John Bloom's picture
05.22.2008 | Comments(35)

God Sent Us This Hormone-Induced Miracle

Why does this creep me out? A church in Southlake, Texas, called eleven7 is raffling off $10,000 worth of fertility treatments in a contest called “Gift of Life” that, according to their website, will make the miracle of childbirth possible for a couple chosen at random in a drawing (provided you pass the screening process, that is–no lesbos allowed). The winning barren womb will receive services from the slick Center for Assisted Reproduction (to give you some idea, their website is embryo.net) and from North DFW Urology Associates, both of which are donating the services in return for . . . well, I think you can see what it’s in return for: the chance to sell $10,000 worth of fertility treatments to any number of frustrated copulating-but-childless couples in one of the fastest-growing suburban areas in Texas, smack dab between Dallas and Fort Worth. Ten years ago Southlake was best known for the ranch where Bunker Hunt kept his racehorses, but now it’s full of gated communities where the miles and miles of picturesque three-rail horse fencing is in inverse proportion to the number of horses needing to be corraled. eleven7 Pastor Keith Luttrell, better known simply as “Pastor Keith” because he’s one of those laidback guys who puts cinnamon sprinkles on his latte, says “At eleven7 we cherish life.” Apparently he also cherishes the 7Eleven trademark, because he turned it around, right down to the spelling, in order to brand his enterprise with a labored reference to Hebrews 11:7, which is a verse about Noah acting by faith. There’s no reason to single out that one verse, though, since the entirety of chapter 11 is about various figures from the Bible acting by faith. Verse 4 is about the faith of Abel, verse 5 the faith of Enoch, and verse 8 and following, in fact most of the chapter, about the faith of Abraham. So the only reason you would choose verse 7 is so you could create the brand name “eleven7.” It’s a congregation that is not only not embarrassed by preferring $10,000 in genetic engineering to $10,000 for rescuing orphans (and ten grand would rescue a lot of orphans), but a church that takes its identity from the world’s largest convenience store chain. Oh, wait, that does go together, doesn’t it? Hormone injections are more convenient. As Martin Mull would say, get your son at the Bun ‘n’ Run.

West Texas Smells Bad in the Summer

Texas Justice

The Texas officials who answered a false report in Eldorado, Texas, and seized 465 children in a raid on the ranch of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have never fully explained why they took the boys as well as the girls. The girls were supposedly endangered by the practice of underage marriage, but the boys were not. None of the five judges hearing the custody cases in Tom Green County were willing to address this apparent anomaly, so somebody had to go to Austin and find a Texas jurist with common sense. The Third Court of Appeals said the grounds for removing the children were “legally and factually insufficient.” All the focus of the media is now on “When will the children be returned to their parents?” but in my opinion the bigger issue is “Who started the witch hunt in the first place?” Parents keep showing up in the San Angelo kangaroo courts, trying to prove that their children were not abused. This is precisely backwards: it should be the burden of the state to prove that the children were abused. Another thing that’s never been explained is why the child welfare system has separated siblings, sometimes by as much as nine hours by car, and housed children so far from their parents that visitation is practically impossible. When lawyers show up in the San Angelo courtrooms, pointing out that particular families were either a) not resident at the ranch where the alleged abuses occurred, or b) had no children exposed to underage marriage, their exceptions are being routinely overruled–and their clients’ children remain in state foster care. This is starting to look like a rigged game.

Lakewood Church Sprayed for Cooties

Jay Bakker

Jay Bakker, the son of ex-convict evangelist Jim Bakker and late celebrity talk-show hostess Tammy Faye Bakker Messner, flew to Houston last week to force a debate with current reigning megachurch king Joel Osteen over whether homosexuality is a sin. At last report, they still hadn’t settled the issue. Bakker said he had been trying to get in touch with Osteen for six months to get his support for an organization called The American Family Outing, but he had to crash Osteen’s weekly Lakewood Church meet-and-greet to finally get his attention. Once inside, Bakker said Osteen and his family were very gracious, and that they both like Elton John.

How Many American Jews Building Mosques in Cambodia? Uh, 1?

