183 thoughts on “The Rod”

  1. Awww, there’s a little smily face in front of the all caps ROD. It’s like some sort of pre-historic Fundy emoji.
    And as a side note, what thee gehena is up with that soaring eagle?

    1. I’m actually horrified by the smiley face. Even if I strongly disagree I can sort of understand how someone could convince themselves this was necessary, but I can’t comprehend how someone could think it was cute.

      1. It reminds me of the Far Side cartoon where a guy in hell ia whistling while he works, and one of the devils says to another, “We’re not getting through to this guy.”

    2. With no intention to minimize the sadistic tone of this ad, it does appear that said smiley face is a handwritten addition to the original. Perhaps this is Schaap’s own handwritten amusement with a shaft synonym.

  2. “The means prescribed by God”–this phrase highlights the horrible way the fundamentalists come to scripture. If its in the Bible, God must have prescribed it or said it. Yet read the Bible–and I am pretty sure God is not endorsing a lot of the things that people said or did—like what Job’s friends and wife said–“go and curse God”–or the rape of Tamar or the sacrifice of Jephthah’s daughter.
    Psalms is a book of human prayers and songs….and as my OT professor said it is the book of us speaking to God…
    Proverbs is a collection of wise sayings which were probably quite popular in the culture. God seems to give us windows into the culture who were God’s people. Doesn’t mean everything they did or said was endorsed by God. It just shows us that God is willing to call broken people His people and redeem us.

      1. I don’t think its endorsed by God. But God’s message in Scripture is found in broken vessels and broken stories. No matter how much we break each other, no matter how much we get in the way, God still brings redemption.

        1. I don’t think God approved of what Judas did. There is a difference between God calling to people/ inviting them to be part of the Kingdom and how the person responds.
          Jesus was going to be crucified whether Judas betrayed him or not. Those in religious and political power were actively looking for a way to arrest him and get rid of him. I don’t think his crucifixion rested upon Judas’ betrayal. He obviously assisted those in power.

        2. Josh–I am not a calvinist so I do not see everything as pre ordained.
          Do you believe that just because God can make something good come from the ugliness we do God must purpose the ugliness?
          Do you believe that just because God can still get God’s purpose accomplished despite all that humanity does that is against God’s purposes, that God must purpose our misdeeds?

        3. Josh–I think when Jesus said “you’ve heard it said, but I say to you…” and when he talks on divorce–that God was lenient and allowed Moses to install divorce–we find that God didn’t endorse every cultural aspect we find in Scripture or how every person reacted to every situation. But God worked despite human failings.

    1. nylon is for nylons amen! The wimmenz should be in those things 24/7 unless they have the spirit of Jezebel

      This Rod should be made from shittim wood. Just like the fixtures in the Tabernacle. If you can’t find any of that you can use bullshittim. (Don is our local forum source for such fine hard wood for use in pulpits, pews and instruments of discipline of all kinds)

        1. Since nylon wasn’t invented until the 20th century it’s more likely that they wore silk stockings

  3. As a true Fundy, I won’t “train” my children with anything that didn’t exist in 1611. No modern perversions like cushioned grips and safety tips for me!

      1. “This is my rebellious son. Here, stone him.” Very loosely paraphrased I know, but it’s there in the OT and I’m too lazy to look it up. Why don’t they practice that? But we all know for sure that the rod of correction is an actual rod, even though it’s spoken as a proverb πŸ˜‰ I think it would make sense for the fundies to practice transubstantiation, if they want to take everything so literally,

        1. Sellers of nylon Rods (TM) are against stoning for the same reason owners of coal-fired power plants are against solar energy– stones are widely available for free.

        2. Fundys quote Proverbs “spare the rod and spoil the child” and live by it, but how many quote “do not provke your child to anger” and, more to the point, live by it?

        3. Oh my, when I was a kid, I told my dad one time that he was provoking me to wrath. It didn’t go over too well!

        4. I would have been stoned to death at 13 years old if my parents followed the OT as strictly as they follow the “women don’t wear what men wear…yada…”
          It was all so confusing, ya know?

  4. Flexible, balanced, cushioned and ribbed for his pleasure. Now with a safety tip!

    Where is this sold? In a truck stop gas station? Ewww!

    This is seriously like some nasty pervert stuff.

  5. Dear SFL Reader:

    Rods are for fishing.

    Christian Socialist

    PS: … imagine how some people would squeal if a burly 16 year old took the rod from the hand using it on his seven year old sister, and employed it on her assailant.

    PPS: Did I mention that rods are for fishing?

