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Fundamentalist Book a Factor in Child Deaths. How Many Child Beatings Don't Make the News? Take action. - Comments

AnthropicConstance's Avatar Comment 1 by AnthropicConstance

Of all the issues dealt with on none breaks my heart like this one.

A humane approach to child discipline addresses the child's own self-respect, the better for him/her to respect others.

"Think about what you did," requires much more time and self-searching of child and care-giver, and is difficult to do in the modern world when parents time is likely to be centered around the getting of money for mere survival. The quick-fix of inflicting pain is not a fix at all but an indication to the child that he/she must be evil to have evil done to them.

Instead of a home-made lash, a room of one's own, in an atmosphere of fairness fosters a more sympathetic human. The "discipline" of babies for asking for affection doesn't make sense; it kills a part of the psyche that should be celebrated. In older children, we bring them, gently, the abilities to discipline themselves. The striking of children causes habitual anger, bullying, self-hatred and grief.

Research has shown that smacking a childdoes not improve children's behaviour: rather it can lead to more anti-social behaviour, more hitting of peers and siblings, and more hitting of spouses as adults. Smacking can also be damaging to children's psychological well-being, to their emotional and verbal intelligence, and their executive functioning ability. Overall most experts and leading children's advocates agree that children should be afforded the same protection from physical assault as adults by law.

Amen to that!

Mon, 07 Nov 2011 19:25:47 UTC | #888315

Andres Heredia's Avatar Comment 2 by Andres Heredia

Makes me want to throw up!!! when will this ever end :(

Mon, 07 Nov 2011 20:09:52 UTC | #888330

Neodarwinian's Avatar Comment 3 by Neodarwinian

I think if one eschews corporal punishment one should do it on purely moral grounds as the above boxed are shows that social science correlations are not really scientifically valid. Such as, " The striking of children causes habitual anger, bullying, self-hatred and grief. " Really? Not wise to link a moral position to such a " factual " position because when the " facts " are not supportable by the evidence it brings one's moral position into question.

Mon, 07 Nov 2011 20:12:15 UTC | #888332

some asshole's Avatar Comment 4 by some asshole

How many of these children will grow up to despise religion as much as I do? Just trying to find a silver lining... (Yeah, yeah: "There is no silver lining to child abuse!")

Mon, 07 Nov 2011 20:24:26 UTC | #888338

allanclare's Avatar Comment 5 by allanclare

I often find the comments on articles here to be rather less than a clear thinking oasis. However, fair play to the actual article writer for saying:

There are millions of responsible religious parents, and many responsible religious schools

Veritable balance!

ATC, Bristol. Ex-atheist now a Christian (a simple fact and not one of the oldest tricks in the book, Professor Dawkins!)

Mon, 07 Nov 2011 20:44:25 UTC | #888346

frax71's Avatar Comment 6 by frax71

I found a link over at Atheist Nexus to an investigative report by the BBC, in to child abuse in the U.S. It is mostly in video form with accompanying analysis. Some of the information imparted is harrowing ( Emma's story tore me apart) particularly as the level of abuse in the US is described in the introductory video as "endemic".

With the information contained in this report people do not need any further exhortations from religious idiots to hit your kids it's "good for them" as they seem to be doing plenty of that already, having killed 1770 of them in 2009. An appalling figure made worse some how because of the "holier tha thou" attitude of American fundementalists.

please follow this link to the report which in my opinion underlines Sean's argument

Mon, 07 Nov 2011 21:08:20 UTC | #888355

AnthropicConstance's Avatar Comment 7 by AnthropicConstance

Comment 3 by Neodarwinian

the " facts " are not supportable by the evidence


-Paterson GR, De Baryshe BD, Ramsey E. A developmental perspective on antisocial behavior. American psychologist 199; 2:271-281.

-MacMillan HI, Boyle MH, Wong MY, Duku EK, Fleming JE, Walsh CA. Slapping and spanking in childhood associated with a lifetime prevalence of childhood disorders in a general population sample. CMAJ 1999; 161:805-9.

-Strauss M. Sugarman DB, Giles-Sims J. Spanking by parents and subsequent anti-social behavior in children. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med 1997; 751:761-7.

-Straus MA, Kantor GK. Corporal punishment of adolescents by parents: a risk factor in the epedemiology of depression, suicide, alcohol abuse, child abuse and wife beating. Adolescence1994; 29: 543-61

Shall I continue?

