Getting THE BELT: The Politically Correct Spanking of the Future

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Parents: When Your Kid Needs a Whipping
Was Jesus Spanked?? Quite Possibly

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Many stories have been published in the popular media, since the year 2000 or so, indicating that spanking is making a so-called "comeback" after several years in which it was regarded as socially unacceptable. Even so, there still remain numerous instances in which parents have been hauled into court, and in some cases had their kids taken into child protective services (CPS) custody, because they dared to exercise their God-given authority in teaching and enforcing THE LAW at the lowest level of governance (the family), even in those instances when the kid was in support of their parentsí actions. In other words, they were merely exercising their right to instruct their kids by applying the Principle of Subsidiarity (cf Catechism of the Catholic Church, elements 2207 and 1894) in the home, lest the police department, Godís chastisements, or the fires of Hell be required to "finish" the job later (cf Proverbs 23:13). On the other hand, although the courts have, for the most part, absolved many parents of potential abuse charges when discipline (verses bona-fide abuse) was the obvious intent, there has continued to be much debate over what degree of physical punishment is acceptable.

An Inordinate Aversion to Leaving Marks
Indeed, there still seems to be an inordinate, invariably mis-placed concern over the leaving of any marks as a result of such corporal punishment. Consequently, parents are left seemingly with one hand tied behind their back as they attempt to administer a spanking which will be truly meaningful [ie, something that will give their child something to remember and thus be an effective deterrent to the behavior or attitude that triggered the spanking (cf
Proverbs 20:30)]. As a result, parents are frequently left with guidelines, even from pro-spanking advocates, that call for little more than hand-spanks or swats using a bizarre assortment of relatively-wimpy instruments such as slippers, wooden spoons and the like and, at most, a wooden paddle that has its limitations as a kid gets older so that the only way to teach a meaningful "lesson" is to hit so hard that the paddle breaks (with the potential for injury). Anything, that is, but to return to a time-tested implement that, heaven forbid, leaves some painful marks for a few days that nevertheless serve as effective reminders to a kid that he needs to re-evaluate (and hence modify) his behavior and attitude (Proverbs 20:30). Yes, Iím talking about that dreaded BELT, used by nearly all families until just a few decades ago, until the politically correct crowd decided that the use of such an implement constitutes child abuse.

It seems that belt marks on the back-side, obviously administered with a disciplinary intent, have instead come to be associated in the same light, by the anti-corporal punishment crowd, with deep contusions, bruises in the form of hard objects or a fist or foot, swollen faces, broken bones and chipped or missing teeth signifying obvious abuse resulting from a frustrated parent (and sometimes a frustrated child) who is out of control. It is actually my contention that a unanimous return to the use of THE BELT in corporal punishment in the home, as opposed to increasing instances of child abuse, will actually decrease such instances of abuse, as well as make the bona-fide instances more easily identifiable. This is because use of other instruments, in addition to breaking, may leave marks that are indistinguishable with marks left from violent, abusive "attacks," and only after parents pass the limits of restraint as those methods become less effective as a kid gets older.

Use of the hand, even to a bare bottom (weíll talk about this tactic later on), has an upper limit of effectiveness. As kids, particularly boys, approach the age of 10 or so, such hand spanks will become virtually ineffective, unless the swats are so hard that it is no different than using any other kind of hard object. In frustration, parents, especially fathers, may end up leaving deep, contusive bruises in the shape of a hand and possibly a fist. Such bruises could, in the end, be indistinguishable from injuries resulting from child abuse. The same can be said about the use of a wooden paddle. Such paddlings can, once again, become progressively less effective around the age of 10. The only recourse is to hit as hard as possible. In addition to leaving large, deep, contusion-like bruises, such paddles can break. The pieces could potentially break the skin depending on how the pieces come apart. Once again, someone may mistake such large bruises as abuse, verses discipline, and in fact, at that point, there may not be much difference.

