Monday, 8 August 2011

Presbyterians say hitting kids OK

If you thought Prebyterians were a "liberal" denomination, think again, especially if you're thinking Australian Prebyterians.

In the Lucky Country (though not so lucky that they can win the Bledisloe Cup!) the dour influence of Calvin and Knox seems to hang like a black cloud over a dwindling Presbyterian fold.

New South Wales has already come down against hitting kids, but the meddling Presbyterian mullahs seem to think they can speak from a higher authority, and have decided to raise Cain the cane over the debate in Victoria.

It says a lot about their theology...

What'll their next initiative be?  Reintroduce slavery?  Ban women from the workforce?  An 8 o'clock citizen curfew?


  1. When asked if he liked children, W.C.Fields said..

    "yessss, if properly cooked."

  2. "It says a lot about their theology."

    Quite. This is also an error that seems to have propagated in the WCG splinter groups, unfortunately, despite there being documented proof that the Church disapproved of corporal punishment, in no uncertain terms, as early as 1983; I remember this being backed up with sermons, announcements, and several strict warnings, in what was traditionally viewed as a rather "hardliner" conservative congregation, of about 300 people.

    Of which, there were two families, that I knew of, who still beat their kids, despite repeated instruction, from the pulpit, to just don't do it. Needless to say, the child abuse in that congregation was not the fault of the Church or its teachings; rather, it was the fault of the few unconverted brethren who refused to actually do what the Church was telling them.

  3. I know of one wcg minister (now a gracie honcho and a good friend of mine) who followed Ted Armstrong's (WCG's)child raising booklet and spanked his daughter repeatedly over the course of 24 hours to "break her rebellious spirit". That was in the 1970's. He now regrets it. That was directly the fault of the church and its teachings at that time because it was what the church taught at that time.

    Glenn Parker

  4. Child rearing is probably more art than science. It is unlikely that any one formula would be applicable across the board...

  5. Yeah, I still remember the WCG instructions on how to spank 6 month old babies. What a great idea!!

    Sometimes you just have to shake your head and walk away before you hurt someone.

  6. Ooooh, those rebellious spirits!


    I remember the spanking tents at Feast Of Tabernacles sites.

    And of course children were bent over the bumpers of cars in the parking lots while their parents wailed on them.

    Also usually a washroom was set aside for beatings, during regular services.

    And at members' homes, if a get-together was occurring, there was often a room set aside for beatings.

    A friend of mine, while still a child herself, went upstairs at one such get-together and opened the wrong door while looking for the bathroom, and witnessed a child being held down by several adults while another adult was hitting the child with a stick.

    What a church!

  7. In retrospect, I really wish I'd gone to some secular parenting classes while my children were very young. When I left WCG in 1975, the child rearing doctrines were such obvious error that they were amongst the first to be jetisonned. However, in attempting to replace them, I really floundered.

    My parents got so out of breath while administering spankings, that you'd have thought they'd recongnize that it was sinful to spank us on the sabbath. At least that would have given us one reason to look forward to the sabbath. Hopefully the Presbies are more enlightened in this regard!


  8. Glenn,

    I am not disputing that corporal punishment was advocated by GTA, and followed by WCG members, prior to the documentation / anecdotes I have provided; I will note that the evidence for GTA's evil runs far beyond his corporal punishment "doctrines" which, I will note, were very much preached against in the Church in Canada, after GTA was put out, in the late 1970s.

    Bottom line, I do not deny that corporal punishment existed in the WCG, prior to the generation I grew up in; my contention is that it was demonstrably a "bad fruit" and this was reflected in the fact that all of those who supported it (including Roderick Meredith, for all that he managed to weasel his way back into the Church in the 1980s) were disfellowshipped.

    This, in my opinion, was not a coincidence. In my experience, those few parents who did continue to follow the (incorrect, and refuted) "doctrine" of corporal punishment, were actively denigrated by others in the congregation (as well as preached about, from the pulpit), they were not well-liked, and they were also (predictably) self-righteous.

    They were also two families, out of about a hundred....That can hardly be termed "systemic" child abuse, at least not in the Victoria congregation of the Church, in the 1980s.