Until last week, twin brothers David and Jason Benham of Charlotte, N.C., were set to host a new home-renovation show on HGTV called Flip It Forward. HGTV yanked the program after left-wing groups complained about the brothers’ comments on homosexuality and abortion at a 2012 prayer rally. Since then, a group called Faith Driven Consumer has gathered more than 17,500 signatures in an online petition asking HGTV to reverse its decision. David Benham talked with WORLD Radio about what really happened last week, and what he would like to say to the people who oppose him.
My understanding is that the straw that broke the camel’s back with regard to the show was the appearance that you guys made at a rally … where you guys laid it on the line as to what’s happening in our culture. Do you think if maybe you had worded it differently, you might have been able to sneak past this thing? In 2012, before the Democratic National Convention came to our city, Charlotte, the Lord laid it on my brother and I’s heart to host a prayer service calling the church to repentance. And it was at that prayer service and all of the events surrounding that service—where 9,000 Christians gathered and prayer for our nation—where I made the comments. And I absolutely stand by those comments. As a matter of fact, those comments can be the same comments you hear from many great theologians, founding fathers, and others that would stand where biblical values would stand.
So, the one thing that is really interesting in this whole story is HGTV had already seen those comments before they even made us our offer. We had offers from another network, and then we also had other networks that were weighing in about 18 months ago. And HGTV saw these comments, and they called us and asked for an explanation. And then we met with one of the executives in person, and they realized we had no ill intent toward anyone. We did not hate anyone. We told them we hold to a biblical faith system. We also truly love everyone, and they said, OK, great, and then they made us an offer.
What really happened here was when we were announced in New York City at the upfront—our show was announced, we weren’t in attendance, but our show was announced—that’s when the Right Wing Watch and GLAAD (formerly the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) decided we’re going to go on a smear campaign and try to bully HGTV into firing these guys, and they won. They actually succeeded.
I did give a call to People for the American Way, that’s the parent of Right Wing Watch. If you could tell them something right now, if you could explain or have a word for them, what would it be? Well, I guess the first thing I would say is that you are not People for the American Way, you are people for your way. And your way leads to destruction and hurts everyone, Christian and non-Christian. The way of Christ is the way of truth, and it’s that way that affords everyone in this nation the liberty to believe how they want to believe and to voice it. And so I believe, in America, that we have people for another way, and it’s an overwhelming majority of Americans.
And I believe we are going to show this: that we really want this change in America, and people are not going to remain silent anymore. We’re just tired of getting pushed around. We’re speaking for millions of people.
Listen to more from David Benham, including where he thinks American culture is headed, on The World and Everything in It: