Letters — 12 March 2010 — by Paul Rodriguez
March 10, 2010
I cannot support the “no corporal punishment” rule, because it is repugnant to my understanding of human rights. This conviction has been derived from assiduous study of the Belize Constitution, which is based on Judaeo–Christian principles, especially in its concept of what the human person truly is.
This idea is that the human person is a being made of a material body that is infused and animated by a spiritual, immortal soul. The Preamble of the Constitution tells us that we are beings created by Almighty God.
As Ombudsman, when I traveled abroad I was regarded as the guardian of human rights in Belize. This was true, especially in Central America and in the Caribbean.
As a faithful disciple of our Constitution, in discussions on sexual and reproductive rights, I made my position absolutely clear: I could never in good conscience support or propagate the pro-choice position. It, in essence, advocates the murder of the most innocent victims – the unborn human person in its mother’s womb. This slaughter of the innocent is based on a misunderstanding of the true nature of the human person, whose life, in the image and likeness of Almighty God, begins when sperm meets egg.
As to the initiative to abolish corporal punishment, it is based on misconceptions. First, it fails to adequately acknowledge that every right has its concomitant duty and responsibility. Even in the case of children, this principle applies. Parents and teachers and all who have authority over them share the responsibility of teaching this societal obligation to children.
Secondly, those who believe that children may be fashioned at all times and in all places into the good models of good citizenship by gentle, sweet persuasion only, do not seem to understand that man’s nature is corruptible. This is why man’s law, to be effective, must carry sanctions that are feared.
Without fearful penalty, or desired reward, law is useless to discipline men and women, whose nature will never change to make the social engineering by the United Nations look good and true.
Certainly, I am most intolerant of any abusiveness against children, or any human being, for that matter. But, some of the most outstanding, wholesome humans I know have told me that they were properly thrashed as children by loving, admired and beloved parents. They all thought that the corporal punishment did them good.
I find it most troublesome and disturbing, and I cannot support a rule whose conceptualization is so lacking in the correct understanding of basic Judeao–Christian principles.
You don’t have to strain your imagination to see what will happen to our country if this foreign initiative of “no corporal punishment” is enforced. Pretty soon, a generation will emerge that will proclaim, by its actions, that crime does pay, because they will have grown up not having experienced that breaking the rules may be sanctioned by painful punishment.
We will never raise a world champion in any sport, because pain will be an unknown, ignored idea and reality. What’s the motto of most champions? No pain, no gain.
In my struggling adventure into the life of moral excellence, I’ve learned that the sport champion’s motto is the same in the spiritual and intellectual life of men. No pain, no gain: one achieves virtue through discipline, pain, and suffering. It is as simple as that!
Unfortunately, the international agencies that promote pro-choice and no corporal punishment seem to have no regard or knowledge of man’s true nature.
(Signed) Paul Rodriguez
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