That Christian Man Selling Child-Training Whips Is Back

When I was a pre or early teen, a traveling home school family, with a traveling home school family business of “rods” made a stop in the area. The homeschooler moms in our area had, like, a tupperware party of thing to beat your kids with. Many of them brought their kids along to the presentation- including my mom.

The mother of the family described how she would go quietly through the house and watching to see if the children were performing well enough. If they weren’t, she would surprise them with a sharp little snap on the legs or buttocks.

In retrospect- holy fucking christ! Are you kidding me? Forgive me if I’m wrong, but isn’t that a perfect recipe for Complex PTSD?

The beating-ware party was decorated in the horrible overly floral pseudo-Victorian style that I remember seeing a lot in the homeschooling version of the ’90’s. The man of the family was clean cut and slimy. He didn’t say as much but he handled the money. The woman gushed about her product. Her ten or twelve children didn’t talk much unless the script or social niceties required them too. They stood in the back ground with wide, matching smiles, brought out their instruments and played music when they were required to. Hung back and smiled again.

I remember hanging out in the entry room of the house with some of the local group children. One of the boys told the rest of us quietly that he would run away from home if his mom started doing this.

There were strawberries dipped in chocolate on silver trays. The moms were all talking and laughing. And giggling.

Homeschoolers Anonymous

CC image courtesy of Flickr, Pimthida.

HA note: The following is reprinted with permission from Libby Anne’s blog Love Joy Feminism. It was originally published on Patheos on May 18, 2016.

The above image is an advertisement that used to run in Christian homeschool magazines. “The ideal tool for child training,” reads the test below an image of a long, thin shaft with a handle, a rod intended for whipping children. “The means prescribed by God,” it reads. And there’s a poem: “Spoons are for cooking / Belts are for holding up pants / Hands are for loving / RODS are for chastening.” This “flexible nylon rod” with its “cushioned vinyl grip” was marketed by Steve Haymond, and was primarily purchased by Christian homeschooling families.

By 2006, the internet and the activism of several concerned homeschool parents had taken its toll on Haymond’s whip-selling business. Raymond had advertised his whips in Christian…

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