Actress Candace Cameron Bure responded Wednesday to backlash surrounding her comments about traditional marriage and Christian values — and how they were reflected in the programming at her new network, Great American Family.
Following the interview’s publication in The Wall Street Journal, critics slammed Bure, calling her a bigot and worse. “One Tree Hill” alum Hilarie Burton Morgan accused her of embracing bigotry for a payday — and her husband, “The Walking Dead” actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan, joined in the attack as well.
Bure shared a lengthy statement addressing the backlash, saying that she had never intended to hurt anyone and that the media’s apparent need to divide people was only continuing to feed the current “toxic climate.” “We need Christmas more than ever,” she said.
“I would like to address my comments on Great American Family’s programming as reported in ‘The Wall Street Journal.’ All of you who know me, know beyond question that I have great love and affection for all people,” Bure began. “It absolutely breaks my heart that anyone would ever think I intentionally would want to offend and hurt anyone. It saddens me that the media is often seeking to divide us, even around a subject as comforting and merry as Christmas movies. But, given the toxic climate in our culture right now, I shouldn’t be surprised. We need Christmas more than ever.”
Bure went on to say that her Christian faith meant that she saw the image of God in every human being — whether they agreed with her or not — and that all she wanted to was to bring people together.
“I am called to love all people, and I do. If you know me, you know that I am a person who loves fiercely and indiscriminately. My heart yearns to build bridges and bring people one step closer to God, to love others well, and to simply be a reflection of God’s huge love for all of us,” she said.
“To the members of the media responsible for using this opportunity to fan flames of conflict and hate, I have a simple message: I love you anyway,” Bure continued. “To those who hate what I value and who are attacking me online: I love you. To those who have tried to assassinate my character: I love you. To everyone reading this, of any race, creed, sexuality, or political party, including those who have tried to bully me with name-calling, I love you.”
The “Fuller House” star went on to explain that while she loved the opportunity to be a part of “faith-based programming” at Great American Family, but that it was never her goal to use entertainment to preach at people. “I’ve never been interested in proselytizing through my storytelling, but in celebrating God’s greatness in our lives through the stories I tell,” she said.
“The God we serve is a wildly creative and loving God. He didn’t just capture a small part of my heart, He has captured all of my heart. He will be reflected in everything I do and say; in my family, my work and my interactions with people from all walks of life, God’s love and God’s compassion is front and center,” Bure added, noting that the Christmas story itself was central to not only her story-telling on the network but in her own heart as well.
“All of that comes from the LOVE that God himself showered upon humanity when he gave the gift of joy and forgiveness on the first Christmas morning 2000 years ago,” Bure concluded. “It is why I love Christmas stories and sharing true joy and true peace with millions of people around the world. And in the sole motivation of pure love, I hope you’ll join me in sharing God’s hope for all the world this Christmas season. Call that my Christmas wish.”