December 19, 2005
Letters to the Editor
San Bernardino County Sun
The sentence of Craig Luke for the brutal belt beating of his son should
draw a prison term of at least two years. Perhaps more. Likewise, the
phony James Dobson and his toadie, Den Trumbull, should serve equal time.
Focus on the Family is the primary purveyor of child abuse in the United
The oft-quoted reference to Proverbs is a ruse. These people take a secular
tradition (in this case, hitting children) and thumb through the Bible to
find a proof text to support their position. These same folks would be
loath to use the Bible to support polygamy, slavery, incest, or the
execution of those who eat pork.
Pastor Oliver Lambert is dead wrong when he states that sparing the rod we
will spoil the child. My wife and I raised two children to responsible,
Christian adulthood without ever hitting, spanking, whipping, paddling,
pinching, or shaking them. We now have the joy of watching our daughters
raise their children in the same nonviolent and dignified manner.
The truth, of course, the so-called Christian Right has always enjoyed the
sport of hitting kids. It makes them feel important, authoritative, and in
complete control. Many of these same folks are, by nature, violent,
abusive, and emotionally ill. Since children have no rights in this great
land, they feel that they have license to subject kids to their cowardly
Anyone who takes seriously what Jesus said in the Gospels (particularly
about children) would never participate in this kind of abuse.
It's clear that Craig Luke has failed as a parent. One wonders if he's had
more success as a clergyman. My hope is that his son, having survived an
abusive father, will choose a style of parenting that is more consistent
with what Jesus taught.
The Rev. Thomas E. Sagendorf
United Methodist Clergy
See Minister faces jail in beating of his son; Some say corporal punishment a right, By Brad A. Greenberg, San Bernardino County Sun, December 18, 2005