(RNS) HGTV had announced a new series, “Flip it Forward,” planned for October, starring twins David and Jason Benham.

The concept: After a decade of flipping houses for profit, the Benham guys would now help families buy the home they thought they could never afford — a small-scale, personal “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.”

In each episode, the brothers would find a fixer-upper and “transform it into their forever home — with a healthy dose of sibling rivalry between the brothers along the way,” said HGTV in the April announcement.

But on Wednesday (May 7), quietly, in a tweet, HGTV said the show will not be happening: “HGTV has decided not to move forward with the Benham Brothers’ series.”

“If our faith costs us a television show,” the brothers said in a statement on Thursday, “then so be it.”

According to Towleroad.com, that HGTV was alerted to a Tuesday story by RightWingWatch.org, which looked into the background of the Benham brothers and found them to be “anti-gay, anti-Choice extremists.” A social media campaign quickly took flight to pressure HGTV to cancel the show.

David Benham protested outside of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte in 2012, which he told conservative radio host Janet Mefferd was needed to stop “homosexuality and its agenda that is attacking the nation,” reports the organization. There is also video on YouTube of David protesting outside of an abortion clinic in 2013.

GlobalFlare.com decried what it called a “smear campaign,” noting, “So what’s wrong with having strong Christian beliefs and standing against the abortion movement in America?”

The article also notes that the twins’ father is Flip Benham, an outspoken anti-abortion activist who is now the director of Operation Rescue. He is perhaps most famous for baptizing Norma McCorvey, the “Jane Roe” behind the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion.

On their website, David is described as a father of five, a graduate of Liberty University and “a follower of Christ.” Jason is also a Liberty grad, as well as being a father of four, who is often quoted as saying, “For us to take credit for building a successful business would be like a shovel taking credit for digging a hole. We’re simply the tools God chose to use to build a successful business.”

The Benham brothers issued a statement on their Facebook page early Thursday saying they are “saddened” by HGTV’s decision.

“The first and last thought on our minds as we begin and end each day is; have we shined Christ’s light today? Our faith is the fundamental calling in our lives, and the centerpiece of who we are. 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.

“Over the last decade, we’ve sold thousands of homes with the guiding principle of producing value and breathing life into each family that has crossed our path, and we do not, nor will we ever discriminate against people who do not share our views.”

The brother also said:

“We were saddened to hear HGTV’s decision. With all of the grotesque things that can be seen and heard on television today you would think there would be room for two twin brothers who are faithful to our families, committed to biblical principles, and dedicated professionals. If our faith costs us a television show then so be it.”

(Ann Oldenburg writes for USA Today)

Video courtesy of Liberty University via YouTube

32 Comments

  1. CarrotCakeMan

    Homophobia isn’t a “faith” or a “belief,” it is a mental disorder. However, the fact anti-gays are mentally disordered does not mean they are off the hook for their many immoral and unAmerican actions. For example, when are anti-gays going to reimburse American taxpayers for the waste of billions of our tax dollars on these failed anti-gay Hate Votes, all of which are being revoked, one by one, in federal court, at taxpayer expense?

    • Anthony, I bet you didn’t feel that way prior to reading this story. But since HGTV didn’t want the baggage these guys brought to the show, one of the most vanilla cable channels around must be “trash” now, huh?

      • “Vanilla”? HGTV? Not at all. You may think that “H” in HGTV stands for “Home”, but you already know it stands for a less pleasant word.

        HGTV has been putting gay couples on their shows for God knows how long, trying to lay that PR-scripted All-American-Gay-Next-Door image on the TV viewers. Doing their part to sell that gay-marriage snake-oil.

        But the Benham brothers didn’t bring ANY baggage or debates to THEIR show. Their show stayed on the topic of fixing and flipping houses, with NO talk of controversial issues. So the Benham brothers didn’t do ANYTHING wrong.

