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article imageBishop Larry Trotter in bath with granddaughter sparks outrage

By JohnThomas Didymus     Jan 19, 2013 in World
Chicago preacher Bishop Larry Trotter, posted a photo of himself in bath with his granddaughter to Instagram. It sparked off a storm of rage and debate about the appropriateness of his action, with some calling for child protection services to intervene.
The photo shows the Chicago preacher, senior pastor of the 8,000-member Sweet Holy Spirit Church, in bath with his granddaughter, both smiling for the camera. The two are covered up to the neck in bubbles.
The Daily Mail reports Trotter was forced to defend his action Thursday, on the John Hannah Morning Show, after he received hundreds of angry messages on social media accusing him of inappropriate interaction with a minor. Some described the photo as "disgusting" and "sick." Others described the pastor as a "child molester" and "pedophile."
The high-profile preacher defended himself, saying the photograph was "completely innocent." He complained that he has been the target of vulgar abuse and that the backlash has hurt him and his family.
He said: "It is a very dark time and a very hurtful time for my family because what was innocent has become very ugly and nasty."
Trotter explained to the show host that his four-year-old granddaughter and her parents were visiting. He was taking a bubble bath wearing swimming trunks when the little girl entered into the bathroom and asked to get into the bathtub. He said: "My grandbaby who is four came in and said 'Popo where did you get all the bubbles from' and I teased her and said that I make bubbles. When she asked if she could get in, Jovian her mother put some trunks on her, as I did mine, and she got into the tub for five minutes I guess."
He said it was the child's mother who snapped the picture while another member of the family who had access to his Instagram account uploaded the photo to the Internet.
He said: "I know some people have never bathed with their kids but when I was growing up we shared bathwater. I am not ashamed of what I did. I am ashamed and hurt that it has gone out into the world and people have called me everything from a child molester to a pedophile, to a nasty old man."
IB Times reports that when asked if he would do it again, he said he would never.
The Daily Mail reports that Trotter deleted the picture within minutes after it was posted, but it was too late. The photo spread very quickly on social media after it appeared on the Obnoxious TV blog.
The Daily Mail reports the photo also featured on the Facebook account of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad Teachings Testimonial Page on Wednesday night, with a caption that said:
"NO SIR BISHOP TROTTER!!! No man should ever ever ever take a bath with a female in his family or friends. That’s only for a man and his WIFE! This is totally inappropriate behavior!"
Facebook and Twitter users joined in the condemnation. Trotter claimed he received over 1,200 hate messages on his personal Facebook page.
He has closed down his Instagram and Facebook pages.
Jezebel comments, under the assumption that Bishop Trotter's account of the circumstances of the photo is the truth:
"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?" also comments under the same assumptions as Jezebel's:
"I bathed with all of my kids. My husband bathed with all of our kids. Now they are all too old and big and tall to bathe with, and I personally don’t feel like sharing my bath with an 8-year-old and the 20 Barbie dolls she lugs into the bath with her, I don’t see anything inappropriate, I see an adorable little girl who is smiling in the bath with her grandfather. I think the only person allowed to be furious about this is the girl’s mother."
Readers comment on the Daily Mail were not as hostile as on Twitter and Facebook:
-Well WHO took the photo ???? Was it the childs mother-father-grandmother. Then everything IS ok. Some people just have filthy minds. I wonder why they would think such a thing. Is there something from their childhood???
-The people making a big, dirty deal out of this are questionable, not this granddad having a bath with is granddaughter. We used to do things like this back in the day. Completely innocent. If this man had even one dirty thought about this, he wouldn't have shared it. I feel terrible for him and his family.
This is not the first time Trotter has been involved in a controversy involving his granddaughter. In September 2012, he staged a mock execution of his granddaughter in protest of a teachers' strike. He said: "My grandbaby's on this cross to symbolize the 400,000 children who now for the seventh day are being crucified of their education and their safety."
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