Christian Twins Lose HGTV Pilot Because Their Faith Is Too Controversial

May 9th, 2014 5:18 PM

Twins David and Jason Benham were working on a pilot for a series to be called Flip It Forward in which they would assist families in building dream homes and fixing up run-down houses when the Home & Garden Television cable channel abruptly canceled the project when the producers learned that the brothers have a history of preaching against homosexuality, abortion and divorce.

As you might expect, gay organizations hailed HGTV's decision while the brothers – sons of evangelical minister Flip Benham – released a statement that said: “If our faith costs us a television show, then so be it.”

The cable channel airs a variety of how-to shows with a focus on home improvement, gardening, crafts and remodeling. The Benham brothers said that their program would be a perfect fit for HGTV when it debuted in October.

However, while speaking at a North Carolina rally for a constitutional amendment that would define marriage as only between a man and a woman, David said in 2012: “We have no-fault divorce; we have pornography and perversion; we have homosexuality and its agenda that is attacking the nation; we have adultery … while the church sits silent and just builds big churches."

Also, “America’s Christian majority must repent for tolerating” those policies and “the 'demonic ideologies'” that he said have taken over the education system, resulting in a “very desperate spiritual situation and moral situation in our country.”

Those remarks provided a lot of fodder for opponents who posted on HGTV's Facebook page, and the channel soon responded by shutting down the pilot.

Reactions to the announcement came from both sides of the social aisle. Christie Harris Johnston wrote:

It doesn't matter whether we agree with the Benham brothers. They have the right to their personal opinions and personal faith without being dropped!

By doing this, HGTV is showing just as much discrimination as if they fired the Benham brothers for being gay! Don't people see what is happening? It's insane!

On the other hand, Regina Harrison called the decision a “good move,” and other posters charged that having a program hosted by the Benham brothers would “stab every LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) employee and viewer in the face.”

Meanwhile, many people used the occasion to criticize the current state of HGTV's programming, and one of their favorite targets was the House Hunters series.

Heather Brown led the charge by tweeting: “I am so sick and tired of House Hunters!!! We need more shows like Decorating Cents, shows like that for people who are on a budget!!”

“I have just about quit watching HGTV because all they have on is House Hunters and other real estate selling programs,” Marie A. Hodge noted.

Mary Hagerman also called for more diversity in the channel's programming. “Where are all those wonderful Canadian programs. Devine Design, Colour Confidential, Design Inc.? Stopped watching House Hunters, House Hunters, House Hunters ,,,, Not my favorite.”

Nevertheless, the most important reaction to the cancellation came from David & Jason Benham themselves, who posted:  “We were saddened to hear HGTV’s decision,” but “if our faith costs us a television show, then so be it.”

“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.”

They added:

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,” they continued, “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.”

This situation is very similar to what happened when Phil Robertson of the Duck Dynasty show was suspended by the A&E Channel after making “anti-gay remarks.” Facing what was called "a strong backlash from Robertson's supporters," executives lifted the suspension after nine days.

Given the incredible success of the History Channel's 10-episode The Bible series and the failure of the wildly inaccurate Noah movie, TV executives would do well to provide their viewers with inspiring and positive programming instead of just listening to the loud and demanding voices from the Left.