"As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today." (Genesis 50:20)
"Fixer Upper" stars Chip and Joanna Gaines continue to receive overwhelming support from thousands across the country in the wake of a BuzzFeed article criticizing them for attending an evangelical church opposed to same-sex marriage.
The controversial article focus on the fact that Antioch Community Church Pastor Seibert, "takes a hard line against same-sex marriage and promotes converting LGBT people into being straight". The Gaines have been outspoken about their Christian faith, but have not publicly expressed their opinions about gay marriage.
"So are the Gaineses against same-sex marriage?" BuzzFeed pondered. "And would they ever feature a same-sex couple on the show, as have HGTV's 'House Hunters' and 'Property Brothers?'"
Since BuzzFeed ran what many have dubbed as nothing more than a "political witch hunt", more than 33,000 people have signed a petition started by the Family Research Council that defends both the Gaines and Pastor Seibert.
The Gaines "have been publicly targeted by media outlets merely for attending a church whose pastor, Jimmy Seibert, has preached on the biblical view of marriage and sexuality," reads the petition. "When pastors bravely preach biblical truth that contradicts the 'truths' of the politically correct culture, people listen. I stand with Pastor Seibert in his conviction about the biblical view of marriage and commend him for his courage in speaking the truth, even when it's controversial."
The American Family Association began another petition calling on HGTV to keep airing the show after members of the LGBT community urged the network to drop the Gaines because of their beliefs. As of Tuesday afternoon, the petition has received over 87,000 signatures.
The Benham brothers, who famously lost their HGTV show in 2014 due to their beliefs regarding marriage and abortion, have also urged Christians to hang magnolia wreaths on their front doors in support of the Gaines.
PJMedia notes that the magnolia wreath symbolizes Southern hospitality and it played a large role in the Gaines couple's romance - which is why their book is called The Magnolia Story.
"[S]howing solidarity with people of faith is something the church can and should do when persecution arises," Jason Benham told the outlet.
The Gaines have not publicly addressed the story, but Chip broke their silence over the weekend in a tweet that called for "respect" for Kate Aurthur, BuzzFeed's Los Angeles correspondent who wrote the story.
"Regardless of our decision to make a statement about all this craziness, or not, I ask that people please! respect @KateAurthur," he tweeted.
He added, however, that his family headed to church on Sunday to worship with the congregation: "In times of trouble ... you'll find the gaines family at church," Chip tweeted.
Meanwhile, Pastor Seibert told Tony Perkins, of the Family Research Council, that the story has actually been a blessing in disguise, as it has caused a surge in hits to his church website, exposing thousands to the Gospel.
"Thousands and maybe hundreds of thousands of people are now getting some Scripture, getting some clarity, some truth and some thought on this issue or marriage and life and sexual identity and all that. In a weird way, we are grateful that message is getting out," he said