The piece, which many media sites assumed was written in direct response to a Dec. 2016 Buzzfeed story thatclaimed the Gaines attend an anti-LGBTQ church, was lauded asperfect and filled with love and compassion by conservative and religious outlets. If you didnt look closely or werent thinking critically enough its easy to understand why.
Joanna and I have personal convictions, Gaines wrote. One of them is this: we care about you for the simple fact that you are a person, our neighbor on planet earth. Its not about what color your skin is, how much money you have in the bank, your political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender, nationality or faith.
Aw. Thanks, Chip. Thats sweet.
You wanna talk about how to build bridges between people that disagree? We want to be a part of that conversation, he added. Do you want to talk about healing and compassion and kindness and restoration? Were in the restoration business, we can for sure make time for that.
Healing and compassion and kindness and restoration?Sign me up!
Disagreement is not the same thing as hate, dont believe that lie, Gaines implores.
Our family wants to fight for a world that knows how to lovingly disagree, he adds. We believe it starts when we operate from a position of love in all things. If your position only extends love to the people who agree with you, we want to respectfully challenge that position.
You were doing so well, Chip, but heres where I have to stop you.
People disagree about whether New England clam chowder is better than Manhattan clam chowder or what to name their new iguana or whether or not Kylie Jenner has really gotten butt implants. But a church or an individual or a government telling a queer person that they are a sinner or that they dont deserve to get married or that queer people should be treated any less or any differently than non-queer people merely because of who they are is notlovingly disagreeing.
Its the same tired nonsensethats continually peddled by folks who arent cool with queer people but dont want to be called a bigot or deal with the possibility of a boycott against their businesses. And as much as it hurts to hear, in this case, disagreement is hate.
No, gussying up homophobia as a simple difference of opinion doesnt feel or look as obviously offensive or hurtful as a Westboro Baptist Church protest, but in some ways, its even more dangerous because deceptive framing allows people to feel justified in their discrimination.
The bottom line is: My humanity is not something you get to disagree with. You dont get to tell me that Im morally corrupt or sexually deviant or unworthy of the same rights that you enjoy and then look me in the face and tell me that you still love me. Thats nothing remotely close to resembling love.
By the same token, if by some chance you dont agree with your churchs doctrine, you dont get to attend a church thats anti-LGBTQ and not be called out. If you really care about me and love me and truly arent anti-queer, why would you look the other way? Why wouldnt you publicly stand up and say something?
I like you, Chip, and I like your wife and I like your TV show (and so does my mom) and Id love for you to come and redo my apartment (or at the very least hang a few pictures that Ive been meaning to put up for the past 14 months). And I appreciate that you guys want to change the conversation in this country and help to make it a better place. I want that, too. But were not going to get there if we arent calling out bigotry wherever we see it.Otherwise, whats the point? Thatd be like spending thousands of dollars to beautifully redo a house but never taking care of the black mold happily rotting in the basement.
So lets do this: You start unequivocally calling out bigotry (however blatant or incidental it may be) against queer people wherever you see it without any of thelove the sinner but hate the sin or I care about you, I just dont believe in gay marriage bullshit and Ill do whatever I can to help you on your mission. Lets plan a conference. Lets start a national conversation. Lets have a real honest to goodness come to Jesus moment. This country needs some fixing up and if youre really serious about taking part in that, Im in, too.