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Poll
Question: Should children be spanked?
Absolutely yes! - 33 (18.6%)
In some cases, yes. - 80 (45.2%)
Maybe. - 13 (7.3%)
No, probably not. - 21 (11.9%)
Absolutely not! - 30 (16.9%)
Total Voters: 177

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Author Topic: Spanking - Yea or Nay?  (Read 61916 times) Average Rating: 3
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Justin Kissel
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« on: February 17, 2009, 11:44:18 PM »

This subject started to come up in another thread... should children be spanked? And does the gender of the child make a difference? As for us, we decided against spanking for a couple reasons. First, we have two girls, and I buy into that whole "don't hit a girl" thing, even to the point of extending it to spanking. That both our daughters were born petite only made the decision easier. Second, we don't want our girls learning the lesson that hitting is ok when you want someone to act differently than they are acting. We want them to learn to communicate verbally rather than acting out physically. I voted "No, probably not."  And for the record, I was spanked when I was a kid, both at home and at school, and I have neither positive nor negative feelings stemming from those experiences.
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« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2009, 11:48:02 PM »

This subject started to come up in another thread... should children be spanked? And does the gender of the child make a difference? As for us, we decided against spanking for a couple reasons. First, we have two girls, and I buy into that whole "don't hit a girl" thing, even to the point of extending it to spanking. That both our daughters were born petite only made the decision easier. Second, we don't want our girls learning the lesson that hitting is ok when you want someone to act differently than they are acting. We want them to learn to communicate verbally rather than acting out physically. I voted "No, probably not."  And for the record, I was spanked when I was a kid, both at home and at school, and I have neither positive nor negative feelings stemming from those experiences.
This is not a question to be sarcastic. Do you believe that physical violence is never acceptable?
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« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2009, 11:50:10 PM »

No, I think it's acceptable in certain situations, such as preventing a rape or murder or similar crime. I also think there are situations in which war is justified.
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« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2009, 12:09:14 AM »

Personally, I don't think there is anything wrong with using "corrective force" against your child.  I was brought up in an immigrant family, so I was struck whenever I acted out.  Being brought up in a very anglo-Canadian area, most would look at me in horror that "sitting on the stairs" wasn't the most extreme punishment I received.  It did not give me a warped view of violence, nor did it negatively impact me.  I acted up, I was hit, I stopped, I learned (for a little at least  laugh).  Parents should punish their children however they seem fit (within reason, of course), I just wish people wouldn't judge another's methods.
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« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2009, 12:09:45 AM »

We use a discipline chart. Our discipline ranges from a hands together time out, a hand over the mouth time out, cold shower (for a meltdown tantrum) saying 10 loving things and yes, spanking. The only offense that we use spanking for is willful disobedience. As in we have dealt with the same issue multiple times in a short period of time (after a certain age of course) and they persist in doing something they know is not allowed.


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« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2009, 12:10:59 AM »

The problem to my mind is when correction/discipline isn't used as a teaching method or is done in anger by the parent. A "time out" done out of anger can be more damaging than a spank done lovingly.
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« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2009, 12:25:42 AM »

I agree with standard secular-psychologist stuff: there is a certain age when it's a good last resort (yes, not done in anger). I came to this conclusion when I saw a friend my age do it properly: when his children were about 5, not in front of me or anyone for that matter, not in the face and not with an instrument. After that... by the age of reason or certainly by 8 or 9, it's abuse.
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« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2009, 01:17:55 AM »

Yea...and I was spanked.
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« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2009, 02:52:18 AM »

FULL DISCLAIMER: I am not married and do not have children.

I would probably use a similar disciplinary method that I was raised with. My father never laid a hand on us; he was 6'1" with a booming voice. Hearing him yell "Stop" once was enough to put the fear of God into my sister and I.  laugh

My mother (5'1", very petite) used to give us a smack on the back of the thigh when we were toddlers and got cranky or whiny. Not too hard, just once, and smart enough that it let us know to cut it out.

As we got older, grounding and other forms of punishment were used. (Removal of TV/phone privelages, etc.)

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« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2009, 04:01:45 AM »

I voted Absolutely Not!

I would never lay a hand on my son or any child for I would be investigated by CPS and carted off to jail for a very long time.  Teach a child how to negotiate and he/she will go far in life and make friends.  Teach a child violence and he/she will reciprocate with all kinds of violence against oneself and others.

