Most children are grateful for smacking which is a god-given right, the Scottish Parliament has been told.

MSPs are taking evidence on whether to change the law on physical punishment, which is currently legal in Scotland.

‘It is a means which has been given to them by God and the state has no right to remove it from them,’ the Presbytery of the Outer Hebrides of the Free Church of Scotland (Continuing) said in written evidence.

File photo dated 15/04/00 of a young child holding an anti-smacking placard. Church of Scotland leaders have said God would support a ban on smacking children. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Friday March 15, 2019. aith groups will give evidence to the Scottish Parliament's Equalities and Human Rights Committee on Thursday about the proposed Bill, which was introduced last September by John Finnie MSP. See PA story SCOTLAND Smacking. Photo credit should read: Rebecca Naden/PA Wire

A young child holds an anti-smacking placard (Picture: PA)

‘The absence of proper discipline in the home and in the school has been responsible in part for the lack of respect for authority in society.’

People were invited to make submissions ahead of a review of the law.

The Kirk (the Church of Scotland) has come out in support of a ban saying it is what God would want.

However, some smaller faith groups have given evidence that they should be able to smack children.

‘Most children who have come to adulthood are very grateful to their parents for correcting them when they did wrong, and even for the physical chastisement they received when it was necessary,’ the Presbytery continued.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon arrives ahead of First Minister's Questions at the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday November 22, 2018. See PA story SCOTLAND Questions. Photo credit should read: Jane Barlow/PA Wire

The Scottish Parliament could ban smacking (Picture; PA)

The Christian Institute, the Evangelical Alliance and the Free Church of Scotland also opposed banning smacking.

‘Without this as an option for parents, society will suffer negative consequences as a result of unruly children not having learned the proper boundaries of behaviour or the difference between right and wrong,’ the Free Church of Scotland (Continuing) Southern Presbytery said.

They added it was ‘beyond doubt’ that the Bible encouraged smacking as part of responsible parenting.

Faith groups will give evidence on Thursday about the proposed Bill, which was introduced last September by John Finnie MSP.

Rev Peter Nimmo said Christianity would support a ban on physical punishment of children.

General Assembly of The Church of Scotland 2015; Friday 22nd of May 2015: Rev Peter Nimmo from Inverness @Churchscovoices

Rev Peter Nimmo supports the ban (Picture: Andrew O’Brien)

‘Our primary example is Jesus, who consistently challenged violence and highlighted that children were central to the world he called us to create,’ he said.

Mairi Campbell-Jack, a Quaker, will also welcome a change in the law when she speaks to the committee.

She will say: ‘Quakers believe that non-violence is something that needs practice throughout a lifetime, and that the grounding for a non-violent life starts in childhood.’

There is broad support for the Bill by religious and faith organisations including Children 1st, Barnardo’s Scotland and NSPCC Scotland.

If passed, the the Children (Equal Protection from Assault) Bill’ would remove the defence of ‘justifiable assault’ in Scots law, which allows parents to use physical punishment on children.



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