Spanking for Jesus: a cover for sociopaths or a toleration deficit?

25Jun13

Jesus spanksLast week my girl drew my attention to an article on Jezebel that was kicking up a storm about CDD. That is Christian Domestic Discipline to you and me.

This is a rather controversial lifestyle that not only advocates the Head-of-Household approach to TTTWD, but claims that it is sanctioned by God as written in the Bible.

Now this is not the only article doing the rounds on this. The Daily Beast and the Huffington Post have both carried article on this subject in the last week.

The Beast interviewed Chelsea who said:

First, he uses his hands for “warm-up” slaps. Then comes a combination of tools based on the specific infraction. The wooden spoon is the least severe; for the worst rule-breaking—like texting while driving (“It could kill me,” Chelsea admits) or moving money between accounts without his permission—she’ll be hit with something else: a hairbrush, a paddle, or a leather strap.

But this isn’t domestic abuse, Chelsea says. This is for Jesus.

Naturally they also found examples of abused women where the abuse was justified by this ‘Christian’ doctrine where women had left their husbands.

The Huffington Post cites Jim Alsdurf, a forensic psychologist who is described as an expert on Christian abuse. He is quoted as saying: “No fool in his right mind would buy this as a legitimate way to have a relationship. A relationship that infantilizes a woman is one that clearly draws a more pathological group of people.”

Dr Alsdurf’s comments put one in mind of the stance once taken by the American Psychiatric Association that did not declassify homosexuality as a mental illness until 1973. Indeed the UN did not entirely abandon this stance until 1990.

No one wants to ignore the very real issue of domestic violence; certainly one would have to be naïve to think that DD relationships are immune from this. But it is hard to separate DD from CDD once one goes down this road.

However, most of the anger here seems to be directed at the Christian element in all this. Some tending to view this is another example of Christian extremism while others, Christians themselves, resenting what they see as the misreading reading or even perversion of their faith.

Some are more measured.

They point out that it is a sexual fetish that is not incompatible with being a Christian, but that some Christians cannot come to terms with this and have to cloak it in religion to justify ‘kinky sex.’

The Beast cites Sue making this very point on a CCD blog.

This last point seems perhaps the most rational to non-Christians, but let us not overlook the central point of this. Either we have religious toleration or we do not. If someone wants to interpret their religion in this way then as long as it is between consenting adults who is to say they are wrong?

Can it be abused? Sure it can, as can any DD or vanilla relationship. But can we really respond in such a broad-based way?

Of all the misreading, misunderstandings and down-right self-serving distortions of the Christian Bible in the world, surely attacking consenting DD comes a long way down the list.



10 Responses to “Spanking for Jesus: a cover for sociopaths or a toleration deficit?”

  1. 1 Johnxc

    While I am both a Christian and a spanking fetishist, I see neither an incompatibility nor a necessary connection between the two. Christianity is a religious faith, whereas the spanking fetish is a sexual orientation.

    Certainly there can be conflicts. Non-consensual spanking is, in my view, a sinful violation of another person’s bodily integrity.

    There are some Christians who interpret (in my view, misinterpret) the Bible to justify a husband’s using corporal punishment to correct his wife. To me, this misconstrues the concept of “male headship”, which I look upon as a spiritual responsibility, rather than a governance prerogative. But if both parties to the marriage agree to this arrangement, I respect their decision.

    I do have a problem with a husband coercing his wife into submitting to corporal punishment by means of “spiritual blackmail”, by telling her that she would be disobeying God if she refused to permit her husband to spank her.

    I also agree that some Christians may use Scripture as a justification for kinky sex; this would work primarily when the husband enjoys giving, and the wife enjoys receiving a spanking. But considering that married people are entitled by God’s law, to engage in the ultimate act of intimacy (sexual intercourse), why would they think that God would object to any form of erotic foreplay?

    As a point of full disclosure, my future wife and I have agreed that erotic spankings will be given and received frequently, by both of us. Disciplinary spankings will only be given at the guilty party’s request.

