Sunday, February 28, 2010

No Greater Joy Ministries "Biblical" Parenting Couple Beats Child to Death



We received the following letter at peaceful parenting recently and found it important enough to share with other readers (author's name kept intact with his permission). Please be wise when electing to follow any given parenting 'method' that goes against natural, normal, gentle, instinctual, primal parenting of your little ones. Anything or anyone who advocates for the use of force, violence, harshness, or to ignore, hit, chastise, or not meet the needs of your babies or older children - even if they are lacing their advice with Bible verses - is likely steering parents in a very unhealthy and harmful direction.

~

Feb 5, 2010


Dear peaceful parenting,

My wife and I read your blog daily - we are both abuse survivors, and I am a recovering abuser. We are practicing attachment parenting with our toddler and I am working to mend the scars I caused with my two older children from my previous marriage. It has been a long and difficult road but we are all doing our best to stay committed to breaking the cycle of hurt.

Recently a really terrible thing happened close to our town. A couple who was following some fundamentalist "Biblical parenting" approach from a website beat one of their adopted children to death and left the second one in critical condition. The article that appeared in our local paper is below.

The "Biblical parenting" website this couple was referring to is No Greater Joy Ministries. We read some of the articles there and were appalled at how extreme and cruel their "parenting" advice was. My wife and I both were raised in conservative Christian families, and my family members were fundamental Baptists. However, even we were still both shocked to discover that such deliberately cruel and self-righteously abusive people even exist in the world -- let alone have the influence to indirectly cause the torture and murder of children.

The testimonies that fill the pages of the No Greater Joy site are tragic and extremely upsetting. They unapologetically support breaking the spirit and will of children from birth. They advocate for infant toilet training. They recommend spanking with objects such as a belt, stick, or piece of hose (which was used in the murder near our town), etc. It's truly unbelievable.

They have a huge "ministry" and are apparently influential amongst fundamentalist parents. I do not know what can be done, other than spreading the word about the fact that this abuse is being promoted as "Biblical," and we thought that the peaceful parenting site might be a good place to send the message out.

Thank you for being such a positive inspiration and source of hope. You are appreciated more than you know.


Sincerely,

David Boone
Chico, CA




The following is the local news story printed in The Enterprise Record.

DA links fundamentalist "training" to Paradise girl's death
by Terry Vau Dell

A fundamentalist religious philosophy that espouses corporal punishment to "train" children to be more obedient to their parents and God is now being investigated in connection with the death of a young Paradise girl and serious injuries to her sister.

Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey confirmed Thursday that other children in the home who have been interviewed told investigators "this philosophy was espoused by their parents."

Ramsey said he is also exploring a possible connection to a Web site that endorses "biblical discipline" using the same rubber or plastic tube alleged to have been used to whip the two young ridge girls by their adoptive parents.

In court Thursday, a judge granted a two-week postponement before the children's parents, Kevin Schatz, 46, and Elizabeth Schatz, 42, enter a plea to murder and torture charges that could carry two life terms in prison.

The delay will allow the mother to retain legal counsel as her husband did earlier.

The father's attorney, Michael Harvey, declined to comment regarding the specific allegations against the couple until he has a chance to review the evidence.

"All I can say is the family is shocked; they are grieving the loss of their daughter and (ask) that people of faith will pray for everybody involved," the defense attorney stated outside of court Thursday.

The Schatzes were arrested Saturday morning after their adopted daughter, Lydia, age 7, stopped breathing. She was subsequently pronounced dead.

Her 11-year-old sister, Zariah Schatz, remains in critical condition at a Sacramento children's hospital, though she is showing some signs of recovery. The two were adopted at the same time with an infant girl, now 3, from the same African orphanage about three years ago,

Prosecutors allege the two victims were subjected to "hours" of corporal punishment by their parents on successive days last Thursday and Friday with a quarter-inch-wide length of rubber or plastic tubing, which police reportedly recovered from the parents' bedroom.

Police allege that the younger girl was being disciplined for mis-pronouncing a word during a home-school reading lesson the day before she died.

