Sophists who are natural philosophizers…”

    “Where Did The Christian Sermon Come From?

    The earliest recorded Christian source for regular sermonizing is found during the late second century. Clement of Alexandria lamented the fact that sermons did so little to change Christians. Yet despite its recognized failure, the sermon became a standard practice among believers by the fourth century.

    This raises a thorny question. If the first-century Christians were not noted for their sermonizing, from whom did the postapostolic Christians pick it up? The answer is telling: The Christian sermon was borrowed from the pagan pool of Greek culture!

    To find the headwaters of the sermon, we must go back to the fifth century BC and a group of wondering teachers called sophists. The sophists are credited for inventing rhetoric (the art of persuasive speaking). They recruited disciples and demanded payment for delivering their orations.

    The sophists were expert debaters. They were masters at using emotional appeals, physical appearance, and clever language to “sell” their arguments. In time, the style, form, and oratorical skill of the sophists became more prized than their accuracy. This spawned a class of men who became masters of fine phrases, “cultivating style for style’s sake.” The truths they preached were abstract rather than truths that were practiced in their own lives. They were experts at imitating form rather than substance.

    The sophists identified themselves by the special clothing they wore. Some of them had a fixed residence where they gave regular sermons to the same audience. Others traveled to deliver their polished orations. (They made a good deal of money when they did.)

    Sometimes the Greek orator would enter his speaking forum “already robed in his pulpit-gown.” He would then mount the steps to his professional chair to sit before he brought his sermon…

    About a century later, the Greek philosopher Aristotle (384-322 BC) gave to rhetoric the three-point speech. “A whole,” said Aristotle, “must have a beginning, a middle and an end…”

    Orators could bring a crown to a frenzy simply by their powerful speaking skills. Teachers of rhetoric, the leading science of the era, were the pride of every major city. The orators they produced were given celebrity status. In short, the Greeks and Romans were addicted to pagan sermon—just as many contemporary Christians are addicted to the “Christian” sermon.”

    http://www.amazon.com/Pagan-Christianity-Exploring-Church-Practices/dp/1414364555/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1379909000&sr=8-1&keywords=pagan+Christianity

    From pp 89-91, Citations by the author on these pages.

    B.R.O.

    1. BRO, I find this to be a reductionism. In fact, Christianity sprung from Judaism, and (influenced by the Greeks or not), the Jews already had a practice of weekly reading the scriptures at which point the males who were approved would take turns expounding and applying the meaning. Now, his might have looked more like a Bible study (the accounts we have are not clear if the setup was interactive or one-sided), but this habit seems to have remained with the early church even as things like circumcision died out. fwiw.

      1. Perhaps reductionism would be entirely correct if we were just talking about sermons in isolation. This, however, is not the case.

        As far as the “weekly reading,” there is no evidence that it was the custome for one person to stand up front and either read or expound entirely as a monologue, as we see today.

        Circumcision “died out” in Acts 15, when it was agreed upon that Christ, in His person and work, fulfilled the law in every respect and that believers were not required to keep any part of the law.

        B.R.O.

  21. I babysat for my IFB pastor between the ages of 12-14 and I was instructed to use corporal punishment on the children including pricking an infant with a pin while changing her diaper if she wiggled. I never did. I felt so sorry for these children. They always seemed scared and so unhappy. I often wonder what ever came of them.

  22. This guy is EXACTLY who Alice Miller is talking about in her incredible book, “For Your Own Good”.

    This book shook me to the core, in a good way. Anyone who grew up with a monster like that for a parent needs to read this book.

    1. “Every time I violate a rule I can for my own good expect my loving parents to immediately administer a fearful appropriate consequence.”

      Pastor Dan Unruh

      Whoa. I can relate to that. No wonder I cannot think of God as my Father without feeling sick to my stomach.

      No gospel of grace there, folks! It is all rules.

  23. The author of this website obviously likes to be satirical of the ways of the IFB but I never see any of the author’s ideas: I wonder what the author’s remedy for child misbehavior would be; care to offer any solutions?

    Nowadays, Children have been taught no responsibility and lack discipline, they think the world is theirs and when they get older they think they can do whatsoever they please and they end up disrespecting the wrong person which can cost them dearly.

