SIN, SEX, AND SPANKING SCHOOL-AGED CHILDREN
By Jeffrey L. Charles - Jeff1844@aol.com
1994 (Updated 2001)
I believe if Dr. Clarke had the benefit of modern science that we have today his commentary of both the Genesis creation account and the Proverbs of Solomon would be very different indeed.
He likes to give spankings, and he spanked me many times. He also asked if he could tie me to the bed, and I bought a pair of Handcuffs for our sex sessions.I know that my Bible must have some missing verses by the way preachers that advocate beating the sex areas of children preach. I once heard a preacher on a Christian radio station here in Flint, Michigan assert that God designed the human buttocks specifically to be hit since it is fleshy and loaded with nerve endings. The "Traditional Values Coalition," which claims to represent 25,000 churches, fights any attempts to outlaw school "paddling."  Since school paddling is thought to be such an important Bible doctrine then surely there exists at least one verse in the Bible that specifically advocates that non-parent teachers beat the sex areas of children with a wood board. Perhaps Jesus or the apostles had teen children "spread their legs and bend over" for school style "paddling" while they taught them the Scriptures. Even though Jesus had no sin He insisted John baptize him with water so he could "fulfill all righteousness," so perhaps He likewise insisted that His earthly parents and Rabbis "spank" Him so as a child he could benefit from this "essential sacrament." Perhaps our Lord, in some version of the Bible that I have never seen, called the children to Himself and "turned them over his knee and spanked their bare butts" or some such thing. I know there must be at least one verse like this in the Bible since so many people believe so strongly that hitting the butts of children is a Bible doctrine. I have made this offer in a newspaper column and it still stands: I will pay $1000 cash to the first person who can show me a single Bible verse, either in the Old or New Testament (translation-not paraphrase), that advocates teachers beat the buttocks of children with a board. In addition I'll make a new offer here and pay $1000 cash to the first person who can show me a single verse in the Bible (translation, not paraphrase) that explicitly teaches that any adult should hit any child's butt with their hand. All I ask in return is that we study God's word, and if we determine that no such verse exists then we teach the truth on the matter.
*** 2012 update -- I now also offer an even stronger proof that spanking is not Christian -- $1,000 cash to the first person who can find even one single New Testament verse from the King James Bible that specifically teaches that any adult should hit any child, or which describes Jesus or the Apostles hitting children.
There is no such verse! Since Christians do not follow the Old Testament, but rather the New, this absence of any teaching or example of Christ becomes the full proof that spanking is absolutely not a teaching of Christ. It is a teaching of modern man, based if you really want to know, on the demonic theology of the Catholic Inquisition and US slavery. Spanking is, in any case, easy to prove from the New Testament itself, not a Christian practice.
We can understand the ignorant masses blindly following today's preachers, but we can only wonder at the motivations, and/or absence of scholarship at best, of preachers who continue to teach the manmade lie that spanking is "a Christian duty." ***
King David and King Solomon Led merry, merry lives,I debated much on whether to include this little limerick. Though David sinned with Bathsheba and quickly repented when Nathan the prophet confronted him, 1 Kings 11 makes it clear that he was in a very different relationship with God than Solomon later would be. But the poem makes us think a bit perhaps and may open the door for examination of some passages that "Bible Thumpers" never quote.
James S. Wallerstein and Adah Maurer wrote a wonderful eight page pamphlet called "The Bible and the Rod" that I am tempted to believe contains more of God's truth and true scholarship then all of Dr. Clarke's volumes of commentary put together. The Bible says Solomon asked God for wisdom and God granted it to him (I Kings 4:29). As we read further in the same book, however, we read that the life that Solomon and his offspring proceeded to live was a life of human wisdom but morally bankrupt and idolatrous (I Kings 11:1-13). For the sake of those who, despite the biblical evidence that should nullify such thoughts, believe that every word that proceeded from this idol worshiping king has the same authority and inspiration as the prophets, apostles and Jesus, I will hereafter work with that assumption and we can see where that interpretation leads us.
If a father beats his son's back with a rod that makes stripes, and if adults are beaten the same way by policemen, judges, bosses, and in general men with "authority", then, and only then, are we beginning to live the life Solomon recommended. We should also erect idols and statues to every god and religion on earth at state expense as Solomon did, and maybe sacrifice our children to Molech with an alter built by government funds. We should immediately destroy our democracy and restore absolute power monarchy. Even if we did all of those dubious things, however, our modern "spanking" and "paddling" practices still were never taught by anyone at anytime in either Testament. Worse than that they may be among the ugliest and least forgivable sins that we can possibly commit.
Since no-one beats his son's back with a rod that makes stripes then no-one in the U.S. today is following Solomon. We differ when we hit butts, hit girls, use hand or paddles, and allow teachers and non-parents to "spank". This is a very partial list of differences. We also differ in that while we adapt "spanking" to society, as the former methods are too brutal and we adults don't want to be beaten, we nevertheless mis-quote to pretend we are doing the identical practice with kids as Solomon did when we are not. We differ too in the very significant point that Solomon's subjects were punishing kids the same way adults in that society were also punished so it might have made sense in a repressive Monarchy with beating going on at every age to prepare your children to be beaten for misdeeds. Perhaps biblically those same principles would be better followed by using a more minor punishment that reflects our society's treatment of offenders on our children today. Thus if we wish to, like Solomon, punish kids with minor forms similar to adult punishemnts here are then "grounding" or "time-outs" take the place of jail and with-holding allowances or privileges takes the place of civil fines or restrictions. No one beats their son's back with a rod so we all have adapted something very different anyway. If we don't always give in when kids whine for something and if we provide an ordered life at home that reflects our outside culture then we are following the principals of Solomon in our modern society just as when we try to do a good job at work we are following biblical principals that were applied to slaves without continuing slavery in our times.
But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe unto the world because of offences! For it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!Even if Solomon's words were "the Law" of God-and Solomon never made such a claim and there is thus no reason any of us should-then we have already seen that we've greatly changed his advice. Even so, however, if we hope to understand the Scriptures at all we must accept Jesus' teaching that some Old Testament laws were much more important than others, that some Old Testament laws were fulfilled by Jesus, and that some sins are much worse than others.
In Matthew 12:11-12 we see that Jesus approved men "breaking the Sabbath" if they rescued a sheep that had fallen into a pit. An old preacher once taught me that we Christians often must choose "the lesser of two evils" rather than have a perfectly good choice or a perfectly bad choice. Helping the trapped sheep was more important than "resting" on the Sabbath. Jesus also noted that helping people on the Sabbath was much more important than helping a sheep.
What would we say if we saw a man force a sheep to spread it's hind legs so the man could beat the sheep's sex area with a board? Most of us would call some authority and the man would likely face some criminal charge in almost every state. Certainly most preachers would condemn such cruelty. Yet many of these same hypocrite preachers would "praise the Lord" if they saw the same man force a child to "spread his or her legs and bend over" for a school-style "paddling". Is not a child worth more than a sheep? Jesus thought so.
Among the other sins of the Pharisees we read in Mark 7:5-13 that they taught their non-Biblical traditions such as washing their eating utensils in a religious manner while they neglected more important matters like attending to their parent's needs. Jesus said, despite their pompous appearance, that their worship was in vain. Offending Jesus' "little ones" is about as bad a sin as can possibly be committed. Forcing teen boys and girls to "spread their legs and bend over" so a man can beat their sex areas with a board can lead to many violent and sexually perverted thoughts in the children as well as the spanker and can affect the sexual development of the children for life. Then the same self-righteous hypocrite preacher that taught the non-Biblical practice of school "paddling" will turn right around the condemn the child to hell if he or she grows to exhibit sexual problems stemming from the spankings that the preacher himself recommended.
