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

HGTV Does Brain Vacuuming as Well as House Hunting. Who Knew? May 8, 2014

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  …

RX HGMAG004 Style Lessons From HGTV Stars 128 a s4x3 lg


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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96 responses to “HGTV Does Brain Vacuuming as Well as House Hunting. Who Knew?”

    • I’m going to allow this, even though the cartoon you link to uses language that I don’t allow on this blog.

      However, I’ll probably delete comments with similar links in the future.

    • Interesting. So it should be ok to fire atheists, gay people, and those who support homosexual marriage also? I mean, the idea that they have a right to their own views about how the world works is clearly no more than a statement that it’s not literally illegal to say what they want to say.

      Is that all you think free speech is? Interestingly, I never heard a liberal of any sort say anything even close to that until people starting firing Christians. It used to be that we here in America thought people had a real right, not merely a legal right, to think and speak freely, and that using thuggery of any sort to prevent it was generally a bad thing. The law was seen as just a way of making sure that the government didn’t step on the real right that was there.

      But if all free speech is is a legal construct, then that’s good to know! Because it means that the tolerance showed to these gay “marriage” is ok views and similar when they were just developing by the majority of the people who thought the views were abhorrent but were trying to show the people respect anyway, was completely unnecessary. I mean, clearly they should have stopped free thinking by firing and using all their money and power to ostracize everyone who disagreed with them, because hey, they wouldn’t be putting them in prison and that’s all that free speech is about, right?

      Today’s word is “rationalization.”

      • It used to be that we here in America thought people had a real right,
        not merely a legal right, to think and speak freely, and that using
        thuggery of any sort to prevent it was generally a bad thing.

        Who is preventing these folks from speaking freely? Not HGTV – they are simply declining to go ahead with a show that they – rightly or wrongly – believe will affect their bottom line.

        Now it would be brave and noble of HGTV to go ahead and run the show and find out whether or not the previous political activities of these brothers actually do affect the bottom line, but HGTV is not in the business of running social experiments – they are in the business of making money.

        Since this is America, you and like-minded others are free to pool your money and use it to put their show on TV if you so choose.

        • HGTV and others are saying “if you don’t toe the line and say only those things that we think are ok, we won’t give you a job.” That’s pretty much the same as trying to prevent people from speaking freely.

          Now you could say that this isn’t completely HGTV’s fault and they are only caving in because they are cowards, and I guess that is a possibility. But it makes little difference whether it’s all HGTV or not, it is the idea that is in the xkcd comment that is the problem, the idea that there is no need to understand that some people think differently from us, so long as we don’t put them in prison we can fire them or ostracize them or whatever.

          • Jacob, I think you might be misunderstanding the purpose of a television production company. They are in the business of making a product that the maximum percentage of their potential viewers will watch.

            They have made a business decision not to produce these brothers’ show because they have reason to believe that a large segment of their market will not want to watch that show because of the various statements and activities these brothers have chosen to associate themselves with.

      • Jacob, maybe I’m not following you, but it looks like you are forgetting that your right to “free speech” means that the GOVERNMENT cannot silence you (with certain exceptions). But a private business can silence you by not giving you a forum, if the organization concludes that you will hurt its business. There’s no violation of free speech when that happens.

    • Oh, the little stick figure is absolutely right. But note who “The People Listening” are in this case. It is not the public at large. It is the people at HGTV.
      The people at HGTV think that anyone who is a Christian is a jerk.
      They believe that anyone with traditional Christianity should be banned from the airwaves and should never be allowed to speak publicly.
      The people at HGTV believe that being against abortion indicates a person is deeply disturbed person who hates women – and therefore they should be shunned, banned, treated like crap and excluded from the public square
      But that’s not what the country thinks. That’s only what a very narrow, highly politicized, left wing intolerant bunch of creeps in New York thinks.
      The country itself sees nothing wrong with Christianity. (See the Phil Robertson episode)
      Let HGTV put the whole thing to a vote of real people and we will see what happens.

