Friday, June 01, 2012

Caning babies

This case is getting some buzz:

We need to be careful not to jump the gun. The case is morally ambiguous. There seems to be blame to go around.

On the one hand, the judge appears to be making law from the bench. She personally disapproves of corporal punishment. But she’s not entitled to make social policy.

In addition, the pastor was convicted for what he said, not what he did. I think that’s legally dubious. So this looks like another rogue judge. 

That said, we shouldn’t use corporal punishment on a 2-month-old baby. If that’s what Pastor Caminiti really believes, then the guy is a dufus.  

This represents knucklehead prooftexting that quotes chapter and verse without bothering to ask basic hermeneutical questions.

The book of Proverbs is not about raising babies. Rather, it’s about raising adolescent boys. Now, we can certainly age some of that down a bit. But it’s assuredly not commanding parents to cane babies.

All told, this seems to be a case of judicial and pastoral misconduct alike. 


  1. Thankfully, this is a one-off aberration.

    Pastors will still be able to preach that same-sex behavior is sin and that the taking of unborn life is a sin from the pulpit.

    Also, more and more pastors are willing and desirous to preach on the issues of same-sex behavior and abortion during their sermons.

  2. "Rather, it’s about raising adolescent boys."

    Do you think that adolescent boys (I assume you mean teenagers) should be punished corporally (i.e., with a rod/cane), or is that perhaps taking the text too literally?

  3. I think there are situations in which that's appropriate. Mind you, that's not a first resort.

  4. "I think there are situations in which that's appropriate."

    What kind of guidance does Scripture provide regarding the situations in which corporal punishment (i.e., the rod/cane) is appropriate?

  5. It needs to be age-appropriate. It's also a fallback if the kid is unreasonable.