I don’t pay much attention to evangelical preachers except when they are arrested for child abuse. This grabs my attention.
The mega-church fundamentalist preacher, Creflo Dollar, was arrested last week and charged with simple assault and cruelty to children. Dollar doesn’t deny that things got physical in his household. In fact, he admits he put his hands on his daughter and tried to restrain her when she tried to leave the house to go to a party. He admits to pulling her down on the ground and trying to spank her with his shoe. He denies choking her and slapping her. He claims the marks on her neck weren’t left from his hands but were “eczema that that been there for ten years.”
His fifteen year old daughter tells a different story. She called 911 and told operators that her father had choked and punched her. She also indicated that “it was not the first time” it had occurred. The 19 year old daughter who was also there during the incident agreed with her sister’s account.
The comments about this story are alarming and disturbing. Many support his actions as disciplining his daughter. Most of the comments are centered on wanting to know what the teenage girl was doing and how she was behaving. People want to know all sides of the story. These statements and questions are laced with trying to determine whether or not his daughter was a good girl or bad girl. How disrespectful was she being? What kind of a party was she trying to go to? Did she hit him first?
These types of comments are looking to see whether or not she deserved what she got.
Physical violence with a child is never justified. Period.
If your teenage daughter is physically threatening your safety than call the police.
Police are called to domestic disputes all the time. But just because the police are called doesn’t mean that someone goes to jail. In fact, unless you live in a state where there is a mandatory arrest for domestic violence calls, many times nobody goes to jail. Unless of course, the officers determine there is a reason to do so. By the way, Georgia has very lenient arrest policies for domestic violence. It is entirely up to the officer’s discretion. And in this case, the officers determined there was sufficient reason to arrest Dollar.
This is one of the problems with relying on corporal punishment to discipline your children. It may work for parents when the child is young and small. You may easily be able to control your child through physical force and restraint. However, children grow and children get bigger which means you have to use more force to control them. If you are still relying on corporal punishment when your child becomes a teenager than things are bound to get out of control and escalate into a physical fight because teenagers fight back.
The video of his sermon a few days after his arrest is here (if you are not a fan of corporal punishment or fundamentalist Christianity, you may want to take your blood pressure medication first):
Did you notice he still got a standing ovation? He never admits to doing anything wrong. Just that things got “emotional.” He goes on to say that “raising children in our culture of disrespect is a challenge” which is quickly followed by “all is well in the Dollar household.” Really? I would like to ask his daughters if they feel the same way about their household.