Move over, Duggar family! There’s a new fameball-y evangelical family breeding an Aryan army of Christian warriors, and they are called, quite fittingly, the Bateses.
In a move shocking no one since they switched over to an all train wreck format, TLC has decided to essentially re-make its own concurrently existing show 19 Kids and Counting by adding yet another reality show about the Bates family, called The Bates Family: Baby Makes 19. I can only guess they plan to pit the Bateses against the Duggars in some sort of contest to see who can deliver more children from her old, traumatized womb before it finally stops responding to the hormone shots being administered to it.
Gil and Kelly Bates, who are in their mid-forties, already have (as you might have guessed) 19 biological children and are constantly adding more, because they believe that “birth control is wrong.” They will have as many children as God wants them to! And yet, it seems to me that their use of fertility technology is “cheating” God’s plan just as much as contraception would. Call me a skeptic, but I’m wont to believe there’s some sort of other compulsion at play here making them rationalize their actions thusly. After all, there are lots of evangelical Christians who don’t have 19 kids. The Bateses also home school their kids to protect them from secular, science-y influences.
“But what’s wrong with having a lot of kids?” a nice person like yourself might ask. “If they’re all being properly cared for, what’s the harm?” To which I say: there’s nothing wrong with having a ton of kids, in and of itself. But the Bateses’ belief that birth control is wrong (not just for them, but for everyone), and the logically following beliefs that a woman’s place is in the home, barefoot and pregnant, with no career of her own, is inherently judgmental towards people who use birth control to guarantee a baby-free existence, so I feel justified in judging them back a little. As with the Duggars, who stump for Rick Santorum, the Bateses would love for their beliefs to be legally imposed on everyone. That doesn’t seem too “live and let live” to me.
And then there’s the desire to use their unusual lifestyle to get famous, which doesn’t seem very Christian to me. Then again, maybe they think they’re just spreading the good word. TLC: Totally Laughing at Crazies!
(Via ABC News)