Newsflash! The Most Controversial Public Remarks (and Photographs) of the Past Week!

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A Brief History

This past week has been a doozy for controversial remarks by high-profile world leaders!

Digging Deeper

First, on Wednesday, February 4, 2015, Pope Francis said, “One time, I heard a father say, ‘At times I have to hit my children a bit, but never in the face so as not to humiliate them.’ That’s great. He had a sense of dignity. He should punish, do the right thing, and then move on.”  This comment has been taken as an endorsement by the Head of the Catholic Church of parental spanking within reason.  Most Americans seem to agree with his comment.  Do you?

Then, on Thursday, February 5, 2015, American President Obama said, concerning the atrocities associated with the Islamic State, “Lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ.”  Not surprisingly, historians the world over have greatly taken the validity of this remark to task.  But do you agree with these scholars, or are they just adding to the list of ridiculous things said about the U.S. President?

Indeed, we are truly curious what our readers make of controversial remarks of the Pope and Obama earlier this month.  After all, these men are world religious and political leaders with a tremendous influence on our lives. 

Do you agree with the Pope that parents should spank misbehaving children?  Do you spank your children and were you spanked growing up?  If so, have you found this form of punishment to be effective?  Or should this once traditional part of life no longer be practiced

Also, what do you think about President Obama’s comments?  Are members of the Islamic State in the twenty-first century comparable to Medieval Crusaders from nearly 1,000 years ago, or do you agree with the historians’ consensus that the context in which both groups operated are too different?  For some more background information on the Crusades, please see this timeline.  Finally, should we add any members of the Islamic State to our list of the most evil people in history.  If so, which ones and why?

Please let us know what you think about Pope Francis and President Obama’s remarks in the comments!  For further information, the best online resource about corporal punishment is, without any doubt, this one, and here is an interesting video comparing the Islamic State versus Crusaders:

Finally, as a bonus controversy from this past week, we have, not a comment, but an image!  Jennifer Lawrence, whom you may recall from our series on women famous for being naked, has now sought people’s attention with her latest nude photographs, this time, however, by her choice.  Question for students (and subscribers): Does posing nude after being outraged over leaks of nude photographs of her make her in any way hypocritical?  Or do you find the latest photographs empowering in any way?  Again, please voice your opinion in the comments section below this article.

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Historical Evidence

For more information, please see…

Pritchett, Jamie.  Lots of Love and a Spanking! Little Palm Press, 2005.


About Author

Dr. Zar

Dr. Zar graduated with a B.A. in French and history, a Master’s in History, and a Ph.D. in History. He currently teaches history in Ohio.