Category Archives: fatherhood

Thoughts On “Christian” Child Abuse

The Resurgence: Father's Don't Provoke Your ChildrenAnother couple has been found guilty of murder for the death of their child after they used the “parenting” advice found in the book “To Train Up A Child” by Mike and Debi Pearl.

The New York Times headline lumps all corporal punishment under the same roof as the abusive advice of the Pearls.

A friend of the parents most recently found guilty points out “the Pearls are not professionally trained or educated in child development.”

First off let me be clear: These parents are evil and deserve the full and just punishment for  the abuse and murder of their children. How heartless, callous, cruel, and stupid must you be to consider sending your young child naked into the cold to be reasonable punishment, a good idea?

Yes, children are sinners just like you and I, and discipline is necessary to guide them into being healthy adults, but the goal is never to break the child. These are children, not horses. Discipline is about structure, structure is about direction, direction is about purpose. The goal of discipline is to grow within the child the self-discipline necessary for them to be able to accomplish their own purposes in life. Breaking a child’s will robs them of purpose and so is not a legitimate goal or form of discipline.

Parents who consider advice such as the Pearls dispense sound are doing grave disservice to their children at best, and are harming their children immeasurably at worst.

But we have to also be clear about a few others things as well:

  • Professional training in child development does not in any way make a person a legitimate expert able to dispense advice that would be any more right or effective than the destructive trash put out by the Pearls. Experience and success, or even an honest understanding of the source of ones failures, are more likely to present advice worth reading, and even if that is read, it ought to be run past your own common sense, for what is successful with one child may not necessarily be successful with another, even one in the same family.
  • Corporal punishment, spanking, is often illustrated with extreme cases where the intent is clearly harm to the child, when there is no proof that is how it primarily exists. The very fact that these isolated cases are such big news is that they are isolated. Most parents are not beating their children with plastic tubing until they “draw into a quiet shell and obey”.
  • The Bible in no way supports the ideas of breaking children down. Instead, twice in the New Testament Paul tells fathers to not provoke their children to wrath, anger, exasperation, embitterment, or discouragement (Ephesians 6:4, Colossians 3:21).

So far as we know the Pearls have not committed any crimes themselves. Freedom of speech and of the press means that in this country at least they ought to still be free to publish their drivel and silly people are still free to follow them. Not every child raised by adherents of the Pearls folly die, and some even turn out all right I’d presume. But like the leftist Democrats in the Westboro Baptist “Church” the Pearls ought to be confronted with wisdom and truth by some, and studiously ignored by all others, and parents ought to be surrounded by their family, friends, and community with good and sound advice and help and support.

Around The World… Erm… Blogosphere

Pudge at Sound Politics doesn’t “know Rep. Matt Shea (R-4th LD, around Spokane), but… consider(s) him a bit of a hero, actually standing up for rights and liberty when most people, on either side of the aisle, don’t.”

Read the list of bills Rep. Matt Shea has submitted that were dropped by that august assembly.

In the critical race for “the people’s seat” in Massachusetts, the ideological walls are as high as can be. Incumbent Martha Coakley (D), the favorite for the seat recently vacated at the passing of Teddy Kennedy is defending herself against the increasing tide that is support for Scott Brown.

Coakley supports ObamaCare, opposes the war in Afghanistan, and favors higher taxes on the wealthy. Brown is against the health care legislation, backs the president’s surge in Afghanistan, and wants across-the-board tax cuts à la JFK. Coakley is an EMILY’s List prochoice hard-liner; Brown condemns partial-birth abortion and is backed by Massachusetts Citizens for Life. Coakley has no problem with civilian trials for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. Brown thinks it reckless to treat enemy combatants like ordinary defendants.

Other differences abound. Coakley doesn’t like being questioned about her stated and public views when they may reflect poorly on her and she doesn’t like admitting the possibly she may have been incorrect in the past. Even CNN reveals her follies. While Brown homeschools his kids, speaks eloquently regarding the true nature of government, and promises to be a serious thorn in the side of the currently prevailing powers in Washington.

Should Brown win, the Democrats are already threatening to block his appointment to the Senate, until after the “health-care” bill is passed.  We shall see.

Pat Robertson, again

Neil asks for someone to please take away Pat Robertson’s microphone. I agree.

But they won’t take it away because the portions of our culture that despise Christianity are much happier if they don’t have to misrepresent. Even denying morality and absolutes, they’ll take a juicy truth over a conjured or fabricated tale if it achieves the desired result.

So I’d love for that man to just go away, but I’m pretty sure it isn’t going to happen until God deems his time right.

Neil again

Neil continues his fight against liberal theology and liberal theologians.

That man has more patience than I could ever find in dealing with these people so invested in lies and fabrications, so intransigent in their fallacies.

I am glad Neil is that way, though. Perhaps those he preaches against will someday hit their heads on a doorpost so hard the voices of rationalization and self-justification will shut up, and they’ll see, through the might hand of the one true God, the truth as it is, and not as they wish it to be.

Keep up the good work my friend.

The way things ought to be

WinteryKnight is very much about that, hence his many “MUST-READ’s“.

The good news is, they all are.

He’s also very concerned about the plight of manhood and boyhood in our society. From the feminized path that boys must take through our public school system to the extreme cases of insane feminism beating down men trying to do the right thing by their children and families, WinteryKnight chronicles the sad story of the life of the man today.

Frankly, I didn’t know quite what I was up against.

