JIM CREES: Beating is not spanking

One of my least favorite commentators, Sean Hannity, went a bit crazy last week while supporting pro-football player Adrian Peterson. Peterson is facing possible permanent suspension from the NFL and also criminal charges for beating his four-year-old with a switch this past week.

Now ... before you get jumpy ... I’m not going to get drawn into the spanking/no spanking debate in this column, although it may seem so!

Peterson’s conduct, however, allegedly went WAAAAAAAAAY beyond spanking.

Adrian Peterson — a fully grown, professional football player — BEAT his four-year old son with a switch leaving cuts, slashes, and bruises all over the child’s body. The kid had to be taken to the hospital.

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I implore you. That ain’t spanking.

That is a grown man beating a little child like no decent person would beat an animal.

When Jesus said “Suffer the little children to come unto me ...” He did not mean “Make these children suffer before they come unto me ...”

What Peterson did was plain and simple — child abuse.

And Hannity supported him in it!

He enthusiastically defended Peterson while at the same time offering a play-by-play re-enactment of how his own father (Hannity’s) had beaten him when he was young.

It was a classic case of “My dad beat me and look, I’m OK!”

“I got hit with a strap,” said Hannity, peppering his lecture with sound effects, “Bam! Bam! Bam! — and I’ve never been to a shrink. I deserved it.”

Really!!??!!

Then, the FOX host whipped off his belt to demonstrate.

“I got it like this” Smack! Smack! Smack! rang out as his flailed the belt on his desk.

It was ... bizarre. Arguably the strangest thing Hannity has ever done, and he’s been involved in some doozies!

“I was not mentally bruised because my father hit me with a belt,” he continued “My father punched me right in the face when I talked back to him, and I deserved it.”

Wow!!! Really?

“And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” — Ephesians 6:4

Hey, Sean. The “mental bruising” thing??? That is not the problem here. (although I think that should be a crime as well) The problem is the kid had to be taken to the hospital his father hurt him so bad.

THAT is a problem.

And you can still stand up for the guy ‘cause you turned out OK? (Or so YOU say!)

Here’s the deal. I too got spanked as a kid.

Different time. Different place. Different generation.

Today, I know you don’t need to beat your children into submission. You don’t need to send them to the hospital because you can’t deal with their silly back talk.

While I certainly don’t hold my spankings against my parents or their memory, God rest the both of them, I also don’t think getting spanked made me either a better person or a worse human being.

I can say with no little degree of humility — I never once hit my kids.

And they turned out pretty dang good.

We did a lot of talking, but no hitting.

I was over 6-feet tall and wavering around 260 pounds.

I played rugby at the national team level.

My son was 4, 5 or 6-years old, peaking at 40 or 50 pounds.

No contest!!!

I talked A LOT with both him and my daughter.

We reasoned. We discussed. We negotiated.

Yes! Negotiated.

The Bible commands:

“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” — Prov. 22:6

Note well. It says “Train up a child in the way HE should go ...” Not “... in the way YOU want him to go ...”

Train a kid to make the right decisions for themselves. Don’t beat them until they learn to stick to YOUR path as a tactic for survivial.

Hannity felt some odd need to demonstrate just how hard he had been beaten.

I remember much better my dad holding my hand as we walked to the Dairy Queen.

I got spanked. I was never beaten.

My kids got respected as the human beings they were and are still respected as the adults they have become — without being spanked

At least this time out, I feel sorry for Hannity, but I feel real, Real, REAL sorry for Peterson’s four-year old son.

What a memory. To be hospitalized by your father.

“Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.” — Colossians 3:21