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In Barbara Kingsolver's "The Poisonwood Bible," fundamentalist preacher/missionary Nathan Price has no concept whatsoever of Christian love, but he cherishes vivid "Christian" ideas about disciplining his daughters. He regularly punishes them for what he deems to be disobedience or "sin" by forcing them to copy out 100 Bible verses, with the 100th verse always being the one which deals with the specific "sin" being punished; he names a verse, and they have to copy it and the next 99; the 99th will contain the lesson. For example, when the family parrot says "Damn," Price chastizes his daughters for supposedly sending the parrot's soul to Hell by teaching it profanity, and forces the three older ones to write out the 100 verses beginning with Numbers 29:34 and ending with 32:32, which reminds them that God is always watching for errors, including every word that comes out of someone's mouth. Nathan's daughters observe that "Our Father" NEVER has to consult his Bible when meting out punishment, yet his chosen passages always fit some part of the "crime." Observing this through the years, they realize that the only possible way for him to so easily recall punishment passages was for him to have thought out, far in advance, every conceivable example of disobedience which might be expected from a child. Then he would have had to search out relevant passages/verses from the entirety of scripture, divide those passages into 100-verse segments ending with his chosen verse, and MEMORIZE every beginning-ending set of 100 verses. In other words, rather than anticipating actually GUIDING his daughters, he anticipated only punishing them, and he has consistently confused punishment with discipline. He has no ready passages of approval or affirmation for his daughters, but only passages of condemnation, "sin," and anger. Ironically, by disciplining his daughters in a fashion, he has taught them not only to hate the Bible, but also to hate the concept of God as ANY sort of father. He was a complete and total failure at portraying or communicating any sort of love, Godly or otherwise.
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