Mother gets apology after rebuke for breastfeeding inside Brighton Michigan church

A Brighton pastor has apologized to a woman who said she was shamed for breastfeeding inside a church while waiting for her other children to finish Sunday school.

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.”

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.”...
Walls said he was told by church staff members that Marchant was wearing a dress that was pulled down with both of her breasts exposed.

Nothing was said to her at the church, but when Marchant got home, she said she had a private Facebook message from a woman who is a church leader.

“She said that ‘nursing fully exposed,’ the term she used, was making people uncomfortable,” Marchant said. “She told me to cover up, use an empty classroom, or go down to the main worship area, to part of the bathroom, but which has a nursing area attached to it. It wasn’t presented as an option. She told me to do one of those three things from now on.”

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Jim's picture

It's a new world men!

If a women shows a nipple and we happen to glance, it's a #metoo moment

If leadership suggests she cover up or use breastfeeding rooms ... it's discrimination

Bert Perry's picture

I see a fair amount of people with "both breasts exposed" in church, never mind when I go grocery shopping.  I have to wonder if what is in play here is that the Nazarene are a "holiness" church whose allegiance to strict cultural mores can make fundamentalism look rather "loose" in comparison, and so you've got a face-off between that tradition and the fact that babies don't always like to be covered up when they eat.  Note here it says that both breasts were exposed; not that her nipples were necessarily exposed as well.  If we can go to the grocery store, men, I think we can handle this, no?

I once counseled a young lady for college who was nursing her baby, and suffice it to say that I caught a glimpse of the beauty that ought to have belonged to her husband and baby alone.  I looked elsewhere and things were fine--I don't think too many people are going to use #MeToo as an excuse to be vindictive for seeing inadvertent exposure.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

John E.'s picture

Bert, are you sure that the exposure was inadvertent? I know several women who "advertently" expose themselves while breastfeeding in order to demonstrate their "freedom in Christ." Any pushback is swiftly met with denunciations of "rape culture."

Yes, if I see the "beauty that out to have belonged to her husband and baby alone," to use your description, it is incumbent on me to look elsewhere. I am solely responsible for my lust. However, I will dare to ask the question that will (and has in the past) earned me the label of a "rape culture enabler" - at what point does women's "Christian liberty" in this matter fall under self-serving instead of loving others? 

Bert Perry's picture

John, I dunno exactly how much was exposed, or what the mother's reasoning was.  It could be, as you suggest, something of an agent provacateur, or, given Nazarene culture, it could be simply a woman who wandered in without knowing much about the church and did what she always did elsewhere.  I've seen both sides, really, and without a clear description of what went on (again, "breasts exposed" can mean a range of things), I'm reluctant to take a firm stand either way.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

John E.'s picture

She's calls it her "own church," so I think we can cross "just wandered in" off the list of possible variables. 

For the record, without being privy to all the ins-and-outs, I'm not defending the church's response. But, Jim's comment above contains much truth. Incidents like the one above (if not the one above) are being used as bludgeons by those who worship the false religion of intersectionality and who seek to pervert the gospel. 

Bert Perry's picture

John,maybe or not.  If "own church" means she's been attending a while or even a member, why didn't the issue come up in the previous few years when she also would have been nursing?  Did something change?  (where is her husband/baby daddy in all this, BTW?)  Or is she a church hopper who attended a few times and started calling it "my church" even though she really had no long term connection to it?  

Lots of interesting questions that, were I on the church board, I'd be asking.  

 

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.