If Martin Luther King can preach and live no violence against people who hated, degraded and even killed his fellow African-Americans and was able to find another more powerful way to make his point then surely you, Sherri, and all of us as parents can figure out a way to communicate with those that we love most without resorting to violence. Period.
This is what the late Magda Gerber, the founder of RIE (Resource for Infant Educarers) had to say on the subject of spanking:
The following information explains some pros and cons of spanking. You can take these ideas in and make a choice about whether you think spanking will be a form of discipline you will use in child rearing.
What good it does:
Stops undesirable behavior immediately.
What harm it does:
1. It teaches your child to hit when she is angry and encourages further abuse.
2. It closes the line of communication as you are not verbalizing your rationale.
3. Tears down self-esteem.
4. Displays inequality of two human beings -- 'I can hit you, but you can't hit me.'
5. Produces aggression and physical violence that children carry throughout their lives.
6. The child behaves from fear of being spanked, rather than from respect for parents' wishes.
7. Teaches negative approach to problem solving.
8. Builds up resentment towards parents and offers no way of coping.
9. Nothing positive learned.