Culture

Buzzfeed Demands: ‘Are You Now or Have You Ever Been a Christian?’

Joanna and Chip Gaines (image via hgtv.com)
Buzzfeed is willfully ignorant about the teachings of biblical Christianity.

It’s the question every social-justice warrior wants to ask. “Are you now or have you ever been a Christian?” Because if the answer is yes, then your response to the next question will determine whether you should enjoy the same economic, social, and cultural opportunities as any other American citizen. “Do you believe that hateful nonsense?”

On Wednesday, Buzzfeed ran one of the more despicable “news” articles I’ve ever read — a vicious attempt to attack Chip and Joanna Gaines for their (presumed) religious beliefs. Chip and Joanna are television hosts on HGTV, bestselling authors, and extraordinarily successful business owners. By all accounts, they’re lovely people. Oh, and they’re openly Christian.

So, naturally, Buzzfeed’s Kate Aurthur had to ask, “Are the Gaineses against gay marriage? And would they ever feature a same-sex couple on the show [as other HGTV stars have]?” Chip and Joanna didn’t respond to Aurthur’s inquiries, so she doubled down, declaring that “in the absence of a response from them or their representatives, it’s worth looking at the severe, unmoving position Seibert and Antioch take on same-sex marriage.”

Aurthur is referring to the Gaineses’ pastor, Jimmy Seibert, and their church, Antioch Community Church. And what is that “severe, unmoving” position? It’s basic, biblical Christianity. It turns out that Seibert believes that God defines marriage, not the state. He believes homosexual acts are a sin. He believes that people certainly struggle with temptation but can choose not to engage in homosexual acts. He recognizes the truth that many gay people come from backgrounds of terrible abuse. And, critically, he believes that Jesus can redeem us all — regardless of our temptations and past acts.

To a certain brand of secular leftist, all of this is just horrifying. It’s pure bigotry. It’s just as bad as racism. It marks you as a terrible person no matter any of your other qualities. Are you someone who has enriched and “revitalized” your community (as the Gaineses have)? Are you someone who treats people with kindness and compassion? Are you someone who possesses remarkable artistic talents? None of it matters if you’re guilty of wrongthink about sex.

Let’s back up a bit to make it crystal clear what’s happening in this incident and in the culture writ large. Christianity is a religious tradition built not just on the foundation of a theological and intellectual tradition that reaches back thousands of years, it’s also built on the extraordinary lived experience of belief and obedience to God. For many millions of Christians, the question of whether there’s “evidence” God exists is strange. He makes His presence felt in their lives in countless ways.

RELATED: Progressives’ Anti-Christian Bigotry Helped Make Trump President

But the secular progressive Left won’t hear any of this. With their trademark combination of arrogance and stunning ignorance, they’ll tear down your faith and replace it with a philosophical dumpster fire, a belief system that’s four parts emotional and physical impulse, two parts junk psychology, and one part corrupted intellect. It’s about desire and ambition only partially modulated and limited by consent. Do what you want with your body and your life, so long as you’re not harming anyone else and have the consent of your partners.

Wait, that’s not entirely right. You can harm and kill your unborn child. You can rip your family to pieces pursuing your heart’s desires. You can leave spouses in the dust and children in their cribs if you decide you love a different person — especially if that person is of the same sex. Then you’re brave and courageous. At the end of the day, I suppose, the Left believes there’s really only one relevant rule of sexual conduct: Don’t rape.

It turns out that God knows that we’re not built for self-indulgence. Can anyone look at America’s shattered families and say that’s good?

Question this nonsense, and you’ll be treated to the “science” defense. Homosexuality is moral because psychologists say gay people aren’t disordered. Adulterers aren’t disordered either. Does that render adultery moral? Right and wrong are replaced with “healthy” and “unhealthy,” and if a psychiatrist proclaims Caitlyn Jenner to be perfectly sane and normal, who are we to say that Jenner’s transition is wrong?

It’s a worldview with predictable results. It turns out that God knows that we’re not built for self-indulgence. Can anyone look at America’s shattered families and say that’s good? America’s gay communities are beset with elevated rates of anxiety, depression, substance abuse, and suicide. America’s transgender communities suffer from truly shocking rates of suicide. These are sad realities. Is it out of bounds to respond by speaking of God’s transformative grace? I know men and women who are alive today because God rescued them from the deepest emotional and psychological abyss.

#related#Social-justice warriors, instead of hectoring and hounding Christians, it’s time you defended your dumpster fire. Your belief system — no matter how well-intentioned it might be — is deeply harmful to the very people you seek to protect. And you are doing worse than replacing truth with lies. You’re actively seeking to repress the truth, to drive it from our culture and conversation.

You’ll fail. Oh, you might persecute some good people. You might wall off your ideological bubble from ideas you don’t like. You might even alter our nation for a time — relegating Christians to second-class status in your favorite corporations and institutions. But the Gospel has faced bigger threats than Buzzfeed. Chip and Joanna Gaines are part of a faith tradition of eternal length and infinite staying power. Social-justice warriors are not. There can be only one outcome in a struggle that profoundly mismatched.

David French is a senior writer for National Review, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

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