No ifs, and or butts-the female posterior is not merely an object of Male obsession. Women are all as concerned with their rear ends as men are…. "We use our bottoms to seduce," says Catherine Tingherian, author of "Pour Avoir Une Jolie Fesse" (How to Have a nice backside). "When we pass a man in the street, he looks around and surveys our back and bottom."That the human buttocks is sex area of the body seems so obvious that I wonder whether it even need be mentioned. Suffice it to say that when no less a right wing icon as Rush Limbaugh says he "loves the women's movement-especially when viewed from behind" that most of us don't have to ask what he meant by the remark. When "from the left" Limbaugh's radio counterpart Howard Stern spanks pretty young women on their "bare butts" on his popular show he is, as he says in his book, "bringing vicarious sex to his show." Political views aside the fact that a young woman's buttocks is very much a sexual area to men and spanking can be a means of arousal seems beyond question and is generally well understood in our society.
The Fall 1993 issue of "The Last Resort" carried a letter from a reader about a joke told at the Grand Ole Oprey:
The Grand Ole Oprey had a team (Oswald and Charlie) that on August 7, 1993 told a spanking joke. He said he got so mad at his wife that he turned her over his knee and lifted up her skirt to spank her. Then he forgot what he was mad about."If "Oswald and Charlie" had substituted "daughter", or "step-daughter", for "wife" I don't think the joke would have been very funny. But in the real world many men sexually enjoy spanking helpless young women and children. Like Oswald and Charlie they often like to joke about the assault afterwards.
Ann, I would get aroused when the girls rushed between their bedrooms and the bathroom in their nighties. Even worse, they often asked me to come into their rooms at bedtime and tuck them in.God's word consistently condemns those who take sexual advantage of people through deceit and subterfuge, yet this is exactly what many men do with church blessing when they are supposedly "disciplining" children and teens. A heartbreaking letter was published in an advice column of the "Los Angeles Times" and was reprinted in "POPS News" (whose address will appear at the end of this essay. The letter reads:
My friend and I have the same problem with our stepfathers. I'm 11 and she's 10. When I do anything my stepfather doesn't like, he puts me across his knee and spanks me on the bare behind with his hairbrush. Hers does the same thing. We don't think it's right, but what can we tell them?"Beth" of the "Ask Beth" column gave a very good answer to the young girl. What she could not say in that family newspaper, however, and what so obviously troubled the girl is that in addition to the impropriety of a man spanking any girl old enough to menstruate why did her stepfather feel the need to pull her underpants down every time she "did anything he didn't like?" Anyone who thinks a man could have no sexual interest in an 11-year-old girl should read their newspapers once in awhile. A massive study at Duke University has recently shown that puberty begins as early as age seven for girls and is well under way by age 10 in almost every girl.
An even more sickening example of the same type of perverted sex abuse was reported in the "Detroit Free Press" where a 50 year old man, who was a foster-dad to three girls and later adopted them, was charged with sixteen counts of raping and sexually molesting them. The girls were ages 11, 13, and 15 at the time. Whether there is enough legally allowable evidence to convict him of any Michigan crimes remains to be seen but perhaps most sickening of all are the sexual "discipline practices" the man freely admitted to through his lawyer in his defense.
Defense attorney Bradfield, through his questioning of the girls, tried to paint a picture of Christian as a loving father who regularly played roughly with his children, sometimes touching various parts of their bodies.Leviticus 18:17 says: "Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of a woman and her daughter…it is wickedness." Although this verse certainly covers the case of a man having intercourse with a woman and her daughter we have many other verses in the same book that specifically command against intercourse between people by using such phrases as "if a man also lie with mankind…" (Lev. 20:13) and, "the man that lieth with his father's wife…" (Lev. 20:11). I believe that "uncovering the nakedness of a woman and her daughter" in Leviticus 18:17 includes even immodestly looking at the nakedness of your sex partner's daughter. We have an account in Genesis 9:20-27, which seems to me not nearly so sinful as the situation the girl in the letter described with her stepfather, where Noah got drunk and passed out naked in his tent:
And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without. And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father's nakedness. (Gen. 9:22-23)When Noah awoke and "knew what his younger son had done unto him" he cursed Canaan and blessed his two righteous brothers. Yet the stepfather in the letter and all men like him are doing something closer perhaps to what we read in Habukkuk 2:15:
Woe unto him that giveth his neighbor drink, that puttest thy bottle to him, and makest him drunken also, that thou mayest look on their nakedness!This verse is often mis-applied to condemn anyone who buys his buddy a drink after work. A more careful reading, however, shows that this particular verse is condemning a man who, in our modern vernacular, buys a neighbor drinks so he can "get into his or her underpants" when he or she is too drunk to resist. A man who uses the subterfuge of "fatherly discipline" to "get into the panties" of a child for his own sexual enjoyment is certainly committing a sin worse than this.
A huge disproportion of home "bare-butt spankings" and other sexually abusive "discipline" practices occur in situations where "the man of the house" is not the child's natural father. In his book "Slaughter of the Innocents" Dr. Sander J. Breiner relates that (for overt sexual abuse not including spanking):
A stepfather is five times more likely to sexually victimize his stepdaughter than a natural father. Studies have found that one out of six women with a stepfather as a principle figure in childhood was sexually abused by him, compared to a rate of one of 40 for a biological father. Girls with stepfathers were five times more likely to be victimized by a friend of their parents.Complimenting many other studies that have established increased sexual activity among teen girls that were spanked at home Dr. Breiner notes a few pages later that one of several other "characteristics of the social structure of the female victims of sexual abuse" was the situation where the "mother still spanked the child at age 12." When we hit the sex areas of children we violate their natural God-given sense of sexual modesty and dignity. Thus, with their resistance to adults handling their sex areas and hurting them in the process wore down by repeated "spankings", children are naturally more vulnerable to other sexually sadistic adults who would prey on them.
As a final thought on this matter I personally knew a girl whose stepfather showed a lot of interest in "slapping her behind" whenever he walked by and pulling her underpants down so he could spank her "bare butt" even into her mid-teens. He often bragged that his sister had her bare butt spanked by her dad at age 19 and by implication he intended to continue the assaults on his stepdaughter until at least that age. (Interestingly enough the boys were hit less often-and then with a belt while they still had their pants on. Funny how we seldom hear of a teen boy getting a "bare-butt spanking" from a man-but it is not too uncommon for teen stepdaughters). She escaped the abuse by getting pregnant and married to a boy she hardly knew at the age of 16 and I have read many articles and seen similar situations where sexual promiscuity is a by-product of teen women having their God-given modesty so crudely violated. In this age of frequent divorce and live-in boyfriends who like to play "butt spanking daddy" to their girlfriend's daughters the cases that make the news are without a doubt the proverbial "tip of the iceberg."
Psalms 10:18 tells us that God will "…judge the fatherless and the oppressed, that the man of the earth may no more oppress." Many backwards preachers, lest they repent, may share the same damnation as these sex abusers when our Lord returns. Jesus tells us in Matthew 25:31-46 that those who even see one of "the least of His" naked and do not clothe them will "go away to everlasting punishment." While this verse seems more directly talking about not helping those in poverty how much more will those who "make children naked" for their own lustful amusement be condemned?