    1. To discipline is to teach. If you can’t discipline without beating the crap out of your kids, you’re a lousy teacher.

      If the only tool in your parenting tool belt is spanking, it’s time to get more tools.

        1. Darrell, Lynx reminded me of something. You need to do a post on the “Fundy Line of Questioning.” You know, like when you say something they disagree with, they can’t just state their beliefs and agree to disagree. They ask a million questions to try to trap you and put words in your mouth and take the argument into outer space. Of course, in their mind, their questions are “apologetics” or “leading you to the truth.”

          Kind of like what the Pharisees did with Jesus.

        2. So you are accusing me of being a Pharisee now Michelle B? Come on you can do better than that: why are you so defensive? So I guess it is wrong to ask questions?

        3. Lynx, you can easily look up the definition of abuse for yourself. My personal ideas of abuse are probably more broad than many people’s because of my mistreatment as a child and that toward my own children.

          We can trust authorities who have proven POSITIVE results. If the parents follow an authority, then have perfectly compliant drones who grow up to say how damaging their childhood was, we cannot & should not discount the testimony of those children.

          My authority is the Prince of Peace. This is one time when WWJD is a valid & thought-provoking question. From reading the NT, I think his default method of teaching children would be to pull them onto his lap & tell them a parable.

    2. While I am not the author of this website let me say that the purpose of this website is not to remedy or offer any solutions to anything. It is to poke fun at the foibles of the IFB movement.

    3. Nowadays, Children have been taught no responsibility and lack discipline, they think the world is theirs and when they get older they think they can do whatsoever they please and they end up disrespecting the wrong person which can cost them dearly.

      That speaks volumes about all those fundy parents who allow their kids to act that way doesn’t it?

      Personally I’m offended at your accusation, my children don’t act that way. So… do you mean “all” children or just some? If some then which ones? Is there a specific group of children who act like this or just children in general?

      RE: the OP:
      Obviously Kidd is preaching to the parents in that audience so it must be their children he is talking about. So, the parents in earshot of that message are the ones who need to be beating their children so they grow up to be just like Phil and his ilk? OY!

  24. Woah… that is scary.

    But that poor man – he’s been abused and had that so normalised he now thinks it is a GOOD thing.

    Still not an excuse to do it to others, but that poor man.

    Saskia

  25. I feel ill. “I love my daddy.” We call that Stockholm Syndrome. This is seriously twisted. No wonder people think Christians are a bunch of crazy sadists. This guy is the kind of guy Jesus said should hand a rock around their own neck and drown themselves…

  26. Couple of things: this is the fringe of ‘fundamentalism’ now. It was the mainstream back in the 80’s and early to mid 90’s. This man mixes a fair amount of humor into his mssg. it seems persons here either dont recognize the humor (and sarcasm) or, You recognize it full well, but, You hate Mr Kidd and what he really stands for and take this oppurtunity to twist and misuse his words to misrepresent him to others. He is in no way “glorifying child abuse” in that somewhat edited clip. That mssg was around 35-40 minutes long, You put less than 6 minutes of it up on this site.

    1. Phil Kidd is a douchebag all by himself with no assistance of any editors anywhere. If you don’t think he’s glorifying child abuse, maybe you should experience the abuse he glorifies and find out.

    2. Lee, this is NOT simply the fundamentalist “fringe.” This is fundamentalism, mainstream — as much of an oxymoron as that is!

      Side question: What would be a “liberal” fundamentalist? Somewhat more to the right than a right-wing conservative? We really need a graduated scale here.

      Generally speaking, people on the right-wing spectrum, from conservatives to fundamentalists to the unmentionable loonies beyond believe in force to get others to obey their will. Thus

      … they drop bombs on other nations.
      … they rally to scuttle peace negotiations which avoid the use of force and call for dropping bombs on other nations.
      … they like the death penalty. They like the death penalty even for convicts who didn’t actually commit the crime! Because, you know, even if you think you are innocent, if you have been found guilty by a jury and you are black, you did it.
      … they like guns. They like stand-your-ground laws. And yes, being black with sweat tea and skittles is considered a lethal threat to an armed white person.
      … they like tough immigration laws. Consider children who were carried into the US and have lived their lives here “illegals” and criminals. Deny them health care or the benefit of US laws. If enforcing the laws breaks up a family, who cares?
      … they like to beat their kids. After all, they are always right. Always. And if they are wrong, they are still right. Think Miss Trunchbull in “Matilda.” Yes, preachers have and still do assert that if a baby cries when you put them down to sleep, they are showing their rebellious sin nature and should be spanked.

