I know from experience how hard it is to raise kids — they tend to be willful and are always trying to think for themselves, and you know we can’t have that. But now there’s an answer, a book titled To Train Up a Child, which provides all kinds of useful tips on how to bring up children respectful of the word of God, using “the same principles the Amish use to train their stubborn mules”.
Doesn’t that line right there sell the technique to you?
It worked for Kevin and Elizabeth Schatz, who applied “biblical discipline” to two of their children. Now one is very, very quiet and causes no trouble at all, while the other is positively angelic.
The Schatzes were arrested Saturday morning after their adopted daughter, Lydia, age 7, stopped breathing. She was subsequently pronounced dead.
Her 11-year-old sister, Zariah Schatz, remains in critical condition at a Sacramento children’s hospital, though she is showing some signs of recovery. The two were adopted at the same time with an infant girl, now 3, from the same African orphanage about three years ago.
Prosecutors allege the two victims were subjected to “hours” of corporal punishment by their parents on successive days last Thursday and Friday with a quarter-inch-wide length of rubber or plastic tubing, which police reportedly recovered from the parents’ bedroom.
Police allege that the younger girl was being disciplined for mis-pronouncing a word during a home-school reading lesson the day before she died.
The two young girls reportedly sustained deep bruising and multiple “whip-like” marks on their back, buttocks and legs, which authorities believe resulted in significant muscle tissue breakdown that impaired their kidneys and possibly other vital organs, said Ramsey.
She won’t be mispronouncing any more words, nosiree!
I wish I were a Christian. I think I’d discipline Kevin and Elizabeth with a rubber hose. But I’m not, so I’m going to have to settle for a humane and civilized response, like taking their children away for their own safety, and trying, and I would hope convicting, the two for torture and murder.
I also hope they don’t get a judge like Cherie Blair.
Jadehawk, OM says
I’m going to guess CPS isn’t allowed to take the content of published literature as reasonable grounds to check up on people and their treatment of their kids?
Pygmy Loris says
WTF?! Beating a child for mispronouncing a word is just unimaginable.
'Tis Himself, OM says
A child is beaten to death for mispronouncing a word. What loving parents Kevin and Elizabeth are.
Paul Burnett says
The DA “is also exploring a possible connection to a Web site that endorses “biblical discipline” using the same rubber or plastic tube…”
Here’s hoping he can bring accessory charges for murder against the perverts that run the website.
We need to know what the website URL is so we can refer folks to it for examples of Christian love.
Cue the whining from the faithful: “But these aren’t examples of True Christians
People's Front of Judea says
It is sooooo nice to have an archaic belief system to hide your sadism behind!
One can justify just about any evil by saying Jebus made you do it. That way you can have the sound sleep of the righteous and still do what you really (along with every thinking person) know is absolutely wrong.
Now, lets go to a stoning, or a good witch burning.
That said my parents beat me and it never did me any harm (he says with dripping sarcasm).
Maybe the word being mispronounced was ‘loving’ – since I’m fairly sure that, thanks to those sick, God-loving fucks they called their parents, they were never exposed to the behaviour it describes.
'Tis Himself, OM says
Paul Burnett #4
According to one of the comments to the story PZ linked to, the website is nogreaterjoy.org. I haven’t checked the website, so it may not be the one.
People's Front of Judea says
Looking for yet another pithy and humorous remark about how out of step this behavior is and how it is hinted at in “The Good Book”…
Instead, just can’t get past the suffering these children have been forced through.
Parents, “out of the door, line on the left, one cross each” And yet the child is still dead!
This really pisses me off so much. They’re not the only ones either – take a gander at the whole Ezzo fiasco. Their techniques on how to discipline kids have sent babies to the ER, but their books still sell, on the framework of “Jesus suffered, so it’s important for kids to suffer to learn to obey”.
There is little punishment strong enough for these kinds of people.
This is just sick. How in the hell can two people this messed up ever successfully adopt children. I can’t imagine someone sociopathic enough to beat children for hours doesn’t set off some alarm bells. I don’t think any sane person can call it punishment any longer when you have to switch hands because your arm gets tired.
I’m pretty fucking far from feeling humane and civilized.
Peter H says
No, these two adults are not “true christians.” “True christians” abide by a book which says to STONE a recalcitrant child. They are lower than filth.
Peter H says
In the spirit of Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz, “Death’s too good for them.”
Paul Burnett says
Here we go: “In Defense of Biblical Chastisement” – http://www.nogreaterjoy.org/articles/general-view/archive/2001/may/01/in-defense-of-biblical-chastisement-part-1/ (There’s also a Part 2.)
Here’s some “chapter” headings:
We hold beliefs that ultimately dictate the application of the rod in child training.
Proper application of the rod is essential to communicating the Christian world-view.
Here’s the quote we were looking for, in Part 2:
What instrument would I use?
As a rule, do not use your hand. Hands are for loving and helping. If an adult swings his or her hand fast enough to cause pain to the surface of the skin, there is a danger of damaging bones and joints. The most painful nerves are just under the surface of the skin. A swift swat with a light, flexible instrument will sting without bruising or causing internal damage. Many people are using a section of ¼ inch plumber’s supply line as a spanking instrument. It will fit in your purse or hang around you neck.
…excuse me while I go barf…
Three of the kids were adopted internationally. This means that the family was investigated and deemed fit parents. Who talked to them and decided these people should be allowed to adopt? Who would ever let 3 orphans be placed in a fundamentalist household with 6 other children, where all the kids were homeschooled?
Why would they choose these parents, while other families are denied adoption rights because of who they love?
Gyeong Hwa Pak, Pikachu para lang sa iyo. says
In recent years, fundies have been doing what they can to gain a monopoly on adoption in order gain converts. They don’t actually care for the children, just as long as the convert.
The Pint says
Jebus effing christ. Sure, we all learn through pain – you hit something because you weren’t looking where you were going or you think you can get away without wearing shin guards playing field hockey only to get whacked with a stick (and believe me, those suckers HURT). Those instances suck, but you hopefully learn not to repeat the mistake, and ultimately the only person responsible for that pain is you. I mean, my parents didn’t keep me wrapped in a bubble – they let me learn from my own mistakes and that sometimes meant minor bruises and scrapes – but they never allowed me to do something that would result in serious injury because they were my parents and parents protect their kids when necessary.
When pain is actively inflicted on a child by an adult? No. Absolutely fucking not. There is never any justification for that. I don’t care if they thought they were doing “the right thing.” Any ideology that advocates purposefully inflicting pain on someone as helpless as a child in order to enforce obedience and desired behavior is evil and wrong. Couch it all you want in religious babble, doesn’t change the fact that it flies in the face of what it means to be a parent, much less a decent human being. What’s wrong with these people and who the hell thought it would be a good idea to let them adopt??
This incident reminds us of the early church’s colonial expansion into the new world. They had the same attitude toward brown skinned people then to: abuse the body to save the soul.
We sometimes wonder if international adoptions by fundies have more to do with earning brownie points with the Sky Sadist then anything else.
We think a minimum 10 year prison stretch in the murdered child’s country of origin would be a fitting punishment for this wretched scum. And yes, they do need to be punished.
Why the hell would anyone think that would work? Do they just use it as an excuse to beat the shit out of children? Do these christians have anger issues that they like to take out on little kids?
The implied two-part question here is, are these examples of True Christians? is this an example of Christian love?
This is a science blog, right? Has it occurred to anyone that these questions can be treated scientifically? The two questions are about behaviors within a social group; they are social science questions.
To take a scientific approach requires some openness, of course. One must be willing to ask genuinely, not prejudicially, whether it is possible that this actually might not be representative of true Christianity? Or shall we assume our conclusion is true (as the comments I’ve quoted have done) without any skepticism, questioning, or investigation? That doesn’t seem like a very scientific attitude to me.
Second, assuming one has decided to treat this as a live question, rather than prejudicially, how does one ask the question? That is, how might one know whether this couple is or is not representative of true Christianity? Do social scientists define a group by the most extreme outliers among those who claim some association with a group? Is it scientific to consider this extreme outlier to be representative of Christianity?
I’m well aware of the prejudice against Christianity on this blog. So be it; that’s life, and that’s Pharyngula. As a social scientist, though, I find it odd that your approach — here on a “science” blog — isn’t more scientific than it is on this topic. Judgments such as those made in this thread are divorced from truth, as any objective look at social reality would reveal to anyone willing to be objective as scientists supposedly are trained to be.
What makes me even more nauseated is the thought that the agency overseeing the adoption probably considers being religious as a good thing.
If ever there were a reason to return to lex talionis, this is it. Culpae poenae par esto.
There are times that I am in favour of capital punishment. This is one of them.
Aaannnd the No True Scotsman fallacy has entered the thread.
Oh my goodness. This is incredibly sad. Those poor little girls. From an orphanage in Africa into the hands of two cruel bastards. I have a special, vicious hatred for people who hurt children.
Those with religion are lucky in one sense: they have the comfort of believing in a hell in which these two could suffer. I’ll just have to settle for a lifetime in prison.
Before we adopted we attended a number of informational sessions. We were told that one of the few sets of potential adoptive parents that were turned down by one particular agency followed ‘a religion’ that ‘required’ them to beat the child with an implement. I assume the ‘parents’ in this case didn’t reveal that detail to the social worker.
Jadehawk, OM says
how the fuck could we know?! Absofuckinglutely every possible world-view can be justified by the christian bible, there’s something like 38000 different flavors of Christianity all insisting that they are the Real True Christians, and even within those, most people can’t agree on what precisely Christianity is.
seems to me “Christianity” is anything and everything done “in the name of Christ”; at least that’s what the sociological and historical evidence suggests.
Beating the crap out of kids in some fundie cults is the norm, not the exception. These clowns were Ukrainians and members of a fundie Baptist church. Near as I can tell, they all beat their kids constantly and consider that normal.