Mosque

Alan Lightman, the MIT professor who wrote the best-selling Einstein’s Dreams, has been working through his new Harpswell Foundation to help women and children in developing countries. One of his first projects was to build a four-room concrete school in the Cambodian village of Tramoung Chrum, a gesture that so amazed the populace of 600 that Lightman, his wife Jean, and his daughter Elyse came to be regarded as miracle workers. So in 2006 the village as a whole approached the Lightmans, saying that what they really needed was a new health center (according to the women) and a new mosque (according to the men). Lightman told them he could give them one or the other, but not both. What he didn’t tell them is that, because the project fell outside the guidelines of the Harpswell Foundation, he would have to use his own savings to build it. Since the men rule the village, the mosque won out. So the Lightman family became the first Jews to be honored (with an inscription above the door of the new mosque) by the Islamic sect Imam-San, which incorporates Buddhism, Hinduism and animism along with traditional Mohammedan teachings. Five hundred Imam-San followers from all over Cambodia came for the dedication of the mosque on May 9. That’s got to be a mitzvah in any religion.

Comments(35)

budda | 01:18 am on 5/23/2008

I spent a couple hours or so trying to find out if Jay switched teams. Couldn't find it. Not one mention. He has been married for ten or more years, currently separated, of course he is fine with gays and lesbians in church and loving Jesus, but I don't think he is gay himself. He just crashed Joel Olsteen's Mothers day service. Sheesh I bet Joel Olsteen was uncomfortable, I wish I could have been there for that.

Maybe Bloom sees all them tattoos and piercings and thinks "that boy must be queer" . Perhaps Bloom's prejudices are showing or he isn't reading his sources carefully, or he has an inside source no one else has.

Anyone else heard anything about this?

TheDonQuixotic | 01:01 am on 5/26/2008

Impute motives much?

budda | 07:31 pm on 5/26/2008

Dam, Dony boy, I have gotten under your skin, haven't I? I even tried to kiss and make up over at the married sex movie comments. Whatever, I can hit these soft balls all day long. Good exercise.

Everyone assigns motive to some degree, Don. (Apparently you have some evil ones assigned to me, I know your not just defending Bloom) Yes, I impute motives all the time, that is part of the fun. It's like a Sherlock Holmes mystery. In this case, I gave a list of all the possible motives I could come up with in a 2 minute rant about a topic that aint that important. Hell, I even acknowledged that maybe Bloom has a secret source and was spot on. Well shit, Dony boy, If that was an egregious act of motive inference, then hey, you got me. But it looks petty and desperate on you part.

At this point i think that Bloom was just screwing with us (and/or Jay), If he even thought twice about it at all. (motive officially imputed) I been reading this site for almost a year now and I still get fooled. I love this place.

Keep the love coming, Dony boy, bad love is better than no love, bless your heart.

60613 | 01:00 pm on 5/29/2008

I don't know about Bloom, but I have watched Jay Bakker's "One Punk Under God" and I'm convinced that he's sincerely struggling with the issue of gays in the church. He wants to do the right thing - which as everyone knows might be what the evangelicals consider to be the "wrong thing".

I'm suspect that Jay's being painted with the "if he's for them he's one of them" brush.

budda | 01:20 am on 5/23/2008

Hey, Bloom, double check your sources and if you were wrong or misstated a fact you should issue a correction. It's just good, responsible journalism, man.

JoshH | 06:46 am on 5/23/2008

I'll agree with budda. One other factual point: American Family Outing wasn't/isn't exactly an "organization," it's more like an ongoing project to bring lesbian, gay, bisexual, trangender issues "onto the stage" at those oh-so-stage-like churches that seem to polish everything into blonde-haired, blue-eyed, acne-free, ivory-toothed perfection. And before people start hollerin' "It's satire, man!" I'll point out that not every honkin' word of this site is satire. If you don't get the facts straight, you can't get the important points across in a laugh-your-ass-off way.

As for Osteen appreciating Elton John, it was his love of Barbara Streisand that really got the crowd going. But when he went to the john in the park, his wide stance almost got him in trouble.