      Okay, not every fundamentalist is hard on every one of these. But most of those I knew were. The sermons were never “soft.”

      1. 1st let me point out, I know Phil Kidd personally, not well, but I know him, Ive met and spoke with him face to face. Until recently (a week ago) I had not seen or heard him in 17 years. I was an IFB up through 97. After that, just an IB thru 2001, Now, a Non denominational. 2nd, This is the FRINGE of fundamentalist now days. Its not the extreme fringe, but He would not be welcome in the majority of churches out their that classify themselves as IFBC. Again, I know Mr Kidd, his wife and children. I knew their children when they were still children. All are grown, married and have kids of their own now. One is a Pastor even. He never beat his children. He did spank in some cases. Mr Kidd is in part (as are most public speakers) an entertainer as well as an evangelist. He incorporates humor. And humor usually involves saying outrageous things, making outrageous statements that the average person, with reasonable lvl of common sense recognizes as HUMOR and knows not to take literally. If you get Mr Kidd alone, out of the spotlight and take the time to ask him about these issues you have with his preaching, You will find him to be a rather sensible man. I/we don’t like to drop bombs on countries unless there is a damn good reason for it. and even then, we don’t like it. we don’t desire to scuttle peace negotiations just because bombs and force will not be used. we do tend to be in favor of the death penalty though I believe that is a mistake, they base their belief in Death Penalty from Old Testament teaching and seem to miss that Jesus taught something a bit different in New Testament. Im not really in favor of death penalty, but, Im also not in favor of paying for food, shelter and clothing for someone who cannot be safely released into the public domain because they have a history of harming and killing people. We like guns, we don’t like shooting people. We do like being able to defend our families and our communities from dangerous people, (or people who are stupid enough to act or look dangerous) like that dumb ass kid who pointed an airsoft rifle at a cop here a while back and got shot. He had removed the orange barrel tip that identifies the gun as airsoft rather than real and then used it in public and pointed it an officer, he got killed. sorry, but it was his own fault. We do like stand your ground. No one should have to run from a person trying to harm them or their family as their only recourse for safety. Knowing all the facts in the most famous SYG case,Zimmerman. I believe he was justified in shooting Tray Martin. Ive been in a similar situation, but know one jumped he or hit me in the head, knocked me down and pounded the hell out of me, so I didn’t shoot anyone. If you have me on the ground, pounding me, and I don’t have the means of getting you off me. Ill shoot you if you don’t stop hitting me. for those of you here who seem to think Jesus was a complete pacifist and never permits violence to defend ones self or others read Luke 22:36 as well as just about all the Old Testament. You are permitted by God to use violence to defend yourself IF NEEDED. We do like immigration laws. God gave very strict ‘immagration’ laws for his people. there are good reasons for this and they are not ‘mean spirited’. You do not deserve to collect benefits we are paying for if you are not helping put money in the system by paying taxes and such and are able to. We don’t LIKE to beat our kids or even spank them. We/I will spank my child now so that he don’t get ‘beat’ later as an adult. If I see a behavior in my son that I know will get him in trouble in the real world Ill talk to him about it. If he continues to do it. Ill spank him. If he still continues. Ill spank him some more. If he continues after that, Ill send him to a juvenile facility where he will learn what a beating really is, likely at the hands of other kids who are meaner than hell and have never been ‘spanked’ or disciplined themselves. Or who have indeed been ‘beat’ by drunk or dysfunctional parents. I have heard some old school preachers say to spank a crying baby from their pulpit. I believe they are in error. I would not do it. No one is perfect. These men tend to put out a lot more good direction than they do bad. there are extreme, extremist in the IFBC movement that do like all those things, None of the IFBC’s I grew up around are that way, though I agree that you might get the opposite Idea from listening to them Preach. Its one of the reasons I left the IFBC. Because they don’t use nearly as much common sense when they are preaching as when they are counseling…Its just part of the culture. They express their emotions and anger at things in an … unhealthy manner when preaching…

