“What if the boy didn’t stop? Would you spank him forever, or would you stop when it bordered on abuse, in which case the child would win?” On February 6, seven-year-old Lydia Schatz was murdered by her parents. Her eleven-year-old sister Zariah was hospitalized for kidney failure, among other injuries. Both girls had repeatedly been beaten with quarter-inch plastic plumbing supply line, a punishment instrument recommended by Michael and Debi Pearl of No Greater Joy ministries.
The Pearls’ child training manuals have been popular in Christian homeschooling circles since the first one, Train Up A Child, was published in 1994. Their views and tactics are not without controversy, however, both on the child welfare and theological fronts. Though the Pearls consider themselves child-training experts, they have no formal training in child development. This is not the first time a family following NGJ discipline theory has killed a child.
The Butte County DA is investigating NGJ in connection with Lydia’s death. Michael Pearl responds. Blogger Tulipgirl responds to the response, while another blogger who knew the Schatzes gives further background.
From the comments:
Christianity is a tub of bathwater we’ve been told we should not throw out because of the valuable baby in it. The water just gets dirtier and dirtier and more and more stagnant, and if there was ever a baby in there it drowned long ago.