      • Funny, watching HGTV, I have NEVER heard anyone discuss religion at all, or their views on abortion or gay and lesbian couples—just remodeling, buying/selling, renting houses. Many folks who are doing that buying/selling etc. happen to be same sex couples. There isn’t a voice over saying that the network is anti-SS couples? No. Even when the international shows go to all those “foreign countries” like China or Japan or Viet Nam, Indonesia, etc. not a word against the faiths that may be predominate in those countries.

      • The people at HGTV think that anyone who is a Christian is a jerk.

        As was noted above by pesq87:

        The “Cousins” (above) are Roman Catholic and the “Twins” are Protestant. But they didn’t get cancelled because (unlike the Benham brothers) they dont bring with them vocal, public baggage, drama and controversy that is wholly unrelated to HGTV’s mission: real estate and home decor.

        This isn’t an anti-Christian issue.

  1. I will never watch HGTV again. They are off my approved list. All Christians should do so. We need to fight back. We have to cause the same economic impact that the gay lobby threaten.

    • All TV is anti-Christian. You might as well throw the tube in the trash. OTOH, that isn’t a bad idea anyway. Frees up time to study the bible, pray, and do things at the church. Good Idea, Manny!

      • All TV is not anti-Christian or Islam or Pagan or Buddhist or anything else. That is a very broad statement. One exception on the last 3 I mentioned would be some of the religious shows (700 Club for example–never heard any good news from them about any other religion except Christianity). .

  2. It’s all about the ratings which equal money. The majority of the population that watches TV don’t want to watch people who dis the gays. I believe it’s not the religious teachings or beliefs that are hateful but it’s how Christians act and what they say. For every Christian who isn’t hateful to and about gay people there are 10 Christians that are.

    I’ve never heard of these guys. I imagine they feel like gay people did when there were no gay people on TV. The tables have turned.

    • “For every Christian who isn’t hateful to and about gay people there are 10 Christians that are.”
      Prove it, please?
      Stating the Christian Truth that homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered, against natural law, and gravely depraved does not “dis the gays.” Nor, does further stating the Truth that the homosexual inclination is deeply disordered.
      And, neither does repeating the fact that for most of them it is a trial and that “[t]hey must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity” (cf. CCC, para. 2357 & 2358).

      These are just the teachings of Christ, and the Church which He founded. Telling people the Truth is an act of love. Excusing harmful, destructive behavior is not.
      God Bless!

          • “Unchaste” is a judgment you are unfairly applying to a whole segment of society that you probably know less about than you think you do. Those are human beings whose actions you are condemning with very little justification.

            • I was not applying it to an entire segment of society. I was saying that those homosexuals who are unchaste are doing destructive and harmful behavior.

              • You say that those homosexuals who are unchaste are doing destructive and harmful behavior. This is your opinion and is based on prejudices and maybe some anecdotal evidence of same sex actions that could be considered destructive and harmful. It really is up to the couple to decide what is loving and caring and what is destructive and harmful.

                • Wrong. It has been proven that male to male sex has a much higher rate of transmission of STDs than heterosexual sex.

        • Have you looked into the health consequences of some of the homosexual practices, Bill? How about their life expectancy?

            • Hey, Bill, I actually think that is a pretty good comparison. I think smoking is a sin, too, and most probably a grave one for someone who knows how terrible the consequences are for them and those around them.

              There is no such thing as “someone else’s problem” if we profess to love everyone and want the best for them (not to mention that it affects us and everyone we love to some extent.) I feel very sorry for those who smoke and convince themselves that there is nothing wrong with it, and I feel exactly the same way towards those who indulge in homosexual activity and convince themselves that there is nothing wrong with it.

              • That’s fine with me, Dave. Putting homosexual acts on a par with smoking makes a lot more sense than trying to tell people they are damned for all eternity. We should all be as tolerant as you. 🙂

        • That would be sodomy. Which is spiritually perilous (even if you’re not one of those quaint souls like me and Nick_from_Detroit who actually believe in a moral accounting on the Last Day), and also is a vector for any number of pathologies like HIV and hepatitis. And is strangely correlative with obscenely annoying public behaviors like Gay Pride parades.

