Benham Brothers: “If Our Faith Cost Us the Show, So Be It.”


The Benham brothers have issued a statement concerning the cancellation of their show by HGTV.

HGTV has joined the line of corporations and other enterprises which is limiting employment according to the dictates of the politically correct police. There is a tendency to label the people on the two sides of this debate as either “liberal” or “conservative” or, sometimes, as “right-wing” or “left-wing.” But in truth, these liberals are no more liberals than today’s neo-cons are conservatives.

It would be far better to use correct language to talk about them. The extreme sides of the political divide are both totalitarian liars and bullies. They are both, each in their own way, the enemies of human freedom and human dignity. They have a lot more in common with one another than they do with the rest of us.

However, the Benham brothers, who were fired for holding political and social viewpoints that run afoul of the received wisdom of a group called “Right Wing Watch,” have reacted to the situation with courage, grace and a dignity of their own.

Here is their statement (emphasis mine):

“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.” 

“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.”

I am heartened by the Benham brother’s reaction to the unjust way in which they lost their job. McCarthyism is back and we have a new blacklist. It looks like this thing is just gathering steam. Christians in all walks of life may end up being blacklisted by the politically correct cops as time rolls forward.

For myself, I’ve now had a week with no HGTV. That’s a change for me. I’ve spent a lot of time, watching HGTV. It’s an easy channel to flip on when I have a few minutes and need to unwind. Because of the nature of its programming, I can enjoy it without committing a large block of time to it.

And, I am interested in homey stuff like what color to paint a wall.

In fact, one of my sons is going to paint a room in my house as my Mother’s Day present. So, I’ve been perusing paint colors online in my spare moments. I started out looking at Sherwin Williams. But, alas, they have a (very nice) selection of colors from HGTV.

I may be a Christian, but my money is still green. And I’m not going to spend any of my green stuff in places that partner up with HGTV. I did before. It didn’t bother me a bit that they had openly gay people doing design work. I wasn’t turned away by shows with gay couples buying houses for themselves. I don’t agree with gay marriage, but that doesn’t mean I have a hate on for gay people.

However, when HGTV gets a hate on for people like me, who don’t agree with gay marriage, my money is going someplace else.

So, bye, bye, Sherwin Williams. Hello Benjamin Moore.

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HGTV Does Brain Vacuuming as Well as House Hunting. Who Knew?

Jason and David Benham have all the visual and familial requirements needed to be HGTV stars.

This house-hunting, home-decorating network is populated from time zone to time zone with bona fide hunks.

Consider this …


Or this  …

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It was no surprise to any viewer when the network announced plans to introduce a new show, called Flip It Forward, featuring another set of hunky twins. The show looked like a sure money maker for HGTV. What did surprise was when the network abruptly ash-canned the new show.


Were the twins not twin-y enough? Weren’t they hunk-y enough?

Why would these twins …


… who clearly have the looks and relationship to be HGTV mega stars, have been kicked to the curb?

The answer, it seems, lies not in any failure of formula in the casting. It is rather that Jason and David Benham didn’t pass the politically correct police smell test.

It leaked out that HGTV had accidentally hired a set of hunky twins who are (gasp!) the sons of an actual practicing Christian minister named Flip Benham. To top that off, they have made statements of their own in support of totally incorrect wrong-thinking such as opposing abortion, and being against gay marriage and divorce.

We can’t have that on television.

In fact, we won’t have that on television.

It turns out that HGTV is more than a fluffy little house-oriented network. It is also a politically ideological network which subscribes to brain vacuuming its stars as well as house hunting. Who knew?

Meanwhile, the Red Guard ugliness of self-appointed thought and speech police marches on. Last month, it was Brendan Eich, the month before that, it was Duck Dynasty. Now, it’s David and Jason Benham.

Who will it be tomorrow?

Christians in public life are fair game these days. In fact, the day is coming, and it’s not far off, when a Christian in public life who hasn’t been attacked for their faith is probably hiding it and being mealy-mouthed about it. We are rapidly approaching a time when being attacked for following Christ is a testimony and witness to the public believer’s faithfulness.

Firing the Benton twins for having politically incorrect ideas is just another in a long line of totalitarian intolerance aimed at believing Christians. The message in this sort of thing, whether the incident in question is the resignation of a software mogul or the refusal to allow believing Christians to hold jobs in television and entertainment, is that Christians need to hide their beliefs if they want to be employed.

Faith Driven Consumer is sponsoring a petition to reinstate Flip it Forward, with Jason and David Benham in the starring roles. You can find it here.

Thank you to Public Catholic reader Manny, who brought this story to my attention.

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That explains it

I’m a homey.

I don’t mean that in the usual, slang way. I mean I’m a home-lover. Home to me is peace, safety, contentment. There is nothing more soothing after a terrible day at work than to walk into my home, shut the door behind me and leave all that black magic on the other side.

I love being home. Which makes me a homey.

