In an op-ed recently published by the Federalist, contributor Daniel Payne took aim at a Cosmopolitan article about the “16 biggest HGTV scandals of all time,” particularly targeting a section of the piece about the recent debate over “Fixer Upper” stars Chip and Joanna Gaines and their pastor’s traditional views on same-sex nuptials.
Payne, who framed the title of the piece — “Dear Cosmo: Being A Christian Is Not A ‘Scandal” — as an open letter, took aim at Cosmo’s decision to include the so-called scandal.
The hoopla surrounding the “Fixer Upper” stars is a collective debate that critics allege was entirely manufactured after a random BuzzFeed article targeted the couple’s pastor and his traditional views on same-sex matrimony. Payne wrote:
Among all of the house-related ignominy, Cosmo writer Laura Beck touched on a “scandal” that seemed curiously out of place. Noting a BuzzFeed article written last month about “Fixer Upper” stars Chip and Joanna Gaines, Beck reported: “Last month, BuzzFeed wrote about the Gaineses’ affiliation with a non-denominational evangelical church whose pastor, Jimmy Seibert, opposes homosexuality and gay marriage.”
Is that all there is to the “scandal?” Reader, that’s all there is to the “scandal.”
I suppose, in the insulated and insular bubbles … it might indeed be “scandalous” to express a few core tenets of orthodox Christianity, namely the sin of homosexual behavior and the reality of conjugal man-woman marriage. But it is wholly unsurprising for those of us who are Christian, or even those of us who have studied Christianity to a minimal degree.
The writer went on to affirm his view that a church opposing homosexuality is neither shocking nor scandalous, and that the stance is essentially ingrained in the faith, accusing the author of the Cosmo piece of appearing “ignorant,” and saying that her discussion of the matter exposes a familiar problem among journalists.
He continued, “She, and by extension Cosmo, is walking a familiar beat: the oblivious journalist who suddenly discovers the alien and inscrutable beliefs of the Christian people,” and said he believes Americans are tired of “liberal activist journalism.”
Payne went on to also give credit to the Gaineses for not patently addressing the matter and for merely asking people to show respect for the reporters involved in telling the story, despite the fact that the reality show stars were facing quite a bit of heat. Read his piece in its entirety here.
As Faithwire previously reported, the BuzzFeed article highlighted a 2015 sermon about homosexuality that was delivered by the Gaineses pastor, Jimmy Seibert of Antioch Community Church in Waco, Texas; it also went on to speculate about what the Gaineses believe about the issue, though the couple has never vocally addressed their stance.
While the “Fixer Upper” stars didn’t speak out in the wake of controversy, Siebert told Family Research Council president Tony Perkins last month that he’s received a mixture of reactions following the release of the BuzzFeed story.
Seibert also revealed what he said has been the “most encouraging” part of the firestorm that resulted, explaining that he and the church are happy to see that people are learning a bit more about the Bible’s take on some important issues.
“Thousands and maybe hundreds of thousands of people are now getting some scriptures, getting some clarity and getting some truth and some thought on this issue of marriage and life and sexual identity,” he said. “In a weird way, we’re grateful that that message is getting out.”
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