"It is normal practice at church that children are beaten in front of the entire congregation on Wednesday evenings," the girl told the police in the petition. She just celebrated her 11th birthday. A twelve-year-old boy confirmed his sister's statements and gave police further details. He told police that the children had to partially strip to receive their punishment. If the parents do not bring their own punishment tool, the church will furnish them with a white cord.Many people sincerely believe that in forcing children to assume obscene postures for "paddling" and even in pulling children's underwear down for "spanking" they are somehow "disciplining" the way God does." Even a casual reading of Scripture, however, shows that nothing could be further from God's methods.
The word "buttocks" occurs only three times in the King James Bible-all in the Old Testament-and two Scriptures simply refer to the same incident. (2 Samuel 10:4, I Chronicles 19:4-5, Isaiah 20:4). In each case an opposing army strips someone's buttocks as a way to humiliate them. Thus in Old Testament times stripping one so that the buttocks are naked causes extreme humiliation as it would for most of us today-including virtually any child four or older. Never, however, is a child treated this way by parents in the Bible. It is an act of wartime brutality that goes along with rape and killing.
Many fundamentalist preachers distinguish between "adultery" and "fornication" as "sex by a married person with someone other than their spouse" and "sex between two unmarried people." The word "fornication," i.e. the Greek "porneia," actually goes much deeper. It is the root that we get our word "porno" from and means about the same thing. Thus "spanking" someone, at least someone who is not your spouse, for sexual pleasure is a form of "fornication." Thus an inwardly sinful but outwardly righteous preacher who enjoys "paddling" teen girls or boys at a "Christian school" during the week and then bellows out of the pulpit that kids who "commit fornication" are going to hell is, like the sinful hypocrite Pharisees in Jesus' ministry before him, a snake, viper, hypocrite, and empty tomb that "looks good on the outside but is death inside." (Matthew 23). His brutal fornications that are forced upon helpless kids and teens and which cause so many sexual problems for them is a thousand times worse than any petting or experimental/willing partner sexual acts the kids will ever commit. And as Jesus noted with the Pharisees that doesn't mean some of their advice isn't good. Kids are well advised to resist sexual urges and refrain from promiscuity or having sex too early when they can't handle the consequences. But like the Pharisees they need to heed some of the preacher's advice but don't follow his sinful child abusing deeds. These paddle-whacking preachers need first to get the paddle "out of their own eye" so that perhaps they might clearly see to help guide teens to sexual modesty and dignity-something which they themselves grossly violate. (Matthew 7:5).
When Adam and Eve sinned they hid themselves because they "knew that they were naked." For the first time we have an opportunity to see how God actually does discipline his new creatures that were in some ways like young children. Did he force them from the bushes so that their "bare butts" would be exposed to increase their shame? Quite the opposite. God let them stay hid behind bushes with their leaf aprons and went and made "coats of skins, and clothed them." (Genesis 3:7-15). Though sin carried consequences God immediately set out to make a "way of escape" for them, and in any case their modesty and dignity were respected at all times.
Therese, would you know why he runs a school?…libertinage, my child, libertinage alone, a passion he carries to its extremes. My father finds in his pupils of either sex objects whose dependence submits them to his inclinations, and he exploits them…. But wait a moment…come with me," said Rosalie, "today is Friday, one of the three days during the week when he corrects those who have misbehaved; it is in this kind of punishment my father takes his pleasure….Some who believe that only little children are "paddled" at school might be surprised at the level of sexual indignity that is forced upon teen children routinely as they are humiliated and brutalized in some of our school districts. For some "men in authority" kids are "never too old" and female teens "never too womanly" to spread their legs and bend over the principal's desk for a "spanking". In fact the way a student looks has as much or more to do with whether they will get "spanked" as what their "infraction" was. Consider the "expert testimony" of ex-principal Armstrong before the U.S. Senate:
MR. ARMSTRONG. Again, I think, just like when you decide whether you are going to administer one lick or smack or whatever, or two, it is going to depend upon the student, the behavior, and the physical stature, and this type of thing. And I do no think that you can just say that automatically, at the 9th or 10th grade, it is going to be stopped.Paul V. Armstrong, who had been a junior high principal, admits that the decision by school officials on whether or not to "paddle" a child depends in part upon the student's "physical stature" and "this type of thing." Children are spanked at school based upon what they look like as well as for what they do. All children are not treated the same. In fact some male principals set up guidelines that specifically insure that teen women will have fewer alternative "punishments"-other than being spanked by the male principal that is-than boys. Consider the arbitrary nature of Glenn Varney's "spanking guidelines" that he used to justify severely "paddling" three 17-year-old female students for skipping one day of school as given in a sworn deposition:
Q Is there any way to get out of "ISS", other than taking the paddle?Girls often begin puberty as young as age seven and by age 10 the sexual transformations of puberty are well under way in nearly every girl. In many poor regions of the world-including some areas of the United States-girls bear children routinely by age 12 or 13. Certainly by age 16 a "girl" is very much a physically developed woman. It is a scary, wonderful, confusing, and exciting time for children of both sexes as we hear in Neil Sedaka's 1958 pop music hit, "Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen":
What happened to-that funny face? My little tomboy now wears-satin and lace, I can't believe my eyes you're just a teenage dream, Happy birthday sweet sixteen.Even though the girls are physically beautiful young women many male school principals who work in "paddling" schools never seem to think that teens in general, and pretty girls in particular, are ever too old to "spread their legs and bend over" the desk for a spanking. School officials have even less "natural affection" for a student than a stepfather would likely have and the only limit on the sexual abuse and harassment that they will likely inflict are the limits placed upon them by law and by the standards of the local community-which sadly are often vague and allow an unbelievable amount of abuse.
Even in this day and age the statistics for the "land of Disney"-Florida-supposedly a children's dream vacation state that tries to project an image of Mickey Mouse and fairy-tale castles-reveal a sickening hidden nightmare of ritual abuse that led the Florida chapter of the National Organization for Women to introduce the following resolution before the U.S. House hearings on corporal punishment in 1992:
CORPORAL PUNISHMENT IN FLORIDA SCHOOLSIn 1984 a subcommittee of the United States Senate interviewed a beautiful 20-year-old woman about the severe "paddling" she suffered at the hands of male government bureaucrats when she was a 17-year-old senior and honor student at Dunn High School in Dunn, North Carolina a few years earlier. In 12 years of schooling this young woman had never been in any trouble for any reason. Her 17-year-old girlfriend was distraught and worried about her boyfriend. The two young women skipped school one day to look for her boyfriend.
A female assistant principal started the girl's discipline case the next day but at some point a male assistant principal, Glenn Varney, took over the "responsibility" of punishing the three 17-year-old women.
Mr. Varney would later testify, when the girl's parents took him to court, that females, unlike males, were not offered the alternate punishment of raking leaves since raking leaves was "unladylike". Having 17-year-old women spread their legs and bend over his desk while he stood behind each girl and brutally beat each girl's sex area with six hard hits of a two-foot long board was, however, sufficiently "ladylike" for Mr. Varney's sensibilities. After serving three days of a school-botched six day "in house suspension" where staff was on vacation and did not bring the girls their work the young woman, worried about her Calculus class and having her G.P.A. lowered so far that she would be unable to get a college scholarship, and her two friends reluctantly accepted the only alternate punishment that Assistant Principal Varney offered "girls"-the paddle.
Assistant Principal Varney either didn't know or didn't care that this young woman was menstruating when he assaulted her with six "swats" that were so brutal that she hemorrhaged for days until a doctor treated her with estrogen. The bruises, i.e. ruptured blood vessels, were so severe that bruises lasted for weeks.
