Beating your children is a Christian value?

According to an article on, there is a Christian group in New Zealand who says that it’s so.

This group, Family Integrity, is distributing an eight-page booklet on how parents should use physical punishment under current New Zealand law.

Some gems from their advice:

  • Smacking does so much good for the child and for you
  • If the child is angry after the smack, you have not smacked hard enough
  • When children challenge defiantly, you must win conclusively

I’ll stop there before I become apoplectic.

The spokesperson for the group even says “…[m]any Christians did not want to see smacking banned as that would take away parental authority, but he conceded the brochure would appear as ‘total nonsense’ to non-Christians.”

The law that is under consideration for repeal, Section 59 of the Crimes Act, has been used in court to successfully defend parents who have used bamboo canes and riding crops to discipline their children. This brochure is part of an effort to keep the law on the books. They’re even parading around a Swedish lawyer who says that the anti-beating laws passed by Sweden has “ruined” families and children.

Are you effing kidding me? I’m no Christian scholar, but giving your kids a beat-down seems to be completely opposite of the teachings of Jesus Christ. Frankly, I’d like to beat on some of these parents who are advocating this.

Do kids need discipline? Absolutely. But giving them “10-15 minute smack sessions”?! No way.

(Via Boing Boing)


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Geek. Gamer. Dad. Husband. Beer drinker. Football fan. Blogger.

9 thoughts on “Beating your children is a Christian value?”

  1. They are referring to Proverbs where discipline with the rod should not be spared. (In several verses) Children should be disciplined, and a smack on the bottom is not out of the question. However, where these freaks came up with their list of how to beat your child, I have no idea.

  2. If you actually read the thing, it does not advocate “beating”. It’s talking about “smacking”, which I presume is a NZ term for what we in the US call spanking – it even instructs to smack a “clothed bottom”. Spanking is an effective disciplinary technique for younger children that does not leave any mark or injury. I recommend using something other than one’s hand, for example a wooden spoon. If you think that children are better behaved, more emotionally healthy, or more socially well-adjusted as a result of not spanking, I’d say you are not paying attention.

  3. Seems to me that even a spanking, for ten to fifteen minutes, is still a beating.

    I have two children of my own who are actually emotionally healthy and socially well-adjusted and I’ve never laid a hand on them.

    While I generally subscribe to NYRampage’s idea that a quick spank may be appropriate, I’ve never found it necessary. I believe that too many people who are quick to choose the spanking option are sadistic control-freaks.

  4. Yes, King Solomon said in his proverbs that the ‘rod’ was the way to produce understanding, remove foolishness, and instill respect in children. ‘Rod’ can mean many forms of discipline but even in it’s basic meaning (spanking), I fail to see how excessive beating is a christian value. As a matter of fact, if they read Ephesians chapter 6, the Apostle Paul says to ‘not provoke your children to wrath..’ Paul also says in the book of Hebrews, chapter 12, that disciplining our children should be done in much the same way that God disciplines us. With love and patience, and restraint. I am a Christian and am not opposed to spanking. My wife is, and out of respect for her, I have found other ‘rods’ to use and I am sure that God will honor my efforts as long as I follow His example and guidelines.
    After all ‘Do unto others…’ (Matthew 7:13)

  5. I have a daughter of my own. And although I do believe that there is no harm in a spanking, when warranted, I would not strike my child with an object. There are several children in this world that have grown up very well adjusted that never received a “smacking”.

  6. A father who spares the rod of discipline hates his child, A father who disciplines his child loves him.
    It is a hyperbole! The ‘rod of discipline’ is a hyperbole and so is the ‘hates his child’ bit.
    It does not mean smacking your child you idiots.

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