If you saw a post like this on Facebook, with a mom saying she was kicked out of a church service for nursing her baby, would you be inflamed? Many are, and it's understandable why.
Since Amanda Zillion's post, many have took to social media to shame the church and even say it should be shut down completely. Another breastfeeding advocate is organizing a "nurse-in," where breastfeeding mothers would come to the church to nurse in protest.
"Additionally," reports the Christian Post, "a GoFundMe campaign has been launched to help Zilliken pay for a lawyer so that she can file a lawsuit against the church. As of Wednesday afternoon, $1,400 had been donated."
The church under fire is Elevation Church in North Carolina, a multi-campus church led by Pastor Steven Furtick. Apparently, Zilliken has been attending the church for a while, even driving up to an hour to get there, and has never before had a problem breastfeeding during the service.
However, the back story is that it was only a church volunteer (of which they have many) who asked Zilliken to nurse in the bathroom instead of the sanctuary. Amidst the great controversy, Elevation Church released this 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."
They continued, "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."
This issue exemplifies the heat surrounding the issue of mothers feeling free to feed their babies wherever they are, as well as the power of social media to potentially blow things out of proportion. Should the mom have been made to leave the sanctuary to feed her child? No. But is it accurate to say that the church should now be shut down due to a volunteer's mistake? No.
Zilliken says that her post wasn't intended to "bash" the church, but she says: "I do, however, think that everything was handled wrong." Leanna Jones Stroup, a teacher in North Carolina, took to Facebook to defend the church. "I am sorry that this happened but I do not believe that the church should be condemned for one person's actions. Would you condemn the whole church for the actions of one person if a man murdered someone?" Stroup asked.
"No!" she continued. "We would not condemn the church the murderer went to in that instance. It would be the choice of the murderer not the actions of the church. (I know this example seems to be extreme). I believe this is an attack on the church for sure!"
What do you think about this incident? Share your thoughts in the comments! Thank you! In other news, the Mormon Church is also under fire for this big decision.