And oh yeah, the kids were mentally fried and the jury convicted them. The parents still can’t figure out what they did wrong. Their minister is outraged that they were convicted of child abuse.
Good question. Got me.
I’ve given up trying to figure out the difference between fundie death cult xians and satanists. The only difference seems to be that satanists don’t actually exist while fundies definitely do so.
tomg, #21, wrote:
tomg, it’s not us you have to present this dilemma to, it’s them. Contact them and explain, using scripture, that they are not True Christians™. If, as a result of your arguments, they cannot justify their actions by also citing scripture, and subsequently agree to stop calling themselves Christians, then you can claim they are not True Christians™.
Until that point, though, you are left to deal with the reality that calling yourself a Christian requires nothing more of a person than answering ‘yes’ to the question, ‘are you a Christian?’
I could only come up with one word: repulsed. Who in their wrong or right mind could possibly conceive of such a ruthless method of discipline? Because a web site strung “Biblical” to the word “whipping” you have your moral authority to utterly thrash a child? Amazing.
No, Repulsive still fits the bill here.
It’s scientific to determine facts.
It is also true that there is no such thing as a definition of True Christianity, which is why so many different versions of it abound.
It is hardly appropriate for atheists to define True Christianity.
It is not even appropriate for Christians to disown each other as Christians.
This book, “To beat up a child” was written by a fundie minister in fundieland. It is apparently popular in some xian circles. The salon article is about another case where a kid was killed by repeated beatings.
Why do you think they are called fundie xian Death Cultists? Starting to see an explanation for the weird fundie trolls that haunt the internets.
Time for Sal Cordova to show up and explain how these parents are all evolutionists.
Blind Squirrel FCD says
A few minutes of wading around in the cesspool that results from a Google search of Christian/punishment/children brought this up:
people lets not get bogged down on their home schooling Christian wack jobs.
This is just a case of domestic abuse and people of all faiths and non faiths beat kids.
Focusing on the fact that they are home schooling Christians rather than the two facts of they are abuse-sive and somehow got an 2nd adoption (or were able to adopt.
IF you focus on the religious part, you being no better than the creationists who quote mine or bring up that someone bad was an “evolutionist” and this bad person was an atheist.
please be better then the uneducated nutters.
Indeed, unless you can find a way to show, incontrovertibly, by using scripture – and only scripture – that what these people did is unChristian, you are faced with the possibility that what happened here happened because it’s exactly what your god wanted them to do and that, by not beating other children to death, you aren’t doing what he’s asked you to do.
The best part of the article was when their Lawyer asked all believing people to pray for these idiots.
Pat Robertson will probably have some deep insight on how this is really God’s punishment to those little girls because several hundred years ago, someone with the same skin tone prayed to the devil.
Who even thinks up a book to describe how to beat your child????
Where does your mind go when you believe in God? Is it a requirement that you put it in a box and stop thinking???
I read a few paragraphs of Dobson’s child rearing books once. I had to stop. It was all just sadistic bullcrap. I wouldn’t treat a dog or cat that way.
Typing a few words into google shows that fundies and child abuse are a common combination.
You are an idiot who has no idea what you are talking about. Shut The Fuck Up.
Divergence of B says
I’m surprised by the subdued headline. I would have expected something like “Adoptive parents whip former orphan to death following pronunciation error.”
Except that the religious have a source for their behaviour; a book which prescribes action – i.e. their bible tells them it’s okay to whale on their kids because that’s what God wants them to do.
What source do atheists use for prescriptive behaviour? What does our knowledge of evolution tell us we ‘must’ do?
Sorry, but you’re just rehashing the same poorly-thought-out arguments the ‘uneducated nutters’ use – so it’s you who need to be better, not us.
Read my post above. It was written by a fundie minister in Tennessee. Apparently, there are millions of copies out there and it is popular in fundie xian circles.
Desert Son, OM says
This one was hard to read. So horrifying.
I’d like to mispronounce a few choice words to the abusive Schatz’s. Mispronounce them right to their fucking faces.
They lived in Paradise, California. Somewhat of a misnomer, for these little girls I fear.
Pygmy Loris says
This is a complete and total logic fail.
The parents in question beat their children because of their Christian beliefs. Evolution doesn’t provide a set of prescriptive beliefs about how to live one’s life. The two things you’re comparing are not analogous.
Anyway, your concern is noted.
Blind Squirrel FCD says
Hehehehe They don’t moderate comments at the link PZ posted! Feel free. This is too good of an opportunity to miss.
I would be equally as outraged and disgusted if this was being performed by ANYONE regardless of their particular creed.
The sheer brutality of it is what is pissing people off here, not the fact that they are christian nutjobs. That little tidbit just adds extra fuel to the fire. I fucking DETEST the hypocrisy. The constant pontification about how us godless folks are the monsters, incapable of any but the loosest most moral relativity. The absolute surety in the moral correctness of their position.
And then it’s backed up with shit like this.
Yeah real nice. CLEARLY I am the one incapable of being a moral person.
THAT a good portion of the rage being directed at christians in particular here, NothingBC. I could be wrong of course, and you folks please correct me if I am.
This is just sick:
There are 38000 versions of “true christianity” , which one are you referring to? Let me guess, your own version, TC as seen and interpreted by you.That’s your problem, right there.
This is a case, as many others, of religious zealots beating their kids to death, in this case with a rubber hose, based on and motivated and instructed by a book written by a christian pastor.
Wonder when the last time was where an atheist beat up and killed his kids based on specific instructions in atheist literature.
Wow. I should really learn to proof read before i post.
The constant pontification about how us godless folks are the monsters, incapable of any but the loosest moral relativity
THAT explains a good portion of the rage being directed at christians in particular here, Nothingbc.
Craig Motbey says
Although it’s tempting to identify Bruno as a martyr for science, he wasn’t. To steal a phrase, Giordano Bruno wasn’t an early scientist; he was a late idiot.
His writings make it clear that he didn’t truly understand the Copernican system, and he didn’t adopt it for any scientific reason; instead, he thought it provided support for his (spectacularly deranged, even by the standards of the time) philosophical theories.
During his trial, Bruno tried to portray his Copernican leanings as the reason for his persecution, but they weren’t. His persecution had much more to do with local political issues and Pope Clement VIII’s paranoia about a repeat of Tommaso Campanella’s attempts at revolution.
Craig Motbey says
Whoops, wrong thread; reposting over on “A history lesson”…
The physical beatings seem to be pervasive in fundieland but some cults are worse than others.
All up and down the west coast of the USA are groups of Slavic Baptists, immigrants to the USA who follow some extreme Baptist biblical law.
According to a trip through google, child abuse is ubiquitious, institutionalized, and promoted by the church itself as something people are supposed to do.
The kids grow up with Post Traumatic Stress disorder and a host of other problems. Many of them seem to leave the church when they can. Smart kids. Some of them end up in trouble with the law. IIRC, a few of them killed a gay around Sacramento a while ago for no other reason than they could.
One of my minor complaints about fundie xians is that they set their kids up to fail. Homeschooled, beat up, fed a lot of lies and fear of such things as…a theory in science about how life changes through time.
We know what happens to them. Many seem to become internet trolls babbling away like loons. They might be the lucky survivors.
Kind of reminds me of Julia Scheeres Jesus Land memoir from several years ago. Her parents were white Calvinists who also adopted two black children. All the children were beaten religiously, but the black adopted children were beaten much worse, to the point of broken bones. The parents never got in trouble for it, in part because the father was a prominent physician and knew how to quickly treat wounds he’d caused. The main focus of the book is on the time the author and one of her adopted brothers spent in a Christian boot camp for recalcitrant youth their parents forced them to go to as teenagers.
?The implied two-part question here is, are these examples of True Christians? is this an example of Christian love?
As a behavioral biologist I will answer your query
The christian bible is full of internal contradictions within the new testament, the old testament, and between testaments. These contradictions have lead to different interpretations of scripture which have themselves caused hundreds if not thousands of schizms within christianity. (leading to the deaths of literally millions of people in religious wars, inquisitions etc). I think it is fair to say that the only clear definition of christian is one who follows some subset of the teachings of some person who supposedly lived around 1 CE, who’s latinized name was purported to be Jesus.
That post was a tongue in cheek post, due to the fact that whenever some christian somewhere does something horrible in the name of their religion, some apologist will defend their faith by decrying the True Christianity of the one who committed the crime, committing a classic True Scottsman fallacy.
As far as christian love is concerned, we can define that as the behavior of historical and contemporary christians. In the past as well as today we have christian (theologically sound I might add) persecution of minority religious groups, homosexuals, the transgendered, women; and the religiously mandated deaths of witches, innocent women, jews, gay people, muslims. As recently as the 1930s and 1940s, it was christian prejudice against jews which denied jewish children political asylum in the US and deported them back to their deaths. It was christian hatred of jews which enabled the holocaust and won the collaboration of the catholic church.
Right now, it is christian hatred of homosexuals which denies us the right to equal treatment under US law, and has spearheaded to make our existence in places like Uganda a capital offense.
Do I need to go on? Christians are very kind and gentle… to eachother. Within their own sect, with people over whom they have no power. Very rarely to we see christian groups do good things for the poor or powerless without some ulterior motive like religious conversion, particularly overseas.
The church I went to growing up in Alaska actively preached hatred against homosexuals, and was so sexist that they sent teenage girls to a summer camp where they were brainwashed into being submissive body-slaves to their future husbands.
Hatred and violence are not outliers within christianity. They are pretty damn standard if you want to look at it in a historical context.
Blind Squirrel FCD says
My comment on the book site:
Cactus Wren says
Two. The child in this example is TWO.