          • That which you say based on your religious beliefs is merely your opinion. The problem of HIV being passed by a small fraction of the LGBT community is not in itself reason to condemn homosexuality.

            So, basically, you are relying on a religion to judge people who you do not know in matters about which you know very little. That is what religious people do that gets them into so much trouble. People are tolerating it less and less for good reason. They choose right over wrong based on reason and logic and not dogma.

        • Bill S.,
          Being addicted to sexual activity is harmful enough. Combine it with unnatural sexual behavior, and it becomes very destructive to both body and soul.

            • “Get real” is not really an argument, Bill S.
              Get back to me when you come up with one, okay?
              Also, I didn’t “condemn” anything, or anybody. Do you belong to the Catholic Church? If so, are you aware of Her teachings on homosexuality?

                • My intent was not to cross examine, Mrs. Hamilton. I promise.
                  I’m only trying to understand from what perspective Bill S. is coming.
                  God Bless!

    • In order for your supposition to have merit, you’d have to demonstrate 1) that these people actually “dis the gays,” and 2) that their show had been around enough for it to be determined what sort of ratings they would have and that they were bad.

      The Duck Dynasty fiasco, however, shows that what you say is in general terms clearly false.

    • Almost every assumption you make is incorrect. Look at the Phil Robertson incident – he had enormous support, indicating that the real public opinion is solidly against this attempt to exclude Christans from public view.
      And, you have no idea that these two people would be “dissing” gays. Most likely they hold a perfectly normal opinion on gay marriage, the same one that Obama held until 2012, and the same one that the majority of the public holds – that it is not right. To treat that opinion as “dissing gays” is bigotry in and of itself
      You are correct that too many Christians become overly hateful. But 90%? Hardly. You have your percentages reversed.

      • Sorry Nick. My husband took us away to for Mother’s Day and it was a no screen holiday for all of us.

        I stand by my statement. There is plenty of proof at Patheos in the posts and comments on the Christian blogs.

        • No, problem, Sus 1. I hope that you had a wonderful Mother’s Day.

          “There is plenty of proof at Patheos in the posts and comments on the Christian blogs.”
          Proof that 90+% of Christians are “hateful to and about gay people”? Nonsense. I don’t read all of the Christian blogs and channels on Patheos, but, those that I do read regularly in no way reflect your false assertion.

          And, even if you could produce statistics that proved there were this many commentators in the Christian comboxes at Patheos, it still wouldn’t prove that the same could be claimed about ALL Christians.
          I stand by my statement. Your comment passed from hyperbole into calumny. You should take it back.

    • It’s not even that they would talk about gays on TV. Of course, there is no question that this would not be allowed. No, now it is unacceptable to even believe what 95% of people in human history have believed, and what is obvious to anyone with common sense.

  3. I love HGTV—especially House Hunters International. I really don’t care about the politics of the network. But like any other network, it is all about the ratings. Like Sus_1 mentioned, I never heard of those guys.

    • Imagine the ratings – they would be astronomical since these two would be if “controversial” (Oddly enough, by being run of the mill, normal Christians.) HGTV not only is illegally discriminating, they are acting against their own best interest – the surest sign of deep bigotry.

  4. I thought you couldn’t discriminate against hiring people for race, religion, etc.? It looks like they are here to these guys. Am I wrong??

    Federal Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Laws
    I. What Are the Federal Laws Prohibiting Job Discrimination?
    Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), which
    prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex,
    or national origin;

    Discriminatory practices under these laws also include:
    harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, genetic information, or age;

    • We now have a government of kings, not law. If Obama wants something done a certain way, he just signs an executive order and BAM, we have a new “law”. FYI, it’s perfectly legal to discriminate against any who are against same-sex anything. Or Catholic. Back to the Future….

    • You are exactly right. But I can almost guarantee you that HGTV will get away with violating the law simply because it was Christians with conservative views on “gay marriage” and abortion. I don’t think the guys who were going to be on this show were Catholics but the phrase “Anti-Catholicism is the last acceptable prejudice.” is quite true.

  5. My wife is a big fan of HGTV, so I see a lot of their programs. There’s one with a husband and wife team, set in Waco, I think. They are Christian, and last week I saw an episode where the husband led their children in a prayer of blessing/thanksgiving, for their own home. (They have a small farm, with a house that they have been remodeling on the side, in tandem with the other projects each episode. The show is actually a sort of portrait of their family, and their work as parents is woven through it all, with the children frequently appearing. It’s beautiful. Generosity, honesty, hard work and sacrifice, and always keeping their love of family at the center. They seem to approach their work as a calling and a service, and they do it with a lot of love.

    As for the Property Brothers, yes, they are nice to look at, physically, but more than that, and the reason they are so popular, they are sincere, generous, hard-working people, who actually seem to love what they do and the people they do it for. And the same could be said for the Cousins, with the added fact that they also involve(d) their family in their projects, one saw them consulting with their parents, and their father showing up to help occasionally, when there were problems. All four of these good-looking men actually seem to be quite admirable people, as shown in the way they treat others. I remember one extended episode devoted to a charity project, where the brothers helped a community to organize and do the work of fixing up a school-teacher’s house, when she was on hard times, giving back to the person that had taught them and their children to read.

    What I’m saying is, neither Christianity, nor christian values, are scarce on HGTV.

    The shows my wife (and therefore I) do not watch are the ones devoted to flipping properties. They seem consistently devoted to a premise of material greed, which, in the two or three I’ve seen, is just slimy. Maybe the Flip it Forward show would have had a better ethos than the others. At any rate, it is inacurate to suggest that HGTV is anti Christian, because they don’t want their brand associated with a particular, and contentious, dogma.

  6. HGTV has a show with a nice, married, non-closeted, Christian couple. Heterosexuals, no less, with kids. It’s set in Waco. There was one episode where the man even led his children in prayer, right there on television. And yes, the Cousins and the Brothers are fine looking men, but their popularity is probably due to how warm, generous, and sincere they are. They show up with their best stuff, and work hard, even for people that can be hard to deal with. These shows are rich with explicit and implicit Christian values, even though their stars are not spending their off-screen time fighting gay marriage and abortion in the public forum.

    Now, the few shows I’ve seen that revolved around flipping properties have not been so uplifting. Their premise, maximizing one’s profit in relation to one’s investment, tends towards avarice. The people involved seemed morally confused, and if I have seen anything ill at ease with Christianity on the network, it is those programs. I’m sorry the twins didn’t get their show. I’d have watched, to see if they could do a more wholesome job.

    • I am only speaking as regards your first paragraph, just so you know.

      I just want to say that I don’t doubt that HGTV includes Christians on some of their shows. However, the fact is that HGTV refused to allow this show to take place because these Christians were orthodox and weren’t going to be silenced concerning “gay marriage” or abortion. Christians should NOT be silent about those issues.

      So anyway, on a whole I agree with Public Catholic’s blog post. The time is indeed coming when a person can’t be an outspoken Christian on these issues without facing the wrath of the politically correct police!

  7. Let’s be honest – the Benhams are vocal, public spokesmen for Operation Save America. They have publicly called people who practice the Muslim faith as the enemy attacking America. They protest publicly against gay people and call for the biblical death penalty for gay people. They also publicly compare gay marriage supporters to Nazis.

    The “Cousins” (above) are Roman Catholic and the “Twins” are Protestant. But they didn’t get cancelled because (unlike the Benham brothers) they dont bring with them vocal, public baggage, drama and controversy that is wholly unrelated to HGTV’s mission: real estate and home decor.

    This isn’t an anti-Christian issue.

    • “They protest publicly against gay people and call for the biblical death penalty for gay people. They also publicly compare gay marriage supporters to Nazis.”
      Source, please? Or, are these just unsubstantiated calumnies that you saw on some kook’s website?

      • Nick, I’m going to decline your request as politely as I can. If you search under my screen name u will find i never post “unsubstantiated” facts on this site.

