There is a man named David Hughes who has shared a picture on Facebook that has gone viral. Judging by the comments, it is only going to gain in popularity. I am sure that Mr. Hughes is a nice man, with strong values and this post isn't about him. I simply wanted to give him credit.

Recently there was another viral video that went around facebook. You can watch it at the end of this post. Warning: NSFW language.drugkids.jpg

I hate these types of things. I understand them, but I hate them.

I detest the picture (seen above) because it perpetuates the myth that violence is the only way we can shape our children. This is wrong. It also perpetuates the lie that 20 years ago, or 30 or 40 or however many ago, you were "drug" around there wasn't a drug problem. Kids were all well behaved. They certainly were not like kids today! Champaign fell from the heavens, stars burst into firework displays, flowers burst forth from the ground as everyone walked to church and wholesomeness. The reason for this social Utopia? Well, because we could beat our kids if we needed to do so, of course!

Can I use a good country term for a minute? Hogwash!

We have enough violence for children today. Here are some sobering statistics:


  • A report of child abuse is made every ten seconds
  • More than five children die every day as a result of child abuse.
  • Approximately 80% of children that die from abuse are under the age of 4.
  • It is estimated that between 50-60% of child fatalities due to maltreatment are not recorded as such on death certificates.More than 90% of juvenile sexual abuse victims know their perpetrator in some way.
  • Child abuse occurs at every socioeconomic level, across ethnic and cultural lines, within all religions and at all levels of education.
  • About 30% of abused and neglected children will later abuse their own children, continuing the horrible cycle of abuse.
  • About 80% of 21 year olds that were abused as children met criteria for at least one psychological disorder.

All of these numbers are taken from the web-page,   


  • Five children die everyday in America from abuse
  • Abused children are 25% more likely to experience teen pregnancy

We have enough violence. We don't need more. We don't need to drag anyone. Does anyone remember the seventies and eighties? We had drug problems then too. We had kids out of control then too. Mostly because society didn't want to do the hard work of actually parenting. Do we need to discipline our kids? Of course. I'm not advocating for some type of free for all, do what you want world.

But, I am advocating for…no I am begging for people to stop glorifying violence and shame as a necessary means of discipline. That's my problem with the video below. He's trying to shame his child into a better way of living. He's throwing a temper tantrum. He's saying, "You hurt me, you shamed me so I'm going to repay your evil with evil of my own and it's OK because I'm the Dad." That's wrong.

Let me be clear, I am not against him shooting up the computer. He's an adult (despite his infant like temper tantrum) and he seems to be more than capable with the gun. I have no problem with that. He owns the computer (I assume) and he can do with it as he sees fit. He can take it from her and set if on fire for all that I care. But, and this is important, he crossed a simple line when he made it into a video so he could shame her. His actions demonstrate that he is more interested in humiliating her than he is in actually teaching her.

Let me also say that I don't know this family but I wonder where he thinks she got her values (remember our children learn the values we live, not the ones we speak). I wonder why he thinks he can't get up and get his own coffee or clean up the mud that he drags into the house. He laments her cursing as he curses throughout the entire post.

What really bugs me about this post is that my friends who claim to be followers of Christ think this is a good idea. They hold this video up as some sort of parenting virtue. When God wrote don't repay evil with evil, He either meant it or he didn't.

Was this girl wrong? Yes. Was he wrong too? Yes. There must be a better way to raise children. He's teaching that it's OK to be disrespectful if you are the one in authority. It's OK to be a jerk if have the power. This is wrong. It goes against the way of Jesus and it goes against effective parenting. Her wrong doesn't make his wrong right.



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  1. This reminds me of an article I read in the Indy star this Sunday. Actually made me cry. There was a 9 year old boy that was killed by his mom and her boyfriend b/c they supposedly thought he took some of their drugs. They beat him for 18 hours. I can even begin to comprehend that. (I do think it is important to realize that there is a difference between this kind of behavior and loving discipline, which is what I experienced growing up.)

