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Thursday, May 25, 2006

A fun story about beating children!

"Rejecting permissive parenting as amoral, some Christians are 'training up' their children by carefully hitting them with switches, belts, PVC pipes and branches," reports Salon.com in a disturbing story about happy-go-lucky child beaters.

As a young, new, Christian parent, Meggan Judge, 26, of Anchorage, Alaska, was looking for guidance in raising "Godly children." She found advice that clicked for her when a friend loaned her a popular -- and controversial -- Christian parenting book called "To Train Up a Child," written in 1994 by Tennessee pastor Michael Pearl with his wife, Debi, who claim to have raised five "whineless" children. At the book's core is the notion that when parents "train" a child to obey early on, even before he or she is able to make conscious, or conscience-based, decisions, home will be a place of peace and harmony. Here, the term "train" is a reference to Proverbs 22:6: "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it."

Neither Pearl has advanced training in child development or a related field. "These truths," the tall, white-beaded Michael Pearl, 60, writes in his book, "are not new, deep insights from the professional world of research, [but] rather, the same principles the Amish use to train their stubborn mules, the same technique God uses to train his children."

As you may have guessed, the Amish do not train their mules by giving them "timeouts." Judge and her husband followed the Pearls' advice when trying to train their infant son Noah not to grab forbidden objects: "Switch their hand once and simultaneously say, 'No.' Remember, you are not disciplining, you are training. One spat with a little switch is enough," reads the book. "They will again pull back their hand and consider the relationship between the object, their desire, the command and the little reinforcing pain. It may take several times, but if you are consistent, they will learn to consistently obey, even in your absence."


Seriously, I thought we were past the point of defending child beating. It's kinda fun to see people standing up for it. By fun, I mean really, really creepy.

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