Op-Ed: Liberal Finger Wagging Continues As BuzzFeed Publishes Hit Piece On Christian CoupleScreen Shot 2016-12-09 at 5.59.25 PM
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Less than a month after the election, BuzzFeed posted an article that essentially amounts to a hit piece on HGTV’s Chip and Joanna Gaines of Fixer Upper fame. Chip and Joanna are both members of the Antioch Community Church.
As written in the article: “…their pastor, Jimmy Seibert, who described the Gaineses as ‘dear friends’ in a recent video, takes a hard line against same-sex marriage and promotes converting LGBT people into being straight.”
The article includes a list of infractions committed by Seibert — the gist of it being that the Antioch Community Church isn’t too hot on the idea of two people of the same sex getting married or …ummm… building the beast with two backs as it were.
Now, you may be thinking: “Go BuzzFeed! Way to expose these hateful homophobes, how dare they use a public forum to discuss home renovation, while privately believing that it’s icky and sinful for two dudes to do it with each other.”
But if we take the 2016 shrink wrap off of our brains it’s not hard to see how a viewpoint like that could be – to steal a term from the Social Justice Warrior’s Pocket Glossary – problematic.
I’ll admit, I had never seen nor heard of this show before. I asked my brother who works in real estate about it, and he denied having seen it as well, although I suspect that he secretly DVRs it in the same manner that Black Sabbath fans definitely turn up the volume and sing along if a Beyoncé song comes on the radio, when they’re in the car alone. Anyway, I tuned in, and my suspicions were confirmed. This show is “guilty pleasure” viewing, it offers little of substance, the hosts appear to be nice albeit corny people, and the program is not likely to have any kind of lasting impact on the American socio-political conversation.
That last one is important.
These people host what can pretty objectively be called a mediocre TV show. That’s it. They seem like nice people who wouldn’t even be in the public eye if HGTV didn’t have 24 hours of air time to fill every day.
If that’s the case, then why do we care what they or their church has to say about gay marriage? Is supporting a progressive social agenda now an element of home remodeling? Will failure to endorse gay marriage cause one to pick out substandard paint colors or kitchen floor tiles? Highly unlikely.
Of course if BuzzFeed was an atheist publication that sought to expose the hypocrisies and short comings of diaspora of religions their overstep here may have forgivable – but they aren’t, so it isn’t.
In fact BuzzFeed has covered religion in the past, and they’ve done so in a flattering, or at least protective light. Actually they’ve covered a very specific religion in that manner…I’ll give you a second to try and guess which one it was…if you guessed Pastafarianism then you were wrong. If you guessed Islam however, then you were spot on.
Here’s a brief review of their work with regard to Islam:
Now, you may be thinking, “hey, that’s a small sample and there’s plenty of homophobia in Islam that they can report on, certainly BuzzFeed has enough journalistic integrity to do so.”
Good point, let’s see what a search for “BuzzFeed, Islam, and Homophobia” turns up.
One post, from shortly after a Muslim man shot up a gay bar in the name of ISIS, is an article that shines a very sympathetic light on Muslims while barely touching on some of the frighteningly, violent homophobic attitudes that exist in some Muslim circles.
This is America and BuzzFeed has its own platform and is free to write and slant as they wish, the problem is that this kind of finger wagging is exactly why the left lost in November, and they still haven’t gotten the message.
I support most liberal social causes (at least in theory, I tend to differ on who should be footing the bill for certain things, but in terms of individual rights I’m all in.) But it’s hard to take them seriously when they pick and choose who falls where on their totem pole of protected classes.
Allow me to take a thought experiment that I saw elsewhere on the internet and apply it here. What if I changed the word Christian to the word Muslim?
“They are also, as they detail in The Magnolia Story, devout Muslims — Joanna has spoken of and written about her conversations with Allah. (Allah told her both to close her store to spend time with her children, and then to reopen it a few years later.) Their mosque, Antioch Community Mosque, is a nondenominational, evangelical, mission-based megamosque. And their Imam, Jimmy Seibert, who described the Gaineses as “dear friends” in a recent video, takes a hard line against same-sex marriage and promotes converting LGBT people into being straight.”
And imagine this BuzzFeed headline: “Bigotry Alert! You Won’t Believe Which Major World Religion Says Gays Should Be Stoned To Death!”
There is plenty of that out there to be covered; the highly reputable Pew Center has done enough research to show that homophobia runs rampant in the Muslim world.
Liberals – particularly the type of pseudo-intellectual hypocrites who work at outlets like BuzzFeed — would be going nuts if a site like Mic, Mashable, or anyone else in the left’s echo chamber ran such a headline. They will hurl around phrases like “white privilege” or “check your privilege” when addressing certain groups – especially straight white males, and Christians. They will do this without a hint of irony that they refuse to hold anyone who falls into their self-determined “marginalized” category, to the same standard.
This is a massive part of the reason that so many people voted for Trump, or voted against the left. The banning of Milo Yiannopoulos from Twitter over his row with Leslie Jones this summer may be a watershed moment in this backlash. Liberal finger wagging got old, internet witch hunts got old, and people decided that since they couldn’t express their views openly without being shamed and criticized by ivory tower, coastal elites – they would simply make their voices heard on Election Day.
On Tuesday night, Van Jones summed things up perfectly.
“That elitist attitude may have cost us the rust belt and the election,” he said during a town hall on CNN.
It’s a lesson from the immediate past that the left ought to heed, or be doomed to repeat.
This contributor is a Marine veteran that has served in the Middle East. Due to the sensitive nature of his current job, he has requested to remain anonymous.