I am writing this as my children sleep.
My four children, who, while they’ve surely never had perfect parents, have never had parents that they’ve feared. I wish, I so badly wish, that that was the case in all homes. I wish that all well-meaning parents who loved their children would just – at a minimum – let their children know that they are safe. That their home is their sanctuary. That their parents will protect them from harm, that they will never have to go to bed or wake up or spend a single day of their lives in FEAR.
That is, heartbreakingly, not the case.
Last week, Larry and Carri Williams of Washington State were found guilty of the murder of their little daughter, Hana. They are the third couple to be found guilty of murder after employing the child-abuse techniques in the “Christian” parenting book, To Train Up a Child by Michael and Debi and Pearl.
The first was four year old Sean Paddock, in 2006. His death was followed by seven year old Lydia Schatz in 2010.
Remember those names, please.
Sean Paddock. Lydia Schatz. And now Hana Williams. These are innocent children who were killed at the hands of their parents, the ones who were supposed to be protecting them. Even worse – can murdering your child even GET worse? It can. – they were killed at the hands of their parents who were following “discipline” techniques they believed to be “biblical.”
Don’t like to think about something awful? Want to look away? Find yourself thinking, “Yes, it’s sad, and terrible, and heartbreaking, but no good could come from constantly talking about it.”?
To that I say BULLSHIT.
We owe it to Sean Paddock to think about it. We owe it to Lydia Schatz to look at it. We owe it to Hana Williams to talk about it. We owe it to all the children who are subjected to this kind of treatment day in and day out.
Michael Pearl, and his 1.7 million dollar “ministry”, No Greater Joy, take money from unsuspecting Christians, instruct them how to abuse their children, and somehow brainwash them into thinking that this is behavior is not only condoned but commanded and blessed by God.
God does not want you to hit your children. Jesus does not want you to inflict pain on your children.
THIS BOOK IS NOT CHRISTIAN.
And I won’t keep quiet about this. I won’t. Michael Pearl is out there laughing, laughing, as children die. Taken from his Facebook page in response to criticism after Lydia Schatz died:
It has come to may attention that a vocal few are decrying our sensible application of the Biblical rod in training up our children. I laugh at my caustic critics, for our properly spanked and trained children grow to maturity in great peace and love…
Numbered in the millions, these kids become the models of self-control and discipline, highly educated and creative—entrepreneurs that pay the taxes your children will receive in entitlements…
My five grown children are laughing at your foolish, uninformed criticism of God’s method of child training, for their kids—my 17 grandkids—are laughing . . . because that is what they do most of the time. They laugh when Daddy is coming home. The laugh when it is time to do more homeschooling. They laugh when it is time to practice the violin and piano. They laugh when they see their Big Papa coming (that’s me) because Big Papa is laughing and they don’t care why just as long as he laughs with them.
My granddaughters laugh with joy after giving their baby dolls a spanking for “being naughty” because they know their dolls will grow up to be the best mamas and daddies in the world—just like them….
Even my chickens are laughing . . . well, actually it more like cackling, because they just laid another organic egg for my breakfast and they know that it was that same piece of ¼ inch plastic supply line that trained the dogs not to eat chicken….
And before you can say it, this is not about “free speech.” I’ve heard it from too many people. “He has the right to say whatever he wants. If you don’t like his books, don’t buy them”. No. NO! This is about a man using and twisting and manipulating the Bible for his own sick gain. A man who has created an entire empire around teaching people how to intimidate, manipulate, bully, abuse, and in the case of Paddock, Schatz, and Williams, kill their children.
A selection of direct quotes from the first edition of To Train Up a Child:
But for her own good, we attempted to train her not to climb the stairs by coordinating the voice command of “No” with little spats on the bare legs. The switch was a twelve-inch long, one-eighth-inch diameter sprig from a willow tree.
He may not be able to sleep, but he can be trained to lie there quietly. He will very quickly come to know that any time he is laid down there is no alternative but to stay put. To get up is to be on the firing line and get switched back down.
If a father is attempting to make a child eat his oats, and the child cries for his mother, then the mother should respond by spanking him for whining for her and for not eating his oats. He will then be glad to be dealing only with the father.
…use whatever force is necessary to bring him to bay. If you have to sit on him to spank him then do not hesitate. And hold him there until he is surrendered. Prove that you are bigger, tougher, more patiently enduring and are unmoved by his wailing. Defeat him totally. Accept no conditions for surrender. No compromise. You are to rule over him as a benevolent sovereign. Your word is final.
On the bare legs or bottom, switch him eight or ten licks; then, while waiting for the pain to subside, speak calm words of rebuke. If the crying turns to a true, wounded, submissive whimper, you have conquered; he has submitted his will. If the crying is still defiant, protesting and other than a response to pain, spank him again.
Have you read enough yet? It’s beyond time to do something. Don’t stop talking about it. Don’t stop sharing posts about it.
Sign the petition to remove their book from Amazon.
Grab this button from Muse Mama and display it on your own site:
If you are a fellow Christian (and it’s for you especially that I write), let your voice be louder than the Pearl’s followers. Let people know that to raise a child in a Christ-like way, to truly “train up a child in the way he should go”, is to parent with kindness, gentleness, and compassion… the complete and utter opposite of what’s promoted by Michael and Debi Pearl.
(I also wrote about the Pearls here.)