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Letters from our readers

Issue: "Effective compassion," Sept. 2, 2006

Asking for it

I read "Rod rules" (Aug. 5) with great interest. As a public-school teacher for 32 years, I have seen the results of the lack of proper discipline in homes and schools. Time-outs, missed recess, in-school suspensions, or reasoning with the child rarely effectively change the children. Corporal punishment is not the answer to all behavior problems, but it should be administered occasionally in a biblical, loving way. When parents and teachers abandon the clear teachings of Scripture, we are only asking for problems.
-Ron Luginbill; Peru, Ind.

As a pediatrician working with children suffering with the most difficult problem behaviors and special needs such as autism and oppositional defiant disorder, I have found that corporal punishment is often counterproductive, adding energy to already high-energy children. We are often able to give these kids their lives back without using drugs or corporal punishment. Positive reinforcement has been shown to be much more effective at increasing the frequency of long-term desirable behaviors.
-Rodney Fisher; Lewisburg, W.Va.

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As a former spanker, I find Tripp's instruction to exercise a "careful, measured, gracious, and kind use of the rod" to be the kind of vague language that leads to abuse.
-Jodi Lammers-Buntin; Green Bay, Wis.

I was spanked as a child by my parents. It never endangered my life or did permanent damage, yet the anti-spanking movement wants the authority to take kids away from their parents if they spank them? Preposterous!
-Jeff Wykstra; Wyoming, Mich.

As children, I and my brothers and sisters were spanked frequently and almost always out of anger. Is it a coincidence that my brothers and sisters and I frequently hit each other? I believe that if it is done thoughtfully and with prayer, it will produce right results, but done incorrectly it will teach children to hit.
-Doree Hoit; Manteca, Calif.

Our publication has received hundreds of hateful, profane, and sometimes threatening calls and e-mails from anti-spanking advocates because of our long-standing support of loving, restrained, biblical discipline of children. "Rod rules" does not sufficiently expose the angry and abusive nature of the humanistic no-spank movement and the desire of its leaders to undermine the authority of Scripture and strip parents of their biblical responsibility to use the rod in a proper manner.
-Skeet Savage, Editor, Home School Digest; Covert, Mich.

If you build it

I was glad to see "Pride and fall" (Aug. 5). They should have leveled New Orleans and raised the land above sea level before rebuilding, or built inland where the land is naturally above sea level. We could cut our losses by building in naturally safer areas. Otherwise, people should agree to be responsible for the results and not expect to be bailed out. We can certainly help out of love, but we should also encourage responsible living.
-Donna Iler; Villa Park, Ill.

Whenever bad things happen, people use it as an excuse to blame God. But we live in a fallen world, and it is not a safe garden. I think it's like the disobedient child who blames the parent for grounding him.
-Jeremy Seifert; Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Truth in roots

The problem Joel Belz comments on in "Roots vs. shoots" (Aug. 5) is one part of the much larger problem of "truth in labeling." There is a huge effort to confuse people into accepting that to which they are opposed. We see it in slanted news, extremist politicians claiming to be centrists, commercial products not being what their advertisements claim, and so on. Truth is scarce nowadays.
-Frank W. Russell; Nalcrest, Fla.

"Roots vs. shoots" is one of the most refreshing columns I have read in WORLD. As Christians, we must be careful not to allow this fuzzy label, "people of faith," to be applied to us. It is void of anything that reveals where our faith lies, and opens the door to neutrality and compromise.
-Neil Sanders; Carlisle, Pa.

Heart's desire?

When a woman can kill her five children, one at a time in a bathtub, and fail to reap just punishment because of a technicality, that is very alarming (The Buzz, Aug. 5). When that woman, however, is acquitted by reason of insanity, that is downright terrifying. How do we make sense of such a situation? The Bible is clear: Our actions come out of our hearts. It seems that we are all too willing to write in exceptions to these verses.
-Gabe Sylvia; Orangeburg, S.C.

Too bad

I also enjoy the TV show House, ("No doctoring this," Aug. 5), mainly because of the medical detective work. However, in every episode Dr. House does something immoral, unethical, or against the rules, usually for a "higher purpose." This implies that the ends justify the means, there is no absolute standard of behavior, and it's OK to stick it to The Man for a noble cause. Too bad the writers have to interject postmodern thinking into an otherwise engaging program.
-Tony Beck; Beacon, N.Y.

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