Chip and Joanna's Church is Against Same-Sex Marriage. So What?
On Tuesday, BuzzFeed ran an exposé on Chip and Joanna Gaines, the stars of HGTV's popular show "Fixer Upper." But the article did not focus on any wrongdoing, or even on the celebrity couple's views about a politically charged issue, same-sex marriage. Instead, it focused on their church's teachings about marriage and homosexuality, and asked whether the Gaineses subscribe to the stone-age belief that (SHOCKER!) marriage is between one man and one woman.
And it's not just one website either: On Wednesday, Cosmopolitan, US Weekly, and Jezebel joined suit — attacking the popular television couple for the unspeakable "hateful, anti-LGBT beliefs" of their pastor, Jimmy Seibert of Antioch Community Church.
Who cares? Chip and Joanna Gaines are famous for their expertise at "flipping" houses and having tons of fun while they do it. Their flirting on national television, and the work-family dynamic which drives the show have entertained and inspired people — and infuriated those who cannot live up to this impossible standard for human relationships (seriously, check out this hilarious tongue-in-cheek article from the Federalist's David Harsanyi).
The Gaines recently graced the cover of People magazine, while their book, The Magnolia Story, has been on the New York Times’ best-seller list for five weeks. A long profile in Texas Monthly praised the couple for revitalizing the city of Waco, Texas. The family owns retail space there, as well as a real estate company, a paint line, and a home decor line — and the couple recently launched a new magazine, The Magnolia Journal.
But this lovely, successful couple (with four beautiful children) also has a dark side, BuzzFeed can exclusively reveal. They are devout Christians (as revealed in their new film I Am Second), and they attend church on Sundays (oh, horror!). These particular sins might be forgivable — except their pastor doesn't support same-sex marriage, and he thinks homosexual practice is a sin.
The BuzzFeed article's subtext is clear (and the same can be said for the others in Cosmopolitan, US Weekly, and Jezebel): If the Gaineses also believe this, it's over. They cannot be accepted into polite society, and the all-powerful liberal elites who run the world must ensure that they lose everything.
I'm exaggerating, but not by much. According to BuzzFeed, Pastor Jimmy Seibert's beliefs are beyond the pale, and that matters because "hate" like his cannot be allowed to infect the American people through popular culture. Even if Chip and Joanna never mention homosexuality on the show, even if they are kind and charitable to gay people on television, their motives will always be questionable, because they listen to a preacher of hate like Jimmy Seibert.
Next Page: But what does Jimmy Seibert preach? The power of God.