I really don't know how some of you can justify spanking children.  I've never seen Supernanny lay a hand on any child.   Roll Eyes
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« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2009, 04:31:38 AM »

Teach a child to negotiate too much and you end up with no peace;

"Can you please go clean your room."
"After I clean my room can I watch a movie?"
"No, then we need to have lunch"
After I clean my room and eat lunch can I watch a movie?"
No,we aren't watching TV today."
"Then after I clean my room and have lunch can I play computer games?"

And on and on and on and on at infinitem.......

Negotiation is a valuable skill but teaching a child that they should only do "x" so that they can get "y" is an extreme disservice to them. In life we have responsibilities that we must attend to simply because they are necessary and you don't "get" anything out of doing it. Obedience is an important skill to have and negotiating everything with your child does not teach obedience or responsiblity.

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« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2009, 05:17:46 AM »

Teach a child to negotiate too much and you end up with no peace;

"Can you please go clean your room."
"After I clean my room can I watch a movie?"
"No, then we need to have lunch"
After I clean my room and eat lunch can I watch a movie?"
No,we aren't watching TV today."
"Then after I clean my room and have lunch can I play computer games?"

And on and on and on and on at infinitem.......

Negotiation is a valuable skill but teaching a child that they should only do "x" so that they can get "y" is an extreme disservice to them. In life we have responsibilities that we must attend to simply because they are necessary and you don't "get" anything out of doing it. Obedience is an important skill to have and negotiating everything with your child does not teach obedience or responsiblity.

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« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2009, 08:13:14 AM »

I was spanked and I learned right from wrong. There is a point though it should stop and other means are more effective. For me it was around 9 or 10 my parents realized removing privileges was more effective and they moved to that. There are to many kids today, my wife's a teacher, that believe they are can  negotiate with adults and not just listen. This can be destructive to society.
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« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2009, 12:35:17 PM »

My vote is "probably not." Maybe there are cases when an unruly child should be swatted on the hand or behind. But that should not be the choice method of solving the child's behavioral problems. Hitting is not a good parenting, it is, rather, a sign of the parent's weakness, ineptitude.
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« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2009, 12:36:12 PM »

I voted absolutely not, and I agree with Asteriktos reasoning about it teaching violence. When my brother and I were children, my mother spanked us with her hand and with objects. This led my brother to use the same violence on me, and led me to use the same violence on my schoolmates. If we had been able to keep a pet, I probably would have used the same violence on the pet, who would be weaker than me. For us, striking another person became an acceptable means of trying to correct the behavior. Even if a parent only hits two or three times on the bottom, it is assault. It is merely lashing out because you happen to be unhappy with a behavior.

Again, I ask, why is it not okay for our priests to use that kind of discipline on us, but it's okay for us to use it on members of our Church who are smaller and weaker than us: children?

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« Reply #15 on: February 18, 2009, 12:54:02 PM »

Teach a child to negotiate too much and you end up with no peace;

"Can you please go clean your room."
"After I clean my room can I watch a movie?"
"No, then we need to have lunch"
After I clean my room and eat lunch can I watch a movie?"
No,we aren't watching TV today."
"Then after I clean my room and have lunch can I play computer games?"

And on and on and on and on at infinitem.......

Negotiation is a valuable skill but teaching a child that they should only do "x" so that they can get "y" is an extreme disservice to them. In life we have responsibilities that we must attend to simply because they are necessary and you don't "get" anything out of doing it. Obedience is an important skill to have and negotiating everything with your child does not teach obedience or responsiblity.
Indeed. We've been watching some reruns of Dr. Cosby's show, and on one particular episode Theo, about 14 or so at this time, wants to go out and play basketball. Dr. Huxtable tells him no, he must clean the kitchen. Theo asks, "Then can I go play basketball?" Dr. Huxtable replies, "Then you can live."

I am convinced that no one knows how to handle children like a teacher, and Dr. Cosby is certainly a great teacher.
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« Reply #16 on: February 18, 2009, 01:19:25 PM »

Negotiation is a valuable skill but teaching a child that they should only do "x" so that they can get "y" is an extreme disservice to them. In life we have responsibilities that we must attend to simply because they are necessary and you don't "get" anything out of doing it. Obedience is an important skill to have and negotiating everything with your child does not teach obedience or responsibility.

Good point!

