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The Wasatch Behind: Spare the rod, spoil a nation

Sun Advocate Columnist

Last week we experienced another fine example of liberalism gone wild.

California State Assemblywoman, Sally Lieber, proposed a statewide ban on the spanking of children. Under her plan, if you slap your three-year-old on the tush for running away in the grocery store, you could be slapped with a $1000 fine and/or a year in the hoosegow. This would be funny except that in the People's Republic of California, it just might become law.

The cradle to grave nanny-state is upon us. Big Brother government is becoming Big Momma - big time. Some call it the Californication of America.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not for beating up little kids. Those who abuse children in any way deserve the wrath of God and should face severe moral and legal judgments. Children should always be loved, nurtured, sheltered, and protected. And I think they should be protected from institutions like the California legislature.

Yes, you guessed it. I think spanking is a good thing. Spanking is not child abuse. I experienced spanking as a child and I turned out great. I spanked my children, and even threatened to put them out of their misery a few times, and they turned out great too. My father, grandfather, wife, and mother were all spanked as children and they are good people and the best of citizens. The benefits of spanking are easily demonstrated.

The results of not spanking are easily demonstrated too. I think child abuse happens when parents don't spank children when they deserve it. In my experience, children who are not physically disciplined often turn out to be spoiled brats, a burden to parents, spouses, families, and society in general. Undisciplined children become undisciplined adults, unable to function in the world of grown-up relationships, making a living, and accepting responsibility. The societal wreckage wrought by pampered, selfish, and over-indulged children is all around us. We see it in the divorce rate and in the general decline of moral standards in our country. Our permissive society breeds civil disorder.

And, for those who haven't noticed, it is a waste of time to try to reason with a small child. They don't have the ability, experience, language skills, or brain development to reason on a mature level. They just don't understand. You must keep things down at their level. You can explain all day why they shouldn't run out in the street and they still don't get it.

They understand a slap on the butt. A slap on the butt is immediate, it gets their attention, and it is not an abstract concept. "Go into the street and I'll spank you," is down at their level. They understand it and they respond to it. They'll figure out why they shouldn't go into the street when they get a little older.

And, while a no-spanking ban might seem to be a noble, "for the children" piece of legislation to some, in my humble opinion, it is only the latest in a long series of steps that are destroying the family and subverting parental authority.

More and more, it seems, government is in the business of "protecting" kids from parents, parental control, and the influences of Christian morality.

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