“People who give their kids weird names are unsophisticated morons,” I thought to myself when I was 23 years old and busy substitute-teaching a class full of kids named Brysalynn and Traxton. “Clearly these parents have no regard for honorable saints and heroes from the Bible and world history, which is why their kids don’t have respectable names like Anna or William. Clearly these parents have no love for the culture of their ancestors, which is why their kids are probably named after some organic vinegar bathroom scrub their parents picked up at Whole Foods. I have absolutely nothing in common with people this vapid, so clearly I could never be friends with someone who would name a kid something dumb.”
Then, a few years later, one of my closest friends had a kid and named him something dumb. At the moment of said dumb-named kid’s entrance into this world, two options stood before me. Option A: I was wrong about baby names, and it was, in fact, possible to be an interesting, intelligent person while also being sweet on absurd baby monikers. Option B: Despite having a mountain of evidence that my friend was interesting and intelligent, this was all a ruse and he had been a moron the entire time.
After some self-reflection, I chose Option A. With regard to the Chip and Joanna Gaines, however, Kate Aurthur of BuzzFeed and Gina Mei of Cosmopolitan appear to have chosen Option B.
BuzzFeed Pulls Chip and Joanna Out of the Closet
“Buzzfeed has uncovered something many fans will likely want an explanation for,” Aurthur writes, that “something” being that Chip and Joanna, house-flippers extraordinaire, HGTV superstars, and perhaps America’s most beloved married couple, belong to a church whose pastor preaches that homosexuality is sinful.
Mei also brings our attention to these vile, reprehensible words from Jimmy Seibert, the Gaines’ pastor: “So if someone were to say, ‘Marriage is defined in a different way,’ let me just say: They are wrong. God defined marriage, not you and I. God defined masculine and feminine, male and female, not you and I.” That’s some Westboro Baptist-level hate speech, right there, folks.
Does this hateful homophobia also lurk within the Texas hearts of Chip and JoJo, y’all? Mei puts it all in perspective for us. “While it is unclear if Chip and Jo agree with Seibert’s beliefs, Buzzfeed claims when they reached out to the couple’s company, Magnolia, and HGTV’s PR department to see if they would ever feature a same-sex couple on Fixer Upper, their messages went unanswered. And while fans shouldn’t necessarily jump to conclusions about what this might mean, for many people who watch the show, their silence speaks volumes.”
It’s worth noting that “Christians might believe what Christians have always believed about homosexuality” is not the most intriguing headline in the history of newsworthiness. So why are BuzzFeed and Cosmo making such a big deal over this issue? I think the answer is quite simple: Liberal fans of “Fixer Upper” are in full-blown panic mode after learning that people they’ve fallen in love with are, by their own rules, unlovable.
Just as I knew that only morons would give their kids weird names, they knew that only reprehensible people believe homosexuality is sinful. So when evidence surfaced that a couple they already deemed to be loving, kind, and the cutest couple alive probably believes homosexuality is sinful, they responded by assuming the fetal position and mumbling “I thought I knew you” to themselves, the same thing I was tempted to do when my smart friend dismantled my stupid baby names theory.
Take an Exit on Introspection Boulevard
But if liberal HGTV lovers are looking for a better response, they’ll find it by getting off the Progressive Expressway at Introspection Boulevard and asking themselves, “What’s more likely, that Chip and Joanna Gaines masterfully tricked me into thinking they were endearing, affectionate, loyal, and devoted people when they were actually sneering, sniveling oppression-demons, or that I was wrong to think that everyone who opposes gay marriage is a hateful bigot?”
The answer to that question should come pretty easily. With a fair amount of honesty, liberals shouldn’t have a hard time telling themselves, “It’s far more likely that the Fixer Uppers are genuinely nice folks than that the duo deliberately deceived me, in the same way that the conservative pastor in my town probably cares about people as much as his congregation’s soup kitchen indicates, and in the same way that my church-going grandmother has probably spent my entire life kissing me because she actually loves me, and not because she wants to distract me from her gay-bashing fists.
“Likewise, now that I think about it, Christians saying ‘Please don’t engage in homosexual acts’ probably isn’t indisputably hateful considering that, according to the CDC, in 2014, 83 percent of males aged 13 and over diagnosed with HIV were infected through homosexual acts. So maybe I was wrong. Maybe it is possible to be a decent human being and believe that homosexuality is wrong.”
Or Worship at the Social Justice Altar
But the problem at hand is that Aurthur, Mei, and their ilk are not merely experiencing a moral crisis over the Gaines family. They’re also experiencing a spiritual crisis. It’s not just that they feel icky after learning that they fell in love with conservatives. It’s that their deity, the god of social justice, demands that all unbelievers must be tied to his altar in order for his followers to become righteous.
Liberal politicians like Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, and Tim Kaine also have a pastor who opposes gay marriage, but they are exempt from being sacrificed because they have publicly defied Catholic teachings and pledged allegiance to the god of social justice. The Gaineses, however, don’t get such a pass because they aren’t cultural Catholics and have mostly likely chosen to attend their congregation because they believe the unsavory doctrines preached there. So while crusading liberals may have been happy to help Chip and Joanne build their Waco empire, they will gladly tear it to the ground if that’s what the god of social justice demands.
So expect BuzzFeed and Cosmopolitan to keep digging up “dirt” on the Gaineses’ pastor, to pressure Chip and Joanna to renounce their congregation, and to demand that HGTV cancel their show if they refuse. Expect hardened liberals to cross their arms and tell themselves, “I wasn’t wrong when I said that everyone who opposes same-sex marriage is evil. Rather, I was wrong when I thought that Chip and Joanna were good. They tricked me into loving them, so this is the punishment they deserve, and this is how I can make peace with the god of social justice.”
This could be a great teaching moment for the crusading Left. It would be great for them to learn, via Chip and Joanna Gaines, that not all opponents of same-sex marriage are evil, just as I learned that not everyone who gives his kid a weird name is an idiot. But it seems that BuzzFeed and Cosmopolitan have already chosen their path. Expect them to trash the reputations of yet another couple guilty of nothing but holding “unpopular” opinions. And if this keeps happening for the next four years, expect Trump to win reelection with 65 percent of the popular vote.