I never liked 'The Cosby Show' because I found Cliff and Clair Huxtable insufferable: stuck-up. 'The Simpsons' was cool enough to invent Dr Hibberd to make fun of him.
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« Reply #17 on: February 18, 2009, 01:28:19 PM »

Just to be clear, I think that spanking should be done, but NEVER in anger or in an emotional state. It should be done in a calm and serious manner.
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« Reply #18 on: February 18, 2009, 01:49:59 PM »

I voted absolutely not, and I agree with Asteriktos reasoning about it teaching violence. When my brother and I were children, my mother spanked us with her hand and with objects. This led my brother to use the same violence on me, and led me to use the same violence on my schoolmates.
So you blame your mother for the fact that you are, as you just admitted, a violent person. Undecided  My brother and I were spanked as children, yet neither of us turned out violent--if anything, thanks to the fact that we were spanked for bad behavior--so I don't see any substance in your argument beyond mere emotionalism.
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« Reply #19 on: February 18, 2009, 02:28:15 PM »

I am not a parent so I can't say what I do or what I will do in the future, but speaking from experience, all three kids in my family were given some form of corporal punishment at one time or another.  Most discipline was going to your room, a time-out, deprivation of activities, but we were only spanked if we persisted in our defiance.

One particular instance will be with me for the rest of my life.  My mom washed my mouth out with (liquid) soap because I told her to "shut up."  She had told me that if I ever said that to her again, she would do it.  Though she regrets it still to this day (and I still remember the taste!  Ugh!), she said she had to follow through or else her position as a parent would have been continually undermined.  Plus, I think it actually got my brother, who is way more the trouble maker than I ever was, to straighten up and fly right.

When used in moderation and used to stifle negotiation and defiance, corporal punishment works effectively.  I think that my brother, sister and I turned out fine.  Would we have if we were not spanked?  Who knows, but I kind of doubt it.
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« Reply #20 on: February 18, 2009, 03:50:50 PM »

Again, I ask, why is it not okay for our priests to use that kind of discipline on us, but it's okay for us to use it on members of our Church who are smaller and weaker than us: children?

A priest wouldn't spank us because there is a window of time where spanking is effective and thereafter it simply doesn't work and is just weird. And the sexual harassment suits would go thru the roof! laugh
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« Reply #21 on: February 18, 2009, 04:38:22 PM »

I voted absolutely not, and I agree with Asteriktos reasoning about it teaching violence. When my brother and I were children, my mother spanked us with her hand and with objects. This led my brother to use the same violence on me, and led me to use the same violence on my schoolmates.
So you blame your mother for the fact that you are, as you just admitted, a violent person. Undecided  My brother and I were spanked as children, yet neither of us turned out violent--if anything, thanks to the fact that we were spanked for bad behavior--so I don't see any substance in your argument beyond mere emotionalism.

No. You're completely missing my point, PTA. What a surprise.
I'm not a violent person, but when I was a child, I exhibited the same violence towards others that my mother showed me. It becomes a cycle. Maybe you should crack open an English book, and read about past tense. And don't get in my face because I happen to be emotional about the issue of spanking. I find the act of raising your hand against a child to be repulsive.
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« Reply #22 on: February 18, 2009, 04:42:22 PM »

Again, I ask, why is it not okay for our priests to use that kind of discipline on us, but it's okay for us to use it on members of our Church who are smaller and weaker than us: children?

A priest wouldn't spank us because there is a window of time where spanking is effective and thereafter it simply doesn't work

Then why employ it in the first place?
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« Reply #23 on: February 18, 2009, 04:43:06 PM »

Myrrh, from your posting history it sounds like you have quite a few issues with your parents. And the way that your parents spanked you isn't the way all kids are spanked.

I have seen kids that were NEVER spanked that were very violent and angry because their parents were very angry people. The disposition of the parents, no matter the method of discipline-will cause a change in the disposition of the child.
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« Reply #24 on: February 18, 2009, 04:46:51 PM »

Myrrh, from your posting history it sounds like you have quite a few issues with your parents. And the way that your parents spanked you isn't the way all kids are spanked.

I have seen kids that were NEVER spanked that were very violent and angry because their parents were very angry people. The disposition of the parents, no matter the method of discipline-will cause a change in the disposition of the child.