It happens in New Zealand too:
The background in New Zealand is that the previous government brought in a law making physical punishment of children illegal, or more correctly one could no longer use discipline as a defense against an assault charge. There’s been enormous and continuing opposition, orchestrated by some (more fundamentalist) Christian groups, and misrepresentation of what the new law actually says. This guy is the logical outcome of those people’s views, I guess.
Thankfully the new Government is sticking with the law, despite a petition and a referendum that shows 90% of New Zealanders want it repealed (the referendum question, set by the fundie petitioners, was deliberately misleading). The judge here got it right IMO — he said he wouldn’t tolerate the man beating his wife with a pipe, so why should beating his son be any different.
Desert Son, OM says
This is heartbreaking. Primum non nocere! Ok, gotta stop checking this thread for now.
Proper application of the rod is essential to communicating the Christian world-view.
So, according to the author of this loathsome missive, the Christian world-view is best communicated to children by beating them. Doesn’t, to my mind say much for the Christian world-view, at least for their Christian world-view. And this is somehow twisted into being an expression of love. I don’t think they quite have a handle on what love is, a probable consequence of their own loveless upbringing.
OT: I’m looking for some help. Essentially, I need a few heroic troll bounty hunters.
A few months PZ posted about my student club’s blog at usu-shaft.com. We’re in Utah, but we’re getting constantly trolled by a philosophy professor on campus who’s actually Catholic. No matter the topic of the thread, he’ll jack it and bring the conversation to more or less “atheists have no objective basis for morality, or caring about the environment, or being anything other than greedy Randian capitalists”. As a computer science undergrad, I don’t really have the philosophical ability to answer a professor’s arcane challenges.
He’s seriously sidetracking our club with his constant threadjacking, occasionally showing up to our actual meetings as well. I’m in the awkward situation of having a blog troll who I can randomly run in to on campus, so I can’t just ban him outright, which I think would look bad anyway. If anyone would be willing to come be mercenaries for us, I would really appreciate it.
Here is the latest example. He posts under the name “kleiner”.
I was 17 the last time my Christian missionary father beat me, for calling my brother a “bad” name. He used a belt, as usual, and left my back criss-crossed with welts.
I was lucky, though; at least I didn’t have to crawl to him on my knees afterwards, to ask forgiveness, like a friend, also an MK (missionary’s kid) did.
My parents were good Christians, fundamentalist missionaries. Dad had a reputation for kindness, Mom for acts of generous service.
We kids were “spanked” regularly; the Bible says, “Spare the rod and spoil the child,” and my parents would never go against what the Bible teaches.
There’s nothing like sincere religion for making decent people act like monsters. And for giving horrible people a good excuse to give rein to their impulses.
One brother rebelled; the other one and I became good, obedient kids and grew up to become missionaries.
It took me 50 years to get free.
You know, when so many of these beaten and neglected and starved and murdered children keep coming from hyper-Chistfucker (or at least hyper-religitard) homes, then you sort of start noticing a fucking pattern, you stupid git.
Also, mules aren’t necessarily stubborn, they just tend not to do stupid things; they’re generally too smart for that.
Bastion Of Sass says
See this is why we need religion. Without religion, we would have no morals, nothing to give us guidance on how to live good decent lives. Why without religion, we would be doing terrible, unspeakable things like beating children to death.
I always wondered how people of already questionable sanity could be parent, teacher, and activity coordinator without beating their charges to death. Now I know the answer. They can’t.
I think many of you are missing the point. What the story doesn’t tell is that these children were showing signs of gayness. They were trying to beat the gayness out of them. Sure, it may seem like a cruel act, but by killing this child they saved him from an eternity in the burning flames of hell.
“He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes (Prov. 13:24).”
Something tells me Catholic priests misinterpreted “rod.”
One Furious Llama says
I am a big fan of using assault as a teaching method. It’s very effective. It also helps for yourself to be armed when employing this teaching method and the trainee to not be armed. Assault with a deadly weapon is a very effective teaching method. Also, it is advisable to be much larger than the trainee as it promotes the assimilation of the subject matter much more effectively.
Thank god my holy book approves, I don’t know how else I would be able to teach children anything.
I guess my father, the Episcopalian priest, wasn’t Christian enough. He would just stare at us and announce ‘I’m going to count to three’ when we transgressed. He never got past two and never laid a hand on us. But then again, he lost his faith over the years, and renounced his orders, as he thought that one should believe in God if one were to continue to be a member of the clergy. See – if he’d beaten us senseless, he could have really been Saved. Ah, well.
This is why I strongly believe that parents should not be allowed to hit their children. Battery is battery, whether administered by a parent or not; and children have just the same legitimate interest in bodily autonomy that adults do. “Reasonable chastisement” is a concept that should be entirely excised from the law, as it has been in many countries. So-called “corporal punishment” should be illegal in all circumstances, and should be treated in law just like any other instance of assault and battery.
Good man Walton. Excellent point, I get very itchy when people hit their kids.
jamesyp | February 18, 2010 1:56 AM:
Create a thread for discussing his favorite topic. Every time he posts a comment that is primarily about his favorite topic, move that comment to that thread. Treat everyone else the same way. Most importantly – move their replies to him to that thread. That way, people who want to engage with his arguments can read that thread and reply to that thread. People who know better than to feed a troll can ignore that thread.
One of my guilty internet time-wasters is quietly trolling evangelical/religious websites. One of the most appalling things on the xtian inter-country adoption sites is the attitude that “good christian adoptive parents” have to their poor, heathen children: they import them, “educate” them (homeschooling mostly) and teach them about Christ. If the child rebels then the feeling seems to be “oh well, we did the best we could and they still chose to do x. Hopefully one day they’ll come back to God.”
I’m not in any way saying that all adoptive parents are like that but when you see a family like this and read the stories of their children (at the bottom of the site) you can see that some people honestly believe that any child – no matter how old, or how traumatised – can be “saved” purely by introducing them to Jesus. And, most concerningly, that said introduction is where all parental responsibility ends. Maybe it’s just the recent posts on Pharyngula but it seems like no end of abuse can be perpetrated by xtians and as long as they really truly believe it, it’s all ok. Except of course for the poor dead child.
No. I’m really saddened to see comments like the above.
Just as parents should not be entitled to use violence to “punish” their children, so the state should not be entitled to use violence to “punish” its subjects. No one has the right to use violence in the name of “punishment”, whether or not you think that a given person “deserves” it. The mental and psychological factors that drive a person to commit crimes, even horrific crimes like this, are complex. To lay all the blame on the individuals concerned, and propose slaughtering them in retaliation, simply perpetuates the cycle of violence as “punishment”.
Certainly, these people should never again be entrusted with the care of children. But if the state kills them in retaliation for their actions, it becomes no better than they are.
I am not saying that violence is never justified. Violence is very much justified when it is necessary in self-defence, in the defence of others, or in a struggle against oppression. But violence in the name of “punishment” is not justified. “Punishment” is not moral; it’s an instance of those with power (whether parents or the state) exerting control over those without power.
Miki Z says
How can we raise our children to be God fearing adults if they are never parent fearing children?
In a book called Lulu in Marrakech iirc, there was a funny paragraph, the gist of which was in the Quran the words “cow” and “woman” are interchangeable.
Couldn’t help thinking of that after reading about the difficulty of some Xtians telling “mule” from “child”.
There’s no hope for him on your blog. Give him 2 or 3 public warnings about OT posting. Then ban him. There are some people that you just have to ban, or the blog/forum/whatever just gets sidetracked all the time. Not a perfect solution, but alas, the only one that works.
Here you go – To Train up a Child:-
Words utterly fail me…
I have just discussed this crime with my children. My daughter is in tears.
My children’s father was brought up in a ‘fine’ christian home with educated parents, under the Dobson regime of child beatings. My children’s grandmother had four children in four years, and these children were hit with belts from the age of two. Finally, their mother realised that there was too much ‘hitting’ in the family, and asked the father to stop. It nearly caused a divorce, but the beatings stopped until the kids hit teenaged years.
These people were not sadists, and they were generally kind folks. The beatings were a direct result of the christian path they chose.
We should all be grateful that those little children from Haiti were prevented from going to the USA with those christian kidnappers.
I agree with Walton @74. The problem is that violence is readily without our capacity. Except for those blessed with extraordinarily balanced personalities, violence is an all too easy and natural solution. That is precisely why we must be wary of it. As a child, I know that I learned to resort to violence at almost every turn, and I can tell you I’ve had to fight the tendency since then. It takes a conscious effort to rein in the animal instinct. Every time someone is executed, every time there is corporal punishment, it provides succor to the base elements with each of us. And the world really doesn’t need us to be throwing gas on that fire.
This hideous torture manual has an ISBN, and is on sale at Amazon, UK and USA. I have protested to Amazon, and also submitted the story to slashdot for publication there. I have no idea if it will get published, but if enough people protest to Amazon or flag it to news sites, maybe the book will get removed from sale.
Seems more worthwhile than “pharyngulating” online polls!
I don’t think this comes close to conveying the horror of what these people did.
“Significant muscle tissue breakdown” – due to being beaten. These children were tenderized. Tenderized like a fucking blade steak.
“that impaired their kidneys”
Eventually the chemical byproducts of being treated like a menu item overwhelmed their kidneys and one of them died.
She was fucking tenderized like a cheap cut of beef until she died.
Oh, and to the defenders of Real True Christianity, why don’t you direct your energy towards those you feel are perverting your religion by pounding little girls into pulp rather than those who say nasty things about it on a blog?
As obviously obnoxious as it is, this kind of attitude from Dobson:
Yeah, I really think this shit requires further action. These fuckers are out of control.
The authors of the “how to” manual admit to abusing their own children. Why haven’t they been arrested?
A comment from a review on Amazon in the USA…
If Jeffrey Dahmer and John Wayne Gasey pretended to be Christians and co-authored a book about child rearing it couldn’t possibly be more shocking, violent and dysfunctional than “To Train Up A Child.” This is, essentially, a how-to book for child abusers, recommending severe beatings for children, including infants, for just about every behavior imaginable. The Peals proudly admit to abusing their own children, as well as others outside of their family.
WWJD? NOT read this book, for starters. Perhaps the only thing that the Pearls are more ignorant of than child-rearing is the Bible — this book is rife with misquotes, misunderstandings and phrases taken out of context from the Bible.
I am shocked and disgusted that Amazon.com would carry a book which promotes the illegal and immoral torture of children. Every parent who follows the advice presented in this book would be convicted of child abuse in any state in this country — part of the responsibility for this atrocity goes to any corporation which agrees to help disseminate this type of abominable information.
And just imagine if you were under the demented opinion that your child was rebelling against you and that the fate of his or her soul was on the line. We’re talking about an escalation of rage and violence that apparently whole factions of our society is condoning. And we kind of know who is going to come out on the bottom of these conflicts, don’t we? It’s not like it’s a fair fight.
Miki Z says
Good for you. I was on the receiving end of the “firm” parenting. The belief that I was acting out, that I could snap out of it, that it was just a matter of “enough” discipline led to a lot of beatings and a delay of decades before my seizures were properly diagnosed.
Pigs, I’m almost literally speechless. Poor bloody kids survived whatever hell they’d come from to led into the “loving” arms of those two evil pigs. I wish i could find a term in English which sums up how vile and despicable those two vermin are but nothing quite seems to fit the bill.
So much for Christian love, eh?
Spiro Keat says
And the courts in Haiti STILL released the death cultists who were caught stealing children!
Perhaps this is no more than we should expect from people who have been brought up to believe that their god is a child-murderer (the killing of the Egyptian first-born, for example) and has commanded some of his most ardent followers to kill their own children (Abraham, for example).
Michelle B says
Agree with Walton and thehuntbox. It is important to teach and remind each other how to set limits on what others can do to you (like banning trolls who pretend that their points have not been totally rebutted, even if they are philosophy professors at your U), to identify anger and control anti-liberty, control-freak behavior and not act upon it. That is the skill set we want children to have. We need to maintain this stance in all what we do to echo and buttress this aspect, hence no capital punishment. Christianity regardless of the style in which it is practiced is superfluous to this focus.
DebinOz, yes, it was a matter for rejoicing that those Haitian kids did not get whisked off into Fundie Christian households. As some have commented, a good number of these fundies are good people, but their goodness is moot, because they submit to rigid dogma, putting kids in danger. Of course, the quality of life for those rescued Haitian children is still questionable, snatched from the fire but back in the frying pan.
Roland J Branconnier says
“Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction.” – Blaise Pascal
SC OM says
I second that suggestion. That’s what Tim Lambert does at Deltoid (except that he creates a thread specifically for the person – your choice – and deletes comments from other threads rather than move them). For example:
It seems to be effective.
Just as bad as waterboarding a child for not remembering her ABCs. Remember that one?
I’m warning you – if you keep this behaviour up, I may have to recommend you for a Molly!
Of course children differ widely and some can be incredibly infuriating; I can make some allowance for parents who slap a child in anger (though this should not be a defence to a charge of assault, and my wife and I have never hit our now 14-year-old son), but the calm sadism of the books and websites cited here, makes the blood run cold.
Michael Pearl is a real “gem.” Here’s a link to the book on Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/Train-Up-Child-Michael-Pearl/dp/1892112000/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1266501773&sr=8-1
The top tag for the book is “child abuse.” It’s time to contribute a rating and review to this piece of garbage.
Nanu Nanu says
[blockquote]I wish i could find a term in English which sums up how vile and despicable those two vermin are but nothing quite seems to fit the bill.[/blockquote]
I was at work one day when some women weren’t just admitting they had beaten their kids when they lived at home–they were bragging about it. One told about kicking her own son in the nuts for smart-mouthing her.
They were lucky all their kids were grown. If they’d been at home, I would have reported all those wretched women. As it was, they made me so sick, I had to leave.
Shit. Forget the part that was funny.
All the women bragging about beating their kids were “good” Xian women. You know the kind that are Jesus this and God that and Bless you child and fuck all stupid shit.
There I was, the immoral atheist, nearly puking at what they were talking about.
aratina cage of the OM says
Aquaria, I was in a similar situation recently. A woman I had given a ride to brought her daughter along for the trip and I told them I was an atheist when the mother started getting all Jesus-freaky on me. The 14-year-old child must have gotten atheism confused with asceticism or something because when she asked me to repeat what I had said for clarification, she pronounced it very strangely; so I had to spell it out carefully to her as not believing in any gods like she doesn’t believe in Hindu gods or in the Christian God. She then told me she was studying religions at her middle school, which surprised me (this being the South).
Her mother then let it be known that she had had to strike her child due to that class for times when her daughter had challenged the belief in whatever flavor of Christianity was being imposed on the kid by the mother. What kind of sad parent hits their child for a thought (spanking or otherwise—I agree with Walton #70)? It was very uncomfortable for me and I imagine for the girl.
I wasn’t about to turn the mother in for it because it really came off as exaggerated bragging or perhaps it was the mother’s way of standing up to an evil (but kind) atheist, but still it was deplorable even to pretend to be like that toward a child. How very
Yes. The parents are treating their children like Yahweh treats his “children” – property that can be tortured or killed, with “love” that is conditional.
Where are you again? They’re teaching religion–in a public school?
I can’t wait for the Bible classes that are comin’ to Texas. It’s gonna be a train wreck that you can’t stop watching.
Just imagine when the American Baptists, Missionary Baptists, Free Will Baptists and the Southern Baptists start debating the Scriptures never mind the Methodists, Church of Christ, Assembly of God, Church of God, Jehovah’s Witnesses, &etc.
Some folks are kinda antsy about that, but me?
Somebody pass the popcorn!
These damned articles about biblical parenting never give enough detail. Questions abound.
My son is nearing 9 months old, is he too young to be beaten with a rubber hose?
Should I use a forehand or back hand swing?
If I beat him for half an hour a day out of general principle, how many calories does this use up, and does this count towards by daily caloric output in terms of exercise for weight loss/fitness maintenance? After all beating children is time consuming, if it takes time away from the gym I will have to only beat him on alternate days, I’m concerned this would be unbiblical.
Can I use the same rubber hose to beat my wife, or does she deserve her own hose or are hoses inappropriate for spousal battery?
Dear christians (only True Christians TM need answer) please help me become more biblical in my beatings.
frog, Inc. says
@tomg: Has it occurred to anyone that these questions can be treated scientifically? The two questions are about behaviors within a social group; they are social science questions.
What stupid arrogance. No — these are not “scientific” questions, because Christians are not a social group. Catholics or Southern Baptists may be — they are well-defined clubs.
But “Christians”???? They are an ontological “group”. Science doesn’t study ontology. Science doesn’t even study epistemology. Science is an application of naturalism (also known as sanity).
Therefore, what is “Christian” is outside the purview of science, you smug ass. This is a philosophical question — what is consistent with a Christian creation.
And the truth is — none of us give a damn, other than as part of the argument that “Christianity” is in no way particularly morally demanding. That its naturalistic apologia are empty. That morality is orthogonal to religion — some folks are moral despite religion, some folks are moral without religion, and many people are cruel and evil with or without religion. It’s irrelevant to religion, or any particular religion.
The physical address of No Greater Joy Ministries is also that of a tax preparation service. I guess I’m not surprised.
Maybe it’s just cause I’m taking a class on it but I can’t help but be reminded of Heart of Darkness and the folly of believing you can use violence against someone to ‘civilize’ them. Even with the best intentions, giving yourself complete power over a disenfranchised population if a recipe for disaster. Fuck, Kurtz at least had the decency to see he was a monster, these people are blindly self-ignorant of their nature.
People like TOMG need to go further down the river and see what these beliefs lead to and what it’s believers are capable of.
Sorry for the literature pretentious wanking, but to me it just seems that Conrad’s work and it’s modern adaptation tells us far more about the nature of morality and evil than the bible. I find it far more powerful and thought provoking.
Hell, even “Lost” has more to offer than that vile “holy” book.
Sadly, Louis, they make special paddles for that particular application. I’m not going to soil my browser by linking, but look up Christian Domestic Discipline and keep a vomit bucket handy. There are one or two parody sites, but a lot of them are all too real (and sell accoutrements to go along with it). Also try googling Prairie Muffins for a weird intersection of that with 1800s pioneer fetish.
Louis, good point. Should I wait until my wife delivers our child before I begin beating it, or would beating her stomach with a rubber hose be good enough?
Ugh. It’s hard to even make snide exaggerated comments about child and spouse abuse without it turning my stomach. I’ve never understood
domesticviolence and I hope I never do.
aratina cage of the OM says
In Georgia for now in a rather moderate area. It was a public middle school that she was attending, but I can’t find any confirmation about such a class online. Alas, I have no other information about it other than what I was told, but it did seem surprising to me, too.
I am horrified to find the library system I work for has three copies of “To Train up Your Child” – all currently checked out. I’ve placed a hold, because I have to see this for myself…
And the best thing? This is not the first time that a parent has beaten their child to death following Pearl’s advice.
Thank you, reverend, on behalf of the children you have helped to save.
Good gravy I wasn’t remotely serious (I think you know that)! I also know about prarie muffins. Aren’t some aspects of history*…erm…lovely?
There’s no way I’d sully my browser with such a search either.
Anyway, as you are clearly a True Christian (TM) (well you answer ;-) ) perhaps you can help me with some questions about the stoning of witches. Do witches like to get stoned in company or are they solitary smokers? Does the same apply to homosexuals? I never understood that element of biblical punishment, I always thought getting stoned was a good thing…
*”History” I think we both know these things still exist in one form or another. Nasty stuff.
