two women in swimsuits
"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," the pastor wrote.

A youth pastor is apologizing for enforcing a ‘one piece swimsuit’ rule for his female summer camp students. 

“I have been a youth pastor on and off for over 20 years, and I have issued the ridiculous ultimatum to my female students at summer camp ‘ONE PIECE SWIMSUITS ONLY,’” the viral Facebook apology from pastor Bryce Brewer says.

“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.”

The apology post went viral and has been shared nearly 100,000 times. The full post can be found here:

So I need to issue an apology (I am using some humor here too). I have been a youth pastor on and off for over 20 years,...

Posted by Bryce Brewer on Sunday, July 11, 2021

Swimsuit Issues

For his part, Pastor Bryce Brewer’s lengthy apology seems sincere. He lists five points on which he believes he was misguided, including failing to “teach boys to control themselves” and “[laying] the weight of purity on a girls swimsuit while she was swimming, and not on the boys responsibility to not be gross.”

Still, not everyone agrees that he even needs to apologize. As one commenter put it, “Yes there are males that do not know how to control their urges, but when a young lady runs around almost totally naked and leaving almost nothing to the imagination, then I do place that responsibility on their shoulders. WHAT is the reason for this type of dress if not to draw attention to their bodies?”

Modest is Hottest?

This debate comes during part of a larger reckoning in faith circles over the past few years regarding female modesty and body shaming – reminding some people of other recent examples of male religious figures overstepping their bounds. 

Last month, Christian singer Matthew West released a single titled "Modest is Hottest," whimsically wishing in the lyrics that fashion trends for his daughters would be “a little more Amish, a little less Kardashian" and stating that “what the boys really love is a turtleneck and a sensible pair of slacks.”

The music video, deleted by West after facing backlash from angry teens and parents alike, featured lines like: "If I catching you doing dances on the TikTok in a crop top, so help me God, you'll be grounded 'til the world stops."

The backlash was swift and instantaneous. One parent told TODAY that she believed the song was simply sending the wrong message to young girls.

“What a girl wears does not equal her worth," Lyssa Creutzinger stated. "Girls don’t wear clothes because it’s what 'the boys really love.' If you’re comfortable in modest clothing, rock it, and if you want to dance on TikTok in the clothes you love, don’t let people like Matthew West tell you that’s 'bad.'"

Others were reminded of the video of an overweight pastor who declared in a sermon that wives should stay slim and fit for their husbands, always have perfect makeup on, and be available for sex.

As one might expect, it didn't go over too well – that pastor was forced to be placed on leave. 

What do you think? Is it time for society to let girls dress the way they want, and to stop blaming their clothing choices for the wayward gazes of boys? Or is modest, as the song goes, truly hottest?

31 comments

  1. Brien's Avatar Brien

    How about if a boy is gay? What if a girl is lesbian? Religion almost always puts people in a box. At least the pastor has begun to see reality. Peace ☮️

  1. John Condron's Avatar John Condron

    This is nothing new. Organized (and disorganized) religions have always used shaming, especially around sex and sexuality, to control believers. Of course, as education levels go up, the effectiveness of such shaming is reduced. The harder they squeeze, the more free-thinkers are created!

  1. Douglas Robert Spindler's Avatar Douglas Robert Spindler

    Why are American Christians so ashamed of women's bodies and sex? In Europe women go topless and teenagers have overnight sleepovers.

    1. Thom's Avatar Thom

      It comes from our Puritan roots. You see the British wealthy were having parties and were deep into their sexuality. But the Puritan movement in Britain brought them to a new land. America. To plant new seeds so to speak. What it really did was spread incest, rape, abuse of women and children that was all kept secret.

      It was all still here. Humans are sexual creatures. We are all designed to procreate. The puritans were trying to escape something that isn't escapable. And still to this day we are fighting a religious war that must end. Christianity will not win. There are many religions that make up our world and we are all entitled to choose the religions that fit each of our beliefs.

