Progressive ‘Tolerance”

HGTV ‘Fixer Upper’ couple Chip and Joanna Gaines find themselves in the liberal media’s crosshairs for attending a church that has traditional view of homosexuality. Twitchy has a roundup of the tweets that link to the publications’ articles, including these:


I liked this response:

And this one:

Perhaps for their faith crime, the state will force them to fix up a house for a gay wedding.

More. Obviously, the liberal news sites are looking to stoke a controversy along the lines of the Benham Brothers who, two years ago, had their upcoming “Flip It Forward” show on HGTV (helping “lower-income families purchase fixer uppers and transform them into dream homes”) dropped after an outcry and boycott threats over the brothers’ faith-based opposition to same-sex marriage and abortion. But Jason and David Benham were vocal about their views, which the Gaineses are not (if that should make a difference). The witch-hunt mentality of the liberal inquisitors also brings to mind the 2014 resignation of Mozilla’s co-founder and CEO Brendan Eich amid outrage following the discovery that he had contributed $1,000 in 2008 to a winning California ballot initiative against same-sex marriage.

But all Chip And Joanna Gaines did was go to church.

Furthermore. Guy Benson weighs in. Note: his post includes a tweet from a Stephen Miller who is not me.

Apparently, from some of the comments, this kind of mean-spirited, ritualized shaming is just a tempest in a teapot because the left is targeting conservatives. Nothing to see, move along, boy Miller is stupid (a recurring theme) for believing this might be of interest to anyone reading a site called CultureWatch.

And more. Not much buzz about this from the trendy lefty sites but the right has noticed (in responding to the left’s manufactured Gaines controversy): Likely DNC Chair Rep. Keith Ellison’s Imam: Homosexuality Is ‘Not What God Intended’.

16 Comments for “Progressive ‘Tolerance””

  1. posted by Houndentenor on

    I had never heard of these people before this story emerged.

    Also, cable is still a thing? How 90s!

  2. posted by JohnInCA on

    Nancy Peolosi, Tim Kaine and Joe Biden have all repudiated their church’s stances on these issues. This couple, apparently, has not.

    So it’s not an apples-to-apples comparison.

  3. posted by Tom Scharbach on

    Quite the tempest in a teapot.

    For those interested,the Buzzfeed article complained of notes that the couple has been making quite a point about their religion:

    They have built a small empire, and they are not done yet. They have a huge retail space in Waco, as well as a new magazine, the Magnolia Journal; they have a real estate company; Joanna has a paint line and a home decor line. Season 4 of Fixer Upper begins Nov. 29.

    They are also, as they detail in The Magnolia Story[*], devout Christians — Joanna has spoken of and written about her conversations with God. (God told her both to close her store to spend time with her children, and then to reopen it a few years later.) Their church, Antioch Community Church, is a nondenominational, evangelical, mission-based megachurch. And their pastor, Jimmy Seibert, who described the Gaineses as “dear friends” in a recent video, takes a hard line against same-sex marriage and promotes converting LGBT people into being straight.

    So are the Gaineses against same-sex marriage? And would they ever feature a same-sex couple on the show, as have HGTV’s House Hunters and Property Brothers? Emails to Brock Murphy, the public relations director at their company, Magnolia, were not returned. Nor were emails and calls to HGTV’s PR department.

    Interesting to note, in addition, that the neither the Buzzfeed article nor the Twitches displayed in this post call for a boycott or any other action. And while I can’t say that I’ve waded through all 500+ comments to the Buizzfeed article, I don’t see any indications of a lynch mob there, either.

    So I’m a little bit puzzled about why The Daily Caller, Patheos and RedState are turning this into an uproar. I guess the Buzzfeed article just fit the “Progressives are Evil” meme too closely to ignore.


    [*] NOTE: The Magnolia Story is the Gaines’ self-puff marketing book (Amazon, October 18, 2016, $15.87) in which

    “… fans will finally get to join the Gaines behind the scenes and discover:

    *The time Chip ran to the grocery store and forgot to take their new, sleeping baby
    *Joanna’s agonizing decision to close her dream business to focus on raising their children
    *When Chip buys a houseboat, sight-unseen, and it turns out to be a leaky wreck
    *Joanna’s breakthrough moment of discovering the secret to creating a beautiful home
    *Harrowing stories of the financial ups and downs as an entrepreneurial couple
    *Memories and photos from Chip and Jo’s wedding
    *The significance of the word magnolia and why it permeates everything they do
    *The way the couple pays the popularity of Fixer Upper forward, sharing the success with others, and bolstering the city of Waco along the way

    And yet there is still one lingering question for fans of the show: Is Chip really that funny? “Oh yeah,” says Joanna. “He was, and still is, my first fixer upper.”

    I’ll bet he is, too.

    By the way, does anyone know why Trump Tweets rather than Twitches? Is he showing his age?

  4. posted by Tom Scharbach on

    Not to worry, I figured out my puzzlements of last night.

    (1) Why Trump Tweets rather than Twitches. Tweets are short messages sent by someone (e.g. “Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag – if they do, there must be consequences – perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail!“) on Twitter, and Twitchy “mine[s] mine Twitter to bring you “who said what” …” from a distinctly hard-right point of view, if staff self-descriptors are any indication:

    Lori Ziganto … is one of those icky fiscal and social Conservatives. Sarah D … got even more turned off by leftism, and saw a lot of corn … Brett Taylor‘s … several years spent in academia studying English literature convinced him he wasn’t a liberal after all … Doug Powers … became a conservative while working as a grocery store cashier at age 19, when a customer paying with a welfare check that required management approval accused him of not working hard enough to make it happen … Greg Pollowitz … worked in finance and as a blogger for National Review Online … Jacob Bunn’s passion is his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Lives in Birmingham, Alabama … William Amos … has been a Republican since he cast his first vote for Ronald Reagan in 1980.