Anonymous | 11:04 am on 5/23/2008

"Gift of Life" - 11/7 website says that on 6/15 the church will "choose one couple to recieve the Gift of Life. This will occur during our service time on June 15th." Does that mean the envitro will also occur on June 15th? Should be an illustrious sermon that day. Yuk!

SRebbe | 11:40 am on 5/23/2008

same thing with me re: Bakker. he visited Charlottesville a couple years back with a film festival and far as I know, he's still straight, but friendly with the GLBT community to the chagrin of many of the conservative xtians.

I'd love for 11-7 church to give me 10 grand to adopt a kid -- or two. family is what you make, not simply pop out. of course, my condolences to those who have gone through the heartache of not being able to conceive. it's hard. my calling in life is to give those who have no home a place to lay their heads... (and unfortunately it ain't gonna happen right now -- long story)

one question -- why is the bambino in the pic white? ok, so I work in marketing and I notice these things... but all the pics of people on the website are white-white with light blonde hair and blue eyes... is it a whitebread church?

JoshH | 01:36 pm on 5/23/2008

If you work in marketing, you know the demographics of people who eat that sort of thing up, too. Lily white people who don't eat much white bread (they prefer multi-grain-type stuff from places like Panera).

SRebbe | 08:58 am on 5/27/2008

ah yes, that is true. but riddle me this... while the hyper-metro-spiritual prefer all things organic and multi-grain, why do the the redneck spiritualists prefer Wonderbread which at one time had sawdust added to improve texture?

JoshH | 02:49 pm on 5/27/2008

Economics; it's dirt cheap (and with preservatives, it can sit on dollar store shelves for quite a while).
At one time, whole wheat was the cheap bread and white bread was the expensive stuff. Then along came Wonderbread and its other "white bread" brothers and sisters; because of that, they can't call white bread "white bread" anymore.

that calvinist doug | 03:34 pm on 5/27/2008

Simple. Sawdust reminds them of the tent revivals where they held aloft their first serpent.

that calvinist doug | 01:53 pm on 5/23/2008

And this belongs in a church, why?

Why not raffle off a kidney? Just go down to a homeless shelter, pay some sap $5k for his kidney, hold a "charity auction" for the slightly abused kidney, and the church could clear thousands!

SRebbe | 09:10 am on 5/27/2008

truly dabble in the black market, yes! or grow livers!
but first, those lucky souls have to sit through a sermon that tell them that they have to be saved before they gets served leftovers that no one in the soup kitchen would eat. after all, it's all about the "good news."

they could borrow your diagram, Doug.

Teddy Bear Mohammed | 02:50 pm on 5/23/2008

So Jay Bakker is gay? He must have gotten the gay gene from his parents (Jim is bi and Tammy is a gay icon)
As remember their dogs, who had a "rock hudson" wedding to stop the rumors?
I doubt Jim & Tammy could have a straight child.

budda | 12:09 am on 5/24/2008

What??

60613 | 01:04 pm on 5/29/2008

Being a gay icon is equal to having the gay gene?

That's just stupid. Really very stoopid.

Don in Texas | 03:37 pm on 5/23/2008

Joel Osteen Maintains Homosexuality as Sin
By Lillian Kwon
Christian Post Reporter
Tue, May. 13 2008 03:23 PM ET

excerpts...

"It was a very cordial, very nice meeting," [Lakewood Church Spokesman] Donald Iloff told The Christian Post on Tuesday. "But ultimately through our conversations, we continued to disagree with Soulforce and Jay's position."

Although Osteen and leaders at Lakewood open their doors to all visitors, Iloff says they "believe homosexuality is sin" and that "it is disobedience under God." He further affirmed that they will maintain that position.

Before Sunday's meeting, Osteen turned down Bakker's invitation to attend a picnic with LGBT families on Saturday...

