Future Mad Scientist, DB…Responds to Creflo Dollar and the Issue of Spanking

14 Jun

In my last post (which you can find here), I commented briefly, that Creflo Dollar is claiming that he did not hit and choke his 15-year-old daughter, he only spanked her.

Future mad scientist DB had this to say

First, as a still-Christian, the rod is symbolic of parental authority not permission to beat your kids.

Second, why is everyone up in arms because of her age? Why is it ok to beat little kids but spare older kids? No one should be hit period.

One of the things I regret as a result of my time in the same cultish church as our dear host is that I ever physically assaulted my children.

Nothing will take away that shame and regret.

What you may not know about DB and christianagnostic, is that we used to go to the same church.  In fact, we used to go to the same small group, at this church.

It was at this church that I was first exposed to the teachings of Gary Ezzo.  DB approached our pastors about some concerns she had with the Ezzo and his parenting advice.  They kicked her and her family out of the church and forbid anyone to speak to her.  They shunned her family for merely asking them to justify these extreme parenting ideas.  You can read DB’s story about these events here.

So there’s a little context as to why DB and I fell so strongly against spanking.  It’s because we were parenting young children at a church that encouraged parents to spank at almost any infraction and at any age.

In the parenting classes I attended, we were instructed to begin disciplining children as young as 3 months old.  And when I say discipline, I mean we were specifically taught to flick a baby’s  backside if they were crying and showing their “sinful” nature.  All of this was  according to Mr. Ezzo and our pastoral staff, the “Biblical” way to raise “Godly” children.  This same pastor, went so far as to suggest that we NOT take our children to any doctor that would inspect their backsides for marks, because then the doctor might be obligated to report suspected abuse.

He went on to say he could recommend a Dr. who “understood” Biblical discipline and was always careful to never inspect children’s backsides for bruising.

If you’re sitting here with your mouth now open and wondering if anyone actually followed this advice….I’m sorry to report that I witnessed young babies being “flicked” for crying too much.  As a parent of a toddler, I had been encouraged to begin spanking with a foot long glue stick.  Yes, a glue stick.  I was told that it ensured that pain was felt and that it left very little bruising.

Now call me crazy, but this sort of teaching is all about control through violence and intimidation, not discipline.  And you want to know the other side of it.  It doesn’t work….I could list family after family that used to follow this regime, believing that they were raising “Godly “children that would never rebel or disobey (yes-they actually pitched this as a way to insure that you did not ever have rebellious children).  Only to have major issues with their children.

I actually attempted to follow this parenting model, but just couldn’t.  It seemed so wrong and harsh.  As a new parent, I didn’t realize that it wasn’t just harsh, it was abuse.  We chucked it pretty soon into it and decided we didn’t care what our church thought.  But I still have regret for ever giving heed to such an abusive outlook and it has weighed heavy on me, at times.  Once I realized how awful it had been, I would cry (almost uncontrollably) at how adversarial I had been to my own children.  They were young and tender, and I was assuming the worst of their tiny hearts.

So when it comes to spanking, I say “Buyer Beware”.

You might be able to control your children in the short-term with such tactics, but you could be sowing seeds of resentment that could last a lifetime.

25 Responses to “Future Mad Scientist, DB…Responds to Creflo Dollar and the Issue of Spanking”

  1. Ahab June 14, 2012 at 6:30 pm #

    Ezzo’s teachings sound abominable, like something from the Pearls (of “To Train Up a Child” infamy). What kind of sadistic mind conceives of these things?

    I’m glad you and DB are far, far away from that congregation.

    • christianagnostic June 14, 2012 at 6:34 pm #

      I literally moved across the country to break my ties with that community! And yes, it is very similar to the Pearls. Breaks my heart when I walk into a bookstore and see Babywise and Ezzo’s other books.

      Why not just have a subsection called “Child Abuse Manuals” at the local B&N? Can’t stand it……

      • shadowspring June 18, 2012 at 2:46 pm #

        I secretly wrote the link http://www.ezzo.info on the inside cover of a Babywise book at my local large chain bookstore, not that I am recommending anyone else try this.

      • christianagnostic June 18, 2012 at 4:01 pm #

        I secretly wrote the link http://www.ezzo.info on the inside cover of a Babywise book at my local large chain bookstore, …


        That is amazingly sneaky and I love it! Maybe we could get official looking stickers made up to apply as a “public service” for unsuspecting Ezzo readers….

