Cruel and Unusual Punishment

Cruel and Unusual Punishment

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Friday, September 12th, 2014 a warrant was issued for the arrest of All-Pro Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson. The charges levied against Peterson come from a grand jury indictment for reckless or negligent injury to a child. Coming on the heels of a week that saw Ray Rice suspend indefinitely for hitting his wife, defensive players Ray Mcdonald and Greg Hardy charged with spousal abuse, and a private investigation being launched into the NFL's handling of domestic violence cases, the news if Petersons indictment couldn't come at a worse time. Peterson was de-activated from the Minnesota Vikings game last Sunday as the full story of his indictment was sorted out

When the news hit about Petersons indictment, my first thought was "damn you can't even spank your children anymore," but as the details emerged that thought quickly went away. Sports Radio 610 in Houston obtained a draft of the police report which says Peterson admitted that he did, in his words, “whoop” one of his children last May while the child was visiting him at his home near Houston. The punishment happened after Peterson’s son pushed another of Peterson’s children off of a motorbike video game, the report says.

So far nothing out of the ordinary, son got out of line, fighting with the siblings time for some discipline right? Then you find out that AP's son is 4 years old, and the tool he uses to discipline the child is a tree branch that has been stripped of its leaves and turned into a whip. Then you see the pictures of the child's legs which shows more than 10 welts across the child's thighs, crotch, and lower legs. I mean how hard did he push his sibling off the game?

When the boy returned to his mother in Eden Prairie, Minn., she took him to a doctor. The doctor told investigators that the boy had a number of lacerations on his thighs, along with bruise-like marks on his lower back and buttocks and cuts on his hand. The report also states the four year-old had been hit with a belt, and that Peterson put leaves in the boy’s mouth while he was being hit with the switch with his pants down.

Proverbs 23:13 - Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.

Do not withhold correction from your children, because if you beat them they will not die.

What Adrian Peterson did to his son is not correction or beating as the bible says you should do with your children. This grown man putting leaves in the child's mouth and stripping him naked for what? The child would've felt the whip with clothes on. He beat this child so bad that open sores were still visible weeks later when the doctors examined him.

The police report also includes text messages between Peterson and the boy’s mother. First he texted to her: “You will be mad at me about his leg.” Later, he texted: “He got about five more pops than normal. He didn’t drop one tear! … He’s tough as nails.”

When investigators questioned Peterson, they say he told them he regarded it as a normal spanking and not excessive. He told investigators, “To be honest with you, I feel very confident with my actions because I know my intent,” and when asked if he would reconsider using switches in the future, said he would never “eliminate whooping my kids … because I know how being spanked has helped me in my life.”

Ecclesiasticus (Apocrypha) 30:1 - He that loveth his son causeth him oft to feel the rod, that he may have joy of him in the end.

Any man that loves his children will discipline them. At a young age, discipline teaches a child that bad behavior has negative consequences. If this lesson is learned at a young age you can bring up children who understand the importance of obeying rules. These kinds of children grow up to be law abiding citizens who don't have to learn the hard way, the consequences of breaking the law.

Discipline has to be measured according to a child's age, and the reason they need to be disciplined. If you begin young enough, you'll find that you won't have to spank your children as they get older. But 4 years old is definitely too young for grown, strong, men to be beating their young children with switches.

Unfortunately for most of us, the type of beating that Adrian Peterson delivered to his 4 year old son isn't strange. Growing up in a black, latino, Caribbean, or native Indian household it is very likely that you have been whipped with hot wheel tracks, extension cords, bedroom slippers, or tree branches. For some of us, spankings were given with care, and the lessons intended to be learned from these spankings set in.

Many of us have traumatizing stories of being beaten in public, getting spanked while in the shower, or getting family whippings with siblings or close relatives forced to line up to receive punishment. In many cases the severity of these beatings would categorize them as abuse. These beatings that many of us experienced have their roots in slavery. Whips made from tying strips of tree branch together, and public spankings which terrorize onlookers is a sick perversion of discipline.

It is cruel and unusual punishment to spank a child until welts are visible. Stop getting tree branches that slap & wrap around body parts. If you're a grown man, don't make a kid get naked, and if you're a woman, stop cursing your children out, calling them names, and let a man handle the discipline.

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