In My House, We Did Things Bishop Larry Style, Everyone In The Bathtub!

bishoptrotter instagramThere is nothing in the world I hate more than pedophiles and child exploitation and children being sexually abused. NOTHING. Well, except rape. Rape is up there too. But all of this public outrage over Chicago’s Bishop Larry Trotter is so over the top and creepy. Bishop Trotter took a bath with his 4-year-old granddaughter and posted the photo to Instagram, or someone posted it, and everyone is all freaked out and saying it is terribly inappropriate and awful and accusing him of all sorts of nastiness, even though Bishop Trotter says the child’s own mother was in the room and snapped the photograph.

From Madame Noir.com:

Bishop Larry Trotter, high profiled senior pastor of the Sweet Holy Spirit Church, an 8,000-member, mega-church located in the south side of Chicago, had to do some testifying this morning after a picture has surfaced on the Internet of him having what some are suggesting is inappropriate interactions with a minor.

In the picture, which appears to have been uploaded from the pastor’s own Instagram account, a smiling Trotter can be seen seated in a bubble bath with young girl, who looks between the ages of three to five years old. While there is no evidence of anything felonious happening, both Trotter and the unidentified girl are seen topless in the photo. According to the blog Obnoxious TV, the child in the picture is Trotter’s own granddaughter.

Appearing on the John Hannah Morning Show, Bishop Trotter defended himself from charges of inappropriateness and said that the last couple of days has been a very dark and hurtful times for his family. He also offered explaining for how his granddaughter appeared in the tub with him. According to Trotter, his four-year-old granddaughter, along with her parents, were visiting for the weekend. While taking a bubble bath, the girl came in the bathroom and asked Trotter if she could get in the tub. He then says that both he and his granddaughter had on swim trunks and the mother of the child, who took the picture, was present for five minutes that the child was actually in the tub with him. He then attributes another family member, with access to his Instagram account, with uploading it to the Internet.

I don’t think the photo needed to be shared with the world, and it could have happily resided in a personal family photo album, but I have a very hard time believing anything inappropriate was going on. I bathed with all of my kids. My husband bathed with all of our kids. Now they are all too old and big and tall to bathe with, and I personally don’t feel like sharing my bath with an 8-year-old and the 20 Barbie dolls she lugs into the bath with her, but if we were in a rush and we needed to take a speed shower I would totally drag her in there with me. And when we have grandchildren if they ask to join us in the bath and our own kids don’t care then I won’t have a problem with that either. When my kids were babies I almost always bathed with them, if I didn’t just put them in the kitchen sink, because I hated those bath chairs and they always seemed vaguely moldy and unsafe, and I liked bathing with them!

I just don’t see all the feigned moral outrage over this. I don’t see anything inappropriate, I see an adorable little girl who is smiling in the bath with her grandfather. I think the only person allowed to be furious about this is the girl’s mother.

(photo: Instagram)

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  • Justme

    Different strokes for different folks, I suppose. My mother was abused by her father and as a result I was never allowed to spend time with my grandparents alone. Never. So I guess as a result I’m very particular about my daughter and issues such as this. She and I take bubble baths together but I don’t think even my husband would feel comfortable doing that. Personally, it strikes me as odd but that could be a result of my own purposefully distant relationship with my grandfather. And on top of it….I am a VERY modest person.

    • StephKay

      As with anything involving nudity, it’s always about boundaries and consent. It’s totally okay to have private bath time in a family, and aside from a little teenage embarrassment, it’s also okay to have a lot of innocent nudity in the home too. I was never close with my grandparents either, and hadn’t really thought of it as a grandpa thing, but obviously he loves the kid and has a close family if his daughter and granddaughter were hanging out in the bathroom in the first place. Definitely not for everybody, but as someone who is a sexual abuse survivor it makes me really sad to see someone attach that label to a little girl who just wanted to play with her grandpa. Not to mention the implications for her mother and the grandfather himself.

