Here’s the story: Religious family tells kid that smoking is bad and to not do it. 15 year-old Kid buys a lighter (and potentially a pack of smokes). Family is outraged – outraged, I say – and decides to teach the kid a lesson. What they had in mind was more than evil. And they were cowards to boot.
Rather than punishing junior themselves, they went to their church, thought to be the Emanuel Lutheran Church in La Habra, California, to find someone who would punish their child for them. In place of them. Not them dishing out the punishment. Cowards. Evil, religious fucksticks.
When my old man caught me smoking one of his stogies at age 14, he made me smoke about five of ’em. I got so sick that I didn’t have another until well after I married. I have heard of other parents taking away X-Box privileges, or taking away a kid’s cell phone/ipod/generic portable music source. I have heard of someone becoming so incensed that they removed every bit of personal space from junior’s room – including the door to the room itself – to teach a lesson and bring the kid around to whatever lesson was being taught. I have even witnessed extreme brutality as the father of a friend of mine beat my friend until he bled with a switch that my friend was forced to cut for this very punishment. As punishments go, I think I have witnessed or seen most of them.
These flaming assholes, however, gave me another story to add to my arsenal. They actually dropped their kid off at the fellow church-goer’s house and gave him permission to beat their child. According to the Washington Post:
“Kim hit the child with a metal pole about a dozen times, causing severe bruising on his legs…” “The pole was about an inch in diameter, investigators said.”
A one-inch diameter metal pole will leave at least a one-half-inch welt in its wake. The pole itself will not give way like a switch or a belt would, but instead would deliver the capillary-breaking bruise deeper under the skin and through the fat and muscle. Given that this man was an adult and by the various stories written about this incident, he was skilled at this task, it is likely that the strokes were hard and painful – much harder than the boy’s father could deliver.
A metal pole at one-inch in diameter might be hard to imagine, so here are a few commonly used poles of that size:
Flag Pole – These poles are common in America, even in southern California.
Copper pipe used for bicycle frames or indoor plumbing.
These are not weapons or tools of evil in and of themselves. They are familiar in daily life and can be turned into instruments of torture by a twisted user. Just imagine what other common items this evil man has bastardized into service as Corporal Punishment man.
According to the information made available, Kim is charged with “suspicion of felony willful cruelty to a child” and according to the story in the LA Times, he was released on $100,000 bail. This is the section of the penal code that applies:
‘Willful cruelty or unjustifiable punishment of a child’ means a situation where any person willfully causes or permits any child to suffer, or inflicts thereon, unjustifiable physical pain or mental suffering, or having the care or custody of any child, willfully causes or permits the person or health of the child to be placed in a situation such that his or her person or health is endangered. – Cal. Penal Code § 11165.3
According to the JKR Law site, the punishment – if he is convicted – could be as little as 24 months or as many as 72 months in state prison. This means that he may serve only two years or be out in as few as 6 years – likely less.
And the parents go scott-free.
As does the church, which by the way, associates itself with the “Evangelical Lutheran Church in America“. To be fair, the ELCA does not promote this type of child abuse. This is from the January 2004 issue of Journal of Lutheran Ethics (JLE):
If we view children as made in the image of God, as fully human, and as orphans, neighbors, and strangers in need of compassion and justice, then we will treat all children, regardless of age, race, class, or gender, with more dignity and respect. We will no longer tolerate the abuse or harsh treatment of children, and we will warn against equating “discipline” with physical punishment.
I have no backstory on the teachings of this particular church, but suffice it to say that the bible is clear on disciplining your children. I just don’t remember seeing a section where Lott let someone else beat the shit out of his son.