    1. Dear Christian Socialist:

      I agree with you about rods. Just to clarify, the rods should be fly rods. Either vintage fiberglass or handmade bamboo fly rods.

      None of those graphite fly rods for me.
      ~BJg

    2. Dear SFL Reader:

      Rods are for fishing.

      “Ships are made for sinking,
      Whiskey’s made for drinking;
      If we were made of cellophane
      We’d all get stinking drunk much faster…”
      — Squirrel Nut Zippers, “Ghost of Stephen Foster”

  6. Fundys are just plain sick and twisted in their thinking.

    I have mentioned this before that in my time in the compound I had multiple people mention to me that they spank their kids (who were toddlers at the time). In every instance we were not even discussing kids or discipline. It was like they were getting a thrill out of telling me how much of a thrill they get out of beating their kids. All because bible. It really is child abuse.

    1. Our MOG used to brag from the pulpit about spanking his son and describe the details of it. No one in the church EVER admitted to not spanking their kids (me). It seemed it was a sin nearly as bad as adultery.

    1. I’ve seen a list of a whole lot of ways you can “chastize” a prisoner or child without leaving a mark. In the interest of good citizenship, I won’t repeat any of those ideas here.

        1. It would be a pretty effective way of breaking a child’s will. Any child who experiences that form of “chastisement” would become docile and obedient pretty damn quick, and would probably not cause his/her parents any more problems πŸ™ (Gee, I hope there are no advocates of Pearl’s methods reading this. I don’t want to give them ideas) ::shudder::

        1. if you have to ask that question you are not an IFB Fundy. Or you live somewhere else in the world. Or maybe Mars.

        2. If you have to ask that question, count yourself blessed.

          Anyway, Jack Schaap was, until his fairly recent relocation to a federal penal institution, about the closest thing there was to an Independent Fundamental Baptist pope, as Jack Hyles’ son-in-law and successor. He was, and is, a raving sociopath.

  7. When the homeschooling movement was catching on in the 80s, I was shocked to realize what some of my friends were doing to their children with the “rod.” Explaining that Proverbs is a book of principles, not how-tos, didn’t help. If there were no marks, it was not reportable in my state at that time. Obviously, some of the beaten kids didn’t turn out so well. There are better protections in my state now, and I do report.

    I’m not against spanking with a few swats on the butt, but a beating with a rod, pipe, belt in no way demonstrates love to a child. All I felt as a child was fear when either of my parents got out the belt.

      1. A PVC pipe is more likely, but if a suitable length of steel conduit is handy… basically anything at hand that resembles a rod or a rope is used. If you’ve never been hit with the business end of an extension cord on the arse/legs/lower back/any other body part that happened to be in the line of fire, consider yourself fortunate.

  8. Wow. That’s yet another side effect from strictly using a translation. “Rod” could be translated “switch” like my grandmother used on my cousins and me. This looks like self defense baton.
    Is this recent?

  9. . . .thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me. . .
    Psalm 23:5

    That doesn’t look like it gives much comfort to anybody. Is this where Fundy preachers get the perverse idea that it’s OK to beat their sheep every Wednesday night and Sunday morning? And their children whenever they disagree?

    Rods are for guiding, not beating.

    1. Fundies would probably tell you that the fact that God disciplines you, shows that he loves you, and that should be a comfort to you. When we beat our children with a rod, they should be comforted, too. That’s a bit much for an immature mind to consume in the middle of the discipline with all the emotions that come with it., and depending on the child or the severity of the discipline, they may never able to comprehend it.

  10. My favorite part is the “cushioned vinyl grip”for maximum comfort. We wouldn’t want to get any hand blisters while whipping defenseless children, now would we?

  11. This comes under the idea that you have to “break their will” so that when they become adults God won’t have to. I don’t know how old this is but it doesn’t really matter because this philosophy is still taught and promoted in the IFB circles. The Pearls still sell their books and people still use their philosophy even after children have been beaten to death for unfinished homework. Of course the Pearls say “we don’t tell people to beat them for that long”. I wish some prosecutor would hold them culpable for the ideology they promote.

    1. Jesus taught that it was better to cut off hands or feet and be with God in eternity than to be separated from Him for all time. That doesn’t mean that one must cut off hands or feet to be eligible, but He demonstrates the awfulness of Hell.

      When I was in the strict IFB church, we were taught that children should be punished to have their “will” broken, but not their “spirit”. At the time, I didn’t understand how one determined that the “will” was “broken” — I assume that they meant “surrendered” rather than “broken”.

