Sifting through news and opinion so you don’t have to

There have been some good reports and essays out lately that I’d like to point God Blogging readers to.

The first is an op-ed in today’s NY Times by Tenzin Gyatso, otherwise known as the 14th Dalai Lama (and author of numerous books!) In it, Gyatso points out the ever more important need for practitioners of one religion to respect practitioners of other faiths. Admitting that there are tensions between certain religions, he nonetheless says we need to promote peaceful co-existence. I agree on the need to promote co-existence, but think that perhaps this isn’t a conflict brought about by religion or faith, but rather illustrates a severe conflict between societies that still have a strong tribal culture link and more Western societies. It is also illustrative of a “culture of fear” that is being used by politicians and religious leaders alike in various countries at various times to manipulate the masses. Remember people: Think for yourselves … but read Gyatso’s piece here.

Next, if you didn’t hear about this Sunday, CNN did a special series, “Black or White: Kids on Race” and it showed that for all our “we’re so past prejudice” yammering, apparently we really aren’t. Read a good reflection on one writer’s experience of seeing the series and being confronted by a young child here.

Speaking of children, earlier this month, Time reported on the results from a multi-year study on spanking and (surprise!) it showed that hitting kids makes them more aggressive later on. This is such a no-brainer, but I find myself repeating it over and over: Children learn through modeling. Ergo, if you want a child to be loving and kind and thoughtful, you best model that behavior for him or her. Likewise, if you want said child to react with violence when he or she gets upset, you model that behavior for him or her. You do not, therefore, teach a child to not hit by hitting him. Read the study results here.


2 thoughts on “Sifting through news and opinion so you don’t have to

  1. People used to think it was necessary to “spank” adult members of the community, military trainees, and prisoners. In some countries they still do. In our country, it is considered sexual battery if a person over the age of 18 is “spanked”, but only if over the age of 18.

    For one thing, because the buttocks are so close to the sex organs, anal region, and so multiply linked to sexual nerve centers, striking them can trigger powerful and involuntary sexual stimulus in some people. There are numerous physiological ways in which it can be intentionally or unintentionally sexually abusive, but I won’t list them all here. One can read the testimony, documentation, and educational resources available from the website of Parents and Teachers Against Violence In Education at

    Child bottom-slapping vs. DISCIPLINE:

    Child bottom-slapping/battering (euphemistically labeled “spanking”,”swatting”,”switching”,”smacking”, “paddling”,or other cute-sounding names) for the purpose of gaining compliance is nothing more than an inherited bad habit.

    Its a good idea for people to take a look at what they are doing, and learn how to DISCIPLINE instead of hit.

    I think the reason why television shows like “Supernanny” and “Dr. Phil” are so popular is because that is precisely what many (not all) people are trying to do.

    There are several reasons why child bottom-slapping isn’t a good idea. Here are some good, quick reads recommended by professionals:

    Plain Talk About Spanking
    by Jordan Riak,

    The Sexual Dangers of Spanking Children
    by Tom Johnson,

    by Lesli Taylor M.D. and Adah Maurer Ph.D.

    Just a handful of those helping to raise awareness of why child bottom-slapping isn’t a good idea:

    American Academy of Pediatrics,
    American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry,
    American Psychological Association,
    Center For Effective Discipline,
    Churches’ Network For Non-Violence,
    Nobel Peace Prize recipient Archbishop Desmond Tutu,
    Parenting In Jesus’ Footsteps,
    Global Initiative To End All Corporal Punishment of Children,
    United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child.

    In 26 countries, child corporal punishment is prohibited by law (with more in process). In fact, the US was the only UN member that did not ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

  2. Goldenrule: Thanks so much for all the information you provided readers in this comment!

Comments are closed.