NCSF on Twitter   Subscribe to the NCSF RSS Feed   NCSF Blog

"Spanking for Jesus: Inside the Unholy World of ‘Christian Domestic Discipline’"

on Friday, 21 June 2013. Posted in Front Page Headline, Media Updates

What do you call it when a husband beats his wife with a paddle for disobeying him? Some would say domestic abuse. These people say he’s doing God’s work.

The Daily Beast

On a pain scale of one to 10, Chelsea ranks the epidural-free birth of her child as a six. Her husband’s spankings? Those are an eight.

First, he uses his hands for “warm-up” slaps. Then comes a combination of tools based on the specific infraction. The wooden spoon is the least severe; for the worst rule-breaking—like texting while driving (“It could kill me,” Chelsea admits) or moving money between accounts without his permission—she’ll be hit with something else: a hairbrush, a paddle, or a leather strap.

But this isn’t domestic abuse, Chelsea says. This is for Jesus.

Chelsea and her husband Clint, who asked that I use only their first names, belong to a small subculture of religious couples who practice “Christian Domestic Discipline,” a lifestyle that calls for a wife to be completely submissive to her husband. Referred to as CDD by its followers, the practice often includes spanking and other types corporal punishments administered by husbands—and ostensibly ordained by God. While the private nature of the discipline makes it difficult to estimate the number of adherents, activity in several online forums suggests a figure in the low thousands. Devotees call CDD an alternative lifestyle and enthusiastically sing its praises; for critics, it’s nothing but domestic abuse by another name.

Clint was in the room while I talked to Chelsea. They do everything together, including running their blog, Learning DD, which chronicles their exploration of domestic discipline. When Chelsea gets flummoxed by a question, she asks Clint for guidance in a voice so high-pitched that it belies her 28 years: “Honey, how long does the spanking usually last?” (About 5 minutes, Clint says.)

He has left bruises, Chelsea says, but it’s rare, and she attributes them to anemia.

You don’t have to be a Christian to practice domestic discipline, although many of its practitioners say they believe that domestic discipline goes hand in hand with their faith. Specifics of the practice vary by couple, though CDDers all seem to follow a few basic principles. Foremost, that the Bible commands a husband to be the head of the household, and the wife must submit to him, in every way, or face painful chastisement. ...

Social Bookmarks

Comments (0)

Leave a comment

You are commenting as guest. Optional login below.

Cancel Submitting comment...

Latest Reader Comments

  • NCSF posts Media Updates on articles that we want people to comment on. Whether they're positive or negative articles, we help drive...

    NCSF

    25. June, 2015 |

  • Someone dropped the ball on this whole story. How did he get a license in Virginia with what happened in Florida? Simple. He got the...

    Guest

    23. June, 2015 |

  • I agree. I would highly recommend NCSF not repost articles defaming feminists.

    Angela Anderson

    08. June, 2015 |

  • Females didn't 'submit'. They were overtaken without choice.

    Many anthropological studies fail to mention the native ancient...

    Sacchiridites

    04. June, 2015 |

  • "Feminists" are not trying to redefine all regrettable sexual experiences as rape, feminists are trying to get actual victims to be heard...

    Brian Flaherty

    04. June, 2015 |

  • I just wonder in this day of supposed enlightenment and supposed understanding when people will realize that same-sex marriages and...

    M.Wryter

    28. May, 2015 |