Hi guys! It's so very kind of so many of you here at TOL to stand up for me. Let me give a few details that might clarify my conviction for child abuse:
: It was widely reported that there was "broken skin" which would make even me conclude that I would have been guilty of child abuse, and that I had crossed the line of loving discipline. However, the police, who were on the scene literally just a few minutes after the spanking, did not bring our stepson to a clinic; there was no bandaging required, no ointment recommended, no blood, no band-aid, no treatment whatsoever. The "broken skin" referred to by those who despise me was a claim that resulted from a police photographer enlarging a small red mark to an oversized print; and if they enlarged a photo of my fingers right now did so with any mark, or even with my fingers right now as I type right now, they'd find the same "broken skin."
: I spanked my stepson five times on the backside because of blatant disobedience and I left three red welts. This spanking was similar to how my dad spanked, and how we've spanked all of our boys, all of whom love us, as we so dearly love them. (We spank as the Bible teaches parents to spank their kids, and as does Dr. Dobson's original Dare to Discipline book and Michael and Debbi Pearl's Train up a Child.) I asked Cheryl for a belt instead of using my heavier one. Hers was not a cotton belt as has been said by some friends, but was sufficient to inflict a proper spanking, and I gave him five swats on the backside which left three red welts which were photographed by the police within about 15 minutes of the spanking. (Yes there was child abuse, but it was by the police showing pictures of a young boy's buttocks and allowing perverts to copy the court file.)
: Yes, when I spanked "______" he was not my stepson at the time of the spanking. I was having dinner with Cheryl and her boys, getting to know them better in the days just prior to us getting married. I don't recall the fact that he was not yet my stepson being significant in any of the trials we had about the spanking. Sadly, Colorado law couldn't care less whether people raising kids are even married. I haven't checked but I don't think Colorado law gives special authority to step-parents that is not available to those who are only engaged, so I don't know how this could be a "KEY" factor as "Peter" here at TOL has claimed. Even baby-sitters and teachers could spank kids, but the law indicates if there is an injury (pain, etc.) then it is child abuse. Cheryl and I decided immediately that we wouldn't use her son's name when talking about the spanking, and so when discussing the spanking, "I spanked my stepson."
: It was alleged here on TOL by a Christian whose friendship I have enjoyed that I've tried to "cover-up" that I went to jail for this conviction. The whole episode played out over many months on live TV, radio, in the newspapers, and even with me going repeatedly on ABC's Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher. I'm sure my talk with "Peter" over lunch was the same as a hundred other similar conversations and trusting him I think he would agree with this account (I believe others were listening). I'm sure that after being critical of incarceration, such as by describing jail as time out
for adults that is an ineffective deterrent (1 in 100 in Jail
), I said, "I've spent six months in jail," and when Peter looked interested, I would have added smiling, "not for DUIs" but "for defending Christian family values." That's a catch phrase I use when I mention in passing my convictions for: Operation Rescue work, child discipline, leafleting in a shopping center parking lot as per U.S. & Colorado Supreme Court rulings. If I am going to brag, it should be only in the Lord, and in my own infirmities, so I jokingly brag about my incarceration and don't hesitate to talk about spanking my stepson. There is no possibility that Peter is correct that I stated that I "only served jail time for an Operation Rescue trial" and "NEVER" for any other reason. That would have been an absurd lie.
: Regarding Denver's alternative newspaper, the anti-Christian Westword, asking me about the big money I made from publicity on the spanking trials, I'll share with you a detail that's not as well known. But first, sometimes I "answer a fool according to his folly," (Prov. 26:5) and I realize that sarcasm will often go over people's heads, but that doesn't mean that it is never warranted. I seem to recall that my spanking sentence was 120 days. I had a wonderful time in jail ministering to desperately miserable people and even helping to lead one emboldened child molester to the Lord (jail house conversions are often fake of course). On April 20th, the other inmates and I noticed that the mobile Command Center pulled out of the parking lot, and within minutes we saw the Columbine TV coverage, and a few days later I first met Brian Rohrbough and Lisa (months later I had the awesome honor of performing their wedding) as we talked on a telephone through a security glass. Also, the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department only allows inmates to make something like 400 minutes of long-distance calls per week and 240 minutes of local calls, so while that might have crimped my style, I did manage to do some live shows and we recorded our now classic James and Jude
Bible study album from jail. So, just as from the Bible days, I had great ministry opportunity in jail but at the same time, I terribly missed my wife and children and of course Cheryl wanted her husband home because jail as a punishment is far more difficult on the wife and kids who have to keep on with the workload of normal life. The incarcerated husband is entertained most of the day with TV and movies, playing cards, gambling, sleeps, eats, and playing foosball (yes, foosball), ping pong, handball, basketball, etc. (God authorizes only three kinds of criminal punishments, restitution, corporal, and capital punishment). But with my high-profile case, we thought it likely that Sheriff John Stone (who we've rebuked widely after Columbine exposed his wickedness
) might attempt to deny me normal "time off for good behavior." So to manipulate Stone, Cheryl and I staged a make-believe conversation. And it was clockwork. I said to her from the phone in the inmates' dayroom, "Oh, we're taking in how much a day? Wow! That much? Well, I'll only be in here another few weeks, but hopefully the money will keep coming in after I'm released." The inmates then asked me what that was about, and I told them we're taking in over $1,000 a day since I'd been incarcerated. That was it. They told the guard at the desk. He told the sergeant. He told the sheriff. Two days later, the Rocky Mountain News ran a story that Sheriff John Stone was proposing that the county charge inmates for room and board, and when he was asked in the story, "Aren't most inmates broke," he answered, "Yes, but we have one in jail right now
who is wealthy." Ha. My stepson's dad is a lieutenant in JeffCo. When the Westwood reporter brought up the issue, I just got a kick out of it, and played it up. Answer a fool according to his folly.
Again, thanks to my friends at TOL for your kindness!