      Young people need to be treated differently. Boys need to be taught how to be gentlemen. Taught that it is ok to be different and those who bully are the ones who are persecuted, and have to answer for their actions later either by karma or a god if that is what you believe.

      That we can't sexualize either men or women. It's wrong but natural. What we have to do is find the intellectual stimulation with our partners. Our Best Friend in the world is what my grandfather told me the day we said our final good byes to my Grandmother. His best friend in the World he said. I knew that day that when I found my best friend I had found my life partner.

  1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

    Why should he apologize? if you dress in a swimsuit that has less thread then a piece of floss and get stared at, then thats you own fault. I am not saying that you need to be covered from head to toe, but dressing like a floozy/goodtime girl does not help you either and if you do dress like that people are going to look like it or not, thats human nature.

    1. Douglas Robert Spindler's Avatar Douglas Robert Spindler

      Why are you so ashamed of the human body God created? Women was made for Adam's rib. (Which we now know is wrong. Women as created first, and man is created from male hormones.

      1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

        Who says I am? But women cannot complain about people looking if they have on less clothing then dental floss. And what about the other peoples rights to not have their children exposed to this? if they want to show that much skin there are such things as nude beaches you know.

        1. Douglas Robert Spindler's Avatar Douglas Robert Spindler

          Sounds like you want to have control over women telling them what they can ware and what they can't. They are people too. In America they have rights. If you want to tell women what to wear try moving to Saudi Arabia.

          Even in Muslim countries women are wearing dental floss bathing suits or burqa bathing suits, t's their choice. And in Europe people don't have a problem with what women wear even if they are topless at the beach and yes kids are exposed to seeing naked men and women at the beach.

          Please tell me why American Christian men are so ashamed of women's bodies?

  1. taycomama's Avatar taycomama

    If only one-piece bathing suits are allowed, which piece do they want them to take off?

    1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

      Great question! I’m glad you’re on this blog. Can we do a survey?

      🦁❤️

    2. Douglas Robert Spindler's Avatar Douglas Robert Spindler

      The front.

  1. Ruth Patterson's Avatar Ruth Patterson

    The two piece swimsuit is not the problem because if it is then you also need to tell the boys to wear a shirt when swimming because topless boys can be just as distracting as a girl in a two piece swimsuit if this is your mentality go back to the 1800's. Girls can be just as dirty minded as boys. Some swimsuits may make the public less offended by covering more but your not looking at the daily heat logs. When the temperature rises the more covered you are the more likely you will have to get overheated and end up in the hospital. It should be more important to look at health and safety issues over sexualization of others.

    1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

      Then there are those with foot fetishes too, Ruth. So, they better wear shoes, too. Must we be responsible for what goes on in the minds of others? Isn't it responsible enough to live with a guilt-free conscience, and not worry about what others are thinking about us? Personally, I love lusting for pretty women in bikinis on the seawall and beach in Galveston every summer, and don't give a damn if anyone's God doesn't like it! I'd also hate to ever go to Christian Heaven! It sounds like a terribly dreary place to be.

  1. William Dusenberry's Avatar William Dusenberry

    The definition of a Puritan. “Someone who wants to make sure, that anyone, anywhere, is not having a good time

    I can understand trying to prevent females, who don’t want to be pregnant, from making themselves unattractive to their male counterparts, but for clergy-members to categorize two piece swimming suits, as agents of the Christian Devil — is deplorable.

    Trump must be outgrowing his sex drive, now that he’s officially become a White Christian GOP Nationalist — who wants every sex act to possibly end up with a baby in nine months.

  1. Alan Maurice Sanders's Avatar Alan Maurice Sanders

    And a boy's swimsuit doesn't leave a boy almost totaly naked? It sounds like you are the one uncomfortable with young ladies in swimsuits. The boys and girls are going to look at each other, and that goes for the girls as well, It is natural to do so. How we raise them to show respect for each other is what counts and should be part of growing up, not sexualizing.

