Christian Theologians who advocate against spanking - Pt. 2
Announcement: As of May 4, 2012, Samuel Martin's book "Thy Rod and Thy Staff, They Comfort Me: Christians and the Spanking Controversy" is now available for free - Download it here - http://whynottrainachild.com/2013/06/22/download-martins-book/ or
In Part Two, I would like to refer you to a previous post - http://samuelmartin.blogspot.com/2012/04/john-bradshaw-his-influence-on-my.html. In that post, I spoke about my experience in learning about the teachings of John Bradshaw, who, of course, is still living.
Early in my studies I came across the following quote which was really super important to me at that time. In fact, it was one of the very first instances I can point to where a highly respected Christian scholar/psychologist/child rights advocate was speaking out against corporal punishment. Note what John said through his important video series that appeared on public television some 20 years ago.
Dr. Bradshaw summarized his view in this regard in the following quote: “We do not have one piece of data that is proven to us that knocking somebody around helps them. ... Who has a study that can prove that it helps children’s self-worth to knock them across the head or pull down their pants and swat them. There is not one iota of evidence to support that.”[i] The context in which we find Dr. Bradshaw’s comments is significant. This is because Dr. Bradshaw by training is a theologian who studied for the Roman Catholic priesthood for almost ten years. Note what it says in his biography from his own website in this regard -
"He later studied for the Roman Catholic priesthood at a Basilian seminary where he remained for nine and one-half years, leaving just a few days prior to being ordained. During that time he earned his Bachelor of Arts and Master degrees in psychology, philosophy, and theology from St. Michael’s College at the University of Toronto, graduating Magna Cum Laude. He continued his post graduate studies at Rice University and earned a Masters of Spiritual Psychology at University of Santa Monica. Throughout his education, John was the recipient of many merit awards, including, the Trustees' Scholarship, John MacDonald Scholarship in Philosophy, Cardinal Mercier Gold Medal in Philosophy and the Trustees' Gold Medal for Academic Excellence." -http://www.johnbradshaw.com/johnsbio.aspx
Dr. Bradshaw’s theological qualifications are impeccable and it is within an environment of Biblical scholarship at the highest level we find him making his comments about spanking. He is, of course, also a highly accomplished psychologist and has also studied philosophy, so he comes from a distinct and clear academic background.
[i] Dr. John Bradshaw: “Healing the Shame that Binds You” (PBS: Video)