      The concern is not that God will break their spirit, but that they will not surrender to Him and spend eternity apart from Him.

      The other extreme is the parents who never say “no” and always let the kid have his way. Many of these grow up to think they they should have whatever they want and resort to unacceptable means to attain what they want.

      1. And the people who say that it’s the Rod or HELLLLL (or, you know, the kid taking the family credit card to Vegas and probably kissing boys dressed up as girls and DANCING and in general making their parents look bad and we can’t have THAT oh no) completely ignore that there is a vast, vast space between the two extremes. It’s not “No rod = total permissiveness.” It’s “No rod = (pick what works with your individual child) natural consequences, setting children up to succeed by providing countdowns for transitions, ditto by making sure that children are not hungry, thirsty, scared, or tired before asking them to do stuff, explaining at a level a child can understand, providing simple clear choices suited to a child’s brain development, redirecting, gently making things happen when necessary, etc., etc., etc.” But that doesn’t give a One True Answer To All Parenting Forever and Ever No More Worrying Amen.

        This is kind of a hot-button issue for me because I am sick and tired of people telling me that if I don’t beat my children I am not a proper Christian–and conversely that if I call myself Christian I must be some kind of child abuser!

        1. “And the people who say that it’s the Rod or HELLLLL ”

          Yes! The fallacy of the excluded middle really comes into play with this. There are other options.
          Besides, if you are trusting the rod to save your kid, then why did Jesus bother dying on the cross?

        2. “….then why did Jesus bother dying on the cross?”

          Seems to me if I don’t sin on a regular basis then Jesus died in vain. Amen?

          πŸ™‚

        3. Scorpio – lol! And if we have to go forward to the alter all the time (or feel guilty if we don’t) then might as well have something to go forward about. It’s very Catholic-like when you think about it.

        4. I don’t disagree. Certainly there are people who take the rod to extremes.

          And it is dangerous to think that one must be one extreme or the other.

    2. Yeah. I understand this. My church had had taught that you had to break the child’s will. And we had a son whose will we couldn’t break. In trying we became angry and abusive. We believed we were trying to teach obedience and submission. After all, his soul was at stake!

      This is an incident in my life I am thoroughly ashamed of. My son ran away — for a few hours. When he came back it was with the police. Social services was called in.

      We immediately went to the Pastor for help. Did we get help? No. I was thrown off the deacon board, put in front of the church for “loving” discipline, the church being told I was stepping down voluntarily to take care of issues in my family. Shame. Humiliation. I still burn at the memory of it.

      The church gave no help at all. A doctor did put my wife on antidepressants and I forbad her from physically disciplining the kids. But they were only concerned with distancing themselves from the issues leading to the abuse.

      If I could have, I would have quit the church. My wife wouldn’t let me. Fortunately the Pastor that did this to me left shortly after. While I have tried to forgive him, I find it isn’t a permanent thing. Right now, at this telling, he isn’t.

      It took years to rescue the relationship with my son. I hate the incident, the teaching that led to it, and the lack of help to repair it.

      And yes, this isn’t easy to talk about. Necessary. Not easy.

      1. I’m sorry you had to go through that.

        Like many others here, I was raised with that same mindset. It’s only by God’s grace that I didn’t have kids while still stuck in fundamentistan, because I could have easily been you in that same situation.

      2. rtgmath,
        I understand where you are coming from. I have raised my son with the “rod” (belt) to attempt to correct that strong will to no avail. I wish I could go back and redo my time with him, but all I can do is learn from my past and move forward with my relationship with him.

        We are all different. I tried to raise him the way my father raised me. I love my Dad and he did right by me, but right for me has not been right for my son.

        I pray when he has kids that he finds the proper mix of discipline for his children and is not as hard headed as I have been.

        1. F*ck forgiveness. It’s overrated. You and I, we all, need justice.

          The people who say you must forgive are the same people who believe God would send people to hell, because that’s justice. God is incapable of forgiving for them.

          Why not be more like God.

      3. I feel your pain. I spanked my two year old for defiance. Good grief, it is a two year old’s JOB to be defiant. It’s what they do, how they learn. All it did was make her angry, which made me realize that spanking her was not the answer. That was where the problem came in. The elders, we are talking the peebs here so that meant my father and brother in law, (really my sister), gave us so much grief for not disciplining “appropriately” that we became a miserable family whenever we were around them. That was sadly an awful lot of time. Sickeningly, they approved of another sister and her husband whose little girl, (barely walking little), frequently displayed a bruise in the shape of her father’s hand on her bare little thigh. That broke my heart and they broke her. She hates them and goes out of her way to do things that will show them that.

