Note: I never really intended to use my dreamwidth account much, if at all, and I'm very hesitant to post this. In my years at livejournal, I've felt there was a distinctly anti-Christian bias, especially in the fannish circles where I am usually found. And that such a bias has moved to dreamwidth with the exodus of fannish people. But this is an important issue to me, and I'm willing to step out on a limb with a public post in hopes of finding more resources here among the livejournal bloggers than have been found to date. There have got to be more Christians out there on livejournal and its clones whose voices should be heard on this particular matter.
I'm not sure how many on my f-list have heard about this (though if you're one of my Facebook friends, too, you certainly have). So, I'm making this public plea.
On February 6, 2010, a 7-year-old girl named Lydia Schatz was beaten to death by her parents. (see here
) They were "disciplining" her over several hours for mispronouncing a word during a homeschool reading session. The beating, done with a length of 1/4" plastic plumbing line, seems to have caused tissue breakdown so massive that Lydia's vital organs could no longer function. Her 11-year-old sister, Zariah, was hospitalized with kidney failure due to a similar beating. She has since recovered. Lydia, Zariah, and a 3 year old were adopted from Liberia, bringing the number of the Schatz family's children to 9. A 10-year-old boy was also found with similar marks on him. Their parents have been arrested and charged with murder and torture. The children are all in foster care.
The Schatzes followed the child rearing advice of Michael and Debi Pearl, whose book, To Train Up A Child
, and whose ministry/website No Greater Joy*,
advocates using that same piece of plastic plumbing as a means of "disciplining" a child. My own views on the subject have been voiced by many others, and with far more convincing arguments than I can muster up (mostly because I refuse to read the Pearls' crap for myself. I had my own issues with a similar author named Gary Ezzo).
Tulipgirl, a blogger off livejournal, has a long list of people/blogs speaking out against this horrible situation and the materials that spawned it. You can find her list here.
On her link list, I've found only one livejournal and/or clone blog entry. So, I'm looking for two things: entries speaking out about this from livejournal/insanejournal/dreamwidth, and Facebook groups (other social network entities will work, too, if there are any to be had).
Two caveats: one, they must be relatively respectful and thoughtful in tone and two, no major Christian bashing. The Pearls are widely touted in Christian circles (especially Christian homeschooling circles) as they claim to have the corner on "God's way of parenting". For the majority of their followers to be convinced of the Pearls' true nature, they can't be put on the defensive. They will immediately dismiss any attempt at painting the Christian community as "wacko" or "cruel", seeing it as having a "liberal" and "ungodly" slant. What the Pearls teach is
wacko and cruel, but they've packaged it up with twisted Scripture and folksy-sounding wisdom (there are also a few good child-rearing nuggets in there, too, I'm told, but in this case, the bad far outweighs the good). Remember that most Christian parents who use the Pearls' methods are looking to do what is best for their children, academically, physically, and spiritually, with the spiritual sometimes trumping the other two. Hearing from other Christian homeschoolers would be ideal, especially those who have looked at or tried the Pearls' methods and found them lacking.
So, if you've seen anything out there that fits the bill, or you are moved to write something yourself, please let me know. I can pass the links on to Tulipgirl, who is trying to keep up a comprehensive list. Feel free to repost this wherever you think it will do any good. If you're going to write something, please make sure you get your facts straight. There has been a lot of misinformation out there.
My dw is usually friends-only, and I'm screening comments as usual. Remember, I'm looking for resources, not rants.
*I won't link to the Pearls' site. Plenty of others have, and they are easy to Google.
Mirroring to my insanejournal and livejournal accounts.