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The Standard

Join the smackathon

Written By: - Date published: 8:34 am, April 15th, 2008 - 56 comments
Categories: activism, child discipline - Tags: ,

righttosmack.jpg

Just what you may have been waiting for: www.righttosmack.co.nz

While we want the government to interfere with people’s private activities to some small degree; (outlawing homosexuality, stopping abortions, abolishing civil unions, abolishing legalised prostitution, etc.) – we will not tolerate being told we cannot use force and violence as part of loving correction and discipline!

Better still, the site encourages activism; you may want to join their smackathon where they hope to break the world record for the most children being smacked at the same time.

Parents are asked to save up smackings from the days prior to the event to ensure that have enough punishment in their ‘spank bank’ to allow for a full minute of punishment. Remember, that if children don’t want to participate, that in itself is enough cause for more than a minute’s spanking.

Righttosmack.co.nz gets the following glowing endorsements:

I realize your web site is well intentioned, but I believe you have quoted Bible quotes out of context. If you were to read the whole Bible, and not just bits of it, you would better understand its true meaning – Pauline, Petone.

This site sucks – David, Wanganui.

(Hat-tip: WR)

56 comments on “Join the smackathon”

  1. Stephen 1

    Why can’t I tell if this is a parody or not?

  2. Patrick 2

    I really really hope this is bullshit. It is so weird in so many ways. Check this out:

    Case Study: Learning boundaries.
    A foolish 13 year old girl was caught reading a copy of one of the banned ‘Harry Potter’ books. Her father (lovingly) *smacked her firmly until she agreed she had made a foolish choice and promised only to read approved texts. Without this corrective smacking, who knows what she may have been reading next, Sagan? Dan Browne? or even Darwin!
    *NOTE – such correction is now illegal! Bring back section 59.

    Now as much as I’d like to totally tear this apart, I really don’t think I even need bother.

    Really, what scares me the most is that there are people in our country who think like this.

  3. Patrick 3

    Finally, after reading their donations page, I found this:

    (Seriously – if you really want to help kids, we recommend you make a donation to Women’s Refuge. Phone 0900 Refuge to donate $20 on your phone bill.)

    Um, good work, but boy it had me fooled for more than a few seconds.

    I should have known, it’s far too well written for the sort of people who actually support these causes *cough* D4J *cough*.

  4. K1 4

    Gotta be a pisstake, surely? Although that’s a lot of effort for a spoof…

  5. AncientGeek 5

    I think I’ll follow their advice about the donation. I was starting to wonder – it seemed a bit extreme (actually more cloying).

    Have to send it to my mother. She works a lot with a womans refuge.

    captcha: Jack moderator
    where?

  6. AncientGeek 6

    I particularly liked “What to do with a rebellious son?”

    Reserve the stoning to males seems like a different idea….

  7. higherstandard 7

    The website crosses the boundary between satire and bigotry.

    Instead of being amusing and thought provoking it is sick and derisive.

  8. Benodic 8

    hs – I don’t see the site as attacking Christians, just the breed of Christian that use the bible as an excuse to beat their kids.

  9. Patrick 10

    James, while it is sick, I do think there is a place for this line of satire.

  10. Ari 11

    Or just use the bible to beat their kids fullstop. ;)

  11. infused 12

    I support the right to smack but this site is retarded.

  12. outofbed 13

    f**king hilarious

  13. Policy Parrot 14

    Talk about “Maxim” effectiveness.

  14. Aj 15

    That is very funny, and would be hilarious if the views being satarised didn’t reflect those of a portion of fellow New Zealanders.

  15. Scribe 16

    Well, it had been a while since the Standard chose to have a swipe at Christians, so we should have seen this coming.

    Anti-Christian vitriol: The last acceptable prejudice.

    [lprent: I had a look at the post (and the website it linked to).
    It is about section 59, the christian part was incidential. It was well within my operating parameters.
    If you get upset about that, then I suggest that you either need to get less sensitive or that you probably shouldn’t be around blogs. This site is about robust debate, and is often somewhat rougher than this thread.
    However, your comment got very close to my borderline. I do have a strong position about people igniting pointless flamewars.]

  16. Stephen 17

    Who’s having a swipe at Christians? This is just really bizarre, and it happens to involved some Christians, i’m all for drawing attention to people for what they do, not what they are, and I think this is happening here…

  17. Tane 18

    Scribe, what makes you think none of us are Christian? We’re actually a pretty diverse bunch and I can’t remember this site ever attacking people for their religion. We do, however, criticise those who misuse religion as a cover for their own prejudices.

  18. all_your_base 19

    Scribe – wrong end of the stick matey. The site’s a great pisstake. If you don’t accept the spirit in which it was intended that’s up to you but the call about “a swipe at Christians” is out of line. You don’t need to go back many posts for, from memory, two from me outlining the environmental leadership being shown by some church groups. I’ll call it how I see it. This post was less for me about religion, and more about the crappy arguments a range of people use to justify beating kids.

  19. Stephen 20

    where’d my other post go?

    [lprent: you have to be quite cautious with recaptcha to get it exactly correct. It is great at limiting spam, but is sometimes a pain, especially when it displays as if it was ok (using javascript magic) but disappears when the page is refreshed. If you can’t read the captcha, just keep requesting new captchas using the little circle/arrow until you get an easy one. Thats what I do.]

  20. Billy 21

    And they say us righties are thick. Just count those who can’t tell a pisstake when they see one.

  21. Scribe 22

    The joke is that Christians like to “beat” their children, but the number of Christians who use biblical references to support their desire to discipline their children is virtually zero. And on this site, there’s a nice crack at religion: http://righttosmack.co.nz/father.html

    Tane,

    Christians make fun of Christians all the time, and there are certainly reasons to criticise religion. I’m all for warranted criticism of religion. In this case, physical discipline of children is not “misusing religions as a cover for their own prejudices” except in very rare cases.

    Because you’re part of the team, Tane, I’ll ask you this: Would you link to a site, satirical or not, talking about how Islamic law supports the stoning of converts or the lashing of unmarried women found alone with a man?

    Captcha: heart clergymen (sounds like a new T-shirt, I heart clergymen) ;-)

  22. Stephen 23

    Billy I think I will invoke Poe’s Law here:

    http://rationalwiki.com/wiki/Poe's_Law

    “Without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humor, it is impossible to create a parody of Fundamentalism that SOMEONE won’t mistake for the real thing.”

  23. Scribe 24

    a_y_b,

    This post was less for me about religion, and more about the crappy arguments a range of people use to justify beating kids.

    The language you choose is interesting and revealing. People who want to BEAT (your language) their kids couldn’t give a stuff what the law says. Sue Bradford’s “anti-smacking” legislation (her language, remember) will not save one life.

  24. Tane 25

    Stephen, you probably misentered the captcha.

    Scribe, I can’t answer for the team, but I’d say if done with humour, preferably by people who were either adherents to Islam or in an Islamic society, then it could be fine.

    My issue would be if it was done to try and smear all Muslims with the beliefs of a few. I’d also be concerned that it might be a veil for racism or religious bigotry, as so much anti-Islamic propaganda in the West tends to be.

    In any case, I don’t think the joke here is that Christians like to beat their children. The site is satirising a certain breed of Christian that uses their faith as an excuse to beat their children and generally act like bigots. In my experience this kind of Christian is definitely in the minority.

  25. Matthew Pilott 26

    Scribe – I believe the legislation is already saving lives. Think of the huge focus on domestic violence in NZ at the moment. There was also a post on The Standard recently, highlighting a huge increase in the number of domestic violence cases being reported to the police. Think of the recent court cases where parents have been told violence is not acceptable any more – this may be the beginning of a paradigm shift in the way we think about raising our children – why oppose it?

    I think that Christians would want to support this site – it denigrates those who pervert the ideals of Christanity for their misguided purposes – I know that’s what I get out of the site.

  26. Scribe 27

    Well, Tane, what you see the hypothetical Muslim site as doing is what I see this site — and the general debate about smacking — as being very close to, if not identical to.

    Many of Bradford’s supporters portrayed Christians as child beaters.

    I guess we’ll agree to disagree — not for the first time — on the satirical merits of the site vs the stereotypes it pushes.

  27. Billy 28

    Stephen: that is excellent. Thanks.

  28. Scribe 29

    Matthew,

    I’m all for raising awareness about the issues, and I think it’s good that the Bradford bill brought it into the public domain. But the parents who put their children in clothes dryers and throw them against walls and kick them and punch them are not listening to that message.

    Why would Christians support a website that is designed to appear like a legitimate site that suggests that the Bible is a source document for how to beat your children?

    Returning to my analogy to the Muslim site, do you think Muslims would think that was a good site because “it denigrates those who pervert the ideals of [Islam] for their misguided purposes”?

    My hunch is no.

  29. higherstandard 30

    Ben

    “hs – I don’t see the site as attacking Christians, just the breed of Christian that use the bible as an excuse to beat their kids.”

    No the intent of the site is to portray anyone who disagrees with the Repeal of S59 as a child beater which is demonstrably untrue.

    I also note that the site associates the names of Christine Rankin and Simon Barnett do you agree that they could be rightly aggrieved. If I saw my name or picture on this site my lawyer would be very busy indeed preparing a defamation action.

  30. Stephen 31

    My sarcasm-o-meter is going off the charts billy – my point was that it was fairly hard to tell.

  31. Matthew Pilott 32

    Scribe – fair points.

    I’ll give an extreme example to illustrate what I’m getting at. Imagine a similar parody site devoted to suicide bombing, how to be a martyr and scripture that seems to support the site’s position.

    The extremists might be annoyed at the parody (but incidentally would be least likely to notice it was a parody!) to say the least, but those who are moderates would see it as a criticism of the extremist view – or a criticism of those who try to normalise an extremist position, which I feel is the gist of the site here. So I’ll disagree with your hunch on this basis – this comes down to the moderates versus the extremists, and I’ll always go for the moderates when it comes to religion.

    But the parents who put their children in clothes dryers and throw them against walls and kick them and punch them are not listening to that message.

    I have heard this argument and to tell the truth I am sick of it – it is simply a cop-out. If there was the death penalty for child abuse, I doubt you’d see a decrease in such atrocities. Over the long term, Bradford’s legislation will have an effect – a society-wide impetus to refrain from physical discipline. Maybe it will have a very small effect, but it’s a start. I believe it has and will continue to save lives. If that goes against some people’s religious beliefs, well I don’t give a flying toaster. So to speak…

  32. Scribe 33

    Matthew,

    I will acknowledge that my examples of stoning and lashing probably aren’t practices that most Muslims would agree with, but your example of suicide bombing is something that is only approved by a tiny, tiny majority of radical extremists.

    The ability to discipline children physically is something most people, believers and non-believers alike, think is a legitimate form of child-raising. Secular arguments can be made for the right to smack; secular arguments can’t be made for blowing up oneself — and others — and claiming you’re doing God’s work.

  33. Matthew Pilott 34

    Scribe – I can only hope that one day, use of physical correction will only be approved by a tiny majority of radical extremists (i.e. it will become an extreme view that physical correction, or the right to use it, is demanded by the Bible).

    I accept the difference you point out though, between my example and the point at hand, and that it is likely to be offensive to far more people. Perhaps that is the point. A majority doesn’t have to be right, nor should it be unchallenged.

    I’m not sure that most people, religious or otherwise, believe that physical punishment is a legitimate form of correction – perhaps this is true, and hopefully this can also be changed in future.

  34. ak 35

    Beautifully done – an absolute classic piece of political satire: low-key enough to entice perusal (winness the witless above) yet hard-hitting in effect. Smackingly good!!