    1. Douglas Robert Spindler's Avatar Douglas Robert Spindler

      Guess you have not seen modern male swimsuits. They can be very skimpy.

      1. Ealdormon Piparskeggr Robinson's Avatar Ealdormon Piparskeggr Robinson

        Heck, when I was in high school in the early 70's the Spedos the boys' swim team wore were prettty skimpy

        1. Douglas Robert Spindler's Avatar Douglas Robert Spindler

          Spot on, but it continued into the 80s and they are still around today.

  1. Nicholas J Page's Avatar Nicholas J Page

    Bruce why have you been a pastor on and off for 20 years.Either your a religious follower or not Also get a grip trends and fashion change constantly.I believe you can't make your mind up about anything .Stop worrying about life.Just consentrate on religion.

    1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

      What's religion without life? It's just as hard to pave the roads without feeding the people.

  1. Rowland Anton Barkley's Avatar Rowland Anton Barkley

    The photographer in the article is as creative as the pastor in the story! She has captured the girl in the one-piece in a more seductive pose then the one in the two piece.

    I normally enjoy listening to Rabbis on the Internet as you need to think to listen to them, and I don't usually listen to Pastors as they are almost all boring. But this pastor has 100,000 people pass on his trickster teaching style, to help boys notice that life is better if you don't act gross.

  1. robert's Avatar robert

    Now as someone who is more spiritual than religious I must interject that in a religious situation, church if you will, young ladies don’t need to be running around in two piece bathing suits around all the hormone driven teenage boys! Unless of course one wants babies, yes they are still children , having babies, just my thoughts

    1. Douglas Robert Spindler's Avatar Douglas Robert Spindler

      @Robert What an old fashion sexist statement? Are you trying to say women don't have hormones, sexual desires or sex urges like teen age boys?

      1. robert's Avatar robert

        Ok it’s a two way street! Happy? My point is not to let babies have babies!

  1. Rev Mark D's Avatar Rev Mark D

    Sharia focus ain't just a preoccupation by sex obsessed Muslim doggie boyz, is it? This pastor reminds us why Amy Coney Barrett kept herself looking so hot.

  1. Rev Mark D's Avatar Rev Mark D

    By the way, the psychological principle here is called "projection." Feeling horny and hot for little girls, Pastor? Blame it on the objects.

  1. flugo's Avatar flugo

    So, it's ok for a gal to wear in public a bikini of 2 thimbles and a cork?!

    1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

      It sounds like flugo is suffering fy senile dementia.

  1. John P Maher's Avatar John P Maher

    AVERT YOUR STARE SINNER, GO to YOUR CUBICLE and CRY on YOUR BIBLE, LUSTFUL PERVERT SINNER !

  1. Rabbi Francine MacHotka's Avatar Rabbi Francine MacHotka

    Youth counselors are responsible for the safety of the kids their parents have entrusted to their care.

    With coed swimming nothing good can come of it. Let them swim separately and let the girls wear what reasonably covers them. If it’s a bikini so be it. Let them swim and enjoy the water and their friends without feeling like a piece of meat or being judged for being over or under weight or any other body shaming. Before they go swimming, they should have a lesson or two about loving whatever body type they’ve got and to be sensitive not to bully other girls who have eating disorders or any other condition that makes them uncomfortable in a bathing suit.

    Rape, murder, kidnapping, abuse are real threats for kids at camp or anywhere. Conversations are vital to ease their minds about what to do to stay safe for example buddy systems, drinking from sealed bottles, not hanging out with people they don’t know, avoiding illegal activities with “adults” and their parties etc...

  1. Rev. Dennis's Avatar Rev. Dennis

    Lust will still be there no matter how much "modest" apparel you put on. In countries where "modest" clothing is worn and very little is showing, the amount of sexual assault is no less (and sometimes higher) than the amount of the same in "less modest" societies.

    The problem is not the apparel, it is the lack of wanting to educate and learn how to change behaviors and have control of thoughts and especially actions.

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