The two young girls reportedly sustained deep bruising and multiple "whip-like" marks on their back, buttocks and legs, which authorities believe resulted in significant muscle tissue breakdown that impaired their kidneys and possibly other vital organs, said Ramsey.

He said investigators are researching a possible connection to an Internet Web site set up by "fundamentalist Christian people" that recommends use of the same whip-like implement "as an appropriate tool for biblical chastisement ... to train a child from infancy to make them a happier child and more obedient to God because they are obedient to the will of their parents," said Ramsey.

The district attorney said some of the Schatzes' six biological children, who were removed from the family home for their protection following the parents' arrest, have made statements suggesting the ridge couple shared this philosophy.

The other children in the home said the same rubber or plastic tube was used on all of them "as a standard method of discipline, but certainly not to the extent of these two girls," Ramsey added.

He said it's not clear at this point whether the Schatzes ever visited the Web site in question, which Ramsey stressed "does not endorse hurting or beating a child," nor is connected to any specific church.

From the research he has done, the district attorney pointed out that "even within the fundamentalist Christian community," parental use of corporal punishment "is subject to a great deal of debate."

The ridge couple remain held on $2 million bail pending entry of plea in two weeks to the murder and torture charges.

~

Two other writers' takes on No Greater Joy Ministries here:

Bring Back the Boycott!

Disciplining to Death


Related peaceful parenting Articles:

How Spanking Changed My Life

Dr. Sears on "Growing Kids God's Way"


