Creflo Dollar, founder and pastor of the Atlanta-based megachurch World Changers  International, was arrested on Friday and charged with simple battery and child  cruelty after he allegedly attacked his 15-year-old daughter. She claims her  father threw her to the ground, punched her in the face, and hit her with a  shoe, according to the police report. On the 911 tape, she also said that “it  was not the first time it’s happened.” Dollar’s 19-year-old daughter backs up  her younger sister’s claims.

In an initial statement from his lawyer,  Dollar said, “I love my children and I always have their best interest at heart  at all times, and I would never use my hand to ever cause bodily harm to my  children.”

He also addressed the incident on Sunday during morning  services, where he was greeted with a standing ovation from his congregation. “All is well in the Dollar household,” Pastor Dollar said before denying the  allegations and claiming the scratch on his daughter’s neck was from an eczema  condition. “I never should have been arrested. Never.”

What exactly  happened in the Dollar home Friday is anyone’s guess. I won’t make any  assumptions as to what went down or how. I will say that I was appalled by the  allegations and perhaps even more so by many of the reader responses to the  story. I followed developments of this news throughout the weekend and saw  headlines downplaying Dollar’s alleged misconduct as “spanking” or “discipline,” as if choking your kid is the equivalent of taking a hand to his or her  backside. I also found many — too many — comments on news stories about this  incident that supported Dollar’s alleged behavior. Numerous people practically  applauded it, often quoting “spare the rod, spoil the child.”

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