Brian Vanderlip, letter to the editor, Eastern Arizona Courier
January 3, 2003

Dear Sir,

I have benefited in wonderful ways from reading Norm Lee's Parenting without Punishing newsletters. He has offered you another perspective rather than punitive spanking of children and if you do some alternate reading you will discover that Lee is not the wacko you claim him to be. You will discover in fact that you base your opinions on spanking from your experience only and perhaps support the religiously entranced folk who abuse their children in God's name. I was raised in a religious, Baptist family and we, the children, were psychologically and physically tortured as children. You must deny the truth of this because you are unable to bear this simple truth: parents who hit children do not respect them. In fact they are driven by their own pain and rejection to deal the blows. This hurts me more than it's going to hurt you, says Mr. King, as he raises his hand to his baby child. You are going to learn the lesson I learned. And then this adult man of four or five times the weight and size of that little one, smacks it into submission, controls it just as he was abused and eventually forced to thank his parent for... You were a bad boy, weren't you Mr. King. You deserved abuse, to be struck and shamed.

Well, let me tell you something... I was treated like that too and it is fundamentally wrong. The use of scripture or family legacy of hitting is criminal and one day will be done away with.... We will respect our children, value their innocence and support their feelings (all their feelings) so that they can grow into full human beings who will not be duped by abusers in sheep's garb. You, sir, can't even respect your trade sufficiently to present two sides to an issue, and you sit in self-righteous myopia while you confidently censor Norm Lee. Why can't you allow honest debate? Is your paper owned by Jerry Falwell or Pat Robertson? Or are you the simplistic coward on your own? Try just a bit of truth, sir, and you and your community may benefit. Free speech indeed....

Brian Vanderlip
Pefferlaw, Ontario

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