THE BELT: Standing the Test of Time
THE BELT, on the other hand, being flexible, wonít break. It will leave some nasty-looking (if not painful) "stripes," but in doing so, they occur in a uniform shape and size, usually in a criss-cross pattern over the same basic area of the buttocks or back of the upper legs and thighs. This is a far cry from the often-times random contusions that result from a frustrated (for whatever reason), abusive parent. THE BELT, being flexible, thus has a greater "range" of pain delivery that can be easily adjusted for age and seriousness of offense.
THE BELT is thus safer to use, even on small children, because itís flexible . In contrast, the force of a hard object, even a hand, on a five-year-old, for example, can cause some potentially-serious injuries (such as whiplash, if the child is not "anchored" appropriately over the knee, for example). THE BELT is thus much easier to use, even if a kid is "on-the-run," which can tend to happen unless the rules are laid out well in advance as to what kind of position (if any) he is expected to assume during a spanking.

The reasons why, over the ages, THE BELT, or some other kind of leather strap, has been used is most likely for the same reasons of effectiveness and relative safety as mentioned previously. Although, as a matter of course, THE BELT will leave some painful "stripes," this should not be considered as bad, but, quite to the contrary. The "stripes" areindeed part of the punishment, and not as an incidental, undesirable (from the standpoint of regarding them as injuries or abuse) effect. The fact of the matter is, such "stripes" from THE BELT easily heal within a week or so, they are not nearly as serious as those caused by other implements, and they provide a prolonged period of reflection for what put them there. An additional deterrent lies in the fact that a kid is given an effective incentive to avoid any kind of misbehavior or poor attitude (not just that which resulted in the "stripes") that may result in some fresh "stripes" before the current ones heal. Such a period thus functions as a training period for making straight whatever crooked path was previously being followed.

The Bible Mandates "Stripes"
NOTE:Click HERE to see an analysis of the various words in scripture that demonstrate the seriousness by which a "spanking" is to be given
No doubt for the same reasons mentioned in the previous paragraph, "stripes" are an important component of discipline for people at any age. No doubt, this is because grown people (not just children) tend to have a short memory when it comes to the undesirability of the consequences for bad decisions and poor behavior.
The Bible calls for the use of a Rod in the disciplining of children. Like so many things, however, this should not be taken literally, but instead within context. The context in this case is the use of an implement with sufficient force to leave "stripes." This means relatively narrow strips of bruising or welting left by blows from a relatively narrow, flexible implement. God, being as He is quite practical, knows that flexibility is necessary for safety as well as effectiveness. The leaving of "stripes" also can be an effective gauge of how many blows are to be administered based, of course, on culpability (ie, age) or seriousness of offense (cf Luke 12:47-48).

"Stripes," as mentioned in the Bible, are both the "stripes" themselves as well as the administration of them. The original Hebrew used is unambiguous that "stripes" and the giving of the "stripes" are intimately related. Both aspects of such a chastening are important (Proverbs 20:30), and essentially inseparable from each other. For example, when God uses His "Rod" to chastise us either individually or collectively, such chastisements are usually the natural consequences of poor decisions and actions (also known as the Natural Law). The lasting consequences are sometimes as important (and painful---sometimes more so) as the initial consequence. Take, for example, wars. It has been said that wars are Godís way of punishing mankind for our various crimes and offenses against Godís commandments, which are based on the Natural Law which He gave to us. Certainly, the wars, being bad enough, are the administration of the figurative "stripes." But, thatís just the beginning. The "stripes" themselves, in this case being the long-term effects of such a war, last for awhile, and can be quite painful. And, unless people change their behavior and attitudes (ie, have an internal conversion---also known as a change of mind and heart) and make straight the crooked path previously traveled, then we may very well receive some more "stripes" unless and until God can secure our compliance with the Natural Law. Most undesirably, this may occur before we "recover" from the effects (ie, "stripes") of the previous war (the giving of the "stripes").

