I received a response to my parenting post the other day that is absolutely typical of the self-righteous and high-minded declarations frequently made by the politically correct today who based their convictions on nothing more than emotion, personal experience and culturally popular ideas.
I had dared to mention in the post that physical discipline of children is necessary and appropriate for most parents. Oh, what controversy. Oh, what barbarism. Obviously my love for children is a complete farce and should be now be suspect to all enlightened modern parents who KNOW that the idea of physical discipline is a return to the Dark Ages… a promotion of abuse and violence… and most terribly a possible violation of the holy grail of parenting: the precious self esteem of millions of little narcissistic monsters. There I go again. I’ll never learn my lesson. Here’s some exciting highlights of the articulate and fact-filled rebuke (emphasis mine):
… your last post made me angry. There is NO (and I mean NO) reason to physically punish a child for whatever it has done. I know you see children as given from God and the most precious thing we have on earth – or at least I always thought so and believe so myself. I can understand parents getting frustrated over certain situations and I am very sure that it is hard to keep your hands to yourself sometimes. BUT: as I underlined above: there is NO reason to physically punish a child. If I want my children to learn how to live their life without physical punishment, I have to be a good example.
I live in Germany, but have been to the US several times and also lived there as an exchange student. Every time I am there, although I love the country and the people, I am more or less shocked how many people think physical punishment is “okay” and needed to discipline your children. And as you said above, you have heard from children that were raised without such punishment to be good people, but this is an exception – I tell you this is not true. I know many, many who have been raised without any physical punishment. They have learned to talk and discuss things, rather then to solve a discussion physically. I know this is utopia in many cases and I know children will not understand in the first place. I know you do not support physical behavior in the first place. But this issue really makes me angry. When I went to highschool in the U.S., paddling was still (and I fear it STILL is) a possible way of punishment. I was SHOCKED! No teacher nor parent is allowed to cause physical pain to a child. Of course, neither should a child experience real emotional pain, but I think sitting down and honestly discussing the matter and raise your children to be aware of their behavior and what it causes in others is the best way to do it.
It is not my intent to embarrass the writer so I have purposely left off their name or anything identifying them. Assuming they gave their real name and email, I will give them credit for having the courage to not leave a cowardly “anonymous” comment (people are so brave behind their anonymous keyboards).
However, these comments are a shining example of the “I’m right, you’re wrong because I said so and I’m really emotional about it” type of communication that masquerades as opinion and argument today. The entire comment was based on emotional and personal experience. And they UNDERLINED IT, making it an almost irrefutable argument! The nail in the coffin was the emphatic “NO, and I mean NO…” declaration. In the famous words of Al Gore, the discussion is over.
Before I share the response I sent to them, I just want to encourage my blog reading friends to 1) learn to present your disagreements or opinions with passion but also with some REASONING, evidence or logic. Pure emotion is not a reason to believe something even though it is the primary way America, especially liberal America, operates today. The ability to think, articulate and present a viewpoint has largely been lost to a culture of entertainment trivia and politically correct soundbites. And, 2) quit being intimidated by emotion-filled, inflamed diatribe devoid of substance. Many otherwise right-thinking and God-fearing people shrivel at the angry, name-calling, universal proclamations made by politically correct and highly intolerant liberal minded people including liberal “Christians”. Can you read between the lines what my opinion of “political correctness” is?
Here was my response to this reader:
Thanks for commenting about parenting. I appreciate your passion and willingness not to be a cowardly “anonymous” commenter. There is room for respectful disagreement, no matter how significant it is.
To your comments, let me ask you this: how do you know you are right? Because you underlined your words? Because of your anger? Because you were raised that way? Because you believe it with all your heart? Because it’s the popular and accepted viewpoint of the world?
Seriously, on an issue like this how can you say beyond doubt, beyond question, beyond consideration, that you are right, period, end of conversation? Anyone who believes differently is simply wrong and it’s beyond being questioned because YOU said so? Based on what?
Are generations and generations (thousands of years) of parents who have successfully, lovingly and appropriately administered physical discipline all wrong, all evil, all bad parents? Is the proclamations of the Bible (a book which has led to more good and benevolence than any in history; a book that solidly encourages the benefits of, and God’s approval of corporal punishment) WRONG simply because you (or a country, or a generation) says that it is?
You cite your personal experience and declare it as undisputed measure of what is right. What about my experience? Do you reject as “wrong” my grandparents for spanking my parents who grew up responsible, hardworking, respectful successful parents themselves? Do you reject without consideration ME, a hardworking, loving, sacrificial father and parent as WRONG for physically disciplining my children in a loving and appropriate manner even though my children are respectful, obedient, secure, loving and happy? Do you reject my experience and results even though all around me in America are spoiled, bratty, narcissistic disrespectful and emotionally weak children typically being closely followed by “enlightened” parents who believe spanking is “violence”? Your experience is to be accepted as unquestioned and my experience is what? I got lucky and my kids are raised well despite the “violence” inflicted on them?
Do you reject without consideration 200 years of respectful hard working disciplined children who grew up in America and made it the great country it is (was?) when spanking was accepted without question by parents? Do you ignore the liberal rejection of physical discipline beginning 50 years ago, replaced with self esteem and indulgence that has now produced several generations of whiny, entitlement minded, spiritually vacuous and utterly spoiled children who are in turn now raising some of the most self-focused and pampered kids this country has ever witnessed?
See my point. You are passionate and angry about physical discipline based on WHAT? Your own feelings? How you were raised? Is your personal conviction enough to reject with prejudice the collective wisdom of countless generations of parents, not to mention the teaching from a book (Bible) that has arguably had more benevolent influence on mankind than any book in history?
I appreciate that you are passionate. But “passion” is not a reason to angrily reject the convictions of others without any real and persuasive reason. If you disagree, then disagree and tell the other person why. But passion and anger, especially when supporting reasons are not given, are not enough to declare others dogmatically WRONG and you are RIGHT.
I would love to hear your REASONS along with your CONVICTION… because without reasons you are simply declaring you are right just because you say you are. You can’t expect someone to consider your views if you give them no other reason than your angry opposition.
I have not received a response back and if history is any indication, I won’t. Once you start asking people to give reason and evidence for their opinion they dismiss you as unenlightened and judgmental then just move on to someone who is more easily bullied.
Sometimes I get really frustrated about this world of today. We truly live in a time where everything is upside down, common sense is not just uncommon but extremely rare. Endless streams of self appointed authorities with alphabet soup after their name use high-sounding vocabulary to authenticate an endless stream of foolishness, shouting down all who dare challenge their supremacy.
Just like the Bible predicts. But we can’t trust that old dusty collection of fables can we?