“Nation Shocked, Horrified As Christians Hold Christian Position,” reads the headline of a Babylon Bee article published Dec. 1. It may be satire, but it’s a pretty good summary of a Nov. 29 piece by Kate Aurthur that appeared on BuzzFeed.
In the article, “Chip And Joanna Gaines’ Church Is Firmly Against Same-Sex Marriage,” Aurthur leads an absurd crusade against America’s favorite HGTV couple, Fixer Upper stars Chip and Joanna Gaines. She is shocked that the Gaineses would dare to attend Antioch Community Church, which is pastored by a man who has spoken out against same-sex marriage.
Just to be clear, Aurthur is not saying that the Gaines family takes this position. In fact, she doesn’t actually know what they think. “The spokesperson for Antioch said she could not speak for Chip and Joanna Gaines on same-sex marriage,” Aurthur admits. In the days after publication, the Gaineses haven’t taken a position, although HGTV issued a statement that it does not discriminate against LGBT people.
When it comes to the Gaineses, there is no evidence of discrimination, bigotry, or even unkindness toward the LGBT community. There is no evidence that Fixer Upper has or would refuse to feature a same-sex couple, which they have every right to do. In fact, other HGTV shows have featured such couples, but it is unknown whether there are any gay residents of Waco, Texas who have applied for the show. There is not even evidence that the Gaines family believes homosexuality is sinful or that same-sex marriage is wrong, not that there is anything hateful about defining marriage the way is has been defined for nearly all of history.
The only thing they’re guilty of is being Christians.
Brandon Ambrosino summarizes the intentions of BuzzFeed well in a Dec. 1 article published in The Washington Post. “They know that the Gaineses and HGTV are going to have to come out with a public statement on same-sex marriage,” Ambrosino says. “They also know that if the statement is not 100 percent supportive of same-sex marriage, the network will be pressured to drop them.”
Ambrosino points out that only about 55% of Americans support same-sex marriage. “Is the suggestion here that 40 percent of Americans are unemployable because of their religious convictions on marriage?” he asks. “That the companies that employ them deserve to be boycotted until they yield to the other side of the debate — a side, we should note, that is only slightly larger than the one being shouted down?”
Unfortunately, that is exactly the implication. Far too often, proponents of same-sex marriage and the left-wing media simply cannot handle the fact that other people, especially decent people like Chip and Joanna Gaines, disagree with them. The consequences for religious freedom are dangerous as liberals are is shutting Christians down wherever they can.
“Really, what is the cost to society if two HGTV hosts are allowed to thrive without disavowing their pastor’s comments on same-sex marriage?” asks Bloomberg’s Megan McArdle. “The far greater risk comes from trying to compel them to do so, whether through hard government power or soft private coercion.”
The hypocrisy of the Left is obvious. According to New York Magazine, at least seven leading fashion designers have already refused to design for future First Lady Melania Trump because of their political ideologies. They have every right to do so, just as Chip and Joanna Gaines would have every right to refuse to fix up houses for a same-sex couple, should they so choose due to their own convictions. There is nothing hateful about a Christian couple who declines to build a home for another couple if they feel that the values of the latter contradict their own. There is something hateful about this tirade against the Gaines family because their unknown opinion on same-sex marriage.
This fictional quote from the Babylon Bee is not far from the actual position of those attacking the Gaines family. “‘We’re not saying people can’t be Christians,’ a Seattle woman said in a Facebook comment. ‘This is a free country, after all. But when Christians decide to actually have Christian beliefs about things — I’m sorry, that’s just too far.’”
Ms. Lasch is a sophomore studying French and journalism