01/07/2013 13:19 BST | Updated 31/08/2013 06:12 BST

Christian Domestic Discipline: Spanking in the Name of the Lord


by Luke Hurst

Ever thought a marriage set strictly within the boundaries of Christian scripture sounded a bit dry? Think again. Christian Domestic Discipline (CDD) is the practice of ensuring a Christian relationship is being conducted exactly the way God demands in the scripture: namely through a husband spanking his wife's naked posterior when she gets unruly.

When you can get the image of Ned and Maude Flanders in a compromising position out of your dirty little mind, it is important to note that CDD is apparently quite the craze within the Bible-bashing community. But what is it? Is it a form of BDSM? A bit of kinky fun in the name of God? Or is there something a bit more sinister going on here?

Websites and forums abound, teaching you how to spank your wife in a controlled manner, with huge numbers of articles on the hows and the whys, aimed at both the plank-wielding husband, and the wife with the sore behind. The first thing to note is that the spanking is done solely by the man. Women are expected to take their 'punishment' and learn to be totally submissive to the man of the household, who is merely trying to correct her behaviour in the eyes of God.

Whilst this sounds somewhat abusive, it is supposedly framed in a context of Christian love, and perhaps naturally, sex (although this is not generally specifically promoted in the literature). The spanker should never act in anger, according to this guide for beginners, and especially given the bulk of spankees blogging about their positive experience with CDD, it is supposed to be strictly consensual.

Broadly speaking this kind of 'domestic discipline' is obviously not only limited to Christian couples. The Christian framework that explains the practice does however mean that the vast majority of those involved will be highly religious. Some of the Good Book's greatest misogynistic hits adorn the CDD guides such as: "Ephesians 5:21-27 - Be in subjection to one another in reverence for Christ; wives, to your own husbands, as to the Lord, our Owner. For a husband is lord and master of the wife, in the exact same manner as Christ likewise is Lord and Master of the Church." And the spanking is reasoned with nuggets of old school wisdom such as: "Proverbs 26:3 - A whip is for the horse, a bridle for the donkey, and a rod for the back of fools."

It all sounds pretty worrying. Are these women being subjected to cruelty? The idea of a woman being totally submissive to the "lord and master of the wife" and being subjected to physical discipline as a punishment tool sounds downright wrong to a secular observer. However, the problem with trying to understand it from a secular point of view is that if the spankees truly are hard-core believers in the word of the Bible, they may very well see the practice as a healthy and even necessary means of conducting a Christian marriage in the eyes of God. They may be completely happy to subject themselves to their husband's will, in the same way that a Muslim lady might have no qualms with spending her whole public life under the veil of the Niqab.

Or perhaps it's just Christians trying to find a way to act out a pretty standard modern day fetish without wanting to appear to be giving in to their wilder, more perverted impulses. After all, the guides really delve into the minutiae of Christian scripture with regards to the relationship between husband and wife. It looks like an attempt to justify some kinky bare-bottomed spanking to Jesus, whereas secular folk who are that way inclined would just do it because they wanted to.

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