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    Feedback and Responses re. Family Integrity’s Stance

    By admin | August 6, 2006

    Sent: Tuesday, 2 May 2006 10:50 p.m.

    I am totally disappointed that you do not see children as human beings,
    vulnerable ones at that, with the right to protection from violence. So, an
    adult hits another adult, they are undisciplined! An adult hits a child,
    and they are disciplined! Your argument does not add up. Just because a
    person is an adult, doesn’t mean that they are necessarily disciplined, or
    better than a child.

    Have you not heard of communication amongst persons? Wouldn’t this be a
    better primary course of action in raising a child than violence? You seem
    obsessed with the fact that parents should have the right to ill-treat their
    children. A real worry you are!

    – Correspondent

    Reply – Sent: Monday, June 12, 2006 3:59 PM

    Dear

    Thank you for your feedback.
    Please let me allay some of your concerns, if I may.

    We definitely do see children as human beings, in fact as being made in the image of God, and not as mere animals who have evolved to a higher intelligence – thus we see them as having a soul/spirit.

    In addition, we agree with you that they are extremely vulnerable, with the right to protection from violence – that is why we at Family Integrity are strongly opposed to all child abuse, especially the torture and murder of babies inside the mother’s womb ie. abortion (the ultimate in child abuse!).

    Furthermore, we only advocate the exercise of discipline on children, whether physical or other, when it is done with SELF-discipline by the parent. When discipline is done out of anger, or vengeance, or frustration, or annoyance, on impulse, arbitrarily, without age-appropriate explanation to the child of the reason for the correction, we would classify that as abuse. If the parent is out of control him/herself, and is out to punish the child, not out to correct the child, and is not using discipline for the child’s well-being, but rather for self-serving reasons, we see that as parental abuse of the child. When the discipline is punishment for the child’s inevitable expressions of immaturity such as accidents, indiscretions, errors of judgment, irritating hyperactivity or being boisterous and silly, it is abuse.

    We advocate the use of physical correction where the child is misbehaving in the matter of any of the 4 Ds ie. dishonesty, disrespect, destructiveness, and disobedience. The aim of corporal correction is to enable the children to become self-disciplined in these four areas of attitude and behaviour. Self-discipline is something that children do not naturally have, and it can only be effectively instilled in them by means of firm, disciplined, measured, love-motivated, physical parental discipline, accompanied by clearly understood explanation, followed by affectionate affirmation.

    Such discipline should always be done in the context of a loving, affectionate relationship between parent and child. Children respond well to such discipline. They tend to grow up psychologically, spiritually, emotionally, relationally and generally physically healthy.

    Yes, good communication is vital in bringing up our children, but on its own it will never train children to be self-disciplined people who truly care about others and about what is right and true.

    The Bible tells us that those who do NOT give their children the physical discipline they need are acting against their child’s best interests, and so can be said to “hate” their child : ” He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him.” – Proverbs 13:24

    For a fuller treatment of the differences between abuse and proper corporal correction please see the brochures posted on our website.

    I hope this gives you a clearer understanding of what we are advocating/defending. We are against the ill-treatment of children, but we do not believe physical discipline as explained above is ill-treatment/abuse/violence/harmful for children.

    Sincerely
    Ed Rademaker
    Administrative Assistant
    Family Integrity

    Sent: Monday, 12 June 2006 6:55 p.m.

    Dear Ed,

    Sorry, but I cannot agree with you. You do not hit those you love. Smacking IS child abuse. Biblical times were very brutal, and thankfully we have moved on from then. I don’t think Jesus advocated the hitting of children, rather he said, “suffer the little children to come unto me”. Hitting children destroys the relationship between parent and child, teaches violence and precipitates violence between adults.

    – Correspondent

    Sent: Wednesday, June 14, 2006 2:51 PM

    Dear ,
    The same Jesus who said, “suffer the little children to come unto Me,” also said, through His Holy Spirit-inspired book,

    ‘and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons,
    “MY SON, DO NOT REGARD LIGHTLY THE DISCIPLINE OF THE LORD,
    NOR FAINT WHEN YOU ARE REPROVED BY HIM;
    FOR THOSE WHOM THE LORD LOVES HE DISCIPLINES,
    AND HE SCOURGES EVERY SON WHOM HE RECEIVES.”
    It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline?

