Do people have no common sense? I’m not referring to ALL people of course, but seriously there are so many out there who need to learn to think for themselves and not take everything they read or hear as “the gospel.”
Michael and Debi Pearl believe “God wants them to hit their children.” So much so they have self-published a book. It’s called To Train Up a Child. Remarkably – given the content – they’ve sold more that 670,000 copies and the book has been translated into at least 11 different languages. Off the bat, I will say with a resounding “NO” that I do not endorse this book.
From what I hear it’s a simple read that’s filled with ideas distraught parents can implement as they try to instill good behaviour in their children. A nice thought and what parent doesn’t struggle with this at least one point in time BUT with that said, the basic concept in this book is ridiculous, to the point of cruelty and even cult-like behaviour. Children are dying as a result. Dying. And this book is still accessible.
Whether some people have different concepts of what the Pearls where trying to convey, or whether the book actually instructs brutality (I have not read it), there is something wrong with this picture.
The Pearls advocate the use of a “rod” or a willow branch to inflict pain on children for the purpose of teaching. Children should begin “training” they say, from infancy. In order to teach a child to not engage in undesirable behaviour, something appealing is to be placed before the child. If the child reaches out for the desired object, they are to be struck by the rod, never in anger of course, but struck nonetheless. (“He that spareth his rod hateth his son” is the concept the Pearls adhere to.)
Here’s the deal though, since the book has come out, at least three children have been beaten to death by readers and followers of the philosophy, prompting a petition to stop sales of the book. One child was forced to sleep naked in a cold barn, deprived of food and whipped across her legs. She starved to death. Another tiny four year old was wrapped so tightly in a blanket he died of suffocation. The third was beaten (with frequent breaks for prayer) until her body lied lifeless. I can’t imagine a God by any name or description suggesting that this should be so.
Whether such results were intended or not, this needs to be stopped. This is the 21st century we CANNOT and SHOULD NOT be beating our children to death under any circumstances or influence. It’s murder plain and simple.