The county medical examiner very much wanted to file child abuse charges-and if a parent had inflicted such brutality upon a child he could have. Sadly, however, the local law provided the schools with wide latitude to abuse children in ways that would be criminal if a parent were to try them. The school was completely insulated from any outside scrutiny or any direct "check and balance."
Three years after the assault the young woman's mother could not testify without breaking down and crying. Her faith in the system was shattered.
By the way, for the "Bible thumpers" that like to pick and choose Old Testament verses to back "paddling", a woman in Bible times was not even permitted to rise in the presence of a man when menstruating. (Genesis 31:35). Modern child abusing "religious" men today, by contrast, brutishly order female teens to "spread their legs and bend over" for "spanking" without showing the least regard as to whether "the custom of women" is upon them. (Update-knowledge of this case in recent years has principals most often asking if a young woman is menstruating before she is paddled and the paddling deferred if she answers "yes." Physically a step in the right direction but yet another violation of a young woman's privacy and modesty that doesn't happen with boys. It is also unequal treatment when the menstruating young women have to have the punishment hanging over their heads for days when boys don't, and of course it is still much more of a sexual violation.)
Senator SPECTOR. Can you be a little more expansive in describing the trauma which this incident did create for your daughter and your family?
Mrs. JOHNSON. Well, I could not look at Karen without crying-ever. (Pause.) Excuse me.
Senator SPECTOR. Take a minute, Mrs. Johnson.
Mrs. JOHNSON. I felt responsible, myself, for putting her into a situation where she could not be protected from being beaten up. When children are in school, you expect that there is a possibility that they can be beaten up by another child. But to have that same thing happen, in the name of education, by a grown man, who looks like a weight-lifter, who has a very overdeveloped upper body, and see her under the stress and tension-and what she has not told you is that right after this happened, she had a complete personality change. She did not want to go to school. She did not want to go to church. (Pause.) I am sorry.
--Heather Johnson, mother of Karen, testifying before the Senate Subcommittee (victim's names altered)
The words of Jesus are often simple and easy to understand yet at the same time are so deep that theologians all over the world who have collectively studied His words for thousands of years can hardly agree on their meaning. One group of passages that has caused a lot of confusion is found in Matthew 5:27-30, Matthew 18:1-14, and Mark 9:35-50. In these passages Jesus tells us to mutilate our bodies if that is the only way that we can keep from sinning. The context of the first passage is sexual lust, and the context of the next two passages is offending "these little ones which believe", i.e. being a stumblingblock to children. There are many ways to offend children, of course, and the passages may apply to sexual sin in general too. Nevertheless they may well be related warnings of dire spiritual punishment for sexually abusing children-that if we really understood the damage we would willingly be thrown into a lake "with cement overshoes" rather than perpetrate such a grievous sin. Millions of children are sexually molested and brutalized by men who are slaves to sexual lust and perversion. The children often suffer from low self-esteem and become sexually promiscuous themselves. Thus they trip over the "stumblingblock" who first molested them. Jesus condemned such stumblingblocks in the strongest possible language.
Although many people "spank" children simply as a method of control there are many men who like to "spank" kids for their own sexual amusement-especially when they can "spank" girls who are not their own natural children. Whatever the motivation of the spanker the children are often sexually brutalized and humiliated.
In Matthew 18, as in so many places in the Bible, we do well to ignore the paragraph markers placed into the Bible by the King James translators. This is easy to see by the context since Jesus begins the chapter talking about children and finishes the idea in verse 14 referring back to children. Note also that the verses which are separated in Matthew 18:6-7 by a paragraph marker are not so separated in Mark 9:42-43. Thus we read in Mark 9:42-43:
And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea. And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter life maimed, then having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched.Adah Maurer and James S. Wallerstein handle the "millstone" part in their booklet, "The Bible and the Rod," and again I refer the interested reader to this fine work.
For the rest of the passage, some interpret Jesus' teaching that we should cut off our hand if it causes us to sin, or pluck out our eye, etc…as alluding to having body parts amputated when they are full of gangrene or cancer. Others believe that Jesus was showing us in a picturesque way how awful sin really is. Every once in awhile someone literally cuts off his hand or sex organ or some such thing, and we usually deem such a person who is literally following Jesus' teaching to be insane. But what did Jesus mean?
Perhaps there are many valid ways to view such passages. I now believe that the best interpretation, especially in Matthew 18 and Mark 9, is a literal one-and it only makes sense in the context of His entire teaching in that passage. Those who hope to see heaven and yet cannot control themselves from sexually molesting and brutalizing children-whether through the subterfuge of "spanking" or "paddling" or by overt sexual abuse-should cut off their hand if that is what it takes to keep from molesting His "little ones". Most of us, however, will find another way before we "run our hand through the bandsaw." A Jr. High principal, for example, who enjoys "paddling" the sex areas of teens, and can't stop himself from doing what local law allows when kids are sent to his office, should quit his job and move to a school district that doesn't allow teens to be "paddled" if he hopes to have life in Jesus-or better yet work to eliminate the practice at his school. Those who cannot control a sexual affinity for children and teens should avoid professions and situations involving children altogether-even if it costs them money and prestige. It is better to "cut off" a job, or even a career, than to "cut off a hand"-which is in turn much better than being "cut off" from Christ and from leading "little ones" astray.
We saw a quote earlier from an "Ann Landers" column where a man had to "cut off" a wonderful romantic relationship with a fiancée because he was uncontrollable sexually attracted to the woman's young daughters. It is a heartbreaking letter, and yet the man certainly chose the "high road" and followed the teachings of Jesus to cut off something dear to him rather than allow himself to molest those innocent children.
Janice Dean testified that, on her first day at Drew, she did not know about assigned seats in the auditorium and sat in the wrong place. As a result Deliford gave her five licks. Another time, when Janice was sent to the office, Barnes administered fifteen licks, apparently without knowledge of the alleged misconduct, on a theory he allegedly explained as follows: "He said he knew we had done something wrong or we wouldn't have been there."When writing about punishing children Solomon, in the book of Proverbs, specifically encourages fathers-and no-one else-to beat their sons. Thus teachers had to somehow "biblically" claim that right for themselves, and they came up with the doctrine of "in loco parentis", or "in place of the parent." This doctrine had the advantage of sounding very "official" and "hocus pocus" with its Latin name-almost as if the Pope had decreed it. Since parents could "spank" kids the teachers demanded the same "right". Even in cases where the parents do not believe in "spanking" their kids-or perhaps they think their teens too old even if they do spank otherwise-the educators demanded that they be able to "spank" even teen students in spite of parents' wishes. Most sickening of all is that even when society began to legislate against severe parental abuse school principals found themselves immune from even the modest laws that the parents had to live by and were thus free to humiliate and brutalize the sex areas of teen women and children for any trivial excuse. In many states neither the parents nor child protective services could even challenge teacher's "authority" to beat children. Thus what began as "acting in the parent's place" turned into "taking the place of the parent" and finally led to innumerable cases of children being physically and sexually brutalized in ways that would be criminal if a parent did the same thing.
When it is to the teacher's advantage the law seldom condemns them for abuse in the same way a parent would be. In Michigan, for example, if any adult has intercourse with a child 12 or under it is first degree criminal sexual conduct. For children between 13 and 16 the crime varies with the relationship between the child and the adult. If a parent, step-parent, or guardian has sex with a 15-year-old girl it is still first degree criminal sexual conduct but if another non-related man--including a school teacher-has sex with the same girl it is third degree criminal sexual conduct-a much lesser charge.