Sleep Training and Cry-It-Out Research


Gentle Christian Mothers Site

Gentle Christian Mothers [Facebook] 

~~~~

47 comments:

  1. I find this deeply disturbing, and not just for the obvious reason. I was raised by very strictly by 'biblical principles' and fully intend to raise my daughter the same way, but I would never ever ever beat her! We were disciplined, sent to our room, grounded, and smacked a hand ful of times, but never ever ever cruelly treated. It upsets me that these things are done in the name of Christianity because it makes even me, a devout Christian want to give my faith a wide berth! I honestly believe that people who do these things would do them regardless of faith, but use faith as a way of excusing it. This case, and others like it, also worry me as far as home schooling is concerned. Because people DO abuse the ability to homeschool, how long will it be till that ability is taken away from good people?

    This is so horrificly upsetting. Those poor children. And in addition, they're probably not even likely to grow up being God fearing. I mean, who would, after being shown this as the face of a loving God?

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  2. Wow, this is just so horrifying I can barely think :-(

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  3. What a sad situation. Where is the justice?

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  4. I have to be honest with you, I am OUTRAGED by this "No Greater Joy Ministries"
    I am so angry right now, I don't even know WHAT to say! How, HOW can ANYONE use God as an excuse to HURT a child or anyone? How? I'm on the verge of tears, I really don't know what to say!

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  5. their response, unless they are to be stoned without testimony, or have we forgotten that there are ALWAYS two sides to every story??? http://www.nogreaterjoy.org/answers/response-to-schatz-case

    and no i am not advocating for spanking.

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  6. My blog is calling for a Boycott of the Pearl's and all their materials. Let's do what we can so this never happens again.

    http://musemama.blogspot.com/2010/02/bring-back-boycott.html

    Thank you for bringing attention to this issue!

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  7. No child should EVER be hit- not with anything, be it a hand or other object. Hitting breeds hitting. It makes children into victims and often into abusers later in life.
    I myself suffered several bouts of abuse as a child, I believe this led me to allow myself to be further abused as a young woman by several men in my life. It is only by healing from these wounds that I've found a peaceful and better way of living. I am now in a loving relationship with a beautiful son whom we lovingly parent. We don't hit or spank. We co-sleep and value each other's feelings and thoughts. We teach our child respect- for himself and others- by modeling lives of non-violence and diplomacy/negotiation. I am appalled that such beatings and horrors of child abuse are STILL advocated and encouraged by mainstream religions for the sake of "training" or "helping children be happier and closer to God". No truly loving God/dess (certainly not one worth worshiping/following) would EVER encourage the beating of children or women or abuse in any form.
    I pray for these children and all the others out there who cannot be heard- may they find comfort and peace and loving hands to heal their hearts, minds, and souls.

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  8. This is absolutely horrible, and there is obviously no question about it. my prayers are with the babies. But I have to mention that "Infant Toilet Training" is not abusive, and actually does follow the natural parenting philosophy much more than wrapping your infants butt in garbage and teaching them to accept sitting in their own filth as normal. Everything else I totally agree with. Any site that advocates child abuse should be shut down. I hope these "parents" are prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

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  9. "Unbinding Foolishness" section:

    "Children are not all necessarily rebellious, loud, selfish, mean, aggressive, bossy, whiny, or moody. But all children have foolishness bound in their hearts, and they all need to be freed from the bondage that will drag them down their entire lives.

    If you catch him acting silly or irresponsible, then rebuke and spank as needed to produce sobriety. When you see him do a dumb thing and you know he knows better (or at least should know better,) communicate the seriousness of your concern with a spanking.

    If you are visiting in a home and your child goes through the drawers or cabinets, communicate with a switch that it is not an acceptable practice. If your five-year-old spills a bag of nuts out on the car seat when she could have sealed the bag shut, let your rebuke be accompanied by a couple swift swats with the rod of your choice."

    O_o

    Other than being astonished that such people actually exist, I am speechless.

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  10. My heart breaks when I read about this type of biblical teaching and how it affects our children. It is so blatantly hypocritical in so many ways for Christians to abuse their children and turn around to say that this method is Holy. I am a Christian and it is sad to know that people truly feel in their hearts that this is the right way to raise a child. Not only does it violate what is written in the bible, but it goes against basic human nature.

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  11. Very disturbing. And disturbing to think that this will just be one more case of "people shouldn't homeschool b/c they might abuse their kids" - when there are plenty of schooled kids who are abused as well.

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  12. Lisa -