THE BELT: A More Practical "Rod" Applied to Latter-Day Culture
The classic Bible verse says that "sparing" the "Rod" is not an option if true instruction and growth is to occur (cf
Proverbs 13:24; 23:13-14). But now, letís get practical about this. Punishment, although to be carried out in a deliberate, thought out manner, also needs to be "swift and certain" (cf Proverbs 19:18). There are very few instances in which the obtaining of a fresh "Rod" from a tree, or the fashioning of a new "Rod," can be done in a timely manner following or immediately preceding its use. Something else is needed that can be quickly and readily available for use. Something that has the same basic physical characteristics (ie, relatively thin and flexible) capable of producing the same potential effect (the leaving of "stripes") administered with the sufficient amount of force (and hence pain) is therefore necessary. Something re-useable, and quickly accessible, in other words. A leather strap most closely fits these criteria. It is perhaps for this reason that the Talmud makes frequent reference to the use of a thin leather strap for the corporal discipline of children. This is no doubt the concept of the "Rod" as applied to other implements capable of producing the same effect, namely, safely-administered chastisement (ie, "pain"), and "stripes" that remain as effective instructional reminders in helping make straight the previously crooked ways. Later on, this same line of reasoning no doubt evolved into the use of a leather BELT, which, especially when worn by a father, is an easily accessible, always-ready and frequently visible reminder----without having to "advertise" the fact [which can engender resentment (cf Ephesians 6:4)]----of what readily awaits a poor behavior or attitude (cf Numbers 17:25).

"Smite His Loins Sore": Catholic and Jewish "Education" in the Home
Perhaps non-Catholics and non-Jewish faithful would be much more appreciative of the breadth and depth of the commandment to leave "stripes" as part of parental discipline if they were familiar with the Book of
Sirach. Two verses, in particular, give some idea as to the force and effect to which a spanking is to be administered. Sirach 30:12 explicitly commands a father in chastising his son, to "thrash his sides" (New American Bible translation). The existing canonical texts are based, for the most part, on the Greek, although the Latin Vulgate has also had some say in all this as well. About 100 years ago, original Hebrew texts of the Book of Sirach were recovered. The verse, based on the original Hebrew, says to "smite his loins sore." The "soreness" alluded to can in no way be a short-lived "soreness" (ie, only a few minutes or hours at the most) when, in the same context, fathers are instructed to "smite" their loins ("loins" apparently meaning either the buttocks or, more appropriately perhaps, the back of the upper legs and thighs). "Smite" no doubt is meant to imply that the "loins" are to be "sore" for several days. Long enough, in other words, for the "lesson" (the "stripes," in other words) to function as a deterrent as well as incentive (cf Proverbs 20:30).

Furthermore, Sirach 30:1 is perhaps just as explicit: "He who loves his son chastises him often" (New American Bible translation). The New English Bible is even more descriptive: "A man who loves his son will whip him often." An evaluation of the Latin Vulgate translation shows that the word "whip" means precisely that, at least from the standpoint of implying the use of something flexible like a leather belt or strap. Indeed, if a father does love his son, he also knows, from personal experience, perhaps, as well as from knowledge handed down through the generations, that, as painful as a leather strap or belt can be, itís in no way dangerous like a hard, wooden paddle or other object, or even his hand which, as a man, can be applied with potentially-dangerous force to his little ones. Certainly, fathers in especially earlier times, being more prone to hard manual labor of some kind, were probably more aware than anyone how hard even their bare hands could be if used to spank their children. Out of love and concern for the safety of their kids, they probably saw to it that a flexible, neutral implement (like a leather belt or strap) was always used instead.