    (and yes, Scribe. Secular arguments can be made for smacking children – just as they were once made for slavery, the subjugation of women etc etc – even crucifixion Hoolian. Think Jesus would join your little crusade to keep whacking our kids and bring back the party of the rich? Your “facts” on Labour’s record are pure crapola by the way, but I’ll leave it to our more competent commenters to hand you your tuchus on a plate)

  35. Scribe 36

    ak,

    Comparing a smack to discipline your child with slavery and the subjugation of women? Really? Really?

    Wow.

  36. higherstandard 37

    ak

    With a nod to David Lange …….. lean closer I can smell the bigotry on your breath.

  37. Eddie 38

    Oh love that Bible! Absolutely chocker-block with good-living advice for us parents and employers. Exodus 21:7 sanctions that I sell my youngest daughter into slavery and Exodus 35.2 suggests we put people to death for working on the Sabbath – now that ought to give the unions something to moan about.

    I say give the religious right a break and bring back the good old days.

  38. r0b 39

    Scribe at 2:01pm Comparing a smack to discipline your child with slavery and the subjugation of women? Really? Really?

    Scribe at 11:29am Would you link to a site, satirical or not, talking about how Islamic law supports the stoning of converts or the lashing of unmarried women found alone with a man?

    Really? Really?

  39. Scribe 40

    r0b,

    If you can’t see the vast difference between the two comments and their contexts, then I’m sorry, I can’t help you.

    Good luck.

  40. r0b 41

    A vast difference eh Scribe? Ahh well that’s all right then.

  41. simon coffey 42

    In all honesty I can’t take my child along to the smackathon, he’s just too jesus like! But to addd my support to the right-to-beat-my-child campaign, I do have a red talking Elmo doll, so I bring him along, with the added bonus, he’ll thank me on the spot for beating the devil out of him rather than in 20 years!

    Actually I thinking of making a whacking stick (like the one Homer has) to increase the efficincy factor per whack!

  42. Pascal's bookie 43

    I can’t actually see the bigotry here, either in the website or ak’s comment.

    There are in fact, people who claim to be christian who do, in fact, cite the verses quoted in support of their right to hit their kids. There’s a guy up on charges in Nelson I believe for starters. And there’s that woman from Timaru. And there are the people who write and buy the books excerted at the site that has some here so offended. Are they immune from any criticism from people who think it’s wrong to hit kids? Do we really want to say that religious prctices are beyond satire or criticism? Really? really?

    Anyone else remember that leaflet that did the media rounds a year or two ago? The one that said little kids, from birth, had the devil in them, and had to have it beaten out of them. It said that smacking was the best tool for all transgressions and best to get started on them early. It recommended using a paddle.

    Or how about that Christian school that was illegally hitting kids last year citing, once again, biblical authority. I remember Don Brash saying that people who put their religious laws above our own state laws shouldn’t be welcome in the country. But then, he was understood to be talking about the Moslem.

    The fact thay not all christians believe as they do, only means that those non ‘beat-the-devil-out-em’ christians have a duty to speak up, or at least so I would have thought. But it seems they only want to speak up about being offended that others are satirising those christians they claim are unrepresentative. Strange.

  43. Ari 44

    Scribe, I think if we lived in an Islamic country where we could speak as freely as we can in New Zealand, you’d see a lot worse than this site.

    The site is satire of the sorts of people who support s59- and sadly, many of them are Christian fundamentalists or even supremacists. There are also some really nice supporters of it who feel that the law is little more than symbolic.

    I have to disagree. It is thoroughly inappropriate that parents can beat- and there is no better word to use- their children with weapons and be found innocent of assault simply because we’re too worried about making smacking technically illegal. There is no way any New Zealander should accept that, and we can’t bring back the law in any form that would let people get away with that sort of thing.

