BOSTON, MA, Sept 14 ( – Donald Cobble, a pastor at the Christian Teaching and Worship Center, is before the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court defending his use of “mild, loving, routine, structured” spanking against charges of abuse leveled by the state Department of Social Services.  Cobble appealed his case to the Supreme Court after a lower court ruled he was an abuser in a case resulting from accusations by a teacher that the man’s son was spanked in 1997. Cobble defended his use of spanking as a form of discipline, quoting Scripture, and said his freedom of religion was being threatened. Pastor Cobble told the courts that his now twelve-year-old son was spanked with the end of a leather belt while fully clothed.

With files from