November 30, 2016
HGTV stars Chip and Joanna Gaines were just on the cover of People magazine -- and now, they're the face of something else: a controversy over the fact that their pastor preaches the Bible. For the last few years, the Texas couple has charmed their way into people's hearts -- not just with their talent for renovation, but with their sweet and genuine relationship. Their show "Fixer Upper" has exploded in popularity, and the parents of four have never shied away from their faith -- which they've talked about at length in their books and interviews.
Today, that faith is under fire by a handful of far-Left extremists who've latched onto a sermon the Gaines' pastor, Jimmy Seibert, preached about marriage and sexuality. "If someone were to say, 'Marriage is defined in a different way,' let me just say: They are wrong," Seibert said. "God defined marriage, not you and I. God defined masculine and feminine, male and female, not you and I."
Now, I'm not sure why it's news that a Christian church believes what the Bible teaches about sexuality, but apparently, this is a shock to the liberal media establishment. When reporters contacted the church, the communications director pointed them to Antioch's webpage on "beliefs," where it says: "Marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime." That was their belief when the church was founded 17 years ago -- and it's their belief today. And, as recent polling points out, Chip and Joanna's church is hardly in the minority! Fifty-three percent of all Americans (not necessarily Christian) told Wilson Allen Perkins polling this month that despite what the Supreme Court ruled, they still define marriage as the union of a man and woman.
Obviously, the Left is trying to do to Chip and Joanna what they unsuccessfully did to the Robertsons of "Duck Dynasty:" take down a hugely successful program in a show of political force. That's unlikely to happen to a couple like the Gaines, who have no interest in renovating their views to suit a narrow ideology. Hopefully, HGTV has learned since its ousting of the Benham Brothers that religious discrimination doesn't play well with viewers.
Meanwhile, there's no sugar-coating the intolerance at Kellogg's! Like a lot of corporate bullies, the cereal company bowled over shoppers with its decision to pull ads from media heavyweight Breitbart, because the outlet is supposedly too conservative for Kellogg's taste. "We regularly work with our media-buying partners to ensure our ads do not appear on sites that are not aligned with our values as a company," said Kellogg's spokesman Kris Charles. "We recently reviewed the list of sites where our ads can be placed and decided to discontinue advertising on Breitbart.com. We are working to remove our ads from that site." The parent company of brand favorites like Eggo, Pop Tarts, Pringles, Fruit Loops, Frosted Flakes, and more is joining a few lesser known retailers in boycotting Breitbart -- a decision that's sure to rankle plenty of consumers.
"Kellogg's decision to blacklist one of the largest conservative media outlets in America is economic censorship of mainstream conservative political discourse," Breitbart fired back. "That is as un-American as it gets." If recent history is any indication, it's also as unwise as it gets. Insulting conservatives after the election hasn't exactly improved business at GrubHub, Pepsi, Target, and Penzey's Spices (whose CEO went so far as to call all Trump voters "racists" and asked shoppers to protest by donating to a group linked by a federal court to the first case of domestic terrorism in D.C.: Southern Poverty Law Center). But if they want to pick a public fight with Breitbart, a site with 19.2 million unique visitors a month, that's their choice. What I don't understand is why companies like Kellogg's can choose where they operate, but Christians like Barronelle Stutzman can't. I'm fine with a company declining to do business with conservatives. I'm not fine with the double standard created when Christian wedding vendors are prosecuted.
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.