          • Or….. you could research it yourself. It’s frustrating posting facts on this site, then being challenged to support those facts, then providing the requested supportive authority (citations, page numbers), then hearing crickets.

            • Either you take up the responsibility of proving your hideous claims, or I call you, here and now, a liar. So far, you have only made claims that would horrify any decent person, and pulled the victim card when asked to substantiate them.

              • Fabio, I politely decline your request and reject your denunciation. I note that in prior threads on this very blog I’ve met your demands for research and fact checking services only to be met with, again… crickets. Why would I repeat that mistake?

                I further note that your own posts on this blog are replete with – instead of check-able facts (as mine are) – personal claims of private conversations with lesbian comic book writers, mafiosa, and evil students who try to have you expelled from university. Morever, you’ve expressed to me your contempt for any written authority (scientific, peer-reviewed or otherwise) that disagrees with you.

                I sleep well knowing I post truthful facts on Rebecca’s blog.

                • Your opening sentence is typical. You say you are being polite and that has to be enough. In fact, you are monumentally rude and frankly trollish. Your refusal to present the evidence on which you claim to convict a man of hideous notions – even in the face of people who claim to know the facts and who contradict you – is both rude and cowardly. And you play the victim card again. Yes, let’s all weep for poor pesq87, who tried to troll a Catholic website and was roundly answered back. Wasn’t it mean of us to answer her, polite as she is?

        • Pesq87,
          That won’t prove that your mere assertions are true, will it? I can’t prove that they don’t exist, since I cannot prove a negative. So, the onus is on you, the one making the claim, not me.
          If it was so easy to prove, you would have produced the source. I will assume that your reply is just a cop-out.

          • I’m ok with that, Nick. Posting supportive facts on this site is usually fulfilling. No one ever says, “well thanks for that research and info. I guess I was wrong.” Plus, I’ve been playing this commenting game game all wrong. I count at least 6 bald, OUTRAGEOUS assertions on this 95 comment thread alone with no factual support, no back-up and no challenges from the hoi polloi like you. Nah, thanks, I’ll sleep very well tonight knowing I posted the truth and have the backup right here in my hot little hands. Google is your friend, by the way, if you’re really interested.

            • You are only proving that I was right, Pesq87. You can’t back up your mere assertions with any proof, whatsoever. So, you either made them up, or got them from some untrustworthy website.
              Either way, they are not to be believed.

  8. So, you’re saying that HGTV is a real network? I always supposed it was just a police tool to force misdemeanor suspects to talk without leaving a mark. Felony suspects get QVC.

  9. I really like The Property Brothers but I will be watching HGTV no longer. The 20th century has seen more Christian martyrs than any other century. In the light of that and the fact the least I can do to support my fellow brothers around the world is not support a network that will hire Christians that keep their views to themselves but fire those that express traditional morality.

  10. Since HGTV, is a publicly held corporation it is in their purview to run THEIR corporation in any way they see fit. All Catholic organizations would complain vociferously if the secular community said how to run their organizations how is this any different?

    • Yes, they include SS couples on house hunters as well as M/F couples. All that says is that there are now couples that are SS and couples that are M/F.

        • I suspect the ratio of same sex couples is so high because HGTV (like Bravo and Oxygen) have huge numbers of gay viewers — as compared to other networks like TBS, Sundance, USA, Syfy, etc.

          At the end of the day, it’s all about selling soap.

          • I’m straight and I really enjoy watching HGTV, partly because I just enjoy seeing inside other people’s houses. 🙂

  11. I watch many shows on HGTV, they seem to follow an agenda to promote the Gay life style. Whenever possible there will be a person talking about their same sex spouse, whether its a cooking show, or house hunters. Doesn’t matter to me, I just overlook their agenda and try to enjoy the show.

    • Why shouldn’t the people buying or cooking or whatever talk about their significant other? I don’t think anyone is pushing an agenda, they are just producing shows that include those that have SS relationships.

      • Maybe but if look at the ratio of SS you might be led to believe its like 25% 1 in 4 contestants on Chopped for example. And if its not an agenda then why cancel a show like flip it forward based on their religious beliefs?

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