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December 3, 2007
Spank Your Kids, Then
Let the Massachusetts Legislature Have It
They’re at it again. Apparently, Massachusetts legislators feel that the
nanny state is just not overwhelming enough already. Or perhaps they
believe that the term “nanny state” is meant to be taken literally.
Democratic legislator recently filed a bill in the state legislature
banning spanking. No no, the bill isn’t designed to ban child abuse or
truly injurious behavior – there are already plenty of laws on the books
and social services to cover those situations. House Bill 3922 would
presume guilty of child abuse and neglect any parent who spanks little
Timmy on the behind for repeatedly putting bugs in his baby brother’s
Behind the bill is Cathleen Wolf, a Massachusetts resident and nurse who
urged the legislature to ban spanking. Wolf said, “I can remember being
10 years old and thinking, what is going on here? What are these people
doing? How can this be allowed to happen?”
Right. I can also remember saying the same exact thing about my parents
for forcing me to go to school at the age of 10. And eating vegetables.
And brushing my teeth. But strangely enough, we have resisted the
temptation to run the world’s finest nation based on the preferences of
10-year-olds. If anything, the fact that children are scared and stung
by a loving spanking is an indication that it’s a darn good deterrent
that should be used by every parent and on every child.
Unfortunately, it’s not surprising to see such a bill come out of the
same state that has seen dodgeball get banned at school because it’s
“exclusionary.” This nanny state attitude has already led to excessive
government micromanagement à la Mike Huckabee.
few years ago, Massachusetts imposed a strict smoking ban on the bars
and restaurants in the state. Apparently, owners should not be allowed
to set the rules on their private property, and customers are not
capable of avoiding the bars and restaurants that allow smoking. The
government has to make the decisions and choices on behalf of everyone.
The nanny state mentality is not limited to smoking, however. More
recently, the Massachusetts legislature sought to impose a trans-fat ban
on restaurants. If the nanny state is able to ban certain types of food
and cooking, what is stopping it from banning things like desserts?
Where exactly is the limit of government intervention?
Apparently, there is none. Only a few months ago, the Massachusetts
legislature saw a bill that would mandate that bathroom doors in the
state open in an outwardly fashion. The reason, you might ask? A state
legislator’s friend considered his aversion to touching potentially
impure bathroom doorknobs a “pet peeve.” Consistently with politicians
who seek to impose their view of the “correct” lifestyle on all
individuals, they turned this “pet peeve” into a legislative issue.
When politicians are willing to accompany you into the bathroom, there
is truly no limit to the government they are willing to run. And Bay
Staters wonder why residents are leaving the commonwealth en masse.
Since 2000, Massachusetts has lost a net 300,000 people, approximately,
to migration within the country. That’s nearly 5 percent of its
Now, a good, strong family could theoretically endure high taxes,
painful congressional representation in Washington, “progressive” values
and bans on dodgeball, smoking, trans-fats and inward swinging bathroom
doors. But for many, interference in the manner in which families raise
their children can only be the final straw.
Though still unacceptable, it is one thing to take much of a married
couple’s money and prevent one or both from enjoying a cigarette at
their favorite bar. It is quite another to deprive them of their ability
to discipline their children as they deem appropriate, and to take away
their right to entrench traditional values in their children, for whom
One can joke about the ludicrousness of such government intrusion into
family life, but in the end, it is an extremely serious matter. What is
next – will the government forbid you from yelling at your children?
Will it dictate what values you should teach your son and daughter?
If anything, the Massachusetts legislators are the first who could use a
good spanking. And most certainly, so can your children – if they act up
and misbehave anywhere around me, and you don’t have the heart to teach
them a lesson with a loving swat on the backside, I would be more than
happy to do the honors for you.
© 2007 North Star
Writers Group. May not be republished without permission.
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