Hitting your children is abuse. Regular hitting of your children perpetuates this abuse into the next generation. Our modern civilized society shuns this behavior, though it is still practiced by an alarming number of individuals.
PZ Myers writes about Joey Salvati, who has started a business whereby he sells paddles, and provides instructions on how to use them, to facilitate this form of abuse. The instructions also support this abusive behavior in two other ways: First, it systematizes it in the context of “love” … making it seem like the right thing to do … and second it is claimed that the specifics … the design details of the paddle as well as the mode and method of use … were conveyed to him … to Joey Salvati … by god. In the shower.
This is appalling in so many ways. The story is reported here, in an article written by Michael Aubele, in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. While the article provides information from the American Pediatrics Society indicating that striking your child is not more effective than other means of training or punishment, and does have negative consequences, and is usually done in a state of anger, and so on, the article remarkably totally ignores the very distinct … indeed, unavoidable … conclusion that Joey Salvati is mentally ill. He is hearing voices. He is not normal. Why does the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review report his odd behavior as though it was perfectly normal, even going so far as to provide helpful information for the reader who wishes to contact Mr. Salvati about purchasing one of his paddles, one of the paddles that he claims to have designed given specific instructions from god?
Think of the law suit. A child is regularly smitten by abusive parents using Mr. Salvati’s paddle and instructions. The parents learned of this from the Tribune-Review article. The child grows up and sues his parents. And the newspaper. And the author of the article who failed to point out the obvious.