Yes, apparently these people do exist, and they will describe spanking a child as assault. Spanking is a horrible practice that that only lazy parents do because you should reason with your children. It’s assault and there’s no excuse.
Anti-spanking advocates make no distinction between a swat on the rear end, and a beating. Well, verbally they make the distinction, but not in any practical terms — hence the term assault. “If you physically discipline your child in a way that would be legally assault if you did it to me or any other adult- then you have assaulted your child.” they say. This of course omits certain realities: 1) You have certain authority over your children by virtue of being their parent that you have over no stranger. And, 2) children at which age spanking is appropriate do not have the ability to reason beyond nodding and repeating back to you what you want them to say.
There are obvious limits to when spanking is a reasonable response and how the spanking is administered. That some parents overstep how and when spanking should be done doesn’t negate the benefits of the practice all together.
In many jurisdictions spanking doesn’t meet the legal definition of assault- but it fulfills every characteristic of “assault” that we would apply to the agreed use of the word. The only thing that changes “reasonable discipline” to “assault” is the relationship of the victim to his/her attacker and not being old enough to have a reasonable right to personal security.
This line of reasoning fails to be compelling as it regards abortion to someone who is anti-spanking and pro-choice (I mention this because the blog author is pro-choice, and I find that many, if not most, anti-spanking advocates are also pro-choice). You see, it doesn’t matter that from the moment of conception, the fertilized egg is a complete, but not fully mature, live human being even though the term “murder” would apply to every case of elective abortion. It fulfills every characteristic of “murder”: Elective abortion intentionally takes the life of a guiltless human being without proper justification. The only thing that changes is that the mother commissions a medical professional to carry out the killing.
I find the pro-choice but anti-spanking view to be ethically inconsistent. On the one hand it is morally reprehensible to spank your child and yet morally justified to take that child’s life so long as it hasn’t passed through the birth canal.
What is it about being a parent that allows you to be justified in doing something that is assault if you do it to anybody else? What is it about the legal definition of “parent” that absolves you of wrongdoing if you spank YOUR child, as opposed to SOMEBODY ELSE’S child?
What is it about being a parent that allows you to be justified in doing something that is murder if you do it to anybody else? What is it about the legal definition of “parent” that absolves you of wrongdoing if you kill YOUR [pre-born] child, as opposed to SOMEBODY ELSE’S [pre-born] child?
On a side note, the same person who said this in a discussion via social media on the subject (not the author of the blog post quoted above):
(I would assert that the child who is killed through abortion is infinitely worse off than if they were allowed to be born and then spanked, and I’m not even a “licensed child social worker”)
They also said this:
Why yes, that is a logical fallacy.
But don’t worry, they’re totally open-minded: