I just read an article on the CBS News website about a child who was beaten to death with “religious whips” for mispronouncing a word.
Apparently this couple in California adopted 3 kids from Liberia. One of those kids mispronounced a word and the “parents” decided they needed to “train” the child. By beating her with quarter inch plastic tubing. They got this idea from an evangelist named Michael Pearl, who has written a book called To Train Up A Child.
Now, there are numerous, numerous things wrong with this whole situation. I don’t have the time or the emotional energy to get into them all, but there is one thing that’s I’d like to address. I read the story on CBS’s website, I read the comments, and I read an article that was linked in the comments about Pearl’s reaction to all the criticism this story has brought his way. Nowhere in any of my reading so far have I come across a single person who is bothered by the implication that children should be trained like they are dogs or horses.
Pearl even specifically mentions in his response to his critics that the same techniques he advocates and used on his own children were used to train his dogs not to eat his chickens.
Well, I’d like to go on record here and say this bothers me.
CHILDREN ARE NOT DOGS.
Children are people. And they should be treated with just as much kindness and respect as any adult.