By: Robin Murray-o'hair
Re: "Terrorism at Home" Menaces Kids
"TERRORISM AT HOME" MENACES CHILDREN
by Conrad F. Goeringer
What kills far more kids in a single year than the
Oklahoma City bombing? Or house fires? Or falls, drownings,
even car accidents?
Before President Clinton calls out the army and beefs up
the FBI with another 1,000 agents, he might want to look at a
report issued Wednesday (4/27) from the U.S. Advisory Board on
Child Abuse and Neglect, which reported that violence in the home
leads to the deaths of more babies and young children than all of
the above calamities. And dying at the hands of enraged parents
is as much of a threat to kids, as gang-warfare and streetside
gunfire is to teens.
At least 2,000 children die every year because of abuse or
neglect. Another 18,000 children are disabled, and 142,000
sustain serious physical injuries. The vast majority of the
victims are age 4 or younger.
Yet everyone from the Clinton administration to the
churches is praising the role of the "nuclear family" in ending
violence in the society. While there is some correlation between
dysfunctional families and teen violence -- or the absence of a
father -- most physical abuse fatalities against young children
are committed by "men who are enraged or under extreme stress."
Does 'Bible Discipline' Play a Role?
Not stressed in the Board's report, but of growing
concern to many is the rise in so-called "Bible discipline" which
calls for physical punishment, isolation and religious
regimentation directed against children or youngsters who
"transgress." In fact, the majority of cases involving so-called
"ritual child abuse" have been linked to fundamentalist sects.
Authorities have been loathe to intervene in such cases, though,
because of cries of "religious persecution." "Bible Discipline"
is a popular topic in the fundamentalist lecture circuit, and
religious bookstores carry a range of materials giving advice on