Some situations are not nuanced. That didn't keep Mac Engel from making excuses for Adrian Peterson in this morning's Star-Telegram. Peterson, he says, may have abused his two sons when he allegedly beat them to the point of bleeding and scarring, but he is not a child abuser -- which is kind of like saying one isn't really a murderer if he or she only commits one or two murders.
"What Peterson did strictly comes down to where you stand on corporal punishment, because there are a lot of good people who administered similar whuppins before, even breaking the skin, and generations who turned out fine after having received them," Engel says.
Ignoring the massive post hoc fallacy about people turning out "fine" after receiving lacerations from their parents, there are a significant number of people who would assert that caregivers who administer those sort of whuppins -- to use Engel's clever euphemism --- are not, in fact, good people.
The American Psychological Association adopted a resolution denouncing corporal punishment in 1975, and the United Nations established its Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989, which denounces violence of any kind against children.
Of course, the United States is one of two U.N. member states, along with Somalia, which haven't ratified the Convention, but it's fair to say a decent number of people don't believe people have a God-given right to hit their children as a form of discipline.
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Engel goes on to say that while he doesn't hit his kids to punish them, he has "no problem with those who do."
He doesn't mention that Peterson, in at least one case, wasn't just leaving a scar above his four-year-old son's eye, he was trying to break him like a horse.
Peterson's 4 year old son wouldn't let himself cry to prove to his dad he was strong. Peterson saw it as a challenge. pic.twitter.com/q0TcmRvbmb
— Dan Solomon (@dansolomon) September 16, 2014
Shocking as Engel's justification is, it shouldn't come as a surprise. After all, this is the same guy who said Ray Rice should be let back in the NFL once he "demonstrates he is not that image [the one seen on the tape of him knocking out his wife in an Atlantic City elevator], and his wife knows the risks, and the score."