    But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.

    Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live?

    For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness.

    All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.’

    (Hebrews 12:5-11; emphasis added)

    Proper godly discipline of our children (as I outlined in my previous email) is for their “good”, and “afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.” The angry- undisciplined-self-centred-lashing-out-with-a-back-hander-across-the-face-with-no-explanation-type punishment that constitutes real abuse is the sort of treatment that produces undisciplined, violent and angry kids, full of hatred and self-centredness. We see more and more of such children in our societies today, but then, there are more and more parents who ignore what the Bible says about child-rearing, and abuse their position of power and authority over their children for their own self-serving ends.

    What you assert as being the product of all and any corporal correction (you call it “hitting”, but that describes an action and motivation different from smacking or corporal correction as I understand and have practised it) does not fit with what the Lord says in His Bible; and neither does it fit with real life experience. I know personally hundreds of families where the children are or have been brought up with spanking as a main method of correction, and the children love their parents, have a good relationship with them, and the children are well-behaved, respectful of those in authority, and definitely are not violent in the way they relate to others. And certainly this is true of the children of those of us who work at Family Integrity, including my own – and we have children that range from baby, through adolescence, through teenagehood, to adulthood, in ages.

    My point is that you cannot make absolutes out of your own experiences or opinions in this matter. You imply it is wrong to smack children. My question to you is: on what objective moral basis? In other words, “who says it’s wrong?”

    We at Family Integrity believe it is right and wise to bring our children up with loving corporal correction, not because this is our opinion, but because the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the God who created you and me and all children, says that this is what we ought to be doing. As a purely secondary consideration, our experience and observations over our own life-times, and our reading of history, show us that what God says in the Bible about this matter is right and true and marries well with reality.

    We are not trying to impose this view on others, but others are trying to impose their view and practice on us, and it is to this that we strongly object. We are fighting for the freedom to live as we believe God wants us to live. We also believe we have in the Bible the answers to our society’s present woes, but we cannot force anyone to accept that. All we can do is communicate it and seek to practise it consistently ourselves.

    I hope this gives you a better idea of where we are coming from.

    Sincerely

    Ed

    Sent: Saturday, June 17, 2006 6:33 PM

    Dear Ed,

    Oh, last time I saw someone smack a child,.it sure seemed to me they were HITTING them! You cannot deny that smacking is hitting.

    . Wasn’t it silly old Solomon, mysogynist and polygymist, with so many children he couldn’t look after them properly, who said “spare the rod, spoil the child”. He needed a good feminist kick up the backside, that guy!

    Our society’s moral code says it is wrong to hit people, and children are people. Therefore, it is wrong to hit children.

    People (the general populace) MUST interfere in cases of child abuse. Children are extremely vulnerable, and need to be supported. This is the only way we are going to do anything about eradicating child abuse.

    – Correspondent

    Sent: Tuesday, June 20, 2006 3:03 PM

    Dear ,
    I could debate with you further about the difference between “hitting” and biblical corporal correction, but I have already explained that. You seem determined to have only one picture in your mind concerning this – perhaps you have never seen or experienced anything other than physical abuse from parents, and I would not want to deny the reality of what you have witnessed, but that does not mean that it constitutes the whole of reality. I have seen and experienced something quite different, and it was anything but abuse.

    You wrote: “I really don’t believe that God wants us to hit our children.” – Which god are you talking about? Because it certainly isn’t the God of the Bible you are referring to. While the God of the Bible, the only true God who exists, doesn’t tell us to “hit” our children, He does tell us that we ought to use the “rod of correction” on our children, something different to what I understand you to be referring to when you use the word “hit.”

    And you won’t find “spare the rod, spoil the child” anywhere in the Bible, although it has a lot of merit as a commonsense adage. If you haven’t already read it for yourself, may I encourage you to read the whole Bible for yourself rather than just go by what others have told you about it.

    As to “our society’s moral code says it is wrong to hit people, and children are people. Therefore, it is wrong to hit children.” – recent polls in New Zealand show that at least 80% of our society believe that it is right to smack (not “hit”, not “abuse”, not “use violence”, but “smack”) children (I am sure it would be similar in Australia) – surely such a majority (otherwise known as “the general populace”) would qualify to determine what “our society’s moral code says.”

