BILL BERKOWITZ FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
This fall, twin brothers Jason and David Benham, the sons of anti-abortion zealot Flip Benham, were slated to host a new reality program on HGTV called "Flip It Forward." After a batch of their homophobic, anti-choice and anti-Muslim statements came to light, the network decided to drop the show. However, there's no need to cry for the Benham twins as they are rapidly ascending the evangelical conservative Christian martyrdom ladder, recently occupied by Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson and Chick-fil-A's Dan Cathy.
When the network, which airs such popular programs as "House Hunters", "Property Virgins", "Design on a Dime", and "Curb Appeal", announced the show, it stated that the brothers will "leverage their good-natured sibling rivalry to help families find a fixer-upper and transform it into the dream home they never thought they could afford."
After hearing about HGTV's change of mind, David Benham told The Hollywood Reporter, "I think it would be healthy for America to show a balanced approach, but at the same time, we're in the free market, and they have a choice to make. If they don't choose us, it's no big deal. We are not pushing this at all." He also said that HDTV was "bullied" into making its decision to not go ahead with the program.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, The brothers, graduates of Jerry Falwell's Liberty University, said "that, while HGTV had previously wanted them to host a real estate show, other networks were interested in them for different concepts, including shows that would have also focused on their wives and kids, their fitness routines and their various other business. The brothers describe themselves as 'serial entrepreneurs' who didn't necessarily seek out a TV show, even though, prior to the gay-marriage controversy, they had been approached by five different networks."
"David and I are solid individuals with strong beliefs, but if these networks are willing to put us on the air, we'd be willing to talk ... we're family guys, we're fitness guys, we're entrepreneurs, and we really hit it big in real estate, so a network could have a lot of fun with an idea to wrap around all that," Jason Benham said.
Are the Benham Brothers victims of an overzealous left? Have they merely been expressing their opinions in a civil manner, engaging their opponents in honest and open debate? Are they the homosexual-loving sweethearts they are portraying themselves as?
If you like your homophobia Phil Robertson/Duck Dynasty style, your anti-Muslim opinions stated recklessly, and enjoy a solid dose of anti-abortion zealotry, the twins are right up your alley. These aren't your run-of-the-mill opponents of same-sex marriage, abortion, and/or Islam. Read their comments about these social and religious issues, and then decide whether this is the "balance" America needs.
Stop 'homosexuality ... that is attacking the nation'
According to People for the American Way's Right Wing Watch, David Benham, "led a prayer rally ... outside of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina in 2012, which he told conservative radio host Janet Mefferd was needed to stop 'homosexuality and its agenda that is attacking the nation' and 'demonic ideologies tak[ing] our universities and our public school systems.'"
David pointed out that his brother Jason had helped him organize the protest.
In a rant worthy of his dad -- Flip Benham headed up Operation Rescue, the vicious abortion-clinic protest group, whose name was later changed to Operation Save America after its founder, Randall Terry, left the group -- David told Mefferd that "We don't realize that, okay, if 87 percent of Americans are Christians and yet we have abortion on demand; we have no-fault divorce; we have pornography and perversion; we have a homosexuality and its agenda that is attacking the nation; we have adultery; we have all of the things; we even have allowed demonic ideologies to take our universities and our public school systems while the church sits silent and just builds big churches. We are so complacent, we are so apathetic and we are very hypocritical in the church, that's why the Bible says judgment begins in the house of God. So when we prayed at 714 we asked God and our city to forgive us for allowing these things in the house of God."
An Anti-Defamation League Operation Save America backgrounder, noted that David Benham got involved in the battle over the proposed building of an Islamic Center in downtown Manhattan, calling the center a "den of iniquity" and maintaining that Muslims were an "enemy attacking" America. Benham added: "The difference between Islam and Christianity: Islam takes life and enslaves it. Christianity lays its life down and sets you free."
According to lgbtqnation.com, the brothers recently appeared on Glenn Beck's television program where Jason said: "It's a spiritual fight. From the beginning of time, it was God and there was the Devil and both of them use people for their own purposes." Jason later added "that they are not attacking 'the homosexual community' because the real issue is 'God versus the Devil.'"
The Benham Brothers have already become a cause célèbre for the Christian Right, portrayed as victims of political correctness, liberal fascism, and the liberal media. Chris Stone, the founder of Faith Driven Consumer, told The Daily Caller: "There is a general secular agenda — the strongest voice of which currently is the LGBT agenda — that is so adamantly pushing their worldview that it attempts to steamroll any worldview that is in opposition to it."
The Daily Caller noted that Faith Driven Consumer "battled GLAAD during its anti-Duck Dynasty effort last year. It has now launched an effort in support of the Benham brothers called FlipThisDecision.com."
You can count on the Benham boys milking the heck out of their fifteen-plus minutes. In all likelihood, they will wind up with some type of show on some network. The Hollywood Reported pointed out INSP TV, which reaches 75 million homes with content that honors "traditional values" has indicated some interest.