The current debate over parents' presumed right to spank their children evokes the memory of similar past debates. The key question has been, and continues to be: should government invade the private lives of citizens in order to guide or limit their behavior? History has answered that question repeatedly, but people forget and have to be reminded.
If you think you have a right to burn your own leaves in your own back yard, government tells you you're wrong. Yes, they're your leaves, but you have no right to force neighbors to breath your smoke. If you think your blood stream is your exclusive, private domain, you're wrong again. Too much alcohol there while you're driving, and the heavy hand of government takes you safely off the road. If you think it's just a private family squabble when you punch your spouse in the nose in order to settle an argument--- wrong again. A neighbor calls 911, and it becomes government's business.
Which brings us back to children. I believe that any thoughtful person who applies the lessons of history to the spanking debate, will have to agree that there is no practical, ethical or moral justification for discriminating against children by denying them equal protection under the law. Children are people, after all, not somebody's personal property.
Jordan Riak, Exec. Dir.
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