Mon, 07 Nov 2011 21:51:54 UTC | #888365

Virgin Mary's Avatar Comment 8 by Virgin Mary

The Qu'ran actually encourages parents to beat their children!

"Order your children for salat (prayer) at the age of 7 and beat them (about it) at the age of 10."

Mon, 07 Nov 2011 21:58:52 UTC | #888367

Stevehill's Avatar Comment 9 by Stevehill

Sweden managed to ignore any "religious freedom" arguments when it criminalised hitting any children, for any reason, whether by parents, teachers or anyone else.

There is still an active (and quite promising) campaign for the UK to go as far as Sweden.

Mon, 07 Nov 2011 22:25:16 UTC | #888388

some asshole's Avatar Comment 10 by some asshole

Comment 5 by allanclare :

I often find the comments on articles here to be rather less than a clear thinking oasis.

Sorry we don't think as clearly as Christians. That Olmatta Gawud is a slick bastard, the way he hands out good, "clear thinking" brains to some and not others!

Mon, 07 Nov 2011 22:35:26 UTC | #888393

TobySaunders's Avatar Comment 11 by TobySaunders

Non-defensive hitting of children, non-human animals, adult people, anyone, should be illegal.

Mon, 07 Nov 2011 22:58:06 UTC | #888405

some asshole's Avatar Comment 12 by some asshole

Comment 11 by TobySaunders :

Non-defensive hitting of children, non-human animals, adult people, anyone, should be illegal.

And yet I regularly see righties claiming that all of US society's ills are because we don't "allow" our children to be physically punished enough.

Mon, 07 Nov 2011 23:00:48 UTC | #888406

Anonymous's Avatar Comment 13 by Anonymous

Comment Removed by Moderator

Mon, 07 Nov 2011 23:50:26 UTC | #888425

Anonymous's Avatar Comment 14 by Anonymous

Comment Removed by Moderator

Mon, 07 Nov 2011 23:57:32 UTC | #888428

Moderator's Avatar Comment 15 by Moderator

Moderators' message

Would users please not snarl at each other. It breaches our Terms of Use.

Thank you.

The Mods

Tue, 08 Nov 2011 07:22:05 UTC | #888483

alf1200's Avatar Comment 16 by alf1200

Moderator, Can we hiss and growl?

Tue, 08 Nov 2011 08:33:49 UTC | #888497

SaganTheCat's Avatar Comment 17 by SaganTheCat

often when news of appauling behaviour by religious people comes out there's a very short time (such as the recent news of a nurse who acted wholly unprofessionally in front of a mother during a child's heart attack) before commentators respond with cries of "christian bashing"

next time I see one I shall be linking this as a more appropriate and accurate use of the term

Tue, 08 Nov 2011 10:43:48 UTC | #888537

thebaldgit's Avatar Comment 18 by thebaldgit

Whenever i see stories such as these i always think of the saying spare the rod and spoil the child which i translate as do as i say child or i will beat the shit out of you.

Tue, 08 Nov 2011 11:13:26 UTC | #888547

mellifera's Avatar Comment 19 by mellifera

The New York Times slideshow refers to this as "spanking." I'm not an advocate of any sort of "spanking," "swatting," or "smacking," but what the Pearls advocate is NOT spanking. It is whipping or beating. It isn't a smack on the butt with a hand, but using weed whacker cord on a baby under the age of 1 year. Pearl talks about using a switch on his 4-month-old daughter's legs to "teach" her, an early crawler, not to go near the stairs.

These people are abusive control freaks who will use weed whacker cord, plumbing line, switches, or whatever is at hand--including religion--to further their agenda.

Tue, 08 Nov 2011 13:22:37 UTC | #888584

conshy matt's Avatar Comment 20 by conshy matt

what are the odds of these people actually winning in the courts, on the grounds of freedom of religion?

Tue, 08 Nov 2011 14:58:22 UTC | #888613

Rosbif's Avatar Comment 21 by Rosbif

If children at a Xtian fundi school can be beaten becasue a religious school doesn't have to adhere to the same law as as everyone else, can children at a Rastafarian school smoke spliffs without the law interfering with their religious freedom? Or is this freedom only for certain religions?

Tue, 08 Nov 2011 15:39:00 UTC | #888630

Bernard Hurley's Avatar Comment 22 by Bernard Hurley

Also, Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy had wisely called for equal laws affecting corporal punishment. Regardless of our views on corporal punishment, we can all agree that religion is deserving of no separate legal standard in this regard. Last year I initiated a proposal from secularists to support equal treatment under the law regarding corporal punishment of children.

