In A Nutshell
Christianity comes in many different styles and flavors. For every regular Catholic household, there’s another full of snake handlers. For every Protestant Church there’s a Fred Phelps, railing against the universe. But perhaps no single sect is as strange as Christian Domestic Discipline (CDD). A form of S&M, its adherents genuinely believe that spanking and domination brings them closer to God—and they’ve got the Biblical texts to prove it.
The Whole Bushel
Thanks to being between 4,000 and 2,000 years old, the Bible has a slightly unenlightened view of women. Parts of the books of Genesis, Ephesians, Proverbs, and Acts can all be interpreted to state that a woman’s place is to silently obey her husband, who has God’s authority to punish her for breaking domestic rules.
Most modern Christians happily ignore these sections, filing them alongside the parts forbidding them to eat shellfish or advocating public stoning as passages no longer relevant to real life. But practitioners of Christian Domestic Discipline (CDD) believe differently. They believe that these sections are the most important parts of the Bible, and that by punishing their wives, husbands bring a couple closer to God . . . provided the punishment involves one heck of a lot of spanking.
Yep: spanking. Although technically done in God’s name, CDD turns out to have a lot more in common with Fifty Shades than anything Pope Francis might recognize. Husbands lay a set of arbitrary rules then devise often-sexual punishments for wives who break them, ranging from the aforementioned spanking to naked humiliation. According to a report in the Daily Beast, husbands are also known to give their wives a “maintenance spanking”—a process whereby well-behaved wives are spanked seemingly for the hell of it.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, such kinky worship is deeply controversial: Although most couples seem to be consenting, the Daily Beast found a worrying number of women who appear to be trapped in abusive relationships, unable to leave their “Godly” tormentors. When we looked through a couple of CDD websites (linked below) we found a truly disturbing amount of words being used to justify hitting wives who begged not to be punished.
Between a couple of consenting Christians, CDD may well be a harmless bit of fun—if one based on a faulty interpretation of the Bible. As a general lifestyle choice . . . well, let’s just say we won’t be signing up anytime soon.
Show Me The Proof
Christian Domestic Discipline: Nonconsensual Consent
Daily Beast: Spanking for Jesus: Inside the Unholy World of ‘Christian Domestic Discipline’
Huffington Post: Christian Domestic Discipline Promotes Spanking Wives To Maintain Biblical Marriage