Spankers' reference to Proverbs is a ruse
Letter to the San Bernardino County Sun
By The Rev. Thomas E. Sagendorf , December 19, 2005

December 19, 2005
Letters to the Editor
San Bernardino County Sun

Dear Editor:

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 States.

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 violence.

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.

Respectfully submitted,

The Rev. Thomas E. Sagendorf
United Methodist Clergy
Hamilton, Indiana

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

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