LONDON – British lawmakers will vote Tuesday on whether parents should be banned from smacking their children, an emotive issue that has caused rumblings of dissent in Prime Minister Tony Blair’s governing Labour Party.
The government is opposed to an outright ban, and says parents should be allowed to exercise “reasonable chastisement.” A number of Labour lawmakers, however, are unhappy with legislation before the House of Commons, and are calling for any form of physical punishment to be outlawed.
The government’s plans to tighten the existing law, but still allow moderate smacking, are unlikely to be scuppered, however.
Britain is out of step on the issue with several European countries, including Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark and Austria, where all physical punishment of children is illegal.
Do not hesitate to discipline a child. If you spank him, he will not die. Spank him yourself, and you will save his soul from hell. (Proverbs 23:13-14, God’s Word translation)