Letter: Utah’s ‘mystery breastfeeder’ withheld names for noble reasons

Richard Davis might reconsider his idea that the anonymity of a woman and her spiritual leaders involved in a breastfeeding controversy is either “grandstanding” or “obfuscation.” Neither does anonymity equate with a lack of “the courage of her convictions.”

It is clear from the articles that she concealed everyone’s identity because she is seeking understanding, solutions and reconciliation rather than retribution. That merciful approach is taught by Scripture that her faith and mine hold in common. 1 Peter 4:8: “And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.” She courageously sought to educate people and find a remedy while at the same time covering identities so as to shield others from adverse publicity. In order to do so, she also had to remain anonymous.

This takes courage and holds risk. Without publicizing identities, she could be defenseless against retaliation. I know. A prestigious institution I served for 20 years asked me to do something illegal. I refused and was systematically harassed. If I spoke up, they would lose essential certification, leading to job loss among low-paid employees and hardship for their care receivers. I tried to address the problem quietly to prevent this. As a result, I suffered four years of extreme harassment aimed at forcing me out. Finally, they trumped up an accusation and fired me.

I could not defend myself unless I named names to a government agency. If I did so, innocent people would be hurt. My primary goal was the well-being of co-workers and care receivers. Hers is reconciliation and growth in her church. Both are sometimes better served by anonymity. Please don’t be so quick to condemn that.

Julia C.S. Vernon, Grantsville

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