A Christian preacher from Amersfoort is to face legal action for telling parents that smacking children is an important part of raising children, news agency Novum said on Thursday.
Gertjan Goldschmeding believes in a literal translation of the Bible and uses the Old Testament words ‘spare the rod and spoil the child’ to justify smacking.
On Wednesday he was questioned by police for a second time. There is nothing wrong with a smack on two ‘soft cushions’, the Telegraaf quoted the preacher as saying. ‘There is a reason god created them.’ He believes smacking children helps stop child abuse.
Goldschmeding and his wife, who have three children, were arrested in March on child abuse charges and released after questioning. ‘They told me I can no longer teach using that passage from the Bible. But it is not a doctrine I made up,’ he told the Telegraaf.
Taking legal action against him is against his right to freedom of religion, the preacher was reported as saying.
DVDs of the preacher’s sermons have been confiscated.
He preaches for the AAC-Jouw church which operates in Amersfoort and Amsterdam.
A survey of parents in the Hague last year found 50% think giving a child aged one to five a ‘light slap’ is an acceptable form on punishment.
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