I don't know if I'm going to post this. And if I post it, I'm not sure I'm going to leave it up.
Goddammit, am I welcome in a UU church?
Oh, no, I know. I am welcome. However, if by "I," I mean, "I and my children," then ... well, no, not necessarily.
I have to admit to feeling slapped by a blogger whom I really like, who put a comment on someone else's blog saying, to paraphrase, that she wouldn't mind breastfeeding in service being uncommon, not because of the breastfeeding, but because she doesn't want babies in the service at all. Period.
Now, before the "Oh, but what about those horrible people who let their children yell and scream and run up and down the aisles ..." I'm not talking about that. Those people piss me off just as much as anyone. But how is that not different than the argument, "Oh, I don't mean all black people. People like you are very nice. But you know, those other black people. The ones on welfare, who don't talk right, who just want us all to support them."?
The area I live in has several UU churches and we recently had a citywide workshop. One of the comments was something along the lines of, "I think there's room in our town for an adults-only church."
See, that sounds fairly innocuous, doesn't it? But what it means is, "I think there's room in our town for a church with no parents of young children."
See, this is how it works. We can't leave our 2 year olds at home with a bowl of water and a sack of kibble. A church with no children means a church with no parents. No parents of young children, anyway.
How would it sound:
"I think there's room in our town for a church with no gays/lesbians."
"I think there's room in our town for a church with only white people."
So why not just leave them in the nursery?
I think that is a question that would only be asked by someone who either a) has never had children or b) had children so long ago s/he doesn't remember what it was like, that first year.
The first 3 months, you don't want to leave your baby in a nursery, no matter how wonderful it is. Your child is too young, too vulnerable. And the truth of the matter is, many of our nurseries are not set up for infants. Not enough staff. Or the staff isn't qualified. As in, "Oh, I'm going to feed your two month old some animal crackers, okay? Spread with honey?"
Soon after that, the baby begins to have problems "separating." Meaning, they know what a stranger is (anyone other than mommy or daddy) and aren't going there for anything.
So, my infants, including Little Warrior, have been in the service with me. Frequently nursing. Discreetly. And quietly, other than an occasional slurp. Anytime a child wasn't quiet, we beat a hasty retreat. So, yes, we might have upset your concentration for 5 seconds. Really, that's so horrible that you would rather I not come to church for the first year? REALLY?
My church, (I say with pride), does that part right. I say that not only with church pride, but also personal pride. We moved to a new location several years ago and I had one priority: there must be a "crying baby" room for when your baby isn't quiet. A room where you could go, at the back, where you could still hear the service, but where a fussy baby wouldn't bother others. They did it. Glass wall, and speakers.
But apparently, it isn't necessary for a baby to be fussy to bother others. Merely present.
To reiterate: I - am - not - talking - about - parents - who - let - their - babies - yell.
So, why IS it like this? African-American man didn't choose to be black, lesbian woman didn't choose to be gay. But I chose to have babies.
Is that the difference? "You made your choice ... live with it. Don't ask me to accomodate you."