Pastor’s Corporal Punishment Advices Cause Child Deaths?

Tennessee pastor Michael Pearl came under fire after several children have died in the recent years due to extreme corporal punishment inflicted by parents who seriously followed his controversial parenting advises in his book.

Pearl, 66, and his wife Debi, 60, said that the systematic use of “the rod” is effective in disciplining children. Their self-published book of 670,000 copies, To Train Up a Child, contains instructions on how to hit six-month-old children with a switch, and other things such as a quarter-inch flexible plumbing line. Pearl says older children should be hit with a belt, wooden spoon or willow switch. These methods are based on “the same principles the Amish use to train their stubborn mules.”

In September, Larry and Carri Williams of Sedro-Woolley, Washington were charged with homicide by abuse after their adopted daughter Hana, 11, died from hypothermia and malnutrition. She was found naked and emaciated in their backyard. Hana, originally from Ethiopia, had been deprived of food for days and was forced to sleep in an unheated barn. Heeding Pearl’s advice — “a little fasting is good training” — the couple beat Hana with a plastic tube. Carri even gave a copy of the book to a friend. [Read more...]