Go to Church. Win a Baby. Maybe. May 31, 2008

Go to Church. Win a Baby. Maybe.

Having trouble conceiving?

The Eleven7 church in Southlake, TX has a potential solution for you!

Fill out the application (PDF) by next week. (My favorite part? All the fine print on page 4.)

The church will randomly choose 10 eligible couples from the batch.

Then, about a week later, on Father’s Day, the church will randomly choose one couple as the winner!

The winning couple will get a medical evaluation and, depending on what’s needed, will be directed to the Center for Assisted Reproduction in Bedford or the North DFW Urology practice in Grapevine, which have agreed to donate their services.

The value of the service could reach $40,000, said the Rev. Keith Luttrell, pastor of eleven7. In vitro fertilization is among the covered options.

There’s no income threshold, but the application does have some background questions and asks for a $25 application fee. Couples applying need not belong to the church.

… Names will probably be picked out of a hat, said Steve Brannon, the church’s executive pastor.

Pregnancy is not promised.

“We as a church will be in fervent prayer for the couple chosen and know that God’s will is always perfect,” the application materials say.

Nice that the in-kind donation might help a couple who want a baby but can’t conceive one — or afford the fertility treatment.

Sad that the church has made this into such a spectacle and media frenzy.

I just keep thinking about the side issues…

  • How would you feel if you’re one of the nine losing couples?
  • What if the treatment works but the baby is miscarried?
  • What if the “Blessing” eventually becomes an atheist? Or is gay?

Oh, right. “God’s will is perfect.”

Got it.

Maybe this will help set a precedent.

Next year, another church will just adopt a child from a Third World country and auction it off at a Sunday service.

Or several babies will be up for grabs, and you’ll spin a wheel to see which one you get!

The possibilities are endless…

Speaking of babies, time for lunch.

[tags]atheist, atheism[/tags]

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  • I don’t understand what’s so special about children that people will go through all this trouble to give birth to one. Adoption works just as well, and it helps children in need instead of selfishly (IMHO) creating another child with needs. Plus, it diminishes the threat of overpopulation.

    In any event, I wonder who at the church thought this up. It’s very bizarre.

  • That sounds crazy!!! As yinyang already said: I wonder what crazy pastor thought this up??

    I doubt that the child would become an atheist until he/she is 30+ years old. If the parents are good at indoctrinating teaching their child then it’s very hard for them to let go of their beliefs.

  • Cindy

    Hey, Southlake is my town! I hadn’t even heard about this yet. I don’t know anything about this particular church, but you bring up some pretty good points. Sounds like marketing gone amuck to me.

  • Alycia

    But…couldn’t it be argued that it’s “god’s will” that the people don’t have any children?

  • Richard Wade

    That fine print on page 4 of the application form is worded broadly enough to give the Eleven7 Church the right to disqualify anyone for any reason. On page one they get to their criteria right away. The fourth question on the front page starts with:

    Religious Affiliation? ________
    Church you currently attend?_______ How long?______
    Minister or Pastor that knows you. _______

    Anyone want to bet that a couple who writes “atheist,” “Buddhist,” “Catholic,” “no church,” or “Reverend Jane Sappho” on any of those lines are going to be qualified for the final pick? Uh huh.

    “Church” implies Christians only. “Minister or Pastor” implies Protestant only.

    This is so wrong on so many levels for so many reasons.

  • if it was real…meaning for the love of the couple, no one would know…this is crap.

  • Julie

    yinyang, don’t know how old you are or if you’re male or female, but actually it does make a big difference if you’re dealing with infertility, whether the child is biologically yours or adopted. It’s a huge emotional hurdle to get over the idea of not being able to have a biological child. Adoption is a beautiful thing, but the idea that by adopting you are helping some poor kid doesn’t take into account the fact that it costs at the very, very least about $15,000 to adopt a child. It’s not like you pick them up at the pound. It’s a time consuming legal process that can take many years. One of the most offensive things you can ever say to a person dealing with infertility is, “Why not just adopt?” It’s coming from a real place of ignorance about what that emotional battle is really about. I don’t think you’re a bad person for saying it, because you probably don’t know any better, but FYI, if you ever say it to a friend of yours who is dealing with infertility, get ready to kiss that friendship goodbye.

    40 weeks pregnant, all natural baby, due yesterday dammit–where IS the little bladder kicking bastard???

  • Karen

    But…couldn’t it be argued that it’s “god’s will” that the people don’t have any children?

    Uh, yup. That’s what people used to say 40 years ago, before Big Science brought us in vitro fertilization, effective fertility treatment and other medical “miracles.” It could also be argued that if prayer works so beautifully, there’s no need for the church to pay for fertility treatment – why not just let god answer prayer!?

    This reminds me of another phenomenon in the news this week, the monkeys who’ve been fitted with brain electrodes and have learned to manipulate a prosthetic arm with their thoughts. Someday within (most of) our lifetimes, paralyzed individuals will be able to benefit beautifully from this technology, which has been in development for more than 20 years.

    Apparently “why does god hate amputees?” will be answered by science that is actually doing something to help them, where prayer has been ineffective for thousands of years. But don’t count on the fundies to think any better of science, unless we can find a way to counter the brainwashing.

