A bride straps a newborn to her gown, walks down the aisle with her one-month-old daughter being dragged behind her as part of her wedding dress, and one wonders what’s wrong with the U.S.? The controversial action by the bride, Shona Carter, and her groom, Johnathan Brooks, took place at the Elam Baptist Church in Ripley in Tennessee in May, reported Headlines and Global News on June 2.
While Carter and Brooks walked down the aisle, the couple’s one-month-old baby girl Aubrey was strapped to the train of her wedding dress and dragged along the floor as family, friends, and community members watched. Witnessing the newborn being dragged along on the floor prompted some with concerns. Others asked for the involvement of child protective services.
On her Facebook page, however, the bride is receiving a lot of support and positive comments. “It was your day!! End of story!! Yo money yo time yo sweat!! I thought it was unique all I wanted know was how she stayed so calm!!!!! Lol.” According to Shona Carter-Brooks, one-month-old Aubrey was "awake and well-secured" and that she was "covered by Christ.” Her full Facebook page comment reads as the following:
“People questioning what we do, commenting all negative, and just doing the most. We good though we covered by the Blood which never loose its power. So to the media, radio, news, and whomever else wanting to talk about what WE do here you go: Media Media I see how it works regardless the situation or purpose people gone have something negative to say! The answer is we do what we want when we want long as Jesus on our side everything worked out fine and gone continue to be fine. Our 1 month old was awake and well secured on my train. Most important while yall got ya feelings in us we had our hearts in Christ which covers all!! So keep ya mouths running for it was just that Exclusive and Epic enough we made top blog way from small town Ripley, TN and the social media doing what they do, TALK!!!!”
For many international readers, the news story of a one-month-old baby being dragged behind a bride is not about the happy couple, the money, the media, the critics, or even Jesus, but it is about the baby. And many agree, that is what’s wrong with America.
Many readers are asking -- why was the bride holding flowers and not the baby? Aren’t babies supposed to belong into the arms of a mother and not as part of some wedding gown decoration? As shown in the wedding video published by the BBC, pictures of the bride and groom were taken mainly from the front, not the back. Ten or 20 years from now, when Aubrey looks at her parents’ wedding pictures, won’t she wonder why she wasn’t in her mother’s arms while she walked down the aisle? As evident on her Facebook page, Shona Carter-Brooks loves her little baby girl. But will Aubrey see it that way a few years down the road?
For many international readers, the value that children experience in the United States has diminished to such a degree that many of the country’s problems can be traced back to early childhood. The answer to what’s wrong with America becomes symbolic in a child being dragged behind her mother.
But what’s wrong with America is also what is right with America and what distinguishes the country from most other countries in the world. As Shona Carter-Brooks said on her Facebook page, "we do what we want when we want." America, or more specifically the United States, is a land of freedom and a land with endless opportunities – and that includes a bride’s choice to strap her newborn to her wedding gown.