Flogged is my endeavor to stop the harsh spanking -- really flogging! -- of children that has been promoted by the Christian Right over the last 40 years and has bruised many adults with chronic pain, intrusive thoughts, and mood disorders, among other symptoms of physical abuse and religious trauma.

As a flogging victim myself, I feel especially called to share my story publically and speak out against the authoritarian fear and control some people exert over others through their insistence that spanking is a measure of parents' Christian commitment and the only way to ensure children grow up to be good citizens.

I speak up for those attacked by fundamentalists' hateful messages: "weaklings" who favor gentler parenting; "quacks" with "unbiblical" science and psychology; "pansies" with nonconforming sexual orientation and gender identity; and "delinquents," disproportionately singled-out struggling adolescents of color, used as examples of who "we don't want our kids to become."

Kids trapped right now in these confusing environments, as well as adults struggling with painful memories, need to hear they are not alone and that God is not the one who has beaten their bodies red, white, and blue.


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