What happens when you combine Fifty Shades of Grey with fundamentalist Christianity? “Spanking for Jesus” — or a movement known as Christian Domestic Discipline. The alternative lifestyle fell into the media spotlight on Wednesday thanks to The Daily Beast and Jezebel.
Both publications detailed the household arrangement, in which men dominate women using divinely-approved spankings. It sounds like a crude parody, but The Daily Beast estimates that thousands of couples have actually embraced the Christian Domestic Discipline way of life.
Two websites devoted to Christian Domestic Discipline both emphasize the absolute power of a husband over his wife, a situation that is purportedly supported by biblical teachings.
ChristianDomesticDiscipline.net defines the unusual relationship as a marriage “set up according to the guidelines set forth in the Holy Bible, meaning the husband has authority over his wife within the bounds of God’s Word and enforces that authority, if need be, through discipline including but not limited to spanking.”
ChristianDomesticDiscipline.com, on the other hand, defines the relationship as “simply a traditional, male-led, Christian marriage” in which “one partner is given authority over the other, and has the means to back up that authority, usually by spanking.”
A Beginning Domestic Discipline “Beginner’s Packet” reported on by Jezebel instructs husbands on how to best manipulate their wives using psychological tricks and corporeal punishment. The manipulation tactics range from taking away privileges like “going out with friends” to bare-bottomed spankings with a wooden paddle.
Surprisingly, many women seem to willingly enter into the Domestic Discipline lifestyle and approve of it. Those involved deny the punishments are domestic abuse.
“Most of the women who write about their CDD experiences online are not complaining,” Toronto-based writer Laura Rubino, who accidentally stumbled upon the practice earlier this month, noted. “Many of them report feeling extremely calm and relaxed after being disciplined, and believe it is an expression of their husband caring about them and their marriage, enough to help them modify their behaviour.”
Experts, however, view the household arrangement as little more than the symptom of disturbed minds. Forensic psychologist Jim Alsdurf told The Daily Beast that Christian Domestic Discipline appeared to be more of an unhealthy and distorted way to fulfill a suppressed sexual desire than a religious lifestyle.
“No fool in his right mind would buy this as a legitimate way to have a relationship,” Alsdurf said. “A relationship that infantilizes a woman is one that clearly draws a more pathological group of people.”
Eric W. Dolan has served as an editor for Raw Story since August 2010,
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