“Suffer The Children” Shouldn’t Mean Make The Children Suffer

I’ve seen this video of a young boy saying “I’m tired of this church.” circulating this week. More recently a former colleague shared a news article on social media with additional context entitled “I’m tired of this church’ | How a little boy’s words shocked, amused, and liberated us” along with a description that read: “Disturbing.”

Although my former colleague thought the additional context in the story was disturbing, the vast majority of the responses I’ve read or heard in response to this video call for the boy to get a whipping for his response.

I read the article, and what was disturbing to me was that the boy got singled out by the pastor, in addition to being “fired into” by his father. The age of six is too early to know if there was any genuineness behind what he was “supposed” to say, vs. if the kid was simply expected to regurgitate what he was given by an adult. 

Who was the speech really designed for?

If he would have gone on to recite the Lord’s Prayer or said or did something else that would have reflected more favorably to his family’s peers on how well they were raising him, I think this would’ve turned out differently. But because it was embarrassing to the family and the church in some way, the kid had to get a spanking?

I’m against corporal punishment and I think the takeaway should be for the adults to let kids come to this thing in their own time if at all, and not force them, but unfortunately, I don’t think that’s what most people are taking away from this.

My guess (and fear) would be that the adults feel justified and the boy is learning (through fear and punishment) to stick to the script.

Ubuntu,

From Aspiring Humanitarian, Relando Thompkins-Jones


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I'm a Social Justice Educator and Aspiring Humanitarian who is interested in conflict resolution, improving intergroup relations, and building more equitable and inclusive communities. "Notes from an Aspiring Humanitarian" is my blog, where I write about issues of diversity, inclusion, equity, and social justice. By exploring social identities through written word, film & video, and other forms of media, I hope to continue to expand and enrich conversations about social issues that face our society, and to find ways to take social action while encouraging others to do so as well in their own ways.

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