You mean parent. My father hardly ever spanked me. He instead explained to me why a behavior was inappropriate. How does spanking change a child, other than cause him to change his tactics so he doesn't get caught or to be afraid? How does spanking help a child understand that it hurts when you call someone a mean name, or when you lose mommy's favorite earrings because you were playing in the jewelry box? Spanking only causes a child to be afraid.
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« Reply #25 on: February 18, 2009, 04:51:59 PM »

PTA, and before you ask if I'm going to continue the cycle because I'm a violent person (which I'm not), the answer is no. I'm not the violent child I used to be. Getting away from my mother, moving in with my father and into counseling has helped end the cycle. But when you raise a hand to your child, you really saying that hitting will solve the problem. It just HAS to solve the problem, and like Quin stated, after a while, spanking doesn't work anymore. The child's problem was never fixed with spanking. So why start?
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« Reply #26 on: February 18, 2009, 04:58:33 PM »

The teaching and changing of a child comes from dialogue as you use any method of discipline. If you just send a child to the "naughty corner" and then let them go when the time is up they won't learn anything.  Parenting is constant dialogue with children no matter the methods of discipline you use. A child that is spanked by a loving parent that talks with them before and after will learn more than a child given a time out and no instruction from the parent.

Parenting is work. You can't do "x" each time and expect the kids to change their behavior without taking about it. The real work of parenting is telling kids why they are being discipined. There is a book called "Shepherding a Child's heart" that is wonderful (definetely not an Orthodox book). But the goal in parenting isn't good behavior. The goal is to point out to a child where they went wrong and sinned. So when you discipline your child for stealing a toy you deal with the heart issue of selfishness, coveting and jealousy. You don't just make them give the toy back, you help them to understand why stealing is wrong. And then you explain that if you a) ask for a turn or b) wait until the other child is done, that they will likely be able to have a turn. So they give back the toy, they learn patience and they learn about their selfish will.
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« Reply #27 on: February 18, 2009, 05:05:16 PM »

Although in my house a child that steals a toy has to give back twice what they took away. That isn't a spankable offense in my house.

And if two kids won't find a way to share a toy reasonably they lose the toy entirely for the day.
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« Reply #28 on: February 18, 2009, 08:35:36 PM »

I voted absolutely not, and I agree with Asteriktos reasoning about it teaching violence. When my brother and I were children, my mother spanked us with her hand and with objects. This led my brother to use the same violence on me, and led me to use the same violence on my schoolmates. If we had been able to keep a pet, I probably would have used the same violence on the pet, who would be weaker than me. For us, striking another person became an acceptable means of trying to correct the behavior. Even if a parent only hits two or three times on the bottom, it is assault. It is merely lashing out because you happen to be unhappy with a behavior.


Myrrh,

May I ask in what spirit did your mother spank you?

Everyone else;

I would also like some definition of what consititutes a spanking, please.
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« Reply #29 on: February 18, 2009, 09:29:23 PM »

I voted absolutely not, and I agree with Asteriktos reasoning about it teaching violence. When my brother and I were children, my mother spanked us with her hand and with objects. This led my brother to use the same violence on me, and led me to use the same violence on my schoolmates. If we had been able to keep a pet, I probably would have used the same violence on the pet, who would be weaker than me. For us, striking another person became an acceptable means of trying to correct the behavior. Even if a parent only hits two or three times on the bottom, it is assault. It is merely lashing out because you happen to be unhappy with a behavior.


Myrrh,

May I ask in what spirit did your mother spank you?

Everyone else;

I would also like some definition of what consititutes a spanking, please.

Riddi, think Cujo. Wink But still, even if it's bending the child over your knee, I feel it doesn't really solve anything. Maybe Quin could give more examples if it does help anything, since she's a mom? Smiley
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« Reply #30 on: February 18, 2009, 09:34:34 PM »

If I have come off as being violent, I apologize. That's not the persona I wish to express. I'm just passionate about certain issues.... Smiley I know what would happen to me and others if I let myself go, and followed in the footsteps of my mother. So.... Kiss
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« Reply #31 on: February 18, 2009, 10:03:57 PM »

Proverbs speaks of the rod quite frequently. From a Biblical perspective one must spank their children.
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« Reply #32 on: February 18, 2009, 11:22:47 PM »

I've hesitated to reply, but:yes, I believe in it, but no, never used it. Cheesy
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« Reply #33 on: February 18, 2009, 11:23:57 PM »

I answered "maybe" because I think that spanking is both overused and underused by most of parents.
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« Reply #34 on: February 18, 2009, 11:44:10 PM »

Everyone else;

I would also like some definition of what consititutes a spanking, please.

A (as in singular) sharp smack on the back of the thigh. Not hard enough to leave a hand print or anything like that, just enough to "smarts" as they say. This was usually accompanied by a stern "Stop it!"

I don't ever remember my mother using this once we got out of diapers, because usually by that age we were starting to reason and other methods of discipline were employed.
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« Reply #35 on: February 18, 2009, 11:56:35 PM »

If you cloth diaper then a smack on the bum isn't real effective. laugh
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« Reply #36 on: February 19, 2009, 10:07:19 AM »

Spanking is different from hitting.  I've been spanked as a kid, but never was I hit with a belt.   
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« Reply #37 on: February 19, 2009, 10:32:22 AM »

Spanking is different from hitting.  I've been spanked as a kid, but never was I hit with a belt.   

Who can forget those nuns and the leather straps across the backside, or the wooden ruler or bamboo cane on the upturned palm?    How the tears of pain would smart but you bit them back, and how sometimes you could not sit down when you returned to your desk because your backside was so sore.

And the same procedures continued when you moved to high school and the priests were your teachers,  right up to 18 years of age.

How are these matters handled in school in the Orthodox countries?
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« Reply #38 on: February 19, 2009, 11:12:06 AM »

Quote
How are these matters handled in school in the Orthodox countries?

I know a Greek woman, now in her seventies, who had a female teacher in the early years of school whose choice of corporal punishment was to get the child to place his or her hands flat on the desk, palms down, then thump each knuckle of both hands at least three times with the Cuban heel of her shoe.

Many others I know would tell stories of teachers, male and female, being quite liberal with straps, canes, and other instruments of corporal punishment. I honestly think it has little to do with Orthodoxy, as I can easily remember old-guard, and definitely non-Orthodox, schoolmasters taking particular pleasure in inflicting physical punishment during my childhood, bordering, in some cases, on abuse. Where I live, this tendency had more or less disappeared by the mid-1970s.
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« Reply #39 on: February 19, 2009, 11:28:10 AM »

How are these matters handled in school in the Orthodox countries?

In the old Russian Empire, I believe, school corporal punishment was completely outlawed back in the 1880-s. Yet, some Orthodox seminaries continued to use it. N.G. Pomyalovsky described how kids were treated in a seminary near St.Petersburg where he himself was a student; it was horrendously brutal. Some teachers just whipped the entire class, and if a kid dared to ask why, they could answer, "just because you haven't gotten it yet." Pomyalovsky counted that he was whipped with birch rods about 300 times.
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« Reply #40 on: February 19, 2009, 11:40:41 AM »

Proverbs speaks of the rod quite frequently. From a Biblical perspective one must spank their children.

Well, then one must also put them to death by stoning if they disobey you and remain stubborn (Deuteronomy 21:18-21). What's your recommendation regarding the kind of stones - round, oval, square, ...?  Undecided
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« Reply #41 on: February 19, 2009, 11:57:59 AM »

Proverbs speaks of the rod quite frequently. From a Biblical perspective one must spank their children.

Well, then one must also put them to death by stoning if they disobey you and remain stubborn (Deuteronomy 21:18-21). What's your recommendation regarding the kind of stones - round, oval, square, ...?  Undecided

I suppose the difference is that the use of the rod is one of the Old Testament prescriptions which has been adopted in the Christian Church for 2000 years.  So that is not in the same category as stoning for adultery. And the cessation of using the rod has not come from any new insight developed within the Church but from the external pressure of secular society.

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« Reply #42 on: February 19, 2009, 12:02:41 PM »

Proverbs speaks of the rod quite frequently. From a Biblical perspective one must spank their children.

Well, then one must also put them to death by stoning if they disobey you and remain stubborn (Deuteronomy 21:18-21). What's your recommendation regarding the kind of stones - round, oval, square, ...?  Undecided

I suppose the difference is that the use of the rod is one of the Old Testament prescriptions which has been adopted in the Christian Church for 2000 years.  So that is not in the same category as stoning for adultery. And the cessation of using the rod has not come from any new insight developed within the Church but from the external pressure of secular society.


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« Reply #43 on: February 19, 2009, 12:09:51 PM »

I voted 'absolutely yes' but I think corporal punishment should be used sparingly.  My brother and I were both spanked as kids and most of the time we deserved it.  Sure, we didn't like it, but that's the point isn't it?  And I agree that it's almost always better if you can achieve your desired results in a different manner, but sometimes you simply cannot use reason.  At that point, the hickory switch shall whistle as it cuts through the air! Cheesy
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« Reply #44 on: February 19, 2009, 12:17:33 PM »

AMEN!!! And world stood still and there was silence as everyone noted, that the unexpected moment had come.
Chris and Fr. Ambrose finally agreed on something...

LOL laugh
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