        Nope, the fault on this one is all on those dimwit HGTV execs. It is HGTV who are messed up in their pizened brains, and unwilling to keep an open mind. What their stars do on their OWN time and dime, be it to endorse or oppose gay marriage, has nothing to do with HGTV’s mission of entertaining viewers with DIY house fixing’s and buying’s.

        • Jeez Doc, that “enemies list” is just getting bigger and bigger.

          The Benham brothers have a family history of harassing people and making overall jerks of themselves in public on behalf of the Lord.
          http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/hgtv-picks-anti-gay-anti-choice-extremists-new-reality-tv-show

          “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:”

        • Wow, how obsessed with homosexuality do you have to be to see a devious “gay agenda” to be at work in something like the HGTV channel? Sure they have gay and lesbian couples on shows from time to time. So what? That makes them “Hell and Garden TV”? Not that facts or logic matter to you it seems, but yeah, the brothers were a liability in the eyes of HGTV precisely because of their political stances and activism, off-camera or not. What TV company wants their brand associated with nonsense like that?

  2. It’s worth reading the Right Wing Watch article. This family blamed the 911 attacks on abortion. They picketed local Islamic centers and mosques. They disrupted church services by religious leaders like Bishop Gene Robinson. They picketed gay pride events and accused LGBT university groups of demonic ideology. They attacked and defamed gay and lesbian families. I could go on. I know lots of Christians whose faith does not require them to “shine” in such a manner.

    HGTV learned of that Right Wing Watch article and canceled the show on their own volition within a couple business hours.

    Personally, I would have kept the show. The network and/or producers could have teamed them up with lesbian moms or Muslim families and forced them to work side-by-side on this show and hopefully learn some empathy.

        • Thank you for sharing the rest of the story that others obviously missed. I love how the left puts the correction at the bottom of the article instead of redacting that portion in its original form and location.

          • It cuts both ways. They can insert an asterisk into the incorrect spot and make note of the correction below. Or they can quietly delete that portion without notice and be accused of subterfuge.

            The first option at least acknowledges the error.

    • CarrotCakeMan

      Attacking people they do not know and who have never done them any harm is NOT the Christian faith, it is homophobia–a mental disorder. Most Christian denominations reject homophobia.

      • It’s never wrong to stand up for those who are being harmed whether you know the ones who have harmed them or not. Someone has to give a voice to those who will never have the opportunity to speak for themselves because someone else made a “choice”.

        • TV is a commercial medium. If producers will get more headache than revenue, they won’t bother.

          Fundamentalist christian bigots have enough outlets in the media and public discourse that they never get “silenced”. If TBN or some other fundie media outlet wants to pick up the pilot and produce the show themselves, nothing stops them.

    • Frankie No-Facts! C’mon Frank, you know those guys don’t really care about the gospel. Or at least they care more about hating gays and loving ‘Murcia than they do the gospel. If opposing equal marriage is your idea of being a real Christian, you have some issues, and idolatry is probably only one of them.

  3. It is a loosing argument. The discriminating zealots are innately incapable of looking at themselves objectively from a 3rd person’s view-point (i.e., can you step outside yourself, your own shoes and your own myopically subconscious old-world mentality??!!) and really see what is going on?! ONE PLANET ONE PEOPLE!

    It’s laughable that these people would profess Christian love for man (and presumably women, and egalitarian behavior), yet condemn one’s life-style in the name of their Almighty Creator. Question for the zealots and seculars… How many times in the New Testament (which by the way WAS WRITTEN A FEW HUNDRED YEARS AFTER JESUS’ DEATH, by MAN no less) where Jesus makes reference to homosexuality vs. love for all, and, love the sinner not the sin, love thy neighbor, etc., ad nauseam??!! Go on… count each and every instance of both, I dare you!! Zealot hypocrites suck rocks out loud!! They are on the wrong side of human history.

  4. Flip Benham flipped his lid, and became convicted for stalking… http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/07/02/990817/-Flip-Benham-found-guilty-of-stalking-Charlotte-abortion-provider#. I almost feel sorry for the twins, given the patriarch zeal, they must have been brainwashed.

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