    • Justme

      I didn’t attach that label but I was relaying my experiences. I never had any sort of close relationship with my grandfather because of my mother’s experiences as a child. Therefore the idea of taking a bath with a grandparent is very strange to me. And that’s a perfectly acceptable way to feel.

    • StephKay

      Oh no no no! I’m so sorry I wasn’t more clear, I didn’t mean to imply YOU were labeling them that way. I was agreeing with you that based on my own experiences I see how fair it is to have shared bathing outside of your own comfort zone. I just added at the end that I feel bad for a family that IS comfortable with it being labelled inappropriate by the media. Not you, I didn’t think you were saying that. I apologize, I meant to convey the concept of us all having different standards and the concept of not stigmatizing actions based on the presence of nudity alone as separate thoughts, and I didn’t convey that properly. Like I said earlier, all standards regarding personal space are fair and valid, and I agree with you entirely.

  • Raleigh

    Eh, if either of my parents hopped in the tub with my kids, I wouldn’t care in the least. But we’re also a pretty tight-knit family and they watch my children frequently.

  • http://www.facebook.com/houde.veronique Véronique Houde

    I might have one of the only newborns that was terrified of water and would cry bloody murder whenever we would put her in the sink or the bathtub… My doula suggested that we takes baths together (and me being a swim instructor a few years back) thought it was a great idea!! Being in the bath together has made it a lot more relaxing for her, and I’ve been able to help her get used to water – floating on her back, moving her legs around… Yesterday I was blown away when she started playing with the duckies I put in the water, and she’s 10 weeks old! My boyfriend also takes baths with her and I have no issues with him being naked with her… He’s her father after all. I’m just happy that bath can be a fun, family time together, and that she’s quickly gotten over her fear of water! Nudity has been vilainized way too much in north american culture…

    • StephKay

      I had the same fear of water issues with my daughter as a newborn. Everything you wrote is pretty much exactly how it was for us too. Water play is also a great way to exercise newborns since it eases the weight resistance when they move, which is probably how she managed to play with the duckies at only ten weeks old (smart little cookie must want to get started playing with her toys, but those arms are just so heavy!).It worked like a charm for us, and the only drawback I’ve found so far is how to fit in the damn tub for water toy play time now that she just turned three and I’m seven months pregnant! I figure if it’s a no-brainer to cuddle your baby through challenging moments for them why should bath time be any different? There’s something special about the time in childhood when we’re so deeply bonded to our parents that body shame doesn’t even cross our minds, it always bums me out to hear people rob the situation of it’s innocence. For Christ sake, she was once physically part of my body, I delivered her, I nursed her, I changed her diapers. Nudity is part of parenting regardless, might as well make bath time easier. My partner bathes with her as well, which she thinks is a big special treat, and while none of the grandparents ever have I can’t imagine why it would be a problem since hanging out in the bathroom with my dad during his baths was really special for me as a little girl. Feel awful for the man in the article. I can’t imagine what he must be feeling right now.

  • CG

    Not only did I take baths with both my parents as a child, I also saw many adult neighbours/friends in the buff when we were all at our local river swimming spot or in the hot tub at get togethers…nothing untoward ever happened, I am completely comfortable with nudity as an adult, and my parents checked with me often to make sure I was not uncomfortable with the situations around me. I agree the picture shouldn’t have been shared on social media, but it doesn’t seem worthy of outrage. Nudity does not mean something has a sexual connotation…the two can be completely separate.

  • Melissa

    In most cultures, this is totally normal.

  • http://zuungols.myminicity.com/ind Bichon Bisou

    My only thought was, he was taking a bubble bath, and already had on swim trunks? Is he a Never Nude??
    Seriously though, there’s nothing wrong with this, and people need to stop overreacting.

  • K.

    I totally have no problem with a parent bathing their young children (or bathing with them).

    I do question the need to tweet pictures of it.