In response to those who defend (ie: owners of Homeschoolblogger) the doctrine of corporal punishment as put out by the Pearls*(see below), I say:
In teaching the doctrine of non-violence to my children, I explain in appropriate terms: "use the minimum possible effective force in order to provide yourself and those to whom you have a duty to protect with adequate defence".
My siblings and I were never, ever spanked. I can say of my siblings at least, that they are the most wonderful people. They are witty, charming, optimistic, beautiful, kind, professionally successful, have thriving personal relationships and are extremely good parents. Given that this was achieved without any corporal punishment whatsoever and given that there are very good reasons to encourage the doctrine of the use of the minimum of violence, WHY HIT???
How can you teach your child the benefits of the minimal use of violence when it is clear that it is used utterly gratuitously in the case of beating a child?
There are other MUCH BETTER POSSIBILITIES. A little imagination, reason and creativity would make this abundantly clear. For example, there is no need to hit a toddler to teach them not to touch an electric socket. They can learn through a simple mock demonstration of the effects. This worked extremely well immediately for both my kids and I am pleased to report that neither of them are dead, let alone have died from sticking their fingers in a plug socket.
I would hope that the Christian message of maximal non-violence could be promoted over and above this other message of gratuitous violence. I would expect responsible Christians to see the logic of this. If they were not to do so, I cannot possibly see how they could logically object to someone hitting them hard on the butt, and this for exactly the same reasons that they would use to justify hitting children.
*From another article in the News and Observer :
"This is a sampling of Pearl's advice from "To Train Up a Child" and his newsletter, "No Greater Joy":
PROBLEM Baby bites during breast-feeding SOLUTION Pull baby's hair PROBLEM Boy is a crybaby
SOLUTION "When he begins to scream his defiance or hurt, just ignore him. ... If he demands attention to a supposed wound, then reach in your purse, pull out a terrible tasting herbal potion and give him a spoonful. After he gets through gagging on the vitamin and mineral supplement, tell him that he is now completely healed, and invite him to come back for another dose if he again gets hurt."
PROBLEM Rebellious child who runs from discipline
SOLUTION "If you have to sit on him to spank him, then do not hesitate. And hold him there until he has surrendered. Prove that you are bigger, tougher, more patiently enduring, and are unmoved by his wailing. Hold the resisting child in a helpless position for several minutes, or until he is totally surrendered. Accept no conditions for surrender -- no compromise. You are to rule over him as a benevolent sovereign. Your word is final.
PROBLEM Child whines to mother after father disciplines him
SOLUTION Mother must go over to child and "give him one or two licks on his exposed ankles or legs while commanding, 'Obey your father.'
PROBLEM Child lies
SOLUTION Switch him 10 times at noon each day. Make him pick the tree branch.
PROBLEM What to use for a rod
SOLUTION For babies under age 1, a footlong willow branch shaved of its knots. For older kids, plastic plumbing pipe, a 3-foot shrub cutting or a belt to help turn a child "back from the road to hell."