The Benham brothers, the famed real estate moguls who found themselves at the center of controversy last year when their scheduled do-it-yourself TV program was canceled by HGTV following controversy over their beliefs on homosexuality, spoke at the National Religious Broadcasters convention in Nashville, Tennessee, on Thursday, where they revealed a unique interaction they had with one of their critics.
Left to right: Jason and David Benham (Images via Twitter @JasonBBenham and @DavidDBenham)
Identical twins Jason and David Benham are no strangers to speaking about their choice to react with love and respect following their firing, encouraging others to balance standing up for their religious views with showing compassion to critics.
The brothers recently told TheBlaze about how they invited some of their staunchest critics — groups that they said ensured their TV show was cancelled — to dinner at their homes in the wake of last year's controversy.
Similarly, the Benhams shared during their National Religious Broadcasters convention speech a specific interaction that they recently had with an unidentified gay man who vocally opposed their stance on homosexuality.
"We had so many people from the gay community reaching out to us and one man in particular from the city of Chicago reached out — and he said things to me that made me lose my appetite," David Benham told the crowd during a panel discussion about religious liberty. "But I simply responded in love."
And that positive tone went well beyond merely listening and speaking with kindness.
"After a little conversation back and forth, I found out he loved baseball … and I got him tickets to a Cubs game," Benham continued. "He shot me a Facebook post and said, 'I was not expecting that — and I've been thinking a lot about this. I've chosen to walk away from my lifestyle.'"
The story received a round of applause from the audience and the brothers proceeded to discuss their take on religious freedom, their belief that the nation has begun to "slowly turn our back on God" and the need for Americans to boldly stand up and defend their faith.
"Love filled our heart. We had absolutely no hatred," David Benham said, later adding, "What God needs most is a simple voice for truth."
Jason Benham went on to admit that the brothers were once somewhat cautious about being vocal, fearing that they could lose their show and, thus, their influence, though they said they've learned a great deal since HGTV pulled the program anyway.
"The right to speak freely means jack squat if we don’t have the courage to speak boldly," Jason Benham said.
The twins previously told TheBlaze that they not only showered their critics with dinner invites, but that they also sent fruit baskets to the executives at HGTV after their show was canceled. Listen to our interview with the Benhams here.