We don’t know the entire circumstances surrounding the arrest of mega-church pastor Dr. Creflo Dollar of World Changers Ministries in suburban Atlanta, but I have a hard time believing that the minister struck his teenage daughter without serious provocation. Something went down that spurred the father to lay his hands on his daughter.
We live in different times and I was raised in a different generation. But if Dollar’s claims are true, that his daughter was defiant and swung on her famous father first, I shudder at what would have happened had I dared to do the same to my father back when I was a growing teenage boy: someone would have been coming to get me to take me to outpatient surgery to repair the damages. There is no way my father, who fed us and kept us in a good home with the lights that were never cut off, tolerated blatant insubordination, back talking, and especially raising our hands to him. I can’t even conceive of that scenario ever taking place.
We don’t condone violence under any circumstances, and I’m not the biggest Creflo Dollar fan, but a man should be able to defend himself in his own home and to exact punishment commensurate with the level of disobedience and/or violence leveled against him.
This generation of children — and that’s what his daughter is, a child, despite being a blossoming teenager — have a sense of entitlement that has sometimes confounded me. Part of this has to do with coming up in the age of the information superhighway when the country has this sort of cyberspace Wild Wild West mentality of anything goes. And part of it may be that the parents, often raised in difficult circumstances and who resented the brutal punishment from their parents, tried to go the opposite route and befriend their children and refrain from any physical punishment.
But that kind of parenting didn’t work too well with, say, Teddy Riley. The New Jack Swing creator and former super producer said that he didn’t want his daughters to struggle like he did coming out of New York. Therefore when Riley made it big, he showered his offspring with their every desire and without having to work for anything. But when you befriend your children, sometimes the children think they can talk to you like they do their friends on the block and try to tell their parents what to do or voice their disapproval in a disrespectful manner. So when the daughters didn’t like who Riley, a grown man, was dating, they tried to check their father. Afterward they tried to beat him down like one of their counterparts in the schoolyard. And then the daughters drove off in the sports cars that Riley had purchased for them. That doesn’t even begin to make sense to me.
If what is being reported early is true, then Dr. Dollar risked public humiliation and a police record in order to keep his daughter from something that seemed fun, but probably was not good for her, and to maintain control over the home that he bought and paid for.
He may have gone to far with restraining a daughter I imagine was fighting back with a set of combinations of her own, and who had made up her mind to disobey her father’s commands. But in the heat of the moment, I understand how that could go down.—terry shropshire