Are you suggesting the religious and non-religious should have "equal rights" when it comes to torturing children? Why bend over backwards to appease child abusers like this? The very notion of corporal punishment, especially of children, is abhorrent. It should be banned.

Tue, 08 Nov 2011 16:19:28 UTC | #888648

tchatzenbuhler's Avatar Comment 23 by tchatzenbuhler

Between Pearl and Judge William Adams, I nearly at my wits end at the abuse rendered unto children by their fundamentalist parents…

Tue, 08 Nov 2011 21:38:44 UTC | #888770

C.Wood's Avatar Comment 24 by C.Wood

Happy to report that this piece of journalism hit the Portuguese newspapers.

There was no lack of shocked people condemning the book. Of course, as usual, half of them might be the kind of people who declare the "rainbow appears during religious ceremony X" to be a miracle, anyway.

Wed, 09 Nov 2011 15:40:04 UTC | #888983

Starcrash's Avatar Comment 25 by Starcrash

I almost signed, and then realized my signature would promote the censorship of a view that we hold offensive.

Sorry, even the idiots get the right to free speech. And if that speech carries penalties for innocent children, it should be fought... but not with infringement of speech rights. If a petition carried 10,000 signatures against The God Delusion being carried in stores, I'd think it was equally appalling and so would you. Perhaps we should hold a public and well-advertised debate on what constitutes child abuse? I think we should attack the 'disease' rather than the 'symptoms'.

Wed, 09 Nov 2011 18:52:14 UTC | #889039

Sean_W's Avatar Comment 26 by Sean_W

Why should a how to abuse children for dummies book be protected under free speech?

That seems like a very strange view of free speech. When might it be necessary to free from tyranny the voice of child abusers on matters of parenting?

Wed, 09 Nov 2011 19:54:27 UTC | #889058

frax71's Avatar Comment 27 by frax71

@ Comment 25 by Starcrash

I would oppose the sale of The God Delusion if RD explicity encouraged beating and whipping Christians, but as he does not your argument makes no sense.These 2 morons, are, however, encouraging using ever increasing levels of violence against a group of fellow human beings least able to fight back namely children and all in the name of "training them", for training read control through the application of violence.

I thought that we opposed the use of violence, we never tire of reminding Muslims and Christians that they have been the purveyors of violence both in thought and deed throughout history and on in to the modern era and we oppose that. What is so different when the issue is the beating of children.This is not simply a difference of opinion. The issue here is the encouragement of violence and should have no place in the one area where you should feel safe, your own home

Wed, 09 Nov 2011 20:12:32 UTC | #889065

frax71's Avatar Comment 28 by frax71

@ Starcrash comment 25

So you want a debate on "what constitutes child abuse". Let's see if you can work it out for yourself. Please follow this link

Thu, 10 Nov 2011 03:33:46 UTC | #889145

Starcrash's Avatar Comment 29 by Starcrash

Comment 28 by frax71 :

@ Starcrash comment 25

So you want a debate on "what constitutes child abuse". Let's see if you can work it out for yourself. Please follow this link

You seem to have misheard me. I don't need to be educated on what constitutes child abuse... I already agree with you. I think those who read or write evil books such as "To Train Up a Child" need to be educated on this issue.

To argue that this book is an exception to the protection of free speech is just a case of special pleading. The ideology behind protecting someone's speech is that it may cause offense or cause action that we disapprove of... is this not a textbook example of the reason why we have to protect speech? This reminds me of the example of Fred Phelps' church picketing the funeral of a dead soldier. There was a lot of debate over whether his freedom of speech should be protected, and most of those who argued against protection labeled it as "hate speech", but never went on to explain why "hate speech" was not legally protected.

In this case, I hear that we shouldn't allow people to incite others to do evil. I haven't heard an explanation of how such incitement is illegal... and if it isn't illegal, it's protected.

Thu, 10 Nov 2011 21:03:04 UTC | #889320

Sean_W's Avatar Comment 30 by Sean_W

Free speech is not absolute. Therefore arguing to exclude child abuse manuals from its protection is not committing the fallacy of special pleading, it is only deciding whether or not they should be treated like other uses of speech that are also not deemed acceptable.

I suppose one could argue that free speech ought to be absolute, in which case every argument for an exception could be declared special pleading. But then wry opponents might point out that having an absolute was itself, special extraordinaire.

Thu, 10 Nov 2011 21:42:07 UTC | #889324