I’ve been thinking a lot lately about Michael Pearl’s interview by Anderson Cooper. (In most of the country this aired on Friday, but for PST it’s airing right now)
There is just something about the way he leaned forward and whispered, “Go for it.” when AC asked the district attorney if any charges were going to be brought against MP. I just can’t quite shake that image, and that sound. Matthew 5:25 says “Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court.” There’s more to the verse, but I want to point out two things. 1. Michael Pearl’s comment and demeanor in no way reflect that verse. Challenging an officer of the law to bring about charges (that the district attorney has no intention of doing, for the record) in that sort of cold, excited way is incompatible with the bible that says ‘as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone’ (Romans 12:18) and “Settle matters quickly”. 2. Matthew 5:25 is at the start of the Sermon on the Mount. Beginning in verse 21, Jesus speaks about murder and anger. This juxtaposition is especially chilling because Michael Pearl’s insistence that parents have complete domination over their children and settle for nothing less than instant compliance is what drove the parents using his books to kill their children. Michael Pearl declares that spanking in anger is abuse, but that spanking sessions that last for hours and eventually break down the muscle tissue to such a degree that the discharged bits of skeletal muscle collect in the organs and kill the child is not abuse. On TV, he says that if spanking isn’t working, parents should stop. But in writing, he has expressed a very different opinion on the effectiveness of spanking. He postulates over and over that anytime spanking seems ineffective, the parent should look inward and blame him or her self. (and then, of course, spank again) I won’t link to Michael Pearl from here, but go ahead and google the phrase “a proper spanking should leave the child without breath to complain” and see what you find. It’s Michael Pearl’s response to what a parent should do if an angry child hasn’t relented and become submissive after a spanking. I’d like to throw out another definition of abuse: one that includes Michael Pearl’s ideal spanking.
If you’re hitting your child, in any emotion, you have a problem that needs to be solved.
Hitting is abuse. There are too many other options available to parents that are both more effective, more in line with biblical teachings, and less hypocritical. And that’s before we begin the discussion about combining the phrase “I love you” with repeated spankings on naked flesh teaches a child. Ever wonder why our culture is so sexually depraved? Let’s start with what we teach children about love and pain.
I’m not really on the twitter scene, but I think the hash tag against Michael Pearl really sums things up #NoMoreDeadKids. Why is this even a debate?
Continuing this train of thought: And Another Thing