Sunday, November 24, 2013

Freakazoid Parenting

The insidious thing about religion is that it can be and is used to justify literally anything.

Divine Irony:

Two parents in Washington state have been found guilty of murder after following the abusive parenting techniques advocated in the parenting book “To Train Up a Child” by Michael and Debi Pearl.

Larry and Carri Williams received the maximum prison sentences allowable under the law after being found guilty of beating and starving their adopted daughter Hana to death. The methods they used to “discipline” their daughter were advocated in the controversial Christian book.

The New York Times reported:

Late one night in May this year, the adopted girl, Hana, was found face down, naked and emaciated in the backyard; her death was caused by hypothermia and malnutrition, officials determined. According to the sheriff’s report, the parents had deprived her of food for days at a time and had made her sleep in a cold barn or a closet and shower outside with a hose. And they often whipped her, leaving marks on her legs. The mother had praised the Pearls’ book and given a copy to a friend, the sheriff’s report said. Hana had been beaten the day of her death, the report said, with the 15-inch plastic tube recommended by Mr. Pearl.

Some of the discipline techniques the Pearls teach include:

-Using plastic tubing to beat children, since it hurts a lot but leaves fewer marks to alert authorities
-Wearing the plastic tubing around the parent’s neck as a constant reminder to obey
-“Swatting” babies as young as six months old with instruments such as “a 12-inch willowy branch,” thinner plastic tubing or a wooden spoon
-“Blanket training” babies by hitting them with an instrument if they try to crawl off a blanket on the floor
-Beating older children with rulers, paddles, belts and larger tree branches
-“Training” children with pain before they even disobey, in order to teach total obedience
-Giving cold water baths, putting children outside in cold weather and withholding meals as discipline
-Hosing off children who have potty training accidents
-Inflicting punishment until a child is “without breath to complain.”

Michael Pearl tells one mother on his website, “I could break his anger in two days. He would be too scared to get angry. On the third day he would draw into a quiet shell and obey.”

The Pearls and their ministry, No Greater Joy, make an estimated $1.7 million a year.

The couple is the third set of parents to be found guilty of killing their children by following the teachings of the book, which is commonly given out in churches and sent for free to military families. Many other parents have been found guilty of child abuse and torture for following the advice of the Pearls, and it is unknown how many other children’s deaths could be tied to the books.
This is not an aberrration; this is the logical and predictable consequence of permitting people to claim their delusions trump secular law and humanist morality.

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