  12. Doubtless there are abuses of corporal punishment.

    But there are many who believe it to be a good method of correction, just as there are some who believe all corporal punishment is “abuse”

    When I grew up, paddling at school was done. I managed to avoid it at school, but I did get punished at home. My parents used their hands, not a belt or a rod of any kind.

    1. “Doubtless there are abuses of corporal punishment.”

      Do a google search for children killed by parents using the pearl method of child rearing. These people beat children to death, not even stopping after seeing obvious damage and blood, because they didn’t feel the child had properly submitted or had their will broken.

      Yes, corporal punishment can be an effective tool for correcting the behavior of a child but for most of these people it’s the only tool they have. There’s a reason so many states have passed laws that prevent corporal punishment with an object and only allows spanking with the hand on the buttocks. It’s because the hand can sense the amount of pressure being applied but an object too easily becomes a weapon in the hand of the parent..

  13. OK, let’s look at these so-called rod verses quoted in the ad. This is one of the most egregious cases of reading assumptions into translations since people slapped a male ending onto Junia’s name because obviously a gurl couldn’t be an apostle.

    Proverbs 22:13-14 is about not protecting youths (not little children) from beatings administered by the law court (not the parents) for crimes (not being naughty) using a long stick (not a piece of nylon) on the back or feet (not the bottom). In other words, don’t try to protect your old-enough-to-try-in-court children from the consequences of committing crimes that are tried in court. In modern terms, if he drives drunk, make him pay his own fines.

    Proverbs 22:15 is another stupid translation carried forward from the KJV. “Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline drives it far from him,” says the RSV. We read this as “Silly, stupid behavior is intrinsic to childhood and beatings make children be good.” Nope. The Hebrew word translated as folly, the condition of being a fool, is also translated as apostasy. We might say, damned foolishness. “Bound up” is another way of saying “tied down.” So, damned foolishness is tied down in a child’s heart and “the rod of discipline” drives it far from him. As another poster has pointed out, the rod in Psalm 23 is comforting to the psalmist. The rod appears in many contexts in the Hebrew Bible; it’s used as a metaphor for authority, discipline, the right to impose consequences, and also literally as a beating tool. Shepherds carried, and still carry, rods that they use to gently direct sheep away from danger, because if you hit a sheep it will either run away or fall down with a broken leg and become stew meat. The rod was also employed in legally sanctioned beatings on the back or on the feet (the bastinado, still a legal penalty in Singapore). Okay, so which one is it here? Some people say that only beatings, or beatings disguised by metaphors such as chastisement, will get through to children and keep them from damned foolishness. Others say that we are not to exasperate our children and note that Jesus had very harsh things to say about people who cause children to stumble. We remember the sense of rage and helplessness we felt when we were beaten in order to larn us. We look for a more excellent way.

    http://www.gentlechristianmothers.com/community/index.php

      1. Sorry that was in the wrong place. It was supposed to be in response to the article about Michael Pearl and his teaching. He is sickening. Nothing is worse than evil done in the name of God. His aim is to break the will of a child until he/ she has no will of their own. If a shield has no will of her own how does he/ she aquire one as an adult? On is that permitted in the Fundamentalist Twilight Zone?

        1. As adults we are to relinquish any free will we may have left and obey only God’s voice. If we can’t hear His voice, it’s because we haven’t been beaten enough by those in authority over us.

        2. “Nothing is worse than evil done in the name of God.”

          That is the sole reason Bah-bul thumpers exist-to make God look bad and give Christianity a bad name

  14. When you are debating the subject of spanking a child with a rod with a Fundy and they drop the following verse as “proof”:

    Proverbs 20:30
    The blueness of a wound cleanseth away evil: so do stripes the inward parts of the belly.

    1. Yes, because we’re supposed to leave bruises and “stripes” (= welts) on our children’s bodies… (puke)

      I tried but failed to find an article I have read before that compares the actual Hebrew to the thunderingly bad mistranslation of this proverb in the KJV. I know, I know, KJV-worshippers wouldn’t be convinced, but I am done shouting down that dry well. Anyway, the first half is supposed to read (paraphrase) “As the changing colors of a bruise show that the wound is healing,” and I forget what the other half is but it isn’t about beating kids!

    1. D*mn, that’s child abuse. A paddle is bad enough, but one with holes in it will raise blood blisters. I’m sorry that you had such parents, and glad that you survived.