        1. Was that the only problem with my post…too long…??? My first thought after reading the anti Kidd posts on here was to say screw em…no point in talking to idiots…but…thats not “christ-like” is it..??? so I thought Id try making a reasoned-rational response with out using insults and such… was I wrong to try peaceful, rational discussion..Cause it seems I was. That this forum is not a forum at all…But rather a place for a bunch of independent haters to talk trash about someone they dont agree with…reason and rational speech with a contrary view not regarded as legitimate. Is there a rule about size of posts…the person I responded to was well over a paragraph as well but shared the same view on this person as you all do…???

        2. Was that the only problem with my post…too long…??? My first thought after reading the anti ❓ Kidd posts on here was to say screw em…no point in talking to idiots…but…thats not “christ-like” is it..??? so I thought Id try making a reasoned-rational response with out using insults and such… was I wrong to try peaceful, rational discussion..Cause it seems I was. That this forum is not a forum at all…But rather a place for a bunch of independent haters to talk trash about someone they dont agree with…reason and rational speech with a contrary view not regarded as legitimate. Is there a rule about size of posts…the person I responded to was well over a paragraph as well but shared the same view on this person as you all do…???

        3. I’m sorry, but your previous post reads like anything _but_ reasoned and rational. Correctly using grammatical tools such as paragraphs would have made it more readable, but I don’t think that anything could keep it from being the diatribe that it is. And for the record, rtgmath’s post was less that half the length of your, and he used paragraphs, and avoided run-on sentences.

        4. We/I will spank my child now so that he don’t get ‘beat’ later as an adult. If I see a behavior in my son that I know will get him in trouble in the real world Ill talk to him about it. If he continues to do it. Ill spank him. If he still continues. Ill spank him some more. If he continues after that, Ill send him to a juvenile facility where he will learn what a beating really is, likely at the hands of other kids who are meaner than hell and have never been ‘spanked’ or disciplined themselves. Or who have indeed been ‘beat’ by drunk or dysfunctional parents.

          Wow. How very Christ-like and loving of you. 👿

          Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

        5. Lee, the objection to your post was NOT that it was too long. Rather, it just ran all together. Paragraphs break up the post. Honestly, I post some long rants here on occasion. But paragraphs help.

          Let me address one of your points, briefly. Maybe later I will talk to you about other points. And mind you, you don’t have to worry about offending me.

          “You are permitted by God to use violence to defend yourself IF NEEDED.”

          My, my! May I ask where you get that from? It is not in the Bible, you know, unless you cherry pick certain verses and eliminate the context.

          In point of fact, I can put together a very well-reasoned Bible study on why you should NOT use violence to defend yourself, and leave no Scripture out. Let me give you a sampling.

          If you are thinking what I bet you are thinking, Jesus said, “Let him that hath a sword bring one” as they went from the Last Supper to Jesus’ destiny. That phrase has been abused mightily by fundamentalists and conservatives as an excuse to arm oneself.

          But what was the context? It is far beyond the few verses at that point. Jesus knew He was going to his death. He knew he was being betrayed by Judas. He had already told the disciples they would forsake him. They said it wouldn’t happen.

          So Jesus stacked the deck. They had two swords among them — remarkable since in sending out the disciples on their missions, weapons were forbidden! He says to bring them along. The disciples must have felt emboldened. Two swords! Two Swords! TWO SWORDS! They could surely defend their Master with those!

          They go to the Garden. The disciples are heavy with sleep. They can’t stay awake while Jesus prays! Then comes the fateful hour. Judas with his armed mob comes to take Jesus.

          Peter springs into action. Swoosh! Suddenly the servant of the High Priest, Malchus, is without an ear.

          Bad aim! Bad thinking, too. That mob was armed! Two swords? The whole lot of the disciples could have been dispatched within the next few minutes. Jesus intervened to save their lives. He healed the ear. He rebuked his disciples. “Put your sword into its place. Those who live by the sword will perish by the sword.”

          Think about the mayhem and bloodshed that would have occurred if Jesus had NOT healed Malchus, or if He had not brought Peter down from his dreams of glory.

