Cultures within Cultures

Ken has this advertisement on his blog.

Note “diaper bag” is circled.

My guess is whoever did this linked the two, with the implication that someone would use a rod on a baby.

(Clearly, that’s not going to be “reasonable in the circumstances”. Wait, doesn’t that mean it was already against the law all these Christians were campaigning to keep? )

This advertisement is aimed however, at the sort of large christian families that would have both babies and 8 year olds.

But, by taking the advertisement out of its context, it helps Ken make the case that christians are ignoramuses who simply quote a couple of bible verses then turn and beat the crap out of their kids.

You did notice no less than 5 books & tapes listed discussing discipline, didn’t you?

These series are typically written by experienced, highly successful parents. The studies Ken prefers are only too often created by people who have an agenda to conflate child abuse with discipline, and who only see children when they come into their office for “professional evaluation”.

Come to think of it, in spite of writing dozens of posts I don’t think I’ve ever quoted scripture to justify physical discipline, preferring to point to logic and common sense (why exactly ban something that is by definition reasonable?) as well as scientific results produced from studies that separate discipline from abuse.

A better explanation for christians being so opposed to the anti-smacking agenda might be in stronger family strucutre. New Christian parents tend to look to their own parents for advice, and thus have the same successful methods passed down from generation to generation. Non-christians tend to be less family orientated and rely more on the moving target that is “professional” secular advice.

Like I said in the title, cultures within cultures.


  1. Actually, I wasn’t interested in the diapers. More the description of the assault weapon:

    “Our instrument is premium grade polyurethane and measures 9″ long etc.”

    The child assault case reported in the Taranaki Times involved use of an alkathene pipe.

    And the Man involved said he was “seeking to correct him (the child) in the manner described in the Bible”.

    Those similarities struck me (and probably offended most readers of the Times)

  2. Well, the gentleman was in his 80s and clearly not the parent. He should have bought up the issue with the parents, no matter what his beliefs.

    It’s embarrassing to the christian community for him to make such a claim as he’s clearly wrong.

    Just the same as an Athiest who did the same would be wrong if he claimed that the humanist manifesto was a justification.

  3. “It’s embarrassing to the christian community ” – sure. And don’t lot’s of people makes the most outrageous claims using biblical or god-given “authority.”

    Mind you – if you want to make outrageous claims in justification of immoral activity – the bible is the place to go. I find it hard to imagine anyone using the humanist manifesto for that purpose.

  4. Yes, Atheists do tend to not have any set moral compass to fall back on for ridiculous excuses when they do wrong.

    I suppose most have never even heard of the humanist manifesto.

  5. I think atheists, freethinkers, agnostics, Buddhists, Christians, etc., etc., all get their moral in the same way. The “moral compass” is inbuilt – part of being human.

    it’s just that different groups will appeal to stories, myths, holy books, etc., to justify their won intuitive moral logic. it’s a cop-out in many cases (and can be dangerous as we can see with suicide bombers and child abusers) – at least thoughtful atheists can come to a more scientific understanding.

  6. “The “moral compass” is inbuilt – part of being human.”

    I agree … why? Because the Bible tells me exactly that too 😉

  7. “at least thoughtful atheists can come to a more scientific understanding.”

    Yes and I got 3 fine examples: Mao, Pol Pot, Stalin … the top genociders in human history .. I can’t imagine when more of atheists get hold of power like that

  8. Anon – the bible tells you lots of things. You would be a fool to accept most of them just for that reason.

    I wonder if this particular defendant is going to raise the atheist red herring and use Mao, Pol Pot and Stalin to justify his assault on the child in his defence. or will he stick with “the bible tells me exactly that too”.

  9. Who’s going to lengths to avoid responsibility for child abuse Ken?

    You don’t have an argument. You’ve tried to draw a connection between an advertisement for a 9″ “smacking implement” from a Christian outfit in the States, with the NZ case of an 80yr old assaulting a child (not his own), with a piece of alkathene pipe – doesn’t say how long, but a fair guess would be close to a metre.

    1. Might I also point out that wooden spoons and 2 by 4’s are both made of wood.

      Just saying that something’s made of plastic doesn’t really make a heck of a lot of difference.

  10. From the beginning of my post (Justifying child abuse) at Open Parachute which this post is based on:

    “I have always thought that gods and holy scriptures are convenient. They can be used to justify anything. And they can prevent individuals from developing their own moral sense – always relying instead on the “authority” of holy scripture and/or religious leaders.”

  11. Anon, I would never justify things with a bible or any similar book – I prefer evidence, reason, logic and moral intuition.

    In truth, I think we alll do if we are honest.

  12. But Ken, you claimed that “scriptures can be used to justify anything”. It’s only fair to demand that you prove your claim?

    Would you claim that science can not be used to justify the same ‘anything’?

  13. “I prefer evidence, reason, logic and moral intuition. In truth, I think we alll do if we are honest.”

    I think

  14. I think that you’re over simplifying here.

    Sure they are usually enough, but in some cases, you also need absolute moral standard, not just moral intuition.

  15. Just because some people use scriptures to justify ‘anything’ doesn’t make it true that the scriptures can be used to justify anything.

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