In evaluating the use of the word "often" in the preceding verse, it is necessary to note that "often" is in the context of giving a sufficient number of multiple blows or "stripes" during a singular spanking "event," as opposed to "a whipping a day keeps the devil away." In other words, a "good" spanking (with THE BELT, in this case) will decrease the need for future ones. Indeed, if a father loves his son, he will give him a sufficient number of "stripes" to facilitate a deep re-evaluation and modification of behavior (Proverbs 20:30). It is also worth noting that nowhere does the Bible say ANYTHING about "spanking" children, which by the English definition, at least, suggests the use of a hand in a way that results in only temporary stinging. Apparently, the physical chastening of kids was instead meant to occur using specifically safe implements that will nevertheless leave marks known as "stripes" that last for a few days as a way of instructing kids of the consequences for making bad decisions. This also includes the classic reference at Hebrews 12:6-9, in the New Testament. Obviously, the people of Jesus' New Covenant expected that kids would still be sitting uncomfortably following such parental instruction.

All BELTS Are Not Created Equal: Think and Plan Ahead
The kind of discipline commanded, in which "stripes" are to be administered, requires a leather belt that is easily handled. This means that it must not be of such excessive length that it is unwieldy to handle, or so wide that it leaves marks that can in no way be classified as "stripes."
In order to be safe as well as effective, it should not be any more than about 1 inch wide at the most, and it cannot either be too "wimpy," or too "brutish."

Above all, there is no need to get overly fancy about all this. Indeed, one reason THE BELT was so readily accepted until a few decades ago was its ready availability. It doesnít require rocket science to go to any clothing outlet or mall and buy one, if youíre looking to get a specific "spanking belt," which may be somewhat more necessary for those with a "wide" waistline, since such a belt may not be as easy to handle as it otherwise may be if a shorter, more manageable length (about size 32-35 waist) is used, even when folded in half (most generally the easiest and safest way to use it). Above all, donít waste your time and money trying to purchase some kind of razor strop, leather strap, tawse, lexan or wooden paddle with holes and the like from, for example, an on-line store. Most (possibly all) of those have an underlying S&M theme and, on close examinatiion, are quite sleazy. Stay away from them.

What is to be Worn and to be "Smited" When THE BELT Is Used
My personal recommendation is to "aim" for the back of the upper legs and thighs
. This is because, in my opinion, even a misbehaved kid has a right to be able to sit. Although the "stripes" on the back of the upper legs and thighs will still be felt when sitting, at least the kidís butt bone won't be pressing directly down onto the "artwork." Also, I am no fan of spanking on the bare behind. Especially as a kid gets older, modesty should be respected. Although some may contend that modesty can be respected only by aiming for the buttocks, since the "stripes" may be visible to others when shorts (or a short dress) are worn, perhaps this is an opportunity to make the case for modesty in dress, and to make a commentary on clothing fashions. Male fashions in the past decade seem to have made quite a few strides in variety that, for the most part, tend to promote a greater sense of modesty (baggy jeans and long-cut shorts, for example). On the other hand, womenís styles seem to have taken a giant leap backward over that same period. What with the ridiculously-tight, hip-hugging, bell-bottom (gag me) jeans and the tight, short-shorts, it is almost as if fashion designers have run out of ways to spell the word "slut," as we seem to be in some kind of late 60ís-early-70ís time warp w/r womenís styles. A boy may have no problem in concealing "stripes" from a belt spanking even if he wears shorts. Girls, on the other hand, may have a problem. Unfortunately, this may lead to a tendency to use THE BELT on the boys rather than the girls, when THE BELT should actually be an equal-opportunity enforcer. Hopefully a full-scale paradigm shift w/r the use of THE BELT as the timeless, socially acceptable instrument of parental discipline will force a change in female fashions.

NOTE: A possible "middle-ground" solution to many dilemas that may be presented in establishing a "level playing field" w/r how much "padding" (ie, clothing) is acceptable in separating the leather from the kid's backside would perhaps be to spank with THE BELT over the kid's underwear instead (if the parent prefers to "aim" for the buttocks---of course, this would also then allow a parent who prefers to "aim" for the back of the upper legs or thighs to provide direct contact between THE BELT and the kid's bare skin. Either way, this can easily help to extend the available "range" of pain, thus effectively preventing a kid from developing an immunity to the blows/"stripes" over time).

