It’s very easy to put yourself in a cozy position on the couch, flip your cable box to HGTV, and waste one to 10 hours watching nothing but HGTV’s Fixer Upper. The show, hosted by real-life couple/business partners Chip and Joanna Gaines, is a wonderfully structured and comfortingly repetitive bit of home improvement reality television. Every episode is the same, but in a way that feels as cozy as one of Joanna’s staged living rooms. So cozy, that you might find yourself finishing a marathon and thinking, “I want to move to Waco, buy a nice little house, and get Chip and Jo to gussy it up.”
Then you read things like this piece by Kate Aurthur in BuzzFeed and start mentally unpacking. “Oh right,” you think. “They belong to a megachurch that promotes things like conversion therapy for gays.”
The Gaineses have never tried to hide their faith, nor should they feel pressured to. But their specific association with the Antioch Community Church, “a nondenominational, evangelical, mission-based megachurch,” should act as a nice slap in the face every time you’re won over by what appears to be a family bursting at the seams with wholesomeness.
Their pastor and “dear friend” Jimmy Seibert, reports BuzzFeed, “takes a hard line against same-sex marriage and promotes converting LGBT people into being straight.” He says “God is able to give us power over every sin, including homosexuality,” adding that it was God who “defined masculine and feminine, male and female, not you and I.”
Would Chip and Joanna televise their giddy reveal of shiplap behind the walls of a married transgender couple’s home? How about a married gay couple who’s pretty sure they can’t be converted to heterosexuality? We’re not sure, as “the spokesperson for Antioch said she could not speak for Chip and Joanna.” But, writes Aurthur, “Seibert clearly does not offer any wiggle room on the issue.”
In a sermon, he said:
“Business leaders, you will have to be clear about who you are. And you will have to be willing to stand to lose even a deal or two or 10 or even lose your business. But if you’re not clear, you will have no leg to stand on down the road. If you think you’re going to get away with it in the short run, I promise you won’t in the long run, because the spirit demands submission.”
No. I will not be buying a home in Waco and asking Magnolia to remodel it anytime soon. I can find an open floor plan somewhere else.