A Michigan woman received an apology from her pastor after being scolded for breastfeeding her baby in church.
It comes just weeks after a Mormon woman was punished for doing the same thing.
Amy Marchant, 29, said she asked for a public apology after she was accused of immodesty and potentially inspiring “lustfulness” in men for nursing her child at The Naz Church in Brighton in mid-June.
“Of all the places, it is most hurtful when it comes from your own church, that you are going to cause guys to lust after you,” Marchant said Thursday.
Ben Walls, Sr., lead pastor, said the church supports and encourages breastfeeding, and the Father’s Day incident “had to do with breastfeeding, but didn’t.”
If you’re confused by that “apology,” you’re not alone.
He said three different spaces are set aside for “those who want a private space” — a lounge outside of the restroom specifically created for nursing mothers a decade ago and two other rooms in a children’s area “designated for ladies who want privacy.”
“That is what we want to say — we have nothing against breastfeeding and we are in favor,” Walls said. “It’s very hard because we understand that she was very hurt and we apologize to her. We’re very sorry for the embarrassment and hurt caused when she was asked to cover or use one of those rooms. We apologize for her hurt and embarrassment; that wasn’t the intention.”
It’s fine that these churches have special spots for “ladies who want privacy” — but for mothers like Marchant, who don’t have a need for that kind of privacy when it comes to feeding their children, it’s not necessary. At least in her mind. That’s why she fed her baby on a bench in the church.
There was another reason she didn’t go to a designated area: She had to watch her four-year-old twins, which a private room wouldn’t allow. All the more reason for the church to be lenient.
Instead, they shamed her for having breasts and taking care of her baby.
You know who wasn’t shamed? All the men who would struggle with lustful desires by seeing that. What Marchant did wasn’t “immodest.” It was perfectly natural — the way God intended, if you will. The church shouldn’t be telling her to cover up. They should be handing out blindfolds to men who can’t deal with motherhood.
While we’re at it, there still hasn’t been any admission that scolding Marchant for breastfeeding was wrong. Saying “We apologize for her hurt and embarrassment” doesn’t cut it because it doesn’t address the root problem.
What’s most distressing about this incident is that Marchant claims she was rebuked by a woman via a private Facebook message. You would think that women would support one another on this issue. Apparently not.
The whole story is similar to one we covered last year about a Virginia woman. As with her, it seems like women just can’t win in this situation. They’re scolded for not having babies, having babies and not breastfeeding them, and having babies and breastfeeding them in the same room as other human adults. (Abortions are obviously looked down upon, too.)
Marchant says that she has since left the church and has no plans to return. I can’t say I blame her.
(Image via Shutterstock)