Christian Right Weekly Round-Up: Child Abuse, Pearls of Wisdom & Plumbing Tube

slaughter-of-innI would like to think that the reason the All-Knowing Tetragrammaton failed to include prohibitions against child abuse on the stone tablets of the Decalogue was not because the tablets were only yea big, but because the Creator of the Universe considered the subject so obvious that not even human beings needed to be reminded about it.

Yahweh seriously underestimated the depravity of Homo sapiens.

I include a lot of links in my articles, but this time I’m really asking you to click this one.

Admittedly that clip is two years old, but guess what?  Michael and Debi Pearl, authors of the “bestselling” parental guidebook (from hell), To Train Up a Child, are back in the news again after two Washington State adherents of their book were sentenced in October for murdering their beautiful, innocent daughter Hana.

(For what it’s worth, I find it disgustingly curious that as of the date I’m writing this article, Amazon reports that “other items customers buy after viewing this item” include The Walking Dead and American Horror Story.  The only thing that surprises me is the list didn’t also include Mein Kampf.)

Nearly one million Americans have purchased the vanity publication To Train Up a Child, which, as author Michael Pearl has admitted, is based on “the same principles the Amish use to train their stubborn mules.”


Want to read some quotes from this book?  Head here.  Here’s my favorite unfavorite quote:

“A proper spanking leaves children without breath to complain.  If he should tell you that the spanking makes him madder, spank him again.  If he is still mad … He desperately needs an unswayable authority, a cold rock of justice.  Keep in mind that if you are angry you are wasting your time trying to spank his anger away.”

Even better.  Head to the Pearl’s website and learn how you should punish your six-month-old child with a “light wooden spoon, rubber spatula, flexible tubing less than a quarter inch in diameter, or any instrument that will cause an unpleasant sting…”


If you need to visually witness how a “stubborn mule” should apparently be “trained,” click this link.  This is how Texas Judge William Adams applied good ol’-fashioned, child-rearin’ Christian justice, with Divine-love-inspired phrases such as, “Bend over, or I’ll spank your fucking face.”

Before you click that link, achtung! that you are about to witness horrific child abuse.  If you do watch it, you’ll immediately be asking yourself the following question:  why isn’t Judge Adams rotting in a jail cell?

According to Judge Adams:  “She wasn’t hurt … In my mind, I haven’t done anything wrong but discipline my child.”

Of course, there’s nothing that really links Judge Adams to the Pearls.  Other than godless, barbaric approaches to child-rearing.

But who am I to judge?  Child abuse pays, I guess.  The Pearls raked in nearly $2 million in 2008 through their non-profit organization, No Greater Joy.

As a child, I was spanked often and repeatedly by an excessively abusive father, often for actions that were so innocent they’re almost laughable.  For instance, I was pummeled with a wooden spoon (a Pearl-disciplinary favorite) to corporal excess for once watching an episode of The Transformers.

As I write this article, I am proudly wearing an Optimus Prime T-shirt as a “screw you” to my former abuser.

As it so happens, I am also the parent of a five-year-old daughter.  She is one of the most strong-willed children you could ever meet.  She also happens to possess a superlatively intelligent and creative mind.  I have never placed a hand on her in punishment, nor will I.  And guess what, somehow I have managed to teach her the importance of obedience and respect, manners and etiquette, without having to resort to Mr. and Mrs. Pearl’s diabolical quarter-inch plumbing tube.

And just how have I been able to accomplish such a progenitor miracle?  Because I am a vested, creative parent.

My daughter respects me because I have respected her mind from day one of her existence.  I have taken the time to teach her why she needs to listen to her parents.  I have taken the time to communicate to her in ways she can understand the consequences of unproductive behavior.

Gee, I wonder if that parenting book would sell ONE MILLION COPIES.

Nah.  Conan the Barbarian is always a better sell than Albert Schweitzer.

By the way, if you want to sign a petition to remove To Train Up a Child permanently from Amazon, SIGN THE PETITION HERE.

More than 80,000 people have signed the petition thus far.  I have.


Pastor Pillow here!

What a depress-fest. 

Nothing like a child abuse rant to spoil the 1 p.m. NFL kickoff.

There are lots of great games today leading up to Monday night’s stellar matchup between the San Francisco 49ers and the Washington BLANKS.  Before you head on down to your local 5:30 p.m. church service this afternoon, check out these five articles about the past week in Evangelical La-La Land.  Then please consider a productive way that you can help prevent child abuse.

As ever, I am not making up any of this stuff.

5.  Further Proof that the Authors of To Train Up a Child are Evangelical Nutjobs, via No Greater Joy:  “How to Survive the Coming Apocalypse, Part 4:  Getting Prepared”

If you’re still on the fence about the sanity of the authors of To Train Up a Child, take five minutes to peruse Michael Pearl’s latest article on the coming Christ-induced Apocalypse.

Here’s his advice:  “Rope and wire are handy as is plumber’s tape.”

For what?  “Training your child” or for dealing with the pending Great Tribulation?

Plain and simple, Michael Pearl belongs in a padded cell.  If you know any parents who happen to own a copy of To Train Up a Child, please be brave enough to engage them in a conversation about how they’re “training up” their children.

Their children just might thank you someday.

4.  Those Silly Pearls—Don’t Spank Kids Until They’re 18 Months Old!, over at Dr. James Dobson’s Family Talk:  “Appropriate Age for Spanking?”

Great Scott!  Ignore the Pearls!

Instead, listen to Dr. James Dobson, the “Focus on the Family” Evangelical gazillionaire who insists that corporal punishment should begin at the age of 18 months.

Just when your kid knowingly goes for electrical outlets—you know, at the wise-old age of one and a half—“slap his fingers just enough to sting.”

Or you can do what I did, you dipshit nincompoop pseudo-psycho-babblist:  buy plastic covers for your electric outlets so that this isn’t an issue; then, over the course of time, explain to your child in terms he or she can understand what actually would happen if he or she happened to stick his or her finger into a live electrical current.

Guess what?  Electrocution via wall socket has never been an issue in the Pastor Pillow domicile.

Shocking, isn’t it?

3.  Spanking, Schmanking, Forbid Thine Daughter a Bachelor Degree, according to Fix the Family:  “6 Reasons (+2) to NOT Send Your Daughter to College”

Unless you click the above link, you’ll swear I’m making this up.

Personally, I would really love to see a Venn Diagram that shows the ONE MILLION AMERICANS who have purchased To Train Up a Child compared with the 177,000 Americans who “liked” this article on Facebook.

According to Raylan Alleman—an even worse parenting guru than The Pearls, if ever that were possible—here are some of the reasons your daughter should be forbidden from attending college:

1.  She will be in near occasion of sin.

2.  She will not learn to be a wife and mother.

3.  It could be a near occasion of sin for the parents.

4.  She will regret it.

Wait; this just in:

Dear Mr. Alleman:



Every Person Ever Healed by a Woman with Formal Medical Training

2.  If Only Miley Cyrus Had Been Beaten with a Plumbing Tube, over at The Christian Examiner:  The Celebrity Trap: Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Pop Stars”

I don’t use a wooden spoon to discipline my child, but I might use one to gag myself after reading this schlock by John Stonestreet of the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview.

Seriously, pop stars and Evangelical sycophants are a most fascinating example of symbiosis on our Little Blue Planet.  What would the one do without the other?

One titillates, the other forewarns.

Damn, not only should I forbid my daughter from attending college, I should doubly forbid her from appearing on the Disney Channel.


1.  The World of Porn Awaits, via Christianity Today: “Raising Christian Kids in a Sex-Filled Culture”

Usually we like to end each week on a positive note, which is great, because for nearly two weeks running we have something positive to report from Christianity Today.

Listen, I don’t know how else to put it:  if Evangelical Christianity doesn’t get its act together about human sexuality and fast, it has no chance when it comes to rearing children.  We live in a sexually pervasive age.  Christians of all sects can no longer hide sexual reality from their offspring and just hope for the best when the betrothal bed happens along someday.

Sex is a reality.  And responsible parents must beat the sex-craved world to the punch.

Last week, my daughter watched baboons and lions mating at the zoo.  It is what it is.  I didn’t make up lies about “wrestling.”  The phenomenon is the phenomenon.

As my daughter gradually reaches an age to comprehend reproductive reality, my parenting advice will not be any different than my explanation of electrical outlets.  “This is what happens when you stick your finger in the outlet.  ZAP!  Only this time the ‘zap’ lasts 18 years.”

I will make myself available for her questions, and I will provide answers with parental love.

There is nothing to fear, O, Christians, when you keep to the path of earnest education.

Well, folks, that’s a wrap!

Usually we end this column with lots of information about how the Christian Broadcasting Network and its ilk rake in billions of dollars each year.  See last week’s Weekly Round-up for this information.

This week, we instead want to remind you to please consider signing the petition to remove To Train Up a Child permanently from Amazon.

There is absolutely nothing Christian about hurting a child.

We don’t quote the Bible here very often, but this passage from the Gospel of Luke seems an appropriate way to end our morning entreaty:

“People were bringing even infants to him that he might touch them; and when the disciples saw it, they sternly ordered them not to do it.  But Jesus called for them and said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs.  Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.’”

And although our Lord and Savior never outright said it, I’m sure he would agree:

And whoever strikes a little child with plumbing tube will seriously piss me off enough that I might consider dunking his or her face for quite some time in the fiery lake of Mordor.

Arik Bjorn

Arik Bjorn lives in Columbia, South Carolina. He was the Democratic Party / Green Party fusion candidate for U.S. Congress in the 2nd Congressional District of South Carolina. Visit the archive for Arik’s campaign website, and check out his latest book, So I Ran for Congress. You can also follow his political activities on Twitter @Bjorn2RunSC and on Facebook. And be sure to check out more from Arik in his archives!


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