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Faith Leaders Against Christian Domestic Discipline

Jul 02, 2013 — Categories:

A statement from faith leaders in opposition to violent behaviors masked by religious language, as exemplified by Christian Domestic Discipline. Show your support by signing on to the statement. Let's stand together to end violence in our homes, our neighborhoods, and our faith communities.

Faith Leaders Against Christian Domestic Discipline

As faith leaders concerned with issues of violence and abuse, we stand against belief systems that use religious language and misuse religious texts in order to justify harmful behavior. Christian Domestic Disciple (CDD) is an example of one of these belief systems and we believe that these kinds of behaviors have no place in Christian marriages, or in any intimate relationship.

We support healthy and equitable relationships that practice informed consent, demonstrate mutual respect, and allow each person to exercise and be supported in their autonomy. The dynamic created by the CDD “lifestyle” is one of power and control where the husband acts as “Head of Household” and exercises total control and authority over the wife’s daily activities and decisions, enforcing strict “rules” that, if broken, result in corporeal punishment. In order to maintain control, the husband claims the rights to take away certain “privileges” such as the ability to see friends, use the internet, or watch television. In comparing these behaviors to those often associated with domestic violence, it is difficult to distinguish one from the other.

Every individual deserves respect in their relationships and the ability to live without fear and coercion in their home, community, and place of worship. We urge faith leaders, advocates, and community leaders and members to stand against violence in all its forms, especially when it is masked by religious language or cultural norms.

We suggest using the resources below to access training, technical assistance and continuing education to improve your community’s understanding, response, and prevention of domestic abuse.


National Online Resource Center on Violence Against Women

FaithTrust Institute


Show your support by signing your name and organization/affiliation in the comment section below. Note that comments will not appear until they are approved by the moderator.

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Posted by Marvin Eckfeldt at Jul 02, 2013 08:12 PM
Please sign my name as a protest to this outlandish, crazy and destructive idea of "Christian Domestic Discipline". What a ruse to cover deep unresolved issues in both a wife and husband to participate!


Posted by Passtor Dawn Gregg at Jul 02, 2013 08:53 PM
I hope this is how I get my name added.

protest idea of "Christian Domestic Discipline

Posted by Janet Spiese at Jul 03, 2013 01:55 AM
This is truely disturbing, but not surprising!

CDD Warp

Posted by Shirley Fessel at Jul 17, 2013 12:28 PM
Amazing how the Biblical interpretation warps into whatever form will still allow male dominance to be promoted as Divine Will, and usually among those who insist on "literal" views. They must be very threatened by the idea of an equal partnership to continue to propose these convoluted attempts to avoid responsibility for obeying the gospel of compassion, justice, and equality, all in the name of "love". What is so threatening? Only the idea that God is exclusively male. Until there is an understanding that Christ's message of equality and compassion was only tacked on to the Old Testament's legacy of hatred and violence sanctioned as God's will, this practice will continue. The delight in vindictive punishment as God's way must pass because as long as that is the standard, there will be a scapegoat - women. "Submissive" wives, please wake up and stop colluding with your own degradation.

Petition to end CDD.

Posted by Bonnie Antonich at Jul 17, 2013 12:29 PM
My husband & I facilitate a faith based program for men called "Changing Men Changing Lives." We are affiliated with the "Duluth Model" also known as "Domestic Abuse Intervention Project". We were both appalled at hearing some of the scuttlebutt on the Internet recently re:CDD!!!! This couldn't be further from Jesus intention for His people!! One more excuse to be violent & call it "holy"...?!?!
Were so grateful for organizations like CBE who stand on behalf of the oppressed in so many tangible ways!!! Thank you for all your wonderful articles re these issues!!


Posted by Rev. Al Miles at Jul 17, 2013 12:29 PM
To the men who adhere to "Christian Domestic Disciplne:" Drop the coded language and call this evil practice what it is-- "Another ruse designed solely to promote male entitlement and male privilege and to propagate male domestic and sexual violence against women!" Thank you.
Rev. Al Miles
Honolulu, Hawaii


Posted by Lisa Osborne at Aug 26, 2013 02:40 PM
I am so glad I found your petition against Christian Domestic Discipline. I am horrified by the posts I read on the subject.

