We’ve heard a lot of crazy stuff in this election. Comments about “legitimate rape,” a claim that nearly half of the country are just a bunch of lazy bums, the Vice President maybe, possibly accusing Republicans of being closet slavery fans (that one is a little more complicated than the other two, it should be noted). It’s been pretty nuts so far.
So when I say that this quote absolutely, positively takes the cake, I want you to understand the context. Charlie Fuqua, a Republican currently running for a spot in the Arkansas state legislature, recently wrote a book called “God’s Law: The Only Political Solution.” I’m not asking you to wonder about how this fits into a society which holds the separation of church and state as a fairly sacrosanct principle. Just focus on this quote from the book, courtesy of ThinkProgress:
The maintenance of civil order in society rests on the foundation of family discipline. Therefore, a child who disrespects his parents must be permanently removed from society in a way that gives an example to all other children of the importance of respect for parents. The death penalty for rebellious children is not something to be taken lightly. The guidelines for administering the death penalty to rebellious children are given in Deut 21:18-21.
This guys is actually, apparently seriously, proposing KILLING KIDS WHO GIVE THEIR PARENTS LIP. Take a moment. Let it sink in. Read the quote again. I wouldn’t blame you for maybe misreading it. It’s not the sort of thing you hear every day.
For the record, here’s the passage from the King James Bible:
If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them: Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place; And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard. And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear.
On the one hand, you’ve got to give the guy credit for, as Bill Clinton would probably say, having some brass. And who knows? Maybe this will resonate with voters. Maybe this guy’s running in an area where kids really disobey their parents a lot. Maybe he’s just fed up with hearing his kids always asking for a few more minutes playing Halo. At some point, you’ve gotta break out the tough love.
On the other hand…SERIOUSLY? You think we should kill kids for talking back to their parents? What happened to sending a kid to their room without dinner? No TV for a month? Hot sauce and freezing cold showers? (Okay, maybe not hot sauce and freezing cold showers. But I think you get my point.)
Fuqua went on to note that, for a child to be executed for the grave crime of back-talk, parents would have to “follow the proper procedure” and that the death penalty would “rarely be used” on kids. Mostly, he says it’s a deterrent against disrespectful kids. (Again, what’s wrong with loss of internet privileges? That’d be enough to break your humble blogger.)
If this election hadn’t been crazy enough already, I would say Mr. Fuqua’s chances just took a hit. Then again, this election has been absolutely crazy so far. I just don’t feel comfortable going out on a limb like that when you consider everything that’s happened in the past year.