  2. D'Ma June 14, 2012 at 6:32 pm #

    I would say I’m completely gobsmacked but I’ve come across Michael and Debi Pearl’s teaching on the same issue and wrote about it here and here. The thought of spanking a three-month-old makes me nauseous. All a child that size would know is that a)something is wrong with me or I would not be crying and b)you are making it worse. 😦

  3. D'Ma June 14, 2012 at 6:32 pm #

    Ugh! Can you fix my link, CA? Thanks!

    • christianagnostic June 14, 2012 at 6:36 pm #

      your link is good…heading that way to read your post!

      • D'Ma June 14, 2012 at 6:46 pm #

        Yeah, there are actually supposed to be two links there. And I tried so hard to get ’em right!

  4. christianagnostic June 14, 2012 at 6:55 pm #

    ok, I think I fixed it this time.

  5. Debra Baker June 14, 2012 at 8:45 pm #

    I am honored and a bit taken aback that you initiated a post based on my comments.

    And I really still have no clue who you are the main suspects do not fit the profile.

    Oh, and there are loads of reasons not to spank children particularly babies. But I think the main reason this church org. is so vulnerable to draconian practices is their obcession with people’s sin. They really can’t have things both ways. Either Jesus died on the cross for all of our sins or he didn’t. If you have a Christian worldview, he did and you don’t need anything else to supplement salvation including a pet parenting paradigm.

    Another issue is it goes against everything we know about normal human development.

    Also, from personal experience, there are better methods. (I won’t go on and on and on.)

    Anyway, I am honored to be the subject of a post and the resident mad scientist.

    • christianagnostic June 15, 2012 at 3:24 pm #

      Glad you don’t mind being the resident mad scientist 🙂 .

      You were the first person who ever challenged my thinking about church and about the dangers of the Ezzos and their ilk.

      It wasn’t until we experienced the dark side of the pastoral force, that I realized that you had been completely correct and how much it cost you guys to be shunned and kicked out.

      You have guts…and I admire that.

      • Debra Baker June 15, 2012 at 8:11 pm #

        Blushing at the kind words.

        Mad scientist, I’m doing some research with regeneration.

        I have a paper published, actually two, in which a controlled substance is the subject of observation.

        I can safely say that Mad Scientist is a rather accurate moniker.

  6. theaspirationalagnostic June 14, 2012 at 11:20 pm #

    The Pearls came immediately to my mind too…
    This becomes all a bit too emotional for me, being a hormone laden woman about to have her fourth child.
    My boys can be absolute ratbags, but thats the way I like it. And at the ages of 4,6 and 8, we rarely come home from a trip to town without being congratulated on how well behaved they are.
    All with no physical discipline- imagine that!


    • christianagnostic June 15, 2012 at 1:19 am #

      I envy you…I have 4 kids as well. But when they were those ages, I was still shaking off the dust from all the parenting guilt that had been poured on me by our church.

      I wouldn’t change a thing….physical discipline is so over rated, in my opinion.

  7. theaspirationalagnostic June 14, 2012 at 11:21 pm #

    Oh, and do the boys rebel sometimes and take me to task if they dont agree with me? Absolutely. Because I’m raising them to be thinkers and not mindless automatons.

  8. Freedom June 15, 2012 at 1:38 pm #

    When I was involved in the same cult as CA and Deb, I clearly remember one of the early “red flags” that went off in my head was when Ceej’s own personal Joseph Goebbles (at the time he was Sr Pastor of the SGM church that I attended down in Pat Robertson Country, and on top of it his initials are SS) spoke about how awful and “sinful” a bumper stick was – it read “Question Authority.” Huge red flags went off in my head…….

    I also teach my kids to question authority – all of it, not just one particular train of thought. I teach them that respect is earned, not demanded. Does it mean they question my decisions? Yep, but I am able to handle that without beating and bruising my children.

    The whole Ezzo child rearing is just wrong – I wonder how many of those Ezzo-style raised kids end up in therapy later in life. I would avoid having to talk to people’s kids at church (and I was single at the time) because I knew if they didn’t look me in the eye and say Hi, they would be taken and beaten until they came and looked me in the eye and said hi by obeying “immediately, cheerfully and completely” (I think that’s the terms they used).

    • Ahab June 15, 2012 at 1:51 pm #

      Freedom — You can bet they ended up in therapy. Subjecting children to physical abuse from infancy can produce superficially docile people with LOTS of repressed rage, or very angry, disconnected people. Either way, psychological trauma will be involved.

      • christianagnostic June 15, 2012 at 7:14 pm #

        I think you have succinctly described why this parenting style does not work in the long run. Superficially docile and repressed rage are the hallmarks of this draconian parenting philosophy.

    • christianagnostic June 15, 2012 at 3:34 pm #

      I would avoid having to talk to people’s kids at church (and I was single at the time) because I knew if they didn’t look me in the eye and say Hi, they would be taken and beaten until they came and looked me in the eye and said hi by obeying “immediately, cheerfully and completely” (I think that’s the terms they used).

      There is so much wrong here, but I’ll just comment on what I know personally. One of the reasons this form of parenting is wrong, is because of children with learning delays or on the Aspergers/Autism spectrum.

      I have a son who is autistic, and if I had beat him for every time he didn’t look an adult in the eye…well, he’d probably have gone insane. You see, a child on the spectrum struggles with, or is oblivious to social cues (such as looking people in the eyes). It is something they just are not aware of, or in some cases are incapable of doing.

      Far from being a manifestation of rebellion (as according to Ezzo), it is simply a part of who they are, and no amount of Christian beatings will ever change that.

      Thank God (or the Gods, or whoever) that we did not begin raising our son in this sort of parental environment!

      My other beef, is in the case of delays and autism, often times they go undiagnosed until ages 4 -8 years old. Do you see how horrible it would be for a child who is incapable of knowing what a parent is requesting of them. It would sort of be like spanking someone in a wheelchair for not being able to walk.

      Ok….my blood is boiling, going for another cup of coffee and to hug my kids…..

      • Debra Baker June 15, 2012 at 8:07 pm #

        The notion that there exists some Biblical mandate to spank is false and can be supported by the following….do you remember the movie Unbreakable in which Samuel L. Jackson plays a character that had bones that were so brittle they broke at the slightest touch?

        That is a real condition called Osteogenesis Imperfecta. There is a family in our neighborhood with two children who have a severe case of OI. The first broke most of the bones in his body as he was being born while the second one had a c-section. Spanking one of these children would likely kill them. Literally.

  9. Lorena June 15, 2012 at 9:06 pm #

    I was raised in a church just like that one. I showed up at school with black eyes and all kinds of other injuries. She threw pots and pans at us, dragged us by the hair all over the house, swore at us, slapped us. Once she hanged my brother by the feet from the ceiling. But, she was highly respected in church and was famous for giving “good” parenting advice.

    So, you know, she is the reason I left Christianity. Because Christians never gave me any sympathy. Mother got all the sympathy.

    • christianagnostic June 16, 2012 at 1:01 am #

      That’s absolutely horrifying….I’m so sorry you had to endure such insanity.

  10. jonnyscaramanga June 19, 2012 at 11:15 am #

    I’m sorry I’m so late to this discussion, but glad I found it. I am stockpiling good sources on Christian child abuse for an article I’m working on.

    There were paddlings at my Christian school over *nothing*. I mean, nothing. Some instances I know of:
    – Taking too long to get changed for sports (this happened to a THREE-YEAR-OLD)
    – Eating a chocolate bar before lunch
    – Lying about eating a chocolate bar before lunch
    – Suggesting someone was crazy
    – Asking another boy “Do you want snog a dinosaur?” [That’s British slang for kiss, if you don’t have it in America]

    A girl told me that when she tearfully said, “I’m sorry, I won’t do it again,” the teacher shouted YES, YOU WILL DO IT AGAIN!

    It’s that horrific verse, “Evil is bound up in the heart of the child…” They believe children are evil.

    And that is a disgusting doctrine.

    • christianagnostic June 19, 2012 at 3:54 pm #

      – Taking too long to get changed for sports (this happened to a THREE-YEAR-OLD)

      That was grounds for a spanking? How can a child even concentrate on learning in that sort of environment…I can’t even imagine.

  11. Debra Baker June 19, 2012 at 12:18 pm #

    Folly is what is supposidely bound up in a child. It would help if Christians got their verses together, honestly. Folly is like childishness in other words, little kids act like little kids and the rod of discipline will drive it out of them.

    The rod is a symbol of authority and even protection; it is not a literal glue stick or wooden spoonl. Hitting a child does not produce magic results rather it is the relationship of a parent or mentor to the child or student that provides the opportunity for growth and change.

    Children are the least evil of humans, why else would Jesus tell us to become like one of them.

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