Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.
--Jesus, The Bible, Matthew 10:16
| Jesus knew he was sending his disciples into a rough world where everything was not what it seemed. He knew people often had sinister hidden motives, even though they might appear as friends, fellow believers, or even miracle-working Apostles like Judas. He commanded his disciples to be as wise as serpents, but as harmless as doves. What did Jesus mean by that? How many Christians even try to follow Jesus’ advice to be “as wise as serpents?” How many would rather instead bury their heads in the sand and not face systematic child abuse issues that are uncomfortable to think about?|
| We must face this issue and wake up. We must follow Jesus’ true teachings, rather than the false paddle teachings that child abusers ascribe to Him, and learn the “wisdom of the world.” We must “know what the serpents know” if we want to protect our children. On the other hand any true follower of Jesus would not do something that he knew might recklessly endanger a child. Disciples of Jesus are commanded to be “as harmless as doves.” Anyone who swings a paddle at a child or adolescent is not being “as harmless as a dove,” and is blatantly violating Jesus’ command. He is not, at that moment at least, a “follower of Christ” in any way.|
| Just as Jesus sent his disciples, so we send our children into a sinful world—and that sometimes includes hidden sinfulness in “church” institutions as well. Sex abuse in churches, whether by priests molesting and raping kids as is in the news today, or paddle abuse that seems “ok,” is the most devastating thing possible for true religion. Not only is the child victimized and harmed in deep, hidden ways, for life, but the religion is smeared with the abuse as well—especially in cases like paddling where the religion actively promotes and agrees with the abuse at every level.|
| We need to understand human nature better than we do. We need to understand not only how religion can help change hidden sinfulness in men’s lives, but also how it can hide and promote hidden, sinful child abuse. Many “normal” men, regardless of religious affiliation, would love to sexually ravish sexy young teens in any way that they could get away with it. Sexual harassment and abuse happen in any culture, primarily by “normal men,” to whatever degree it is accepted. Some men, even beyond sexual issues, like to “put down,” brutalize, and humiliate women. They simply don’t want to see them succeed in school, the workplace, or anywhere outside of being sex objects as teens, and then pregnant married homemakers as adults. All they see women as being “good for” is sexually submitting to older men when they are young, and then getting married and having babies for a “new crop” of victims later.|
| Whether we are grandparents, parents, teachers, children, or young adults, we need to know what is out in the world to protect our children and adolescents from abuse. Otherwise wolves in sheep’s clothing will fool us every time with their clean cut looks and halos. They will ravish our young in any way we let them, to whatever extent we let them, and inflict lifelong harm to them psychologically. In a very literal way they are “tearing up the flock” while we sheep blindly graze all around, just as the Apostle Paul warned would happen if we were not vigilant. The ignorant flock blindly look on and approve, as if “the kind child abuser” were “just another sheep grazing in their midst.” Most of the “eyes that don’t see and ears that don’t hear” flock never see the hidden carnage, even when they look directly at it.|
| It might come as a surprise to many readers at this point, but when I was a young man in my twenties I was a stereotype fundamentalist Christian. I wanted to smash the family TV at times because it was “evil.” I believed corporal punishment was “God’s will,” even though deep down I also saw the sexual and abuse problems. I didn’t really want to do that to my kids, and yet felt I would be “remiss” as a father not to. If you are reading this and you have that mindset—believe me I understand it very well. With religious doublethink, that many readers may yet possess, I knew of the sexual overtones in spanking, yet simultaneously thought spanking must be “God’s will” because so many preachers said it was. I never did an actual independent study on the matter. It seemed settled though. No one had challenged them that I knew of.|