    I agree that Diaper Freedom, Elimination Communication, etc. is a wonderful (natural, normal) thing.

    But the type of Baby Potty Training advocated and used by many in NGJ ministries is one that reinforces to the infant/toddler/child that mom/dad are in control of even their times of 'going'. Parents sit their child on a toilet, order them to "go" and do not allow them to get up until they do. There are toddlers with severely bruised bottoms from hours spent on the toilet and babies who are spanked for 'going' in their diaper.

    My own brother was hit when he was 2 because he peed just a little at a time when he was not 'supposed' to be going -- by a babysitter who used NGJ methods. The moment is ingrained in my memory forever.

    I hope people don't read the "infant toilet training" phrase in this letter and think it is the same as the natural and baby-friendly means of diaper freedom/EC that many gentle, loving parents use. It is not the same as forcible 'baby training' and punishments when infants/toddlers have 'misses'.

    Diaper Free Baby Sites:
    http://www.thediaperfreebaby.com/
    http://www.diaperfreebaby.org/

    A great article about Diaper Freedom/EC:
    http://www.drmomma.org/2009/07/mothering-mindfulness-and-babys-bottom.html

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  13. I'm only over here because a friend posted about this article on their facebook.

    I just want to comment....and I'm trying to be diplomatic and not rude on someone's blog.

    BUT...
    God IS a GOd of punishment. Read the Old Testament. People were killed for disobeying. God killed them.

    If non punitive systems work in your home--GREAT! But God TELLS us what to do and expects us to obey him. We dont get to agree on things with him. We are to do them. And he justly punishes.

    This WAS NOT just...just want to make sure no one thinks I'm advocating this type of thing. Children should never be abused...but all spanking is not abuse, in my opinion. I know most will not agree with me here...for that I apologize for crashing your peaceful forum. I know that as peaceful parents, you wont be mean to me. LOL

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  14. Wow! They managed to ruin every fricken nice thing out there:

    Religious practice
    Homeschooling
    Adoption
    Diaper free babies
    Big families

    Oh man I am just seething! You can just hear it in the news reports, too. "Oh look, another chriiiistian homeschooling, whacko huge family that kills!"

    Gah I can't stand it! I've been very open about how DD has used elimination communication since she was a baby. She loves it and for example is night-time dry. People have effin emailed this story to me to "warn" me against EC!

    Great, another hyped up horror story about psychotic people to enrage the ignorant masses.

    ~guggie

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  15. "BUT...
    God IS a GOd of punishment. Read the Old Testament. People were killed for disobeying. God killed them.

    If non punitive systems work in your home--GREAT! But God TELLS us what to do and expects us to obey him. We dont get to agree on things with him. We are to do them. And he justly punishes.

    This WAS NOT just...just want to make sure no one thinks I'm advocating this type of thing. Children should never be abused...but all spanking is not abuse, in my opinion. I know most will not agree with me here...for that I apologize for crashing your peaceful forum. I know that as peaceful parents, you wont be mean to me. LOL"

    I won't be mean to you, but I will beg you to please get educated about a religion before you conclude what it teaches!

    The Old Testament is concluded with the NEW testament. Christians believe in the divinity of Jesus Christ. They believe that He came along to close the Old Testament and provide true salvation for us through mercy, peace and charity.

    As Catholics, to follow the old testament is to be "enticed into Judaism" and signifies the person is LEAVING their Catholic faith. This is, incidentally, one reason why Catholics are not supposed to circumcise their sons (Catholics also consider the amputation to be immoral and against natural law and the dignity of humans).

    And any Christian should think about what they are doing when they want to follow the practices in the Old Testament, which is only possible through ignoring the clear call to charity and mercy in the New Testament. To do this is to DENY Christ.

    "It's in the Bible" means nothing on a Theological plane.

    I'd also love it if you delved into the concept of punishment within a Christian/Catholic context. With the New Testament we received a rejuvenated reconnection with Christ. We are not punished, rather, we choose whether to become one with Him or to deny Him. When you "sin" does God pop down from heaven and avenge it? No, so trying to support hitting children by saying God punishes is really stretching it. The Christian God forgives, has infinite mercy and wishes for all of us to be with Him in heaven. Where you get "hitting children is good/okay" from that is really baffling.

    "Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me." Matthew 25: 40

    "But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea."

    Matthew 18:6

    "When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these."

    "As the family goes, so goes the nation and so goes the whole world in which we live."
    Pope John Paul II

    "Social justice cannot be attained by violence. Violence kills what it intends to create."
    Pope John Paul II

    ~guggie

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  16. It is illegal (a criminal offence) to smack a child in New Zealand - the rest of the world needs to catch up and make it a law also! These parents should be prosecuted, I hope USA law does so. It is so sickening to hear of cases like this, what an awful life those kids must have had, and it seems to still be so frequent!! I can't understand anyone smacking their child :-(