    And since we are speaking about what our society’s moral code says, are you as concerned to stop abortions as you are to stop the “hitting of children”? After all, our society’s moral code says that it is wrong to mutilate and maim and murder people, and children inside their mother’s womb are people. Therefore, it is wrong to mutilate and maim and murder children in their mother’s womb – according to your own reasoning. And which is worse, “hitting” or “mutilating , maiming and killing” children?

    But again I ask, on what objective moral authority or basis do you say, or does any society say, that smacking children is wrong? Societies can be very subjective in their values, and moral codes can change from one generation to the next, and from one country to the next. Who says which one in reality is right? They cannot all be right, otherwise we would have to say that actually there is no absolute right or wrong. Then, the best anyone can say is, “for me it is wrong or it is right,” and leave it at that.

    But we at Family Integrity do not believe that that is how things are. The God of the Bible created all that exists, and He has determined what is right or wrong for all mankind, since He made us and has the right to say how we should live. And He has caused His laws to be written down in the Bible. The Bible says that all men/women (including you, Kathy) know this is the truth, deep down in their hearts, but that they don’t want to acknowledge it, or give thanks to God for their existence and for all that God gives them. Because people don’t want to obey God; because they want to be their own little gods, and want to decide for themselves how to live, they deny the existence of the God who made them, and instead make gods out of things, out of man himself (or woman herself), from their own imaginations making gods with whom they are comfortable, gods that are amazingly like themselves.

    But that doesn’t change the reality of the situation. To say, “I am my own god, and I will determine how I live, and what is right or wrong”, or to have a whole society say,”We are our own gods, and we will determine how we live, and what is right or wrong,” doesn’t alter the truth that God had already determined, well before we came on the scene, the standard of right and wrong. And neither does it change the fact that God has determined upon a day that is coming in which He will judge and condemn and punish as guilty all those who, in their creaturely arrogance, choose to defy and disobey Him.

    There is only One who can save us from the judgement that is certain to come, and that Person is Jesus Christ. I need Him and you need Him, because without Him there is no hope for us, we are doomed for ever. That is a fact!

    Yours sincerely
    Ed.

    Sent: Wednesday, June 21, 2006 2:17 PM

    Dear ,
    One further point about your comment “You cannot deny that smacking is hitting.”
    Certain words are used to convey a certain meaning different from other words eg. when the courts convict someone of a crime they sentence the person, and then they “imprison” him/her. “Imprison” is the correct word for that situation. If someone wanted to say that the courts were “kidnapping” that person because they were detaining him against his will, we would have to say that to use that word in this situation would not be correct. It is “imprisonment” not “kidnapping”, even though the action of detaining someone against their will could be described by either word if you disregard the circumstances. But one word describes something that is legitimate (ie. imprisonment), the other word describes something which is not legitimate (ie. kidnapping).

    In the same way, when a child is rebellious and the parent applies corporal correction (in the way I have described in earlier emails) we say he is being “smacked” or “spanked”. To say the child is being “hit” in that situation is not correct, it is the wrong word to use, even though you could use either word to describe the actual act of striking with the hand or with a suitable implement if you don’t take the situation into account. “Hitting” someone is not a legitimate action, whereas a parent “smacking” his child for the right reasons with the right motivation and in the right way is legitimate, according to the proper usage of each word.

    I hope this clarifies the difference I am trying to make between what you are talking about and what Family Integrity is meaning to convey.

    Sincerely
    Ed.

    Sent: Thursday, June 22, 2006 4:13 PM

    Dear Ed,

    I think any abortion is a very unfortunate event, but women do have the right to make that decision for themselves, and if their life and that of the child is going to be harmed, perhaps it is the only alternative. If the mother doesn’t want the child enough to have an abortion, the child is better off not being born. We are better to teach safe sex practices (ie. contraception) as a preventitive measure.

    I see the issue of abortion as being quite different to that of hitting children, and I don’t understand your connection.

    Kidnapping is taking someone for a ransom sum of money, paid for by someone else, quite different to imprisonment, which is state imposed sanctioning of behaviour. Smacking etc. is merely a euphimism for hitting/violence.