Anonymous | 06:34 am on 5/25/2008
budda | 05:15 pm on 5/26/2008

Dearest Anon,

Would you be ever so kind as to please fuck off, you lousy piece of shit? Thank you for your cooperation on this matter.
So very sincerely,
budda

Charles Dickens | 07:23 pm on 5/27/2008

CUE SAD VIOLINS:
FADE IN SLOWLY, IMAGE OF DISABLED WIDOW:
TIMMY (faint and timid voice): Please Sir, I work all day in Mr. Scrooges boiler room, finding websites, where I can enter an unpaid for and unsolictied advertizement. For each entry on a blog or discussion board I earn a dime. On many days I make seven dollars. That is enough to buy medicine for my baby brother.
BRING UP VIOLIN MUSIC FORTE:
ENTER BOB CRATCHET: What a kind a sober boy Tiny Tim is. He thinks nothing of himself, yet he labors 18 hours a day to provide a meager ration for his broken family.
(Yes Budda, a scene from the other side of the tracks.)

ny guy | 07:35 am on 5/25/2008

I watched that show of Jay Bakker's called "One Punk Under God" on IFC and it was extremely interesting. In the episode Jay was getting into trouble with the financial supporters of his church because he was coming to a place in his ministry where he was convinced in his heart that monogamous homosexual relationships were perfectly acceptable to and compatible with a faithful Christian walk and that gay couples should be afforded just as much respect and legitimization as strait relationships in the church. As you can imagine this caused quite a stir. He seemed absolutely frustrated that so many of his longtime supporters could not follow him on this one. It looked like he was having a really tough time with it. I usually like Jay Baker and have known a couple of people who have been involved with his ministry who would have probably slipped through the cracks if it weren't for a lot of the rough edges image that his church and ministry seem offer. But for once in my life, and I almost shutter as I write this I have to say that on this point I tend to lean more towards Olsteen's theological conclusions. I remember on the show there was one particular statement that Jay Made in the context of the ordeal of losing his sponsors. It was something along the lines of being about him not being a really theologically studious guy but rather a relational guy. Which I completely understand but, at the same time it gave the impression and was almost as if he was saying that this issue was settled for him primarily on relational grounds.

BTW- In response to some of the above comments he's not gay and thats not the point of all of this.

JoshH | 11:53 am on 5/26/2008

I know quite a few people who came to conclusions about homosexuality similar to Jay Bakker's on a relational basis and *then* found the theological scholarship conclusion once "they didn't care one way or the other" what the theological scholarship conclusion would ultimately be. Once the "stakes" of the gamble were lowered, it was a lot easier to come to a conclusion. That's a large part of the problem with just about any exegesis of Revelation these days; so much emotion is wrapped around it that studying it with a clear head is damn-near impossible.

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Suman | 09:38 am on 7/06/2010

Wao ! “Gift of Life” Fertility treatment !

what a thoughtful thought ! Its really good to see that prople are utilizing money and brains in such good things !Usually we waist money and time by moving here & there without actually thinking if we are using our time & money in right direction ! Its good ! So next time don't waist your money just donate it for a noble cause.Fo moving anywhere use milwaukee movers

Corset | 12:51 pm on 7/06/2010

Excellent post. Really praiseworthy. You described different things here and I enjoyed 'God Sent Us This Hormone-Induced Miracle'. But I was wondering why the lesbians will not get the chance. Anyway thanks for sharing.

Zips | 01:03 pm on 7/09/2010

Wao! john this is really creepy.How can a church do such thing only for money.Its some sort of fake inspiration for the childless couple.The 7/11 theory also bothers me a lot.They are raffling thing which is really a gift of God.Only the God can offer this gift to his followers.Doing something like the 7/11 is trying to do is embarrassing.Couples shouldn't concern about this kind of matter as if God is really there than He can give the gift of life any time to them.
John Thanks for the post.I appreciate your hard work.

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linen towel | 09:37 pm on 7/10/2010

Its really good to see that prople are utilizing money and brains in such good things !Usually we waist money and time by moving here & there without actually thinking if we are using our time & money in right direction ! Its good !

wool plaid | 10:18 pm on 7/10/2010

Its really an excellent post.I'll agree with budda. One other factual point: American Family Outing wasn't/isn't exactly an "organization," it's more like an ongoing project to bring lesbian, gay, bisexual, trangender issues "onto the stage" .

banners | 08:42 am on 7/13/2010

very good blog.lots of things to learn

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claim guide | 01:05 pm on 2/10/2011

It is God's mercy to give us many advantages.
Hormone is really a great miracle of God.No doubt.

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