We recently had a case of a high school band director in Port Huron, Michigan who was charged with 5 counts of third degree criminal sexual conduct for having intercourse on 5 occasions with a 15-year-old female student of his. Why, if he is acting "in place of the parent", was he not charged with first degree criminal sexual conduct like a parent would be? Though Michigan banned the "paddle" in public schools a few years ago I do not think it would be hard to find similar cases in any year in paddling states. Any state that has similar distinctions in their laws will have similar cases. The fact is that teachers are not the parents of the students in their classes. They do not have the same love and "natural affection" that parents ordinarily do, and in every area outside of "spanking" the law recognizes the difference.
I am very aroused by spanking but have never been a participant. I saw an attractive young lady get paddled by her teacher in Jr. high school and it was one of the most exciting experiences of my youth. Can any one recommended any movies that have similar scenes? Also if there are any women who are curious about this subject and would like to talk I am a SWM 38 interested in easing into this subject.I recently ordered a couple of pamphlets from "Focus on the Family" that were written by Dr. James Dobson. The pamphlets, in 1993, costs 35 cents apiece and are the type that churches often have available in a "tract rack" for members to take home. His books, pamphlets and radio ministry are religiously read and followed by millions. His advice, however, seems to me a "Jeckle & Hyde" mixture of twentieth century psychology and nineteenth century religious thought.
I knew from my involvement the past few years with groups working to ban school "paddling" that Dr. Dobson was a proponent of spanking. I had heard that he'd softened his position considerably over the years and I wanted to see what his current "Focus on the Family" spanking advice was.
To his credit, in the 1993 tract "Questions Parents Ask About Discipline," Dr. Dobson says 13-year-olds are too old to be spanked. He believes in spanking children with belts and such but believes that teens, unlike younger children apparently, should be treated with respect and dignity. I do not know what his advice had been in the past but school teachers, parents, and step-parents that "paddle" and "spank" teens cannot cite Dr. Dobson to back their perverted sex beatings. A man who likes to spank his 12-year-old step-daughter's bare butt, however, will find nothing in "the good Doctors" pamphlets to discourage him. There is, in fact, much to encourage such abuse.
One of the biggest problems with "spanking" and "paddling" is that we have vague definitions and "every man does what is right in his own eyes." In his pamphlet "Discipline from Four to Twelve" Dr. Dobson states that (from ages 9-12) "physical punishment should be relatively infrequent." But any abusive step-dad who enjoys spanking his 12-year-old step-daughter's bare butt every week will have no problem with these "Focus on the Family" tracts. He might justify his abuse by deciding that weekly spankings are "infrequent". But Dr. Dobson provides an even better ready-made excuse for child abusers. Immediately after stating that physical punishment should be "relatively infrequent" for kids 9-12, Dr. Dobson goes on to say, "of course, some strong-willed children absolutely demand to be spanked, and their wishes should be granted." Anyone who has ever known an abusive parent, step-parent, teacher, etc…and most lower-class and working class kids have known many-knows that every time the abuser "spanks" a child the child "asked for it." Since Dr. Dobson's pamphlets validate situations like 12-year-old girls getting their bare butts spanked by step-dads all the spanker need do to continue physical and sexual assaults into the girl's teen years is say, "if your gonna act like a 12-year-old then I'm gonna treat you like one." I've heard abusive adults use lines like this-usually with teen girls-many times.
Dr. Dobson even continues one of the child abuser's biggest justifications to beat a child's buttocks when he says that belt hits should be "applied where intended"-implying that God somehow created the buttocks as a place for children to be beaten. I'll pay $1,000 cash to the first person that can show me a Bible verse that teaches this.
I actually felt physically ill and had to set the pamphlet down and walk away when I read "the Doctor's" recommendation that one and two-year-old babies should be "spanked" with a belt. On the next page he writes, "should a spanking hurt? Yes, or else it will have no influence. A swat on the behind through three layers of wet diapers simply conveys no urgent message."
Consistent with the "Jeckle & Hyde" advice in these pamphlets the "Dr. Jeckle" psychologist occasionally pops out and tries to soften "Mr. Hyde's" child abuse advice. Don't hit "too hard." The trouble with advocating hitting babies and children with belts and boards is "how hard is too hard? How much is too much?" Dr. Dobson cites a study that estimates that 60,000 children are beaten to death every year in America-most by their own parents or guardians. As it turns out this statistic is apparently overstated for some reason, but there is an unknown number of children who are beaten to death where death is sometimes ruled something else, and many cases of injuries, and many more psychological and chiropractic injuries that don't show up right away. I hope for the sake of his sanity that Dr. Dobson never realizes that the thousands of Jesus' little ones who are beaten to death and the millions more who are molested and brutalized every year in this country are made possible by the national climate of acceptance of child beating that Dr. Dobson, and other men of like mind, have perpetuated.
That this is an exercise in pornographic amusement for the perpetrators becomes clear in the description given by Kelly Franklin of Mesquite High School in Mesquite, Texas. She told a reporter for the New York Star: "They make you spread your legs, bend over and put your hands on the desk. Then they rub the paddle lightly on your rear and bring it back as far as they can and hit you. It hurts real bad." Even a normal person could be unavoidably aroused by spanking a member of the opposite sex, said Dr. Alvin Burstein, professor of psychology at the University of Texas Medical School at San Antonio. "We all have unconscious sexual fantasies," he said, "and the problem becomes more acute as the child victim grows older." Kelly was fifteen.Though it is perhaps obvious that I am not a fan of Dr. James Dobson and his "Focus on the Family" advice he at least allows teens some sense of dignity-which is a lot more than can be said for many fundamentalist groups which otherwise love to follow his advice-when it encourages "spanking" that is. Dr. Dobson makes it clear in his 1993 tract "Questions Parents Ask About Discipline" that teens should never be "spanked" for any reason. Answering the question "Should teenage children be spanked for disobedience or rudeness?" Dr. Dobson answers
No! Teenagers desperately want to be thought of as adults, and they deeply resent being treated like children. Spanking is the ultimate insult. Punishment for adolescents should involve lost privileges, financial deprivation and related forms of non- physical retributions (p. 11, question #13).Never mind that he ignores the sexual issues involved-he could hardly do otherwise without "opening a can or worms" on the rest of his advice-but at least he recognizes that teens are unduly humiliated when spanked and that this is a very wrong thing to do to teens. Many of his followers, however, promote the "paddling" of teens as though teens had no sexuality. They also ignore the possibility that the "paddler" may derive pornographic pleasure from "paddling" sexually mature teens-especially of the opposite sex. Thus a Flint, Michigan Baptist school has in their 1993-94 student handbook the casual statement: "In the high school, demerits and incidents of corporal punishment are reflected in the student's conduct grade." I hate to think of the physical and sexual abuse that could so easily be carried out under rules like this. Further the parents must pledge to "not make waves" if their child is injured or mistreated and to leave quietly if they don't like it.
When I sent some Baptist school board members and teachers a letter stating my objections to "paddling"-especially of teens-I did not get a direct reply from any of the 15 or 20 recipients, including a few "ministers", even though I did include my return address. Instead I got a cowardly "back-door" message delivered through some staff people at the Church-of-Christ (non-paddling) school that my kids attended. I mentioned my kids' school in the letter and I suppose if I had mentioned that I ate at the pizzeria down the street the message might have been delivered through them. Though I expected some difference of opinion this type of response really threw me coming as it did from a group that I had formerly admired for "taking the bull by the horns" doctrinally whether right or wrong and ever "saying what they believed" no matter who they offended. I suspect that some would rather their "secret sins" remain "hush hush" and not come under any scrutiny even within the Baptist fellowship itself. Some abusers certainly would not want even ministers to know what "goes on behind closed doors" at the very institutions that the churches support lest the "light of truth" show up their evil deeds for what they really are.
A few days later I received a disturbing letter from a woman in Florida responding to an earlier unpublished essay I had written-"Does the Bible Teach School Paddling?"-that really made me sick. She was "paddled" by a man in a Baptist school in an almost parallel way to the Senate hearing case and it really makes me wonder how common such abuse is.
Dear Jeff,I later learned the "double standard" excuse in her case was that she had "two more demerits" than the male student. How convenient. She never allowed them to "paddle" her again-but the sick thing is that they tried many times afterward for even flimsier excuses than "holding hands". She would later marry and divorce the boy caught holding her hand as he became physically abusive to her after marriage. I wonder where he-after years of "Christian school"-could have picked up the idea that hitting women was "OK"?
I have heard many other stories both in mail and when personally talking about the situation and believe me it is not hard to find people with some terrible school abuse stories-either received or witnessed. There are some sicko's in almost every school who simply do not belong working with children-yet they hang on year after year and ruin life after life-always skating "on the edge" of however decency is defined in their school. Since we cannot get rid of the "bad apples" we can at least create rules that make abuse harder to perform. Paddling children-and from a sexual standpoint teens especially-is abuse. Period.
Do I hate the Baptists now? In no way. To be honest at this point I would not worship in a Baptist church as I often have during my life. But I will send this pamphlet to Baptist ministers for one reason-if ever even a few of them get informed and "on fire" on this issue I am certain that no power on earth will be able to stand in the way of their zealous teaching. Baptists have never been accused of being shy. If the Baptists ever become convinced that "paddling" is wrong and "spanking" unnecessary then they will evangelize whatever elements of Christendom that might still cling to these perverted "traditions of men".
But the word of God burdens me because of your grosser crimes. For behold, thus saith the Lord: This people begin to wax in iniquity; they understand not the scriptures, for they seek to excuse themselves in committing whoredoms, because of the things which were written concerning David, and Solomon his son.When some "Mormon" missionaries visited me I thought to tell them to "come back when they ban ‘paddling' in Utah." I had in mind they were an abusive people somehow-some kind of "cult". I just assumed that Utah would be one of "the paddling states". I looked at my "non-paddling state" US map that Adah Maurer had sent me, however, and was rather shocked to find that Utah had already banned the paddle-so I let them in. Upon researching Utah I was also pleasantly surprised to learn Utah was among the first states to grant women the right to vote in 1895. They also founded the first college west of the Mississippi. I have also seen that-though some parents do spank-the group ever more encourages non-violent guidance of children. They have a social services agency within the church that teaches troubled parents the problems that can come with spanking and teaches them better ways. But most glorious in their favor to me is that Utah-2/3 Mormon-does not paddle, has a low crime rate and the highest percentage of students in college of any of the 50 states.
Every Baptist school I have heard of so far, by contrast, "paddles" kids. In addition the rural South, where the vast majority of public school paddling occurs, is dominated by Baptists and similar groups. Whenever there is a movement in those school districts to ban the paddle it seems some "minister" is in the papers there belittling the effort and no doubt filling his sermons with "traditional school discipline" propaganda. Though Michigan banned public school "paddling" five years ago the Baptist school near me still "paddles" even high school students! So whether Baptist or "Mormon" doctrine closer to God's will in other ways I'll let each reader decide, but I urge the Baptists, and similar groups, to "get the log" of child abuse "out of your own eye" so that you can see clearly to "get the specks out" of other's eyes.
Catholic schools-after abuse scandals from years gone by-have largely dropped the paddle in much of the US, although unfortunately there are still some very abusive things going on in Southern Catholic Schools even in 2001, the knowledge of which forced me to update this booklet here to reflect that. Even if I were a Baptist, knowing the damage that can come from spanking and paddling, I would so much rather my kids attend a non-paddling Catholic or "Mormon" school than a "paddling" Baptist school. I think I could explain any possible religious differences to my kids a lot easier than I could explain why they should "spread their legs an bend over" for men at the "Christian" school they attend.
A "BOM" verse struck a chord with me and reminded me of Jesus' attitude toward children in Matthew 18-i.e. "of such is the kingdom of heaven." In the book of Mormon, Alma 32:23, we read:
And now, he imparteth his word by angels unto men, yea, not only men but women also. Now this is not all; little children do have words given unto them many times, which confound the wise and learned.I like the attitude in that quote a lot. I don't know who said it first but a common quote among groups working to end child abuse is, "kids are not for hitting!"
Actually some percentage of Mormons "spank" kids in their homes-which I believe now is a much smaller and less abusive group than most nonetheless. Considering the level of abuse children suffer from "Christians" the following BOM quote rings very close to Matthew 18:
And when he (Jesus) had said these words, he wept, and the multitude bare record of it, and he took their little children, one by one, and blessed them, and prayed unto the Father for them. And when he had done this he wept again. And he spake unto the multitude, and said unto them: Behold your little ones. And as they looked to behold they cast their eyes towards heaven, and they saw the heavens open, and they saw angels descending out of heaven as it were in the midst of fire; and they came down and encircled those little ones about, and they were encircle about with fire; and the angles did minister unto them.Early in the Book of Mormon (BOM) we have an angel stopping a wicked older brother from beating a righteous younger brother with a rod. (1 Nephi 3:29). I haven't quite finished reading all of the BOM at this point but so far there is no passage that supports hitting children at all. Indeed-whether you believe the BOM was inspired or not there is a passage that is almost unbelievably perceptive for a writer in 1830:
…but behold, Morianton being a man of much passion, therefore he was angry with one of his maid servants, and he fell upon her an beat her much.Here we see that Morianton beat his maid servant not for any actual wrong she did but to satisfy his own evil passions. It is a very sad reflection upon our society today that many modern "Moriantons" worm their way into positions that allow them to treat kids, and even teen girls, as sinfully as Morianton treated his maid servant. They force or coerce teens to "bend over" and then the men proceed to "beat them much"-perhaps just to satisfy their own perverted lusts. Any "paddling school" principal can find some reason to beat any child if he looks hard enough.
I would rather have a wrong understanding of which books are inspired and follow many incorrect formal worship procedures than to be guilty of "offending Jesus' little ones." (Matthew 18:1-14). I do not know whether Joseph Smith was a prophet of God or not but I think some of the other Christian denominations which criticize the LDS faith-especially if they have "religious" schools where teens and children have their sex areas immodestly beaten with boards by men-should first "get the log" of perverted sex beatings "out of their own eye" before they try to "help" anyone else.
And finally with so many-even some Mormons-claiming that we need to hit kids more to stop crime the BOM again has a verse that any Christian sect would do well to pay heed to when a democracy turns evil and crime runs rampant. A man named Nephi thought the answer was to preach Christ-not more perverted sex beatings of kids:
And it came to pass that Nephi had become weary because of their iniquity; and he yielded up the judgment-seat, and took it upon him to preach the word of God all the remainder of his days, and his brother Lehi also, all the remainder of his days;Preaching, prayer, respecting kid's sexual modesty and dignity, and living a Godly example are the Christian ways to win kids and adults to Christ. As a secondary benefit we may get better citizens. If punishment is necessary for kids it should respect their dignity and sexual modesty if we do not wish to grieve Jesus-who both in the Bible and the BOM shows nothing but gentle love for them. Jesus clearly taught that children do not "need the evil beat out of them" as many Christians believe. In fact Jesus taught a most un-Solomon like thing: we adults need to aspire to be more like children ourselves if we want Christ's salvation.
Nathaniel Evans testified that during one year at Drew, he was paddled four times. On one occasion, when the typing class was noisy, Barnes gave each of the fifteen students five licks. Another time, when Barnes was trying to find out who had been whistling, he took a class of 30-50 students and methodically began to paddle each student in an effort to locate the one who had been whistling.A couple of years ago I read an article in the paper that asserted that "children in the South are 4,000 times as likely to be struck (by teachers) as those in Northern schools." In the same article James Buford, executive director of pupil services for Lorain (Ohio) City Schools, states that "Many teachers feel they need it (paddling) as an alternative." If this were true, i.e. that teachers "need paddling as an alternative" to be able to teach effectively, then we should be seeing a terrible decline in education in the North relative to the South since this "essential tool" has been eliminated in so many Northern states.
Are Southern schools 4,000 times better than Northern schools? Are they even 400, or 40, or even 4 times better? Are they even as good? No less a Southern institution than the Georgia Institute of Technology has declared that the "Midwest now is drawing more interest (as a location for new industry) because it invests more on education, resulting in a higher quality of labor." I would concede that money and other issues come into play here and that industry often locates where labor can be exploited rather than where labor is "educated well". Also some Midwest states do allow "paddling"-though the number of cases is generally only a fraction of those in the South even in the states that allow it. The comparative excess of "paddling" in Southern schools, however, has not lent itself to a national reputation for "excellence" in education, nor has the fact that "the paddle" has been banned in so many states hurt their reputation. Clearly "the paddle" does not in any way enhance educational quality.
In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel…If it were not so very sad it would be funny-a 17-year-old girl being coerced to "bend over a desk" for an adult man for "fanny swats" for wearing a skirt with a small slit in it at a funeral for a classmate. What utter hypocrites! The small slit is "immodest" so "bend over for the male principal"? Which is more immodest? This situation-which a woman told me happened while she was a student in a Baptist school-is not at all uncommon in some circles. Adult men with the most dubious of motives seeking any excuse to order teens to "bend over and spread ‘em." She, by the way, didn't yield her modesty and sexual dignity that time.
We "strain at a gnat and swallow a camel" when we perform our perverted atrocities upon children while pompously telling girls to sit modestly while wearing a skirt around boys and etc…. We send a man to hell for looking at a porno magazine featuring professional adult women posing nude but we "praise the Lord" in too many fellowships if the same man forces his teen step-daughter's underpanties off for a "bare butt spanking".
Many child abusers may be surprised to find themselves standing with the Pharisees at the judgment day. While we have the light of Christ's full revelation we do things more hurtful and evil than the Pharisees ever thought of.
Even neglect on the part of their husbands was sometimes the cause of a slave-girl being soundly flogged. It was habits of this nature which induced Juvenal's satirical comment: For if overnight the husband had been slack, Or counterfeited sleep, or turn'd his back, Next day, be sure, the servants go to wrack.Many of us like to look back in time "with rose colored glasses" when defending "spanking" and "school paddling". We want "the good old days" when there were no problems like today. How far back should we go? The sixties? There was indeed a lot of spanking and paddling then-and "hippies" and protests and crime and riots and drugs. Perhaps the fifties. The Blacks certainly "knew their place" then. Sexual harassment and date rape weren't any problem-they simply weren't defined as problems. Should we go back to the turn of the century when women couldn't vote? There were few girls getting "paddled" or "birched" as teens in part because few went that far with their education. Go back a few decades more and the "age of consent" in Michigan and many regions was ten-that is any age man could legally have sex with a 10-year-old girl. Children were used and abused in every possible way-including child labor sweat shops-and there was no recourse whatsoever. These "problems" were not even considered "wrong" let alone "crimes". How about farther back when slavery was legal? How about the "witch hunts" where people were tortured by religious zealots for their beliefs? The "Mormons" were hunted like animals and were murdered and harassed in the mid-nineteenth century for their religious beliefs.
There was some "good" in the "good old days"-but let's not forget the many problems. Let's not let frustration with complex racial and poverty problems cloud our present day treatment of children-who desperately need our love and help. They never ever "need" physical and sexual violations performed upon them and it won't make our society one whit better if we do so.
If matrimony and hanging go By dest'ny, why not whipping too? What medicine else can cure the fits Of lovers, when they lose their wits? Love is a boy, by poets styled, They spare the rod and spoil the child. --Samual Butler, from the poem "Hudibras", 1664, quoted from "Reading, Writing, and the Hickory Stick", p. 30, by Irwin A. Hyman, 1990. Contrary to popular belief the last line is not found in the Bible. Many good people beat the sex areas of children, or at least encourage others to do so, out of well intentioned ignorance. Whether the "spanker" is a sex pervert or means well makes little difference, however, to the child who is having his or her dignity and sexual modesty violated.
We must "rightly divide" God's Word and know how to apply it to our lives. This involves study and work-especially for those who aspire to be preachers and teachers. We must examine God's Word to see what it really teaches and separate that from the things that we have taught that we find to be "the traditions of men that make void the word of God." In addition we must learn the things that the relatively young science of psychology is discovering so that we may know "what is in the hearts of men." (Matthew 10:16, John 2:24-25). This too will help us to rightly discern God's will in this matter.
It is almost a definition of a gentleman to say that he is one who never inflicts pain.There are many biological reasons to be concerned with allowing adult men "the right" to hit children's sexual areas. I think a majority of people perhaps can sense the impropriety when adult men "paddle" teen girls or "spank" them-and many are aware that children are very humiliated regardless of gender when they get paddled or spanked. But why do so many older men romantically pursue younger women-even as young as the law and society will tolerate? Jerry Lee Lewis and his 13-year-old bride provide an example from the past and now we have 39-year-old Jerry Seinfeld and his 17-year-old girlfriend. While it does occasionally happen the other way it is much more common for older men to pursue younger women and even school girls if they can get away with it. Much sexual child abuse, further, is perpetrated by adult men toward children of either sex. While this is peripheral to the subject at hand I think a small amount of reflection on this well-known phenomenon will help guide us here.
Smallness is a "feminine" trait since women are generally smaller than men so children fit this feminine trait regardless of gender. Similarly "smooth skin" is both feminine and child-like. Again a meek and submissive temperament and being "under subjection" have historically been both feminine and child-like as well. In this age of "women's lib" many men like to "lord it over somebody"-and kids can still "get it"-even "almost adult" teen girls in too many schools.
Among women a small waist is seen as beautiful-and girls have this trait. "Fat" is sometimes seen as masculine if not too excessive since men are larger but "fat" women are generally not considered sex symbols. Teen girls have smoother skin, are smaller and less "fat" then they will likely be later, and are more submissive than they will likely be as adults. In general teens of both genders are more feminine than adults are, and this is an underlying biological reason why teen girls are sought out sexually by older men.
Not a proof here and off the subject a bit-but a bit of "food for thought" as to why we should be very wary when we allow non-biological father men to "spank" and "paddle" kids and teens-especially pubescent girls. Biological dads are much less likely to intend abuse out of "natural affection" that other men do not have.
I present this only because so many women cannot fathom how any adult could possibly be sexually interested in a "child" as so many men are found to be. Boys have more "feminine qualities" than older men and they become more masculine as they age, so older women are not so inclined to be aroused by boys. Teen girls, on the other hand, are more "feminine" than they will be as adult women in general and thus they can easily stir improper sexual interest in much older men.
A recent survey of college men has shown that 30% are sexually aroused by scenes of general violence against women. "Spanking" would likely rate a higher response due to the sexual region involved and even the lack of ordinary repulsion at hurting another human-for in spanking we are "doing good for the victim" even if we sexually enjoy the act ourselves. The study also found that 12% of college men had sexual fantasies of children.
