AB 2943: Become a Criminal for Spanking Your Children
A Silly-Sally Piece of Legislation
Sally Lieber (D-Mountain View, CA) is the architect behind a proposed state bill (AB 2943). Effectively, she has reintroduced a bill (it was previously AB 755) that states that a parent who spanks his or her child would be placed on probation for a minimum of four years and would be forced to attend a nonviolent parental education class. In addition, the child would receive a criminal court protective order protecting the “victim” from further acts of violence.
In essence, therefore, Ms Lieber’s bit of politically correct, nanny-state social engineering dumps parental disciple of their children into categories that were previously only reserved for “child abuse.” Do you follow the liberal mindset here? Ms. Lieber—who, by the way, has no children. Surprise! Surprise!—believes that she knows how to care for your children much better than you do. Moreover, if you belong to a religious tradition that prescribes corporal punishment your particular belief in God does not come into play. Her bill reads this way: “Existing law makes it a crime for any person, under specified circumstances, to willfully cause or permit a child to suffer, or to inflict on a child unjustifiable physical pain or mental suffering.”
Oddly—intentionally?—any cogent definition of the precise meaning of the word “suffer” is left out of the bill. The same holds true for phrases such as “unjustifiable physical pain” or “(unjustifiable) mental suffering. I’ll say more about my attempt to get an answer from Ms. Lieber’s office in a moment.
No child under three years of age may be spanked. Ms. Lieber’s bill would make the spanking of a child three and under Illegal. Illegal immigrants are considered undocumented workers, but spanking a child is illegal. Current laws on California’s books adequately deal with special abuse problems. This makes one wonder what Ms. Lieber is really aiming at in her piece of legislation.
A spokesman for the Solano County, California Republican Party, Meredith Turney said, “There is contempt in the legislature for Judeo-Christian values and AB 2943 is the most blatant evident of this attempt to take away our freedom to raise children according to our beliefs.”
In a very real sense, the bill is unenforceable. What two-year-old is going to call 911 and report daddy and mommy? Looked from another perspective, however, this is a chilling piece of legislation. It is simply another attempt for government to step in and talk the children away from the parents and to usurp parental responsibility. For Christians, Scripture is quite clear that in certain cases corporal punishment is not merely recommended, but required. (cf. Prov. 22:15; 13:24). The last text from Proverbs does not say, as conventional wisdom has it, “He who spares the rod spoils the child.” No, the correct wording is, “Whoever spares the rod hates his son…”
Someone needs to give Ms. Lieber something substantial to do with her time. With Californians facing a $14 billion budget deficit, an illegal immigration influx that is off the charts, and state government spending and taxes off the charts, it seems that the last thing citizens of the Golden State need is another childless social engineer telling people how to raise their children.
Labels: Social Justice