    2. Our dads just might be related. Mine had a 3/4″ solid wood paddle. He bragged that I couldn’t break it. My parents had broken 5 BOLO paddles over my butt. My siblings called me “Karate Bottom.”

      Seriously, physical, corporal punishment was tuned to a fine art in my family of origin. My brother recalled seeing dad beat hell out of me at 10 months old because I was crying. Said he had to break my will. This was in the late 1950s (that idyllic decade), long before anyone had heard of the Pearls.

      This made us kids hyper-vigilant. Two of us became career cops, another an air traffic controller. Even in retirement we never got over the hyper-vigilant thing.

      1. Dear Bald Jones grad:

        It developed me into a principled iconoclast. While I don’t say this publicly, I remain internally convinced that ‘authority’ is a word used to indicate the conjunction of criminal intent with impunity. This may be another way of saying that the more I was beaten, the more rebellious I became.

        Christian Socialist

        1. That’s a chillingly apt interpretation of an oft-abused word.

          Christian Socialist, I daresay you turned out alright. Except for the socialist part (kidding).

    3. Reading your descriptions realize I had it easy. Even though we got plenty of paddlings growing up, my parents used a ping-pong paddle, specifically because it had enough air resistance to not be any more painful than they thought “necessary.”

      On the occasion my mom couldn’t find it and grabbed a wooden spoon though…I hated those days.

      1. My parents sometimes used a long flat piece from a Lincoln Logs set. (I don’t know if those pieces are still included.) Or a wooden paddle ball paddle with the ball and elastic removed.

  15. Wow……I still remember the first time my Pastor stood in the pulpit and used these verses to say “beat your child till their will is broken”. it was that very afternoon that my parents decided that they must do what the Pastor said. They even made me go outside and pick the “switch” just like the Pastor said he made his son do. Looking at this add I actually feel like vomiting. So many kids being beaten and so many parents thinking they are honouring God by doing it. Pastors are going to have a lot to answer for.

  16. So what are paddles and canes for, then?

    Doesn’t the Bible also mention ostrich feathers? That means tickling on the butt with a feather-duster must be okay.

    Can I use this on the wife and dog as well, or just the kids?

  17. So, since the “rule of thumb” applied to wife-beating, what is it for kids….”rule of pinky”? My mom was satisfied with a good ole flyswatter or a wooden spoon. She didn’t have to resort to beatings much after the first ones, all it took was “the look”.

  18. religioustolerance.org
    “According to the StopTheRod.net web site, Clyde and Twyla Bullock once manufactured, advertised, and sold “The Rod,” shown here, to whip children. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the rod is a “22-inch, $5.00 white nylon whipping stick… Named after the biblical ‘rod of correction,’ the Rod provides ‘a faith-based way to discipline children … and train them as Christians,’ [Twyla] Bullock explains.”

    The rod’s designer, Clyde Bullocks is a Southern Baptist. This design appears to be his interpretation of the “rod” mentioned in the book of Proverbs. Their advertisement read:

    “Spoons are for cooking. Belts are for holding up pants. Hands are for loving. RODS are for chastening.”

    (I tried going to the .net site mentioned and it was not an active domain)

    1. I wonder if they make “the Rod” out of cut-down fishing poles.

      Reason I’m wondering is I know someone who was severely “chastized” as a kid — as in fishing pole with full-strength swings until there was no more skin left on his back. He’s over 50 now, and his back is still scar tissue.

  19. Whether parents spank or not is not really what I think about when reading this ad. I just don’t see how people needed to purchase something for spanking to the point that these people manufactured something.

    It’s just one more stupid thing that someone claimed came from God so therefore people should buy it or believe in it. Like culottes or denim skirts…….

    (Why is it that so many tedious rules and regulations in fundy-land seems to be against women and children???)

    And, if you don’t click LIKE on my post, then you don’t believe in God, you hate pie and puppies, and you want the devil to win…… oh, wait, never mind. That’s Facebook.

    1. Thumpers hate women and kids (there was one preacher I stumbled across somewhere who preached that Satan created women, and a homeschool speaker who called kids “vipers in diapers”). That is why they put so many rules and restrictions on them while the menfolk can go run hog wild as they please

      1. We were taught about children at BJU and other places! Babies were sinners before they were born. If they cried and weren’t wet, hungry according to your schedule, or sick they were showing their sin nature. Spank ’em.

        You put a baby to bed in its crib. It shouldn’t be lonely for its mommy. It should just go to sleep! It shouldn’t want to continue to nurse. It’s been fed! It should be on a schedule! They never said babies should poop on schedule, but I think they would have if they could have gotten away with it.

        They advocated to spank babies. God help me. Walter Fremont said to do it, they had to learn to obey even as babies! How could I have been so blind? A couple of times, I did. Only when tired and frustrated with other things compounding, but I did. Fundy doctrine is built to allow you to take out your frustrations on others, even your children.

        When I see a “happy” fundamentalist family I often wonder how much abuse goes on behind the scenes.

        1. I grew up in an unchurched family where “random acts of violence,” under the guise of wife or child correction were pretty frequent. If it had been nowadays, I might have grown up in a foster home. I am still jumpy, over 50 years later, when people get angry, and-like others-overly aware of my surroundings and the temperaments of those I am with. I’m basically an emotional thermostat, and I “disappear” when people begin yelling. When I got older, I could blame the violence on the fact that my family members were not Christians. I don’t know how Christian families can even begin to advocate for all the violence they inflict on their children.

        2. No kidding. When the only acceptable emotion is “happy” and “blessed”, it’s going to produce some seriously fucked up individuals.

          As a parent to a five month old infant myself, I know firsthand that babies can sometimes be a handful. But, I could never bring myself to spank her for something like waking up at night or spitting up because THAT’S SOMETHING BABIES DO! As she get older, she will develop the necessary control of her circadian rhythm and gastric muscles, something beating won’t accomplish without a heavy price.

          I do hope that you and your children have made peace with your past and that initial start in their lives. You were manipulated by vile people who shoved a bible in your face and told you God’s written word trumped even your natural instincts as a parent

    2. “Why is it that so many tedious rules and regulations in fundy-land seems to be against women and children?”

      Because they are the Christian Taliban. The only thing missing is the burqa,

  20. Ugh.

    This brings back bad memories. I grew up in a fundy home and my parents used a switch on me a lot. They were quite fanatical about “Spare the Rod, Spoil the child” , “Children obey your parents”, and “Train up a child so they won’t depart from it” etc.

    I even was sent to a private fundy school from 6-7th grade and the principle was quite liberal with a paddle.

    1. ”I’m one of these simple people,” – says the guy who sold The Rod. Ignorance is no excuse, Mr. Bullock. (I know I’m taking his quote out of context, but I couldn’t resist.)

      I had assumed from the crude advertisement that The Rod was much thicker. That thing is more like a short whip.

  21. I’m not going to use a ridiculous item designed to cause maximum pain but I am sure not going to just give in when my words aren’t achieving the desired end. It’s my job to teach them how the real world works and sometimes you just can’t have your own way. I take very seriously my command not to provoke them to anger. Consequently, I don’t make rules they can’t meet, i display mercy as far as I can when they don’t meet the rules I do make, I don’t make so many rules they can’t hope to know them all, and i try my best to be consistent with the rules over time and with my wife. And if someone who doesn’t know me, my wife, or my kids wants to tell me they know better what to do with my kids, then that is a breed of fundamentalism even Pope Hyles never dreamed of.

    1. May I offer a cautionary and entirely well-meant point of view?

      The police can tell you what is considered abuse. And your children are not your property. You have certain obligations. We all do.

      I am not saying that you would descend into abuse. I am saying the language you used is typical of abusers. Nobody is going “to tell me they know better what to do with my kids!” Really? Health experts will tell you to vaccinate. Doctors will tell you what is wrong health-wise and prescribe treatment. As a matter of public policy we set limits to guard against physical and mental abuse.

      As for making rules my children can’t meet, you will find that your children can never meet your rules all the time, no matter how you make them. And that decision that you are not going to give in when you feel your words aren’t having the desired effect — well, I confess that I felt the same way. I became abusive at the point I felt most righteous and unwilling to consider that I might be out of line. I never would have admitted to being abusive at the time I was being abusive. I just couldn’t see it.

      What I did need to do was apologize to my children. When I admitted that I was wrong, or even that I might not have understood everything perfectly and allowed them to speak their mind (even if it was hurtful), things began to change.

      Your children’s view of God will be shaped in your image to a great degree. I cannot call God my “Father” because my earthly father was abusive and rejected me. My sister rejected Christianity pretty much on the basis of parental abuse. So be careful how authoritarian you wish to be.

      Again, I mean you no ill. Your words reminded me of myself at one time. I have no desire to go back to them.

      1. Right on, rtgm. I once sat in a seminar on childrearing at a more liberal church I attended for a time. The speaker discussed three styles of parenting—authoritarian, authoritative, and permissive. What I remember of what she said was that the authoritarian method would produce either a compliant or rebellious child depending on the child’s temperament and that neither would be equipped to make good decisions on their own as adults. I can vouch for that personally as a past recipient of frequent corporal correction. I have to say, however, that the mental abuse from my mother was more detrimental than the spankings. The constant relentless criticism and ridicule were the real destroyers. I made sure I had no children for fear of becoming like her, one never knows.

      2. Oh come now. You’ve been reading my comments on here for some time and even gave hearty approval at times. We both understand that excess can ruin any principle without necessarily negating the principle. If you don’t want to use spanking in your children, that is entirely up to you. I don’t know what works for you with them in your context. Is the language I use typical of abusers? Then it is also typical of people who aren’t because it is a fact that an outsider wouldn’t know. Wait, did you just use the slippery slope on me? Let me pause to mark my Fundy Bingo card. … … Ok, how would an outsider know? (NSA employee, excepted) Unless you are telling me that you have the one best way and are unwilling to consider that there might be a proper way and context in which to spank and that I might be doing it. Hmmm, only one proper way. Gotta mark that card again. Yeah, I’ve had to apologize plenty of times for raising my voice unnecessarily or snapping. I know it immediately when I do it and try to apologize just as quickly.
        I recognize that I am modeling God for them. What I want them to know about God is his grace, independent of our merit. To that end, they are probably exhausted after 6 and 5 years of having me ask them why I love them. The answer being because they are my sons. Regardless of their rule-following. But I’ll watch out for that slippery slope. Thanks for the heads-up.

        1. Sigh. I spoke out of my experience with no ill or insult intended. Please know that.

          And yes, I am still infected with fundyitis. I suspect most of us are. Words trigger certain memories. Yours, in the context of this conversation sounded a lot like some others I have known, one who spent 13 years in prison because he told police they couldn’t tell him what to do with his kids.

          Yes, you have a lot of good to say. I am sorry I offended you.

        2. I have never understood where the idea of “breaking a child’s will without breaking his spirit” came from. It’s not supported by the bible verses on discipline. I have five children who are all high – spirited and strong – willed.
          We do practice corporal punishment, but rarely, minimally (not too hard and not too many), and for stubborn repeated offenses.
          I believe we are to appeal to their heart and mind first when teaching obedience, as modeled by our heavenly Father.
          It seems “the rod” was to be used to show that there are penalties for wrong behaviour. “Smite the scorner (defiant, flagrant, arrogant disobedience) and the simple will beware.” “The rod is for the fool’s (unwilling to listen and learn t do what is right) back.” Etc…
          My parents used corporal punishment on me and my siblings, but never out of anger. They always explained why we were in trouble very patiently. It was done quickly and followed by complete forgiveness and restoration of relationship. I and my siblings deeply love and respect my parents to this day.
          I am sorry for those whose parents abused them and those who were misguided (manipulated, confused) into abusing their children.
          Thanks, Darrell, for the post.

          P.S. The Pearls DO teach that you should start disciplining children before they are one year old. They even advocate “potty- training” 6- month old infants by swatting their rear end when they soil their diaper (at least an early printing of their book “To Train up a Child”).
          Anyone who beats their child as the Pearls teach should be beaten senseless by someone bigger than they are! Just sayin….

    1. I hope so. I think the sentence could be understood as he and his wife both try to be consistent with his rules for their children. Of course, the fact that he’s the one making the rules, rather than both he and his wife, presents another problem.

  22. One of my closest friends believes strongly in The Rod. His family uses Baby Wise religiously, they have all the Pearls books, all of it. I used to attend his family’s church, and left years ago when it shattered my faith.

    It’s tough. I love my friend, and I love my family. But when I walk into his house…I just see evil. I know he’s not, but what he believes, what he does…

    I just see evil. And it’s tough.

    1. How tragic. People wonder how ordinary everyday people got caught up in the murderous Nazi madness of the 1930-40’s. It’s easy to see the process when you witness situations like that of your friend. It’s simply a matter of degrees. Many people are weak and would rather follow the philosophies of someone they perceive as strong and in authority than to wake up and think for themselves. The Bible verse “where there is no vision the people perish” is applicable here I think.

        1. I take “Where there is no vision, the people perish,” to simply mean that when people are short sighted and think only of themselves and their immediate situation, then there’s trouble ahead.

          I’ve always liked that verse.

        2. Dear StuartB:

          I’m with Jay Croft on this one. Always liked that text.

          Perhaps ‘perishing’ in abusive relationships relates to an absence of vision in the way of one cleansed from an evil spirit. Unless appropriately filled by God’s Spirit/vision, this one will ‘perish’ by oppression of many evil spirits.

