• A Bible and a Belt

    What do you get when you cross Roy Clark, Jimmy Fortune (of Statler Brothers fame), bib overalls, and a condescending/sanctimonious smile?

    You get this video.

    Joey and Rory are evidently a singing duo known for their homey style and clean lyrics… unless you’re talking about hitting children. Then we’ve got this:

    They were both made of leather
    Both black and frayed and warm
    I was brought up to respect them
    Since the day that I was born

    OK. Fine. Respect is good. Moving along…

    One led us to heaven
    And the other hurt like hell
    But those were the days when kids were raised
    With a bible and a belt

    Huh? What days were those? Do they mean the “good old days” idealized in old television shows?

    Then we have all the older people watching this odd song, creepily clapping every time they hear “bible and a belt.” It’s surreal.

    Here’s the thing about persuasion. Sure, you can control behavior (sometimes) with violence. But the unwanted behavior generally returns when the threat of violence is removed. It also often moves underground… the child will continue the behavior but take steps to keep it hidden.

    Here are more lyrics:

    Sometimes it made me frightened mad
    I wish I’ve been raised without them
    Like some other children had
    But now I’m grown with kids of my own
    And I know just how they felt
    And though it seems to me that what the world still needs
    Is a bible and a belt

    What’s the alternative? As my momma used to say, “The best control is self control.”

    So, how do you teach a child self control if you’re not going to hit them? It’s not easy. It takes time, patience, persistence, a sense of humor, picking your battles, talking, consistency, a lot of listening, and most of all, a strong relationship with your child.

    It’s a lot more work, but is ultimately more satisfying (IMHO) to watch your child make good choices based on guided, good, and eventually their own reasoning rather than fear of violence.

    Oh, and I should probably mention you can purchase the full DVD of this event. Because, as you may already know, selling the “gospel” is big business. Quite profitable, I hear.

    It’s just too bad kids could get hit in the process.


    Category: My Opinion


    Article by: Beth Erickson

    I'm Beth Ann Erickson, a freelance writer, publisher, and skeptic. I live in Central Minnesota with my husband, son, and two rescue pups. Life is flippin' good. :)