CDD Petition

Posted by Gale at Jul 03, 2013 01:56 AM
People misunderstand Christianity. Educate instead of getting mad.

Christian Domestic Discipline

Posted by Debbie Michels at Jul 03, 2013 01:57 AM
What happened to "In Christ there is no male or female"? I think this kind of "one-up, one-down" way of managing a relationship is the end of genuine spirituality. In my experience, the Holy Spirit tends not to be felt when someone's ego lacks humility and modesty. Those on the receiving end of egos which go into being better-than or one-up may feel safe and protected in the beginning - by the set of rules or being told this is what God wants. But I believe grown women are likely to find this irksome and too limiting before too long. I think these attitudes also lead to jeopardizing children's sense of being precious and valuable just as they are - fallible, imperfect, and nonetheless good enough and worthy of love and respect. I hope we can pray that these "Christian Discipliners" become aware of the trauma they suffered as children and opt to make changes in their marriages and parenting, that will better reflect God's love for women and children - and men.

Domestic Discipline is Nothing Short of Domestic Violence

Posted by Elaine M. Jenkins at Jul 03, 2013 01:57 AM
I will start by saying that I am a seminary student at Seattle University. I am also a counselor who has worked with children and families for 26 years and worked for eight years facilitating violence intervention groups for men who beat, strangled, and forced their partners to have sex--also known as rape. What I learned is that "the Bible says" is the last excuse an abuser will hold on to in justifying his abuse of the people he says he loves. Domestic Discipline goes against the principles of the Bible which advocates for treating all with dignity and respect.

Abuse by another name - CDD

Posted by Martha McAfee at Jul 03, 2013 01:57 AM
I am horrified to hear this. As an abuse survivor, I know how easily one can lose one's sense of self through the manipulation of another - and that was without any so-called "christian" sanction!

Christian Domestic Discipline

Posted by Adela Brent at Jul 03, 2013 01:58 AM
I want to add my name to the faith leaders' statement against CDD.
It is time to stop finding excuses for domestic violence and violence against women and children.

A thorn by any other name

Posted by Rob Keithan at Jul 03, 2013 01:55 PM
Domestic discipline has no more grounding in Scripture than slavery, and both are fundamentally at odds with Jesus' gospel of love, acceptance, and equality. If one follows Jesus' teachings--rather than a few isolated passages--the way to create a Christian household is by loving God and serving others.

Rev. Rob Keithan

Christian Domestic Discipline

Posted by Grace Terry at Jul 03, 2013 01:56 PM
Aghast, but somehow not so surprised...Heaven help us! My name is Grace Terry and I am the Founder and Servant Leader of Grief Recovery Resources of Tampa. I am also an advocate/ally for all who are underserved and/or underrepresented. Of course, that would include all victims of violence, who have all suffered tremendous losses and who are therefore bereaved and appropriate for bereavement care. Thank you Marie Fortune for all that you do to make a difference. Blessings, G~

No to 'christian' domestic discipline

Posted by Leslee at Jul 03, 2013 01:56 PM
I am sad this is even an issue. As Christian Educator and Ruling Elder in the PC(USA) I stand against this and for nurturing loving, mutual and equal relationships among all God's people.


Posted by Robert S. Owens at Jul 05, 2013 02:22 PM
"Christian" husbands are commanded in Ephesians 5 and I Peter 3 to love their wife as Christ loved His Church when He gave Himself up for her, to
love his wife as he loves his own body, to live considerately with his wife,
bestowing honor on her, not punishing her (abusing her), not threatening or intimidating her, not humiliating her, not being a curse but a blessing,
lest their prayers be hindered. If Christian husbands practicing so-called
Christian Domestic Discipline ever wonder why their prayers are not being answered, let them look at how they are treating their wives (I Peter 3:7)


Posted by Pat Barry at Jul 05, 2013 02:23 PM
Male Domination will never end unless we free women work towards it!

Domestic Violence

Posted by Molly Winner at Jul 05, 2013 02:23 PM
Thank you for bringing this subject into the light. I'm a Victim Advocate, and I see the same power and control tactics used over and over by abusers: Isolate the victim from family and friends, cut-off financial access, portray and loudly proclaim themselves as the victim instead of the abuser. Never does an abuser accept responsibility for their actions, and they use every available means and institutions to control and punish their victim, including religion. An abuser is an accomplished con artist, and yes, some of them go to church. No woman or man should feel afraid to disclose abuse to their spiritual leader, and this is such a great step toward that direction.