Re my 113, I should have not have said “beaten their child to death”: the 4 year-old in question actually died of asphyxiation due to the force with which he had been restrained.
@ KOPD42 #110,
Ah yes, in utero sin prevention. Personally I think you’re a weedy, wet, leftie, soft tosspot. I personally favour the beating of anything with an F in it because after all Eve was female and that starts with an F.
Some of my brethren believe in beating things with an E in them, but that’s just ridiculous fundamentalism and they give moderate religious people a bad name (they’re not True Christians TM either, and I should know, God speaks to me personally during our weekly squash game. Honest.)
You know, I loved my grandmother tremendously, but, when I lived with her, she was definitely a spoil the rod disciplinarian. If we kids were fighting, she’d line us all up and whoop us good. The belt was a popular device, but the switch was the one that instilled the greatest fear.
Richard Pryor did a routine in his 1979 Live In Concert HBO appearance that nailed the switch. I mean, everything about it is dead on, from sending you out to get the stick that’s gonna beat your own ass, to hoping it’ll snow before you get home, to crying by the time you hand it over.
The beatings themselves hurt like hell, but I think what was worse was the fear it instilled. Children shouldn’t be so afraid of a parent or guardian that, when that person calls out their name across a farm, they nearly wet their pants and start trembling and crying. Because you know what’s coming, and it’s never good.
I guess you can forgive people like my grandmother for not knowing any better in the old days, but you definitely don’t forget.
Ray Moscow says
from the book blurb:
Children are people, not mules or working dogs, you stupid moron.
My son is nearing 9 months old, is he too young to be beaten with a rubber hose?
Here’s part of it:
I wish I could kid about this stuff.
There are two ideas that contribute to fundie xian child abuse.
1. We are fallen creatures because of Eve and a talking snake. Children are born evil. They really believe this crap. It is sort of a self fulfilling prophecy.
2. Children are like dogs or mules. They must be trained rather than raised to be functioning human beings.
These people are sick in the head. Glad I wasn’t one of them.
Pierce R. Butler says
Paul Burnett @ # 4 – the first link below is probably the one the DA is investigating (note the entry page declares “This website, as well as any information presented herein, is intended for purposes of education or entertainment only.” Apparently they’ve had legal issues raised before.).
Christian Domestic Discipline is also applicable to wives.
We can only hope the judge requires a complete physical examination of Elizabeth Schatz.
I would love to beat the living daylights out of every adult that uses this kind of “discipline” against a child. Oh, and I would use a rubber hose or a plumber’s pipe, whatever it is they used on their own kids.
Hypatia's Daughter says
Many years ago, when I was in a religious phase, I met a young mother who shamefacedly admitted she no longer attended church because her pious, xtian parents were brutal in their punishment of her & her siblings. “They were harsh – no, as a mother now myself – I will say they were CRUEL to us and would not spare us even when we begged for mercy, citing ‘Honor thy father & they mother’ as they beat us.”
I asked her if they, or anyone at their church, had ever quoted these passages:
Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but raise them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. Eph 6:4
Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged. Col 3:21
She was astonished that they were even in the Bible. Per usual, the adult bastards who wield the Bible as a justification for their brutality cherry pick to avoid the passages addressed to them.
Funny thing, though, Col 3:20 says “Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.” This obeying parents stuff was supposed to go right up through adulthood, until the father died. Do you suppose that men who turn to the Bible to support their authority over their wife & children feel they also owe obedience to their own father until his death? Betcha not!
Tabby Lavalamp says
What’s particularly sad is that none of this comes as a surprise anymore. Stories like this seem to be popping up with frightening regularity.
Religion has done so much damage to people, twisting the concept of “love” in them into something horrific and unrecognizable as “love” to any degree. These are people who believe in a god that sees fit to torture humans for eternity, yet they see that deity as the epitome of “love”.
Fundamentalists accuse atheists of having no moral compass. Frankly, I’d rather have no moral compass than the broken one that they follow into the sickness that kills children.
I allready knew of this book and it’s insane writer.
According to the asshole who wrote that book, you should start with something “soft” and bendy (our prof bendy? ;-) like willow twigs when the child is about 6 months.
Six fecking months, they hit babies!
He shares stories on the website, and one was about him babysitting his grandson.
Not only is he an old vile person and beatings don’t work, he can’t even babysit one child.
He slept the time away, the kid made a mess in the bathroom (luckily nothing worse), gave the dirty kid back to his mother and he left the home to be cleaned by his wife.
I’m no angel and have struck my daughter in anger, but never this idiotic PLANNED violent behaviour. (and i appologized)
Sick stuff endorsed by religion. *puke*
Carlie’s revelation also made me wonder how many autistic kids have been subjected to exorcisms or have been burned at the stake thanks to these ‘cretians.’
Rev. BigDumbChimp says
I should feel guilty about this but this article, as horrible as it is, keeps making a certain line from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation repeat in my mind. Over and over.
A lot of the material in this thread reminds me of my own childhood. My father was a firm believer in wielding the belt to discipline us when we were kids (he also happened to be a staunch Ukrainian catholic btw). We didn’t get beatings for trivial things like crying or mispronouncing words but we did for things like damaging his tools or bringing home bad report cards. I remember once my brother & I getting a whipping for making too much noise when he was trying to watch TV. When he decided a whipping was in order he would take off his belt, hold us down on a chair or bed by the neck and wail away until he was completely exhausted (sweating and out of breath). Between the blows and the screams everybody in the neighborhood knew when we were getting it.
I remember him lecturing us on several occasions about how he didn’t enjoy doing this but it was his god-given duty. I can never forget a story he told us about how his father was once giving him a beating for some infraction and his mother tried to intervene. After watching him writhe and scream under my grandfather’s grasp she finally said, “Please, no more. He’s had enough.” Grandpa turned to her and whipped her once across the face with his belt and told her to keep her opinion to herself. My dad told us this story to illustrate how deeply, seriously he and his father took their heavenly responsibility.
He’s been dead for about 15 years now and my siblings and I have often talked about those days and how we felt/feel about our dad and his child-rearing methods. When we were kids we mostly just feared him. We couldn’t wait to get away from him. After we were older we mostly felt sorry for him. This may be hard to understand but I actually feel so sad for him because he felt so duty-bound to do what must have been a difficult task. I don’t believe for one minute that he ever enjoyed inflicting such pain and I know that he felt a lot of guilt which was offset by his religious convictions. It’s so sad that both he and I (and my siblings) missed out on what could have been so much more fulfilling and enjoyable relationships our entire lives.
I have placed children in Christian foster families that teach intelligent design (not to foster kids, to their own bio kids). Neither of the families use corporal punishment–they’re not allowed to under our regs. And I feel 98% positive that they wouldn’t regardless. They’re good people that sincerely care for children and have provided safe and stable homes to kids in need for years, regardless of what religious motivations they may have. And yes, as an atheist, I would have loved to place those kids in an equally nice and caring atheist family—but there weren’t any available.
I would also love to find a way that something like this won’t ever happen again–for adopted, foster, or natural children. The only ways I can think to do that are to try to change laws (corporal punishment, parenting classes, greater parent support for young families, home checks, etc), try to change public opinion with publicity and outrage re: the parenting books, or try to change people individually by education and awareness.
But for adopted and foster kids, there’s one more possibility: provide other homes to place kids in.
There are over 500,000 children in the foster care system in the US alone, not counting the children available through private adoption agencies or kids like these being adopted internationally. If you want kids placed in non-whacko, non-Dobson-loving, non-Christan homes–BE that home. Or talk your friends into it. I’d be happy to answer questions or provide info if anyone’s interested.
There ARE agencies/workers that will look unfavorably at atheist families wanting to foster/adopt kids. And there IS often a bias towards religious families. Neither of which will change unless there are other options.
I only kid around because, well, I’m at a loss at what else to do when confronted by what I can only describe as evil.*
I find it hard to put myself in the shoes (read: mentality) of someone who thinks like these people. I’m not afraid of (non-physically) disciplining a child but beating them so as to cause harm (and breaking of will constitutes harm in my book) is beyond my ability to empathise with. I understand the “argument” these people try to make, I can’t for a second understand being convinced by it or actually acting on it.
*Apart from the obvious opposition etc.
frog, Inc. says
@Blondin: This may be hard to understand but I actually feel so sad for him because he felt so duty-bound to do what must have been a difficult task. I don’t believe for one minute that he ever enjoyed inflicting such pain and I know that he felt a lot of guilt which was offset by his religious convictions
I find that hard to believe. He must have gotten some satisfaction out of it — if it was so repellent to him, he would have abandoned his religious beliefs.
One believes what one must believe, I guess.
It’s surprising to see such a serious printing error these days. The title is obviously supposed to be “To beat up a child.” Or is this one of those goofy mistranslation from the Aramaic errors that crops up now and then.
I find that hard to believe. He must have gotten some satisfaction out of it — if it was so repellent to him, he would have abandoned his religious beliefs.
Keep in mind that one of the paragons of virtue in the old teatament was being ready and willing to murder you own son if God orders it.
Peter H says
@ Blind Squirrel #55.
That would be a priceless parody if it weren’t so palpably possible with some folks.
The Pint says
@ Blondin #128 – Thanks for sharing that, your post actually made me tear up a little. It speaks very highly of you that after enduring all that, you’re able to feel sympathy for your father and feel sadness for what your relationship might have been like had he not raised you the way he did.
According to the Remnant Fellowship you should use glue sticks, apparently they don’t leave as many marks.
I just got the following reply from Amazon. Basically, they’re saying that choosing not to carry a given book amounts to censorship…..
Thank you for writing to Amazon.co.uk with your concerns about one of the titles we list in our catalogue.
This is an issue we take very seriously and we wanted to share with you our goals with respect to our catalogue.
