This Friday night and Saturday, Ballard’s Mars Hill Church is hosting Dr. Tedd Tripp, the controversial author of Shepherding a Child’s Heart. “Tripp is somewhat notorious for his promotion of painful corporal punishment for children, even toddlers and BABIES under the age of two,” wrote Nico in the My Ballard forum. Dr. Tripp is the featured speaker of Mars Hill’s Biblical Parenting Conference, which will be simulcast at all Mars Hill Church locations. “Would people in Seattle treat a puppy like Tedd Tripp advises parents to treat babies?” asks Nicola, who has started a blog called Trip to Mars to protest his visit. Others are organizing a picket through an email group.
We contacted Mars Hill and they sent us a statement. “Tripp himself is a loving dad and granddad who teaches a parenting method based on the Christian Bible (and in accordance with state law),” it reads in part. “As a church we outright oppose child abuse and provide counseling resources for victims of such abuse. We acknowledge that each parent has at their disposal a variety of methods for instructing and correcting their children. We expect Dr. Tripp to examine these various methods and we leave the final decision to each parent as to which loving and legal methods they will use for their own children.” Tripp begins speaking at 7 p.m. on Friday night and 9 a.m. on Saturday.