    Not sure where Jesus said to hit our children. Can you please tell me?

    You invest a lot of energy in defending adult’s right to hit children, a shame you are not interested in considering other less violent, positive forms of behaviour intervention.

    – Correspondent

    Sent: Tuesday, July 04, 2006 3:54 PM

    Dear ,
    Sorry not to have replied sooner, but other matters took my needed attention.

    Would you please clarify for me what you mean by your first paragraph below? Are you actually saying that women have the right to kill their babies if they don’t want to give birth to them? But that if the same mothers do give birth to them, and subsequently give them some smacks on the bottom to correct bad behaviour, that is wrong? So murdering babies is okay (although unfortunate), but smacking them is not okay? Ripping living babies limb from limb with powerful suction machines, crushing their little heads with forceps, or just pulling them out of the womb whole and chucking them live into garbage bins where they die slowly, their crying ignored by the doctors and nurses who are letting them die in this manner – are you saying that women have the right to decide for ‘themselves’ such a fate for their defenceless, vulnerable, precious little babies? I agree that the issue of abortion is “quite different to that of hitting children” – abortion is about torturing, then murdering children, and hence, it is extreme violence and cruelty to children. The connection is this: If “hitting” children is violence and abuse, how much moreso is mutilating and killing them while in the womb, as happens with every abortion. And yet you do not seem upset about or opposed to abortion!

    How can anyone who cares about children condone the butchering of (how many is it in Australia?) some 100,000 children (that’s more people than live in our city of Palmerston North) each year ?

    Another implication would be this: if a woman has the ‘right’ to kill her baby while it is in her womb, why would she not have the ‘right’ to kill the same baby after he/she has come out of the womb, especially if the mother decides that the child might suffer harm, and that she no longer wants him/her?

    A further question I have is: Who says that a woman has the right to make that decision, and on what moral basis do they say it?
    And if the woman has that right, what about the right to life of the child within her womb?

    I am afraid you missed my point about kidnapping/imprisoning. The point is that, just as lawful imprisonment is not a euphemism for kidnapping (which, by the way, does not necessarily involve ransom demand/payment to constitute kidnapping – it is just the theft of a person), so smacking is not a euphemism for hitting/violence.

    , you keep talking about Jesus – are you a Christian?

    You misunderstand us entirely if you think we are concerned for our own “rights” as parents. We are concerned about our children’s needs. They need physical correction, and not because we think so, but because God says they need it (and as an aside, our own experience from when we were children, and our observation from bringing up numerous children in this way, bear this out to be true). In other words, if we are going to talk about rights, we would rather say that our children have a God-given right to loving physical correction for bad, self-destructive behaviour and attitudes. If we do not give them this which is their right and need, then we are guilty of neglect, and we wrong our children.

    I hope this further clarifies where we are coming from.

    Regards Ed

    Sent: Monday, July 10, 2006 2:15 PM

    Hi Ed,

    Like I say, abortion is a woman’s right, as she is the one who is
    pregnant. I don’t condone abortion at all, but think it is inevitable
    in some circumstances such as when the child is not wanted, the result
    of rape etc. Obviously, killing a child is a different matter. Both
    kidnapping and unlawful imprisonment are crimes, and so should be
    hitting children, which is all about the adult and not about the child.
    It is all about power and control. It is possible to raise children
    without hitting them, and this should be viewed as the proper way to
    parent. I mean for goodness sake, why would you even want to hurt your
    own child anyway? I don’t understand.

    – Correspondent

    Sent: Wednesday, July 12, 2006 5:57 PM

    Dear ,

    Abortion is by definition “killing a child”, because it ends a child’s life, and in a violent manner.
    So, in actual fact, you are still saying it is a woman’s right to kill a child – there is no way around this. The woman may be the one who happens to be carrying the child within her, but it is still a child, a vulnerable, helpless little human baby depending on her for protection and sustenance. How can any woman want to turn on her own child and murder it? If she doesn’t want him/her, then let her adopt the child out, not violently destroy his/her life. How can you defend the murdering of a child in the womb as a woman’s right, and in the same breath condemn a woman for smacking a child by way of correction once it is outside the womb? Does the location of the child (inside or outside the womb) determine what is right and wrong in this matter, in your view?