Our goal is to support freedom of expression and to provide customers with the broadest selection possible so they can find, discover and buy any title they might be seeking. That selection may include titles, which some people, may find distasteful or otherwise objectionable.
Amazon.co.uk believes it is censorship not to offer for sale certain titles with repugnant or distasteful content, and we would be rightly criticised if we did so. As a result, we will continue to make controversial works available in the UK and everywhere else, except where they are prohibited by law.
Furthermore, because we strongly believe that the appropriate response to distasteful or repugnant speech is not censorship, but more speech, we will continue to allow readers, authors, and publishers to express their views freely about the books and other products we offer on our website. It is important to note that we do not endorse any opinions expressed by individual authors, musical artists, or filmmakers.
We value all feedback from our customers, and I thank you again for taking the time to send us your comments about this issue.
We hope you will allow us to continue to serve you.
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Blind Squirrel FCD says
Comments have been deleted at the link given by PZ and new ones are now held in limbo. *Sigh*, it was fun for a while.
Julie Stahlhut says
Wow, that is some disturbed and disturbing stuff. Followed Carlie’s link to the “Babywise” fiasco — the authors of that one pretty much advocate starving your baby, both literally and in the emotional sense.
What’s going to happen to these kids as they grow up? Underfed, beaten, and deprived of emotional contact — this is a disaster waiting to happen, both on an individual and a societal scale.
The really sick and sad things?
1) As someone noted, this is far from the first time that the Pearls’ instructions have led to the death of a child when used as directed. (I’ve written rather extensively on the Pearls and their promotion of religiously motivated child abuse, in fact.)
2) This is in fact part of a systematic culture of religiously motivated child and spousal abuse that includes systematic, religiously motivated child abuse in institutional facilities such as “faith based” alternatives to legitimate psychiatric care facilities as well as a dedicated “parallel economy” promoted within dominionist circles that insulates children from mandatory reporters as well as lobbyists who work to strip existing protections.
Yes, it’s little known, but the reason the US is the SOLE country with a functional government who is not a signatory to the Convention on the Rights of the Child is because dominionist lobbying groups and their pet Congresscritters have successfully blocked ratification for decades. Literally using the line that it’d be illegal to beat kids. This is because the Convention has proven a successful tool to fight religiously motivated child abuse in countries with weak laws that protect religious abusers.
These same groups are also increasingly–and disturbingly–promoting dominionist “homeschool” correspondence-school education (and going to fundamentalist-friendly doctors, “Christian Counselors“, and naturopaths) as a specific means to isolate kids from anyone who could potentially be a mandatory reporter who would follow the law. (Unfortunately, ministers tend to be supporters–and in cases where kids do report abuse, quite often ministers end up being co-abusers.)
(Full disclosure: I myself am a survivor of religiously motivated child abuse of this type and am in a working group in the stages of forming a nonprofit to assist women and children in escaping from relationships where religiously motivated domestic abuse occurs. I am also in a preparatory stage of writing a book specifically on religiously motivated child abuse in fundamentalist Baptist and neopentecostal/charismatic groups.)
Bigot: from Old English ‘bi God’ (German ‘bei Gott’); derogatory term applied by the French to Norman missionaries.
Cretin: from Swiss French ‘creitin’ or ‘crestin’ (modern French ‘chretien’); synonym for Christian, “a human being though an idiot.”
Basically, they’re saying that choosing not to carry a given book amounts to censorship…..
Is this the same company that didn’t include books that mentioned GLBT themes in their listing of most popular books? Funny how sensitive they’ve suddenly become.
This hits home because my son just turned 3 1/2. Last week he was diagnosed with pink eye, and the treatment involves eye drops 3 times a day.
Of course, Evan hates the drops, and he started off fighting us, so the first couple of days involved holding him tightly while he squirmed and tried to pull away. According to Pearl & co, I should have beaten him until he was more afraid of me than of getting the drops in his eyes.
Of course, without Pearl’s advice, I just had to do as I felt best and feel my way through the process, so I spent quite a bit of time, holding him and letting him calm down again. I let Evan have some control over the process (“Do you want drops before or after breakfast?, Do you want to sit on your bed, or sit on your fire truck?”). I seem to recall that stickers were involved too.
On day 4, he came to me and said, “Daddy, I’m ready for my eye drops now.” And he walked into his room and looked up. And he held still until after I put the drops in both eyes. Then he ran to his mother and yelled “Guess what, Mommy! I didn’t squirm!”
Apparently, according to Pearl, I did this all wrong, because Evan isn’t cowering in fear of me. I ended up spending the next half hour playing Swiper the Fox while he was Dora and his mom was Boots. And he spent his bath time teaching me the alphabet
Haley @16 : No, they were not necessarily investigated or passed on by any authority.
Illegal/undocumented adoptions happen all the time.
Note the recent case in Haiti. trafficking in children is not unheard of.
As someone who was routinely beaten as a child, for the same reason as those lousy dirty criminal fucks put forth in that hell-screed of a book, I want to go where they are and impose the same “punishment” they put on their children. Were there any justice in the world, every time some parent “switched” their child like the Pearls recommend, a giant would appear and exact the same pain on them, in proportion. Someone to teach them to fear, as they theme selves are feared. Someone to make them cringe.
But then, I realize this is just the ghost of my own violent upbringing, and I try to not think like this.
My son is nearing 9 months old, is he too young to be beaten with a rubber hose?
No, there is no such thing as “too young”. You should carry on beating him until he is big enough to hit back.
frog, Inc. says
simonator: Keep in mind that one of the paragons of virtue in the old teatament was being ready and willing to murder you own son if God orders it.
If you take that sort of thing directly, and not as “symbolic” via some sort of apologia, you are a sadist — the underlying principle of life is sadism and masochism.
You show love to your children by torturing them. You recognize parental love by being tortured. Your essential relationship to the universe is one of pain-exchange.
It’s an essential part of your character.
“It hurts me more than it hurts you” is true in a perverse way — as a sadomasochist, your satisfaction is a measure of how much pain you receive. So it’s literally true that your satisfaction in beating your children “hurts you more than it hurts them.” The kids haven’t learned that perversion yet.
You can have “decent intentions” and yet be a monster, if you are raised in a monstrous world.
…what the Romans did to them, they are now doing to their children.
On the brighter side, I guess we can be thankful that lions make expensive pets.
frog, Inc. says
DLC: Were there any justice in the world, every time some parent “switched” their child like the Pearls recommend, a giant would appear and exact the same pain on them, in proportion. Someone to teach them to fear, as they theme selves are feared. Someone to make them cringe.
But you see, in their world, there is such a giant. Every time they suffer, they see a giant just like that is meeting out that punishment. They literally perceive that (it’s not an intellectual construct).
They are recreating such a psychology in their children. A broken will — a life of pain and suffering — cringing every day in fear, while trying to reproduce that in others.
Why do you think that western monotheism incubated among slaves?
Abdul Alhazred says
David Marjanović says
What I really don’t get is the moronic idea of beating someone to make them stop crying. Hello? It hurts, and pain triggers crying. TSIB.
Michael Pearl needs to have his day in court for incitement to murder.
I don’t think “think” is the right word here.
David Marjanović says
Norman what now?
This originated as a term of sympathy and has to do with the “fool of God” concept.
Hypatia's Daughter says
#145 frog, Inc.
A haunting line from “Sleeping with the Enemy”. The husbands beats his wife for every tiny infraction (like a towel hung crooked on the towel bar) ‘for her own good.’ “I am just correcting you.” he says. “You don’t think I enjoy it?” “No, of course not,” she responds, “that would make you a monster!”
The advice to use objects to beat children instead of your hand makes me nauseous. You can’t hit hard enough with a hand to leave marks without hurting yourself. A stinging slap would be punishment enough for most kids. But, nope, they recommend using objects that shield the adult from pain while rationalizing that it causes less harm and doesn’t leave marks. The art of the torturer – pain without permanent injury as evidence. (This is one reason that water boarding is the torture of choice – the most extreme of terror and damage (it carries the risk of brain damage) but no scars, no broken bones as evidence!)
frog, Inc. says
@jphands: Amazon.co.uk believes it is censorship not to offer for sale certain titles with repugnant or distasteful content, and we would be rightly criticised if we did so. As a result, we will continue to make controversial works available in the UK and everywhere else, except where they are prohibited by law.
That’s really funny — they’re against censorship when it’s arguably not censorship, but they’re for censorship when it’s unarguably censorship!
It’s always 1984, ain’t it?
Free Lunch says
Dear twits at Amazon:
You are not the government. You have no power to censor. You are a private business. If you choose to sell hateful material it is only a commercial choice. It has nothing to do with censorship. You are free to be greedy, but wrapping your greed in bunting makes me sick.
Arakasi1 – thanks for that lovely story. i needed that after all the horrors related here.
About the age to spank;
The whole site has a starsystem, i treat it as if it’s a poll, help to pharyngulate it!
This is the crux of the whole problem right there. A six-month-old has his own preferences on what to eat! It’s almost like he’s becoming an actual person with his own thoughts and desires! Yet it’s not seen by them as a good thing, as the first step in learning how to make decisions and express opinions, two very important skills for adults to have. No, it’s a terrible thing because what that child is doing is asserting his own will rather than acquiescing to what the parents want. Should the child throw food on the floor? No. What does the child need? To learn how to express what he wants and what his issues are with what is being presented without resorting to tossing the linguine at the wall. What does the child learn when he’s slapped when he throws food on the floor? He learns not just to leave the food on the table, but he learns that expressing his own desires is a scary, bad thing that will hurt him. Yeah, that’s not a recipe for lifelong issues.
Teaching children that their own desires and opinions will get them physically hurt will produce obedient children in the short run, but will make them into adults who are entirely incapable of living their own lives. Which I guess fundamentalists describe as a feature, not a bug.