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  17. anon, I can say that because the Bible CLEARLY teaches that there is a heaven and a hell...which means he IS going and indeed, is, punishing.

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  18. Nitya, no offense, but I am GLAD we have the rights to spank our children whenever and however we desire. The government is already in our business too much...I support smaller government not larger.

    Good discussion. I hope no one is getting upset. We can respect each others positions and still disagree.

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  19. Michelle,
    You said "God TELLS us what to do and expects us to obey him. We dont get to agree on things with him. We are to do them. And he justly punishes." I just have to point out that the bible also says to stone children to death if they disobey their parents. Just because something is in the bible that doesn't make it right.

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  20. Michelle.... I'd like to understand you better. Are you saying you are appreciative and happy that your government gives you permission to beat your child?

    Does that apply to the Schatz's as well? Did they, then, have the same fundamental freedom you appreciate to whip their children to this extent?

    If you believe that you have permission to beat your children, how much of a beating is okay? Where do you draw the line? Do you really, truly think that your God would be proud of you for hurting, humiliating, degrading and scaring your child? Really? That's not the God I have read about.....

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  21. Well, I am getting upset. On a Peaceful Parenting website, there are readers who advocate and appreciate harming a child physically to see a change in behavior. This deeply saddens me and I can only hope that you're here to read, grow and change your stance on discipline.

    As to the Pearls, I feel so very sorry for anyone who their teachings have impacted. Children are not something to be managed or trained. They are culpable for this child's death.

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  22. i certainly didnt want to upset anyone!

    i will read quietly.

    again, i in no way support what these parents did. nor do i think any child should be beaten.

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  23. Michelle:

    I'm confused... are you the same Michelle who advocates spanking in the name of Godly punishment? But you say you don't believe in a child being beaten?

    If you are the same Michelle, what on earth do you think spanking is???? Spanking, beating, hitting, smacking, abusing, tapping, swatting is ALL the same thing, just different words.

    You think the Schatz's went too far, right? And you don't agree with what they did? Why? How is it any different than what you think is okay to do to your children?

    I truly am intrigued by your thought process and am looking for a bit of clarification.

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  24. http://www.nogreaterjoy.org/articles/general-view/archive/1997/september/01/child-training-marathon/

    Please take a moment and actually read this..

    Now, let's discuss "hurting" our children, shall we?

    Any of you who wish to contribute to a site that I will establish that refutes and counters each and every word these people speak that encourages the abuse of children, please send me an email. I will establish the site tomorrow and will request your submissions immediately. My sense of justice and my stomach will not simply ignore their ability to influence without giving an alternative voice.

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  25. reading this while wearing my two month old and feeling her body against mine - it made me cry. those poor little girls.

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  26. So sad. It brings me to tears, poor dear children!!!
    I visited the NGJ website and believe that this "ministry" practices proof-texting of the Bible and advocates abuse on several levels. It is cultish, and I use this word very seriously, *evil.*

    Michelle is clearly misguided as a Christian and I hope that she and others like her will seek to do the hard work of studying the bible in greater depth, to discern it's meaning for faith, as opposed to blindly following a pastor and "leader" who is eager to tell his or her flocks what to believe. Michelle, I urge you to be open to dialogue with all, as you claim to be, and to discover proper exegetical study of the biblical texts. God is a God of love and justice; Creator and Redeemer, not a Destroyer (to punish) and One who condemns.

    (Sorry for any typos, I am writing on my phone with one thumb while I hold my baby girl during her nap with my other arm!)

    T. Chanyl
    M.A. Theology and Biblical Studies

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  27. http://nogreaterjoychildren.wordpress.com/

    Please take a look and contribute as you see fit.

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  28. missyolivepantsMarch 02, 2010 1:08 PM

    I am one of those who was spanked at least once a day because my mother didn't like my attitude - or for some reason or another. And also from a strict conservative Baptist family. My mother used her hand or wooden spoon until my aunt informed her that a slotted plastic spoon hurts more.

    Fenimore's statement [http://www.drmomma.org/2010/01/how-spanking-changed-my-life.html] about a parents touch repulsing you really described my feelings towards hugs my mother tries to give me - even now at 38yrs old.

    I pray we can both be healed from the emotional scars from this.

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  29. missolivepants...

    I would like to invite you to contribute to the blog I've created to refute and counter this organization, one subject at a time.

    Your perspective and input would be a valuable asset.

