In my post on the propriety of laughing at parodies of religion, I may have had this on the back of my mind as the kernel of truth being parodied. However, the story is no laughing matter.
As Megan Dunham writes:
When my first child was born, a woman I had known many years handed me a book. She told me it would be helpful as I raised my daughter as it had helped her train her own kids. That book? To Train Up a Child, by Michael and Debi Pearl.
She quotes from the book:
“If you are just beginning to attempt to control an already rebellious child who runs from discipline and is too incoherent to listen, then use whatever force is necessary to bring him to bay. If you have to sit on him to spank him then do not hesitate. And hold him there until he is surrendered. Prove that you are bigger, tougher, more patiently enduring, and are unmoved by his wailing. Defeat him totally. Accept no conditions for surrender. No compromise. You are to rule over him as a benevolent sovereign. Your word is final.”
And then relates the following story:
Unfortunately, some parents have taken this teaching to its very literal and fatal conclusion. Maybe you’ve heard of this tragedy already, but just last week 7-year-old Lydia Schatz was “disciplined” to death by her homeschooling parents, Kevin and Elizabeth. Her 11-year-old sister Zariah was also hospitalized for extensive injuries. The parents used the teachings of the Pearls to “train” their children, whipping their kids with a quarter-inch plumbing supply line—the very thing the Pearls suggest parents use.