Spanking for Jesus

The great thing about the internet is that it lets you come into contact with a tremendous diversity of human cultures. That’s also the horrible thing about the internet.

Here’s today’s sub-culture: Christian Domestic Discipline (CDD). It’s Christian patriarchy with some frightening unresolved issues. Basically is consists of a relationship in which the Christian male reinforces his role as the head of the family by punishing the Christian female in ways reminiscent of the way children are punished. Most obviously, this means spanking.

One CDD site defines it like so:

A Christian Domestic Discipline marriage is set up according to the guidelines set forth in the Holy Bible, meaning the husband has authority over his wife within the bounds of God’s Word and enforces that authority, if need be, through discipline including but not limited to spanking. He uses his authority to keep peace and order in his home, protect his marriage, and help his wife mature in her Christian walk. In a true Christian Domestic Discipline marriage, discipline is tempered with the knowledge that the husband must answer to God for his actions and decisions in his position of authority…

Supposedly this is neither erotic or abusive. I’ll just let you evaluate that statement for yourself.

Just to grapple with the main issue here, this is extremely patriarchal. An article at xoJane puts it well:

Men are granted more freedoms than women — such as the freedom to behave as they choose without consequence. Also, CDD dictates that the only way a marriage can be successful is if the woman can be taught to behave in the “correct” fashion (as determined by her husband), and be sufficiently submissive (both inside and outside of the bedroom).

Basically men get to have all the power, and none of the responsibility.

CDD seems to be an extreme result of the worst aspects of Christian marriage. I run across so many conservative Christians who seem to see marriage as a hierarchy, and it seems natural that certain folks would need to reinforce that hierarchy with physical punishments. I could see Marc Driscoll or the like supporting CDD on the sly.

My hunch is that CDD is an extremely small sub-culture. A Jezebel article points to a Yahoo! group with only 47 members – half of whom are probably there ironically.

Oh, and no I’m not going to attach a picture to this post. Use your imagination.

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