One perhaps unavoidable scenario, however, in which it may be difficult to protect modesty, may be when a kid has to change clothes or shower in the gym class with marks on their backside (although, at least these moments will be relatively brief since, with the advent of the longer Michael Jordan-style athletic shorts, the marks probably won't actually be visible during class---with the possible exception, perhaps, being a swimming class). This, admittedly, can be a problem especially if, in avoiding doing so, it means that the kid is penalized grade-wise for not dressing out appropriately for gym class. An added dilema is that, by not dressing out until the "stripes" heal could easily result in a failing grade by then. Of course, depending on how a parent handles this kind of situaton, the kid may very well end up repeating the "stripe" cycle (if you get my drift). Therefore, perhaps these situations can instead be a valuable lesson teaching a kid that there will always be a few predicaments in life where there is really no choice but to "face the music," no matter how potentially humiliating or embarrassing the situation may be. Then again, if ALL parents began to use THE BELT once more, at least a kid probably won't be the only one to experience this situation from time to time, which is the way things actually should be, in which it's fairly well understood by all that certain kinds of behaviors will net specific and certain consequences that everyone is personally familiar with. If the family, as provided for by the Principle of Subsidiarity, is indeed the most fundamental level of governance, then it stands to reason that a parent's use of THE BELT is merely an enforcement of some aspect of the same natural and moral Law, that everyone else is subject to, for such things as deliberate disobedience, chronic insolence (ie, bad attitude or sassing), unprovoked violence toward person or property of peers and those in authority, lying, stealing, and the like. The enforcement of The Law at a more official level is always a public act in which the direct as well as extended effects are also at times known publicly or at least by one's peers as a sign that The Law had been violated. The "stripes" from a belt spanking, which are merely part of the enforcement of The Law at a lower level of governance (the family), will therefore at times also be seen by a kid's siblings or peers, and as a sign that some aspect of that same Law had been violated.

THE BELT: A Deterrent to Crime
Some people say that the police department finishes the job that parents donít do. Part of the problem that exists with the increase in juvenile delinquency, and bratty kids in general, is the sense of no consequences for poor decisions, behavior, and attitudes. Although spanking seems to be making a comeback, the benefits of that will never be truly realized unless some strong "medicine" is in order. Kids, particularly boys (even the more "bookish," less athletic type like I was at the time) will, as they get older, develop an immunity to mere hand spanks. Even a paddle will be ineffective past the age of 10 or so. The only thing that can provide a sufficient level of deterrence at all stages of a kidís growth is THE BELT, since, although a kid knows what THE BELT feels like enough to remain in "good standing" for a longer period than otherwise,
THE BELT, when used intelligently, will always end up feeling worse than the kid remembers it. There is nothing like THE BELT to instill fear in (and hence secure compliance by) even a High School Senior.

My Experience
Like all boys, I began to progressively test the boundaries as I neared my 10th birthday. Although I was generally well-behaved when I grew up, I nevertheless got progressively bolder around that time, and I was being paddled with a wooden paddle-ball style paddle nearly every other month. Eventually, the only way for the paddle to have the same effect was for my dad to hit as hard as possible. Finally, the last time it was used, he hit so hard that the paddle broke. Although I received only four blows, each one left a large, almost contusion-like bruise that took nearly 10 days to heal. Shortly after that, I was informed that future spankings would be with THE BELT. I was more than familiar, as related by many of my friends, with the "impact" that THE BELT could make, and this was sufficient enough to keep me "scared straight" for nearly two years thereafter. Following my first encounter with "THE BELT," at the age of 12, my subsequent encounters in the six years between then and when I graduated High School were fewer than the paddlings I received in only the year before the paddle broke. The experience and memory of the blows and the "stripes" did their job in ultimately securing an improved attitude (bad attitudes rather than mis-behavior are probably the most frequent "juvenile offenses" to earn an appointment with "DR. BELT"). Although I kind of resented the fact that the "bar" had seemingly been raised far and beyond where it had been previously, I realized not long thereafter that there really was no other alternative and, had my parents had to do things over again, they would have used THE BELT from Day One, in view of what happened when the paddle broke. Itís for these reasons, I believe, that
potentially borderline instances of abuse would decrease to zero if parents re-instituted a common use of THE BELT, as in earlier times. The severe pain and the resultant "stripes" from an effective belt spanking, in providing a necessary deterrent that, for the most part, is lacking these days, would actually decrease the frequency and necessity of its use. In doing so, parents would be less prone to become frustrated by chronic misbehavior, and thus less prone to become frustrated as is the case when seeking less strong remedies (hand spanks or a wooden paddle), that are, for the reasons outlined previously, ultimately-dangerous.