    You say hitting a child should be a crime, but you don’t think abortion, the murder of a yet to be born child, should be a crime? The reason being that the baby is not wanted? Some people abuse and neglect, and even kill their new-born babies because they don’t want them anymore. By your own standard, shouldn’t that be seen as all right?

    You say it is all about power and control (in other words, it is self-serving, only in the interests of the mother who smacks); and you don’t think abortion is all about power and control?

    As to why one would want to hurt his own child – I never want to hurt my own child. But sometimes a little pain is necessary in order to avoid much greater pain, and to avoid evil.

    Were you happy to take your child to the dentist, or to the doctor or school clinic to have a needle for immunisation, when you knew it was going to be a painful experience for him/her? Why did you do it? You could have spared them that pain if you had wanted to. You took them because of the (possible) consequences of not taking them. A rotten tooth is agonizing torture when left to itself. The likelihood of catching the disease if not immunised is increased, and if caught, the effects of the disease can be devastating (especially if it is meningitis or hepatitis or TB). You put your child through the minor ordeal in order to protect and spare them from major physical pain, harm and complications down the track.

    Physical correction is meant to do the same for children in terms of sparing them greater pain, harm and complications spiritually, emotionally, psychologically, physically and relationally, both now and down the track in life.

    Yes, you can raise children without using physical correction, but you won’t raise them to be humble, wise, godly, responsible, self-controlled adults who do what is good and right from right principle in the heart, for
    God’s glory – and the latter is what we at Family Integrity want for our children, because that is the only way to live a truly happy, productive and meaningful life.

    Sincerely
    Ed.

    Sent: Wednesday, July 12, 2006 6:14 PM

    Hi Ed,

    It is a very painful experience for a woman to give birth to a child and
    then adopt the child out, even though this is preferable to those of us
    who do not have to go through the experience. I do think abortion is
    preferable to an unwanted child being born. If you are so concerned
    about killing a foetus, then why aren’t you concerned about assaulting a
    growing child?

    Of course, a child suffering pain due to medical/dental reasons is
    entirely different to them being assaulted by someone. Obviously, we do
    what we can to ease the pain for the child when they are undergoing
    painful medical/dental procedures, and yet by assaulting them, we hurt
    them deliberately.

    If assault is the best way to raise a child, why have the majority of
    the prison population experienced assault as children? I certainly
    believe that it is possible to raise children successfully without
    assaulting them, and that family breakdown is the result of a lack of
    communication, violence and the desire and ability to work together
    effectively. How you expect a human being to get along with and trust
    someone who hits them is beyond me!

    – Correspondent

    Sent: Friday, July 14, 2006 3:53 PM

    Dear ,
    Getting ripped limb from limb without anaesthetic is painful too I should imagine, but you don’t seem to care that the baby has to undergo this slow-death torture when aborted (it is a fact that babies in the womb feel pain, for they cry when ripped out of the mother’s womb still alive and are thrown in the bucket to die; I have also seen the film “The Silent Scream”, which is actual footage of an ultrasound of an abortion, where the baby is trying to back away from the suction nozzle and opens its mouth in a scream as the latter comes into contact again with its body – the poor little kid!). And how can a mother turn on her own baby and have it put to death and chucked out with the garbage? This goes entirely against the natural desire of a mother to protect and nurture her own children, even at the sacrifice of her own life. But our society is producing 17000 mothers in New Zealand and over 100,000 mothers in Australia every year who butcher their own children! Something is dreadfully wrong, wouldn’t you agree?

    Further, there are painful consequences for the woman who goes ahead and has her baby killed, more painful and devastating, it could be argued, than actually delivering the baby and adopting out. There is the psychological/spiritual trauma of knowing she is murdering her own child – many women carry emotional scars and this heavy burden of suppressed and unresolved guilt on their consciences for years, if not for the rest of their lives (and not imagined guilt, either, but very real guilt because they have taken a human life, and often for very selfish reasons). Additionally, abortion is not physically pain-free for the woman, and can cause major physical complications/trauma, because it is the abrupt termination of a natural process – it can also make conception and pregnancy difficult later on.