    The reality is that there’s no need to smack in the first place. It is more about the frustration of the parent than actual correction of behaviour. Parents already have all the power in the household and they have little need to resort to violence to get their way if they have some good parenting strategy on their side- how about instead of bringing back laws that sanction child abuse, we teach parents about how to discipline their kids without needing the bash in the first place?

  44. MikeE 45

    Its got to be satire, surely?

    “That TV3 weather girl is a naughty little minx, I wouldn’t mind giving her a bit of the old rod if you know what I mean!
    Tony, Northland.”

  45. Paul 46

    “crosses the boundary between satire and bigotry”

    Bollocks!!! What crosses the line is the sicko bastards whom deem it their god given right to hit another human being.

    The best bit is the Russell Brown look a like in the vicars garb.

    Well done who did it.

  46. illuminatedtiger 47

    It’s a parody site. Read the source code.

  47. Scribe 48

    Ari,

    The site is satire of the sorts of people who support s59- and sadly, many of them are Christian fundamentalists or even supremacists.

    You mean the 80 % of people who opposed the Bradford bill?

    PB,

    Or how about that Christian school that was illegally hitting kids last year citing, once again, biblical authority.

    Am I the only one here who thinks that if parents agree that some form of physical discipline is OK, then a PRIVATE SCHOOL should be able to follow the wishes of those parents?

    And the fact it is a parody/satire site was obvious straight away because of the language in the strapline talking about the right to “beat” children.

    I’m not saying that there aren’t Christians who use the Bible as a crutch for their right to smack their child, but I would argue that the truly severe cases (riding crop etc) are not the result of any sense of a God-given right to beat one’s child.

    And, in case people didn’t hear or weren’t listening, there were some outspoken Church leaders who argued against the biblical defence while still saying that parents know best how to raise their children.

    Do parents fail? Yes. But does “the state” ask a child 17 times to not play with the power point before resorting to a smack on the hand to get the point across?

  48. Matthew Pilott 49

    Scribe,

    I may be mistaken, but that 80% figure of people who were opposed to Bradford’s amendment was taken from an online poll that asked “Do you think parents should be made criminals for smacking their children.”

    I’m happy for this to be corrected, if you can show me a real poll without a biased question.

  49. outofbed 50

    As i have never hit my children,I was trying to remember what I did to stop my kids playing with power points
    When they were really small we had safety covers on them
    and then when they were older we pointed out the dangers, wasn’t a problem.
    At no time did I ever reach the point where I had exhausted my parenting skills and felt the need to physically assault my children.

    Mind you I did take the view that bringing up my children was probably one the most important things that I would ever do. so I did give it a lot of time and effort.

  50. outofbed 51

    no i didn’t have safety covers on the kids ;-)

  51. Matthew Pilott 52

    oob – I had worrying visions of bubble-wrap and cotton-wool for a minute there

  52. Scribe 53

    outofbed,

    Mind you I did take the view that bringing up my children was probably one the most important things that I would ever do. so I did give it a lot of time and effort.

    If everyone had that attitude, then we wouldn’t even be having this discussion.

    Maybe someone can help on this. There was discussion at the time of the Bradford bill about the need to educate parents about their role. Did that happen? I think it was a good idea.

  53. higherstandard 54

    Scribe

    Yes educating parents is a good idea, did Sue Bradford’s bill do anything towards this no, any education component was lost in the supporters of the bill accusing anyone opposed to bill of being a child beater or a religious zealot and the opponents of the bill fighting back sometimes with similar vitriol

    Education of parents is left to the good work of groups like Ian Grant’s mob at Parents Inc.Any government could do a lot worse than supporting their work.

  54. Scribe 55

    Imagine what a change would come about if every couple about to have their first child — or any couple for that matter — was given some sort of voucher for parenting education from Parents Inc or other similar organisations.

    I’m sure there’s $2 million currently being spent on something unworthy (FPA, for example) or not delivering results (Families Commission, for example) that could be put into parenting education.

  55. higherstandard 56

    Scribe

    Public money spent on Parents Inc, Plunket and similar organisations would undoubtedly be both well received and worthwhile.

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