  2. Joe, you have quite a few punctuation and editing mistakes. Just an FYI if you want to clean it up.

  3. Hi Christian,
    I just ran it through two different editing programs and there was only issues of style. It’s not really a formal paper and since the software isn’t catching it…
    I found a software that actually is catching it so the gross ones should be rectified. 🙂

  4. Very well put Joe.
    That video grieves me because it grossly misrepresents what a father should be as a guide and at times perhaps a disciplinarian. Apparently a lot of people don’t see the problem, many of them seem to currently have teenage kids in the house!
    Conversely, I actually appreciated much of the “drug to church” clip, in hindsight. Having spent my formative years in that sort of culture, I resented it greatly at the time and was pretty aware of the imperfections of a disciplinarian, legalistic environment. 20 years (and a lot of processing) later, I appreciate that at least there was some element of respect for authority (and respect for God) that was drilled down pretty deep. Yes it often emphasized the “severity” side of God more than the “kindness” side, however I’m glad they tried.
    My point (about the newspaper clip, not this confused father video) is that our culture seems to be so lacking in principles and convictions (not mean-spirited slogans, but real character) that I do appreciate the people who tried imperfectly to steer me in the right direction. We need a lot of principled love right now in our world!

  5. Thanks for posting, Joe. When I saw this video it really disturbed me. And it wasn’t just the content of the video that disturbed me, but as you mentioned, the fact that certain people were applauding it. Yes, what the daughter did was wrong and needed to be punished, but to humiliate her like that is absolutely out of line. Like you said, I don’t have a problem with him shooting the computer. But to do so in a way that was intended primarily to embarrass his daughter publicly was horrible.
    When I was in elementary school a kid on my bus got in trouble for something he did, I can’t even remember what. Apparently it distracted the driver and thus was potentially dangerous. He got kicked off the bus for a few days. The day he was allowed back on the bus, when we picked him up his dad was waiting at the stop with him and before the kid got on, his dad spanked him pretty bad in front of everyone. I’m pretty sure that all of us on the bus were very disturbed by it. We all felt bad for the kid. Whatever message he was trying to send, we didn’t get it. We only got that he was a terrifying parent.
    I felt the same way about the video of the guy shooting the computer. I can’t imagine that his daughter will learn anything valuable from the experience – only anger toward her father.

  6. Hi Nate,
    Thanks for the response. I really see the video and the newspaper article as one and the same. Pragmatic parenting because it’s better than nothing.
    I also agree with you that our society would benefit a little more by utilizing some principles and values.

  7. My parents’ generation also brags about not using car seats….um…yeah. Thanks for speaking up about this. I appreciate the way you handled it.

  8. Hi Amelia,
    I used to work for a guy who would always lament about how we “just needed to get back to life as it was before the sixties! Wouldn’t be great if we could just go back to the fifties.”
    I’d always reply with, “Wouldn’t be too good for my black friends.”
    That might be a good post… 🙂

  9. example

    Shoot a computer, shame your daughter and drag kids around so they can really learn: or other ways to stupidly parent – Joe Martino

  10. That would definitely make an interesting post! I refuse to rant about how much worse the world is now than XYZ era. I believe God ordained me to live in this time and to parent these children in this era, and that He gives us the strength and wisdom we need to raise up the next generation.

  11. That’s a great way to look at things.
    1) I think it’s natural for us to look at our past & upbringing with rose-colored glasses (e.g. I turned out okay so the way I was raised must have been best), but that doesn’t mean that our way was the most valid option, or that other methods couldn’t work just as well if not better.
    2) What evidence is there that things really were better in XYZ era? Isn’t it possible that many of the issues we’re all aware of today were very present then too, but just more concealed or swept under the rug? Did people REALLY not abuse drugs & alcohol or have sex before marriage back then? Were there really no homosexuals or others who embraced non-traditional lifestyles? Did everyone really go to church every Sunday and live out Biblical values all week long? Were all kids really 100% respectful to parents at all times? I doubt it.
    3) There are plenty of things about our world today that I’d take in a heartbeat over what was available in the 50’s. To name a few: the Internet (instant access to limitless information is an priceless tool), greater racial and gender equality (we’re not there yet, but we’re a lot farther along than in the 50’s), FAR greater medical advancements (MANY diseases that are easily treatable today were automatic death sentences back then). And the list goes on…

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