Tag Archive: Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding Women Should Cover Up, Protecting Weak Evangelical Men From Lust

ban boobs

Heavy doses of snark ahead. You’ve been warned!

As I have detailed several times before, many Evangelicals have what I call boob-a-phobia — the fear of breasts. This phobia is quite common among Evangelical men who have feasted on a steady diet of complementarian, patriarchal, women-are-Jezebels, men-are-weak-pathetic-helpless-horndogs preaching and teaching. Women are expected to keep their bodies covered at all times lest a glimpse of their cleavage, legs, or feminine shape causes widespread male lust. Women are always viewed as gatekeepers. It’s up to them to make sure that visually-driven Jesus-loving man-children don’t see anything in the appearance of women that might cause them to say to themselves, nice. (Jesus heard that buddy! Repent!)

Recently Fundamentalist morality policewoman Lori Alexander thought it important to write about breastfeeding church women causing Christian men to have non-procreation boners. Here’s what Alexander and one of her acolytes had to say:

It’s amazing how many Christian women think it’s fine and dandy to openly breastfeed their babies and show their breasts to men who aren’t their husbands. It riles women up when I teach them to be modest and discreet even while breastfeeding. They falsely believe that breasts aren’t sexual and it’s men’s fault if they like to see breasts while nursing because they are “perverts.”

Women have told me that Jesus’ mother Mary breastfed openly in the temple and Catholics have shown me pictures of Mary’s breast hanging out in preparation to nurse her baby. There isn’t one single Bible verse that tells us that she breastfed openly! Not one. I am sure she was known as a godly, discreet, and modest woman since God chose her to bear His Son.

….

Here is a comment from one wise women on this topic:

It’s like people don’t read the scriptures anymore and do word studies. It annoys me. Men are visual or there wouldn’t be so many verses about the body in Song of Solomon alone! But since this is about breasts here are just a few verses on them.

Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight; be intoxicated always in her love. — Proverbs 5:19

This verse is implying that the breasts are satisfying and here we are seeing the encouragement for them to always make a man filled with delight. The King James uses the word satisfy which implies that they are satisfying to a man. They aren’t drawn to things that are not satisfying.

Both satisfy and delight mean to be filled, take pleasure in. It is the same delight that is used when it says God delights in His people. The way God delights in His people is the way a man is to be about his wife’s breasts only. But like everything that is beautiful in God’s Holy Word and ways, it gets perverted by the world we live in and you have men delighting in other women’s breasts and you have women practicing zero discretion. Zero.

If that wasn’t enough to show that men like breasts here is another verse:

Your two breasts are like two fawns, twins of a gazelle, that graze among the lilies. — Song of Solomon 4:5

Your stature is like a palm tree, and your breasts are like its clusters. I say I will climb the palm tree and lay hold of its fruit. Oh may your breasts be like clusters of the vine, and the scent of your breath like apples. — Song of Solomon 7:7-8

How beautiful are your feet in sandals, O noble daughter! Your rounded thighs are like jewels, the work of a master hand. Your navel is a rounded bowl that never lacks mixed wine. Your belly is a heap of wheat, encircled with lilies. Your two breasts are like two fawns, twins of a gazelle.– Song of Solomon 7:1-13

The man in Song Of Solomon was clearly attracted to this woman’s breasts. Why did God allow that to be in His word for everyone to read? Because men love breasts and in the context of marriage it is a beautiful thing! But again the perverted world we live in would like to believe this isn’t true or simply don’t care like they do with homosexuality. They believe it simply isn’t true that God hates it or they don’t care.

Alexander oh-so-wrongly believes that men always view female breasts in a sexual manner. The same with legs or the feminine shape. Evidently, the men she and her followers have been around are unable to distinguish between breasts that are being sexually satisfying and breasts used as milk wagons for junior. In their minds, any exposure is an open invitation to lust. Perhaps this says more about these men than it does breastfeeding mothers who dare to do what is natural and normal when breastfeeding their babies.

One commenter on Alexander’s post had this to say:

fear of breasts

This commenter doubts whether breastfeeding “exhibitionists” are True Christians®. Why, no True Christian® woman would ever expose any part of her breasts while breastfeeding. Think of the children! uh, I mean the men. Evidently, this woman’s husband has an eye or two for breasts. Why, church women have exposed their breasts to him millions of times!  Makes me want to reconsider Christianity. Now, where’s this church so I can go and investigate their sized DDD — Father, Son, Holy Ghost — faith?

