Dear Benham brothers, your ‘religious beliefs’ don’t absolve you from the consequences of being extreme jackasses
“I agree with your assertions that there is a serious problem when it comes to faith and the Christian religion in this country but it isn’t anti-Christian persecution. It’s how some people exploit Christianity to lie, bear false witness against their neighbor, act extremely obnoxious, self-righteous, nasty, hateful, and vindictive, but then suddenly take the form of Job counting his calamities when called to explain their actions.”
By now, many of you are aware that the HGTV network was going to launch a new reality television show starring the sons of a notorious North Carolina pastor:
Last month, the HGTV network announced that it will launch a new reality TV show, “Flip it Forward,” starring David and Jason Benham. The twin 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.” What the announcement didn’t mention is that at least one of the Benhams is not just a real estate dealer but also a dedicated right-wing activist in the mold of his father, Flip Benham, who has headed the abortion-clinic protest group Operation Save America ever since it split from the militant anti-choice group Operation Rescue.
As leader of OSA, Benham has condemned the interfaith Sandy Hook memorial, protested in front of mosques while shouting “Jesus Hates Muslims” and blamed the Aurora shooting on the Democratic Party, which he said promotes a “culture of death.” He has also protested LGBT pride events, interrupted church services during a sermon by “sodomite Episcopalian bishop” Gene Robinson and was found “guilty of stalking a Charlotte abortion doctor after passing out hundreds of ‘wanted’ posters with the physician’s name and photo on it.” OSA* even blamed the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on abortion rights.
David and Jason are in the same mold as their father:
Flip’s son, David Benham, led a prayer rally — Charlotte 7:14 — 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”
In a January 2012 interview, Benham explained his “love” for homosexuals when he suggested that gay people are under the control of “demonic forces,” arguing that once he succeeds in recriminalizing abortion, he will next defeat the “homosexual agenda” and Islam.
David equated fighting marriage equality with fighting Nazis, and at a City Council meeting in protest of a local pride parade, David and his twin brother, Jason, referred to homosexuality as “destructive” and a “tragedy;” asserted that Jesus “refuses to leave [homosexuals] that way;”and Jason concluded by telling the council to “deny them every permit they ask for.”
When all of this came to the attention of HGTV, the network pulled the show. And naturally, the same group of folks whining about how gays want to discriminate against Christians have come out of the woodwork:
Won't be long before the LGBT activists demand Christians be deported… http://t.co/chlEEe0ovx
— toddstarnes (@toddstarnes) May 8, 2014
And Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council said the following:
As sons of a preacher, the brothers have never shied away from their beliefs, which led them to back the North Carolina marriage amendment — a stance the brothers seem to now be paying for, thanks to radical pro-homosexual activists like GLAAD, whose only answer to real diversity is harassment. Now, the same cultural elitists that tried to bully the likes of “Duck Dynasty” are back to silencing anyone who expresses biblical values — even if those values are expressed outside the workplace.
Last but not least, the brothers themselves said the following:
“As Christians we are called to love our fellow man. Anyone who suggests that we hate homosexuals or people of other faiths is either misinformed or lying … we do not, nor will we ever discriminate against people who do not share our views.”
I’m of the feeling that the network made a business decision. Some may agree and others may disagree. I say if we are to have a debate, let’s have that debate.
But to Perkins, Starnes, the Benham brothers, and whoever else may support them, I say something else:
You are not fooling anyone. It’s not accidental that none of you went into detail as to just how the so-called faith of the Benham brothers was expressed. Why do you believe that you can act like a gigantic ass and somehow be absolved from the consequences of your actions by simply claiming that “you are acting in accordance to your faith?’ This is not an issue of persecution. It’s an issue of a network deciding that it didn’t need the headache of attaching itself to the noxious reputations of two very mouthy, very extreme anti-gay, anti-choice, Islamophobic individuals.
I agree with your assertions that there is a serious problem when it comes to faith and the Christian religion in this country but it isn’t anti-Christian persecution. It’s how some people exploit Christianity to lie, bear false witness against their neighbor, act extremely obnoxious, self-righteous, nasty, hateful, and vindictive, but then suddenly take the form of Job counting his calamities when called to explain their actions.
The Benham brothers got what they deserved and the deliberate attempt to soft pedal their extreme behavior only proves that point. It all goes back to the old adage that if you act like a decent human being, you will be treated like one.
You act like an extreme fool and you have no business to expect anything but to be treated like one.