But I’m glad to have found this new blogging buddy and I encourage you to check him out to.

Bonus for single ladies: he’s single, is a great catch, and has very high standards (which some of us are working to fix).

I can’t stand having pockets over full. Too often pants pockets today are constructed shoddily, almost as an afterthought, and the contents of the pockets bump against my legs and rub and get in the way and abrade.

But what can you tell about a man from his pockets? The Art of Manliness posted a selection from a 1933 Esquire magazine which portrayed the story of a man through the contents of his pockets.

Contents of His Pockets at Ten

1 watch, lacking a main spring.
1 report card, badly frayed and unpresented at home.
1 much damaged cigarette, unsmoked.
1 penknife.
1 rubber band, for use in sling-shot.
Remains of an exploded toy balloon.
2 marbles.
4 caps of milk bottles, won in competition
1 dirty handkerchief.
1 piece of chewing gum.
2 keys which do not fit locks.
7 pieces of string.

Read A Pocket History Of Milton J. Wurtleburtle.

Good Father

Fatherhood is manly
Fatherhood is manly

I’ve been surprised of late at the sources and volume of negative or, at best, ambivalent feelings towards fathers and fatherhood.

My wife is getting involved in the ladies ministry at our church and there was a coffee and tea get together Saturday morning. My wife was planning several errands for the morning and so I was left caring for young William. So long as we have milk pumped and bottled he is quite alright with me. More importantly, I’m willing and able and responsible, as I am his father.

I’m no superhero, nor do I have any special ability beyond the normal. I’m not much of an outlier in this respect, I believe.

Rather, I consider myself normal.

I’m a normal man who has taken responsibility for his family, his wife and their child.

I work to support them financially, bu my responsibility does not end at 5pm Friday.

I’m a father, not just a breadwinner. A father is so much more than a breadwinner.

I’m a diaper changer, a dish washer, a laundromat, a soft shoulder, a chauffeur, a burp rag, a comic, a stereo, a counselor, a pastor, a manager, a confidant, a firm hand. I am whatever necessary to ensure both the macro- and micro-progress of my family towards our goal of bringing more glory to God and achieving greater Godliness mutually and individually.

I am capable and willing.

I’m not expert or perfect.

For the men who don’t think themselves capable: grow a pair, man up, find your spine. You’re capable of what you choose to be.

For the mothers who haven’t tried letting go and letting dad: he’ll grow into whatever you lovingly and with support allow him become, including dad.

For detractors and cynics everywhere of every stripe: leave. You’re not wanted. Your words only condemn another generation to fatherless failure. Your ideas enslave millions more in the stifling mire of your small minds and minuscule dreams.

Mothers are not superior, and neither are fathers. Both are needed and necessary for normative growth in children. Both are prone to failure.

It is no secret, except to those remaining willfully ignorant and despicable for it, that mothers are as capable of abuse as fathers, and for societies failure to accept it, becoming frighteningly more common.

In fact, it is the union of the two fallible, failed, faltering parents, both the mother and father together, who are most capable of lifting each other beyond their individual limitations and shortcomings. Not to achieve perfection, but to achieve the greater potential of success in whatever goal they have chosen.

And isn’t that what we’re all striving for?

So father, free yourself of the false notion of your incurable frailty and seize the mantel of manhood and be a father.

And mother, relinquish the idea of fatherly failure and instead build up and encourage and then step back and allow the man in your husband to thrive as it fills out the form of fatherhood.

Idiot Dad

While the world burns around me:

And I’m upset over a movie.

An early 90’s comedy even.

Father of the Bride, billed as good clean family fun.

It’s dangerous, folks.

I even got a few laughs in before it just got so bad I couldn’t even laugh at the, few, funny parts any more.

The father is an idiot. No self-control. Few moral qualms. He’s the butt of every joke, and not in a nice way either.

He is not wise or caring.

He has no personal charisma or drive that should make us want for him to mature and grow through the movie.

And his character is inconsistant and false. He runs a successful business, has the adoration of his children and wife, and adores them in return. Yet he sneaks and fears and bumbles about like a complete fool.

The “here he goes again” looks from his wife are supposed to evoke further chuckles, but I couldn’t.

What good does this kind of portrayal do?

Is the only purpose of this movie to make us laugh? It failed at that. The “humor” was too shameful.

Consistently, the other characters are smart and likeable and have depth and a future. It’s the dad we’re supposed to laugh at.

And supposedly Steve Martin is good at that.

As Inspector Clouseau, it’s a good thing. He’s supposed to be an idiot hero, a hapless savior.

But when he is portrayed as an “everyman” and a father it’s ugly and terrible.

As a husband and expectant father I took personal offense and umbrage at this portrayal of what I aspire to.

I’m no fool taking my queues from Hollywood. My dad and my heavenly Father are quite enough for me to aspire to, thank you very much.

But what about those who do not have a father or who do not yet know their heavenly Father? The father on the silver screen may be their only target.

What responsibility is borne for those who see this dad and despair because they recognize his idiocy and the fun had lampooning his foolhardy attempts to be involved in his daughters wedding?

The only victories he achieves occur when he gives up.

In real life, the only victory that occurs that way is the most important one: salvation. Everything else requires determination and purpose.

I’m not planning on being an idiot dad, and so I’ll gladly forget Father of the Bride and heartily recommend against anybody seeing that abomination.

Is it entertainment when fatherhood is played for the fool?