Alexander’s post and its attendant comments are a reminder of how infantilized many Evangelical pastors, churches, and congregants have become.

Let me conclude this post with a couple of stories I think readers might find funny. In 1994, I was the co-pastor of Community Baptist Church in Elmendorf, Texas. On Wednesdays, the church gathered for prayer. Not a typical five-minute Baptist prayer meeting, but one that lasted upwards to two hours. We would sing a few songs and then get on our knees and send our prayers upwards to the ceiling God. (This was the only time women were permitted to speak during church.) Polly and I have six children. At the time, our girls were five and three. Being the daughters of fine upstanding Fundamentalists, the Gerencser girls wore dresses to church, and everywhere else, for that matter. As prayer meeting droned on, it was not uncommon for us to place the girls on the floor for a nap. One evening, a fire-breathing Calvinist — who is still a church member — came to me and said that she could see my daughters’ underwear while they were lying on the floor. She thought I would went to know so I could cover them up. Instead, her new pastor told her, don’t look. That went over well!

I had a similar experience in the 1970s while attending Sierra Vista Baptist Church in Sierra Vista, Arizona. I was eighteen at the time, and I was dating a twenty-year-old church girl named Anita. Anita irritated the hell out of then-deacon Chuck Cofty (now a Baptist evangelist) with her short skirts. One day, Cofty came up to me, filled with righteous indignation, and said, Your girlfriend’s skirt is too short and it is immodest. Cofty expected me to tell Anita to wear longer skirts. Trust me, even if I wanted to pass on Cofty’s edict — and I didn’t; I liked her skirts — Anita wasn’t the type of woman you could badger into compliance. I told Cofty the same thing I told the woman at Community Baptist, don’t look.

And here we are in 2018. I have two words for Alexander, her followers, and their menfolk, DON’T LOOK!

About Bruce Gerencser

Bruce Gerencser, 61, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 40 years. He and his wife have six grown children and twelve grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist. For more information about Bruce, please read the About page.

Bruce is a local photography business owner, operating Defiance County Photo out of his home. If you live in Northwest Ohio and would like to hire Bruce, please email him.

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Christians Say the Darnedest Things: Showing Breasts While Breastfeeding Tempts Men to Lust

lori alexander

Many young women today believe that it’s fine to nurse a baby in public and have other men see their breasts because feeding a baby is much more important than what men think or being modest and this is why breasts were created. I disagree. In my grandmother’s generation, women were always careful to cover themselves when they nursed their babies. It was the same for my mother’s generation. They wouldn’t have dreamed of allowing other men besides their husbands to see their exposed breasts.

My generation was modest about this as well. My friends always covered themselves up when they nursed their babies. This generation is different. Nakedness no longer brings them shame and nursing a baby is “natural” and so are breasts, so no big deal, right? Wrong.

You can bet I sure wouldn’t want a woman coming into my home and openly showing her breasts to my husband while nursing her baby. I nursed four babies for over a year and no man besides my husband ever saw my breasts. God commands that older women teach the young women to be discreet and part of being discreet and shamefaced is not drawing attention to ourselves and covering up.

….

Nakedness and shame continually are linked together in the Bible. “…and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear” (Revelation 3:18). We are not to show our nakedness just because we live in a culture that tells us it is acceptable. We are to be discreet in all of our behavior, yes, even when nursing our babies. If most of the generations before this generation could do it, so can you. Breasts are not to be displayed in public by godly women for any reason.

 

Yes, breasts are sexual for men or God wouldn’t have written this in His Word: “Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love” (Proverbs 5:19). Men are highly attracted to women’s breasts no matter how much women don’t want this to be true. I wouldn’t even nurse in front of my sons if they were older than five years old. No, breasts are to be covered and private. It’s what God has called us to do

— Lori Alexander, The Transformed Wife, Women Showing Their Breasts While Breastfeeding, February 2, 2018

Pastor Steven Furtick’s Fear of Breasts

fear of breasts

Another day and yet another reminder of Evangelicals and their fear of female mammary glands. Today’s story comes from cool, hip, loaded-with-cash Steven Furtick and his monument to Evangelical excess, Elevation Church in Charlotte, North Carolina. Last Sunday, a woman who has been attending Elevation Church since 2015 was discreetly breastfeeding her baby when a church volunteer asked her to leave the auditorium and go to the designated — exposed breasts allowed — baby feeding area.

The Charlotte Observer reports:

A group of mothers who breastfeed plan to stage a “Nurse-In” during Sunday worship at Charlotte’s Elevation Church this month to show support for a South Carolina woman who said she was asked to leave the church’s sanctuary because she was breastfeeding her baby.

Last Sunday, Amanda Zilliken of Lancaster, S.C., sent out a Facebook post saying, “I just got kicked out of church for breastfeeding with a cover on and directed to the bathroom. … Shame on you elevation.”

Her Facebook post, which also featured a photo of the bathroom at Elevation’s Ballantyne campus, has since been shared by more than 1,500 people.

On Wednesday, Zilliken, a 29-year-old stay-at-home mom, told the Observer that she “definitely” plans to participate in the “Nurse-In.” But it’s up in the air whether she’ll decide to continue as a regular at Elevation, a church she’d driven an hour to attend most Sundays since 2015.

As much as I love hearing the word of God from Pastor Steven (Furtick) … I’m not sure at this time if I’ll feel comfortable going back because of the way this was handled,” she said. “If anything difficult arises (at Elevation), they try to hush it up.”

Elevation Church said in a statement: “We do not have a policy that nursing mothers can’t be in the sanctuary. A volunteer had a conversation and felt both parties arrived at the same conclusion to exit mutually. We are sorry that this in any way offended anyone. We welcome everyone and anyone to attend Elevation church.”

Elevation, one of the fastest growing churches in the country, draws more than 20,000 worshipers to its nine Charlotte-area sites every weekend. Furtick, who launched the Southern Baptist church with wife Holly and seven other couples in 2006, speaks most Sundays in person at the Ballantyne campus. At the other sites, he’s on screen.

Zilliken said she did last Sunday what she’s always done since the birth of her youngest child, Idamae, who’s now 4 months old and breastfeeding. Zilliken said she dropped off her two other children – ages 5 and 4 – at the church’s eKidz child-care area. Then she went to the church auditorium’s second floor, headed for the last row and took the seat nearest the door. From there, she thought, she could quickly exit in case Idamae caused any disturbance during the service.

As she’s done many times before, Zilliken said, she then waited until Furtick’s sermon to begin breastfeeding “so she’s quiet.”

That’s when a volunteer approached her, Zilliken said, turned on a flashlight in the dark auditorium and asked that Zilliken follow her to the “mother’s area.”

“It embarrassed me, and drew people’s attention,” said Zilliken, who was led to a restroom to finish her 20-minutes of breastfeeding. “To take me to the mother’s restroom was totally unacceptable, humiliating – and illegal.”

The volunteer returned to the restroom to inform her she could go back to her seat “when you’re done,” Zilliken said.

But Zilliken said she was so upset by then, crying and angry, that she left after sharing her feelings with other staff members at Elevation. She said they were “unsympathetic” even though they agreed the volunteer should not have pulled her out of the service.

“I drive an hour to this church … and I missed the whole sermon,” she said. Zilliken cited laws that allow women to breastfeed in public and said she saw no one in the church complain about her quietly feeding her baby, with a cover, in the dark.

And yet, Zilliken said, the volunteer told her, “Honey, you have to understand that my job as a volunteer is to make sure everyone is comfortable, not just you.”

Elevation added in its statement: “We have several designated areas for nursing moms at Ballantyne specifically – one private to allow pumping and it’s close to the auditorium for convenience and the other in the actual baby area with a TV to allow mothers to still be part of the worship experience.”

….

What drives this irrational fear of female breasts? Notice what the volunteer told the offending woman, “Honey, you have to understand that my job as a volunteer is to make sure everyone is comfortable, not just you.” There ya have it. Someone in the church might be offended by seeing her breast — a supposedly God-given gland used to feed precious little Christian babies — and if it is a man, he might not be able to contain his sexual urges. Once again, a woman is punished because some men are unable to keep their minds on the sermon.

