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Defend your right to raise your children

07 September 2013, 19:28

To all South Africans out there

We are on the precipice of a tragedy in this country as the South Africa Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) sets their sights on invading something very precious and dear to all of us; the family unit. The target is the sanctity of our homes and more specifically, discipline in our homes. They are determined to undermine the rights and responsibility of parents to lovingly discipline their children and bring them up to be good, moral, and respectful citizens who contribute to society.

This may sound overly dramatic, but it really is NOT. As we speak the SAHRC is investigating a church in Cape Town (Joshua Generation Church) as to its teaching and endorsement of “spanking” in the home as a means of loving corrective discipline. The SAHRC has made it clear that they consider any form of physical discipline to be “abuse”.  Joshua Generation has made it abundantly clear that they do not endorse any form of abuse, and in fact run a home for abused women and children. BUT what needs to be made clear is that the agenda of the SAHRC by taking this church to court, is not to investigate any incidents of abuse (of which there are none); but rather to use this as a legal precedent (should they win the case) to push a law through parliament, criminalizing any form of corporal punishment or spanking in the home, thus removing the rights of parents to decide on the best way to raise their children.

Please understand that we are not talking about legitimate cases of abuse, which is where the SAHRC should be focusing their attention; but we are talking about loving parents, motivated by a desire to raise their children to be caring contributors to society, using “spanking” when necessary, in a controlled intentional manner; as one of their disciplinary tools. The liberal “experts” will say that “spanking” damages a child, etc, etc...but we all know, when used correctly, it is actually beneficial


Many claim that there is "increasing evidence" that corporal punishment has a range of “detrimental outcomes” upon children. The thinking goes that even “little smacks", produce "violence and sexual abuse perpetration" and even "mental and emotional illnesses" in those who have been spanked. The problem I have with this thinking, is that it is unsubstantiated and biased. I therefore include below, a summary of modern studies concluded by esteemed social scientists, which actually contradict these allegations and seem to clearly indicate the very opposite to the claims so flagrantly thrown into the debate. 

Psychology Professor Marjorie Gunnoe of Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan found in her study of this subject - that those who claimed that corporal punishment had detrimental outcomes upon children's research were seriously flawed in that, Researchers have failed to separate cases of obvious child abuse from the sample". She found that "spanking used judiciously as the normal consequence for bad behaviour is BENEFICIAL for children".

Professor Gunnoe’s study entailed 2,600 interviews pertaining to corporal punishment, including the questioning of 179 teenagers about getting spanked/smacked by their parents, and in her findings the Professor concludes that, “The claims made for not spanking children fail to hold up. They are not consistent with the data.” She also notes in her findings that those who were physically disciplined performed better than those who weren’t in a whole series of categories, including school grades, an optimistic outlook on life, the willingness to perform volunteer work, and the ambition to attend college. And interestingly enough, “they performed no worse than those who weren’t spanked in areas like early sexual activity, getting into fights, and becoming depressed."

Of note too, is that The American College of Pediatricians agrees, "Spanking by parents is effective if carried out appropriately." 

What is of further interest on this subject, is a study published in the Akron Law Review, wherein researchers examined criminal records and found that children who were raised where a legal ban on parental corporal punishment is in effect, are much more likely to be involved in crime.  A key focus of the work of Jason M. Fuller, of the University of Akron Law School was the country Sweden, who 30 years ago became the first nation to impose a complete ban on physical discipline, and is in many respects “an ideal laboratory to study spanking bans,” according to Fuller. The result, Fuller noted, was that, “Swedish teen violence skyrocketed in the early 1990’s, when children that had grown up entirely under the spanking ban first became teenagers”. His research concludes, “Preadolescents and teenagers under 15 started becoming even more violent toward their peers. By 1994, the number of youth criminal assaults had increased bysix timesthe 1984 [pre spanking] rate.” [My addition & own emphasis placed.]

In another study Dr. Diana Baumrind of the University of California Berkeley, and her teams of professional researchers, conducted what is considered the most extensive and methodologically thorough child development study yet done. Over a decade they examined 164 families, tracking their children from age 4 to 14. Baumrind found that spanking can be helpful in certain contexts and discovered “no evidence for unique detrimental effects of normative physical punishment.”  She also found that children who were never spanked tended to have behavioural problems, and were not more competent than their peers.

--------------------------- An article by Andrew Selley

I think the important thing to note is that this doesn’t just affect the religious community, but affects all concerned parents.

There’s never been an opportunity like we have now to make our voices heard with millions of others. There are currently millions of concerned South Africans who have signed support with Joshua Generation to have the SAHRC drop the issue around Parental discipline in the home once and for all, and for them to focus their time and attention on legitimate cases of abuse.

If you would like to add your support to keeping the state from telling loving parent how to raise their children, PLEASE, PLEASE send an email to this address: indicating your support, or go to the below link and sign the letter of support. Every signature counts so let’s not allow this to slip under our noses without having done all we can to protect the autonomy of our South African families.

Letter of support can be downloaded here:

Some informative links:

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