Chip Gaines Speaks Out: 'Disagreement Is Not the Same Thing as Hate'
On Monday, Chip Gaines of HGTV's popular show "Fixer Upper" broke his silence on the non-controversy which BuzzFeed had stirred up in late November. After being attacked for his pastor's views on same-sex marriage, Gaines shot right at the heart of the LGBT controversy by declaring that "disagreement is not the same thing as hate."
"Listen to me, we do not all have to agree with each other. Disagreement is not the same thing as hate, don't believe that lie," Gaines declared in a blog post called "Chip's New Year's Revelation." This declaration — simple and non-controversial on its face — cuts to the heart of much LGBT rhetoric recently, which dismisses conservative Christians and those who disagree with same-sex marriage as "bigots" and "haters." Rather than explicitly make the argument against such activists, Gaines decided to call for mutual peace and understanding.
Gaines and his wife Joanna, the stars of "Fixer Upper," became the center of controversy after a BuzzFeed article reporting on the statements of their pastor, Jimmy Seibert of Antioch Church. BuzzFeed's Kate Aurthur attacked Seibert for not only disagreeing with same-sex marriage (based on the "stone-age" belief that marriage is between a man and a woman), but also for thinking that God could rescue gay people from their sinful lifestyle.
Aurthur made it clear that such beliefs are beyond the pale, and hinted that if Chip and Joanna Gaines believe them, they should be ostracized. It remains unclear, however, whether the Gaines accept Seibert's beliefs on these issues, which themselves are not as heinous as Aurthur claims.
In his post on Monday, Chip Gaines focused on mending division, rather than asserting his beliefs about same-sex marriage and homosexuality in general.
"This year has been tough," Gaines acknowledged. "In my lifetime, I can't recall humanity being more divided. Plenty of folks are sad and scared and angry and there are sound bites being fed to us that seem fueled by judgement, fear and even hatred. Jo and I refuse to be baited into using our influence in a way that will further harm an already hurting world, this is our home."