Girls are more likely to do nothing or to walk away without telling the harasser to stop if the harasser is a teacher, administrator or other staff member than if the harasser is a fellow student.People that like to do extremely improper things to kids sometimes try to justify their actions-whether to the world or to their own twisted mind-by telling themselves that the child "asked for it". Men who rape kids often don't feel they've really hurt the kid-they were doing him or her "a favor". When we spank-no matter whether a tap on a toddler's hand or a step-dad pulling a teen stepdaughter's underpanties off we often say it is "for the kid's own good" and "she asked for it". Indeed this is a very necessary attitude to have publicly at least-and if we are any type of decent people we need to believe it ourselves to sleep at night. Most biological parents at least mean well-but in school situations and "butt-spanking-daddy" situations where the man of the house is not a biological dad "she asked for it" can be a very sinister justification for abuse.
A 43-year-old man in England was recently sentenced to prison for 10 counts of rape and attempted sodomy of two girls-one of whom was only 11 at the time of the initial assault. He videotaped the rapes as well. He threatened to disfigure the girls if they reported him-and they did not report him for many years. If this case is typical of so many others he probably did the same to other girls who never had come forward. Did they "choose to be raped" when they perhaps cooperated to some degree and did not turn him in? Of course that is as ridiculous as saying a man who was robbed at gunpoint chose to give his money to the robber. He choose to submit to robbery-and the girls "chose to be brutalized" rather than be disfigured or killed.
What does the above have to do with "spanking" and "paddling"? Victims of sexual harassment in the workplace often must "choose to submit" or lose a job-especially in "the good old days". If a man likes to have teen women bend over his desk and spread their legs and allow him to "swat their fannies with a board" all he has to do is get a job in a "paddling" school-in the rural South or a Baptist school or some such thing-and he will get the opportunity. If it is "legal" to do so but he wants to further justify something that could have the appearance of sexual impropriety all he need do is give the victim a "choice"-get expelled for a week or two or "bend over for the boss-man". Draconian suspension or paddling choices for trivial offenses are common today in paddling schools and lend themselves to coaxing teen women to bend over for men.
Though we cannot know with certainty what a man's thoughts are as he coerces teen girls to "spread their legs and bend over" suffice it to say if we took a photograph of the views the young women present to the male principal they would be very pornographic poses.
We can see an example of the dynamics that could be interpreted as sexual harassment in the Glenn Varney case. Glenn Varney would claim in court-and the court swallowed "hook, line, and sinker"-that "Karen Johnson" and the other two 17-year-old women "chose to be paddled". For a girl like Karen-an honor student from a family with modest means who based her whole life's hopes on a chance for a college scholarship-a "choice" between a six day suspension or "paddling" must have seemed a choice between a sexually humiliating and brutal assault or having her entire life ruined. If only she were a boy she could have raked leaves but she was a girl so a severe "spanking" was the only other choice Mr. Varney would offer her even after she'd already served three days of the school-botched six-day suspension. Assistant Principal Varney had a rule that to get out of "in house suspension" a female student would have to submit to three "swats" for each day out-and for 17-year-old Karen's first offense of any kind-skipping one day of school-she was sentenced to six days suspension. One wonders if she had asked for "the alternate punishment" the first day if she would have received eighteen swats? Notice that she is no longer being paddled for skipping school but for getting out of "ISS" early. Often those who paddle teen girls have some system so severe paddling can be imposed for "too many demerits" or some such nonsense even though each "infraction" was extremely minor. It is all very convenient for men sexually predisposed to enjoy "paddling" teens who get to make up all the rules, or make the recommendations that the board blindly accepts.
In defining school sexual harassment the Genesee Intermediate School District in Michigan said in part:
…unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and any inappropriate verbal or physical conduct of a sexual manner will be defined by:Men in authority over kids-and teen girls especially-should never have the "option" available that a student can submit to sexual degradation and humiliation as well as physical assault. Certainly by the teen years the old saying people quote when hitting toddlers-"they can't understand words"-does not hold at all. Allowing male teachers the "option" to spank sexually mature students raises serious questions about the motivation of the spanker in cases like Karen's-which sadly are all too common in some regions and religions. In every case like this that I have heard of the kids feel sexually humiliated and violated regardless of the intent of the "man in charge".
And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but Bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.I too have "spanked" my children a few times when they were very young and I've threatened to in some of the years that followed. After studying the issue and concluding what I already knew in my heart-i.e. that spanking kids was a bad practice-I told my children that I would never hit them for any reason nor would I knowingly allow anyone else to. If I had my life to live over again, knowing what I know now, I never would have hit them even when they were little.
As we noted earlier if we discipline kids today in a similar fashion as we do adults in our society-i.e. "grounding" or "time outs" in place of jail and denial of money or privilege in place of civil fines then we are following Solomon's principles just as surely, if not more so, than those who hit children's butts with hands and paddles.
I have found that we are, at any rate, much more than "policeman, judge, and jury" as one pro-spanker was fond of saying. We are family-brothers and sisters in Christ we hope. Very often just talking and living a good and patient example-as Jesus did when he made disciples-makes true "disciples", or "disciplined" kids even when they do something wrong.
"Discipline" is consistently guiding a child to go the right way in life while "spanking" is a adult hitting "the underwear area" of a child. Children who receive non-violent guidance learn sexual modesty and dignity and the sanctity of their own bodies.
And Solomon did evil in the sight of the LORD, and went not fully after the LORD, as did David his father. Then did Solomon build an high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, in the hill that is before Jerusalem, and for Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon. And likewise did he for all his strange wives, which burnt incense and sacrificed unto their gods. And the LORD was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the LORD God of Israel, which had appeared to him twice.This pamphlet covered issues that "polite Christians" might think about privately but would seldom discuss. The sexual indecency of "spanking" children's and teen's butts as it relates to the Bible was the focus. I am counting on the reader's own experiences in life to confirm what was written here. Indeed hardly can this subject be discussed without people bringing up horror stories of their own.
I did not cover the psychological damage caused by violence in general nor did I cover alternatives to "spanking". I leave that to the experts in psychology and education-one of whom is (the late) Dr. Adah Maurer who taught school in Chicago and went on to become a school psychologist and child counselor. She became the executive director of "End Violence Against the Next Generation", or EVAN-G and has co-authored many inexpensive short, and easy to read paperback books on the medical effects of corporal punishment, alternatives to corporal punishment, and etc…. (Besides her works there are many books on "positive discipline" books available in most bookstores and many websites like "PTAVE" and "EPOCH" and several others that are excellent modern resources.)
I intend this essay primarily for preachers. Adah Maurer and James S. Wallerstein wrote the excellent pamphlet "The Bible and the Rod" which has affected me deeply. Prior to reading that pamphlet, however, I had done a personal study and had concluded that we differ in many important respects from even the teachings of Solomon and that none of us literally follows him word for word even if we like to think we do. It is just too abusive and we know better today than people in that primitive Monarchy did. Thus, even for those who nevertheless believe that every word of Solomon was "the word of God" as given to that people in that time and place, I hope it is clear that American-style "spanking" and "paddling" are perverse and immoral practices that were never taught by anyone at any time in the Bible.
Finally, no matter what your background, it is my sincere prayer that even those who have been "the chief sinners" in this matter will become "the chief evangelists" to eliminate our institutionalized child abuse.
Isn't it strange that princes and kings
1. Elseth, Roy H., Did God Know?, Calvary United Church, Inc., St. Paul, MN, 1977