CDD - NO !

Posted by Rev. Roxanne K. Cottell at Jul 05, 2013 02:24 PM
God did not create one person to be more than another. We are equal. Without equality, we have nothing - no freedom of anything, but mostly, no personal freedom. CDD creates a Spirit within a marriage that is of "Parent/Child" nature and not one that is balanced and harmonious. This is wrong. Dr. Fortune, I support and will continue to support your work in the world, because I know what it is like to be the child to the parental husband in a marriage. We do not raise our daughters to be enslaved by anyone, and neither do we raise them to be the sacrificial lamb of the ignorant minority...RKC

Faith Leaders Against Christian Domestic Discipline Petition

Posted by Chapalin Connie Wilkinson at Jul 05, 2013 02:24 PM
As a survivor and advocate against domestic violence and abuse I stand firm on the true Word of God regarding marriage. This is absolutely unacceptable behavior!

Battered Not Broken Healing Ministry of Jesus Christ

Faith Leaders against CDD

Posted by Michelle Soto at Jul 05, 2013 02:25 PM
I believe your opening statement says it best: Some days it is just 'embarrassing' to be a Christian these days. To think that this type of ridiculousness is even given any credence in light of the prevalence of abuse against women and the awareness so many of us labor to bring to society today is mind boggling. Nevertheless, we strive even harder to break off the cycle and open the eyes and minds of those deceived.

against CDD

Posted by Michella at Jul 05, 2013 02:25 PM
It makes me sad to know that people are using the Bible in this way and that others aren't standing up and saying this is wrong and won't be accepted in Jesus's name.


Posted by The Rev. Susan Sprowls at Jul 05, 2013 04:33 PM
Troubling that they misinterpret and misuse Ephesians 5.Their way of doing so promotes abuse.

Early in the "West Wing' episode called, "War Games," there is a wonderful clarifying exchange between President and Mrs. Bartlet regarding the meaning of Ephesians 5. Their interpretation is spot on.

How sad - no surpises

Posted by Rev. Lester P Stano at Jul 08, 2013 03:42 PM
PLease add my name to the petition. As one who had worked and supported your work for many years it does not surpise me how we take waht we need to support our view, out of context in the Scriptures. As with many dv issues its heart breaking to see this power and control raise it ugly head again and again! Hmm -original sin?


Posted by Pastor Tammy Toepke-Floyd at Jul 08, 2013 03:43 PM
Please add my name in protest of the practice of "Christian" Dometic Discipline. The God I worship empowers all people - men, women, children alike - to love themselves and others. It must make God tremble in disgust and sadness to witness these marriages which take power from women - and I imagine children also - and leave a covenant without love - real, true love.


Posted by Mary Beth Tuttle at Jul 16, 2013 05:36 PM
Pastor, Holmesville Church of the Brethren. CDD is just another attempt by flawed humanity to create God in our own image.

No to CDD

Posted by Rev. Charmayne G. Davis at Jul 16, 2013 05:36 PM
This concept just makes me sick.

domestic violence & church

Posted by Betty Spraggins at Jul 17, 2013 12:28 PM
Ephesians 5:22 has been totally mis-understood in a way that give the man level of superiority over the wife which was never God's intention

Emily Hamilton, against Christian Domestic Discipline

Posted by Emily Hamilton at Jul 23, 2013 05:13 PM
As a seminarian and faithful Lutheran Christian, I sign my name in support of healthy relationships built on mutuality, informed consent, and autonomy of all parties.

Against the practice of CDD

Posted by Ellen Johanson at Aug 14, 2013 07:30 AM
Signing the petition against Christian Domestic Discipline (CDD) which is simply another form of Domestic Violence.

Against CDD

Posted by Ellen Stanton at Apr 20, 2015 12:47 PM
I can't believe any self respecting woman or man would fall for this nonsense. This is nothing more than horrifying abuse. Come on.
Hitting anyone 40 or more times and humiliating them afterwards is disgusting. Then telling the wife he loves her. Really? That type of love is a perversion of the word.