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"If You Aren't Bruising The Child You're Not Spanking The Child Enough"

“If you aren’t bruising the child you’re not spanking the child enough.”

Would it surprise you to find out the above quote comes from a pastor as he preached to a congregation?

It does. The quote was just one of several played in shocking audiotapes featured on last night’s 20/20 on ABC. A woman who grew up in an Independent Fundamental Baptist Church – or IFB – claimed church leaders would tell members God wants them to beat children as young as two weeks old. Why? “Crying too much. That cry is a cry of the will and that will needs to be broken.” You can hear the pastor shout “How many whacks is irrelevant, you might need 100 strikes. That’s what the bible speaks about.”

There are thousands of IFB churches across the United States and hundreds of thousands of members. They’re ultra-conservative, interpreting the bible literally -  which is how they justify child abuse.

Pastors are deliberately distorting and misinterpreting scripture to promote the idea of physical punishment as the best means of child discipline. If you read the context surrounding the major verses used to promote spanking, you can see that there is a different theme to the passage than one of corporal punishment and that church leaders are taking scripture out of context.

“The nerves need to be affected without tearing down the tissue of the buttocks.” Does that sound like God’s will to you?

I’m appalled, but not surprised church sanctioned child abuse is yet another evil that religion has spawned.

I was spanked as a child. Not as a result of religious command but because I think my mom was beat as a child. Mom only had to rattle the “wooden spoon drawer” to scare me into submission. I will never spank my children. I don’t see the benefit. And how can I teach my children not to hit others if I hit my child? Hitting another human being is degrading, to both the perpetrator and the victim. I don’t care what the bible or any study says about spanking, I won’t do it, period. Strollerderby has previously explored the generational divide over spanking and you can read about it here.

What about you?  Were you spanked as a child?  Do you spank your children?  Do you believe bible scripture promotes spanking children or are people taking it too literally or out of context?

Watch the 20/20 Episode HERE

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