Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A taste of life under Hopeface

In Wisconsin, a pastor and father of nine, Barry Barnett, is accused of assaulting his child. His weapon? A paddle. Yep, a man is being charged with assault for spanking his son. No points for guessing that an overzealous female prosecutor is pursuing the case.

This is why I vote Republican, people.

Apparently, some teacher overheard a student saying his brother got paddled. As any reasonable person would, she let the issue rest. Oh, sorry, for a second I forgot that I live on !#$%ing bizarro planet. What I meant to say was, she went into hysterics and reported the matter to the authorities.

This is why I'm never sending my kids to public school.

So they send the poor kid to the emergency room to examine him. Turns out he had light bruising. Well, that was enough for District Attorney Jane Kohlwey, who recently earned publicity for striking a secret plea deal exonerating a former deputy who backed over his girlfriend with his truck, and for destroying all documentation related to the case.

To be fair, the Bible does say "spare the truck, spoil the girlfriend."

In this case, however, Ms. Jane is seeking a three year sentence, and her motivations are transparently political. There is a movement afoot in this country to eliminate all forms of corporal punishment. The movement consists largely of young, liberal, unbright women, but there is international precedent. The United Nations has made it a goal to end all corporal punishment by 2009 (way to keep your eye on the ball, guys), and Massachussets has been weighing the merits of banning the practice outright for quite some time now.

Which brings us to the election. The crusade to end spanking has a lot of sympathy among the people responsible for Obama's ascent. Those who oppose the practice do not delineate between an act of discipline and an act of violence. Children have no problem discerning the difference, but whatev...

Sensing imminent victory, the far left wing has been espousing their views in larger forums. Barack Obama has pledged to nominate Supreme Court Justices in the mold of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer, who, in turn, have pledged to sublimate our constitution to UN Charter.

I have said this before, but it bears repeating. This issue can either be considered a golden opportunity for Republicans, or a colossal infringement on basic liberty. Just as Hillary Clinton's attacks on homeschoolers provoked a strong conservative reaction, any threat to the right of parents to discipline their children will evoke a strong public response.

Conservatives in congress, as they did with gay marriage, should take the fight to the Democrats. A bill protecting the right of parents to spank their children would enjoy tremendous public support, putting congressional Democrats in a bind. Most liberals assume that most people agree with them on the issue of discipline, and the Democrats will likely put up a fight. If Barack Obama is elected, they will not likely concede an early legislative victory for Republicans.

If you thought Joe the Plumber galvanized the American center-right, wait until they meet Barry the pastor. I'll take a fight between the father of nine and, say Barney Frank.

But this is only a tactical response that will not assuage a looming problem. If Barack Obama is elected, he and his ilk have all but promised to disregard individual rights and liberties. Just as our UN brethren do not recognize parental rights, so too do they reject the freedom of speech and freedom of religion. Obama's comments reveal a man who regards the Constitution as a flimsy document, in need of tinkering and improvement.

The case of Barry the Pastor remains a ridiculous outlier, the product of an incompetent prosecutor eager to rankle the opponents who criticized her handling of a much more serious case. But such cases tend to be the canary in the coal mine of civil liberty. The case against Barry Barnett could provide a template for maneuvering this issue through the courts.

Be wary, and be sure to vote on November 4th.


Anonymous Rypick said...

Where's your anonymous secret admirer?
I thought for sure that this post would elicit a comment.

7:41 AM  
Blogger Kevin Sawyer said...

To be honest, I pegged you for first comment. Actually, I thought this would get more comments generally, but I have sounded this alarm in the past.

12:16 PM  
Anonymous Rypick said...

I had no comment about the post, or article. It only prompts a prayer for this family.
However, I was expecting and waiting for some nameless person to call you names. :)

12:29 PM  
Blogger Kevin Sawyer said...

Wow, a prayer for THIS family? How self centered. I think I will direct by prayers to Barnett's family. ;)

But yeah, a light bruise? My father had a habit of rapping my head with his knuckle. Now he is in prison (on an unrelated issue, obviously). I would've taken a baseball bat to the face to have him back.

Frankly, making a 12 year old boy undress is far creepier than any paddling. The teacher and prosecutor will remember this case when they are rotting in hell.

2:05 PM  
Blogger Jerad said...

I think the fear in your hyperbole must be similar to what I and the other half of the country felt going into (especially) the 2nd Bush term. We were so afraid that he would keep turning the USA into a country which would lose sight of its values, forget its duty to preserve the freedoms of its citizens, look first to belligerence when resolving international conflict, ignore the value of a meritocratic culture which has defined us and replace it with political cronyism.

Many of those fears were validated in these last 4 years, but we've already begun to see the pendulum swing back. Cronyism is being investigated and prosecuted. Diplomacy is being reevaluated as a tool in foreign relations, even with regard to the "axis of evil."

So though the moment looks dark, I offer my conservative brothers and sisters in Christ this word of solace: whatever excesses the next 4-8 years might bring, trust that in the ongoing social experiment that is the United States of America the pendulum will swing back again. You might now feel as frightened and powerless as I did in December 2000 and November 2004, but this, too, shall pass.

4:00 PM  
Blogger Kevin Sawyer said...

I'm very confident that this will pass. I think this issue will invigorate the passing.

But this will only happen if conservatives sound the alarm. You and I toured the "Science of the Holocuast exhibit together. Your conclusion was, literally "lesson learned", and my conclusion was entirely different.

I suspect, Jerad, that you will spank your children. If you don't, your wife will. The fact that someone can go to jail for such an action should trouble you more than it does at the moment.

Take that as you will.

4:13 PM  
Anonymous Rypick said...

I re-read my comment a couple of times and thought that something was a bit screwy with it. Sometimes basic grammar slips just outside of my grasp. :)

Kids should never have light bruises. You know, the kind you might get by bumping your elbow on a door. Speaking of which, I think we should ban doors. You know, for the kids.

10:30 AM  

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