HGTV Cancels the Benham Brother’s Program Due to Outspoken Faith; What Should be the Christian Response?

On March 24, 2014 World Vision’s American branch misread the climate of Christianity in the United States and publically made an announcement that they would no longer require its more than 1,100 employees to restrict their sexual activity to marriage between one man and one woman. [1]  In other words, they would hire homosexuals to work for the company that they portray as a “Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families and their communities worldwide.” [2] But the Christian evangelical world was having none of it.  Two days later, World Vision president Richard Stearns announced the decision to reverse their new policy and return to requiring employee sexual relationships to be between one man and one woman.  Stearns said, “on the authority of Scripture in our organization’s work [and employee conduct] … and on marriage as an institution ordained by God between a man and a woman—those are age-old and fundamental Christian beliefs. We cannot defer on things that are that central to the faith.”[3] 

Why did WV reverse itself?  Because it received intense criticism from Christians and evangelical leaders such as Franklin Graham, John Piper and Russell Moore and the Assemblies of God who asked all their followers to pull their support. [4] In a rarely seen move, Christians rallied and made an impact that was felt by World Vision revenue, if not anywhere else.   

Now, on the heels of the World Vision debacle HGTV has cancelled a television program called Flip It Forward hosted and produced by the Benham Brothers.  The show was cancelled because the Benham Brothers are Christians who spoke out against the “gay agenda” and in favor of marriage as between one man and one woman.  (The brothers have also repeated many times that they love homosexuals as they love all through Christ, but that they do not support the homosexual agenda).  The speech occurred during a prayer rally in 2012. [5]  This is from CNN news reports and The Huffington Post folks, I am not making this up.  So the message is, if you desire to have any fame at all make sure you don’t voice any real opinions—especially if you stand on the Bible and make sure you don’t partake in PRAYER.

Pat Robertson called the decision “outrageous” and warned that it was a sign that society is no longer “built around the Bible.” He added, “Good grief, isn’t there supposed to be some freedom? Aren’t we supposed to have a First Amendment?” [6]

But the response of many who do not support a Biblical worldview claim that the Christian Biblical view of the Benham brothers is not an opinion, but it is discrimination.  Angela J. Hattery, Ph.D. said,HGTV made the right moral, ethical and legal decision in refusing to pursue the initial contract with the Benhem brothers; HGTV’s obligation to protect the human and civil (if not yet legal) rights of members of the LGBTQ community trumps the Benhem brothers’ religious beliefs that they claim prohibit extending legal rights to members of the LGTBQ community–the right to a legal marriage.”  [7] That’s right, she claims that a man made “human right” trumps religious belief.  Hmmm, I don’t remember reading that in my 8th grade civics study of the constitution.

So what should be the Christian response?  First, let’s look at the difference between World Vision and HGTV.  WV proclaims that they are a Christian organization and takes advantage of that connection to ask churches and Christians for support.  Clearly, when the orthodox Christian view is compromised within WV, Christians who supported them because they are a Christian organization must pull support.  That is exactly what happened and WV reversed their stance.

HGTV does not hold them self out as a Christian organization.  But clearly, as the reports revealed, they responded to homosexual pressures, the homosexual lobby.  It is the homosexual agenda that is setting policy and caused HGTV to cancel their relationship with the Benham brothers.  In this case at HGTV, Hattery is correct; the “rights” of homosexuals has trumped the rights of Christians.  The man made, humanistic right has trumped the rights believed by followers of the Bible. 

What to do?

Statistically, 1 in 10 people in the United States are homosexual.  I think that statistic is overblown, but even accepting that statistic says that 10% of the people are making decisions and leading our nation.  Nearly 80% are Christian.  Are we losing the ability to guide our nation toward Christianity? Or are we asleep?

It is time to act.  Clearly, there are other issues than need attention as well, but it has to start somewhere.  You, reader, have to start somewhere.  We must stand up-I am not talking about a political agenda and not talking about standing against homosexuals, I am talking about standing for our Christian brothers who were discriminated against-and I am talking about standing for the right to have Biblical beliefs without losing our job for them.  I am talking about taking a stand for the 1st Amendment and against discrimination of Christians.  That is our right.

So how do we express it?  Immediately begin a boycott of HGTV and write a letter to corporate stating that you are doing exactly that and why.  You can send email by searching for: HGTV contact us or write them and send it snail mail.  Until HGTV feels it in revenue they are not going to change.  Not watching means their audience shrinks and they cannot charge as much for advertising.

The father of conservatism, Edmund Burke, said “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”  It is an evil to discriminate against a man for believing in what he understands God to say.  It is an evil to discriminate, to persecute a man for asking for prayer in order for our country to follow God.  Let’s stand together. 

 [1] http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2014/march-web-only/world-vision-why-hiring-gay-christians-same-sex-marriage.html?paging=off

[2] www.worldvision.org

[3][4] http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2014/march-web-only/world-vision-reverses-decision-gay-same-sex-marriage.html

[5] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tag/benham-brothers-hgtv/, http://www.cnn.com/2014/05/08/showbiz/tv/benham-brothers-hgtv/

[6] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/09/christian-activists-benham-brothers-hgtv_n_5289625.html

[7] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/angela-j-hattery-phd/hgtv-and-the-benhem-broth_b_5343769.html

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