Monday, March 14, 2011

The Archbishop on spanking...

"This is not an appropriate thing to do."
I mentioned this story in a post not too long ago, on how the Archbishop of New Orleans stated corporal punishment in high school is not part of Catholic teaching in 2011:  ""I do not believe the teachings of the Catholic Church as we interpret them in 2011 condone corporal punishment."  Evidently it was such a sore spot with him that he ordered the school in question to halt the practice.  Parents and faculty disagreed.
"Gregory Aymond, archbishop of the Archdiocese of New Orleans, said he could not “possibly condone” corporal punishment, noting that St. Augustine was the only Catholic school in the nation to continue the practice.  “My image of Jesus is that he said, ‘Let the children come to me.’ I cannot imagine Jesus paddling anyone,” he reportedly said at the assembly.
“St. Aug is different, it’s unique, the culture and so forth. And I think all those things need to be looked at (paddling) weighs heavy on my heart,” Aymond said.
According to a statement posted on the school’s Web site, St. Augustine alumni, current students, parents, school administration and other supporters of corporate punishment packed the town hall meeting and “clearly did not buy the ‘arguments’ proposed by the archdiocese.”
It went on to say many supporters were dismayed that persons outside the Black community were trying to dictate how the school should run.

“Many expressed outrage that African-American parents (have) to haggle with non-African-Americans about how to raise their own sons!,” the statement read. - Source

Interestingly enough, the Archbishop seems to be supportive of popularized versions of Theology of The Body, lending his imprimatur and composing recommendations for books on the subject.  Therefore, I wonder if he'd approve of spanking as foreplay in marriage?  What?


  1. Therefore, I wonder if he'd approve of spanking as foreplay in marriage?

    Provided they're wearing the appropriate leather wear.

    Double what??

    Nice pic of Belinda and her blog administrator, btw.

  2. Spanking high school kids? No.

    Spanking grade school kids with parent's permission? Sure.

    Also, why would playful (I said playful! NOT S&M junk) spanking be a problem in the marital bedroom?

  3. "Also, why would playful (I said playful! NOT S&M junk) spanking be a problem in the marital bedroom?"

    No reason.

  4. Spanking High School students? Heck yes. But, then I am in favor of a return of public flogging.

    (Verification word is 'sucks'--not kidding.)

  5. That's my archbishop. I wish he'd keep to himself on this one. St. Augstine is a fine school with a special charism - raising up young black males to be men in an environment that is an assault on everything that God made a man to be. The tough love that they are known for around here has always been appreciated by parents and alumni, since the boys come out as productive men and not gangsta social parasites.

    They are taught to respect women, family, the law, and above all, God. This is why their parents welcome the opportunity to send their kids there. The purpose of the paddling is less about pain than it is about humiliation. "You thing you a hard-ass gangsta? Oh yeah? Watch this!" - that's what it's all about.

    Good for the parents for standing up.

  6. LOL,Padre. LOL!!!

  7. What's the problem with marriages that have to introduce spanking to spring board their libido?

    Numerous things but here's a reader's digest version:

    Sexuality is a fire that is fueled by non-sexual intimacy.

    Sexual attraction to a husband is generated by how he responds to a woman when she is in need. like a wood burning stove, the sexuality of a woman runs hot or cold depending upon how much the man is caring for her emotionally, intellectually, coming to her aid when she has a crisis, etc. It's in high gear when the man spontaneously is showing affection. The generator of a woman's sexuality is the heart.

    Men are different (but do have some of the same needs). Their sexuality runs on a turbo engine that's in their eyeballs. So, as long as their eyeballs are open, their sexuality can combust at any moment. Focusing that tornado in the marriage means staying attractive, feminine without looking slutty, keeping a warm, loving, clean home - where he feels like you think he is the sexiest, smartest and most awesome thing since Ronald Reagan.

    If your husbands starts wanting to hit you to turn himself on, there's serious problems in the marriage that need working on, because he's had to turn to porn to get the equipment going. It might be very tempting to just let him hit you rather than doing all the heavy lifting it takes to get his equipment revving -- but whatever is wrong in the marriage will eventually get eaten up by the neglect. Along with your self esteem.


  8. Carol, to be fair, I'm pretty sure Charlotte was just talking about normal marital playfulness, as in the same way spouses might tickle or wrestle on another. I doubt she meant anything violent, or any exertion of force or dominance.

