Gregory and Melanie Magazu are suing the Department of Children and Families in Massachusetts, which won't let them become foster parents because the couple believe in spanking children, which they attribute to their Christian beliefs (video below).
"It's been hard because this is something that's been in my heart, that I've wanted to do for a long time," Melanie told WCVB.
"Just because a family believes that spanking is a legit form of child discipline doesn't preclude them from then being able to foster and adopt children," Gregory added.
After losing in a lower court, the couple appealed that decision on Sept. 10 in the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.
Their attorney David Bodanza stated in court:
"The Hebrew and Christian scriptures tell us whoever spares the rod hates his son, but whoever loves him is diligent to discipline him. DCF is saying that Christians and Jews need not apply."
Bodanza didn't mention that the Bible also commands that anyone who curses their father or mother shall be put to death in Leviticus 20:9.
DCF spokesperson Andrea Grossman said in a statement to NECN:
"Because of the significant trauma children in DCF care may have experienced, Department policy requires that foster parents agree not to use physical punishment as discipline. This couple was denied as foster parents based on their use of corporal punishment on their biological children and the negative effect that could have on foster children."
"I could very much see that a child coming into our home, and seeing discipline handled in a loving and correct way, could actually be beneficial to a child who's been abused," Gregory told WCVB.
The Magazus claim they have promised not to spank any foster children, but won't guarantee they won't spank children they adopt or their own kids.