          The disciples were stunned. They had with them swords they could not use. The swords were worse than useless. The swords were designed to be used, but their very presence was a threat to their own lives. Using them would kill them. Peace was the only way to prevail.

          They spooked and ran. Denied the use of violence, they forsook Jesus.

          In fact, Jesus went so much further as to later tell the authorities that while He was a King, His Kingdom was not “of this world.” His servants would not fight. They would do no violence to others to defend Him, or to establish the Throne.

          Now you will find no Scripture in the New Testament telling God’s people to arm themselves. You *will* find Scripture admonishing us to be like Christ, who avenged not himself. You will find Scripture describing the fate of believers as “sheep led to the slaughter.” You will not find one word telling us to fight. We are not to repay evil with evil, but to repay evil with good.

          Of course, I will let you *try* to put forward a Biblical defense for self-defense. You won’t get very far.

          I would bet my post is longer than yours. Maybe. Maybe not. But if you can read it, it is because of paragraphs.

          My regards to you and yours, even if we disagree on men like Phil Kidd.

        6. No scripture in New Testament directing God’s people to arm themselves…??? Luke 22:36 And He said to them, “But now, whoever has a money belt is to take it along, likewise also a bag, and whoever has no sword is to sell his coat and buy one. NASB by the way, not the fundamentalist KJV or NKJV… I know you are aware of this verse…right…??? I dont get it…He says, if you dont have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one… The first time he sent the disciples out to evangelize He told them not to take anything with them, This time he told em to load up…and…take swords… He did get alot more practical and realistic in his instructions before departing…Why do so many have a hard time with that.

        7. Lee, did you completely ignore the study I gave you? Luke 22:36 is at the Last Supper.

          Now, find out what happens after that. Their swords were useless. Telling them to get swords was to provide an object lesson they desperately needed.

          I laid it all out for you. If you are going to ignore the lesson in the whole story just to cling to a single verse out of context, then you are ignoring the whole counsel of God.

          Even so, he tells them to get a sword. He never tells them to use it.

          (What do they teach them in these schools? Does no one know how to read for context and meaning anymore?)

        8. so when he told em in the same statement to take extra money and supplies, he didnt really mean that either??? the entire statement was an object lesson…Ok..I see it now…He didnt want them to take extra money or supplies or buy swords…Ok, I get it…

        9. Ill tell you, I understand the irritation with run on sentences. But I come across those all the time on various forums of politics or technology, what have you…No one fusses about em like you guys seem to…Ive read my fair share of em…They are a pain to read, but, well, to each his own I guess…

        10. Why would you imply that the death penalty is acceptable due to it being “cheaper” than imprisonment? Any basic fact research would have informed you that the death penalty is MUCH MUCH more expensive than lifetime imprisonment, no matter how long the lifetime ends up being.

          If you’re hiding your pro death penalty position behind “it’s cheaper”, that’s an easily debunked straw man, and you should rethink your position or just admit you’re for the death penalty. I’m not really sure which one it is for you.

        11. I kinda like the “escape from new york” method of dealing with hardened , violent criminals…Put em on an island, drop food , water and such to em, and let em do their own thing…

        12. Lee,
          If you indeed raise your son with the discipline you described–spankings, more spankings (for refusal to follow your directives) then, finally with your decision to send him to a juvenile facility where he will be treated violently, well, let’s just say that nothing good can come of this. You sound like a young man. I’m willing to wager that your parent(s) beat you. Violence begets violence.

          That sort of spanking may crush your son’s innate creativity. It will plant the seeds of self-hatred within him; and it most certainly will help him grow up to hate his father.
          Regards,
          BJg

        13. <3 rtgmath

          Shane Claiborne sums up his belief of violence (at least in the New Testament) as: There's nothing worth killing for, but there is something worth dying for.

