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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Embarrassing and Humiliating

Were that all children were the same—eternally quite, respectful, obedient, humble in spirit and respectful of authority. In the high school I attended the Principal's Office was known to have a "Paddle on the Wall". Whether it was ever used, I do not know. But all of us knew—no matter how rebellious and disrespectful of authority we might wish to be—that the utmost level of embarrassment and humiliation was always possible. The visual that we all knew our peers would see (no matter how arrogant and cool we wished to be) was us bent over before the pinnacle of authority in a subservient position getting hit on the butt. Let's get one thing abundantly clear. The pain in such paddling has nothing to do with a momentarily stinging butt, but with the snapshot of us in total subjection before authority. We, despite our fondest wish and ugliest behavior, are not demigods in the driver's seat able to run roughshod over authority, our fellows, or the facts.

In America we have obsessed over the momentary sting of a paddling and completely ignored the awesome necessity of communicating in unsubtle ways that no individual represents the totality of the universe. It is a very serious matter that Johnny knows that he can report that his dad paddled him and thus outrank his father in power and authority. This is a governance situation that has gotten totally out of hand and is destructive of the family.

When we decide that ideology and flimsy idealism are stronger and more obdurate than human nature we make a serious error. Once we fancy ourselves gods and not animals disaster results. Again, we must not be subtle—we must have a visual that makes it abundantly clear who's in charge. I'm sorry, time-outs do not provide powerful visuals. A spanking on the butt bent over in a subservient position offers a visual that says it all with utmost power and clarity.

Here, I must reprimand what I think is our lust for “sophistication.” We lust to be considered liberal”, “open minded”, and “cool” not only in regards to discipline, but everything else. This yearning for what is at base a lust for license and anarchy is going to bite us on the butt. It is getting so bad in America that it seems our Constitution does not contain a Bill of Rights, but a Bill of License. We should remember "when liberty becomes license dictatorship is near". I pray daily for strong transformational leadership that will remove the scales from our eyes before it is too late.

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