Chip and Joanna Gaines, stars of the hit HGTV show Fixer Upper, may be the next reality stars to come under fire for their religious convictions.
A speculative BuzzFeed article on Tuesday documented the Gaines’ church’s views on homosexuality—that it is a sin, often caused by abuse, that can be cured by conversion therapy—and questioned whether the reality TV show’s stars believed the same.
The BuzzFeed article came under fire yesterday in an editorial in the Washington Post by Brandon Ambrosino, a gay journalist who has often defended conservative positions in the past.
Ambrosino points out that while support for gay marriage is steadily growing, one in four Americans still are not in favor of it. He suggests BuzzFeed’s article is a “hit piece” designed to pressure the Gaines’ into either coming out in support of LGBT equality or holding to their church’s position and potentially being fired.
“Think about that for a moment. Is the suggestion here that 40 percent of Americans are unemployable because of their religious convictions on marriage?” Ambrosino asks in his editorial. “That the companies that employ them deserve to be boycotted until they yield to the other side of the debate—a side, we should note, that is only slightly larger than the one being shouted down?”
The debate likely to ensue from the BuzzFeed article raises again the growing conflict in America between freedom of speech and religion in an increasingly pluralistic society.
Ambrosino suggests in his article that BuzzFeed, in violating the tenets of good journalism, is only confirming what President-elect Trump has claimed and is widely believed by many conservatives: that most news sources are liberally-biased propaganda machines.