Thursday, September 18, 2014

Abuse vs Discipline. Is The Bible Still Right?

Proverbs 23:13-14 ~ 13-Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. 14-Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.

Everyone knows the news...The NFL has adopted a new "policy" aimed at deterring its players from proceeding down the path of domestic violence. There are over 4 players who are currently suspended from their NFL jobs for domestic abuse. Of course we all know from the video that it was domestic abuse and even domestic violence when Ray Rice knocked Janay, his now wife, out cold. We all looked on and said, that is a clear case of what should not be acceptable within the NFL, society and within our institutions in general. 

Noone argues that domestic abuse is acceptable. In fact, I have opened an organization, "I Am My Brother's Keeper Christian Advocacy Council" to deal with all forms of church related abuse and misuse which would include domestic abuse and violence as well. I have studied the forms of manipulation that normally lead to abuse of all kinds and we are confident that abuse, in all its forms is deplorable and should be addressed and put down. However, we must examine this cultural trend to claim that all forms of discipline is abuse. As we will see, that is not necessarily the case. 

Child Abuse Or Child Discipline? 
"The doctor told investigators that the boy had a number of lacerations on his thighs, along with bruise-like marks on his lower back and buttocks and cuts on his hand. The police report says the doctor described some of the marks as open wounds and termed it “child abuse.” Another examiner agreed, calling the cuts “extensive.” ~Report
Adrian Peterson, arguably, the greatest running back in the current NFL and one of the greatest in NFL history, has been sidelined by his NFL team, Minnesota Vikings, not just once, but twice, for "reckless or negligent injury to a child". Adrian claims that he simply disciplined his 4 year old son with a switch as he was disciplined when he was a child. Of course the headline is that Adrian had "abused" his child to which Adrian responds:
"I have learned a lot and have had to reevaluate how I
discipline my son going forward. But deep in my heart I have always believed I could have been one of those kids that was lost in the streets without the discipline instilled in me by my parents and other relatives. I have always believed that the way my parents disciplined me has a great deal to do with the success I have enjoyed as a man. I love my son and I will continue to become a better parent and learn from any mistakes I ever make."
Adrian, probably will not play for the Vikings again, which seems to be something that would make him happy, as long as he could continue his career. This is where the rubber meets the road. The problem seems to be the public opinion of not only how Adrian disciplined his child, but the age of his child, and the fact that he left cuts and other marks, commonly called wheps, on his son's body which were on his back, buttocks, legs and even his scrotum. It is that combination of things that leads the critical public to call what Adrian did, "abuse" as opposed to "discipline".

In that I would agree that a beating to lacerations or an out of control frenzy, even if supposedly for a "good' reason is abuse. There are many more and more effective ways to get a message across. However, there seems to be something a little more subtle at work as I will discuss.   

In The Peterson Defense

Make no mistake...what Adrian suggests is true. Those of us who enjoined discipline when we were young, at the hands of loving parents, understand the value of what is right, the need for order and the blessings of discipline. We understand loving parents who show the sign of care and loving concern. We also understand that many of the types of discipline experienced back then (in our past) would be considered abuse today wheps or no wheps. Many of us, myself included, make jokes about it all the time. This generation just could not stand the discipline of the old days.

In addition, we also understand the weak nature of modern society and kids, many of whom who've never been disciplined, and who were just given "time outs" and the opportunity to "make the right choice". It is some of those individuals who are now raising a new generation of kids that they can't control, reinforcing the same bad patterns of behavior with what appear to be failed parental skills all in the name of  following the new child psychology that teaches that physical force in discipline is not an allowable method of discipline at all. 

Truth is that many of us were backhanded, beat or hit with extension cords...beat or hit with tree switches...beat or hit with whatever was in hand at the moment...and yes, sometimes wheps were left on the skin and we felt the sting as a reminder of what NEVER to ever do again...but in most cases, the love of the parent was not questioned because the same one that disciplined would give their life to protect us and every effort was made to make the kids safe and secure. Although we weren't made to eat leaves, (as is reported) as Adrian stated, when the alternative to discipline was considered, many of us now understand that without discipline and correction and without "having that butt stung" every now and then, there was a world of bad decisions and horrible judgments available that could have placed many of us 6 feet under before we had a chance to grow 4 feet above. 

