Dominionist vs. Discipline
Okay, so here's why I don't argue too much with the whole "you're just naive" thing. I was exploring one of my new blogrolls (like a kid in a candy store) in yet another fit of manic-seeming sleeplessness (to be repeated again tonight, obviously) and came across something icky (the topic, not the blog):
When Michael Bilodeau couldn't be there to see his 12-year-old daughter stripped and whipped with a belt, he made sure to listen in on a speakerphone from his Coral Springs home, according to police reports.
She deserved it, he told investigators, because she was a liar and 'it is stated in the Bible that it is OK to spank your children,' the reports said.
Shock, awe, disgust, and a big "huh?"
Yes, I'm the kind of person that is truly, genuinely surprised that stuff like this happens. While I logically acknowledge that humans can be very abusive creatures, and are on an all-too-regular basis... She's his own child!!!
I don't understand it. I don't want to understand it. It's just wrong!
That being said, Bob of Graphic Truth handles the topic well and I highly recommend reading his post. Being the ignorant, naive woman that I am, I know I cannot cover the topic of Dominionism with nearly the depth nor understanding that he has done, so I'm not going to try.
However, discipline is something I know, and what these people are doing is NOT discipline. These people claim to be doing this for religious reasons, a claim Bob rightfully disavows.
And he wants her to feel the pain because he's a SADIST. Not because he's a Christian, and not because he gives a flying flap as to the outcome of the "chastening," other than the obvious reflexive terror and compliance with his whims. A Christian would read their Bible and know that is exactly what Jesus Would Not Do.
I applaud him for that and thank him for bringing this rather distasteful topic to my attention. Besides giving me a great feeling of unwashed yuckiness, which I didn't particularly appreciate, but then again it's not hard to do... It gave me the opportunity and impetus to think about discipline.
First off, discipline is supposed to be an act of love. If it's not an act of love (and I do NOT mean an act of sexual gratification), then it's not discipline.
"Spare the rod, spoil the child," people say.
Well, my Bible is an "Authorized King James version with explanatory notes and cross references to the standard works of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints." And this is what it has to say:
He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chastenenth him betimes.
This verse, like all Biblical verses, are not properly used in a vaccuum.
Righteousness keepeth him that is upright in the way: but wickedness overthroweth the sinner.
The light of the righteous rejoiceth: but the lamp of the wicked shall be put out.
Whoso despiseth the word shall be destroyed: but he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded.
Good understanding giveth favour: but the way of transgressors is hard.
He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.
Evil pursueth sinners: but to the righteous good shall be repayed.
13:15 is my favorite. See, it's not just about beating your child to get your way. The goal is righteousness. It's about loving your child and wanting what's best for him or her, trying to teach them wisdom and faith in the Lord. Only a fool would use the Bible to justify abusing their child. And, as the Bible says, "a companion of fools shall be destroyed," whether it be by the laws of man or the laws of God.
While I do believe corporal punish (I highly discourage the use of an actual rod) is sometimes necessary, it should be age- and transgression-appropriate, and should NOT be a first-resort. The first-resort is teaching your children the right thing to do and praising them thoroughly when they follow your instruction. Now, any parent knows this doesn't always happen. However, punishment still isn't your next step. Loving correction, redirection, and more attempts to teach the right thing to do have to come before the chastising side of discipline.
Basically, the Christian religion makes a very poor excuse for child abuse (even when you only use the Old Testament), and that's what Dominionism is, child abuse.
Technorati tags: Dominionism, child abuse, Bible, religion, Proverbs, Old Testament, discipline, righteousness, Christian