  • I note for the record that I am female, and that I encourage everyone to adopt, not just the infertile.

  • Susan

    Please let us know the results as soon as you feel up to it:)

  • Karen

    40 weeks pregnant, all natural baby, due yesterday dammit–where IS the little bladder kicking bastard???

    Congrats in advance, Julie! 🙂

  • Jen

    This has to be the most tasteless thing I have ever read, ever. I feel a little dirty having read it.

  • Julie

    Ha ha, yinyang, encouraging everyone to adopt really doesn’t make much sense! EVERYone? I’m sure this thread will disappear over the horizon, and I’m not interested in a comment fight, since I hope to go into labor soon. But…just keep in mind that adoption is a huge, huge decision. People who don’t know any better tend to think of it as this helpful thing, like a public service. But the reality is often different. “Just adopt” and solve the world’s problems really isn’t the way it works. If you do any actual looking into the topic, you’ll find out pretty quickly that adoption is expensive, takes years, often comes with a lot of problems re: kids and agencies, and internationally can involve additional expense for travel. Adoption is out of the reach of many people for financial reasons. Not to mention, most people simply do not want a child that isn’t their biological child, and they shouldn’t be asked to take one on!

    That said, the truth is I’ve always planned to adopt one child. But when I found out what it involved, I thought it might just be cheaper cookin’ at home!!!

  • Well, I know adoption isn’t easy (especially if one is interested in adopting older children), and it’s not like I’m saying “Everyone must adopt, or else you are bad people!” And, I’m not naive enough to think that it would solve all the world’s problems. But, by encouraging everyone who wants to have children to adopt, maybe more people will look into it, and then maybe more people will actually go through with it, which means that maybe more children will have a good, stable home to grow up in. It’s just one of many things I think would help improve the human condition.

  • Alycia

    I was being a bit facetious, by the way.

  • Interrobang

    most people simply do not want a child that isn’t their biological child

    So why is that? It seems to me the natalist propaganda has certainly been ramping up since it has become possible to have fertility treatments, I mean, not that it hasn’t been ramping up anyway, especially for predominantly white people who are of the social class to be able to afford fertility treatments in the first place. (You’ll notice that while adoption is expensive, it’s less than half the price of fertility treatments.) From where I’m sitting, this issue is inextricably linked to class and race privilege.

    Also, you have no idea how much people being blithe about how “most people simply do not want a child that isn’t their biological child” is offensive to adoptees, of which I am one. It normalises the attitude that you have to be genetically related to your family for it to count.

    I actually find fundies’ support of things like infertility treatments to be kind of perplexing. These are the same people who, in many cases, reject things like contraception and vaccination and are anti-feminist because those things are “unnatural,” but they haven’t come to the conclusion (in their paradigm) that maybe infertility is God’s way of telling you you shouldn’t have kids?

  • Calling all atheist couples…

  • Julie

    Adoption is more expensive than fertility treatments. Insemination will run you $3000-$4000 a pop. IVF will cost about $11,000-$15,000. The extra expense comes with multiple treatments over time. The awesome thing about adoption, especially for infertile people, is that at the end of the process, you do get a baby (or a child), even if it takes a long time. With fertility treatments, you just gamble that money.

    “Natalist propaganda” is just some really silliness. People want to see their own genes combined. (Even if they really should be discouraged from doing so.) Adoption’s great, like I said, and I’m a person who might do it. And there’s a lot of adoption already in my family, so I don’t have the attitude that adoptees aren’t “real” family. But you can’t just say to people, any people, “You should just adopt a kid!” It’s not really like that. It’s a huge emotional thing to take a kid into your home who isn’t related to you. You can’t just encourage people to do something like that, any more than you can just encourage people to travel around the world for year or go to graduate school, or get married to a certain person. Adoption isn’t any kind of worldwide solution for social problems, because it’s such an individual decision.

    The idea that world problems would be solved if you just picked the stray kids off the street in Bombay and stuck them in nice homes in Grosse Point–it’s just simplistic. Actually, it’s ridiculous. It always irks me to hear people say that.

    Those same people will tell gay couples to “just adopt” without even considering that a gay couple might want a child biologically related to one person. Actually, my students in the college writing class I taught would always write that in their papers about gay marriage. They always, always had to put in their two cents about how gay couples should adopt. What a neat solution! These gay people want kids, and these stray kids need homes. I’d always have to remind them that gay couples can have their own kids, too, using donor sperm or surrogacy. It was somehow a total wake up call.

    So the idea that people should “just adopt” is totally sophomoric–or maybe freshmenic, since I was teaching freshmen. It’s this strange notion that you have two puzzle pieces that fit perfectly together–people who need kids and wow, spare kids! It just does not work that way. Everyone adopting would not really improve much, but more importantly, it’s just an impractical thing to suggest. Try suggesting people recycle or maybe ride their bikes to work. But major life changes? That’s not really a great suggestion to make to “everyone.”

    By the way, it IS weird that this church will spring for so much for fertility treatments, because I would sort of assume that such an expensive bill would entail IVF, which creates extra embryos a lot of the time. Definitely not a popular thing with the fundies.

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