Debunking anti-spanking rhetoric: Using THE BELT is using psychology

Note the following biased quote, taken from the following website in which legitimate forms of corporal punishment are thrown in with obvious acts of abuse:

"Corporal punishment includes pinching, spanking, paddling, shoving, slapping, shaking, hair pulling, choking, excessive exercise, confinement in closed spaces, and denial of access to a toilet. No credible evidence exists in medical literature for the continued use of corporal punishment; spanking is less effective than time out or removal of privileges for decreasing undesired behavior in children. Discipline, however, is a necessary component for child rearing, and appropriate discipline aims for limit setting, teaching right from wrong, assisting in decision making, and helping the child develop a sense of self-control. When physical force is used as a discipline technique (as in corporal punishment), the concern arises that if the misconduct continues even after corporal punishment is applied, the caregiver then may become angry and frustrated and reapply the physical force. As the physical force is reapplied while the caregiver is becoming increasingly angry, the potential emerges for the caregiver to lose control and injure the child. Regardless of whether injuring the child was the intended outcome of the corporal punishment, the end result experienced by the injured child is that he or she has been hurt. Caregivers who utilize corporal punishment often are angry, irritable, depressed, fatigued, and stressed. They apply the punishment at a time that they "have lost it," and caregivers frequently express remorse and agitation while punishing their children. To avoid this risk of harming the child and in order to model nonviolent behavior for children, many health care professionals advocate child discipline via consistent, nonphysical force based approaches such as time out, loss of privileges, expressions of parental disappointment, and grounding. Approximately one half of US pediatricians report being opposed generally to the use of corporal punishment; about one third are completely opposed to its use (about three fourths of the pediatricians reported having been spanked when they were children)."

On the contrary to the above emedicine quote, itís my contention that the use of THE BELT, even on (or perhaps especially on) older kids, can actually be an appeal to their dignity and intelligence (maybe an authentic form of self-esteem training), because it helps a kid to start "counting the cost" of certain choices before actually making them and acting on them. Or, as mentioned in the above quote, it can actually help in "assisting in decision making." Indeed, when a parent asks a kid, in response to some kind of poor behavior or bad attitude, "do you want me to get The Belt???" what the parent is actually asking the kid is the following:

Is your persisting in this behavior worth the experience of a painful spanking, especially when youíll have to live with its "impact" for the next several days?? Is it worth the certainty of "announcing" (without even actually saying anything) to your classmates the fact that youíd misbehaved the next time you have gym class?? Is continuing what youíre doing (or not doing what I want you to do) really worth having your perception of this moment in your life, as well as the next several days to come, forever "singed" into your memory in a way that you will want to forget but never will??? I think I know your answer to these questions, but, either way, I will respect your decision, and accommodate you either way (the easy way or the painful way).

I guarantee you, if we ever find ourselves in the kind of crisis such as WWII or a severe economic downturn, you will not see very many parents trying "time outs" with their kids. With little time to spare and little room for error (and with the consequences of such for both the parent and the kid being quite high), this concept will definitely "trickle down" to how a parent handles misbehavior. The response will be swift and certain. The use of a Belt (or the specter of its use) is using psychology, albeit a different kind than what many have come to define such in the past few decades.

