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Contents
1. “Culture War” Propaganda that Supports Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse
2. School Beatings in the News “Parental “Support” (as long as they remain ignorant)
3. Paddling: “Out of Control” Pseudo Science
4. Paddling Brutality and Injuries
5. Reasons for Paddling
6. Can We Justify Child and Adolescent abuse?
7. Does Paddling Do Any Good?
8. The Phallic Paddle
9. Padding in the Digital Age: “Bringing Back the ‘Good Old Days?’”
10. “Did Jesus Teach "School Paddling?”
11. Other Religious Views
·“Spanking is Child Abuse”
·Atheism/Agnosticism
·The Baha’i Faith
·Buddhism
·Hinduism
·Islam
·Judaism
·LDS, or “Mormons”
·Sufism
·Taoism and Tai Chi
·The attitude (in China) toward corporal punishment in school
·Wicca
12. Lifetime Sexual and Psychological Damage for Victims and Witnesses
13. Sadism: a Job Hazard for Paddlers
14. School Paddling as Sexual Harassment
“That action only is ‘well done’, which brings no suffering in its train, Of which we reap the fruit quite glad, in happiness, with joyous heart.”
--Buddhist Scriptures, page 84 (morality 4a: 15)
As near as I can tell there is no direct teaching in Buddhism about hitting children. You could argue, based on that absence, that hitting children is compatible with Buddhism, but non-violence is certainly at least as compatible with Buddhism as hitting is. That is really what we are attempting to find here—whether various religions are, as Christianity is, compatible with non-violent childcare, regardless of whether they specifically teach on this subject or not.
My devout Buddhist friend has never married, nor has he raised any children. I don’t think child-care was ever foremost in his thoughts as he studied Buddhism. He really enjoys meditation, and that has been a focus of his religious life. He also likes many of the Buddhist stories and can tell them with ease. He has a great sense of humor, so the stories tend to be funny.
My friend noted that the Buddhists do use hitting, but not in the form of bruising battery to helpless children. Buddhists will sometimes employ a light tap from one consenting adult to another’s shoulder to improve meditation. When a group is meditating together at a retreat, the priest or person in charge may walk around the room and ask if the person wants to be tapped on the shoulder with a stick. This helps to loosen the person up, or relax, or focus them better. It is not sexual, humiliating, coerced, or harmful like school paddling is. It is not related to punishment. It has nothing to do with battering children and adolescents.
John uses a lot of humor in his stories—which makes them enjoyable and memorable. It occurred to me when talking with John that humor is a very underutilized technique in our schools. We seem to go out of our way to make school as much like a prison, or factory, as possible. We like to make it as dull as possible, it seems, and then sexually beat the students if they violate any of our trivial, mundane rules. Perhaps we could achieve much more learning if we took away our official school bullying and terrorism and replaced it with a bit of appropriate, lesson-driven humor.
When I asked about the Buddhist ideas concerning beating children in schools, my friend said there are two kinds of Buddhists—the kind that care about social issues and the kind that don’t. On the former he told a funny story about a Buddhist monk who was falsely accused of fathering a baby. The angry father confronted him, and made his daughter give the baby to the monk to raise, since the girl’s father did not want to be burdened. The monk did not say a word and took care of the baby. Years later the father learned that the monk was not the father and the girl had covered for someone else, so he came to take the baby back. The monk calmly gave the baby that he had raised and cared for back, again without a fuss.
That story is kind of funny. Although the “non-social” monks may not themselves cause hurt, they don’t fight it either. There are other religions with similar beliefs—that the practitioner should work on their own spiritual development and ignore the outside world’s views. Jesus might be thought to have said a similar thing when he said we should render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s. The idea of many types of monks or religious recluses is that they must flee the contamination of the world, which they also perhaps feel they cannot change.
Chapter 11: Other Religious Views