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HGTV drops brothers amid controversy over Christian views

Published: Tuesday, May 20 2014 10:32 p.m. MDT

David and Jason Benham stand together in this undated photo from their Facebook page.

Benham Brothers/Facebook

HGTV announced via Twitter this month that it would not pursue a home improvement show hosted by twin Evangelical Christian brothers, inciting debate on the Internet about HGTV’s motives.

The decision followed a May 6 Facebook statement that the network was “reviewing all information” about David and Jason Benham, who would have hosted “Flip it Forward” this summer.

The same day as the Facebook announcement, rightwingwatch.org published an article saying the brothers and their family held bedrock conservative values that included stances against abortion and gay marriage.

The article detailed that David Benham held a prayer rally in North Carolina in 2012 where he told a radio host that America “needed to stop homosexuality and its agenda that is attacking the nation.”

David Benham has also worked in support of North Carolina’s Amendment One, which, the article said, “enshrined a ban on same-sex marriage and civil unions in the state.”

The article also brought up the political and religious beliefs of the Benham patriarch, Flip Benham, who RWW reported opposed an interfaith memorial at Sandy Hook Elementary and has protested in front of Muslim mosques.

With half of all Americans behind same-sex marriage, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll, some on the Internet are asking if cable TV is afraid of being overly controversial or “too Christian.”

As Christianity Today stated, “The rise of evangelicals on reality TV has been tempered by controversies over biblical views on homosexuality. The most popular cable reality show of all time, ‘Duck Dynasty,’ temporarily suspended Phil Robertson in December for his remarks on homosexuality in a magazine interview.”

It’s more than the controversies over Biblical views of homosexuality, says American Thinker’s Chad Felix Greene. It’s about a liberal mindset that attacks anyone on the basis of disagreeing with the status quo.

“Liberalism seems to have decided that the case is closed and all opinion is settled on the general issue of what is acceptable and what is not,” Greene wrote. “The Benham brothers are not expressing extreme anything, they are merely practicing rational Christianity. Their only crime is that they verbally proclaimed what liberals find offensive.”

Fox News’ Megyn Kelly echoed that sentiment on her May 8 installment of “The Kelly File.” Kelly said that outrage over HGTV’s decision would have been much greater if the views in question were about homosexual rights rather than religious rights.

“If HGTV had a couple of hosts who are about to launch a TV show and it came out that they were gay and then they pulled the plug on them because they're gay, the backlash would be enormous in this country, and that's because gay rights are more and more protected and recognized in this country,” Kelly said. “Christian beliefs and Christian rights, not so much.”

Email: chjohnson@deseretnews.com

Twitter: ChandraMJohnson

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