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RevBates.tv Global - The Way to a Wonderful Life Message, March 18, 2012 

          "Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. This very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be "cured" against one's will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals."  C. S. Lewis, God in the Dock, 1948

            "It is Christ Himself, not the Bible, who is the true Word of God. The Bible, read in the right spirit and with the guidance of good teachers, will bring us to Him." - C. S. Lewis, Letter of C. S. Lewis, 1952

       "When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways." - 1 Corinthians 13:11 

     I don't really know what led me to the writings of C. S. Lewis, but as I was contemplating a news article I read on Yahoo from Good Morning America about children being spanked in school, my thoughts turned to the thought of those who torment others with their own moral opinions.  In the article titled, "Should Your Child Be Spanked at School?" by Yunji De Nies, I was shocked to find that in 19 states in the U.S. schools have the authority to spank children.  Most of the states that allow corporal punishment in the schools are located in the Midwest and South.  

In Florida a spanking caused a 5 year old child to cry for hours, triggering an asthma attack and a trip to the emergency room of a hospital.  The Principal of the school stated that, "I disciplined out of love, not anger."  And perhaps this is the problem, an unintelligent response to discipline has been called "love" and therefore it fits in the conscience of people who fail to think further than the idea of "traditions."  But, it is not just the physical effects of spanking that parents should be concerned about, but the emotional and mental effects.  When someone is allowed to spank a child, the child can accept this in their mind as not just punishment, but helplessness, and often being misunderstood.  These feelings and thoughts will register in the child's consciousness and may take years for them to trust that they are worthy and deserving of love and confidence.

     Why the people in 19 states would allow the State to take the responsibility to discipline their children baffles me.  The intelligent and loving discipline of children is one of the most important aspects of character development and it is the parent's responsibility, not the responsibility of those who may or may not share the parent's approach to discipline.  Along this same line of thought, is the idea of "prayer in the schools" which also baffles me.  Prayer, like discipline, develops character, but has the added elements of faith and belief.  And, for the most part when administered outside of the home, both prayer and discipline fall prey to that which is considered "tradition" but too often "tradition" can mean oppression and intolerance.  

    C. S. Lewis was raised in "traditional" religion, became an atheist, and then later returned to the Christian religion.  Yet, his return to Christian religion was not one of acceptance of traditions and oppressive moral authority.  He wrote of those who practice the "tyranny" of religion that,
"they may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth"
and in these few words he described much of what happens when we "give up" our own capacity to take the responsibility that is ours to seek and find that which is right for us and for our children in matters of faith and discipline.

     Following tradition, the radical Jesus would never have discovered the "Christ" within him, and within you and me.  Traditions provide for us the knowledge of the past, of history, not the awareness of the Spirit within us seeking our discovery of It.  It is not only laziness, but childish for us to depend on tradition in regards to our faith and to the issues that are important to us; our children, our health and our freedom.  Those who have defied tradition have given us so much evidence to prove that the Spirit, the Christ within us, is always evolving through the consciousness of those willing to open their minds to the Spirit, and gain the loving awareness of G-d Intelligence in finding solutions to that which concerns us.

     "Corporal punishment doesn't get us the results we want," said Deborah Sendek, program director of the Center for Effective Discipline, a group that advocates against corporal punishment.  And further: "We're not allowed to hit a prisoner. We do not hit in the military," Sendek said, "Why do we give prisoners more protection than we give our schoolchildren?"  This is a very important question that every parent needs to ask themselves.  

     We have learned that there are more intelligent ways of disciplining prisoners and people in the Military, and there is an intelligent solution to disciplining our children.  And we can begin to find this more intelligent way by realizing and recognizing that the "Christ" within us, that is this image and likeness of G-d, has always been within us.  When we speak to this "Christ" within our children they will respond positively, for we will be speaking to Intelligence, Love and Truth; the very image and likeness of G-d within them.  So many of us do not do this for we fail to recognize that our children are Spirit, the Christ Itself, having a human experience ... not aware yet that they are to be in the world, but not of the world.  This is the truth that is ours to teach them, intelligently and lovingly, and we can as we put away childish things.


Keep the faith!
Rev. Dr. Henry Lee Bates

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the philosophy of the Master Mind Jesus, evolutionary science of mind