Don’t think for a moment that this volunteer was acting on her own. It is clear, at least to me, that nursing mothers who attend Elevation Church are expected to feed their babies in rooms other than the auditorium. Steven Furtick would have had to sign off on such a rule, so the blame, in the end, rests with him. Furtick needs to make a clear, unambiguous statement that states women are free to nurse their children in the auditorium during church services. And those who are “offended?” Grow Up, and start acting like adults.

Christians Say the Darnedest Things: Lori Alexander Thinks Women Who Breastfeed in Public Should Stop Tempting Men

lori-alexander

Anyone can take the place of an astronaut, an engineer, a doctor, or name any other career out there, but no one can take the place of a mother in a child’s life. If you are married and have children, no one can take your place and your time and energy should be going to caring for these important people in your life, not given to strangers who could replace you in a blink of an eye.

Dennis [Prager] also brought up something that happened in the Australian Parliament. A senator nursed her baby while the Parliament was in session. She has no problem showing her breasts to men while she is nursing her baby. Why not? Men can go shirtless and there’s no problem with it. Since men and women are now equal in every way, according to feminism, this shouldn’t be a problem, right? Wrong. They fail to realize that men will always have an attraction for women’s breasts. God made them this way: “Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love” (Proverbs 5:19).

Then I hear of Ivanka Trump trying to convince her father, our President, to create another enormous government program to pay for childcare for mothers so they can have careers and not worry about the financial situation. All of these are lies that our culture keeps screaming at us and trying to pull us away from the life that God has planned for us!

God made you a woman for a reason. He gave you a womb to bear children. He gave you breasts to nourish your baby and satisfy your husband. He made you soft for your baby to cuddle with you and your husband to enjoy. He made you the weaker vessel and your husband stronger to provide and protect you. He made you love beauty so you could use your desire for beauty to make your homes places of beauty for your families and all who enter. It’s all a part of His wonderful and perfect plan for you.

Lori Alexander, The Transformed Wife, Happy to Say “I am a Wife and Mother!”, May 17, 2017

Modern Alternative Mama has a hilarious take on WHY women should NOT breastfeed in public:

  • You might make a full-grown adult uncomfortable
  • You might give an adult a sore neck, from having to look away so hard
  • You have to teach that baby that other peoples’ needs for “comfort” come before their basic right to eat
  • Your baby’s lungs need exercise, and what better way to get that than by letting them scream from hunger
  • You might accidentally flash some nipple and give someone a heart attack — that’s a public health risk!
  • Your baby needs to learn that his wants can’t always be met immediately
  • You might put other parents in an uncomfortable position — maybe they’re not ready for “the talk” with their children (you know, about breasts)
  • It’s disgusting — I mean, breast milk is practically like pee, how unsanitary
  • You need to learn a lesson about planning your baby’s feedings better
  • You need to care a whole lot about society’s opinion of your parenting

You can read Kate’s entire article here.

 

Another Example of Evangelical Fear of Women’s Breasts

annie pegueroAnnie Peguero and her nineteen-month-old daughter attended church last Sunday at Summit Church in Springfield, Virginia. During the service, Peguero’s baby became hungry, so she breast-fed her. Little did she know that she was surrounded by horny, weak, pathetic men who can’t control their sexuality when ‘forced” to view a breastfeeding mom’s partially exposed breast.

The Washington Post reports:

Annie Peguero was trying to soothe her agitated 19-month-old baby in church on Sunday when she did what she often does — she nursed her. But her efforts to calm her daughter caused a stir in the sanctuary of Summit Church in Springfield.

A woman promptly asked the Dumfries mother to decamp to a private room, she said. Peguero declined and was later told that the church does not allow breast-feeding without a cover because it could make men, teenagers or new churchgoers “uncomfortable,” she said. One woman told her the sermon was being live-streamed and that she would not want Peguero to be seen breast-feeding.

The mother of two left her seat in the back of the church and fled, embarrassed and in shock. The next day, she posted her own livestream video on Facebook — with her baby, Autumn, at her breast — telling viewers what happened and urging women to stand up for breast-feeding.

“I want you to know that breast-feeding is normal,” she said.

It is also a legally protected right in Virginia, where the legislature passed a 2015 law that says women have a right to breast-feed anywhere they have a legal right to be.

….

Peguero, a 42-year-old personal trainer and fitness and nutrition specialist, often posts live videos online with tips and advice about managing life with two young children. She talks about getting through the day when a spouse is deployed, drawing on her own experience as the wife of a Marine serving overseas.

The self-described “hippie mama” said she looked forward to breast-feeding long before she had children.

“I knew it was the very best thing for my baby,” she said. “I wanted to give them that gift for as long as I could, and that’s what I did.”

She nursed her older daughter — now 4 years old — until she was 8½ months pregnant with Autumn. In all that time, she never had a problem nursing in public, she said.

“I have breast-fed in a few different countries. I have breast-fed all over the place,” she said. “No one has ever said anything to me.”

Virginia was one of the last states to pass a law protecting a woman’s right to breast-feed in public.

Before passage, women in Virginia had the right to nurse their babies on state-owned property, but restaurants and other privately owned businesses that were open to the public could prohibit it.

Under identical bills brought by Del. David B. Albo (R-Fairfax) and Sen. Jennifer T. Wexton (D-Loudoun), mothers are permitted to breast-feed anywhere they are “lawfully present.” The measures cleared the Republican-controlled House and Senate without opposition and were signed into law by Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D).

Albo and Wexton were not familiar with the details of Peguero’s case but said the law clearly gives women the right to breast-feed anywhere they are otherwise allowed to be.

“Women don’t really have a choice,” Albo said. “If you have a kid, and the kid’s hungry, you have to feed ’em.”

Wexton said she brought her bill after hearing from a woman who had been told she could not nurse her baby in a hallway outside the children’s room at her gym. Employees said she could only breast-feed in the bathroom, Wexton said.

“The fact is, women just want to feed their babies. Women are very discreet about their breast-feeding. . . . It’s not in any way an indecent exposure situation,” she said.

Leave it to Evangelicals to have a big problem with a human natural process — breastfeeding. What’s more natural than a mother feeding her child using the mammary glands the good Lord gave her? The problem is that Evangelical men are deeply immersed in a culture where women’s breasts have been sexualized. And as with anything having to do with sex while the lights are on, Evangelical churches and pastors — at least as far as the keepers of male mental virginity at Summit Church are concerned — overreact and enact stupid policies and rules.

Sadly, a century of Evangelical obsession with sex has resulted in multiple generations of men being taught that they are not in control of their sexuality, and that women are seductresses out to bed them. Women are forced to cover up their bodies and mute their comeliness lest some horn-dog of a man cast a glance their way and feel some sort of sexual stirring. Evidently, the Holy Spirit living inside Evangelical men is not enough to keep them from lusting during their pastors’ sermons.

Non-Evangelicals read posts such as this one and snicker while shaking their heads. There is nothing sexual about women breastfeeding their children. Babies need to eat, end of discussion. As long as women are discreetly feeding their babies, I can’t think of one reason why their doing so should be a problem. My wife breastfed all six of our children. Rarely did she leave a church service to do so, and if she it did it was because the child was being fussy and she didn’t want to disrupt the service.

I pastored scores of breastfeeding women during the twenty-five years I spent in the ministry. I can think of only one time where a woman breastfeeding a child proved to be a distraction. One Sunday, as I was preaching away on the unsearchable riches of Christ, a church member sitting about three rows back unbuttoned her dress, pulled up her bra, and fully exposed her breast. She did this so her four-year old child could have a snack.  Most church members had no idea what was going on in the third row, but unfortunately for me, I had a boobs’-eye view.

In many Evangelical churches, men are viewed as metaphorical infants, unable to control their desires. Women are repeatedly told that they must be the adults in the room, and for the sake of infantilized men, cover their bodies. What’s even more astounding, as in the story mentioned above, is that it is left to church women to police their ranks. Taught that they must be gatekeepers, church women make sure that no Jezebel tempts their men. Perhaps the real solution to the breastfeeding problem is for men to own their sexuality. Stop with all the silly rules that only serve to embarrass and demean women. To Evangelical women, I say, it’s time to rebel against thinking that reduces women to sex objects. Of course, such rebellion requires Evangelical women (and men) to stand against the patriarchal, anti-women bullshit that their pastors preach Sunday after Sunday.  Sadly, I am not hopeful that church women will do so. The pressure to conform is so great, that only by leaving Fundamentalist churches can women truly be free.