I was wrong. I’m sorry.

So, what do you do when you go back and you re-read a post and you realize that you missed the point of what you were trying to say and that it rippled out onto the people who read it? That’s what happened when I put together that post about spanking. I had a point, but I lost the thread of it and started lashing out.

I’m sorry. I got mad when I was looking stuff up and that came through in my post.

One of the things that made me so angry was that, while looking up articles on the effectiveness of spanking, I came across several forum posts asking for ways to make spanking children more painful so that it would “stick” better. The responses to these included ways to make it more painful by using an object to hit children and ways to make it more shameful by including friends and neighbors in the punishment, all while warning that parents should be “careful not to leave marks” because then “self-righteous” people would take their children away.

It left me angry. It left me feeling ill. As most of these posts were by people espousing Christianity, it left me lashing out at all associations with people who would abuse their children in this way, including religion.

I don’t think I’m wrong about spanking, but I do think that I was wrong about the way that I snarked at all people who spank as abusive, and I do think I was very wrong for taking my frustrations at the subject on Christianity and the Bible.

I was wrong and I’m sorry.

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11 thoughts on “I was wrong. I’m sorry.

  1. Wow, it’s hard to admit to being wrong and even harder to do so publicly. I just stumbled across your blog, so I haven’t read the original post you are referring to. I am a Christian, and my faith is a very central part of my life. Hearing people use the faith I follow as an excuse for mistreating children makes me angry as well. I’m not sure if you are a Christian or not, but if not, please know that we don’t all interpret the Bible that way. I myself (and many other people I know, including some college Bible professors) actually believe spanking to be UN-Biblical. I don’t want to get into a controversy with anyone here, just showing that there are very different beliefs even within Christianity. Even those who do believe in spanking though, should never support such practices as humiliation or shaming or using greater amounts of pain to make a lesson “stick”. There is NO way to reconcile such practices the the heart of the God I believe in.

    • Thanks for reading and commenting! It is hard, but it’s harder to try to pretend that I’m always right. It’s easier to admit when I’m wrong than to worry all the time that I need to be perfect.
      I know that there are Christians on both sides of the issue, but I definitely said some dismissive and hurtful things, when I should have just held my “tounge”.

      • 🙂 I love your posts, of course I wouldn’t leave. I was just hesitant to comment for awhile until I was sure my words would be appropriate and not colored by disagreeing, I guess.

        Your post did make me think twice about how often I rely on my chosen form of discipline. I can see how in a way it is lazy parenting, especially at the age my kids are where they are better able to communicate their feelings appropriately (if trained) and understand reason better. So I’m adding more tools to my toolbox thanks to you, and I’m trying to make the punishments fit the crime a little better with natural consequences or consequences directly related to the crime instead of one-size-fits-all type discipline. So your post might not have sounded the way you meant it looking back but maybe it did something you wanted. 🙂

  2. It continues to amaze me how honest and forthright and just plain Healthy your blog is. I love how careful to are to seperate “fact” from “theory” and “opinion” in your blog, and take the time to print retractions when necessary. You are a very consciencious blogger and I appreciate that. And I appreciate you.

  3. The post in question was great and you didn’t need to apologize. I was upset, actually, at the apology because the person who elicited had made some very mindless comments. Saying her decision to spank must be respected because the Bible ordains it is not just a cop-out; it’s a gateway to moral relativism.
    Oh yeah, and I did send her a scrappy reply. Couldn’t resist.

    • Thank you for that.
      Regardless of my objections to her argument, I got angry and felt that my point got lost (less than I had imagined) in my frustration.

      I figure as what I want is for everyone to stop spanking that I have to work harder on convincing people instead of losing track and trying to “win”. Plus, I was mean and while I am right about the substance of the argument 😉 , I was wrong about being mean.

      • You weren’t mean. I think as a society we have a problem when, the minute someone says the Bible tells them to do something, we back off and say, “Oh, that’s okay, if the Bible said so,” whether or not we believe it. This is a modern enough world that we can make decisions about corporal punishment without consulting an ancient book written by roving semi-literates in an era when people believed in sorcery. If that’s mean, then consider all the religious texts in the world that are referenced daily as a deity’s counsel to oppress women, children, nations… To me, respecting someone’s right to hit a child is on a slightly milder part of the same spectrum that encompasses respecting someone’s right to stone a suspected adulteress to death. When you leave it up to some invisible deity you get a lot of random dictates that aren’t defensible via secular morality.
        It just bugs me when people say, “I do what I do because God tells me too.” A lot of really messed up people in history have done stuff because they thought God told them to. And if people really read their Bibles without cherry-picking the parts they like best, they’ll see a lot of cruelty, rape, torture, child sacrifice and even exhortations to cannibalism–all because God tells people to do it. It’s not good enough in this modern time. (Sorry for ranting.)

      • You have a point. I feel like my point would have been heard more clearly if I hadn’t attacked the Bible and had just left it at “that isn’t a valid source to me.”
        Cherry-picking is a problem any time someone decides to follow an ancient text literally. I think it’s less of a problem people who look at them as culturally based, guidelines and view them through the lens of history.
        I do think that, when there are better ways of accomplishing the only thing that spanking does, it’s weird that people want to defend it. I mean, after all, people are looking for ways to prove that hitting their kids is okay. It just seems like when that’s what you arguing FOR there’s a logical disconnect. They can’t tell me that the ONLY way to convey their point is to spank. I mean after all, the requirement in all juvenile mental health facilities is no corporal punishment and those kids DEFINITELY have a harder time learning and listening and cooperating than healthy children. If you’re not supposed to hit kids who are behaving the worst, why on earth would it be okay to hit average ones?

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