Oh, yes, there are rules:
1. Remember, St. Nick only got patristic on Arias’s hind-quarters because he stood up in council and started going on and on about Christ’s non-divinity and wouldn’t stop – so, Pow! Right in the kisser. Tempting though it might be to go out on the streets to smack some heretics around, that’s right out. Fortunately, you will not lack for appropriate targets even with this restriction.
2. So, as you contemplate where to start among heretics in the church who deny essential doctrine and won’t shut up, it is important to remember to keep your wrist solid and in alignment with the bones of your forearm. Heretic heads tend to be very hard and dense, so you run a serious risk of breaking several small but important bones in your hands if you do not follow proper punching technique.
3. You’re looking at a busy day ahead. All in all, it would probably be a good idea to get a corner man to tape you up. A cut man probably wouldn’t be amiss, as there’s some chance you might come across a heretic that doesn’t fold like an accordion file at the first hint of pain. They’re rare, but out there, and they can be feisty. But always remember: God is in your corner.
4. At the first sign of retraction, you’ve got to stop. No, really – this is brotherly correction, here. Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord, and all that. That said, we have it on good authority I just made up that a *few* extra shots would likely be considered heat of the moment venial sins at worse, so don’t let scruples unduly curb your righteous fervor.
5. We must be careful not to scandalize the faithful. If you are physically unable to deck a given heretic with a single clean shot, perhaps you should stick to argument and leave the physical discipline to St. Nick style manly men. An exception is made, of course, for the complementary sex: Gals, if you’ve got one of those round house slaps in you, have at ‘em!
Update July 2015. Replaced missing photo, updated link.