Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Discipline/Violence: What's The Difference?

Rev.Creflo Dollar, ever heard that name? He is a Christian minister of megachurch World Changers Church International in Atlanta, GA. This summer he was arrested for allegedly choking and punching his 15 y.o. daughter onto the floor of their home after he refused to allow her to go out late one night, and she turned and walked away from him while they were having the discussion. Apparently, the daughter walking away from him enraged Creflo and he attacked her.

She later went into another room of their home and secretly called the police to report the assault. Did I forget to mention that it was also reported that both the mom and the accuser's 19 y.o. sister witnessed at least some of the attack? The 19 y.o. corroborated the younger sister's story to the police.Rev. Dollar was arrested but released not long after. And when he returned to World Changers he denied the charges to his congregation and said "all is well in the Dollar home."

I want to take this story in a different direction than some of the many others who have spoken about it on YouTube like @tobiasqbrown and LifeWithQ just to mention a few. And I want to think about theirs and so many other people's opinions on YouTube who confuse violence with discipline and judgment with tolerance and family secrecy. 

Some of the reports from viewers on YouTube and elsewhere had people protecting the sanctity of a minister's role as a "child or prophet" of the Lord's to laments that "discipline is discipline" the Bible says so, etc etc. Some people even went as far as to say that they "condone physical discipline" and that parents need to put their feet in their children's butts more often. A lot of people applaud Rev. Dollar. 

I'm not here to tell our audience what to believe about this incident. However, to contemplate for a moment the thoughts of Q and a few others, I will pose some questions. If Rev. Dollar tells his congregation that those allegations are false and "all is well in the Dollar home" then what reason/s does he give about why his 15 y.o. child would call the police on him and report also that this wasn't the first incidence? I noticed a lot of these YouTube reporters didn't mention that part (that this has happened before). Also, if it is disciple to use a fist and an arm wrap around the neck which was described in the call to police, then when does discipline become violence (Nixzmary Brown)? Is there an electronic monitor that grades force, reactivity time, body temperature and anger levels that all parents should install in their own homes when they have children? 

In at least 3 videos (I couldn't stand watching any more) men were giving their opinions of stereotyped behaviors teen "girls" exhibit, to which some of it appeared to me to sound like rationale for a child to get pummeled by her larger, stronger parent to the ground. Should children be reprimanded for turning their backs on their parents when they are denied privileges? That's something we all may answer differently. Does everyone have the ability to walk away when they get angry--it doesn't appear so. But again, when we have men applauding other men for choking and punching a woman, daughter or otherwise, where does that thinking lead? Where did that thinking come from? So many of us can name lines of history where it came from and how we don't see it as cruel and unusual. But when we get together and we fight for injustice or unequal treatment, think first if we unequally treat our girls different from our boys, and if so, why? Think too about the complexity in the messages we send our daughters when we tell them they should NEVER let a man raise his hand to hit them but we beat (not discipline) our own children at home, sometimes in the street. Think about those things and let me know what you have to say. 

Asha...

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