If you don't believe me, just ask Pastor Barry W. Barnett, 43, from Wisconsin who has been arrested for spanking his 12-year-old son for lying. The father has been released on a $10,000 bond but could face up to 3 years in prison if found guilty of felony charges of abuse against his children.
What is most interesting about this case is that the 12-year-old son has publicly thanked his father for spanking him and his daughter has been seen standing outside the courthouse holding a sign that says, "Thank you for spanking me dad." Nonetheless, the actions taken by the father are viewed as abusive and going too far.
This case and the gradual spread of similar cases and beliefs around the country has some important implications worth discussing.
One implication is it reveals the cultures true colors as it relates to parenting, parental rights, and children. What is interesting about this case is the response by Pastor Barnett's children. Both the son and the daughter have expressed gratitude towards their father for his "abusive," behavior. Even at their age, they see the benefit of his actions.
But more importantly, the children do not view their father as abusive, but loving. The words and actions taken by these children reveal this conviction. No daughter who believes they are being abused upon having their father arrested would stand outside of a court house in protest thanking their abusive father for "beating" them. No. Rather, a daughter who knows that her father deeply loves her, cares for her, wants the best for her, and would never harm her nor put her in harms way does something like this.
This case reveals what our culture really thinks about parenting the rights of parents. We used to be a country that trusted each parent with the responsibility of raising their children and gave each parent the freedom to raise their own child. Now, however, government has become a spy cam, a watch dog, always seeking to prosecute and remove children from their parents for various reasons.
At this point, it should be made clear that abused children should not remain in abusive homes. I am not arguing that right now. What I am arguing is the fundamental attitude of the culture and of government that says that we will be allowed to be parents so long as we go along with the criteria set by those in state capitals and in Washington.
As a result, every child now has an extra parent: the government. Plato would be proud. In fact, Plato argued that children should be removed from their parents virtually from birth. He believed that parents were dangerous and ran the danger of indoctrinating their children with the wrong ideas. He feared that parents didn't really know what they were doing and so could not be trusted with the responsibility. Therefore, he wanted to remove children from their parents and place them in an institution where they will be raised by the "philosophers," that is, those "qualified," and able to raise them.
I fear that we are dangerously getting close to living out that dream. Public schools have taken children away from their parents and they now spend more time in the presence and under the responsibility of state run schools than they do their parents. Very few parents even know what is going on in and what their child is taught at school.
Furthermore, the growing trend of women in the workforce has affected this trend. I am not against women working, but I do believe that home is more important. It would be better to live a mediocre life (financially speaking) and make one's primary focus on the raising of a family than to live a more "successful" life (financially speaking again) and have very little concern and influence on the raising of one's children. Sadly, whenever women went to work, our culture left the raising of children to someone else. And the result hasn't been good.
Another trend that has contributed to this is the mass exodus of men from the home. Men aren't as involved in the raising of their families as much as they used to be. The father used to both disciplined and provide for his family. This mass exodus, for whatever the reasons and there are many, has led to the role of government to replace the traditional role of the father.
Also, this exodus has led to the increasing trend of children growing up to be...well...wimps. Men are leaving along with their sternness and form of discipline. Similarly, with the exodus of men came the belief that their forms of discipline, specifically spanking, were abusive. With the rise of psychologists in a sissified cultured came the belief that not only is spanking not needed, it is morally wrong.
Therefore, those who spank are abusive and must be stopped. And as this though continues to grow influence among politicians and the "elites," legislation is being passed, parents are being arrested, and "justice," is being done. As a result, parents are virtually given permission to raise their children from the hand of government and psychology.
This is a dangerous trend. Though many may not describe their parental authority in this way, even worse, most remain unaware of this trend, this is exactly what is happening. If the government or psychology views the actions taken by parents to be abusive or wrong, then government has the authority to replace the parents with someone else.
We see this trend in various ways. Perhaps the clearest example is in the public school. Parents, for the most part, have very limited say in the education their children received. Even worse, parents have accepted this limitation and adopt it. Therefore, schools can now take their students on "field trips" celebrating the marriage of their female teacher to their lesbian spouse. And to object to this action taken by the school is viewed as wrong and closed minded.
In the end, what we see is the cultural understanding of parenting. Parents are no longer free to parent. They are free to only raise their children as the culture sees fit, and that is not freedom at all.
Secondly, it reveals the clear lack of understanding of the truth nature of children and in men in general. One of the clear differences in the worldviews between liberals and conservatives is their view of human nature. Liberals traditionally see man as ultimately good. Conservatives see man as ultimately evil.
Christians, traditionally, believe that man is evil as a result of the fall. This understanding is called Original Sin. It says that all human beings inherit the sinful nature born out of the fall of Adam and Eve. Therefore, every person has a bent towards sin.
As a result of this sin nature, God must overcome this nature by first redeeming the individual. he does this by Justification and Sanctification. The parents role, it is understood, is to lead the child to Christ and to guide them on the road of sanctification. This process involves discipline.
Since each child is born with a sin nature, modern attempts to correct a child's behavior fall short. As I have said many times before, giving a child time-out only gives the child a chance to rest in order to start all over again.
In short, modern psychology and modern trends in discipline simply doesn't work. Why? Because it fails to deal with the real issue of human nature: sin. Discipline is to prevent sin from solely taking control of the individual. Both God disciplines, and so parents are to discipline. Parents are to model God, not culture.
One of the primary reasons I believe in spanking is because it works, while at the same time, at the end of the day the child, when it is done right, does not feel abused but loved. Spanking works, time-outs don't. This does not mean that alternative means of discipline shouldn't be used or practice. But I can usually tell between the children that are spanked and the children that are given time-outs. One is usually obedient, the other isn't.
Since spanking works and it is not abusive (thought it can be. But it must be pointed out that other forms of discpline can be turned into abuse, not just spanking. The issue isn't the discipline, but how it is administered), I will be spanking my child with the love of Christ and the love of a father in my heart. Not because I am angry, but because I love him.
As my heavenly Father disciplines me for my foolishness and disobedience, so I will displine my son after the example given me by God. And I would much rather mimic my Heavenly Father, than anything presented in the culture.
Blogizomai - Update: Breaking The Law By Spanking Your Children
Shortblogizomai - The Lunacy of Anti-Spanking Experts