        14. Bald, when I tell him to shut off the XBOX and come walk with me, cause he needs to get some exercise (he’ll sit in front of the BOX for 6-8 hours straight if we let em) and he flat refuses and tells me Im wrong, and that Im cannot tell him what to do, and so on and so on…tell me what I should do…He is 17, so I wont spank him anymore, (and have not spanked him since he was prob 7-8, and then, not hard or long) I have told him that if he continues to disregard this and things like cleaning up after himself, or skipping school that I am gonna send him to Juvi because I am not gonna let him continue this way just yet…If he is still behaving like this when He leaves home, if he leaves home (He will, he’s not gonna continue to live here and make a mess of the house and not help out)The ‘real’ world will not tolerate this…God, will not tolerate rebellion like that from His people for ever. Check out Hebrews 12 on chastening…God will discipline his own after awhile…ah…never mind…never mind…

  27. Never mind. If you believe as I do that Jesus Christ was indeed the Son of God, and rightful Lord of this earth and all on it, and that God raised him from the dead…We good…take care…Im out…

  28. While most of what I have read on this site, I agree with, I watched this and kept wondering where the graphic abuse of children came in?? I was spanked/whipped the exact same way growing up. If I got a paddling at school, I got one at home. My dad always took the side of the teacher or coach or principal over whatever excuse I was offering up. And you know what? He was right! I saw the kids whose parents went to bat for them every time against their teachers and coaches and principals. I saw them always defending their poor little Johnny. And now, those kids cannot accept responsibility for anything. Their lives are complete disasters. I am so thankful that my dad and mom disciplined me and taught me to quit blaming everyone and take responsibility for my own actions. And Guess what? I have 3 daughters who are becoming very familiar with the spoon! But there is a huge difference between discipline and abuse. I absolutely believe in corporal punishment but would be for public execution of one who abused a child.

    1. “I am so thankful that my dad and mom disciplined me and taught me to quit blaming everyone and take responsibility for my own actions. ”

      You present a false dichotomy above – you either “go to bat for little Johnny” and never teach them good behavior and they grow up to be a mess, or else you use “paddlings” or “the spoon” and your kids grow up to be wonderful. I am also teaching my children responsibility and good citizenship, and we do it without any kind of hitting, smacking, paddling, slapping, punching, spanking, or whatever euphemism you prefer. Hitting and responsibility are not intertwined concepts.

      1. Agreed.
        The premise of Torrey’s argument is that you either hit your children, or you don’t discipline them at all. Those are far from being the only options.

    2. And Guess what? I have 3 daughters who are becoming very familiar with the spoon!

      Congratulations on teaching your daughters that love = pain! You’re doing a great job setting them up to find BDSM acceptable, maybe even to the point where they believe it’s appropriate for their future spouse to paddle them for infractions.

      But there is a huge difference between discipline and abuse.
      Yep. And there’s a huge difference between discipline & (corporal) punishment. One can effectively discipline without using punishment. It’s not just semantics. Many people (Christians especially) conflate discipline & punishment.

      Discipline is teaching. Punishment is making someone pay the price for their infraction.

      1. Wow. Some of you are just so perfect, and arrogant! Tell you what. You discipline your kids the way you want and we will continue to do so as well. Though we are not fundies, we do believe in the validity of the Bible and have no issues with the verses regarding sparing the rod and spoiling the child. By the way, last I checked, there were millions of people who are NOT fundies who would also agree with that premise.
        And I never said anything about hitting. That is unacceptable. I said SPANKING. And that also all depends on the child. With our oldest, we have rarely had to do more than put her in time out. Our youngest? Not so much. That doesnt phase her. So you folks continue living on in your dreamworlds and spare me your arrogance.

        1. Tell how you can spank without hitting, again?

          Don’t you see how you’re changing terms to make what you do more acceptable?

          Hit your kids on the butt. Go ahead; it’s not illegal (yet). But have the honesty to call it what it is.

        2. @ LK. I will check out the series you referred to. I got aggravated with some of the replies because if these people knew me, they would know how much I love my 3 little girls. I discipline them carefully. The last thing I would ever do is abuse them and when some accused me of that, it pissed me off. Now many of the spankings I got were borderline abusive, but I survived and hold no ill will against my dad for them. I knew he loved me and I know I was an extremely difficult child. That being said, I would never spank my girls in the way I was spanked. I still have to respectfully disagree with those who see spankings as being some kind of cruel and unusual punishment. But I will also say that if through my reading and research, I find something that works and makes sense, I would be happy to never spank one of my girls again. When my words are twisted and I am made to be some kind of monster to my children as some on here tried to make me out to be, it absolutely infuriated me. Thanks for trying to have a reasonable discussion.

