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

via The Daily Beast spanking

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. 

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.

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.

“He enjoys seeing the person he owns become the thing God wants her to be.”

After discipline, many wives report being held and comforted. And on Internet message boards dedicated to the practice, couples emphatically advocate for the CDD way of life. As such, there’s a temptation to file away domestic discipline into to the “different strokes for different folks” category. But mental-health and abuse experts see a potential for danger.

Jim Alsdurf, a forensic psychologist who evaluates and treats sexual psychopaths and is the author of a book on abuse in Christian homes, says CDD isn’t about religion—it’s an outlet for emotionally disturbed men with intimacy deficits.

“No fool in his right mind would buy this as a legitimate way to have a relationship,” Alsdurf says. “A relationship that infantilizes a woman is one that clearly draws a more pathological group of people.”

CONTINUE READING

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  • The Well Dressed Man

    Christianity and BDSM are somehow connected?
    Say it ain’t so!

    • emperorreagan

      Every time you smack an ass an angel gets a boner.

    • http://joenolan.com/blog Joe Nolan

      Exactly! What is the connection between sexual repression and this “punishment?” Seems obvious.

  • http://www.ContraControl.com/ Zenc

    I’m going to whistle past the graveyard on this one…

  • echar

    Thank you Jesus may I have another?

    • Rhoid Rager

      homerun!

  • DrDavidKelly

    As a good Christian man I occasionally have to bring my wife to heel. If she has made the infraction more than once and the spirit of Jesus almighty is within my holy hands, I smack her accross the face a few times. Once the Lord even instructed me to choke her a little.

  • BuzzCoastin

    well, it’s only a step up from spanking the monkey for Jesus
    but sounds like a good warm-up exorcise

  • Jane

    The ‘aftercare’ is what gets me – ‘after discipline, many wives report being held and comforted’. That’s straight up Dom/sub relationship stuff right there.

  • Noah_Nine

    this is HOT!

  • Him Fifteenism

    haters gonna hate

  • Ittabena

    BDSM is much bigger than any of us can imagine. I used to – until I moved to WA – make leather bondage gear. At first it started as stage props for the dancers I worked with and money for my pocket, but I made them all functional and sturdy so they could be used as well. It helped sales.

    From doing that I eventually ran into two BDSM groups in Memphis. One was older and more safety conscious and wanted sheepskin linings, the other was young, reckless and would often hurt themselves out of carelessness. Eventually my stuff was being carried in five stores in town and I was headed for the big head shop next.

    My personal take on this is that these are people who have this sort of bent reconciling it with their Christian beliefs the best they can figure out how to. My experience has taught me that those who like to be spanked will always find those willing to do the spanking, and vice versa.

    • The Well Dressed Man

      Well said. Just because you can’t always get what you want doesn’t mean you wont get what you need.

      Sin, forgiveness, confession, penitence, and sacrifice seem fundamental to the Western cultural experience. I sometimes wonder if kink shaped the church more than the church shaped kink.

      Edit – have been known to shop for such hardware. Many of our local shops have sadly closed or downsized.

      • Ittabena

        Or the internet.

        I have been known to indulge from time to time as well.

        When a young dancer looks at you on her first day and says; “I hear you make restraints and stuff. I’ve always wanted to be tied up.” and grins at you, you respond; “I don’t get off till 7.”

  • Miguel Reyes

    Would anyone have written an article such as this is if it had to do with “Atheist Discipline”? These people are crazy and they just mock religion giving a “christian name”.

    • echar

      A Christian Domestic Discipline marriage is set up according to the guidelines set forth in the Holy Bible, meaning the husband has authority over his wife within the bounds of God’s Word and enforces that authority, if need be, through discipline including but not limited to spanking. He uses his authority to keep peace and order in his home, protect his marriage, and help his wife mature in her Christian walk.

      In a true Christian Domestic Discipline marriage, discipline is tempered with the knowledge that the husband must answer to God for his actions and decisions in his position of authority.

      http://www.christiandomesticdiscipline.net/christiandomesticdisciplinespankinghome.html

      He has the ultimate authority in his household, but this authority is tempered with the knowledge that he will answer to God for his actions and decisions. The final decision rests with him, and therefore, the final responsibility, whatever the outcome, is his to bear. A wise husband will not make a major decision without prayerfully asking God for wisdom, and without seeking his wife’s counsel.
      Prov. 20:5

      http://christiandomesticdiscipline.com/home.html

  • Catalin Rotariu

    “A relationship that infantilizes a woman is one that clearly draws a more pathological group of people.” What I understand from this quote is that is not ok to discipline the wife but is ok and normal to discipline your kids through beatings. It’s not ok. Discipline through violence was accepted once everywhere, including military. Don’t beat your kids. Be smart. Teach them without scaring them for life.

    • The Well Dressed Man

      That’s a different way of looking at this piece.
      I read it as a bedroom game between consenting adults. This whole stern patriarchal discipline act seems like a way for the devout to get their kicks and remain pure in the eyes of the lord.
      I’m personally not crazy about the maledom end of BDSM, but genuinely dominant women are few and far between, so I’ve gotta switch to play sometimes.

  • Sebastien

    Did you not proofread this? You repeat an entire paragraph like cut and paste.