Colin loves me, this I know

Jesus loves me, this I know,
For the beating tells me so;
Little ones to Him belong;
They are weak, but He is strong

I posted that verse in a Kiwiblog discussion about Colin Craig and smacking, with one word changed from the song.

It was deliberately provocative but I followed it saying “Apologies to the majority of Christians who are good parents and who don’t like hurting their children.”

Further down the thread graham obliged with a response.

Funny; one story I recall about Jesus was how he STOPPED a bunch of people from stoning a woman caught in adultery. And once they all slunk away, he told the woman, “Neither do I condemn you. Go, and sin no more.”

No beating. No scolding. Just a plea with the woman to mend her ways.

But, if it makes you feel better, continue making stuff up out of your warped imagination.

Funny, the stories I recall about Jesus depict him as a non-violent, caring person. No beating. No scolding.

So why do some Christians still insist on the Old Testament approach of beating and scolding their children?

Colin Craig has chosen smacking as his opening campaign strategy for the year – Provocative remarks central to Craig’s plan.

Newly media-trained and backed by a fresh team of spin doctors, Conservative Party leader Colin Craig says he will continue to offer provocative views to the media and public this year, but only where it advances his cause at the ballot box.

His comment comes after his admission this week that he smacks his daughter.

He said he did not prepare an answer on the specific question about whether he physically disciplined his daughter with his advisers.

Nevertheless, “we have thought about how we present on this and I think I just need to be the typical New Zealand parent on this which I pretty much am”.

He is not “the typical New Zealand parent” on this. I very much doubt very much whether he is the typical New Zealand Christian on this.

Would Christ have kept smacking his child as it grew up?

Not sold on benefit cuts

I’m uneasy about the policy of threatening to cut benefits in half in parents don’t comply with ‘obligations’. I agree with RRM’s sentiment “war on crap parents who suck at what they do and need a kick up the arse.” But I have my doubts they have the right sort of kick here.

The policy announced by Social Development Minister Paula Bennett yesterday…

… will apply from July to 31,500 children, aged 3 and 4, whose parents are either on sole parent or couple benefits.

Parents will have their benefits halved if they fail to take “all reasonable steps” to:

  • Attend early childhood education 15 hours a week from age 3.
  • Attend school from age 5 or 6.
  • Enrol with a general practitioner.
  • Complete Well Child checks.

And they expect 1300 families to have their benefits cut:

A Cabinet paper estimates that about 2200 beneficiary families might fail the test each year, of which 1300 might fail to comply immediately and have their benefits halved.

I’m all for encouraging and coercing slack parents into meeting basic obligations.

And I think it’s important to try and address problems with kids while they are young, if they can be identified and fixed early it could solve a lot of problems that occur far too often later in life.

But halving a benefit seems to me to be far too draconian. I think we have to find a better way, like incentives for compliance – provided that doesn’t disadvantage the majority of beneficiary parents who do their best for their children.

Who traps solo parents?

A Families Commission report seems to miss the obvious.

Solo parent trap widens gap for rich and poor

A Families Commission report last week showed steady decline in two-parent families since 1976, and an almost tripling of solo-parent families between 1976 and 2006.

Nine out of 10 one-parent families earn well below the median household income, and their children have significantly higher poverty rates.

Nearly half of all births in 2010 were to unmarried women, compared with about 10 per cent in 1964, and research from the United States suggests half of unmarried parents living together at a child’s birth split up within five years.

Instead, educated, well-off people are marrying, widening the gap between rich and poor families.

New Zealand is becoming a society of family haves and have-nots, with marriage and its benefits increasingly confined to the prosperous.

The change in family structures is a real issue, but this seems to be missing an obvious point.

Becoming a parent while young and poor, before getting a good level of education, before getting employment and before setting yourself up financially must surely increase the odds substantially of being caough in the poor solo parent trap.

Some basic family planning would avoid a lot of the problems.

Michael Laws to be Sterilisation Selector chief?

Or just mischief.

Ratings time must be due in radioland. Michael Laws is at his attention seeking best (or worst):

Stop feckless mums having more kids

One of the great moral disasters of our time is that our society lets inadequate people have children. In fact, it doesn’t just allow the pathetic to become parents, it positively encourages it.

We do so through a social welfare system originally designed to stop such folk starving on the streets. Now we encourage the feckless and the failed to reproduce themselves.

That’s really trying to appeal to a demographic.

But oh no, it’s better to let people breed than do the right thing. Sterilise them. Failing that, pay them not to breed. Stop them from ever having children.

Laws doesn’t give details about how this might be done. Of course he knows it can’t be done in a decent society. But he doesn’t get ratings boosts from decent people.

This is the crazy consequence of surmising and supposing that having a child is an inalienable right. It is time to say, that it is not. Society has a duty to determine the calibre and character of its future generations. And that right is greater.

Laws would never put himself in a position of chief Selection Selector. And he doesn’t wear a Brown Shirt. He just promotes his brown arm, to stir up hate so he can rate.

At his most disgraceful.

Talkback doesn’t get so excited about teaching better parenting skills and family planning.