The LGBTI agenda has travelled far from their original roots. Their campaign, originally focused on legalising same-sex marriage, has descended into a vitriolic attack on the institution of marriage and those who are living it well. Consequently, this even extends to those who have never voiced their view on the redefinition of marriage, but who – by their lives –become targets of smear campaigns.
In the case of Chip and Joanna Gaines, stars of HGTV’s show ‘Fixer Upper’, their obvious affection for each other is just as much a part of the show’s success as the extraordinary house transformations featured on the show. Yet, in demonstrating the beauty of married life to 25 million captive audience members each week, they became targets of those who seek to promote their agenda by tearing others down.
The attacks became a reality when Buzzfeed, after doing some digging around, published an article “revealing” that the pastor of Chip and Joanna’s church is opposed to same-sex marriage. Not surprisingly, the article immediately turned on the Gaineses, addressing them with the question: “So are the Gaineses against same-sex marriage?”.
As reported by Joseph Hartropp:
The post received criticism from Christians and non-Christians who saw the piece as "bizarre and not newsworthy" and a dangerous, shaming "hit-piece" on the Gaineses.
Disregarding the malicious intent of the article, Chip Gaines addressed the issue via a blogpost, setting an example of how to positively address attacks on personal beliefs. Rather than directly stating their personal (and rightly private) beliefs regarding marriage, Chip spoke about love for all humans, regardless of their differences:
Chip wrote: "Joanna and I have personal convictions. One of them is this: we care about you for the simple fact that you are a person, our neighbour on planet earth. It's not about what colour your skin is, how much money you have in the bank, your political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender, nationality or faith."
It is refreshing to see that positive and warm responses are possible, even around such crucial and divisive issues as marriage, especially in the face of unwarranted attacks from the “tolerance” brigade. Chip’s response was in stark contrast to those who (unsuccessfully) tried to have others join in a campaign of hate against two people whose only “crime” is having a strong marriage. On the topic of hatred, Chip used the opportunity to address the misconception that those who uphold traditional marriage are fostering a culture of hatred.
"Jo and I feel called to be bridge builders. We want to help initiate conversations between people that don't think alike. 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."
As we move forward in the defence of traditional marriage, we should keep the Gaineses example in mind. When we encounter those in opposition, we must remember that we must neither bow to their opinions, nor attack them with our own. Instead, we must ‘build a bridge’, opening the lines of communication, which will conversely open the door to resolution.
As Chip concluded: "This could be one of the greatest restoration stories of all time."