    http://nogreaterjoychildren.wordpress.com

    See the post - The Effects of Being Disciplined Through Spanking.

    If you're interested, or anyone else here, please send me your stories and/or related content. This invitation is gratefully extended to this blog's author as well.

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  30. I should say up front that I do believe that spanking is biblical...However, this was not spanking...this was an abomination against those children.

    I think the reason that I popped in here was simply to remind everyone that what these people did was ILLEGAL and I truly believe AGAINST the bible (even as a spanking parent)...

    I don't really understand how making a new law...or even boycotting NGJ is going to stop someone who is out to BREAK the law. This is a situation that would have happened EVEN in a country that didn't allow spanking at all...this was a CRIME. Making more laws does NOT prevent those who wouldn't follow the law ANYWAY.

    I do understand your disbelief...I share it. From one loving mother to others...there are spankers and non-spankers alike who absolutely adore their children who would NEVER harm their children...and then there are people like this. Us being angry with one another as loving parents does NOTHING in a situation like this.

    Until the Lord returns these things will happen to shock and torture us all. I don't think we should demonize standard loving parents just because of this evil that is outside any accepted practice exists and happens.

    Stack

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  31. Despicable!

    http://pearlchildtraining.blogspot.com/2010/03/michael-pearl-laughs-at-critics.html

    And yes, that's one of the Pearl's blogs. NOT a spoof. Sick.

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  32. Stack,

    I agree with you that a non-peaceful response to this group is contraindicated.

    The blog that I've established to compliment the Peaceful Parenting blog, and (I'm finding out) so many others, has a different angle.

    From the blog -
    "The purpose of this blog is to provide an alternative understanding and alternative methods for child training, that do not include hurting our children, but none the less develop intelligent, respectful, loving, and confident, capable children… Children who go on to bring about change that leads to the end of hatred and destruction among the human species."

    So far, I have had 7 people, followers of NGJ, contact me in the last week with questions, concerns, and requests for alternative methods. One in particular just needed to say something to someone about how this doctrine has affected her family.

    I welcome your contributions which are aligned with the mission of the blog.

    And, for the record, I will not spank my child for my own reasons. I will respectfully disagree with the practice, regardless of how its defended or justified. However, that is not to say that I have no consideration for those that implement this method in a way that does not torment the child to the severity that the Pearl's and their followers suggest.

    Please do not attempt to open a line of debate on any and all spanking... that is not helpful for these poor children and parents that legitimately believe they are doing what is best for their children, and them (the root of the NGJ message is relief for the parent of the inconveniences of raising a child, ask me, I'll prove it, over and over).

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  33. http://www.achristianhome.org/to_train_up_a_child.htm

    If you wish to see their book, in its entirety.

    I feel so much sorrow for the creator and visitors of this website, but am glad to have access to the material for further analyzing.

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  34. CBS is hosting a conversation with Michael Pearl on Thursday (March 18). I think CBS needs some feedback from those of us in this country (and internationally) that know the truth behind the Pearl's Ministry.

    To see the email the Pearls are distributing, please visit:

    http://nogreaterjoychildren.wordpress.com/2010/03/16/call-cbs-make-sure-michael-pearl-is-seen-in-true-hd-color/

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  35. Hey X...

    No worries, I will not attempt to start a debate. I only felt it right to be up front in my beliefs before I commented on your blog.

    My point is not whether is it right or wrong to spank but whether or not any further law would have PREVENTED this horrible crime. I don't believe that it would have simply because these were obvious law-breakers.

    For the record...having read much of the Pearl's stuff...even where I do not agree...the Shatz were NOT following the Pearls...at least as it regards the material that I've read. Perhaps you've read something in their works that I haven't, so I'll give you the benefit of the doubt on that.

    Stack

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  36. I did find this update today... http://www.wsmv.com/news/22637596/detail.html

    There is a quote
    "The California district attorney said his investigation into No Greater Joy shows no support for the couple's behavior.

    No Greater Joy does into great detail about spanking and how to use a spanking instrument, but it also goes into great detail about not harming the children and not striking in anger. Pearl says to hit oneself once before hitting the child so as to understand what it feels like."

    For what it's worth.

    Stack

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  37. UPDATE

    No Greater Joy Ministries

    Dear NGJ Supporter,

    Thank you for your prayers and many emails of encouragement in response to the prayer request email that was sent regarding Mike’s interview on CBS’s “The Early Show.”

    CBS has postponed the interview until Friday morning March 19, 2010. We are confident that this, as with all things, is in God’s hands. Mike will use this additional time to continue to pray and prepare for the interview. Please continue to pray for Mike and that God would use this delay for His glory and Mike’s benefit.

    To God be the glory!
    — The NGJ Staff

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  38. Hi Stack,

    Please read these two articles, their original source is cited within the blog post.

    These people do teach a lot of useful things, but they then contradict themselves in the radical messages that are offered when Mr. Pearl gets fired up.

    http://nogreaterjoychildren.wordpress.com/2010/03/07/spank-him-again-if-he-keeps-crying-spank-him-again/

    Then, go read http://www.nogreaterjoy.org/nc/articles/general-view/archive////angry-child/?tx_ttnews[backPID]=3&tx_ttnews[backPid]=83

    I hope that all can see what is here that is well hidden by the good.

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  39. Wow, really? It's OKAY to hit your children as long as you aren't angry? Do you think it hurts them any less? Is it less of a crime just because at the time you didn't give a flying hoot? What other crimes can be wiggled out of so easily? If you murdered out of pity? Raped because of a sense of duty? Why then can you hit/beat/smack/spank a child out of love? I don't care what your motive is the effects on the victim are the same. The only thing you've proven being able to do it without a temper is that you don't deserve the air you breathe.

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  40. There are so many forms of abuse...you could also never spank and with words do permanent damage "stupid, jerk, idiot,pig" or be so over protective that your child is not equipped to deal with the real world and when thrown into it, quickly drowns, or survives and bites off a fellow student or friends finger and has to live with the guilt for the rest of their life! God said obey Jesus and Jesus said DO UNTO OTHERS AS YOU WOULD HAVE THEM DO UNTO YOU. There is a mid course..I wouldn't mind a GENTLE swat to my hand and the bobby pin I was about to stick in a light socket...as long as you spank the thing I found to pry off the safety plug with and made a big show of how bad it might be if I touched it again...then picked me up and hugged me because you do truly love me.

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  41. The God I know, love and worship would never advocate such horrid things. Hitting, beating and abusing your child in His name is disgusting. Shame on you and all those that give Christians a bad name. These children are made perfect in His image. Jesus died for their sins.

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  42. Thank you for posting the letter you received and helpful resources. I read the Pearl's book as a first time mom and although I did not agree with many parts of it, I had no idea how it affected me as I struggled with discipline for years. They are very persuasive and they mix some helpful and true statements in with absolutely dangerous, falsely based suggestions. The dominant culture is also still supportive of punishment and it simply does not work. There is another way. For support, please visit http://www.peace4parents.com/me-to-you.

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  43. I thought I would pass along the latest update in this case

    http://ac360.blogs.cnn.com/2011/08/16/video-spare-the-rod-spoil-the-child-part-2/

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  44. Jill said:
    "If you are the same Michelle, what on earth do you think spanking is???? Spanking, beating, hitting, smacking, abusing, tapping, swatting is ALL the same thing, just different words."

    Seriously, Jill? "ALL the same thing, just different words." A good dictionary might be useful here, as well as re-reading the Pearl's definition of "spanking."

    You can discipline...spank in "love" and NOT abuse your children. I think most on this site are too blinded by their own presuppositions and emotions that they are unable, or unwilling to rationally discuss the matter. You are in attack mode.

    I've taught public school for nearly 3 decades and I can easily identify the "Super Nanny" kids from those who have been taught to respect authority through loving discipline. Spanking and beating are not the same thing, and everyone knows that. To claim otherwise is to set up a straw man.

    Look back 40 to 50 years ago in American history when "spanking" was more commonly practiced. Society was much more orderly, civil, and predictable. Parents were not "beating" their children, for the most part, but they were disciplining them. I was disciplined physically and it did NOT scar me for life. Probably a beating would have, though. There is a big difference. To argue that spanking is wrong because a child was beaten to death is horribly flawed logic. The terms are NOT interchangeable.

    What we have in this corporal punishment debate is an essential clash of world views: 1. People are basically good and simply need a good environment to bring out their best (Social Liberalism); 2. People are intrinsically selfish with a propensity for evil, "The heart is desperately wicked..." Jer. 17:9. (Social Conservatism).

    Until you do your own Bible study to establish which camp you should belong to I doubt you will understand the opposite position. Most Bible-believing Christians are Conservative. They acknowledge their sinfulness and a need for a "Savior." They agree with Proverbs 22:15 which states: "Foolishness is tangled up in the heart of a youth; the rod of discipline will drive it away from him."

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  45. Let's try something.... Ask a three year old, who has not been spanked ever (and thereby not mentally conditioned to accept it as just a part of their life) to watch an adult spank a child and then watch an adult smack a child, the first on the butt or leg, the second on the arm or shoulder. Ask the three year old what just happened.

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