I love Instagram and I also enjoy sharing pictures of the young ones in my life. My niece cuddling my dogs? Check. My nephew posing as a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle? Done it. Me and six-year-old niece taking a topless bubble bath together? Yeah, no.
Bishop Larry Trotter, a high profile senior pastor at an 8,000-member mega-church on Chicago's south side, is having to answer to his congregation, and an even more unforgiving internet, for posting a photo of himself and a young girl taking a bubble bath together to his Instagram. Oy. Apparently nobody told him Instagram is for nail art and cats wearing hats, not for whatever this shit is.
According to Bishop Trotter, the girl in the photo is his four-year-old granddaughter. He says she was visiting with her parents for the weekend when she came into the bathroom and asked to get in the tub. Madame Noir reports that Trotter claims both he and his granddaughter were wearing swim trunks and the mother of the child, who took the picture, was present for the five minutes the child was in the tub. As far as the photo being uploaded to Instagram, the Bishop says another family member with access to his Instagram account posted it.
A few points jump out at me: do they make swim trunks for little girls? And since Instagram is a phone app, how many people would've had access to the Bishop's phone?
Facebook is on fire, with hundreds of people sharing the photo with comments like "That's inappropriate. Kids r dealing with molestation within there [sic] own family. That's crazy. Not saying he's that type of person but no parent should find this appropriate," and "So sick on so many levels....."
A few questions: Is it creepy for a grandfather to take a bath with his four-year-old granddaughter? What about if they're both in swimsuits? I know my dad has definitely been in hot tubs with his granddaughters, but those were in public places and yeah, swimsuits were involved. Was the person who posted this to Instagram trying to share something about the Bishop, or was it an innocent moment that's not appropriate for public consumption?
In an interview about the photo, the Bishop said "I'm not ashamed of what I did. I am ashamed and hurt that it is going out all over the world and people have called me everything from a child molestor to a pedophile to a narsty old man and how I should get out of the ministry –- the vulgarity has been terrible."
The name calling sucks, mainly because it's knee-jerk reactions like this — ones we're all guilty of making at times — that, if they gain traction, have the ability to ruin a person's life. I'm not sure what the deal with the photo is but do you think it's possible that the Bishop is just a dolt when it comes to social media, and doesn't have the best judgment in general? This is a man who used one of his granddaughters to stage a mock crucifixion, after all — evidence suggests he's a guy who just doesn't fully think things through.