One other thing begs consideration here. For anyone who thinks that the use of corporal punishment, and especially the use of THE BELT (because of the "stripes" that invariably result), is child abuse that promotes and teaches violence they need to answer these questions:

And, for those that say that it teaches that it's OK to hit others, or that "force and might makes right," it's my contention that it will instill in a kid an appreciation how painful the infliction of pain can actually be. If anything, it will give a kid a greater sense of empathy for their fellow man, as well as for their future kids once it comes time to hand down similar lessons that can only be taught with "stripes" from THE BELT. I will go as far as to say that the exemplary level of pain in the actual belt whipping, in addition to that afforded by the marks that remain for a few days, can provide an invaluable "catechesis" on the fires of Hell. Perhaps a valuable lesson that many kids have been deprived of in the past few decades is an appreciation of the fact that, no matter how painful the blows and stripes of a belt spanking may be, they are nothing compared to the eternal fires of hell. Perhaps by parents once again emphasizing this fact as part of the whipping (cf Proverbs 23:14) is why and how the lessons associated with such chastenings, when a kid is growing up, can truly be a means of helping to preserve a kid from the fires of hell then and in the years to come (the rest of their life, in other words), and why a spanking they won't soon forget will truly be that once more (cf Proverbs 20:30) as parents once again rediscover the exemplary teaching tool that THE BELT can be.


Dare To Discipline: Dare To Use THE BELT
One reason that parents are hesitant these days to use THE BELT is the fear of being reported to Child Protective Services (CPS) once the "stripes" are noticed. As a matter of fact, teachers and coaches have been encouraged to report even the most trivial of hints of supposed abuse.
True abuse is almost never restricted to the buttocks or back of the upper legs and thighs, nor does it usually describe a criss-cross pattern of uniformly sized and shaped "stripes" over those areas. Nevertheless, belt marks are now being reported as abuse, whereas, in reality, the "stripes" are merely that---simply another, albeit valuable, form of instruction. As I grew up in the 1970ís, the occasional sight, as it was for most kids at that time, of such belt stripes was relatively common, everyone knew what they were, but everyone accepted it as the way things should be (just as, for example, you will almost always, when driving, see at least one instance of someone pulled over on the side of the road, police car with lights flashing behind them, doing the "meet the cop routine," usually for speeding. Everyone accepts it as necessary, even as nearly everyone tends to press the limits, and even as nearly everyone likewise has their "lucky day" every now and then, and everyone feels silly, if not mad, as they sit there on "display" for several minutes). A kid hosting such belt marks ran the risk of embarrassment or teasing, but everyone ALSO knew that their own backsides were only one instance of overnight insubordination or irresponsibility away from hosting a similar "display" over the days to come. The belt marks thus served a valuable function, acting as an effective reminder and warning (cf Ezekiel 5:15) for everyone. ). The threat of embarrassment notwithstanding, no one---neither the teachers and coaches, nor the kids---regarded it as abuse, as it rightfully was not. And, bona-fide abuse was probably more appropriately identified, and dealt with accordingly.

Simply put,
if ALL parents dared to do their jobs and smite their kidsí loins sore with THE BELT when necessary, the CPS agencies would then have two choices:

  1. They would either try to keep up with report upon report of belt mark "sightings" (and the tyrannical CPS "system" would then collapse under the weight of its own stupidity), OR,

  2. CPS would get smart, view such "stripes" as the legitimate effect of parental discipline and instruction that they Truly Are, and thus devote its resources to bona-fide cases of parental child abuse

