"Begin at the beginning,and go on till you come to the end: then stop." (Lewis Carroll, 1832-1896)

Alice came to a fork in the road. "Which road do I take?" she asked."Where do you want to go?" responded the Cheshire cat."I don't know," Alice answered."Then," said the cat, "it doesn't matter."

"So long as I get somewhere," Alice added as an explanation. "Oh, you're sure to do that," said the Cat, "if you only walk long enough."

"All right," said the Cat; and this time it vanished quite slowly, beginning with the end of the tail, and ending with the grin, which remained some time after the rest of it had gone. "Well! I've often seen a cat without a grin," thought Alice; "but a grin without a cat! It's the most curious thing I ever saw in my life!"

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I am diagonally parked in a parallel universe. Like Arthur Dent from "Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy", if you do not have a Babel Fish in your ear this blog will be completely unintelligible to you and will read something like this: "boggle, google, snoggle, slurp, slurp, dingleberry to the power of 10". Fortunately, those who have had the Babel Fish inserted in their ear, will understood this blog perfectly. If you are familiar with this technology, you will know that the Babel Fish lives on brainwave radiation. It excretes energy in the form of exactly the correct brainwaves needed by its host to understand what was just said; or in this case, what was read. The Babel Fish, thanks to scientific research, reverses the problem defined by its namesake in the Tower of Babel, where a deity was supposedly inspired to confuse the human race by making them unable to understand each other.


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Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Spare the Quarter-Inch Plumbing Supply Line, Spoil the Child

Illustration by Mignon Khargie /

Saying no to "timeouts," some fundamentalist Christians "train up" their children by carefully hitting them with switches, PVC pipes and other "chastening instruments."

As a young, new, Christian parent, Meggan Judge, 26, of Anchorage, Alaska, was looking for guidance in raising "Godly children." She found advice that clicked for her when a friend loaned her a popular -- and controversial -- Christian parenting book called "To Train Up a Child," written in 1994 by Tennessee pastor Michael Pearl with his wife, Debi, who claim to have raised five "whineless" children.

Neither Pearl has advanced training in child development or a related field. "These truths," the tall, white-beaded Michael Pearl, 60, writes in his book, "are not new, deep insights from the professional world of research, but rather, the same principles the Amish use to train their stubborn mules, the same technique God uses to train his children."

What is this connection some god believers have with pain and suffering and righteousness? Ooops. I forgot. When your charismatic leader is someone who is tortured to death for someone else's "sins" , it is obvious how you can get a little screwed up about morality.

Apparently it is moral to: ~
  • conduct proxy killings. That is, kill a person who didn't commit the crime in lieu of punishing the real offender.
  • believe in collective punishment. That is, punish every man, woman and child for the crime of a supposed ancient ancestor.
  • believe that pain is the invisible friend's way of showing how much he cares about you.

Pretty screwed up stuff, if you ask me.

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"Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod
of correction will drive it far from him." — Proverbs 22:15

"I feel it’s my obligation to whip him. In the name of the Lord of course. I feel it’s my obligation to whip him, and if I can’t do it then I look up some of my athletes to help me." - Jerry Falwell



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, screwed up is right. But, to be fair, I had an argument with some atheists who also thought that it is perfectly okay to hit children. In fact, I think that majority of the people believe this way. Of course, it is easier to rationalize this view when god tells you it's okay.

30/8/06 11:39 am  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

RE sh: Yes, there are atheists, agnostics, who believe it is ok to hit children.

I think it is the history of painful punishment which is present in religions, that allows believers to justify their actions more easily.

Pain becomes good within the context of many religions; also pain is welcomed from god as a sign of a "caring but chastening parent."

Whipping was also seen as the practise of the devout.

Mortification of the flesh was the putting to death of the flesh and seen as a holy practice. Inflicting severe pain on the physical body could drive out evil or enhance one's piety.

Perhaps believers are unaware that they have been encouraged to see pain and punishment in this light.

Maybe many of them are unaware of the religious history of pain, suffering and punishment being part of church doctrine and practice.

But this is how many believers rationalise their pain and suffering in this life. They imagine it to be a trial or a tribulation that god wants them to bear and that if they bear the trial well, they will be rewarded in an afterlife.

This encourages people to believe that pain and suffering is good and something to be almost enjoyed.

It may also encourage them to believe that to seek pain is to be doing god's desire which then leads into a whole "sadomasochistic sexual thang."

30/8/06 11:59 am  
Blogger Daniel said...

It's an interesting debate. Whipping is obviously a no-no but surely a quick hard slap on the bum very occasionally is all that is required to stop wilful naughtiness.

Actually, I found the 'naughty room' for an hour or so worked wonders most of the time.

30/8/06 5:40 pm  
Blogger pissed off patricia said...

It does seem that some of them have a mean streak in them that's about a mile wide.

I think they are a frustrated bunch. Frustrated because if they try to live the life they preach, it goes against a lot of human instincts.

31/8/06 12:47 am  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

The successful discipline of children requires consistency. I think that is the key.

If you set a rule or a guideline and it is broken, the child should be aware that breaking the rule was unacceptable and that this has consequences.

The first time you let a child get away with doing something for which there are no negative consequences, is the first time the child realises that your word is no good.

If you repeat this behaviour, by being inconsistent and not following through with "the consequences", the child has it repeatedly demonstrated that you cannot live up to your word. That your word stinks on ice.

It is what "the consequences" should be that many people disagree on. Remembering always that children model their behaviour on yours, it is better if you show reason, rationality and logic when deciding upon the consequences.

If your first response is violence of some kind (slapping, smacking), I would almost guarantee it that their chosen preference for conflict resolution will be violence as well.

31/8/06 9:06 am  
Blogger breakerslion said...


"The beatings will continue until morale improves."

There are other ways of commanding a child's undivided attention. Just because something works, doesn't make it right.

31/8/06 11:48 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I quite like this radically different understanding of Conscious Childrearing.


Plus a related reference re the consequences of the war against the body.


And the inevitable politics created by this war against the body.


2/9/06 1:57 pm  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

Some interesting thoughts there john, ty for sharing this. :)

2/9/06 7:50 pm  
Blogger Daniel said...

I agree, Beep, that consistency is the secret and showing kids that you mean business. Once they get away with it once or twice you've had it!

Reason and logic however don't work with an over-tired child and I really don't think that, in the main, the occasional slap will lead a child to violence. Children need and want discipline and usually know when they're naughty and deserve punishment.

It's not easy to give hard and fast rules. Parents can only do their best.

2/9/06 8:58 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The successful discipline of children requires consistency."

A truer word I can't recall, except perhaps for this;

"it is better if you show reason, rationality and logic when deciding upon the consequences."

Well said Beep...

As Daniel says though, the over-tired child can be a tad petulent and difficult to deal with. Ours are 15 and 11 now and we still run into this one but then, I'm probably guilty of it myself...

4/9/06 12:19 pm  
Blogger Bronze Dog said...

I just got a disgustingly evil idea that I hope no one ever pulls.

Woo versus woo: Get one of those repressed memory people to "uncover" Satanic ritual abuse. If they're getting smacked with PVC pipe all the time, I imagine it'd be quite easy for the repressed memory woo to distort those memories.

16/9/06 12:57 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a more secular article on beating children. Enjoy!

22/10/08 11:05 am  

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