This is a link to an essay by Barbara Kingsolver on toddlers, discipline, and that tricky issue of self-will. I first read it when I had difficult toddlers of my own, and I wept at the insight because I had literally never thought of it that way before – my upbringing was so steeped in that same fundamentalist mindset (without the physical abuse aspect) that it honestly never occurred to me that what was happening was the primary differentiation into finding one’s own way in life. Basic to a lot of people I’m sure, but from being raised in an environment of strict religious authoritarianism? Groundbreaking. I wish the people like those in the post would start looking at their children as people, not as extensions of themselves.
What really gets me is that people would most likely identify as “pro-life”, even after killing a child. Fundies seem to stop caring about life as soon as it actually starts.
Frog inc. I was more thinking of me showing up and letting “Daddy” have it in the ankle with a 13mm rebar. while no biblical giant, at 195 cm and some 135kg I’m rather large. Yes, you’re right. they’re just passing on abuse from their invisible dragon, and in no small part doing unto others what was done unto them. A thing I wouldn’t actually do because I am civilized. I have progressed out of the bronze age which spawned such vile habits, as they should themselves but have not the courage to do so. Something else I see much of in the sample of the work — a lot of justifying language.
“They need it” , “I have to do it” and “god commands it”. All excuses to provide cover for what they very well know is wrong. The idea of a million or so children being so treated makes me ill.
” A flexible instrument will sting without bruising or causing internal damage. ”
Might aswell say-
” …without leaving any external evidence that you are abusing your child. ”
Someone up thread mentioned what kind of world will we see when these kids grow up. We’re living in it. Back two generations ago, this type of child abuse was normal, praiseworthy even, it took a bunch of hippies turning to Dr. Spock and other resources to slowly pull away into an age where many kids may even grow up without physical or emotional abuse (I’m one).
But the waking wounded, that’s the world we live in. Emotionally abused, stunted adults, children of alcoholics, children who were beat by their fathers (and it almost always is fathers), children who watched in silence while their fathers beat their mothers. It didn’t just go away either, these are the family values that the religious right preaches. Women and children are property and the measure by which a man proves his dominance and control.
And in case you think this hyperbole, look up something called “Parental Rights” that the religious right has been trying to push for awhile now. Like many of their euphemisms like pro-life or family-oriented, it has little to do with its subject and basically serves to try and legalize acts like those committed by the parents noted in this thread by making anything (especially corporal punishment) legal when it is done to one’s personal children.
You see it also in fundie child-rearing culture. The children are only useful in as far as they retain the culture and values of their parents. If they deviate, they are sin-bound and punished and if they leave, even if it’s just leaving the church or the brand of church or just having the indecency of turning out gay and not the family itself, they are cut out from any and all support both emotional and financial as well as the support of the only circle of friends they were allowed.
My partner’s grandfather was big in this cycle, though the catholic variant. He believed he owned his wife and children. He emotionally abused them, he beat them with belts, he made them hide anything that happened from anyone else and forbid them relationships outside the family because they wouldn’t understand.
Two generations my partner is just starting to undo the intense psychological damage that left on the family, finally untangling the guilt-induced automatic triggers and the way her mind betrays her when stressed. She went to a meeting for children of alcoholics and abusives, she was one of the lucky ones. Her aunts and uncles and mother, one generation from the lash and abuse, were not so lucky. Most are only subfunctional, unable to make friends outside the family, few able to marry or fall in love, fewer able to trust anyone or even enjoy simple pleasures or hobbies all of their own.
The thing is for these horrendous shitstains is that if one wants dominance, control, there are few better methods than sustained torture and abuse. You can make someone say anything, believe anything, be as meek and quiet and out of the way as you want. We’re social animals, key word being animals, and through torture one can reduce a beautiful thinking human into something like a beat dog, willing to jump at its own shadow and cower in fear at a Pavlovian response.
It’s a great method for that, but for raising actual full people, able to be fully their own? It’s horrible and that should be noted. These purported people have no interest in raising people for this world. They want slaves, animals, things to reassure them that their worldview is right and they don’t have to think anymore.
They want to take all of the potential of humanity and reduce it to pliable playdoh so that they’ll be “right” and surrounded by people who agree. In this we see just how religion ends up child abuse so often, especially in evangelical cultures where the number on the pew matters more than how they got there.
It’s enough that I wish there was an actual afterlife, presided by a true god of infallible justice.
What next? Thuggee nooses? That’d help keep control, I guess.
Shadow-spouse and I raised Shadow-ling without hitting. The kid turned out fine. When Shadow-ling was old enough to discuss things (talk, even) we’d go over the choices/consequences. Misbehave, the games (big video games addict) got locked up and Shadow-ling could be bored. Behave, and we might even all play the games together (fun). Positive and negative enforcement.
I remember a tantrum — I mocked Shadow-ling’s efforts with “can’t you do better than that?” which got me a look from the kid as if I were nuts. Stopped the tantrums, though. I think it embarrassed the kid.
To be so warped and twisted as to beat a child to death? They should be jailed — general population.
In response to what to call these twisted, sick,’people’ — Republicans?
Surely not. And I’m sure that wasn’t at all one of the considerations when dictating what it was “biblically appropriate” to beat someone with. Nope, nosiree.
Especially not coming from a parenting and religious tradition that often also posits that that as long as no one knows about something happening it didn’t. No one knows you’ve been fucked in the ass repeatedly to “preserve your virginity” and the “evidence” of virginity is “preserved”, yup, must be one of those clean pure girls who avoided the road of perversion and lust. Are a man so no one can prove you impregnated that one girl whose belly is swelling, join the chorus in calling for her stoning. Manage to sneak in the back door to get an abortion without your church group seeing, it never happened, join the front lines the next day to protest the same clinic with not a single feeling of hypocrisy sticking to you. No one is willing to say that they noticed your wife’s sudden taste for heavy makeup and dark glasses and what that means, of course it never happened and you’re a fine moral member of the community and a proud “family man”.
I’ve grown up largely adjacent to this sick culture. First my best friend who was raised fundie and then my partner who was raised abused catholic. It’s made me fanatical about the idea of honesty and being open. Seeing these worlds of secrets and hiding the pure evil in these little margins of acceptability makes me wish there was a device that could force everyone, at least for a day to be fully honest at the very least to themselves away from the layers of lies and justifications and “no one knows”es.
And then I wish for a pony for all the good wishes does and get back to world creating the type of honest society and open society where people can speak up about what has happened to them without fear and where the people who used to hide in notions of “polite society” become more and more repulsive to the culture at large.
Because what else can you do against such evils?
frog, Inc. says
Cerberus: Someone up thread mentioned what kind of world will we see when these kids grow up. We’re living in it. Back two generations ago, this type of child abuse was normal, praiseworthy even, it took a bunch of hippies turning to Dr. Spock and other resources to slowly pull away into an age where many kids may even grow up without physical or emotional abuse (I’m one).
I think you’re looking at it too short term.
We’re at the long end of a multi-century unravelling of “Western Civilization” — which is essentially the Mediterranean slave societies of the Iron Age.
For the last 2500 years — throughout a huge swath of Eurasia and Africa — most people have been slaves. Proper adaptation was early adaptation to being beaten, humiliated and dominated throughout life. To not being an autonomous being, but an extension of the local lords — from ancient Greece to 15th century England.
If you read material on modernism — back in 1800 people were already having this discussion between “permissive” parenting and disciplining. It’s the most conservative aspect of culture (for obvious reasons), and so takes the longest to undo.
Everything about us depends on this. Someone beaten from the age of 6 months is a person who can be a slave, a serf, join a lynch-mob, rape & pillage, and meekly accept that a monstrously corrupt priest speaks for a just God.
In a century or two, it won’t be merely abnormal, but monstrous in the US & the rest of the Americas; in many parts of Europe, it already is.
And Christianity and Islam will fade to Unitarianism — think how already, many mainline churches would have been considered radical unitarianism a century ago.
Hypatia's Daughter says
The sad thing is that it ISN’T defiance. How is a an infant, a young child, supposed to communicate when it has no words to express itself; nor the physical skills to manage its environment (like the ability to carefully move the bowl to the table without dropping it on the floor)?
When my daughter was 3-4 yrs old, she pulled all the leaves off my favorite plant. A horrified parent asked if I punished her. Nope. As I pointed out, how was she to know this was ‘wrong’ and would kill the plant until I taught her? It wasn’t defiance; it wasn’t malicious; it was an act of absorbed curiosity done in ignorance.
And it takes time for children to learn these lessons. Beating an infant or 2 year old with objects because they are obeying your spoken words after you told them once or twice isn’t just brutal and vile – it is lousy parenting.
Hypatia’s Daughter – exactly. A child expressing his or her needs isn’t being defiant; as the saying goes, It’s Not About You (speaking to the parent). The child is expressing what they need, not actively trying to do something that is against the will of their parent.
frog, Inc. says
HD: The sad thing is that it ISN’T defiance.
It is defiance and self-will, if you define those as any action taken without knowledge that they’ve been pre-approved by authority.
You just don’t get the authoritarian mindset. Anything that isn’t explicitly legal is illegal.
Remember, in their religion ignorance can damn you to eternal suffering.
No one takes these people religion truly seriously. They mean what they say — they’re not the last leaves of autumn like the moderates who don’t actually believe but are simply going through the motions of ancient and forgotten rituals. For fundies — if they didn’t have the babble, they would write it.
I looked at the throwing things on the floor stage as my little scientist testing gravity. Yup, still works today (I would reassure adoring relatives that he was checking that regularly). Learning about repeatability at an early age. Or maybe they’re just not hungry, but can’t possibly have them actually deciding THAT for themselves, according to these people.