    What you said is certainly true, though, no one can deny that.

  9. Mercury - I didn't mean my response for Charlotte -- I thought she might be kidding! Thanks though for making that clear.

    I just wanted to say it for the record.

  10. Haha Carol, I understand. Listening to some people, they'd forbid laughter or even having a light on (especially not daylight). And then there are those who thing bondage is okay as long as it "ends in the normal way." it doesn't take divine revelation to see the errors of both ways of thinking. Common sense and tenderness go a long way :)

  11. Corporal punishment for highschoolers--nope nope nope.

    When I turned 13 my dad told me that since I was a teenager that I was ready for more adult responsbility and there would be no more corporal punishment....instead priviledges and allowances will be taken away..

    The first time I broke the rules and was grounded for a WHOLE MONTH-no phone, no friends, no after-school activities-believe me I would have much rather had the spanking--that way it would be over in a minute or so..

    High schoolers can have detention, picking up trash on campus, cleaning up graffiti and bird poo, no phones, etc. Plus a principal giving a 250 pound lineman a spanking--yeah right..


  12. Merc,

    I assumed Terry was referencing Christopher West's I'm Ok, It's OK Theology of the Body fugatz.

    btw - spanding and tickliing are apples and oranges. Tickling is playful. It's never talked about in the context of being sexual because it doesn't have the right recipe for firing up the libido. It's just fun and playful.

    Spanking is the fruit of porn. It's never harmless even when it isn't violent. It's a tool that is being used because the good old fashioned hard work of the marriage is being neglected.

  13. Sarah - the family, students, and alumni of St. Augustine High School would disagree. It's worked for several years in one of the toughest spots in the country. The purpose is humiliating wanna-be gangstas. It works, and it's one of the reasons parents send their kids there.

    Carol - tickling can certainly be sexual between spouses. There's no need to delve further. The same certainly goes with playful wrestling. And as far as "spanking" goes, I think I know what you are thinking of, but that's not what anyone means. Let's not presume that a playful pat on the bottom means the hard work of the marriage isn't getting done, and make that general statement for all marriages in all times and places. So when a man makes a silly comment to his wife and she gives him a playful slap on the butt as he walks away, that's dangerous?

  14. What I mean is, let's not make married people feel like they sinned in every spontaneous act of playfulness. And no, that does not mean I support S&M type crap in any way, shape or form.

    Terry, I hope you are on threat level orange with respect to the direction of this conversation :)

    And Carol, I am not accusing you of doing what I said "let's not" do, by the way.

  15. A study recently found that sad dads are more likely to spank. Postpartum depression was given as the reason:
    The article also states:
    "The American Academy of Pediatrics and many child development experts warn against spanking children of any age. Other studies have shown that kids who are spanked are at risk of being physically abused and becoming aggressive themselves."
    I agree there should be no corporal punishment in schools. It affects everyone, not just those involved.

  16. Unless there's a major problem with general mayhem, corporal punishment should remain a private affair.

  17. Larry, this IS a private affair, as it is a private school. The use of the paddling discipline, though weird by most of our standards, is something the parents WANT to be done. If this were a pubic school with public money, or even a Catholic school paid for by alms, it would be different.

    But this is a long-standing practice of a private Catholic school (it is not a diocesan school - it's run by the Josephite order). The parents pay tuition for their kids to go there, or the students receive scholarships. Going to St. Aug is seen as an opportunity, and the parents know full well and approve of what is going on.

    The school produces good men - the system works. Notice that this is not parents and alumni complaining.

  18. Mercury - my comment's meaning was unclear, so mea culpa. I was just engaging in some wordplay with all the military ranks...I wasn't trying to add anything substantial to the discussion other than a light-hearted remark. :-)

  19. Merc,

    Any way you slice it, if spanking is used as erotic play, the intellect is remembering things you saw that were violent and demeaning to women. Your memory of the violent and demeaning event is erotic. That erotic memory of the violence may not be violent in nature itself - but if you have to conjure up violent sexuality you once saw on porn to get the equipment going, there's a problem somewhere. Saying this is part of holy and sanctified sexuality where Christ is present doesn't gelling for me.

    What can I say - I must be dense. Somebody slap me.


  20. case it isn't clear.

    'you' in the above is a fictional character that is unknown. It does not refer to Mercury or anyone else!

  21. p.p.s.

    hitting children at any age is just plain dumb. The aggressive act is destructive. It never pans out in the end, even when you are able to use the violence to curtail a particular behavior and get the person under your control.

  22. Carol, no offense, but you seem to be psychoanalyzing to much. I don't think pornography really has to have that much to do with it. We need not continue to analyze this, and we need not generalize things onto others. If playfulness plays no part in spousal relations (not just intercourse), I want no part in it. I frankly do not see how a light pat on the bottom, regardless of context, is in se pornographic or violent.

    As far as spanking children goes - Kids raised before the sixties seem to have less neuroses that those after. In other words, if spanking is so bad, why did it seem to work for so long? Once agin, some kids really don't need it, some do.

  23. Mercury, no offense taken.

    Psychoanalysis is when somebody makes a personal judgment about the state of your mind.

    I am speaking as a woman, in an adult conversation where parties are discussion whether spanking women is a sign of healthy intimacy and relationship within the context of a Catholic marriage (or any marriage). There's nothing personal about it.

    Playfulness is very much a part of healthy sexuality - there's plenty of activities you can do without rummaging up erotica from violent porn.

    Chaining a woman to the bed can be done very gently too. Doesn't make it playful or healthy though.


  24. Who says I was even talking about a man giving a woman a playful pat on the rear? Why not the other way around?

    I don't think we'll agree on this, so let's leave it at that.

  25. Knowing how a woman's libido works, it's definitely getting off of the reservation to suggest they'd think up slapping their husband's butt to rev the engines.

    I am excluding Charlie Sheen's type, of course.

  26. I think I see the problem here. I'm not talking about revving the engines per se, or doing it because it turns one on. I mean simple playfulness. But now we have come full circle.

    I think this horse is already dead. Let's stop beating him :)

  27. So long as you continue to say that the fruit of violent humiliation done gently in a marriage is playful and harmless, the horse isn't dead at all.

  28. Carol, stop implying that I am supporting violence. We are obviously talkIng about two different things. But if you really believe that a little pat on the bottom is the "fruit of violent humiliation" (whichever spouse does it) and cannot see the difference between that and pathological porno-violent behavior, then I guess you win. I guess that makes me a licentious heretic.

    Spouses should probably never wrestle each other either, since that can be violent domination. And maybe they should avoid kidding and making silly jokes about each other, because words can be very abusive. And a wife should never, ever give her husband a playful slap on the bottom when he says something sassy (as a joke) to her. In fact, he should never joke. He learned that in porn.

    Please stop implying that I am condoning evil.

  29. Mercury,

    The conversation was about incorporating spanking into sex, lightly.

    Incorporating spanking into sexuality has really no relationship to tickling your wife or wrestling with her. Tickling is never used as a punishment, nor is wrestling - neither of them have ever been used as erotica.

    Patting your wife on the bum, fully clothed, in the kitchen in a playful manner is not the same thing as pulling her over a lap during love making. Pulling her over one's lap during lovemaking is in the same category as tying her up without hurting her. The sexual feelings you get from that come from degrading her.

    You seem to want me to say that degrading a woman is not harmful. I'm sorry to upset you but I could never say that.

    I can probably say without too much reservation that it isn't sinful - but sexually degrading sexuality, even when it doesn't physically hurt sends a message to the woman and eventually that message is going to harm her self-esteem and ultimately, the sexual health of the marriage.

  30. There's a boatload of 40 year old men who stand around wondering what happened to the sexual intimacy in their marriages. When it comes to telling them the work that needs to be done outside of the bedroom and the boundaries that need to be drawn in their bedroom, they often don't want to believe it.

    If you want a slut in the bedroom, treat her like one. You'll have a good run. But eventually, she'll get the message and she'll start avoiding it.

    There's plenty of things to do without getting into simulating degrading punishments.


    Take it or leave it.

  31. Okay, see, I told you were were speaking of different things. What you had in mind was totally different than what I did. That's not what I meant at all, ad I agree that what you described is distorted.


Please comment with charity and avoid ad hominem attacks. I exercise the right to delete comments I find inappropriate. If you use your real name there is a better chance your comment will stay put.