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Monday, January 10, 2005

Spanking for Jesus.

Globe Staff Photo / John TlumackiFront page of this morning's Boston Globe:

On a spring day, Susan Lawrence was flipping through a magazine, Home School Digest, when she came across an advertisement that took her breath away. In it, "The Rod," a $5 flexible whipping stick, was described as the "ideal tool for child training."

"Spoons are for cooking, belts are for holding up pants, hands are for loving, and rods are for chastening," read the advertisement she saw nearly two years ago for the 22-inch nylon rod. It also cited a biblical passage, which instructs parents not to spare the ''rod of correction."

The ad shocked Lawrence, a Lutheran who home-schools her children and opposes corporal punishment. She began a national campaign to stop what she sees as the misuse of the Bible as a justification for striking children. She also asked the federal government to deem The Rod hazardous to children, and ban the sale of all products designed for spanking. Lawrence says striking children violates the Golden Rule from the Gospel of Matthew in the New Testament: "In everything do to others as you would have them do to you."

("Sale of Spanking Tool Points Up Larger Issue," Patricia Wen, Boston Globe 1.10.05)

Copyright © 2005 by Philocrites | Posted 10 January 2005 at 8:32 AM

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January 10, 2005 12:01 PM | Permalink for this comment

I think the best/worst part of the story was:

"Another reason he is halting production, he said, is that the company that makes the cushioned grips for the rods has pulled out of the venture."

Which maybe indicates some people are applying the rod a bit too liberally, if they have to be concerned about having a comfortable hold while smacking (sorry, applying God's righteous wrath) their kids around.


January 10, 2005 12:18 PM | Permalink for this comment

That's my favorite part, too! It kind of puts the lie to the old spanking maxim, "This is gonna hurt me a lot more than it will hurt you," because with the ergonomic cushioned grip, that can't really be true, can it?

Mike Andreski:

January 11, 2005 10:32 AM | Permalink for this comment

Very typical "wing-nut" behavior. The evangelicals have so many repressed issues that they paper over in their holiness. The whole attractivness of evangelicalism is the "I'm Better than you NOW that JEEEESUZ is on my side."


January 11, 2005 01:59 PM | Permalink for this comment

Funny story:

The way we use the word "spoil" linguistically has shifted so much to mean "shower someone with unearned gifts" that when I was a kid, I assumed "spare the rod and spoil the child," was an instruction, not a warning.

Thus little CC thought that it meant "Don't spank your kids, just shower them with presents" and was fully in favor of it.

I was AT LEAST twelve before I figured out the intended meaning.

who prefers it her way to this day.


May 26, 2005 01:16 PM | Permalink for this comment

"Spare the rod and spoil the child" is from Samuel Butler NOT the Bible.

I am a Christian, and I do not think I am better than anyone else.

It hurts me that people would so much want to hurt their children by spanking them under the Name of Jesus who would NEVER hurt a child.

Of course, they think it is just loving discipline.

God does NOT anywhere in the Bible command people to smack their children. To train them and teach and discipline them, but to beat them is NOT commanded.


May 26, 2005 01:54 PM | Permalink for this comment

Alas, Michelle, Butler got it from the Bible: Proverbs 13:24. The phrasing we know best might be Butler's, but it's rooted in a biblical sentiment:

Those who spare the rod hate their children,
but those who love them are diligent to discipline them.

My wife (an Episcopal church school director) suggests that one reading of this passage depends on the insight that shepherds use the rod not primarily to strike a sheep but to redirect it, check it for lice and diseases (by using the rod to part the wool), and to protect it from predators. It's a protective tool, not a weapon against the sheep.

bob hodson:

September 2, 2005 05:15 PM | Permalink for this comment

my parents did not believe in spoiling the child and did not spare the kids are well because i spanked them.many kids are getting away with too much and need to be spanked!!!!!

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