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While the California Assembly debated an open-hand-only spanking bill for parents this spring, the Bethel Baptist Church in El Sobrante continued to demand that spanking by flexible rod is the only punishment acceptable to God and that will produce wisdom in the child. No sturdier weapon may be used, nor the open or closed hand, nor even mere yelling, according to a church pamphlet cited by InsideBayArea.com for a May report. Said one parishioner-parent, "With my girls, the spanking relieved them of their guilt, which allowed them to be happy in a very short time afterward." Said another, "We disagree with timeouts. ... That's an attack on spanking."

In May, The Times of London, interviewing witnesses in Diyala province in Iraq, described scenes from the hard-core Salafist version of Islam being enforced (similar to what the Taliban imposed in Afghanistan), including breaking the fingers of those who repeatedly smoked cigarettes, prohibiting grocers from displaying bananas (as "obscene"), and requiring them to screen cucumbers from tomatoes (as the latter are "feminine vegetables"). One local man said he assumed that another restriction that farmers modestly cover their goats' "nether regions" was just a rumor, until he saw a goat wearing boxer shorts.

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