You see, for a Black child and for a Black family, the streets don't give a "time out". The only thing that keeps and kept many of us is and was the "fear" of how Mudea, Momma or Daddy would respond if we did the wrong thing. The memory of the wheps, that surely fade, were a stark reminder that "I need to do right". 

The Morality Of The World

Although there is a sharp contrast between what the church views as discipline and what the world views as abuse, let's set the record straight....TRUE discipline and correction is NEVER abuse. In fact, to NOT discipline and correct is the ultimate form of abuse leaving a person to wrong behavior to suffer a tragic defeat and failure. 

With all of that said, it is the style of discipline that is questioned by the world. Through their arm of mind science called "psychology" and "psychiatry" the world would like us to believe that all physical punishment, discipline and correction of children at any age,  is wrong or inappropriate. As stated, many individuals soaked in the worlds brand of morality and psychology, stand in their righteous indignation behind such notions that physical discipline and correction is wrong 100%. Psychology and studies of "emotional well being" are used to support their belief. But before one hums too loudly, don't sing the praises of the psychological and psychiatric community yet...Remember just a short time ago the same group of people stated that homosexuality was a mental illness that could be cured by electroshock and that depression was a physiological defect that could be cured by "bleeding". 

Through psychologists, the world seems to have have come together to condemn Adrian Peterson and corporal punishment in general. I'll not forget listening to ESPN Radio talk show host Colin Cowheard as he suddenly became an expert on the effects of child discipline, citing studies that show that children who are physically disciplined are more susceptible to violent behavior and violent actions in their lifetime and that many of those who are physically disciplined are subject to be less emotionally stable over time and within society. it reminded me of the time that I listened to complete idiots ramble about the dangers of kids watching Buggs Bunny and the Coyote and Roadrunner saying that kids that do were and would be more violent....PLEASE!!!!

Regarding child abuse and child discipline, Dr Alice Swenson of the Midwest Children's Advocacy Center
"Physical discipline is not the optimal approach. It has unintended long-term consequences. It can make a child more aggressive and does not necessarily accomplish the goal of teaching a child not to (misbehave) again."... "We are mindful of the fact there are a percentage of parents out there who consider it appropriate discipline to spank a child, but when it crosses into lasting bruises, lacerations and broken bones in cases, that is child abuse and our task is to protect the child, advocate for the child and speak for the child."
I certainly agree! However, noone in this case is talking about broken bones and lasting bruises thankfully. It seems that the lacerations are apropos to being whipped by a tree branch. remember extension cords? We cannot simply lump discipline into abuse and say that they are one in the same. 


In truth, just looking at society, I can say for a FACT that the children who have been disciplined and who know that violating the rules brings punishment and discomfort, and who grow into adulthood, are NOT the problem with society. In fact I contend that children who can't and don't understand that there is a such a thing as bad behavior and that bad behavior has a consequence more than just taking a "time out" and that the consequences are not to be desired, are the real problem. When those individuals grow into adults, it is usually them that have no fear of any consequences that rob clients of millions of dollars, commit fraudulent activities for selfish gain and otherwise don't care how anyone else feels in the wake of their evil acts and actions.

It is just that generation, the non disciplined, uncorrected generation, that believes that nothing they do deserves to make them feel uncomfortable and that if others really cared, they would seek to make their lives as easy and carefree as possible.  That generation even believes that stealing is a privilege and that fighting and keeping complete and utter MESS going, is a way of life...Those are they that have NEVER been disciplined out of true love and concern from a parent...Many of them have also been abused and manipulated...Some locked in closets, tied up in chains, fed mush and told to hush, locked under the stairs and in the attic, bounced from foster home to foster home, raped, emotionally damaged, used, and beat up like an unloved stranger. 

