On Tuesday, BuzzFeed published an article on Chip and Joanna Gaines, the charming home-improvement power couple behind HGTV's Fixer Upper — and arguably the best thing that has happened to Waco, Texas, since Dr. Pepper. It isn't a fluff piece. The focus of the article is their church, the nondenominational, evangelical Antioch Community Church, and its views on homosexuality. "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," writes BuzzFeed's Kate Aurthur. The unresolved question of the articles is: Are Chip and Jojo against same-sex marriage?
"In the absence of a response from them or their representatives," she writes, "it's worth looking at the severe, unmoving position Seibert and Antioch take on same-sex marriage." But is it? Gay "conversion" therapy is widely recognized as junk science, but lots of churches are formally against same-sex marriage, including the Catholic Church and even some mainline Protestant churches like the Methodists. Many Catholics and Methodists believe that gay people should be allowed to get married in the church. If the Gainses aren't talking about gay marriage, who cares what they think? They host a home-rejuvenation-and-flipping TV show.
The BuzzFeed article was the lead story on Megyn Kelly's Fox News show Wednesday night. "Major controversy developing tonight involving the Texas couple who host the popular HGTV show Fixer Upper," she began. "They find themselves the subject of a critical article by a big-time website and a writer who apparently doesn't really love where this couple goes to church." She had Trace Gallagher give a report on the article, then in a second segment, Dana Perino came on to offer her own takedown.
BuzzFeed is surely grateful for the clicks (if not necessarily the publicity), but to be fair, this isn't the first time Megyn Kelly has been outraged over critical reports about a public figure attending church. "Take a look back to March of 2008," she said last year in a segment on vetting presidential nominees. "Sen. Barack Obama was well on his way to clinching the nomination before any reporter bothered to dig into the story of — you may know this man now, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, and how the Obamas had for years attended sermons by the controversial pastor that featured calls for God to, quote, 'damn America.'"