When I first heard about the Schatz's being charged with murder of their adopted daughter, I wept and shook my head, "How in the world?" It was a hard pill to swallow. Could this REALLY be what REALLY happened? Then further investigations found that the marks on the girl's body matched the description of what Michael and Debi Pearl say to do to a child that is in rebellion. Whip marks and welts on the bottom and back. The exact tubing was found in the parents bedroom. The exact tubing the Pearl's RECOMMEND using.
I don't need to get into detail, many other bloggers have already done a thorough job of explaining what is going on. I'll link them in below. But there is more we need to be aware of. Some bloggers are demanding that we stop speaking out. Many are blamed for 'gossip'. Gossip? And they can blog about celebrity break ups? What if the child had died at the hands of a local child offender? Would it be okay then to warn parents about watching their kids playing in the yard, to protect them?
When Waco, Texas watched as men, women, and children were being killed the outcry was acceptable. Do you know what I think is the major hang up in this 'gossip' accusing is? The ones who want to silence the outcry support the teaching of the Pearl's ministry, 'No Greater Joy'. I was once a supporter as well. I had their books from many years ago. I haven't read them in a while though. I think the last time I visited their site was over a year ago when Mr. Pearl wrote an article about the direction of our nation and he said it was time to get passports. I emailed him asking about why and where does he recommend families go to and I never got a response.
I want to repeat something...I USED TO support NGJ. I know I have one of their books buried deep in an old cupboard here somewhere. I'm going to find it today and get rid of it. A woman in my town heard the story about the Schatz's being accused for murder, that they were Christian and homeschoolers. She did not know the details of the case, nor did she know about the connection of the Pearl's ministry to the case. She went into a panic about me since I'm Christian and I homeschool. In her mind she thought she'd 'help' me by showing up at my house with Pearl books, telling me that I need to "watch out because homeschoolers are in the spotlight again" suggesting that I read these 'good books'. I politely explained that I am not interested in the books and she kept insisting. She then began to accuse me of horrid things that are not true. I became firm in telling her again that I'm not interested in these books and I told her why. It got worse. Long story short I told her to not contact me anymore. I took the books back to her home and last night I came home and the books were brought BACK TO MY HOUSE. I threw them in the garbage.
Let me say this....when one homeschool/Christian family is accused of something, and you HIDE and DEFEND their actions and their theology that promotes such actions, YOU look guilty. Don't hide, SPEAK OUT! Let it be known where you stand. If you were a previous supporter of child training books that recommend devices and methods of 'discipline' that has gone to such levels , especially when it has happened more than once, then stop!
If you just don't see the fact that disciplining a child with rubber tubing, causing welts on their backs and buttocks is dangerous and you want to keep supporting their ministry, then that is up to you, but don't be surprised if someone eventually comes knocking to investigate your home and children's backsides.
The Christian and homeschooling community needs to let their grievances against such practices be known.
Their outcry should be louder than the secular world and media's is.
If you are a mom that has a husband who 'disciplines' this way, it's time you two have a serious discussion about this. If he refuses to cease from these methods, you need to get help. It's okay to speak up and get help. Even if your pastor or other church women say not to, you MUST, for the sake of your children AND you. Find another pastor and congregation in town that can help you. If you're afraid to, call a family member who doesn't support your church and theology. I'm sure they'd be most happy to help you.
Maybe you wonder, "How else will I discipline my children? This is the only way I know." Start by praying. Read the Bible, all of it , not just the parts that fundamentalists says are for physical discipline, but all of the relationship passages. Jesus did NOT ever say to whip a child. Find alternative methods of teaching, training, and disciplining your children.
I'd also like to say that Mr. Pearl's response to this incident sends a red flag up even higher in my mind about their ministry. He says, "We do not teach “corporal punishment” nor “hitting” children." Well of course they don't use those quoted words in their books. But as you will see in the articles below, that they actually do recommend methods that describe that. The authors below have quoted directly from their books and their website.
If there was several articles on my blog that indicated teaching like this and a child died, I'd be mortified. Stories like this should cause us all to press the reset button on how we teach, train, and discipline. Parents, please don't "stalk your children with a weapon hanging around your neck" and please don't "whip your children like a wild spirited horse."
Senseless Deception by Spunky Homeschool
Talk About the Terrible Event by Paul (who knows the Schatz family)
Discipline or Child Abuse by Virginia Knowles
Sparing the Rod at Belief Net
'Godly' Discipline Turned Deadly at Salon.com
Spare the Quarter Inch Plumbing at Salon.com
How Many Children Must Die by Elizabeth Esther