        3. @ Torrey – if the person you’re referring to as twisting your words & made to be some kind of monster is me, I said no such thing.

          I pointed out that hitting (spanking) kids teaches them that pain = love. A child’s mind doesn’t work like an adult’s mind does.

          So, I assume you hit (spank) the “right” way. You probably sit your girls down & tell them that you don’t like hitting (spanking) them, but they’ve done something wrong, and you have to do it because you love them.

          Follow that scenario to its logical conclusion. Your daughters are teens or adults, dating or married. Their boyfriend or spouse hits them, then says, “I’m so sorry, baby. I don’t want to hurt you, but you (insert perceived infraction – looked at another guy, disrespected me, etc.)! I love you, baby! Why’d you have to do that & make me hit you?”

          I’m not saying all this because I think you’re a jerk, Torrey. I’m trying to show you just exactly what you’re teaching your girls. You would be appalled and enraged if someone who claimed they loved your daughters treated them like that, and rightfully so! You would explain until your last breath that love doesn’t treat people like that.

          But they learned that’s exactly what love is, back when they were little girls. Back when mommy & daddy used the very same logic to justify hitting them on their little bottoms.

          I know Internet obscures tone. I want you to know I’m not judging you. I hit (spanked) my kids with wooden spoons & worse. I regret it more than I can say. If I can save other parents from damaging their relationship with their own children, from setting their kids up to believe that abuse in relationships is acceptable, I will do everything I can to convince them to find another, better way to discipline.

        4. @ Dr. Jezebel. Wow. Thank you. Am going to have to really take all of this into consideration. Have never, ever wanted to hurt my children. Admittedly, part of why I spank them is that is the way my parents disciplined myself and my sisters when we were growing up. I have a special relationship with my girls – one that my dad never had with myself or my sisters. They throw a fit if I dont lie down with the 3 of them every night for a few minutes before they go to bed and laugh and talk with them and I always feel like something is not right if I am not there as well. So thank you for your words.

  29. Your snide comments about little Johnny and his disastrous life because his parents did not use physical force are equally arrogant, so don’t go playing that card. We ALL think we are right in our opinions on this matter, yourself and myself included.

    Spanking and hitting are the same thing. You can change the word to make it mean something else in your own mind, but the action and end result is the same. A child is struck physically in order to “teach them a lesson”. Some of us take issue with this. It is never for the child’s good, it is always for the parent’s good, as it (punishment) is an easy way out of the hard work of actual guiding and discipleship (eg, discipline).

    And I believe in the Bible too, but it never says to hit your children. See #6. http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/parenting/discipline-behavior/spanking/10-reasons-not-hit-your-child

    1. No they are not, but we are obviously never going to agree. There is a point where spanking does become abusive and that line should never be crossed. But to act like my spanking my child on the bottom with a wooden spoon is some sort of evil punishment is insanity. By the way, my 3 little girls are my world. I am so afraid of hurting them that my wife sort of snickers at my spankings and the girls would much rather get a spanking from their daddy than they would their mommy. Here are just a few of the verses and these are the ones specifically dealing with spanking or corporal punishment.
      Proverbs 13:24 ESV – Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.
      Hebrews 12:11 ESV – For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
      Proverbs 23:13-15 ESV – Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you strike him with a rod, he will not die. If you strike him with the rod, you will save his soul from Sheol. My son, if your heart is wise, my heart too will be glad.
      Proverbs 22:15 ESV – Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline drives it far from him.
      Proverbs 29:15 ESV – The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.

      1. The ‘rod’ is usually also refered to in teh context of how you guide farm animals, especially sheep. Do you know how they use a rod on sheep? THEY DON”T HIT THEM. Tap, nudge, guide, yes,Training them, guiding them the direction you want them to go. ‘Train up your child’ is exactly the way they did animal husbandry- use that rod to nudge the sheep into the path you want them to take, and they’re learn it. And eventually they take it without the prodding. But striking an animal is not the way to train them. It is a good way to make them hate you, and to make them rebellious.

        They don’t need to be hit. There are other ways to train a child, and to guide a child into growing up in a good path. Doing it without hitting is far more likely to give you the desired result.

        1. You should read up more on the rod and the sheep…you’re right that a good jewish shepard PREFERS not to use his rod to strike his sheep…but…HE most certainly will strike the sheep if said sheep keeps wondering away from him and towards the dangers that exist outside the shepards protection…and…If you read a bit further on ‘shepardry’ you will find that if striking the sheep doesnt convince to sheep to stay out of dangerous activities…the shepard WILL break the lambs left fore leg, then put it in a proper splint so it will heal up..but, that keeps the sheep from running off into the ‘wild’ for good…

        2. well…I can only go by what Ive read from several sources since Ive never actually been a ‘shepard’…how bout you…ever been a shepard…???

      1. Haha!

        Wonder what those same people would call me (besides ‘liberal’) if they knew I felt the Bible has been grossly twisted and bastardized in a sick attempt to support the desire that they already have to hit their children.

        And the people who have this desire are the same people who were also hit as children. It’s a cycle. Generation after generation of people repressing past hurt and convincing themselves that pain and humiliation are GOOD for children.

        1. I’m firmly & thoroughly convinced that people spank their kids out of a desire for control.

          It’s not about love at all, but punitive parents are often excellent at self-deception.

          I speak from experience. I thought the wooden spoons, smacks with bare hand on the butt, etc. were about showing my kids loving discipline. Until the day my 2 year old son looked at me with tears in his eyes and said, “Mommy, please don’t hit me. When you do, it breaks my heart into a hundred pieces. And I can’t put them back together.”

          I hugged him & promised I would find a way to discipline that wouldn’t involve smashing his heart.

  30. Torry, there are a ton of websites out there that put to bed the notion that the verses you quoted are commands to hit our children. I’ll let you look them up yourself.

    I am so afraid of hurting them…

    Then why hit at all? Why not arm your parental toolbox with all kinds of diverse tools that are designed to teach, disciple, and guide, without having to use physical force and/or physical pain? The Love and Logic series is par excellence. 123 Magic is also quite good. I stand by my statement that hitting children (no matter whether you call it spanking, paddling, or something else) serves the parent’s need, not the child’s.

  31. I’m firmly & thoroughly convinced that people spank their kids out of a desire for control.

    I think that, yes. Also because they are just overflowing with frustration and it makes them feel better. I remember seeing my mother charging at me like an angry bull, practically shaking with rage, and the fury behind each blow would become less and less as her anger was satiated by taking it out on me. By the time she was done, her body was visibly relaxed. I endured this scene over and over again for almost two decades.

    I have also seen this over and over witnessing other spankings in my extended family and in other homes, and people seem to see it as normal, but it is so, so not. And you can bet your bottom dollar that every parent who does this had the same thing done to them as children. There is a reason they have so much anger built up, but it is anathema to admit that they don’t see their parents as perfect, so the anger is instead taken out on a more vulnerable target, most often, their children. (If you read much of Alice Miller, she takes this notion to a much deeper understanding – it’s incredibly interesting.)

    Yet others spank because they think the Bible tells them to. And others because they don’t know what else to do. I was in that last category, briefly. I always swore I would never spank my kids, but having two babies going through the “terrible twos” at the same time just about drove me to insanity. I did try spanking for a little bit, but it just felt like such a terrible betrayal of their deep trust in me. I remember my son at that age, seeing the hand swinging for his butt, and yelping in fear before it ever made contact and trying to climb me like a tree, clinging fiercely to me and whimpering in fear. My own mother would’ve dismissed this as manipulation and given him a beating twice as hard. But I knew there was not an ounce of guile in his little heart – he was genuinely scared and clung to his main source of security – ironically, the same source of the pain he feared. It was around that time that I realized that I was a fool for thinking I could teach my children what I wanted them to learn about life by hitting them, and I stopped. There are so many other wonderful tools out there that can be put in the parental toolbox, and I have been educating myself over the last several years as to what they are. You really can raise kind, decent, honest, responsible people without hitting them. And with that knowledge, I have to severely question anyone who still wants to.

  32. You people are pathetic. The bible says that if you love your son that you will chasten him. If you don’t believe the bible then shut up and quit calling your self christians. Modern liberals are are sickening , I think I’ ll go vomit!

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