Christians have no moral rationale for spanking their children

80 percent of born-again believers say physical punishment of children is acceptable. But neither the Bible nor social science supports spanking.

Spanking
(Image credit: (Stefano Bianchetti/Corbis))

As everyone living above ground knows, Minnesota Vikings' star running back Adrian Peterson has been indicted on child abuse charges. The NFL star hit his four-year-old son with a "switch," creating welts on the child's legs, scrotum, and buttocks. In response, the outspoken Christian athlete invoked the Almighty, tweeting a picture from a popular religious devotional, Jesus Calling, with a quote about the perils of "habitual judging."

Peterson isn't the only Christian who thinks good parents should hit their children, or even that their faith commands it. Eighty percent of born-again Christians believe that spanking is acceptable. This is 15 percent higher than the general population.

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