I also enjoy watching the different “house” shows on HGTV. I can watch people tramp around houses with realtors, grumble their way through renovations and oooh and aaaah over the scrumptious results — all without having to spend a dime or move an inch.

This is bliss for a woman who is both a homey and curious about how other people live.

Some of these shows are obviously posed, at least a little bit. I mean, what straight man goes into a house and says “Oh I hate those countertops, and I’m just not feeling the color of that backsplash?” Get real.

And who calls every room in a house a “space,” as in “this is a great space.” Nothing ever needs remodeling or fixing. (an Okie term, I know, but this is an Okie blog) Everything needs “updating,” as in those horrid laminate countertops need updating to granite, and we’ve got to get rid of the perfectly serviceable white appliances and update them with stainless steel. Hang the cost and full steam ahead.

I just love watching that stuff. For someone from my part of the world, all this talk about updates and straight men twirling around kitchens and getting excited by backslashes is exotic and somewhat comical. It is high entertainment.

One of the more confounding things to this little Okie girl is the prices people pay for these domiciles. They’ll go into a house that’s smaller and more beat up than my little hovel and yack about how it’s “competitively priced” at half a million.

These people think nothing of plunking down upwards of half a million to a million or even more for what is just a plain, ordinary house. In fact, they often buy “fixer-upper” houses in this price range because their cool mill won’t get them something that’s “updated” the way they want it.

I watch this stuff and I think, “Where do these people live, and what on earth do they do for a living?”

It seems quite clear that my family income wouldn’t qualify me and mine for a pasteboard box under a bridge in their neighborhood. I couldn’t even afford one of their “needs updating” doormats. I keep wondering, do they rob banks or something? How do they afford this? And more to the point, why are they willing to spend so much for so little?

Then today, I came across an article that explains it all. It seems that in some parts of this country the incomes are totally out of sight by my standards. Unfortunately for the people who make all this good money, the cost of putting a roof over your head in these areas has kept pace with the incomes.

Of course, the other side of this extravagance is that somebody in those communities still works at fast food joints, still mops the floors and drives the delivery trucks. I have no idea how someone making that kind of wage manages to exist in that world. None.

I don’t buy real estate in places like Los Altos, San Francisco or Seattle, but every time I go there I am struck by the fact that it’s not just the real estate that costs more. A San Jose hamburger costs about two and a half times what an Oklahoma hamburger costs. Ditto for movies, hotel rooms and other things a traveler would notice.

This little article I found gives me a teeny bit of insight into the lives of people who think that a normal income for an ordinary family will support the purchase of a million dollar home that doesn’t exactly look like a million dollars. I’m not going to comment on what all this means to me and people like me. I’m still thinking about that. But I do find it interesting.

The 24/ article says in part:

This is the most expensive house for sale in the nation’s most expensive housing market: Los Altos, California. …

U.S. home prices have begun to rebound in the past year. And in the most expensive markets, where the average home sells for well over $1 million, recoveries are among the strongest, increasing between 20% and 50% in most cases.
According to Coldwell Banker Real Estate, there are at least 10 U.S. cities where the average listing price for a home in the first six months of this year exceeded $1.2 million.

The majority of these cities are on or near the California coast. For example, in San Jose suburb Los Altos, homes sold in the first half of the year averaged a $1.7 million price tag. Based on data provided by Coldwell Banker, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the most expensive cities for buying a home.
In an interview with 24/7 Wall St., Coldwell Banker Chief Operating Officer and President Budge Huskey explained that for the first time in years, residents of the country’s most expensive housing markets are largely professionals working in or very near their home. In prior years, he explained, many of the most expensive communities were simply very desirable for wealthy families or individuals, without necessarily being employment centers. Many of these people were retired or worked from home.
“Now,” Huskey said, “the emphasis is on those markets that are in proximity to true, strong business centers, where employment has been consistent, and the overall level of wealth and wages has been high relative to other opportunities within the country.”
These expensive markets are concentrated around the tech industry, which has remained strong throughout the recession. As a result, most of these cities and suburbs are near the heart of California’s Silicon Valley. These are areas driven by the tech boom, explained Huskey. “In an area like Los Altos, for example, you’re looking at a location that is 15 minutes away from the headquarters of such corporate giants as Google and Facebook.”
Income in the expensive housing markets is among the highest in the country. According to U.S. Census Bureau data, median household income in these cities far exceeds the U.S. median income by at least $20,000. In Saratoga, California, one of the cities on our list, median income is nearly triple the U.S. figure of $51,914.
Two cities outside California are on the top 10 list, one of which isn’t even the continental U.S.
Based on data published by Coldwell Banker in its annual Home Listing Report, 24/7 Wall St. identified the country’s most expensive cities for buying a home. Homes in these cities had the highest average listing price between January and June of this year. Markets with less than ten four-bedroom, two-bath homes were excluded from the survey. We also examined data on vacancy rates, median price per square foot, and changes in price from real estate listing service Trulia. Information on income, educational attainment, and poverty rate, among other data, is from the U.S. Census Bureau. (For the list of cities and their prices, go here.)

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