    You didn’t answer my question: How can you defend the murdering of a child in the womb as a woman’s right, and in the same breath condemn a woman for smacking a child by way of correction once it is outside the womb? Does the location of the child (inside or outside the womb) determine what is right and wrong in this matter, in your view?
    Up until now you have been talking about aborting children. Now you have called it “killing a foetus” as well. Do you believe that a baby in the womb is a human being just as is the cute little one-month old baby nursing at his/her mother’s breast?

    I AM concerned about children being assaulted – I am against it. This is why we are promoting the only real answer to that problem – getting back to the traditional family as God intended it to be and function. Statistically, most child bashing by far occurs in households where there are either solo mothers with live-in boyfriends (who are not the biological fathers), or step-fathers, or de facto (unmarried) biological parents.

    Children suffering pain at the dentist or via a medical procedure is not different from a child suffering a bit of pain with a smack. The smack today, like today’s dentist drill, can save much greater pain, suffering, inconvenience, heartache, shame, etc., later on. Smacking is a cleansing operation, cleaning out bits of spiritual and willful rebellion from the child’s heart, re-inforcing the verbal admonition and parental personal example of the pathways they must travel and the ones to avoid.
    By the way, , do you have children of your own?

    Your comment, “If assault is the best way to raise a child…” is unworthy of the tenor of our discussions so far. I am sure you are perfectly aware that there is a universe of difference between the motivation, intentions, aims, objectives, methodologies and outcomes of assault on the one hand and smacking on the other, especially because I have taken pains a couple of times now to explain the differences to you. The two are vastly different in every respect, and neither does one grade into the other, for they are not even on the same continuum.

    Yes, probably most in prison were assaulted by abusive parents as they were growing up. But what they received from those who raised them is worlds apart from what Family Integrity is defending, and from what I have done with my own children in bringing them up. And if you think that smacking creates criminals, why are not 80-85% of the population in prison, because that’s the percentage that grow up being smacked in New Zealand, and Australia wouldn’t be much different?

    Furthermore, my children do trust me that I love them, and again I say, I can point to untold families that I know whose children love and trust their parents and are emotionally and physically healthy and happy, and they are so because their parents smack them in love when they do wrong. I have seen and experienced myself the gratitude of young adults who look back over their up-bringing and thank their parents for having disciplined them physically because they recognise in hindsight how they needed to have the boundaries enforced so that they would grow up to be self-disciplined adults.

    And how do you explain children being grateful for being smacked when they’ve done wrong, and hugging the one who smacked them afterward and then running off happily to play, with their behaviour and attitude much improved? Because it happens, time and again, in household after household across the world, where children are disciplined in love. I can explain this reality from the Bible. How do you explain it, with the assumptions you have?

    Regards
    Ed

    Sent: Friday, July 14, 2006 4:19 PM

    Ed,

    No. I do not have children of my own.

    I don’t think we can expect a woman to go through an unwanted pregnancy,
    although if she did decide to keep the child or adopt it out of course
    that would be far preferable. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t like abortion
    any more than I do smacking, but I do not feel I have the right to
    condemn a woman who makes the decision to have an abortion. Guess while
    still extremely painful, giving birth and giving the child up would be
    harder.

    Just as, in my opinion, it is far better parenting to talk to the child
    and use other non-violent (talking, time out, loss of priveleges) etc.
    than smacking.

    Suffering pain due to a medical procedure IS different from suffering
    pain due to violent punishment.

    If you guys stopped smacking your children, you would probably find you
    have an even better relationship with them than you do now!

    While smacking children remains acceptable/legal it makes it much harder
    to lessen the more severe incidents of child abuse including sexual
    abuse. I believe that “children behave as well as they are treated”,
    and that badly behaved children are generally badly treated.

    – Correspondent

    Sent: Tue 8/15/2006 1:31 PM

    Dear
    Sorry for the long silence, but things got really busy around here for quite some time.

