Senate should be spanked for reopening settled debate

 

Licia Corbella, Calgary Herald

Saturday, June 21, 2008

 

Before my husband and I had children, we vowed we would never spank them. I'm not certain, but I'm pretty sure we declared our noble intentions with more than a little smugness. We, unlike others, would be enlightened parents. No corporal punishment would be meted out on our offspring. No, siree. We were too well equipped, too knowledgeable, too controlled. We would use reason with our exceptional and well-behaved children and they would understand, and listen.

Then, we had twins.

We lived up to our vow for about two-and-a-half years. That's when one of our boys started biting his brother.

We tried reasoning with our little angel. That didn't work. Then we gave him time outs. Then longer time-outs. We lectured calmly, we screamed loudly, we removed privileges. Nothing worked.

The bites became a reflex. Soon they were leaving significant marks and a very upset victim.

Eventually, we warned the biter that if he bit his brother again, he would be spanked. We didn't have to wait long. He bit his brother that same day. I spanked his clothed bottom. And guess what? It worked.

The biting stopped.

Vow broken. Sanity and peace restored. One son protected from bodily harm, another from a very anti-social habit.

Now, another raft of busybodies is trying to make it illegal for loving parents to spank their children. Again.

On Tuesday, a bill that could criminalize parents for spanking their kids cleared the Senate. Liberal Senator Celine Hervieux-Payette is the sponsor of the proposed legislation that would strike down Section 43 of the Criminal Code that states: "Every schoolteacher, parent or person standing in the place of a parent is justified in using force by way of correction toward a pupil or child, as the case may be, who is under his care, if the force does not exceed what is reasonable under the circumstances."

Hervieux-Payette's hope is that if the federal Liberals form a majority government her bill would pass and spanking children would be a criminal act.

We have been here before. Following years of court challenges in 2004, the Supreme Court of Canada thankfully didn't spank parents after all. In a 6-2 judgment with another judge having a split decision, Canada's highest court upheld the right of parents to use physical force to discipline their children if needed.

It was a victory of common sense over twisted logic. Just like we all know the difference between making love and rape, we also know the difference between spanking and abuse.

Hervieux-Payette, however, has clearly learned the concept of neverendums from her separatist provincial colleagues in Quebec because shortly after the Supremes ruled in favour of parental rights, she started working with the so-called children's rights group that lost the Supreme Court challenge four years ago.

And how's this for irony. That same group -- Foundation for Children, Youth and the Law (FCYL), formerly called the Canadian Foundation for Children, Youth and the Law (CFCYL) -- that worked so doggedly to make it illegal for loving parents to spank their children is the very same group that successfully worked to make it legal for a stranger to sodomize a 14-year-old!

This is not a joke. I'm not making this up. In the late '90s this same group successfully argued in court that the age of consent for homosexuals should be lowered to 14 to match that allowed females.

Naturally, if the adult stranger was spanking the

14-year-old for some sexual purpose, that would be acceptable under this group's logic.

If, however, the spanking was administered to the child by a loving parent in a last-ditch attempt to help prevent his or her child from, say, engaging in dangerous behaviour, like having sex at 14 with adult strangers, then that, according to the FCYL should be a criminal act.

Luckily for our youth and parents, the federal Conservative government recently managed to have the age of consent raised from 14 to 16.

A small victory. Nevertheless, parental rights are clearly under attack in Canada.

Last week, a Quebec Superior Court judge not only agreed to hear the case of a 12-year-old girl who took her father to court for disallowing her to go on a three-day, end-of-year field trip with her Grade 6 class, but then overturned the father's decision and agreed with the child! The father was grounding the girl because he forbade her to post inappropriate photos of herself on the Internet, which she did anyway at a friend's house.

So, if social engineers have their way, parents won't be able to ground their kids, spank them, deny them privileges, etc.

The father's lawyer, Kim Beaudoin said it best as quoted in the National Post: "What will be too much punishment? Not going to a dance? I want my boyfriend to sleep at my house and my parents aren't letting me? I want to use the Internet and my parents aren't letting me? Where will it stop?"

Good question, eh?

Unfortunately it likely never will. Stupidity, perversion, relativism and just poor judgment are rampant.

But one thing is certain. Loving parents will always continue to do what's best for their children, regardless of what the state imposes upon them. Why? Because most parents would die for their kids, to protect them. How many of those senators and rights' groups busybodies would?

lcorbella@theherald.canwest.com

 The Calgary Herald 2008