BuzzFeed Leads Faith-Based ‘Witch Hunt’ Against Chip and Joanna Gaines — and It Backfires Spectacularly

BuzzFeed found itself at the center of controversy on Wednesday after publishing a story about the views of “Fixer Upper” stars Chip and Joanna Gaines’ pastor on gay marriage.

“Chip And Joanna Gaines’ Church Is Firmly Against Same-Sex Marriage,” the story’s headline reads.

The story’s subheadline went a step further, seemingly suggesting potential guilt by association:

“Their pastor considers homosexuality to be a “sin” caused by abuse — whether the Fixer Upper couple agrees is unclear.”

Image Credit: BuzzFeed
Image Credit: BuzzFeed

Based on their pastor’s views on gay marriage, BuzzFeed reporter Kate Aurthur questioned whether the Gaineses would even allow gay couples to appear on their HGTV show:

So are the Gaineses against same-sex marriage? And would they ever feature a same-sex couple on the show, as have HGTV’s House Hunters and Property Brothers? Emails to Brock Murphy, the public relations director at their company, Magnolia, were not returned. Nor were emails and calls to HGTV’s PR department.

Image Credit: Donna Ward/Getty Images
Image Credit: Donna Ward/Getty Images

Chip and Joanna Gaines have been outspoken about their Christian faith, but have not publicly expressed their opinions about gay marriage. Many religious leaders, such as the Waco, TX, couple’s pastor, are against gay marriage based on religious objections.

Evidence soon emerged that the reporter behind the story isn’t a big fan of “Fixer Upper” or religion in general.

Aurthur has tweeted her own opinions on faith in the past as well:

BuzzFeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith defended the story for hours on Twitter Wednesday, suggesting HGTV should just answer Aurthur’s question about whether the Gaineses would allow gay couples to appear on “Fixer Upper.”

Some of the responses to the story were brutal, lambasting BuzzFeed for starting a “witch hunt” and seeking to make the Gaineses answer for the views of their pastor.

BuzzFeed’s official editorial policy states that there are “not two sides” when it comes to LGBT issues. In other words, the website does not pretend to be objective on the issue.

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