I found a similar volume on discipline at our local library. It is irritating the way they either identify permissive parenting or their ‘God’ driven parenting (authoritarian). If they’d read any parenting books written recently, they might find a middle ground called authoritative parenting.
frog, Inc. says
I once received as a gag a book found at a garage sale on infant rearing. It was produced circa 1930 by the Department of Labor of the USA.
It’s guidelines included breastfeeding on a schedule, every 8 hours — yes, you were supposed to starve infants. You also were to potty train your infant by the age of 9 months.
How, you may ask, since infants lack neuromuscular control of their sphincters? By shoving a bar of soap into their anus at a set schedule. Yes — life long damage to the anus, rectum and lower intestines was the government approved method of instilling discipline.
You were also supposed to leave your child hanging in a bag in a darkened room for most of the day.
And folks wonder how WWII happened. Or the conquest of the Americas. Or the Crusades.
Hypathia and Carlie:
Exactly correct. Young children (until they are talking, but even then their understanding is limited) require patience to find out their needs.
Pre-talking, the only way to get ‘their message’ across is limited. Tantrums are a result of frustration (though, they sometime see this as a control issue — see mocking comment to Shadow-ling. Kid vented in a store (he could talk and converse, so not the only outlet) thinking to get kid’s way — found out it didn’t work) at the early age I’m working with. The child can only cry (remember, pre-speach) so it is the ADULT who must find out the problem.
Patience will work, beating only causes the child to repress and, in the long run, either distrust authority or shut off their brain. Neither result is good.
frog, Inc. says
HD: Funny thing, though, Col 3:20 says “Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.” This obeying parents stuff was supposed to go right up through adulthood, until the father died. Do you suppose that men who turn to the Bible to support their authority over their wife & children feel they also owe obedience to their own father until his death? Betcha not!
That was Roman law. The Father had the right to, if necessary, use capital punishment. As long as he was alive, you were a slave in essence.
Of course, he also was responsible for your debts and behaviors — he was your master.
We’re still trying to break the chains of ancient Rome.
“To Train Up a Child” distinguishes between disciplining a child and causing pain. You must inflict pain and tell the child you’re doing it because you love them so much to get them to obey (and quit misspelling words). By the way, the Pearls point out that their method also works even for godless atheists.
Some of the problems occurred because the Bible must be taken literally. “Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.” (Proverbs 23:13) Rehoboam suggested using a scourge rather than a whip (or rubber hose). Above all, the important thing is the love you display to your children by inflicting pain.
Maybe the treating of children like nonpersons who have no will of their own in this way is what leads to situations like this, which is mind-boggling in its assumptions of authority and violation of privacy.
(link is to a boingboing story about a school district in PA that is being sued because they issued laptop computers to every high school student in the district, then secretly used the webcams on the computers to spy on the kids and their families at home.)
Shadow @ 171: Sign-language is another option. Current neuro research in child development is showing us that kids are absorbing and understanding language far earlier than they are able to express language. But infants and toddlers do have the hand-eye coordination to learn very basic signs to begin to communicate their needs.
Cerberus @ 164: “Parental rights” is an issue that goes back and forth in child welfare frequently. Currently, in my state, there is a push (and a recent legal precedent) that overturns “child’s best interest” for “parent’s inherent right.” It’s a frustrating and very disturbing trend, IMO, and it’s already changed certain aspects of my work with kids drastically.
I was just going to mention sign-language but you beat me to it. It’s working great for us and our 15-month-old daughter. She started communicating with us by 9 months and now she has a huge signing vocabulary.
This is disgusting. I have no words, and others have spoken far more eloquently on the subject of those poor children than I can. All I can say is that I hope the phrase “what goes around comes around” is true and swift in their case. Hateful, horrible people.
I’m sorry, but I don’t understand the blurb on the book. Why would anyone want their kids to be totally obedient? What’s the fucking point? Kids are supposed to learn and have ideas of their own and experience life in their own way. If you want total obedience, why not just get a child-sized mannequin instead of procreating? That way you have total obedience, can beat the shit out of it as much as you want, and I bet you could even drag it to church and teach it about Jeebus. By the time they’re finished with indoctrinating the hell out of them, they will pretty much resemble a mannequin anyway, at least on an intellectual level.
@ 137: “Amazon.co.uk believes it is censorship not to offer for sale certain titles with repugnant or distasteful content, and we would be rightly criticised if we did so. As a result, we will continue to make controversial works available in the UK and everywhere else, except where they are prohibited by law.”
This is hilariously hypocritical, considering the snafu with the LGBT tags they had recently. Also, just last week, Amazon got into a fight with author Sharon Kay Penman’s publisher about Kindle rights. In retaliation, they pulled not only all of her Kindle books from their inventory, but several of her physical copies as well. IIRC, SKP wasn’t the only author affected by this, but she’s the one I remember because she’s my favorite author and she mentioned it on her Facebook page. (I can’t figure out the HTML to make the clicky link: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#!/profile.php?v=feed&story_fbid=280990589443&id=1660007719). Amazon got its knickers untwisted eventually, but it goes to show that they are quite happy and willing to use strongarm techniques when they’re not getting their own way.
If religion would not be used to inflict pain on children (to supposedly achieve unquestioning obedience to authorities) there would be no need for this website:
“. Above all, the important thing is the love you display to your children by inflicting pain.”
The only people it’s acceptable to use pain to display love for are those who’ve picked out their own safe word.
Peter H says
“To summarize the summary of the summary, people are a problem.” (HHGttG)
Yes, that’s glib, and in the light of above, it’s one of few generally useful reactions to such horrors in the land. It would seem there’s little groundswell for any structured redress of the wrongs outlined above nor for the prevention of future ghastlies like them.
According to these people, my mom raised my sister and I in about the worst way possible. First of all, horror of horrors, she was a single parent from the time my sister was 1. She never took us to church. Not only did she never hit us in any way, but she always rushed to our cribs the second we started crying. I have no idea how she did it, but she didn’t use the word “no” until we were rather old- we never screamed NO!!! as toddlers and had to use more words to convey displeasure. Her response to tantrums, which was rare for me and common for my stubborn sister, was to give us whatever we wanted, within reason, or distract us. (or trick us into thinking we got what we wanted. she was really good at that.)
We were good kids. (Well, we are good kids I guess- this is my first year away from home and my sister is in high school) My dad tried to discipline my sister, but her will could not be broken. Maybe if he’d beat the shit out of her she would of relented, but then she wouldn’t be the free-thinking, assertive, opinionated girl she is today. She’d just be housebroken.
Of course, these people don’t want outspoken freethinking kids. They want sheep. It makes me sick, and it makes me want to wait to have kids until I know I can be the parent my children would deserve.
Um, Ron @ 173…let’s leave “the love you display by inflicting pain” to consenting adults who are into that sort of stuff.
I have a whole collection of material from the authors of “No Greater Joy” somewhere in my basement, along with all the Growing Kids God Way and other material by Gary Ezzo, who is only slightly less harsh. My wife is a vigilant watchdog for this stuff at any church she is involved with. If she encounters any of it in Bible Studies or Church Libraries, she arranges a meeting with the pastor to make sure that he understands what these people are about. To their credit, most pastors are horrified when they find out that materials marketed to Christians as helping to raise a moral family advocate such harsh punishments. It’s such slick packaging that churches will have whole programs running on the material before they find out what these people advocate. If they actually read the material,most pastors will pull the material and any recommendations immediately. If they don’t, well, our kids aren’t going anywhere near them or anyone involved in their church!
Eventually, she had to take herself of the mailing lists. It just made her sick to her stomach to have that garbage coming into the house month after month.
re Christian groups in New Zealand demanding the right to physically hurt children (Xenithrys @ #57)
in the US:
the same article (pdf) mentions other countries:
@ Free Lunch:
Sorry, but I agree with Amazon. Censorship is censorship, regardless of which organization does it or where they sit in the national framework. The idea that if a company/corporation/NGO/business does it then its different doesn’t make sense. If an ISP blocks internet sites, its a blow to freedom of speech. The nation is not just the government but the totality of the government and the activities of society, including free enterprise, private companies controlling infrastructure and the dissemination of media and information.
Besides, even if Amazon did stop distributing the book, it would still exist and be sold through other channels.
The question is, is this book LEGAL?
Having challenged Amazon, and got that reply, I did a bit of further digging. I was unable to find anything nasty (that I could think of!) that Amazon did not have for sale. I didn’t have the courage, or perhaps the imagination, to delve into the deeper realms of porn or violence.
Maybe a more apposite question is how to challenge the legality of books like that, and even how to get people like that up in front of a trial.
That book tells people how to abuse children. It tells them it is their duty to abuse children. And child abuse is illegal. So, couldn’t one argue from a incitement to criminal actions point of view that the book is illegal? And, given one finds a prosecutor, would this be a way to pin charges on the authors?
Pierce R. Butler says
jphands @ # 186: I was unable to find anything nasty (that I could think of!) that Amazon did not have for sale.
I wonder how many lists I just got myself on for giving that a test drive. Jesus fuck it, they’ve got The Anarchist’s Cookbook, and even how-to guides from Paladin Press. [B–O]
(No, I did not have the nerve to hunt for bibliopedophilia. Will save the online search for same until I burgle some prominent Republican’s house.)
Pierce R. Butler says
Whilst contemplating my own insanity/ballsiness for commenting in the mode of # 188, under my own name yet (does that entitle me to even greater incivility when I want?), and without so much as an emoticonal disclaimer, it occurred to me that there are probably any number (>0) of prominent Republican households from which pedophiliac materials and searches are, um, interacted with online in my absence.
Therefore, for the record: ;-)
Tangential: I took a course in “Child Safety” at a Catholic Church / School so I might volunteer with children. They should have called the course “We don’t mind if you are suspected of inappropriate behavior with kids, but don’t get the Church in trouble.”