What made you feel so good when your baby, baby get a evening gown?
Must be the same old thing that makes a preacher lay his Bible down.
--Sue Foley, “Same Thing,” from the blues CD "Love Comin' Down"
| There is a poem that is popular with souvenir stores and religious bookstores. It is about a person who walked on the beach with God. When she got to the most difficult times in life she noticed that there was only one set of footprints in the sand. She became angry, and assumed that God had left during the toughest times in her life. Then the punch line comes: Those were the times God carried her. The poem might be so common now that it seems trite, but nonetheless I like it.|
| If we take that religious analogy, however, to our adolescent-paddling schools, we’ll find only “one set of footprints” in that murky sand all the way. This time it’s not because God is “carrying” the paddler, although He may have to “carry” some young victims who were abused in that way. It is a fact that, biblically speaking, God nowhere commanded men to coerce children and adolescents to “bend over for butt whacking.” The only “footprints” that violently approach adolescent’s upturned butts are those of the paddler, and they more closely resemble those of a “mounting instinct” animal than those of a spiritual or intellectual man.|
| One of the primary driving forces of school paddling in the United States, and particularly in the extremely high paddling “Bible Belt” region, is an illogical and harmful, yet nonetheless fairly widespread, “Christian” interpretation of a few Old Testament verses.|
| How can I use the word “illogical” and apply that to biblical interpretation? Isn’t interpreting the Bible impossible to objectively look at? The answer here—in spite of an acknowledged wide variety of interpretations on many biblical subjects—is surprisingly simple. To decide whether the Bible was “inspired” or not is a matter of Faith. Interpreting the Bible after you accept it, however, is often a matter of logic. Those who cite the Bible to back school paddling are, simply put, teaching something that the Bible never actually taught. They are, beyond that, logically inconsistent in their approach. They have no “rule” of interpretation that is consistently applied.|
| Beyond the illogic of trying to apply a select few Old Testament teachings to Gentiles today they don’t even “literally” follow even those. They do not live out a “literal” interpretation, as they claim, of even those highly selective, out of context, child-beating teachings. The “paddle pushers” ignore completely most of the other “Old Testament” teachings. They selectively try to “force fit” only their child hitting verses to modern Gentile abusive practices that they like to do. For them the Bible provides justification for sadistically and sexually beating adolescent’s buttocks.|
| They seem oblivious to the biblical fact that the “Old Testament” was never given to “Gentiles,” Christian or otherwise. The Old Testament was never given as a “law” of any kind to Gentile Christians. It was never meant to be followed by them in any way, and for that matter it was not meant to be followed by Jewish Christians either once the Christian era began. Any teachings of Jesus that sometimes get quoted where He says He did not come to “destroy the law”—however you interpret that—was given only to his Jewish followers, upon whom the Old Law was still in effect at the time. The Gentile Christians, after Christ’s crucifixion, were given only the message of the New Testament, with the Old serving as historical and religious background, and with perhaps some prophecies to unfold.|