Ronin of the Spirit

Because reality is beautiful.

To spank, or not to spank.

Proverbs 23:13 “Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.”

The Hebrew word euphemistically translated as rod, in fact, means club, like a war club. This is not hyperbole, this is talking about beating the hell out of your own children.

No longer believing that I should simply mindlessly obey scripture, (not that I ever did in this particular regard) I, regardless, feel that I owe it to my daughter to research the whole spanking debate and discipline her in the way that best sets her up for success as an adult.

I believe as a parent, my goal is prepare my daughter to be an adult. I want her to be successful human being. “Successful human being” doesn’t mean rich, though I will be frank and admit that I do hope my daughter is rich. (A lot of people would say “comfortable”. Bull. Money opens doors, and I want my daughter to have as many open doors as possible. When I say rich, I mean rich.) However, rich is up to her. “Successful human being” means self respecting with due cause, thus making her a good friend and (perhaps more importantly) a good chooser of friends. Finally, it would mean she is independent and strong.

So, believing that my goal is to raise her to adulthood, apparently puts me at odds with the vast portion of parents out there who want their children to have a magic twenty-four year childhood of chaste romance and never paying their own way which ends (equally magically) finally and cleanly when said child simultaneously finds a wonderful white collar job and kind and rich spouse with perfect teeth.

Where was I? Ah, yes, corporal punishment. So, here’s my two problems with not spanking.

One, time. Yes, in a perfect world, I would always have the time to imagine a perfect punishment. Real life, not so much. Example: staying up playing after being put to bed. This is a problem because she will stay up later than she should, and be a cranky little…darling…in the morning, which often leads to the whole morning to afternoon nap time period being a lousy day for all concerned.

The problem is: She wants to stay up, and we, the parents don’t want her too. At some point, probably closer that I want to admit, if she wants to stay up and have a lousy day thats her business, but right now, we know whats best for her. I have to make her go to bed.

The effectiveness of any punishment I give her in this particular case is inversely proportion to how long it takes. A punishment that lets her stay up for another 15 minutes, for instance, isn’t really a punishment at all.

Now, I am sure some well meaning person will read this and say something like this:

Modern, peer reviewed research by behavioral scientists says that reward is a more effective method of motivation and faster engine of behavioral change than punishment.

Which leads me to problem number two.

Thats not how the real world works. I believe those studies are true and accurate. I’m just not sure that raising my daughter in that world of rewards prepares her for adulthood.

I can’t think of a single time a boss has ever rewarded me for showing up on time. I can’t remember a cop pulling me over to give me a cookie for driving the speed limit. No neighbor has ever even thanked me for not breaking into their house. No store manager ever made me a pan of brownies for not shoplifting.

The world we live in categorically, does not, run on rewards; it runs on punishment. The reality of life is that you can do exactly what you are supposed to do for 50 years and no one gives a shit, but the first time you get caught breaking a rule/law/norm people will go nuts.

Spanking is a quick punishment, and the world runs on punishment. But, is it really a good idea to hit people (even little people) when they don’t do what you tell them? Is the expectation that she can hit people who don’t do what she tells them more or less damaging the idea that she will get rewarding for merely doing what she must?

What should I do?

Post Script: I pursued my local library’s parenting shelf. Bloody useless. Having a “PhD” behind one’s name does not make one right. No controls and no peer reviews = probable BS.

So, please, to any readers, please post a comment, I am interested to hear what different people have to say.

October 6, 2008 Posted by | Politics, Religion, skepticism, Uncategorized | , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Open minded and Politically active Christian Leader II

My mistake the “oh what profit that Galilean fable has brought us” is bologna. It has been thrown around so many times with “sources” of the other times that it was said cited as the source, that it appears to be true. But it is not. That Catholic Church has always claimed that this quote was falsely attributed. There exists such a quote but it is from a fictional parody that has been falsely identified as a historical document.

This page tells the story of this bogus quote, and I guess I can put myself in ranks of 2-bit skeptics who cynically assume that since the quote fits the personality of the Pope that is is true. It’s not. I apologize, it was sloppy research.

However, the charge that he was a homosexual stands

(1.) G. A .Cesareo, Pasquino e pasquinate nella Roma de Leone X, Rome, 1938
(2.) “He was appeared highly effeminate” Catholic Encyclopedic 1917 (and all proceeding versions)
(3.) C. Falconi, Leone X, Milan, 1987

As far as him raising money by selling indulgences, I shouldn’t really have to cite that, as it was why Martin Luther nailed his thesis to the door . You find that in any history book. But particularly paragraph 15 of the Catholic Encyclopedia article on pope Leo X also puts it quite clearly.¬† I prefer to use Catholic sources to make statements about the Catholic¬† church.

June 2, 2008 Posted by | Religion, skepticism | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment