Today, in Cambden County and other towns in Georgia, some very unusual protests will be held. It is expected that hundreds of nursing mothers will come together and nurse their babies – in public – in order to make it known to the world that there is nothing more beautiful, and natural, than breast feeding your baby.
All of this has come about because, several months ago, Nirvana Jenette reported that certain members of her church insisted that she breastfeed her baby in her car, not in the church. They accused her of acting like a “stripper” and threatened to have her arrested for lewd behavior. “It was just about every sad negative emotion I could think of just balled up in one, and just felt like it all lumped into my chest,” Jenette said. “It made me almost literally sick.”
Come on guys … this mother of four was sitting near the back of the church along with the other mothers of young children, modestly covering herself, and her nursing baby, with a blanket. Chances are there was no more skin exposed than there would be when a mother bottle feeds her baby.
That this beautiful act of Creation, a mother nurturing her baby with the milk her body produces, is presented as something sexual and distasteful, saddens me. This woman was shamed by members of her church for simply doing, respectfully and quietly, what God intended a woman to do, and everyone else kept silent.
This is yet another situation where the rest of us in the “church” failed to be “the hands and feet of Jesus.” We are the church. Us, the people, not the building. Everywhere we go, we represent the One who loves and protects little children, their mothers and fathers, the aged, and the helpless. And the ones who wound others. That’s the amazing thing; they need to be held to account, but they are loved as well.
Please stop being someone who watches from a distance any longer, but speak up in defense of anyone who is shamed and silenced. Lord, forgive us.
Horrified by the reaction to a natural act between a mother and her infant, Nirvana has decided to organise a nurse-in at the Camden County Courthouse on 5th March. The courthouse has been chosen for the nurse-in because, despite the law allowing breastfeeding in public, the law becomes ridiculous if a breastfeeding mother could be charged for public indecency. If you are interested, you can read her petition.