    You wrote: “…I don’t like abortion any more than I do smacking, but I do not feel I have the right to condemn a woman who makes the decision to have an abortion. Guess while still extremely painful, giving birth and giving the child up would be harder.”
    How can you NOT condemn a woman for violently killing her own child in order to save HERSELF some physical and emotional pain (do you realise you are actually saying that the MURDER of your child is justifiable in these sort of circumstances?), and yet DO condemn another woman who smacks her child in order to spare that child the pains he will bring on himself if he doesn’t learn self-discipline while young?(“Discipline your son while there is hope, and do not desire his death.” – Proverbs 19:18)

    Suffering pain due to a medical procedure is NOT different from suffering pain due to (not “violent” but) physical discipline. The child does not want the pain of being cut or jabbed by a doctor/dentist, and you often have to make a toddler hold still while in the dentist’s chair. The pain is an unavoidable part of removing physical corruption (decay/disease). The same is true of physical discipline – the pain is not wanted by the child, but it is an unavoidable necessity for removing moral/spiritual/attitudinal corruption which has been displayed in rebellious behaviour. The Bible teaches us that,
    “Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; the rod of discipline will remove it far from him.” (Proverbs 22:15)

    You wrote: “If you guys stopped smacking your children, you would probably find you
    have an even better relationship with them than you do now!” It is comments like this that made me wonder if you have had children of your own. How on earth can you say that when you don’t know what my relationship with my children is like? It makes me wonder whether you are blindly committed to this idea that smacking children by way of correction is wrong no matter what evidence to the contrary you might actually find, and definitely no matter what your Creator, the Creator of heaven and earth, might say, ie. it is a FAITH position for you, but a faith not based on all the evidence, not based on reality, but rather on an ideology. You may have seen self-centred parents truly abusing their children with uncontrolled force, but that doesn’t mean you can therefore conclude that all parents who discipline their children physically are abusing them, nor that the results in both types of scenario will be the same. In other words, your logic is faulty, and certainly doesn’t match reality.

    In regard to your last paragraph below, when a parent loves his child enough to discipline him fairly and with the child’s well-being in mind, he does it with SELF-discipline, and it doesn’t lead to physical, or sexual, abuse. The most common factors leading to child abuse, as observed in NZ, (I mentioned this in my last email, and would like you to comment on this) are drug and alcohol abuse, family breakdown (ie. an extremely high percentage of violent and sexual abuse of children is done by live-in boyfriends, step-fathers, and de factos). Then there are the other factors, such as the plethora of violent, sadistic, sexually explicit movies and TV shows that fill people’s minds with moral garbage, and desensitise them to the horror of the real stuff, and get their minds going in a wrong direction. Add to that the rampant bullying in schools.

    So, if you want to stop violence against children, don’t pick on loving parents who occasionally smack their children to correct bad behaviour, lobby your government and encourage society to ban sex and violence from our cinema, TV and computer screens, to crack down on alcohol and drug abuse, to crack down on bullying in schools, and to stop subsidising marriage breakdown with social welfare handouts, and with legislation, and taxation levels, that undermine marriage and the traditional family.

    Smacking doesn’t lead to child abuse; the moral/spiritual decadence and self-centredness of our God-forsaking Western society is what is producing the physical and sexual abuse, as well as the mass-murder, of our children.

    Actually, looking back on my last email to you, I asked a couple of questions that you have not yet answered. I wonder if you would still do that for me. They are: “Does the location of the child (inside or outside the womb) determine what is right and wrong in this matter (ie. of murdering a baby), in your view? Up until now you have been talking about aborting children. Now you have called it “killing a foetus” as well. Do you believe that a baby in the womb is a human being just as is the cute little one-month old baby nursing at his/her mother’s breast?”

    The other questions I’d still like you to answer, please, are these: “And how do you explain children being grateful for being smacked when they’ve done wrong, and hugging the one who smacked them afterward and then running off happily to play, with their behaviour and attitude much improved? Because it happens, time and again, in household after household across the world, where children are disciplined in love. I can explain this reality from the Bible. How do you explain it, with the assumptions you have?”

    Sincerely
    Ed.

    Sent: Tuesday, August 15, 2006 1:57 PM

    Dear Ed,

    Abortion and smacking are totally different, and bear no similarity in
    this debate.

    Similarly, experiencing pain due to a medical procedure is totally
    different from experiencing pain due to physical punishment. If I go to
    the dentist or have an operation, I have to expect a certain amount of
    pain if I am to get better. I do not expect that I need to suffer pain
    due to anyone hitting me, as that is against the law, as it should be
    for children.