It is those individuals by far and large that have sought affirmation from gangs, delved into drugs and premarital sexual relationships and even experimental sexual relationships looking for their identity because their identity has not yet been established...The things that have led them to their path is abuse...A life may not ever heal from that sort of pain...but from the whep of loving discipline, done out of care, and concern for correction there will be a healing.

School Dayzzzz

Many of us remember, that there used to be paddling in school. Some of us remember that it used to be OK to pray in school too. It seems that neither of those things are allowed in modern schools and school settings and rightfully so. Not because the act is necessarily wrong, but because the hand dispensing the discipline cannot necessarily be trusted to exude proper and correct judgement. Then, because sexual perversion is on the rise, who can trust that a school administrator is just not waiting to paddle a child who may be objectified by the perversions of a lustful adult? Sad to say, but it is true and must be considered.

In part, because there is no fear of punishment, many of our schools are akin to war zones. Kids of all ages, cussing out adults and trying to impose their will, in some cases led by parents with the same or similar issues. What is interesting is that many of those children have a totally different demeanor at home. Some are much more calm and able to get along. Why? Because to do some of the things they do in school, and to act out in ways that some act out would get their "butts tore up" from a disciplinary point of view.

You see, sound discipline will go further than ritalin, and one doesn't have to worry about gynochlomastia as many have had to worry after taking risperdal. We are faced with a generation of weak parents, that have bought into the obtuse ramblings of the psychological community, and that have helped foster an out of control generation...And THEY, along with advertisers and sponsors, want us to all agree that a parent physically disciplining their child is wrong.

Like Homey D. Clown said: "I Don't Think So!!!! Homey Don't Play Dat!!!!"

Sorry, with the support and admonition of the TRUE word of God, I will discipline and will discipline with a right mind. Anger does not have to be the well out of which discipline is drawn. Anger in discipline displays a lack of self control. Granted parents must learn how to discipline children and how to do so appropriately, and must also come to understand that every child does not need to experience the same type of discipline for discipline to be effective. However, if direction is needed, which it is in this modern and confused world, let EVERY parent stand up, take their family back from the same social and public institutions and rules that have failed us all, and retrain a new generation of  individuals who will understand that love, correction and responsibility belong in the same sentence and are not contrary, but complimentary to one another.

The alternative as I see it is found in the streets where Black men lay at the hands of one another and even more recently at the hands of criminal elements and even at the hands of the police. It is the streets who dispense an unloving and uncaring brand of discipline that destroys the very fabric of our existence. It is street life, glorified by the masses also marketed by psychologists, that has done the damage not only to every institution that we have within the United States, but to nearly every family, even the Amish, who normally stay away from modern convention.

I won't be duped by the calls for Adrian Peterson's head, although I will strongly support his training as a parent in learning to discipline his child and children more effectively. Certainly, as he admits, he makes and made a mistake. Thankfully his mistake was not one unto death or anything near death of his son, but I agree that he, like many others, must separate anger and sometimes their past from disciplinary correction of their children.

IS The Bible Still Right?

I believe what the bible says and believe that it is right...A loving parent will correct their child, NOT out of anger or blood-lust, but out of love and compassion calling a child to a higher and acceptable standard of behavior. The bible does not endorse that a parent be more evil in discipline than the evil he or she is trying to correct. However, God knows how we are made and how lessons are formed not only in our mind, but also in our spirits. 

As the world examines and criticizes corporal punishment as some anomaly or relic of the past, I believe that the church should examine the word of God and the scope and type of discipline that it calls for and specifies that is most effective. 

A child should not be beat or hit for simply failing a task, but a child who knows to do good and still does evil will either be beat by me, or the one who catches him/her in or after their evil act. As a parent, we can correct and adjust and create a completely new horizon before it's too late. When the correction comes from the streets, it's already too late.


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