Either way, parents, kids, and society in general will win. Parents will win back their right and duty to use THE BELT as necessary, the sore loins provided by the "smiting," as well as the resultant "stripes" will serve as an invaluable deterrent for everyone, the frequency of such events per kid will thus be relatively minimal, and the police department (ie, the prison system) will not have to finish a job that our Heavenly Father originally delegated to parents (cf Catechism of the Catholic Church, elements 2222-2223). Kids will in the end feel more secure because THE BELT will provide a more consistent support system in more clearly defining (with a red and purple "highlighter") parameters of and consequences for behaviors and attitudes. Kids will in general be better behaved, and this improved environment that promotes civility in conduct will better facilitate more constructive interactions between their peers and adults. The Principle of Subsidiarity will thus be applied at the lowest level of governance (the family), "MR. BELT" will once again be reinstated to his place of "honor" as one of the pillars that establishes and maintains a civil society in redeeming our fallen humanity, and CPS and related agencies will no longer be the "Structures of Sin" (cf Reconciliatio et Paenitentia element 16) that so many of them have become. As spanking makes a comeback and after we go through a steep "re-learning" curve concerning the instructional value and necessity of safely-administered "stripes" (cf Sirach 30:1; 12; Proverbs 13:23; 23:13; 20:30), it will soon be politically incorrect (ie, socially unacceptable) NOT to use THE BELT.

For further discussion, guidance, and other links that are somewhat related to the issue of spanking, please check out these:

CP Prosecutions
CPS Watch
Child Protection Reform
Why The Rod Is Righteous
The Problem of Spanking and Childhood Discipline

A study of key words associated with the well-known "spanking" verses

Proverbs 23:13-14: The core basis for spanking

Hebrew evaluation:

smite, beat, strike, stripes
The above word is closely related to the following:

blow, wound, stripe, scourging,

Evaluation of the Greek (Septuagint):

instruct, train, teach; discipline, correct; whip, scourge, beat
NOTE: The Latin Vulgate reads pretty much along these same lines

Proverbs 20:30: Support for the instructional and salvific value of leaving marks (ie, "stripes") that remain for a few days (a bruise always takes AT LEAST 3-4 days to heal. But, isn't it interesting that bruises always heal. No lasting damage/injury, in other words???. So, how can this be classified as abuse, especially when applied to the behind???).
bruise, stripe, wound, blow
bruise, wound

Put in other words, Proverbs 20:30 means, "A belt to the butt goes straight to the brain."

Sirach 30:12: The "hidden treasure" of Scripture supporting the force and effect with which a spanking should be administered:

Evaluation of the Greek (Septuagint)

crush, bruise

sides of the body (NOTE: "sides" in this context in Hebrew means "loins," "buttocks," thighs," and the like. Somehow, when the Vulgate was written, a possible corruption of the Greek meaning led to the word "ribs" instead. On the other hand, the anatomical "ribs" as alluded to in Genesis Ch 2 has a different word in the Vulgate. The word as used here, based on usages elsewhere, suggests more a figurative use of the word "sides" to mean "loins," "buttocks," thighs")

Sirach 30:1: Support for what a "rod" came to mean hundreds of years after Solomon wrote his Proverbs: Basically a leather strap or belt. It should no longer be a mystery as to why nearly all families used THE BELT until just a few decades ago. It was a matter of Biblical wisdom and simple common sense that had been handed down through the generations. Now we're apparently thumbing our noses at it all, only to have to re-discover at some point in the future the wisdom and practicality that others had known for thousands of years, and after millions of parents and kids suffer a high degree of grief (in the form of true abuse on the one hand, and poor behavior and lax morality on the other) as a result of less effective methods and implements.

whip; beating with a whip

An evaluation of the original Hebrew, as uncovered at the beginning of the 20th Century, for Sirach 30:12

crush, oppress

loins, hips

The above original Hebrew evaluation of Sirach 30:1, 12 was taken from "The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament," as edited by R.H. Charles, D.Litt., D.D and published by Oxford at the Clarendon Press


As you can clearly see, a "spanking" was considered to be a very serious matter, and involved some very serious (but not permanent) effects in the form of marks and bruises known as "stripes" left from what could be more appropriately called a "whipping." Perhaps it's time to start calling a "spanking" what it really should be---because of what it really had been until just a few decades ago---a "WHIPPING." Make that a good old fashioned "WHIPPING"-----a timeless practice as we soon rediscover (and especially come to understand) the wisdom of what had been done for thousands of years until just a few decades ago