A Libertarian Defense of Spanking

Click for more in this series: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

This is my long overdue conclusion to the series I started back in the summer about spanking. Work has been terribly busy lately, and I have been very tired and not had a lot of energy to write. Plus, I’ve been doing a lot of debating on Facebook lately which is of dubious merit, and that has sapped a lot of my juices on this issue. Add to that the fact that I did NaNoWriMo this year, and my writing momentum for this blog has almost vanished. Oh well. I did post my critique of Dr. Clauson, and that seemed to have gotten things going again!

Well today, I want to complete my series on spanking. I’ve written two parts already in which I defend the practice of spanking from the Biblical Worldview. Today I want to tackle this from a different angle. I want to defend against the allegation that comes from certain Libertarians, Stefan Molyneux being the most prominent, that spanking is a violation of the Non-Aggression Principle, and therefore it is immoral.

In order to do this most effectively, I want to divest myself of the Biblical worldview temporarily. It’s not because I don’t think the Biblical worldview has anything to say on this, nor is it that it I don’t think it is an authoritative – or the authoritative – voice on the subject. In fact, I won’t really be leaving it behind at all. I just won’t be appealing to it, but to certain truths supported by it that are held by my opponents in order to be most practically persuasive.

So for the sake of pragmatism, I want to argue this case from a strictly anarcho-capitalist worldview, which is the worldview held by many prominent Libertarians such as Larken Rose and Stefan Malyneux.

Continue reading A Libertarian Defense of Spanking

What Is The Goal Of Parenting? Discipleship.

Click for more in this series: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

Introduction to Part 2

In my previous article, I began a Review of the practice of spanking from my seemingly unique perspective. I am a Reformed Baptist. I am a Libertarian. As a Reformed Baptist, I believe that the Scriptures clearly teach that spanking is a necessity in parenting. As a Libertarian, I believe the Scriptures clearly teach that coercive aggression is a sin. I therefore find myself in the crux of a difficult dilemma. These two truths that I hold seem to be in direct conflict. So I have been seeking for a satisfactory resolution to this dissonance. Since these things have been in my mind, and since I recently came across the article I critiqued in Part 1, I have embarked on this series to discuss my thoughts on the matter.

Part 1 covered the ground of most primary importance: What does the Word of God actually say about spanking? It took the form of a rebuttal to an article which attempted to reinterpret the Biblical teaching on the subject. I interacted with the arguments and believe that I have shown definitively that the Word clearly teaches spanking.

In today’s installment, I seek to answer the generically foundational question: “What is the goal of parenting”? This will influence our choice of methods and naturally lead us to “When do we spank?” and further to “How do we spank?” which will bring to light some critical misunderstandings about Biblical spanking which will begin to set the stage for Part 3.

In Part 3, I plan to bring this all together and attempt to resolve this apparent tension between the Non-Aggression Principle and this seemingly coercively aggressive abuse.

What Is the Goal of Parenting?

There are many ways to summarize it. Ephesians 6 says to “bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” One of my Elders likes to define it as “raising a godly seed”. But what does that actually mean? Let’s look a little more closely at what the Word teaches.

Continue reading What Is The Goal Of Parenting? Discipleship.

Spoil The Child? No really, the Bible DOES Command Spanking. Here’s What it says

Click for more in this series: Part 1, Part 2Part 3

Introduction

I am probably going to get myself in a heap of trouble with this one, so I have to start with a disclaimer: I mean none of this personally. There that ought to about cover it.

So I thought I would take a break from my typical rants about homosexuality and taxation and the police state and what-not and talk about something completely different: The Larch.

No really, I want to discuss spanking. This is a topic of considerable import to me because I have young children, so I must of course have an answer to the question of spanking. Well, depending on who you are, it may or may not surprise you to know that I spank my children. I hope child protective services isn’t reading this… ahem…. No, but really we do spank our children and this is because of the instruction we have received from the Word of God through our elders and the ministry of Paul and Tedd Tripp. See, I’m a good little Reformed person aren’t I?

So why write about this? I usually use this platform for controversial topics – at least those topics that are controversial for those I tend to rub shoulders with, and this would not seem to be one of them. Well believe it or not, this is one of those issues in which it came to me that I need to be ware of a potential loophole in my thinking. I mean. I’m a Libertarian. I quote the non-aggression principle right and left. And spanking would seem to be a form of coercive aggression wouldn’t it? Have I missed something? If the Bible commands spanking and spanking is a violation of the non-aggression principle, then perhaps the NAP is not all it’s cracked up to be! Or does the NAP truly prohibit spanking in God’s economy, and have I been wrongly dividing the truth? In short, how can I be a staunch Libertarian AND spank. It would seem that something has to give. And if by some miracle the Libertarian Revolution does actually happen, how can I stand and defend the practice of spanking to the atheists who don’t hold to the authority of Scripture and believe spanking to be an outright violation of the NAP, which would decidedly make it criminal? So there is quite a lot at stake here, not the least of which are the souls of my children and the glory of God. These are not things I take lightly, and so I have given them much thought and have wanted to write about them for some time.

Then the other day, I came across this article which is an exert from the book Jesus the Gentle Parent: Gentle Christian Parenting by L.R. Nost. In this exert, she attempts to make an exegetical argument against the Biblical teaching of spanking. So having felt a bit of momentum from reading this article, and in the interest of providing a Biblically sound response for my friend who posted this on Facebook, I feel led to finally get myself in gear and write these things down.

I am going to do this in three parts. Today, I am going to interact specifically with Nost’s article and deal with what the text of Scripture actually says, particularly in the texts that she uses. Part Two will be a synthesis of my own study of the Word, the teaching of my Elders, and what I have learned from the Tripps to answer a very important question: What is the goal of parenting, which will have drastic implications for what methods we use and how we use them. Then in Part Three, I will deal with the Non-Aggression Principle and see if I can reconcile it with the teaching of Scripture. Rest assured, if I cannot, the NAP is what goes!

So for starters, go read her article so the things she says are fresh in your mind as you consider my response.

Continue reading Spoil The Child? No really, the Bible DOES Command Spanking. Here’s What it says