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Rev. Creflo Dollar has been arrested and charged with punching and choking his 15-year-old daughter.  His daughter called police after the domestic dispute, claiming that the two were fighting over whether or not she could attend a party. The pastor has been charged with simple battery and cruelty toward children, and booked in the Fayette County Jail.

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Police claim that the pastor’s daughter called them after he tackled her to the floor, punched her, and hit her with a shoe. Officers say that they saw a scratch to the girl’s neck and throat that confirmed her claims.

The pastor says that his daughter was “very disrespectful” and that he only retaliated when she hit him first.

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I am no fan of Creflo Dollar.  His “prosperity gospel” bothers me as much as the private jets and Bentleys being purchased by he and other “men of God.”  Jesus would not be driving a Bentley — at least not on the backs of his own congregation.

But with that being said, I must also admit to this:  As the Father of three daughters, I understand how challenging it can be to deal with difficult teenagers. While none of us can condone needless violence toward anyone, it can be difficult to figure out how to deal with a child who has become violent.

The toughest thing for a Father to deal with when it comes to teenage girls is that they usually think they are more grown up than they actually are.  Their hips get wider, their breasts get fuller, and suddenly, they think they’re ready for the world.  That might be when the child believes it’s OK to start dating the 25-year old, to go out and get drunk with her friends, or to go into venues that seem fun but are ultimately unsafe.

Unfortunately, it’s not until she is the victim of sexual assault or some other unfortunate incident that some young girls realize the importance of a Father’s protection. But sadly enough, after these things have happened, it can be difficult to help your little girl to regain the innocence that has been lost forever.  One of the saddest things about the status of the Black community today is that Fathers are not in the home to protect their daughters, leaving our children open to experience unspeakable horrors that occur in the lives of young people every single day.

If Creflo had to tackle his daughter to keep her in the house that night, then part of me applauds him.  A prominent Father who is willing to risk the humiliation of jail in order to protect his child is the kind of hero that the Black community needs.

In far too many cases, parents work harder at being their their child’s best friend than they do at actually raising the child to be a responsible and intelligent member of society.   Many parents love their children, but don’t care about them enough to do the uncomfortable work necessary to prepare that child for adulthood.  Instead, they think that spoiling their kids and giving them whatever they want is the best way of showing love.

I hope that Creflo’s family problems are resolved, and I hope that he can be given remedies to the problem that don’t involve violence. 

But as far as I’m concerned, physical confrontations with a child are not necessarily child abuse.

In a world where Black children are shot every day by one another and by the police, the tough hand of a loving parent might be the only thing that keeps that child out of the morgue.  I encourage others to refrain from judging Pastor Dollar’s parenting techniques until the evidence is fully revealed.  Also, I wouldn’t be surprised if one day, his daughter thanks him for his sacrifice.

Dr. Boyce Watkins is a Professor at Syracuse University. To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here.