    Jesus said “suffer the little children to come unto me”. I am certain
    he didn’t mean for children to be hurt.

    I am sure those smacked children you are talking about are hurting
    deeply inside and will suffer the emotional scars forever.
    Smacking IS violence and child abuse! Those other social ills you
    mentioned such as addiction, violence and family breakdown all
    contribute to the neglect and abuse of children. It is ridiculous that
    we deplore violence, and yet still permit children to be hit.

    As I say, I believe that we ought to be encouraging parents to use
    non-physical means of disciplining their children. Basically, people
    who agree with hitting children are all about them, and are not about
    the child at all. They do not see the child as being as much of a
    person or human being as them, and do not see the need to . We still have a
    long way to go in this area.communicate
    with and interact with the child on an equal level

    – Correspondent

    Sent: Wednesday, August 16, 2006 10:39 AM

    Dear
    Why won’t you answer my simple, legitimate and very relevant questions concerning abortion? The issue of abortion is extremely relevant IF babies in the womb are truly human children, which I believe they are. Do you? The relevance is this: you cannot tell me that you are really concerned about the well-being of children, or that you “deplore violence” to children, when you justify the grossly violent mass mutilation and murder of probably 100s of millions of helpless dependent little babies worldwide each year. I simply do not believe you care about my or anyone else’s children.

    You wrote: “I am sure those smacked children you are talking about are hurting deeply inside and will suffer the emotional scars forever.” It is just as I said: this is a FAITH position for you, for you say, “I am sure…”. You WILL maintain it no matter how much evidence to the contrary I can give you. It is all just subjective ideology. Otherwise, on what do you base your certainty? Are you a mindreader who can see into the hearts of all children?

    You quoted Jesus again; not that I mind, because I believe what Jesus said. Jesus also said, “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell,” (Matthew 10:28) and “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” (John 14:6) Do you also believe that?

    You wrote: “Basically, people who agree with hitting children are all about them, and are not about the child at all.” “Hitting” children, as I understand that term, is wrong. That’s why I’ve practised smacking instead. I don’t “hit” them. If you meant “smacking children”, then actually, I never enjoyed smacking my children, but did it because I believed it would be good for them in the short term, and in the long run – and experience has borne this out to be true, as my own children will testify, not just to me, but to anyone who would ask (they are 22, 21, 19, 17, and 11 years of age). Of course, this is what the Bible has said all along.

    As to “communicate with and interact with the child on an equal level”, the fact is that they are not on an equal level in many ways. Oh yes, certainly in terms of being human beings made in the image of God, just like I am, they are equal. I seek always to show them respect as such. And I have enjoyed and do enjoy the companionship and love of my own children. But as to knowledge, understanding, wisdom, discernment and perceptions of reality and of dangers, as to life experience, and as to self-control, they are definitely NOT equal.

    There are many things we do not let children do because they are not ready for them. We have to train them to exercise self-control before we let them do certain things, and we must train their minds and their consciences so that they will develop the knowledge, wisdom and understanding to make certain decisions for themselves. And training always requires discipline, and discipline generally requires pain of one sort or another, because there are some things you and I will not learn unless we experience pain. What misery and pain we spare our children later in life when, through the relatively minor momentary sting of smacks in early childhood, we teach them to control themselves!

    You wrote: “Those other social ills you mentioned such as addiction, violence and family breakdown all contribute to the neglect and abuse of children.” … statistics show that they do not merely contribute, but rather that they are THE major factors involved in the majority of cases of child abuse. It appears to me to be ‘ridiculous’ that people will get so upset about a few smacks on the bottom for correction of bad behaviour, and not do everything they can to rid our society of these obviously major factors causing horrific child abuse. Neither do they do anything to reduce the other aspects of child abuse such as the bullying, the drugs at school; the porn, the gory violence on TV and Video games which are all manifestly damaging while smacking is only claimed to be so by some. The perspective is totally out of whack!

    I am glad you agree that children need to be disciplined. Could you give me some examples of “non-physical means of disciplining our children”?

    Sincerely
    Ed.

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