A scheduled do-it-yourself show has been canceled by Home and Garden Television before its fall 2014 premiere after controversy erupted surrounding its hosts’ Christian viewpoints on issues like gay marriage and abortion.
Twin brothers Jason and David Benham were scheduled to appear on “Flip It Forward,” a renovation show that was set to feature them helping families make improvements to their homes.
But when some left-leaning media outlets began digging into their backgrounds and personal perspectives, everything changed.
HGTV quickly responded to media coverage earlier this week surrounding the Benham brothers’ views against gay marriage and abortion, among other issues, by first announcing a review of their arrangement with the brothers and then, within just a few days, axing the show altogether, according to the Washington Post’s the Style Blog.
It all started when Right Wing Watch, a blog that prides itself on “monitoring and exposing the activities of the right-wing movement,” initially published a scathing recap of the Benham brothers’ political activity Tuesday, including background on their father, Flip Benham, an outspoken Christian minister.
“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,” wrote Right Wing Watch.
The post went on to claim that Flip Benham has shouted “Jesus hates Muslims” outside of mosques, blamed the Aurora shooting on the Democratic Party and made other controversial proclamations. The post then mentioned that his son, David, organized a 2012 Christian prayer rally called Charlotte 7:14 in 2012 — one that he spoke about in-depth with Christian radio host Janet Mefferd.
“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,” David Benham said in the radio interview after the prayer event. “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.”
Benham went on to say that the Charlotte 7:14 event was an opportunity to admit that there is hypocrisy in Christian churches and for believers to ask for God’s forgiveness for “allowing these things in the house of God.”
The family has also been criticized for its staunch opposition to the Ground Zero mosque and for claims made about the Islamic faith.
All of this information apparently led HGTV to cut ties with the brothers.
“HGTV is currently in process of reviewing all information about the Benhams and we will provide an update as soon as possible,” the network wrote on its Facebook page Tuesday evening after apparently learning about the controversy.
By Thursday the network had decided to completely cancel their arrangement with the Benhams, writing, “HGTV has decided not to move forward with the Benham Brothers’ series.”
According to an official description of “Flip It Forward,” the brothers, both fathers and real estate entrepreneurs, were set to put their sibling rivalry on display while they helped families transform fixer-upper homes.
Flip Benham has spoken out in the wake of the incident, standing strong on his views about homosexuality in an interview with LifeSiteNews.com.
Noting that his family didn’t try to hide their views from HGTV, he said that all parties knew controversy could end up erupting.
“I think of my sons, who have to suffer for the fact that their dad speaks up about the gospel of Jesus Christ,” he told the outlet. “Homosexuality is not a good thing. It destroys those who practice it and nations that approve of it.”
(H/T: Washington Post)