    Still unresolved is the question “Why are Tweets called “tweets” rather than “twits”, if Twitter is the media outlet for such drivel?”

    (2) Why is this turning into a right-wing uproar? The hard-right conservative Christians haven’t had a new martyr in a year or so, and the “progressives are determined to put Christians into boxcars” meme was running out of steam. Buzzfeed inadvertently tossed some new martyr-meat into the pit, and the right wing is using Buzzfeed’s article to manufacture the latest faux outrage.

    (3) Why is IGF pushing this?. If you haven’t figured that one out, you probably still think that the “Independent” in IGF still means something.

    • posted by Jorge on

      In other words, the Buzzfeed article has about the same objective worth as the stories about Justin Bieber being caught in the nude.

      Many, many people (mostly women) have tried to convert me from being straight without even realizing it. It never occurred to me that that’s an example of God’s love.

    • posted by TJ on

      Some people market themselves as “good olde boys” with a belief in some sort photogenic, suburban Chistianity that plays well in “red” States and communities, and often gets ignored by “blue” and “purple” states and communities. Its a standard success strategy for celebrities.

      With the home and garden\lifestyle media, this is certainly an avenue for success, but you gotta have some blue or purple views because the audience for cooking, home and garden and other lifestyle media expects some “family friendly homosexuals” along with a superficial interest in cultural diversity.

  5. posted by Tom Scharbach on

    In other words, the Buzzfeed article has about the same objective worth as the stories about Justin Bieber being caught in the nude.

    The Buzzfeed article is accurate — Chip and Joanna Gaines use their marketing book, The Magnolia Story (a NYT best-seller, by the way) to build a “squeaky-clean Christian” persona as part of their brand, and the church they attend, Antioch Community Church in Waco, spouts the usual conservative Christian line on homosexuality and homosexuals — but the article itself is nothing more than the usual “social, entertainment and media” nonsense that passes for “news” these days.

    Specifically, the article is not a call to arms against Chip and Joanna Gaines, their show or their coming prominence as Christian exemplars along the lines of the Duggars, the Robertsons and many others. And, as far as I can tell, nobody else has issued a call to arms, either, except in the fetid imagination of twitchy conservatives.

    The story is being given prominent play in conservative media, but nothing of any consequence in the liberal media. What coverage exists in the liberal media is either neutral or runs in favor of pointing out the problems with the Buzzfeed article.

    We’ll see what happens down the road, I suppose, but I think that the uproar about liberals and gays trying to destroy Chip and Joana Gaines, at this point anyway, is manufactured rather than real.

  6. posted by Tom Scharbach on

    Perhaps for their faith crime, the state will force them to fix up a house for a gay wedding.

    In StephenWorld™, maybe, but not in the real world.

  7. posted by TJ on

    With the two brothers their show ran into two main problems; The network already had a home and garden series starring two male kin/brothers (not counting say, a few others reaired on the network about kitchens and fish tanks) and lots of people actually thought that they were a gay couple.

    Much of this is the free market at work; The Home and Garden media and retail industry has got a sizeable number of gay customers as well as well-educated, upscale straight people.

    You don’t hate freedom and capitalism, do you Stephen?
    (insert photogenic image of Norman Rockwell iconography)

    Frankly, I not worried too much about what church or mosque some “infotainment” celebrity goes to. lt ain’t any where near the big problems facing gay and straight people in Trump’s America.

    The Duggars – another spoiled reality TV clan – were not just going to church.

  8. posted by Throbert McGee on

    Nancy Peolosi, Tim Kaine and Joe Biden have all repudiated their church’s stances on these issues. This couple, apparently, has not.

    Unless you’re a gay Evangelical who aspires to be a member of the Antioch megachurch, why does it particularly matter whether this couple repudiates the church’s views? Why does it matter if they oppose same-sex marriage? It’s not like there’s an alarming shortage of celebrities who are willing to proselytize for SSM.

    • posted by JohnInCA on

      What, like generally or specifically? In the broad sense, it matters because of the social and political power of churches is given to them by the people that attend then. If all the members of a current repudiate is teachings, it loses power and influence (see the history of birth control in this country).

      Specifically I don’t give a damn about this couple or their beliefs. That said, Mr. Williamson’s defense of the couple was moronic. It was about on par with “it’s the same stance Obama has in 2008”, as if folks won’t notice the important distinctions you’re papering over.

      And *that* said, as other commenters who care more then me dug up, this is another case of manufactured controversy, so knock yourself out, defending a couple that hasn’t been attacked.

      • posted by Throbert McGee on

        And *that* said, as other commenters who care more then me dug up, this is another case of manufactured controversy, so knock yourself out, defending a couple that hasn’t been attacked.

        John, dear, I wasn’t defending them; I was attacking YOU.

  9. posted by Doug on

    I seem to recall the GOP making a big deal out of Obama’s minister and the things he said but Obama did not necessarily agree. No outrage over that here. Could this be what is good for the goose is good for the gander?

    • posted by William on

      Gee, Doug, do you think there might be a difference in the expected level of scrutiny given to the beliefs of a major-party presidential nominee and those of folks who host a home- improvement show? Just a wild idea.

      • posted by Doug on

        It’s about whether or not the members of a church are held to account with everything the minister believes. No they are not, at least IMHO. Nonetheless the GOP made a big issue out of Obama’s minister beliefs. So now it’s happening to someone on the right and they don’t like it. Tough.

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