As over 140,000 people have signaled their support for HGTV stars Chip and Joanna Gaines after BuzzFeed published a critical article on their Texas pastor's biblical teachings that "homosexuality is sin," Chip Gaines is now calling on his fans to show respect for BuzzFeed author Kate Arthur.
In the aftermath of BuzzFeed's widely-read article criticizing the Gaines' affiliation with their pastor's biblical views on marriage and sexuality that questioned whether or not the Gaines would feature people from the LGBT community on their show, thousands of fans and social conservative supporters have expressed their outrage with the article and have called on HGTV to stand by the Gaineses and their show "Fixer Upper."
Supporters of the Gaineses have been highly critical of BuzzFeed, arguing that the website produced the article to incite liberal uproar toward the Gaineses and their Pastor, Jimmy Seibert, in order to pressure HGTV to cancel "Fixer Upper." In 2014, the network cancelled plans for a show with the Benham Brothers after their biblical views on marriage were exposed.
Although the Gaines family hasn't issued a response to the questions in BuzzFeed or other secular media outlets like Cosmopolitan, Chip Gaines addressed the situation on Twitter on Saturday morning.
"Regardless of our decision to make a statement about all this craziness, or not, I ask that people please! respect @KateAurthur & @ginamei," Gaines tweeted.
The next day, Gaines tweeted: "In times of trouble.. you'll find the gaines family at church."
In the hours following the publication of BuzzFeed's article, several social conservative organizations launched online petitions to express support for the Gaines family and their pastor.
The most popular initiative has been the American Family Association's petition to HGTV, asking that executives "not allow a few angry and hateful people to negatively influence the network's decision to air this highly rated and beloved program."
As of Monday afternoon, nearly 85,000 people had signed the petition in support of AFA's initiative.
So far, HGTV has given no inclination that it will cancel the program. It even issued a statement saying that it doesn't "discriminate against members of the LGBT community in any of our shows."
An online initiative launched by the Family Research Council calling on people to "stand with Pastor Seibert in his conviction about the biblical view of marriage," has been signed by over 31,500 as of Monday morning.
"When pastors bravely preach biblical truth that contradicts the 'truths' of the politically correct culture, people listen," the petition states.
Seibert told FRC President Tony Perkins last week that in the wake of BuzzFeed's article, traffic to his sermon and church website has spiked "a thousand fold" and said that is a reason to be grateful.
"Thousands and maybe hundreds of thousands of people are now getting some Scripture, getting some clarity, some truth and some thought on this issue of marriage and life and sexual identity and all that," Seibert explained on Perkins' show "Washington Watch." "In a weird way, we are grateful that message is getting out."
A petition launched by the conservative website LifeSite News has been signed by nearly 19,000 people as of Monday and gives those who support the petition the option of sending HGTV a personalized postcard expressing support for the Gaineses.
"I urge you to stand strong with Chip and Joanna, and not to listen to the demands of a small group of radical activists who are perpetrating this witch hunt against a loving couple," the petition tells HGTV. "Don't discriminate against them for being Christians!"
Additionally, a petition launched by ActRight.com has received over 7,700 signatures.