|For one Red Sox Nation family, has Biblical discipline gone too far?|
Photo: Keith Allison
John & Linda Baptista are the family in question. "I don't see what the big deal is," said John. "We're just following the Bible's parenting advice involving the discipline of our children."
Authorities were called out after the children arrived at daycare with bloodshot eyes and had been obviously crying for an extended period of time. Layla Miller says she is the one who made the initial contact with child welfare authorities. "The kids were so upset and you could tell that they had been hurt in some way," she told us. "I just hope everything turns out all right. You hate to see it when parents hurt their kids."
So what exactly is in question regarding the conduct of the Baptistas? Child welfare authorities, upon inspecting the Baptista home, found a small closet with a single light bulb that was filled with Alex Rodriguez memorabilia. If one of the three Baptista children, aged 11, 9, & 7 and all die hard Red Sox fans, would misbehave, they would be sent to this closet for up to five minutes at a time... forced to stare at the smiling faces of Alex Rodriguez all around them or have his eyes boring into their skulls while they sat there with eyes pressed tightly closed.
"It's probably the most inhumane thing a parent could do to a child in this city," said long time social worker Carl Monroe. "The only thing that might be worse would be to add a few pics of Babe Ruth into that mix."
Biblical Discipline Gone Too Far?
"The Bible clearly states that a parent who spares the rod hates his son," said Linda Baptista. "We don't thinking spanking is appropriate in our home, and so to be diligent in disciplining our children, we created the time out room." She sighed. "The way people are reacting, however, you'd think we were beating our children with rubber hoses."
Child advocate Dr. Laura Kramer tells us that emotional abuse can be just as impacting as physical abuse. "Parents who scream at their children are just as likely to cause long term damage to the child as parents who physically harm their children," Kramer told us. "These parents, by forcing them to be around the image of a man their children hate so much that it physically made them want to vomit when they'd see him on ESPN... it could take years of therapy to reverse this kind of damage."
For atheist and secularist George Gamble, this is just further evidence that religious fanaticism has to be reeled in. "The Bible also instructs parents to take rebellious children to the elders of the town and have them stoned. Is that the next step here?"
John tells us that every discipline session in the A-Rod time out room was backed up by a conversation regarding right and wrong. "What I'm doing is instilling strong character and morality into my children," he told us. "You can be the judge, I guess, as to whether or not my methods are the correct methods here, but our family discipline works for our family. We don't judge the way you discipline your children, so please don't judge the way we discipline ours."
Police Say a Decision on Charges Will Be Made This Afternoon
No formal charges have been made yet against the Baptista family, but Detective Colleen Pointer says that the decision to file any charges will be made later today in conjunction with the completion of the joint investigation they are conducting into this case with child welfare. "As a Sox fan myself, however, I've got to say that either way this is pretty messed up," said Detective Pointer. "I wouldn't be surprised if someone went all vigilante on their ass."
Pending the outcome of the investigation, the three children have been temporarily placed into foster homes. Linda says that she just wants to get her kids back. "They won't let the kids come home right now," she said, sobbing into a well used tissue. "I just want my babies back. That's all I want... to have my babies back at home."
A Note from The Pummelo Admin: Actual child abuse is no laughing matter & this story was written to bring awareness to the issue... not to make fun of abused children. Real child abuse happens every day, with 5 children in the United States dying every single day because of abuse. If you suspect a child may be endangered because you have seen these warning signs, please contact your local Department of Social Services or call your local police to request a home visit by dialing 911. For more information about how to report child abuse effectively, please check this link for helpful advice.