Familiarity Breeds Contempt – Corporal Punishment and the Catholic Church

Just when I thought we had an enlightened Pope, the obvious truth comes out to smack me in the face – well not in the face, I guess. This obvious truth smacked in some other part of my body, some part where being struck isn’t going to cost me my dignity, I guess.
This Pope has come out on the side of many marginalized groups, gays, Muslims (marginalized in the West), even women, I think. He even said righteous atheists could go to heaven! But this –


“He made the remarks during his weekly general audience at the Vatican, which was devoted to the role of fathers in the family.
The Pope outlined the traits of a good father, as someone who forgives but is able to “correct with firmness” while not discouraging the child.
Some child welfare campaigners have questioned his comments.
The Pope said: “One time, I heard a father in a meeting with married couples say ‘I sometimes have to smack my children a bit, but never in the face so as to not humiliate them.’
“How beautiful,” he added. “He knows the sense of dignity. He has to punish them but does it justly and moves on.””

– this was rather disappointing. It says in the article that the Catholic Church argued that it “in no way supported corporal punishment,” but one has to wonder if this most shockingly liberal Pope could say this then what would more conservative back-benchers think about it. The article also mentions that the Church had come under criticism last year by a UN committee that was monitoring the progress of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child.
So, I’m a little afraid that we’re all getting a peek behind the curtain at this Great and Liberal Pope. If he can be supportive of corporal punishment for everybody on Earth – after all, we all start as children – then perhaps that gives the lie to his support of smaller groups, perhaps that support might start to look merely political.
The premise I find amusing: that as long as we’re not struck in the face, we retain our dignity while receiving our corporal punishment. I’m sure we all remember how dignified we felt when our pants were pulled down for it.

Personally, I feel this as a slap in the face, and sort of well, personal. The guy supports every possible cause they throw in front of him except mine. Murphy’s Law, got me again.

Abuse with an Excuse – Doctrine in short form . . . Part #1

A. Damages
1. Abuse in its several forms damages people. The forms are these: physical, mental (cognitive), emotional and psychological. The damages have the same forms. This is well documented.
2. Corporal punishment also damages people, and the damages take the same forms: physical, mental, cognitive, emotional and psychological. This is well documented. The corporal punishment of children is being outlawed in much of the world, driven by the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child.

3. Non-corporal punishment cannot actually exist, it’s a logical fallacy – an oxymoron, in fact. The argument goes like this:

– punishments are unpleasantnesses, they are by definition, something the punished person would not want, and so they are necessarily imposed, forced upon the punished person, against his will. Anything forced, anything imposed, involves either direct physical means, or at least the threat of physical means.
– punishments are employed when reason and talk – non-physical methods – fail, or are presumed to fail. This is often true, that these non-physical means fail, babies and young toddlers can’t be reasoned with, and even for older children who can be, punishments are usually only considered when any child is being unreasonable in the first place. When non-physical methods have been attempted and then ruled out, then logically what remains is physical, either directly or in potential.

Therefore punishment is impossible except that it’s physical. The only possible exception to this logical proof is in the case of punishments that are purely mental, emotional, or psychological, and these sorts of punishments are also universally considered to be unacceptable and abusive.

When children submit to their non-corporal punishments, this is not a disproof. It is only that the child is making a choice, the child is either remembering his baby or toddlerhood punishments, the physical ones, or more likely the child knows that if he resists, that the punishments will escalate and become corporal punishments, or most likely both, some combination of the two.

4. Conclusion: there are no non-corporal punishments. All punishments require force and physicality. Therefore all punishment is corporal punishment, therefore all punishment cause the damages associated with corporal punishment.