David and Jason Benham don’t necessarily view themselves as “victims” after their Home and Garden Television show, “Flip It Forward,” was pulled. But they do have serious concerns about the freedom that people of faith have to openly share their views without intense rebuke.
Speaking specifically about the firestorm surrounding their opinions on abortion, gay marriage and Islam, the twin brothers told TheBlaze Friday that they’ve now seen firsthand what happens when a vocal portion of the nation tries to stifle its opposition.
“There’s a segment of America that is demanding that our freedom of speech come with consequences if it does not agree with their speech,” David Benham said. “With or without a show, I will not be beaten into submission. … This is not what our Founding Fathers had envisioned.”
Watch the Benhams speak with CNN last night for more about their story:
The brothers’ do-it-yourself show was canceled before its fall 2014 premiere after an article on the website Right Wing Watch about the hosts’ Christian viewpoints was published Monday, kicking off the controversy. By Thursday, the network had severed business ties with the family.
David Benham told TheBlaze that it’s time for Americans to stand up and say, “We are sick of this.”
The brothers seemed somewhat unfazed by all that has happened over the past few days, speaking calmly as they told TheBlaze that their biggest concern is clearing up the accusation that they are hateful.
“The greatest tragedy of this is that people would believe something that is completely untrue about us,” Jason Benham told TheBlaze. “A lot of people have asked us if we have any regrets. The only regret that I have is that America’s not going to get a chance to see a great television show that’s in production.”
Since HGTV has yet to explain to the brothers why “Flip It Forward” was canceled, they could not offer definitive explanations to TheBlaze, though they did express surprise that one blog post apparently led to such a rash decision — especially considering that the network had previous vetted them.
“We trust that God is bigger than all of this,” Jason Benham added.
Both men said that honoring God is their ultimate goal, though they were excited to “make killer television.” And while getting their show back isn’t their goal, the brothers expressed openness to talking with HGTV or other networks about it.
So far, no major companies have approached the Benham brothers with replacement offers. Despite the fact that production has halted, David Benham said that he and his brother will finish the homes they were working on for the series.
The two confirmed that they were halfway through filming when the controversy derailed the program; they were in the process of helping six families renovate and flip homes.
“With or without cameras, we’re going to help them out,” David Benham said of the families.
Watch David Benham speak outside an abortion clinic below:
As for their father, Flip Benham, David said that he and his brother don’t agree with him on everything, but that they love and respect him. Much of the Right Wing Watch actually focused on Flip Benham’s controversial comments and views.
“We don’t have to agree with our dad to love him,” David Benham said. “Whether we agree with our dad or not on any of his points, one thing is true — this nation lacks fathers. We had a father who loved us … [and] helped my brother and I become good men.”
The brothers decried the narrative set in the Right Wing Watch article and said that, if it were true, they’d rebuke themselves.
But David Benham said that the article was rooted in lies. While he has spoken out against homosexuality as an agenda and radical Islam as a damaging movement, he said he never attacked individuals.
Update: Glenn Beck interviewed David and Jason Benham earlier today. The brothers charged that the media coverage surrounding them simply isn’t accurate.
“After reading it, I started hating myself,” Jason Benham said of the original Right Wing Watch article. “I thought, wow, I did not realize I hated Muslims, I didn’t realize that I hated homosexuals, I didn’t realize that I hated all of these people — and if I hate all these people, then I hate myself.”
The brothers said that there was a narrative advanced to make them look hateful — one that simply isn’t rooted in truth.
Listen to the interview below: