I could not help but giggled this morning when a caller to LBC radio said Pope is not really in a position to approve smacking children as a way to instil discipline given he has no biological child.
Guess I am the devil’s advocate here.
Being raised in a culture where adults or anyone in positions authority turn to physical punishment where simple communication could suffice makes my skin crawl most especially when someone in influential position such as Pope Francis thought this is an acceptable attitude from parents to children.
The Pope statement will have very little effect in the west because most parents knew better than to follow what he says given there is strict enforcement of law to protect children rights.
My worry is a nation like Nigeria whereby people believed word for word what their religious leaders told them especially when there is a passage in the bible to support the assertion.
As Nigeria goes, there is a thin line between religion and tradition, more often than not, citizens are confused about the source of many craziness that have penetrated into what we now see as our culture.
Proverbs 22: 15 “Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him” King James Bible
Iwe Owe 22: 15 ” Ni aya omode ni were, sugbon pasan itoni ni yio le jina kuro lodo re” Translated from King James Bible
Among many of the bible quotations that I had to memorise as a child, the above verse was one of the few I still remember today, although I had long forgotten where the verse were but I remember the words. They did not make any sense to me as a child and neither did they as adult.
There are plenty of lost in translation when it comes to the bible and I wonder how many people have gone over the cliff because of this.
In the bible quotations above: To translate the KGB literally to Yoruba, it will be:
Foolishness – means ẹ̀gọ̀ but instead wèrè (Mental health illness) was used to describe children’s mischievousness.
Rod of correction – pàsán ìtọ́ni. Ìtọ́ni on its own means correction however, when pàsán is used, usually it is for only one thing – to flog and beat, animals or humans, most especially when the person in charge felt short-term outcome from assault is the route to quick fix while ignoring the lasting impact of communication to bring about favoured behaviour from children.
While many Nigerians would easily say physical punishment is African/Nigerian culture, it is hard to know given I grew up in a part of Nigeria where Christianity is predominant and physical assault is rife both at home and outside including in the church.
It is nations in this category that religious leaders have strong influence on the crowd. Here Pope’s statement is giving more ammunitions to already delusional crowd to justify their unfair punishment on the people, mostly children in their care.