Msgr. Charles Pope is currently a dean and pastor in the Archdiocese of Washington, DC, where he has served on the Priest Council, the College of Consultors, and the Priest Personnel Board. Along with publishing a daily blog at the Archdiocese of Washington website, he has written in pastoral journals, conducted numerous retreats for priests and lay faithful, and has also conducted weekly Bible studies in the U.S. Congress and the White House. He was named a Monsignor in 2005.
A recent article on BuzzFeed has led to demands from the activist wing of the LGBT community that Chip and Joanna Gaines (hosts of the home renovation series “Fixer Upper” on HGTV) clarify their views on LGBT issues. This ought to raise concerns for all of us who are conscientious objectors to the agenda of the sexual revolution.
I have watched “Fixer Upper” for several years now. Not only does the show depict wonderful home renovations, it also presents a happily married couple with four children—yes, believe it or not, they are actually happy! I could probably live without the buffoonery that Chip plays into (the “men are stupid and women are smart” stereotype), but I enjoy the show nonetheless.
But wait, why would Chip and Joanna Gaines have been summoned to “clarify” their views on gay “marriage,” transgenderism, and other issues related to the LGBT agenda? What has any of this to do with a show dedicated to home design, renovation, and construction? What is the pertinence of the couple’s view on these unrelated issues?
Well, you see, Chip and Joanna Gaines may be guilty of a crime: not supporting the LGBT agenda wholeheartedly! It is not enough that they have never, not even once, hinted at the topic on their show. And why should they? The show has nothing even remotely to do with this topic.
Apparently their silence on these issues is not enough, because it’s possible, just possible, that they do not joyfully support the complete agenda of the LGBT activists. For this they must be investigated; they must set the record straight. And to the degree that Chip and Joanna are not “on board” with the LGBT agenda, HGTV must somehow make amends.
You might wonder why they are suspected of not wholeheartedly supporting the LGBT agenda. According to BuzzFeed,
A recent deep-dive from BuzzFeed has uncovered something many fans will likely want an explanation for.
Yikes! What could they have uncovered? The article presents the “crime”:
The Gaines family are devout Christians and attend Antioch Community Church—where their pastor, Jimmy Seibert, is both staunchly against same-sex marriage and a strong believer that homosexuality is a “lifestyle” choice and a “sin.”
During the same sermon, he also stated his belief that it is possible for a person to “personally change their direction of same-sex attraction from a homosexual lifestyle to a heterosexual lifestyle.”
Although I am presenting this information in a somewhat humorous fashion, the matter should be taken very seriously. The fact is, attacks like this have been going on for some time now, and they are only going to get worse. Any talk of tolerance and diversity coming from the extremists in the LGBT community (and other special interest groups like them) doesn’t apply to you, if you are a believing Christian. We who believe, who base our moral thinking on the biblical vision and Catholic doctrine, and who are conscientious objectors to the tenets of the sexual revolution, are not an accepted part of this “diversity.” It has repeatedly been made clear that there is little to no intent to “tolerate” us.
No indeed, the intention is to demonize, marginalize, and even criminalize us. Chip and Joanna Gaines, a very decent couple, are just the latest target. Though they have said and done nothing themselves, they associate with the “wrong kind of people.” They go to the “wrong kind of Church.” They might actually believe all that stuff!
Their pastor, at least according to the reports, has said very nearly what I have written and said over the years. And while the Catholic Church does not consider same-sex attraction a sin per se, we do teach in our Catechism that it is a disordered desire. We also teach that although those who suffer from it are called to live celibately, they must be treated with compassion.
We ought not to stand idly by while this couple is attacked for something their pastor has said. Catholics have already suffered the intolerance of extremists and activists; until we vigorously fight back and demand respect it will likely get worse. Religious freedom is a precious right, but it has been steadily eroded.
It is unclear as I write this whether the demand for clarification of the personal views of Chip and Joanna Gaines will go anywhere. Will HGTV give in to demands that Chip and Joanna disclose their personal views? Will HGTV give in to demands that their show feature “gay” couples from time to time?
Frankly, this couple’s views on the LGBT agenda are no one’s business. It has nothing to do with the content of their show. And given that people with same-sex attraction amount to less than 5% of the population, it is not a fair accusation to say that the show has intentionally excluded such people.
If the past is any indication of the future, though, I suspect that Chip and Joanna will have a lot to suffer over the coming weeks and months. I pray that they will stay strong. I pray, too, that the network will resist the latest machinations and scare tactics of the intolerant activists who seek to force others to support their agenda. Even silence is no longer enough for some of them. A kind of forced celebration of their agenda is now demanded: Not only must you accept our agenda; you must smile when doing so. And if you don’t smile, we’ll accuse you of bigotry and/or hate crimes.
Perhaps you consider my analysis of this latest case too dramatic or extreme. Talk to the bakers, photographers, wedding planners, and banquet hall owners who have been fined, sued, and run out of business for the supreme crime of not wanting to cooperate in celebrating “gay weddings” by supplying services. Talk to pharmacists in Washington who are now required by state law to supply emergency (abortifacient) contraceptives. Talk to government officials in North Carolina, whose state was demonized and threatened with legal action by the Justice Department for the “crime” of insisting that males use men’s restrooms and females use women’s restroom. See if any of these individuals think that my analysis is exaggerated.
The intensity, frequency, and absurdity of the attacks on people of traditional Christian faith are increasing. Stay vigilant and vocal, faithful Catholics!