It really is like parenting

When I was little, I would bite in order to get my way in a scuffle. Children shouldn't bite. In order to break me of this method, I received a spanking from my parents each time it happened. I learned not to bite my brothers when we got in a scuffle. We also learned concurrently to resolve our conflicts without resorting to scuffles by going into timeout together, from which we were not excused until we had developed a mutual plan for behaving differently.

The fact that I was spanked did not mean my parents loved me less. It meant they loved me enough to condition my behavior in line with the expectations of civility. It was not abuse; what I was doing was abusive and they were correcting me.

What the Bishops seem unable to comprehend is that love means correction. Children who don't like correction sometimes grow on to become rebellious teenagers. That's very evident in the Church today among the baby-boomers. They don't like being told what to do, yet the fact remains, "As long as you're living in my house you will abide by my rules." This is not unfair, when parents do this. This too is part of love. If children don't know what the boundaries are, they can't learn to prosper self-reliantly. They don't learn how to apply the rules to their own conduct. The problems that arise are not the Church's fault if they stem from a recalcitrant attitude on the party of the teenager. The Church must hold its expectations yet work with the adolescent to bring about maturity and wise decision-making.

So, for many people in the Church, a healthy dose of spanking is in order. They need to learn what is wrong and right behavior. They need to be kept in line with the obligations of civility. Civility is not murdering your child. Civility is not allowing someone to murder a child. Civility is not helping or supporting someone who allows someone to murder a child. These are the basic demands of human decency.

Another method of punishment that seems to have fallen by the wayside applies here as well: if the child does not change their behavior, they are not welcome to enjoy supper. Sitting at the table is for people who have chosen to behave within the bounds of appropriate and inappropriate behavior. If you do not behave, you do not get to sit at the table. The Bishops need to employ this method as well. It does not mean you're not a part of the family. It means you are welcome when you learn to behave like a lady or gentleman.

Right conduct is hard to teach. Unlearning certain behaiors takes time and/or force. The right exercise of force is crucial here. When a parent enforces the rules, they are acting out of love for their child. When I was spanked on my bottom, I was propped back up and my parents and I had a conversation. I understood how my actions elicited this response. I made a pledge to change my behavior.

This is not unlike the Act of Contrition. Have most Catholics in the Baby-boomer forgotten the Act of Contrition? We say to God, "I firmly intend with your help to sin no more." Obviously, we will sin again; and when we do, we are forgiven and we strive again for the still more excellent way.

Doug Kmiec and many like him need to grow up. They need to stop imposing their teen angst on the rest of us who are trying to put into practice Faithful Citizenship. They need to stop practicing birth control, stop voting for pro-choice candidates, stop talking back to the Bishops, and start becoming mature Catholics. They need to get unstuck from the past, when Sister was mean because she told you what to do and you didn't like it.

The more Catholics can exhibit this kind of maturity, the more authentically we will witness to the culture around us. What a travesty that this many souls, who grew up in the vibrant orthodoxy of the Pre-Vatican II era, have caused so much destruction by their inability to conform their behavior to the expectations of the Church. They hit puberty, called it a sexual revolution, made idols of their own monumental egos and called it civil disobedience, and they broke the rules, and called it being progressive.

Let's call this nonsense what it is. Let's demand adult conduct from these wayward teens in their fat and complacent middle age. I hope the bishops do not give in to whining. I hope they do not act like indulgent moms playing the good cop. Speaking of which, I hope the Sisters stop their Gaia-worship long enough to be effective in this area too. Babies are not less important than flowers. And yes, your job is to not wear the pants in the family. While you lust for power, your daughter is starving for effective role-modeling. Motherhood is not the same as Fatherhood. Fathers don't have wombs.

Fathers have balls, or at least they're supposed to. We'll see what the plenary council reveals.

I feel a little better, getting that off my chest.

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