  2. 2 Tiptopper

    In traditional Christian weddings the bride usually vows before man and God to “Love, Honor and Obey” her husband.

    Isn’t “Get across my knee. You deserve a good spanking” an order that should be obeyed by the wife? Especially if it is punishment for some other act of disobedience on her part?

    Of course the husband has also taken vows to love and cherish his wife which would prevent him from going too far and abusing her. So those traditional vows are no hindrance to a DD relationship, in fact they almost encourage it.

    Of course for us spankos this is a theoretical discussion as we know what we like and other people’s views aren’t that important to us but in this case the perspective of Christians, particularly fundamentalist Christians, are not in conflict with ours.

  3. 3 Mike

    TTTWD? HBO, please…

    • 4 DJ

      This Thing That We DO (HBO is Home Box Office – but I don’t think I mentioned that 😉 )

  4. 5 Karl Friedrich Gauss

    Cheap shot journalism is what this looks like to me. Everyone loves a titillating story that’s kind of sexy and kind of kinky — one that allows readers to feel superior by looking down on some presumably demented low life subculture, such as in this case, fundamentalist “Christians” who believe Jesus means for them to spank their wives. I mean, if you’re an editor or a reader, what’s not to like?

    I too saw the story in Jezebel, and on Huff Po, and I was fascinating to read how silly they could make this sound, even now in the age of “50 shades of gray” topping the bestseller lists for God knows how many weeks. I think it’s really an excuse to write about spanking without seeming to endorse it, but still giving everyone the good long wallow that we know they all crave.

  5. 6 DJ

    While John and TT make perfectly valid points that I am sure is more in line with mainstream Christian thinking – but perhaps they are arguments that are subjective.

    I think Karl has seized the central point of all this – it is just a salacious story addressed at people who don’t get it. Although I think the HUFF and the Beast were more measured – The Jezebel piece was OTT and could have easily have left the Christian element out altogether.

  6. I only read and participated in the comments of the HuffPost article. I am neither Christian nor could I be in a DD relationship. I’ve fantasized about it, but in reality I am no disciplinarian. My greatest objection with the article is that the author used it as a vehicle to slam Christians. The author did absolutely no research on the subject and the only input was someone who claimed to be an expert on the subject and was opposed to the lifestyle. The article failed to mention that most couples in a DD lifestyle are not Christians or their religion is not a major factor. Failed to mention that in most couples it is the woman who initiates it. And completely ignored the psychology of such relationship. It has little to do with sex and everything to do with comfort and psychology.
    (I think, if I’m not mistaken, I’m an inactive member of that group).

    • 8 DJ

      I think that is exactly right – although across the three articles – they only grudgingly allowed for consensual DD.

  7. 9 Karl Friedrich Gauss

    You make some good points there OHM. And of course this is not the first media foray through the looking glass into the wonderland of “Christian domestic discipline. A few years ago, television host John Safran traveled all the way from Australia to the American south to get personal instruction on wife spanking from a redneck couple, which he immediately put into practice on his pretty blonde consort, Kristen Condon, who, if this story is to be believed, enjoys being spanked anyway. Still, as Damien observed above, the point of the program was clearly salacious. There’s a link to the video in the story linked below, but it’s geographically restricted. There may be another copy out there somewhere, but I don’t have that link. Anyway, here’s a blog post on the subject, from one of Kristen Cordon’s former boyfriends: http://ideafix7.wordpress.com/2009/12/03/kristen-condon-gets-spanked-on-safrans-race-relations/

  8. 10 DJ

    I have seen this clip and featured it previously – but thanks for another heads up Karl 🙂

    Incidentally to others – comments welcome pro and con – but do not abuse other people’s lifestyles and keep your comments civil.

    I get that some Christians are offended by the issues discussed – but if you don’t get DD in the first place then obviously CDD is a big no-no for you. You can say so without being abusive – that isn’t very Christian..

    Thanks 🙂


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