A pastor in Tennessee is facing criticism after he asked a mother and child to leave the service because the baby was making noise.
According to Ponder Anew, Dan Smith, the pastor of United Church in Gallatin, Tenn. Stopped his sermon after the 15-month-old made noise.
“Hey ushers, can you please show them where the nursery is?” he said. “I don’t want to struggle with a child the whole time, so please help me out.”
Smith tried to continue his sermon, but could not.
“Okay, let me stop. Just because I just did that, everybody’s freakin’ out because I just said that, listen. We love children. And you … sweetie, look at me … we love kids, but if a child is gonna affect the whole service because the child’s cranky or whatever, we do have TVs that are right there in the back, so that’s cool,” he said.
The pastor insisted that he didn’t want to “affect the other people in the room” because the baby was crying.
“Listen, I love children. But see, everyone’s focus is right there right now. And sweetheart, as long as she’s fine you stand there and do your thing. But I need you to understand, somebody else got up and walked out. That’s OK. I’m not gonna affect 300 people because of a crying child. That’s why we have TVs in the outside, that’s why we have a nursery. If you get offended over that, I’m sorry, I really am sorry, but we’re not gonna do that. And I know I sound like a jerk right now, but we’re not gonna affect 300 people because of that. Let me try to get back in the mode of where I was.”
The woman who posted the video, which has been shared more than 15,000 times, said her daughter and her friend, who was the mother in the video, left the service.
“How can this pastor call himself a man of God and treat a member of your congregation that way and don’t care if anyone is offended,” she said. “I don't know what is worse, the embarrassing of a member or the fact he did not care if he offended anyone. So sad in a society where we need to bring our young people to God and they are chased off because they have a young child.”
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Tatyana Tomsickova
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.