The twin brothers who lost their reality TV show when a website attacked their Christian beliefs say they’ll not only “stand up” to bullying intolerance but also keep a commitment to six families by selling their properties without taking a cent.
David and Jason Benham, who recently met and prayed with the six families scheduled to be on their canceled show, told Dana Loesch on her online show on TheBlaze TV that Christians in other countries face far worse than losing television deals.
“We are really not being persecuted in this country yet. We’ve got a lot to be thankful for,” David Benham said. “So we just remember those folks that are truly being persecuted. And it really strengthens our resolve in this nation to really stand up to this bully, this agenda to silence, and say: ‘OK, enough is enough.’ ”
Friday night on “Dana,” Loesch walked the twin entrepreneurs through the events of the past two weeks: First HGTV pulled the plug on their real estate show, “Flip It Forward,” before its scheduled debut in October. Then, SunTrust Bank severed business ties with their company, Benham Real Estate, and its franchisees before relenting within 24 hours amid a flood of protest.
“We are in a very dangerous place in America right now where we cannot separate someone’s ideas and the person himself,” David Benham told Loesch. Although the brothers “love all people because God is in us,” he said, “That does not mean we have to love all ideas. Certainly that should not be the case for any of us.”
The corporate moves against the North Carolina-based Benhams occurred after a website associated with the liberal political advocacy group People for the American Way labeled the brothers “anti-gay” and “anti-choice” because of their Bible-based stands for marriage as a man-woman union and against abortion on demand. The attack surprised one friend and associate.
“The Benhams are anything but ‘political activists,’ and they hold to their views based entirely on their religious beliefs,” author and radio host Michael Brown writes at Christian Post. “In my 11 years of knowing Jason and David, I can’t remember a single political discussion we’ve ever had.”
HGTV executives are “smart,” “know what they are doing,” and first offered the reality show after concluding the Benhams weren’t “hateful,” the brothers told Loesch. As for SunTrust’s about-face, David Benham said:
SunTrust did hear from America. There were millions of Americans weighing in. And that really felt good. And you know, to be honest, I think SunTrust should feel thankful as well that we have a country where people have the freedom to think and the freedom to exercise their conscience with their voice…
Some in Hollywood, he added, have reached out to the brothers—who are married and have nine children between them—to say they have “an image problem” to solve.
Now we’ve been marginalized and we’re ‘extremists’ and ‘haters’ and all these other things. We’re not concerned with our image as long as we continue to speak the truth and speak it in love. … If we have all of that in place, then we can take this bully down. And if that’s the image that we portray, then that’s OK.