Spare the Rod – Spoiling the child has reached new heights of sadistic and barbaric child torture. A device called “The Rod” is manufactured in Oklahoma, for the sole purpose of spanking babies and children with bare skin. The device is sold together with specific and explicit manuals such as: “To educate a child” and “Shepherd the heart of a child”. [both sold at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble] they recommend spanking babies one year old and younger.
“The Rod” is touted as the best after sliced bread. It is sold as the ideal tool for children’s training. Child training? It sounds more like someone is talking about training an animal, but cruelty to animals is considered a crime, so you won’t see “the stick” advertised to train your dog. If a person hits an animal with “The Rod” as expected, those who administered or allowed the abuse to be administered would be arrested for cruelty.
The ad for “The Rod” cites the following features and benefits:
o Flexible nylon rod – leaves just the right amount of sting without injury
o Padded vinyl grip (made for bike handle) – easy on parent’s hands and avoids strain on hand / arm muscles
o Balanced: ensures precision
o Lightweight: your hand / arm does not get tired during use
o Safety tip: prevent nylon from developing rough edges
o Convenient – easily fits in a purse or diaper bag
o Affordable – Buy one for the kitchen, bedroom, car, wherever
o Unbreakable: it will last a lifetime
o Guaranteed: satisfaction or your money back
o The spoons are for cooking
o The belts are to hold the pants
o Hands are for loving
o The rods are to punish – Proverbs 23: 13-14 and Proverbs 22:15.
Those who believe that punishment is praised in the Bible, specifically in the book of Proverbs, have misinterpreted the Bible. There is a distinction between the practice in King Solomon’s time of beating people on the back and the modern American habit of beating, punishing, and spanking children on the buttocks. The latter is not prescribed anywhere in the Bible. Furthermore, it is necessary to note that the Old Testament contains passages that could be (and in some incidents have been) interpreted as divine endorsements of wife beating, race wars, slavery, stoning to death of rebellious children, and other behaviors that are outrageous. by today’s standards. As Shakespeare once wrote, “The devil can quote the Scriptures for his purpose.”
Punishment, also known as hitting / swapping / spanking / corporal punishment, can weaken the survivor’s immune system, according to Dr. Frank Putnam of the National Institute of Mental Health and Dr. Martin Teicher of Harvard Medical School. Putnam conducted studies with 170 girls between the ages of 6 and 15; half had been subjected to “corporal punishment”, the other half had not, for seven years. The abused girls showed symptoms such as:
o Abnormally high stress hormones, which can kill neurons in areas of the brain crucial for thinking and memory.
o High levels of an antibody that weakens the immune system
Teicher completed a series of brain studies on 402 children and adults, many of whom had suffered physical abuse. Their findings revealed that physical abuse creates:
o Stopping the growth of the left hemisphere of the brain that can hinder the development of language and logic
o Growth of the right hemisphere of the brain (the site of emotion) at an abnormally young age
The result of a weakened immune system includes more profound and rarely recognized physical side effects, such as: vaginal, ovarian, prostate, testicular or breast cancer, PMS, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, to name a few of the more prominent diseases as a result. to survive physical abuse. Louise Hay in her book, Heal Your Body: The Mental Causes of Physical Illnesses and Metaphysical Ways to Overcome Them, cited her own vaginal cancer as an example of a weakened immune system due to physical / sexual abuse and how metaphysical healing can cure disease. Body.
Our laws and our cultural values are unequivocal with respect to adults who physically attack or verbally threaten adults. Such behavior is recognized as criminal and we hold violators accountable. Why then, when the stakes for society are so high, do we accept the convoluted thinking and excuses of the children of child molesters, all in the name of religion?
Why do we care about the needs of children only after they have been terribly victimized or have become criminals who victimize others?
The answer is not complicated. People cannot empathize with abused children until they can honestly acknowledge the abuse from their own childhood experiences and examine their parents’ shortcomings. To the extent that they feel compelled to defend their parents and keep their secrets, they will do the same for others. They will look the other way. They will continue to use the misinterpreted biblical passage. By continually insisting that they “turned out okay,” they reassure themselves and divert their attention from deeply hidden unpleasant memories.
That is why, when someone says, “‘spanking / punishing’ is abuse,” many people react as if a door barricaded from childhood has been thrown wide open. This barricaded and unconscious door has prevented them from committing the most unforgivable and dangerous act of disloyalty imaginable, disloyalty to their parents. They fear that by opening the door to the truth, they will fall into an abyss, abandoned and cut off from any possibility of reconciliation with the parents they love. Fear is irrational. Denial – about what they did to you and, now, what you are doing and allowing to be done to this generation – is the present danger and real sin.
The following books are excellent resources for healthy parenting:
-Case Against Spanking, Irwin Hyman
-No spanking or pampering, Elizabeth Crary
-Instead of Spanking-1001 Alternatives, Vol. 2, Adah Maurer
-Discipline without yelling or spanking, Jerry Wyckoff
-Hundred alternatives to scolding, yelling or spanking, Alvin Price
We are responsible:
“Those who ignore the past are condemned to repeat it.” -Sartre
“We are not only responsible for what we do, but also for what we do not do.”
“The worst way you can choose is to choose no way.” –Friedrich II
“Every choice we make, every thought and feeling we have, is an act of power that has biological, environmental, social, personal and global consequences.” –Caroline Myss
It is time to do everything possible to stop the sanctioned and barbaric practice of child abuse, under the guise of a biblical mandate.