An unworthy Deacon, named for the brother of God: James, striving to "work out his salvation with fear and trembling" within the Tradition (paradosis) of the Eastern Orthodox Faith. It is a strange and marvelous journey, and I am accompanied by the fourfold fruit of my fecundity. My wife, the Matushka or Diaconissa Sophia, is my beloved partner in the pursuit of Theosis, and she ranks me in every way.
Boys forced to do physical act of penance. Story here.
I think this is indicative of much that is wrong with our society today. If you are my age, you can recall when schools had their own form of capitol punishment, but those days are long gone, clearly.
My son comes home complaining about something like this and I wouldn't be calling an attorney, I'd be telling him that being on his hands and knees and apologizing were the LEAST of his worries. Then I'd call the principal to thank him and suggest full prostrations.
Funny that literally hitting one's knees as an act of penance should feel altogether natural to an Orthodox teen.
I'd bet that the mother's objections have to do with matters of self-image, self-worth, and such, and that would be a very interesting place to start the dialogue with her.
The unspoken assumptions operative here are that humbling oneself before another "mere" human being is somehow inappropriate (others aren't really God's image-bearers, especially when they piss me off), that misconduct is not all that serious, and is to be expected as natural in any case (boys will be boys, we're "only" human, and the word "natural" is defined solely in terms of the fallen state of affairs), and that there need be no congruence between bodily posture and verbal expression (Gnosticism, actually, because it regards the material as irrelevant at best and evil at worst).
Good points Patrick...Gnosticism has really crept back into "modern" (or post-modern) Christianity and it's left an indelible mark on our culture too.
Anon...LOL...yes, it would have to be something awfully horrific for me to ever say, "My child would NEVER do THAT!" Partly this is me being a cynic and partly me recognizing my failures as a parent.
At the same time, more and more we don't like to hear about our children's moral failings from other people...I think it hits too close to home and tends to remind us too much of our own failings. For some it is being too busy that brings parental guilt...for me it is being too selfish...but either way we tend not to want to suffer any more of that guilt as brought about by outsiders.
It is a difficult thing to see my reflection in my children. I need to be on MY knees more often, this much is sure.