          Christian Socialist

        3. Any truth can be twisted and abused for selfish or fanatical use, doesn’t change the truth in its own right. I got so tired of verses used out of context by various forms of church, I find I can find the meaning on my own pretty well.

    2. Babywise! A book written by somebody who just plain doesn’t like babies. Think about it: streetwise, con-wise…babywise.

      There’s a roundup of medical, religious, and personal reasons to dump Ezzo’s books in the trash at ezzo.info. Some of the personal stories are just chilling. There are reasons why the American Academy of Pediatricians recommends against Ezzo’s system of feeding babies: it stops the milk supply at about 8 months and contributes to cases of failure to thrive!

  23. Off Topic. Just got done watching The Martian, which was excellent, but it and Interstellar are slowly cracking opening and revealing so many hidden fundy ideas I’ve been holding on to. First the parent/teacher scene in Interstellar, and how truth can be manipulated into suiting someone’s agenda. And then again here in The Martian, how science is awesome and good and amazing, and mankind truly can come together to solve and do amazing things.

    Science isn’t something to be afraid of, even at the most basic christian belief, it’s simply studying how this world, which we believe God created, works! It’s a gift from God that we can study it, he gave us this world, told us to own it, and learning about it is owning it!

    These movies are making me think about so many different things. The distrust of science, the hatred of authority other than their own, the way they lie and and manipulate and deceive and twist things to fit their own agenda.

    Thank God for these movies. I’m incredibly grateful for them.

    1. Dear StuartB:

      This is good stuff.

      Since God created the heavens and earth and everything in them, every area of study is a legitimate inquiry. Science explores the praiseworthy works of God. If God created all things, no inquiry can take us beyond God’s works.

      Christian Socialist

      PS: Someday, I’ve got to use this on a fundy MoG and watch the meltdown…

      1. Do it!

        Fundies reject science because they reject God. They make God into an ignorant, abusive psychopath in their image. They tell Him “Your creation is not good enough for me! Therefore, it’s not worth learning about or studying.”

        1. They also act as if God cannot create anything that is good, taking a “material world is evil, spiritual world is good” approach.

          So sex, created by God, is evil. Studying about creation to find answers in it is evil. No, you have to believe a collection of bronze-age superstitions and misunderstandings.

  24. Too close to home. My parents were influenced by an elderly friend of the family. He shared how he only spanked his one son one time and the other son twice and never had to spank his daughter. Told my parents to make the spanking the worst ever experience and we would never want another one.

    A few years later the church pastor taught that we should get spanked until we cried and then spank us until we stopped.

    My mother never spanked us calmly. She used sticks, wooden spoons, her hand, shoes, hot wheels tracks – whatever was handy.

    My kids get one swat occasionally with a spatula. But that’s rare and it really does hurt my heart so I tend to take stuff away instead.

  25. My ΓΌber fundy parents were close friends with a childless couple who purchased these rods, along with a copy of “To Train Up A Child” for all of their friends with children (baby shower presents – seriously). Being babysat by them was no fun…they didn’t spank us, but they always had a list of infractions to report to our parents with the hope that we would be punished appropriately.

    1. That would be awkward to get at a baby shower, to say the least.

      At my church, we have a tradition at baby showers where we display all the opened gifts on a table.

      I can imagine what would go through an observer’s head: “Awww, look at these onesies! And this cute handmade blanket! Wait…a discipline rod? WTF?”

  26. Anyone else here ever been “spanked” with an industrial hot-glue stick?

    Horrid, sickening stuff. If you hate children this much, why have a “quiverful” of them?

    Flashbacks are not good.

    1. Gentle Christian Mothers has stickied a post by a member who was walking past the neighborhood tough guys who hang out on the sidewalk talking big and overheard them talking about beating adults with glue sticks because they hurt so much and leave few if any marks. She plucked up her courage and asked them if they’d ever heard of people beating children that way. They were horrorstruck.

      Also, free advice for fundamentalist parents who may be reading here and feeling outrage: If adults have flashbacks about a “training” or “discipline” or “chastisement” method, it should not be used on children. No, not even if somebody wrote a book about how “Biblical” it must be. (Because people in the Bible totally had industrial glue sticks and nylon “Rods.” And bedroom doors with locks to keep children behind. And drop-sided cribs for sleep training. And clocks with minute hands for deciding when nursing should happen regardless of whether babies were crying with hunger. And hot sauce for errant tongues. And…)

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