Bryce Brewer apologized to young women for forcing them to wear one-piece swimsuits during his 20 years as pastor.
A pastor is apologizing for having asked girls to cover up their bodies instead of teaching boys to control themselves. Bryce Brewer, who has been a pastor for more than 20 years is looking back at his time and regretting imposing a "ridiculous ultimatum" on young girls by insisting they wear one-piece swimsuits to church-sponsored events. Brewer, who hails from Washington DC, said he realized his folly when he went on a shopping trip with his fiancé and her 10-year-old daughter. They were searching for a one-piece suit for a church summer camp and that's when it hit him.
"I wandered with them through several department stores and through Target trying to find a cute-but-appropriate one-piece bathing suit and they're very very difficult to find," said Brewer, reported TODAY. "I watched a frustration build with both of them, almost a dejection." He then reflected on his own past where he mandated girls wear one-piece suits to church-sponsored events. "I wondered, how many young ladies did I subject to this event over 20 years of ministry? Times when, because of me, they were desperately searching for a one-piece bathing suit and couldn’t find one?" added the pastor.
He got home and decided to get the matter off his chest and apologize to all the women he tried to police. Brewer apologized to all the young women who he told what they should wear to the swimming pools, summer camps, and water parks. "I am sorry that I didn't teach boys to control themselves," wrote Brewer. "I am sorry I laid the weight of purity on a girl's swimsuit while she was swimming and not on the boys' responsibility to not be gross." Brewer recalled the discussions with young women and said he found his own comments in such situations "cringe-worthy."
"Women are all shaped differently and for a male to come in and say what a female should wear? That's the most ridiculous thing in my head now," said Brewer. "Those conversations and meetings? It breaks my heart that I said some of the things I did. I was totally missing the point." He then asked why women should feel the burden of men's sins and lust. He added that young women had been unnecessarily sexualized. "Why are stomachs overtly sexual? Why is a little cleavage sinful?" asked the pastor.
"I am sorry to all the students, especially young women, that we subjugated to our rules. I am sorry to my female students as they desperately tried to search for a swimsuit in the days leading up to camp. I am sorry if you felt sexualized by us telling you to cover up. I am sorry I didn’t teach boys to be men, and laid that responsibility on young women," he wrote. He then urged women to wear whatever lets them have fun before asking men to "stop being disgusting and control yourself."
He is now hoping others don't make the mistake he did, and pave the way for a better society. "The number one thing I hope comes from this is that we as leaders, especially in the church, would walk in humility and stop pretending we are the ones that have the answers," said Brewer. "I truly am sorry, and my intention was to say that and to say that while my heart may have been in the right place, I missed the boat in this area." He concluded the post, writing, "Youth pastors (male especially): Stop being chauvinist and making female students feel bad for having breasts."